July 10, 2015

Are we making right investments?

15 years ago when I was an engineering student I had not even seen a real mobile. 10 years ago during my MBA I had  basic Nokia 3310. 2.5 years ago my siblings gifted me a Samsung Note 2.

20 years ago we did not have cable in the house, 10 years ago we made our plans as per our favourite shows schedule, today I watch my shows on demand or online.

16 years ago I opened my first email account and logged onto internet and chatted on yahoo messenger. 9 years ago I opened my first social network account. Today I have at least 10 profiles on social media channels.

20 years ago following were thought incurable – cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, AIDS and many more diseases either acquired during lifetime or genetic – most of these still are maybe manageable to some extent but almost irreversible damage.20 years ago paracetamol was the drug for fever in India – it still is.

While we keep investing and making progress in all fields of our entertainment and communication the development in the field of healthcare is so limited.

Infant mortality rate in the developing nations (ironically euphemized as growth economies) has barely moved.

There is still a challenge of suitable drinking water in many countries in Growth economies and now even in a developed country like US in California.

The amount of investment made in making small to large healthcare developments and then to market them is so highly regulated and restricted that people and professionals are not aware of those or are not even interested. E.g. there is this event I have come to know of at GE in India called Jugadathon which does help engineers/healthcare professionals to come up with new innovative and cost effective solutions. This year from the ones I read about they had some cool innovations – like using neem as antiseptic which has been a proven time tested remedy in Indian households for ages. It is initiatives like these that need to be made more popular and common. How many of science projects have healthcare as a theme?

The healthcare giants should focus on doing more of these initiatives than just launching tweaked medical devices as new products. This is where the innovation lies and our growth as humanity.

Being a part of healthcare industry for last 4 years I understand the pains that a new device or drug would take to get approved but if there are more options to chose from there would be more of good outcomes.

Regulatory agencies around the world should not be considered the obstructions but partners as they are associated with governments who are supposed to be working for good.

Why are there so less of angel investors in healthcare – in fact I am aware of none.  Calico google is focused on life expectancy but not current quality of life or creating healthcare solutions.

Why do we as a society have our priorities so messed up. This should be a time to revamp on creative geniuses of the healthcare innovations instead of game designers – I am sure it is as cool as virtual reality of gaming.

September 19, 2013

Calico – the expectations – what it could be!

Disclaimer: This post is a product of my thoughts on what Google can do with Calico and is only my personal opinion.

Google’s entry into healthcare is a surprise for me which should not have been the case as I pride myself in hardly getting surprised. However, I recently read somewhere that the US population is aging very fast with baby boomer reaching their “being cared for” age pretty soon over the next few years. Thus the question in everyones’ mind would be “how do we support them – empower them- enable them??” So it should not be a surprise actually that google is looking forward – actually is a little late maybe in working for #healthcare, #aging, #increasinglife.

However I still think Google should be talking about #improving the span of life and not #increasing the span of life, but that’s my personal thought.

Well, to me if I go linearly with the in-house expertise within google I would think there are three directions that Google can take:

> Information path – Google has zillions and much more of information on its servers about health, taking care of oneself at various life stages etc etc.. It can restructure/redesign/re validate some or most of this information for usage and commercialize it as “personal doctor”

> Empowerment path – What did i do before Google (when was that? I really can not remember how I used to get answer to my questions). Can Calico take the same path in managing information for an individual through an app – what you have – what your family had? what is your probability for catching something? etc etc.. To start if there is just a medical history of patient which is the first step in this case – Google will be too late in the game as there are already some leading organizations catering to this kind of information and Calico will have to really UP THE GAME.

> Hardware/Device path – the third path and which I see as something different is for Google to develop something like Android platform or even enhance i.e. work on Android itself to develop life supporting devices and equipments – to monitor vitals, to suggest options in case of emergency, or even use the Maps to help identify emergencies which while enabled by an individual (to avoid privacy issues) on devices alerts the nearest care center to proceed. Even connect it with Google glasses to get a clinician/paramedic support till the time help arrives.

These are some of the initial directions that Calico might be exploring according to me – lets see what they bring in.
I am super excited.. Are you??

SORRY – Larry Page talked about age associated diseases and not focus just on increasing life span..so that’s brilliant.. The misinterpretations around are really too much for someone to read it and take it seriously as news!!

July 7, 2013

Marketing or Sales Promotion!!

Being a marketer is mostly tough specially when you are surrounded by people who think there is no difference between sales and marketing. Also when you see ads like the one in here:


The promotion at facebook here is neither entirely Marketing nor a sales promotion – the idea is to get more customers to visit your page – marketing, the execution is sales promotion – a lucky draw, being used since ages…..

This and many more price discounts or promotion are being called marketing and hence this creates a confusion in the minds of many… 

However I being a marketer have now become pretty much used to this kind of confusion and sometimes I do feel better when I see a financial analyst or an investment banker is being confused being accountant/bookkeeper (I used to do that too :)) or a computer engineering graduate gets asked about how to repair a laptop hardware 🙂

Okay, coming back to marketing and sales promotion confusion – An organization whenever starts a new function in its operations should start with a basic expectation setting for its existing employees- it would hardly take a few hours but will lead to a smarter and more efficient way of functioning between departments and better business growth. On the other hand not taking any such effort by the organization leads to many confusions and wastage of time, efforts and disgruntled employees.. finally loss of business and good resources.


August 9, 2012

Edgy Ads?

just like u i have been exposed to the plethora of ads day in and day out some of which we recognize, some we acknowledge, some we miss, some we like, some we love, some we hate and some leave us Aghast – how could anyone really make it.

The Indian young population has inspired the ad agencies to make ads edgier so that they get noticed as easily as they will be forgotten. Whatever happened to something sensible and worth remembering. After “what an idea Sirjee” from Idea I haven’t really come across something which is different yet easy to remember and makes and impact. Some of the ads that take the cake in idiocity:

> Jockey -with their Jockey or nothing campaign it really is a stupid ad with no meaning! What does Jockey thinks of itself – xerox? and to match with it all the creatives are equally idiotic…Stupid campaign 

> Titan Move on – I really hate this ads philosophy- too easy to move on? Commitment means nothing? and all the double meaning jingles on the radio – YUCK!

Some ads plain and simple though do leave an impact like the Shoppers Stop’s – Start something new which reconfirms the belief simple is good!

I wish there were more simple and attractive ads rather than the “Edgy” ones.

July 25, 2011

google plus -definitive plus in google this time?

This time looks like google is finally going to reach somewhere near challenging Facebook!

So as from my understanding of using google for now almost 25 days I have found some really interesting and some useless things about Google plus. As they say first the positives:

1.  A bit different from FB- just the novelty may make it successful to an extent

2. Circles look interesting concept. You don’t want to publish everything to everyone. Its what FB was trying to do this to an extent in the form of groups, but google does it very differently with a class. I like it.

3. Seamless integration with Gmail(most of the people i know have gmail as their primary email)

4. I don’t have to reload my picassa albums (even though i may just have one)

5. After having and trying to maintain multiple accounts I just want to use one login to access everything online, Google plus can take me there with some more brilliant planning and execution.

5. Sparks- clear demarcation of pages from friends.


Now the areas of improvement:

1. I dont really like the mega size posts. I can do with small ones. If interested I can click through and read more.

2. Since not everyone is there I still dont have much to do except putting people in circles.

3. Random friend requests are starting from day 10 itself.  This is getting more like Orkut and random friend suggestions from FB.

And I am yet to understand how it can replace Twitter?!

February 23, 2011

Does Klout tell it all?

In the last two days I came across two Social Media experts talking skeptically about the much hyped term Influencers – One in a general term (@augieray) [social-media-influencers-are-overrated] and  other Klout (@jowyang)[ klout-for-business-a-sometimes-useful-metric-but-an-incomplete-view-of-customers/]. While Augie Ray talks about the utility of using ‘INFLUENCERS’ as brand ambassadors or the prime promoters by Brands, Jeremiah expresses his findings about how Klout actually doesn’t tell us all! Further in his comments section the discussion got down to Klout for Augie Ray as well.
So looks like the whole world [atleast the social media world] is worried about and is talking about Klout scores. Infact I must confess I got a bit obsessed myself with Klout score as well until I realized a few faults in its metrics:
1. The ratio of followers/following is a measure which doesn’t do justice – to give an example I see some social media professionals (e.g. Augie Ray) have more number of following than followers – the reason can be anything for that –maybe he doesn’t want to miss out on any crucial/interesting opinion or discussion relevant to his field. Or maybe he has a liking towards a high number of musicians (from some of his recent tweets). But does this imply that he does not have a high influencing power? I don’t think so.
2. I am sure almost all of you would have come across retweets from people who retweets anything and everything that anyone has spoken to them (i.e. where their name is mentioned @user). Even when we go down the funnel of retweets a person who retweets his retweets has higher influence than who doesn’t do the same (and causes less pain to his followers). In case Klout does not have a way of taking care of this – this is a loophole widely exploited
3. The blog world- Klout score doesn’t take care of the blog world which still holds high prominence in the internet world.
4. As pointed by Augie Ray and Jeremiah Owyang also Klout doesn’t take care of the domain- this is a critical as well as highly complex field to work on. The Klout score does show the area e.g. I still see @MarketingProfs in marketing domain only but if they start talking about something else will it be considered influencing still or not?

February 7, 2011

Groupon Tibet Ad

The Groupon superbowl ads have ruffled a lot of feathers..
These ads are being termed as exploits of people’s sentiments. Okay people who all have been talking about the groupon ad being in bad taste have u checked Google maps and looked for Tibet?Its already a part of China. So what the ad says isn’t wrong [truth hurts]!

Though I wont recommend the Ad by itself I would definitely say that it has maybe got the focus on Tibet once again and I definitely hope it helps in some way.

The other ad also talk about exploiting whales(as bad as exploiting humans) though the Brazil one doesn’t hurt anyone!

What the Brand need is a proper damage control owing to its missing the sanity/common sense check before the ads release.
I wonder how they can do it? Its a #BP crime on a smaller scale.

The agenda of an ad is to aid brand recall..and i guess they have succeeded in staying on top of mind for customers- though the sales may decline if customers who say they are quitting Groupon are to be believed..

January 23, 2011

Dropping Names

I am very happy with the news of the green mermaid coming to India for two reasons:

1. I will have one more option (not just cafe but the coffee shop colours as most Indian coffe chains follow a red code.)

2. The competition will buckle up which means better service and hopefully more options and innovations in the offerings.

Year 2010 and the begining of 2011 looks like season of rebranding/brand refurbishing by some major names across the world and in India as well.

This month both Star bucks and Target have decided to drop their names from their logos – Starbucks because its trying to expand in newer products and Target, for its own reasons.

Starbucks has apparently changed their logo for the fourth time since launch and every time the change looks minimal. However dropping a name from the Brand is a big step but a necessary one I guess if they want to move into a new line of products.

Last year Gap faced a severe backlash from public due to its logo change and reverted back to its earlier one.

Back Home Airtel went through a major rebranding exercise which was again criticised suggesting Airtel new logo to be a combination of the vodafone and videocon logos; which is exactly how it looks. However the firm dint pay much heed unlike Gap maybe due to the fear of having to return to its previous logo making the whole expensive brand redressing affair a wastage or maybe Airtel still thinks its good enough to decide how it wants to handle its logo.

Recently flipkart.com also changed its logo to a newer darker version from its initial light bright one. The reasoning as suggested by the team is that since they are moving away from online books to online mobile shop as well the change is necessary. Or another reason as suggested by some people is that the initial logo of flipkart looks heavily influenced by Amazon from where some of its team members have joined.

While some of the above examples justify the logo change others look at rebranding as more of a marketing gimmick.  Rebranding makes sense only when there is a major overhaul in the offering either in terms if attribute s or price or the target customer segment has changed. Otherwise the brand stands to loose its identity as the image that it has been trying to imprint for a long time will get changes even before its mark has been made.

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January 6, 2011

Awesome Advertisements – I love this page on FB


This FB page posts ads- mostly TVCs and Print on its wall but has some excellent examples of Ambient Advertising as well.

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January 6, 2011


Okay,…before addiing further information on this site let me introduce myself to you. A couple of months ago  i typed my interview for whohub and am putting the link here to give my professional bio: