November 27, 2010

Indian Newsmedia

If you want to know a country tune into its news channels. Well i see lots of media as it is one of my prime field of study & work. I don't see much of Hindi news channels as i lack the courage & intelligence both to understand their content which certainly can't pass off news as i learned in my mass communication classes. If astrology wasn't enough, you may hear plain farce dished out by stupid astrologers with approvals from idiotic editors.Large parts of India still believes that you can not drink or eat meat on Tuesday,  Even the Earth does not have a Tuesday all over it at the same time so how come you can drink in the USA not in India at the same moment? Crazy!

Times Now is a news channel of timesgroup that has an editor by the name of Arnab goswamy, at least he should justify the later part of his name and go become a swami. Go swami. His hollow attacking mannerisms & equally tasteless commentary scares the shit out of a decent intelligent  person. He justifies attacks on Kashmiri leaders because according to him they are subverting arnab's idea of India. What the hell is Arnab's idea of India? Any Indian can criticize India, its our fundamental right. If i can criticize my father i bloody well can criticize India too. My forefathers have sacrificed more for India that Arnab's. Political boundaries of India has been changing as in the rest of the world depending upon the social movements of the time and they would continue to be so for time immemorial. India is the present form was born in august 1947 only it my change in future so whats arnab's problem? Goswamy knows pretty well that one need not be intelligent, erudite, deserving, honest & talented to get a job in India. We are a corrupt society and jobs are obtained on the basis of your caste, religion & other funny criterion too.

Arnab Go swamy must not attempt to poison young people and shut up free debate in the name of puerile nationalism. He should learn few lessons from ManMohan Singh & Sonia, Rahul Gandhi and tone down his vitriolic shibboleths for the sake of democratic peaceful India.

Higher Education & Global Education in India

We still await the government green signal to entry of global education organisations into India. Once they arrive it would sure change the domestic market dynamics as happened in other sectors like electronics & auto etc. Its time that local education organisations prepare for the battle ahead. Once global competition hits services sector in India the customers can look forward to mush better quality & availability of services.The professional education sector would be particularly hit hard initially unless they pull up their socks in right earnest.

Firstly the quality of the service has to be improved. That would involve putting together good faculty, content, pedagogy/andragogy, technology, & interactivity besides building and official approvals. Good quality faculty is certainly in short supply therefore this has to be managed strategically through guest or part time faculty route. First of all the promoters must allow the directors/principals some little role in the functioning of the institute. Current scenario in the privately run universities & institutes is very serious with as most,perhaps all, the directors/principals are appointed for AICTE/UGC purpose only. Its a pity that so called leading academicians accept such jobs with high flown pragmatism & prudence. Otherwise its sick.

Content & delivery in classroom needs to be looked at very closely. We have talk down one way  method of teaching with no interaction at all. The faculty must take prepared content into the class and allow free discussions. The content must be updated & must reflect the present technical/managerial status of the fields under study. Fundamentals of the disciplines must be introduced to the students. For example MBA students must be informed about the real macro industry profile of India so that they can appreciate the nature of work opportunities available. Same could be done for the global markets.

Most students seek professional education not because they have aptitude for it and they want to pursue study of that field, most students are forced to join professional education for the sole aim of finding a job. What an institute can do? In the short run, focus on developing the students' aptitude as far as possible in the current field of study and in the long run the institute could make aptitude test a compulsory requirement for admission.

Higher education organisations do not have to restrict themselves to proximity criteria for student enrollments, i would recommend that such firms must vigorously focus on complimentary markets for growth. This would require creating a central admissions team that takes care of all students enrollments in a strategic manner.

Marketing would have to be the cornerstone of success in any scenario. An education enterprise that works on its marketing would benefit hugely. A tailored marketing campaigned would be needed to weather the churning after mushroom growth. Different institutes would have to develop & adopt  a suitable strategy for attracting students & delivering value to the customers for success in the competitive market.

November 16, 2010

Creating & Managing a Distribution network

Several SMES go through the pain of trying to set up a distribution network and most seem to fail in the process.  So you have many flourishing & established businesses in north India that have tried to strategise their distribution  but later on accepted the cumbersome traditional system that does not serve the organisation's growth plans.

A business must be able to leverage the distribution network in order to stay competitive for a medium to long term. The myth of financial leverage associated with existing trade channels has long been dispelled by many players across India. Just having a good product, an attractive trade policy and transport network is no longer enough. You need to have great packaging, trained sales force, marketing support and strategic & tactical plan to get your share of the market. You need to benchmark  certain percent of repeat sales from your market otherwise you may look like those primary agriculturists who used to burn the jungles and cultivate it once and then move on to the new pastures.

You must ask yourself how much repeat sales are you getting from your served markets and which direction you are headed?

Generally we start thinking about marketing & sales after manufacturing has been taken care of.  Recently i came across a this same classical dilemma facing a food company from ludhiana, Punjab. The CEO wanted a sales & Marketing network that could handle higher volumes, whereas the Marketing head rue the bad production planning for poor sales. The conflict between production & marketing is normal untill the organisation is not riddled with inventories.

Having no inventories or moving all your production could not be the aim of a good CEO/CMO, you must strive to get the max share of market on a given day & plan for that. If you are happy with moving everything you make then you are complacent about the competition just eating away your share. That in turn would lead to fierce competition in future.

Its wise to plan marketing well in advance & test the network before you get into real battle. Integrate all nodes of supply chain into one whole with help of readily available solutions. Must look for contract manufacturing and concentrate on brand building and supply chain. There are many suppliers for manufacturing operations available but hardly any for managing the distribution in a manner that amy suit your growth plan.

Start up  companies must negotiate the trap of creating a corporate brand in comparison to product brand. A product brand is easier to market than communication the umbrella brand. I have observed many SMEs trying to do a corporate brand. Most ludhiana based hosiery & apparels companies suffer from this problem they spread their brand too thin. They thought they were emulating a Nike or Adidas without  understanding the nature of those company.

Its necessary to have a well oiled distribution network served by a motivated sales & marketing team to match the competition in the growing India.

November 9, 2010

Obama in India

President Obama could not go to see the Taj Mahal in India, and few other places of his interest, due to security concerns but most of us had the pleasure to see such a sublime person from a close quarter. How often do you get a chance to see & hear an under 50 years old who has worked his way up to dream, desire & occupy the highest office in the most powerful nation on earth. If thats not enough, he has already been conferred a Nobel prize. So if you wish to see a successful noble person, what else is there on earth?

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