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StartUp Advantages – Found My Solace of Split Personalities!

Startups can be almost like On-ground Battles where warriors (I hope am in this category), soldiers, Army Generals come out with their weapons & unleash their true powers, diplomacies, tactics, strategies to simply come out Winning!

buddha-war

Everyone has a personality, a background, a history, her/his own talents + pursuits + motivations! Its exciting hence to come out a winner in a place where everyone is not fake!

Personally for me, its extremely acceptable environment because I get to be myself & not pretend to be constrained in chains which is the case with big Corporate Houses so Thank God for Startups for coming in our lives!

I know now some things clearly about myself which I will never compromise for anything/anyone :

  • Am extremely High Energy & Enthusiasm, I thrive in it
  • Am ‘almost’ passionate about my Work – I love living for it if I see a purpose in it else I love focussing on my health, family, friends, travel, photography, shopping, movies, music, etc.
  • I love being clear headed for myself + my loved ones & having simple, clarity oriented people around me who speak well, high, progressive & modern
  • I love being around self motivated, energetic & idea oriented people
  • I love new ideas, new projects
  • I have my own ways of managing things, people & situations and I like keeping it that way – Open to learnings from People I appreciate & Like but should be careful about the latter to not do it too much as well
  • I can’t take bullshit & not very good with managing that – got to working on defining the boundaries again & ensuring both parties honour it fairly
  • I tend to get self critical about my short term goals, long term purpose, even people which at best be avoided – Just #AvoidSocialism at personal level to push a greater purpose

I have also realised post working in StartUps & Corporate world for 7+ years now that the Game is all about Managing People & Yourself Basically. Deliverables, Results & Negotiation Skills, Achievements, KPIs, Projects, Ideas, Success become very subjective & actually more of a result if You manage the former Well !

One more of my recent sure shot finding are about top B-schools in the country having such different cultures of people (and the recent batches have really diluted the value) :

  • XL + IIMC have cooler & people oriented people
  • IIMA have too hard task master oriented people
  • IIMB are too serious, thorough, professional – almost similar breed to ISB
  • Rest are almost similarly inconsequential 😉
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Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 5

I have chosen a subject very close to my heart & mind since long …

SUSTAINABLE CREATIVITY…

I personally feel Creativity is great & has to be nurtured.. esp for the corporate space where one is chasing numbers, KPIs, KRAs & hardly has time to think consumers..

So one has to think Creative & Scale while at work or else in my humble opinion you are just not adding value!

I understand the importance of Business Philosophies, Business Visions, Business Leadership Styles with the exposure so far & lately have been reading a lot upon them.

But somewhere my mind tells me that only when one is creating something new & is able to convince internal, external stakeholders for the same does one take one’s company forward and via that the whole society/generation forward.

Let me give some example, Gandhi for all the controversial discussions around creating an emotional blackmail/socialism model was at least able to create something called AHIMSA that is being re-called by the global generations much later.. even if it is debated which is the whole purpose!

Similarly Invention of Electricity, Revolutions, Renaissance have seemed to be extremely tough brainstorming times but have been successful in pushing the society forward..

Since Ancient times, every Kingdom also has tried to nurture the art, dance, creativity, etc. for the free flow of ideas, thoughts, talents, etc. across geographies, caste, creed, religion but without beating the overall purpose of the Preamble, Constitution or Administration! So Welfare & growth of people first however give them a source of relief, outwardness, dream for a better lifestyle.

Even in our Indian Society –  we have the majority who is inspired by the Bollywood & its glamour which is not great always…  but point is anything new, disruptive always catches the eye & makes people inspired, think, talk, maybe even act upon (sadly the last one is toughest yet most critical).

I also feel, in a country like India with a population of 1.3 Billion & life dazzling, bazzling through roads & streets or now digitally on mobile phones – ideas emerge by the micro second, many repeat, many overlapping, many spoken, many hidden, majority waste 😉 a lot waiting to be implemented..

My personal Bias is towards the Rural Youth as I feel they see the root cause & really wish to resolve it – just need to be guided & supported to resolve it…

If somehow a Design Lab can connect with this Rural Thinking Lab – we have a SURE SHOT WINNER in hand ! Godrej has been able to develop one, time shall tell what kind of products & solutions come out of it.

Amen! GodSpeed!

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Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 4

Its my 4th Update in 2 months but its not too late to admit that I do not consider myself a techie or a geek! I love having a life without gadgets or electricity for that matter – amidst pure nature & seeking, providing organic life with the basics.

However, Alas, we are in 21st Century which is moving fast & needs solutions/answers even faster – so people like me try & ploy our minds/education into providing.

I do feel that I think consumers & that is my greatest strength plus since I understand technology of mobile + telecom + e-commerce – I am able to answer a lot of queries. Having said that, I have to read zillion articles/GIFs/Infographics/Apps/Websites to be updated on what’s happening across the world by the unit of a millionth of a second!

So today I will be sharing some of my favourite App Designs but before that I want to make a point about how designs evolve.

Dictionary definition of Design is : “a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made.

Another definition is : “to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.”

Basically, Design can start from a dream or a word or a thought or a breath of air to be translated into ppt/excel/drawing board/software/camera/blueprint/magazine/ newspaper/ mobile app/ website, etc.

And that’s what makes design so generic yet so special!

And here’s to SUSTAINABLE CREATIVITY!!

Coming back to some of my favorite designs : (Do give your comments)

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Why I do Photography?!

My first stint with camera I remember is clicking as a kid with my Dad’s mirror-less Kodak camera with a roll inside from the age of 9. The reason was that it helped me grab a frame that would go down for eternity – as I had seen plenty of family albums with black & white images – weddings, picnics, festivals, new born kids in studios, old family patriarchs in their rocking chairs. However the ones that held my attention for longest and I considered closest were the candid images – with my dad/mom/dadi/baba,etc. looking carelessly or sometimes not even looking at the camera. Yet they came across as loveable people – that made me love them more.

Coming back to my stint with camera – though I started at age of 9 however I did not have much control over what I shot so I felt in a way I was not improving nor learning much. I did not continue it till I came in MBA course. Here as well I did not have a camera however I felt great almost high when I saw some great images of my batch-mates and that is how I came to know about DSLR – as late as 2010.

{Late it was given the international scenario however in India – the photograph enthusiasts had started owning one since 2007-08.}

All I remember is that the first thing I wanted to buy for myself after MBA from my own money, even more than good food & clothes, was a DSLR. I felt it would be my VENT for my creative energies, it would act as my correspondent for whatever good I had to share with the world apart from my professional career where not much was in my control. It would also be my friend when I travel, meet new people, look at things differently or just when I didn’t want to express anything. And voila, it has been the best friend & companion in the world so far. Words are not enough to thank it – the fact that I can go back and revisit all that we saw together & cherish memories or better find new facts while staring at a rare image makes everything more special about it.

I had to push myself to go and click every weekend in the beginning, even silly events, not so happening places, disinterested people but the importance was on building a routine, a group of self critics who push each other and in the process share some good stuff. However, that was just a beginning.

My real turning point came during April – June 2012 when I visited Cape Town and Kashmir, I saw my photography grow by leaps and bounds. Combined with a new zoom lens, beautiful landscapes, relaxed atmosphere I just delved and delved into clicking what I loved – landscapes, candid, street. The results for the first time surprised me and I knew I have something good to share with everyone else for sure.

Post that – it was Spiti that brought good from me, Delhi Archeological buildings, recently Kasol, Northeast/Northwest India and some product/candid/street shoots that I really enjoyed while exploring. Exposure to Steve Mccurry’s work makes me push more & more. Sadly 90% of other people I find in this space are simply either wannabes, non-inspiring, ill – informed about their talents and for some reason I have not been able to tell any of them honestly what I think about their work.

Why I still click – coz it has become an inseparable aspect of my life, it helps me capture something that connects my inside with the world outside and keep it for eternity, it helps me in expressing my feeling about my surroundings, interactions with people, my perspective in one frame without saying a word and perhaps also share with the world.

I wish & hope I get to cover every inch worth on the Earth & capture everything that connects with me by my camera-mushy!

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Learnings from the 3 Khans

Before I started writing this blog – I was worried that I might regret it later as an educated business professional/startup entrepreneur. As a rational responsible individual, I do understand that movies and the stardom in India leads to confusing a lot of immature, uncanny youngsters and impacting them in a wrong way. Especially the fanaticism that exists for stars in our country seems really unexplainable to me. If it reveals anything it is the fact we have not developed or appreciated other importance facets of education, science, defence, agriculture enough to put them as leading faces of our country for our youth to adore.

However, my generation or generation before and after me cannot deny that Bollywood and its leading men/women do impact you in some or the other way. As Mktg professional, am expected to know what are the latest updates around them to know the trends well enough. And amongst them the 3 Khans of Bollywood or Hindi/Indian Film Industry – Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, ShahRukh Khan come out as very influential, powerful, trendsetters, etc. in current scenario. They have been here for 25+ years and today I will try and share my learnings as an individual which can help other youngsters in professional and personal life :

  • Stay United in Staying Independent : They appear aloof yet united at many fronts – seems an invisible cartel getting formed at their end. Yet they function independent of each other.
  • Understand Your Audience, Your strengths & weaknesses – This was something that the 3 of them did very well to be relevant constantly and kept renovating themselves with time. Aamir’s strength was understood to be around making intelligent movies that classes vouch on, Salman always appealed to masses while SRK played on his charm, ease.
  • Be in the News/Public eyes – they know very well how to be in the news and be seen at the right places doing the right things – respecting elders, showcasing patriotism, social causes, etc.
  • Develop Your Close circle of Loyalists – All 3 of them like to be in their comfort zone more or less, though they try to venture out of it sometimes but eventually they move into that zone back. Salman doing dhinka chika slapslick comedy, Aamir becoming preachy, SRK doing that Rahul roles. And you know the biggest surprise – Audience makes it the biggest HIT.
  • Most Imp – Understand in and out of your business better than anyone and become a participant than a viewer in that : After MBA, I have really started appreciating their business sense alot. They know the costs, budget, ROI, Profitability, projections, forecasting, branding – they are students and professors of MBA in their own rights though I won’t like to hear their lecture.
  • Be a Good Human Being & Stay politically correct : I respect them for that. I don’t think I can say that any of them is a bad person or someone I really detest and perhaps this is why they work with everyone.
  • Your best work might not be most successful : Salman’s Tere Naam, SRK’s Kabhi Han Kabhi Na, Aamir’s Tare Zameen Par might not be their biggest success but they make them what they are as actors and craftsmen.
  • Above all, love to act a bit all the time, you are being watched everytime!

Hope their hysteria motivates millions to be better professionals and human beings.

Friends, Friendship, Life changes, MBA

MBAs are mostly calculative (a thought on this Teacher’s Day!)

I have a tendency to go back to different chapters, characters, important incidents not to remember embarrassments (eeks for last one)..
Of course MBA @XLRI Jamshedpur stands out as quite a course defining chapter which helped me stand out for sure and also gave me a gist about how future life is going to be.

I don’t remember being very happy for most of my MBA or rather even engineering or my higher school days – maybe because they were a lot about struggling to bring a lot of effort from my side which did not seem natural.
Also, as a person, I was not so travelled & exposed to different facets of life to understand myself, situations & others very well.

Now after 5 years of MBA & having gained certain exposure in the practical, corporate life – I still do not think that I would have done a better job though. 🙂

I am not very sure that for a reserved (I only open up in front of people who I feel would not judge me for being me which does not include my parents also most of the time as I find them hawking many a times) person like me how much being forced to interact for the simple reason of interaction be any good.
What I remember really desisting badly about MBA days was how quickly in first 5 days or so, groups were formed basis their cities of origins & how protective they became basis that. I also remember how quickly they started judging one another & more importantly competitive & distrusting.
People used to talk to one another only if they have some work from one another – this was something I could not fathom at all. I would not say that I did not try to fit in but I realised that if I really fit into all this then I will turn into someone that I don’t like at all.

I found a space for myself in this whole chaos – with very selective people who I interacted with on limited basis.
I found the strength & importance to be myself & hold on to only myself when everything around you goes for a toss.

What I needed was experience, networking with right people & launch myself in the direction from where there is no turning back. I do think now after 5 years into work-life, I have been able to achieve something in right direction.
So all in all calculative, desisting MBA but it helped maybe more because I stuck to my basics !

Happy Teacher’s Day to all teachers who make sure you turn to yourself most when you need help!

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More thoughts on my last Facebook post..

About a month back I had put up a Facebook post about which I feel very strongly towards however to majority it is a touche` or tentative subject on which they do not share their honest views openly which I understand.
The post was regarding how most of my school, engineering, MBA friends end up abroad (mostly USA) and how other people here also appreciate their lifestyles more than India.
I remember it was based on my interactions with friends, their posts on social media and their in general perception about living in India.

Though I have to admit that there are others like me who are fighting it out here for logical practical work reasons and not just emotional reasons which I truly appreciate. Especially the entrepreneurs who are daily trying to make something new despite challenges are my favourite.

I thought that it is important I describe myself more here and share my viewpoints in hindsight so I can be understood where am coming from.

I do agree that a lot of recent Indian growth, development, investments, revolutions of sorts be it retail, IT, telecom, internet, e-commerce, startup culture is inspired from western stories. The learning, consumer insights, equipments developed in there have helped our adoption easier and faster.
I also truly appreciate how western market has attracted some great talent from worldwide and also appreciated them lately with so many non first-gen Americans becoming leaders of best brands.

However, it is the general hoard or the trend that gets created of every engineer, MBA or even a girl after marriage to end up in USA which I find difficult to fathom.
This is unhealthy and not required to be appreciated/encouraged blindly for sure.

India has been independent only for 68 years after 200 odd years of foreign enslavement. Even for 100 years before that (mostly after Akbar & Maratha rule ended) India has not been very assertive about its power and growth. While the world saw so many revolutions based on social, economic, political, ideological, cultural, scientific reasons – India was not allowed even a window view inside it. We were made to suffer, struggle by our non appointed rulers & guests in the name of religion, culture, poverty.

It took America also 200+ years to become an economic leader pushed by 1st and 2nd world wars when Europe damaged itself beyond repair.
India shall gain that position on the basis of its human talent(academics), manpower, young population, pro technology society and spirituality too shall play an important role. It is imperative that we learn from America’s & other Western world’s mistakes & don’t end up screwing out society like theirs. We can definitely do away with their non-human touch, almost no concern for family concepts, too much commercialism in everything.

Somehow I feel positive, it could be as our government is trying its best to make India appear as the centre of investments and talent and we are the only country that can achieve double digits growth from here on.

I love my country and I will try my level best to make it the best – nobody is taking that from me, even the best guy in the world.. He will have to be based here!