Author Archive

Vision – an overated concept

Everytime you read about a successful entrepreneur, it turns out that the man had a vision to be where he turned out to be. I think thats so untrue. Did Dhirubhai Ambani think when he started out that he would become what he became. I doubt it. Did Sunil Mittal ever even dream that his company would be valued at amost Rs. 100,000 crores? I doubt it. You ask management gurus and they will credit all the success to the vision of the entrepreneur. Well, what about the unsuccessful entrepreneurs? Didn’t they have a vision?

Why did Vijay Mallaya buy Air Deccan?

The reason why I am raising this issue is because I am unable to understand why Vijay Mallaya of KingfisherAirlines bought Air Deccan or why Jet Airlines bought Air Sahara. Here I will just focus on Kingfisher’s acquisition of Air Deccan. Was there a strategic fit? In fact, was there any fit? I am not sure if there was any fit at all.

Another gap in the marketplace – Bedrooms in the air

Earlier I had posted an article in which I had stated that “finding a gap” in the marketplace in the key to marketing success. Singalore Airlines has found a gap, that is, provide bedrooms in their A-380 planes. They are starting this on Singapore – Sydney flights. The bedroom cabins will resemble cabins of luxury yachts and will have a private clost, 23 inch video screen, reclining seats, and a built in bed expandable to a double bed. This was based on research which suggested that the premium class customers just wanted to sleep. Of course they have to pay 20% extra bring the Singapore – Sydney fare to $6000.

SEZs – a dumb idea

This topic was in the news quite a bit. Various arguments, for and against, were given. However, I was disappointed as I didn’t come across a single article which addressed all the issues related to this controversy. S Narayan, former finance secretary and advisor to Prime Minister of India came close in his article in Mint. So I would like to take a shot at doing so from a layman’s perspective.

80/20 rule of marketing success – Find a gap

One of the 80/20 rules of marketing success is to find a gap in the market place. As someone very rightly said, there is no saturated market. A market is saturated only till someone finds a gap. For instance, everybody thought that the toothpaste market is saturated till Anchor was launched as a vegetarian toothpaste.

Numbers portability – Why the delay?

I have been hearing about government bringing in number portability so that we can change our telecom service provider without changing our numbers for a long time now. I cannot understand the delay. Even though, TRAI has recommended the same long time back, it seems that nothing is happening. It seems that the issue is on the back burner with the Ministry of Telecom for reasons unknown. The latest update is that it may take more than a year. I am not sure if it will happen in one year now.

Merging low cost brands with high cost brands – a risky proposition

Sometime back I had read an article in Mint that Tatas are interested in buying Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford. Vaishali jajoo of Angel Broking Ltd. raised a very valid issue by saying, “They (Tatas) don’t have the experience in managing such brands. Tatas overall portfolio consists of low-cost products and I don’t know how they will leverage the distribution network.” Imagine mixing Indica taxis with Jaguar.

McDonald’s positioning-what do you think?

I am giving below excerpts of interview of Vikram Bakshi, CEO oF McDonalds in Economic Times (17/10/2007):

How many times we can reposition a brand?

It was recently in the news that Godrej Consumer Products is relaunching its Cinthol soap. The brand was introduced in the market in 1952 as the first deodorant soap. It was initially positioned as a “soap for men.” Later it was repositioned as a “family soap.” Now it seems that the company wants to again reposition it as a “soap for the youth.”

Dissatisfied customers can even change your name

While doing research for my third book titled “Customer Icebergs,” I realised that dissatisfied customers can even change the name of your brand and / or the company. For instance, a dissatisfied customer of FORD came with what FORD stands for, that is, “Fixed Or Repaired Daily.” I decided to give my own twist to it by suggesting that FORD actually means :Fooled Or Repaired Daily” as when I bought a Ford Ikon car, the dealer tried to chaet me of Rs. 9,600 and Ford Motor Co. response to solve my problem was pathetic. Recently, I came across a frustrated customer of Air Deccan Airline who said the name of Air Deccan Airline should be changed to “Air Dhakhan” Airline. The word “Dhakhan” is slang for something derogatory in India. Well, what about Jeremy Dorosin’s quest to turn “starbucked” into a verb meaning that the customer has been ill-treated by the company. Also, the negative website for United Airlines was named “untied.com” while Glenda Woodrum and her room mate John Osborne named their website “U-hell.com” after they had a disgusting experince with U-Haul.