Worth Reading… Very Intersting article by IIM B prof. Y. L. R. MOORTHI
GOOD NEWS: WE CAN NEVER GIVE UP. THERE IS ALWAYS AN OPPURTUNITY HIDING ROUND THE CORNER
"Who sells the largest number of cameras in India?
Your guess is likely to be Sony, Canon or Nikon. Answer is none of the above. The winner is Nokia whose main line of business in India is not cameras but cell phones.
Reason being cameras bundled with cellphones are outselling stand alone cameras. Now, what prevents the cellphone from replacing the camera outright? Nothing at all. One can only hope the Sonys and Canons are taking note.
Try this. Who is the biggest in music business in India? You think it is HMV Sa-Re-Ga-Ma? Sorry. The answer is Airtel. By selling caller tunes (that play for 30 seconds) Airtel makes more than what music companies make by selling music albums (that run for hours).
Incidentally Airtel is not in music business. It is the mobile service provider with the largest subscriber base in India. That sort of competitor is difficult to detect, even more difficult to beat (by the time you have identified him he has already gone past you). But if you imagine that Nokia and Bharti (Airtel's parent) are breathing easy you can't be farther from truth.
Nokia confessed that they all but missed the smartphone bus. They admit that Apple's Iphone and Google's Android can make life difficult in future. But you never thought Google was a mobile company, did you? If these illustrations mean anything, there is a bigger game unfolding. It is not so much about mobile or music or camera or emails?
The "Mahabharat" (the great Indian epic battle) is about "what is tomorrow's personal digital device"? Will it be a souped up mobile or a palmtop with a telephone? All these are little wars that add up to that big battle. Hiding behind all these wars is a gem of a question – "who is my competitor?"
Once in a while, to intrigue my students I toss a question at them. It says "What Apple did to Sony, Sony did to Kodak, explain?" The smart ones get the answer almost immediately. Sony defined its market as audio (music from the walkman). They never expected an IT company like Apple to encroach into their audio domain. Come to think of it, is it really surprising? Apple as a computer maker has both audio and video capabilities. So what made Sony think he won't compete on pure audio? "Elementary Watson". So also Kodak defined its business as film cameras, Sony defines its businesses as "digital."
In digital camera the two markets perfectly meshed. Kodak was torn between going digital and sacrificing money on camera film or staying with films and getting left behind in digital technology. Left undecided it lost in both. It had to. It did not ask the question "who is my competitor for tomorrow?"
The same was true for IBM whose mainframe revenue prevented it from seeing the PC. The same was true of Bill Gates who declared "internet is a fad!" and then turned around to bundle the browser with windows to bury Netscape. The point is not who is today's competitor. Today's competitor is obvious. Tomorrow's is not.
In 2008, who was the toughest competitor to British Airways in India? Singapore airlines? Better still, Indian airlines? Maybe, but there are better answers. There are competitors that can hurt all these airlines and others not mentioned. The answer is videoconferencing and telepresence services of HP and Cisco. Travel dropped due to recession. Senior IT executives in India and abroad were compelled by their head quarters to use videoconferencing to shrink travel budget. So much so, that the mad scramble for American visas from Indian techies was nowhere in sight in 2008. (India has a quota of something like 65,000 visas to the U.S. They were going a-begging. Blame it on recession!). So far so good. But to think that the airlines will be back in business post recession is something I would not bet on. In short term yes. In long term a resounding no. Remember, if there is one place where Newton's law of gravity is applicable besides physics it is in electronic hardware.
Between 1977 and 1991 the prices of the now dead VCR (parent of Blue-Ray disc player) crashed to one-third of its original level in India. PC's price dropped from hundreds of thousands of rupees to tens of thousands. If this trend repeats then telepresence prices will also crash. Imagine the fate of airlines then. As it is not many are making money. Then it will surely be RIP!
India has two passions. Films and cricket. The two markets were distinctly different. So were the icons. The cricket gods were Sachin and Sehwag. The filmi gods were the Khans (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and the other Khans who followed suit). That was, when cricket was fundamentally test cricket or at best 50 over cricket. Then came IPL and the two markets collapsed into one. IPL brought cricket down to 20 overs. Suddenly an IPL match was reduced to the length of a 3 hour movie. Cricket became film's competitor. On the eve of IPL matches movie halls ran empty. Desperate multiplex owners requisitioned the rights for screening IPL matches at movie halls to hang on to the audience. If IPL were to become the mainstay of cricket, as it is likely to be, films have to sequence their releases so as not clash with IPL matches. As far as the audience is concerned both are what in India are called 3 hour "tamasha" (entertainment). Cricket season might push films out of the market.
Look at the products that vanished from India in the last 20 years. When did you last see a black and white movie? When did you last use a fountain pen? When did you last type on a typewriter? The answer for all the above is "I don't remember!" For some time there was a mild substitute for the typewriter called electronic typewriter that had limited memory. Then came the computer and mowed them all. Today most technologically challenged guys like me use the computer as an upgraded typewriter. Typewriters per se are nowhere to be seen.
One last illustration. 20 years back what were Indians using to wake them up in the morning? The answer is "alarm clock." The alarm clock was a monster made of mechanical springs. It had to be physically keyed every day to keep it running. It made so much noise by way of alarm, that it woke you up and the rest of the colony. Then came quartz clocks which were sleeker. They were much more gentle though still quaintly called "alarms." What do we use today for waking up in the morning? Cellphone! An entire industry of clocks disappeared without warning thanks to cell phones. Big watch companies like Titan were the losers. You never know in which bush your competitor is hiding!
On a lighter vein, who are the competitors for authors? Joke spewing machines? (Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, himself a Pole, tagged a Polish joke telling machine to a telephone much to the mirth of Silicon Valley). Or will the competition be story telling robots? Future is scary! The boss of an IT company once said something interesting about the animal called competition. He said "Have breakfast …or…. be breakfast"! That sums it up rather neatly."
-- article by IIM B prof. Y. L. R. MOORTHI
Me and sis decided to have a chilling!!! saturday and like everybody else wanted to try something that was trendy(!)
We headed out last Saturday to a Fish Spa that everyone is raving abt these days and decided to spend the afternoon lazily, with some exotic fish nibbling at your feet. We reached there and a very attentive and courteous lady asked to wash and apply our feet with ‘some’ enzyme that ensures the fish come to you…..what she actually did was swarm me with the funny smelling enzyme…..prior to the actual experience I’d seen pictures of beautiful feet immersed in water and 2/3 exotic looking fish gnawing at the feet….@ Kenko I took one look into the tank I was supposed to immerse my feet in and gasped! It was full of tiny, grey fish that were almost 500-700 in number. My sis bravely immersed her feet and they came to her….and stuck to her feet….she wiggled for 5-10 mins and settled down…Me?? I was scared to death to put it down…I managed to get my heels into the water and they came at me too…I immediately pulled back…I did this hide-n-seek with them for almost 15 mins when they got really bored of my antics and just stuck to my more reliable sis. She, on her part glared at me for I was supposed to share the numbers whereas she was stuck with all of them, cause I was too scared to let the heels touch the water, let alone immerse my feet upto my knees L
Post numerous prayers from me and sis, I did manage to immerse it just once and they came at me….in swarming numbers…the enzyme (their food) from my sis had worn off by then and they realized that I was more fertile ground (!)
While I lasted with my feet in the tank for a max of 5 mins…I realized that it was quite a nice feeling provided I didn’t have to look at them nibbling at my feet….their sheer number at my feet was enough to make me run away a mile J the fish actually nibble at you and if your response to stimuli is strong….you can actually feel their tiny mouths going open-n-shut…and I had one amazing moment in all the wiggles….i had nails on my toes and they’d go below them and nibble….that was something that no pedicure can give you and I had a heaven of a time (!)
Inspite of all the hiccups..I’d seriously suggest that you try it once…I tried it @ Kenko Reflexology & Fish Spa….Lavelle Road, Bangalore….for Bounce regulars….its on the ground floor…below Bounce Salon….and opposite Lavelle Coffee day….its fun…neat and spic n span…it also looks like a nice place for a massage…will try it once…& keep u all posted J
we reached the city arnd 4PM on a rainy day ( not the best season) and i was amazed to find the entire city bordered by the sea...that to me seemed like the coolest place to be in (prior to the Tsunami!!!) and i badly wanted tos tay in a sea facing accomodation....we found some but almost all of them had a bar attached....this bought the place as a choice a big notch down....my uncle's common sense ideas won out and we ended up staying in Saravana Bhavan-like hotel....with good south Indian meals....the day we reached we hooked to the net to find the atractions....we already knew you shudnt miss Auroville....but we wanted more...
there were very that we found ourselves to be interested in and one of them was the ashram in the city which we visited after a yummy idli/vada breakfast...it was a peaceful place with a lot of volunteers....the ashram is a place u'll want to go for some ur "think" time.....
after lunch....we headed out for the Auroville....we were informed that the place has a golden big ball that is actually an auditorium in the making...but for me the most spectacular thing was the urn that contained all the world's sands...thus mixing us all and conveying the TRUE message of mankind....its a revered spot for me....legend has it that when the World convention was held....the representatives from all the countries of the world where invited with a caveat....that they bring a bit of soil/sand from their motherland.....which they did and all of it rests in the big urn just outside the amphitheatre at Auroville...its a long walk...in the sun...but if you want peace....and experience oneness with the world...u'll see it here....
given a choice i'll visit the city every single year....and have been waiting to go back there.....
The place is a holidayer's paradise....and offers you everything u cud hope for....the first time i went there...i was with friends...my FIRST trip sans family...i'd a huge mix of emotions coursing thru me....excited to be out all by myself....happy that i was with a group of people i totally like....scared w/o family....being 5 girls in a land we dont know and dont really speak the language (i manage, but very little)....we asked for a single room (!) to be housed in....the manager was in splits and then finally housed us in the suite....it was like entering a fantasy world....for me....
we set out and covered a varied array of places....most of which we were advised furiously to NOT miss....people who advised us to NOT miss the places...were also subjected to upteen number of viewings of our 450 & odd pictures....some of them in the blog for your viewing pleasure(!)
the second was unique as i was almost the only person who had bee to Kodai and everyone hung on my every word(!) for guidance...we 2 kids,2 kidults, 6 adults it was a joyride with its road blocks....for one we cudnt do the more daring slope views and the Devil's Kitchen....but the fact that we had fun from the rundown, dilapited resort where my mother and uncle spent a sleepless night (there was no latch on the front door, a broken TV, cold freezing water & no food) to the dreamy day we had in Kodai International, one of the best hotels i have been to....the trip was a basket of episodes that raked from serious to funny.....
Sameer...is my nephew....my maternal uncle's son...abt 2 years old and has already taught me a BIG lesson....he came early into this world and had a struggle on his hands.....it didnt help him that he was still small to come out here and had to be in the incubator.....foor almost 10 days.....i rememer seeing him in it....all red & blotchy and al of us had a prayer to God....to "get him upto speed" or not get him here at all......it was a continous struggle for 10 days for him and prayers by us that got him out of the dark and his first scream/cry was the sweetest soun to his parents who visibly relaxed after it...when he was abt 1...he was a quiet boy and wud stare at everything in open eyed wonder....we wondered how he was so quiet (all the kids in the family were known for notoriety) and had this constant fear....come circa 2008...and he flexed his muscles and showed us his strength...it was one thing after the other.....a toy car....the phone...cordless & mobiles that met their end at his hands.....our Sameer had woken up and hasnt stopped ever since....
now when's he falls...we dont fear he'll have trouble pulling himself up but that he does and moves onto to conquer it.....he's an active 2 year old that keeps us in constant fear of our precious / fragile possessions.....but in awe of his activities...he's so aware when he's actually made a mistake....a goofy smile after the deed and he gets away with murder :)
he's been a great strength in my life...showing me that after u fall...u dont look down but up and will only have up as a way to go......when u r at ur lowest....u have only one way and that is UP.....