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Showing posts from December, 2011

Are We Hiring for the Right Reasons?

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Had a long chat with an entrepreneur friend yesterday.  He had set up a concept restaurant which was extremely successful and he wanted the business to grow for which he needed people. Was discussing with him on what he was looking for a person who would manage his operations. In what would have been a typically short "job description" defined role tuned out to much more that.
Which got me thinking.  When we hire personnel, are we being strait jacketed by the job profile? Are we not looking at attributes which signify an average regular professional rather than an excellent one? Are we more bothered about what the person has done before? Don't we reject persons for what they have done and not what they can do?  In a hurry to hire people who fit the job description we are not looking at people who can contribute much more. Here is a list of the criteria which I would look for in a person Positive Attitude - To me the most important factor i…

How the Nonsensical can be a Rage (Kolaveri Di)

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It was on November 21, 2012 when a Tamil sounding phrase started trending on Twitter - #kolaveridi. I had innumerable friends on Facebook share the link to this phrase/ sound - over 6 million shares!
I thought this was a new virus which was multiplying really fast and many were getting suckered into it.
Fast forward two weeks hence, more than 18 million views on You Tube from over 140 countries. This song was a rage. A frail looking man singing ' nonsense' as he called it himself, to a folksy beat! A song which had pretensions of being a Tamil song - but 90% of the lyrics were in English!
On a personal note, I thought it was a inane English song, with absolute illogical lyrics and the only saving grace was the Koothu ( a Tamil beat/ music) beat. See and hear it for yourself  - http://goo.gl/5mN2J

The numbers speak for themselves and to get so many people interested in a song takes something. Social media and other online devices are effective tools to communicate the song/ content…

What Modern Trade can Learn from Mom & Pop (Kirana)

Enough has been said about the FDI in retail (in India). And my views are very clear. I also strongly believe that the Indian players can stand the might of MNCs and infact capitalize on the efficiencies which these MNCs will bring to the table. For the uninitiated, kiranas are shops that cater to the regular needs of food, grocery and also products like paan, cigarettes etc. within a locality/catchment area. There are also others like the headload and pushcart vendors.
Globally, as modern trade expanded, both organised retail players and unorganised retail participants have co-existed. The Walmarts and Costcos have co existed with the mom and pop stores (in India these are  called kiranas). I do believe that there is no reason why it cannot co-exist here in India.
However there are a few factors apart from systemic deficiencies which have worked in the favor of kiranas or the local store owner/vendor. 
Personalized service
Personal/ social touchAshraff, the person who runs our neighbo…

Why is the Indian Consumer Being Shortchanged? - An Opinion on Retail FDI

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On November 24, the Union Cabinet decided to permit 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand outlets and 51% in multi-brand stores. The opposition as well as some allies of the UPA have been vehemently opposing the decision, saying it would affect the small shopkeepers (kiranas), demanding a reversal of decision.


India has been known as the nation of shopkeepers, for every 1000 people there are 11 shops, and these shops include the paanwallah, sabziwallah, the barber etc. Unlike other nations which have densities of around 5 (UK and USA), the Indians are serviced far better by the neighbourhood store. According to a study by industry body FICCI, the total retail trade in India was worth Rs 11,00,000 crore in 2003. Of the approximately 12 million retail shops, 96% occupy floor space of less than 500 sq ft.


With over 120 crore consumers India is a land of opportunity, modern trade has only tapped 5% of the business. This is just a start. 


The proliferation of the neighborhood s…