Sunday, October 28, 2007

While Sun God Looks Over

The debate about global warming rages on. How can the earthlings do the right things so that we do not accelerate this warming? Answer lies within and like always, it is pretty basic.

Real estate companies (particularly DLF) have maximum buildings in the NCR region and because of that they are in a unique position to make the maximum contribution. That said, I have serious doubts whether they have even thought about something like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), global warming and the like. For sure their buildings don't convey a strong commitment to the cause.

The other day on my way to work, I noticed most buildings in Gurgaon have a glass exterior. Question remains, what are glass buildings doing here which is hot for eight out of twelve months? As far as I know glass building were conceptualised for places which were cold for most part of the year. 'Glass' as a building material was particularly useful for its ability to trap heat inside. For any building, the highest bill is the energy bill and the lion's share is cornered by air-conditioning system. When real estate companies build glass buildings from a vanity standpoint, all they are effectively doing is increasing the power consumption of the building for its lifetime. is only skin deep. What a blunder in a country which experiences shortage of power everyday.

Think about this : What if, the real estate companies chose to put solar panels on the terrace of all the buildings that they are constructing (minus the glass exterior, of course)? I concede, the cost of setting it up initially would be high but it will pay back within 4-5 years in terms of the saves on the energy bill.

Sun God is looking over us. We just need to learn how to seek his blessings - I am Vinayakan Aiyer and I call for a real estate + corporate suryanamaskar!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mine Is Bigger Than Yours

Did you measure jobless you could get? Is that what competitive spirit all about? Lets see how a middle class stock like me grows up. Wishlist of parents - get good grades in school > keep yourself active in sports but don't you dare think of making it your career. Go to a good business school > work with a blue chip company > ride on shit load of greenbacks, buy a house and then find a nice girl > settle down. What is the definition of a nice girl here? It so reeks of Indian societal stereotype...I have not done all of the above but some of it > HELL yeah. Did I ever have an option? In doing all or probably even 60% of these, a non-descript guy like me plays the game, gets fairly good at it (or so I belive it to be!) and then brushes everything under the carpet by saying "Oh, how I love competing".

Along came alcohol > some extrenmely beautiful women, wherever you all are > I love you all. We have fought but no problem lets just kiss it away. Work came along, where you say, I created this idea before him. I am faster than him/her. I am the youngest to have done this. I conceptualised it! The only idea of going up is to pull others down.

Along came mobile phones and we started saying for the first time "mine is smaller than yours" (not in so many clear words). Technology development killed this urban mega trend, but the competitive spirit never died. Then came reservations, where for the first time there is a mad race to the bottom - WOW what an idea to build a progressive knowledge economy!

Keep moonlighting, because we want a society mired in "mine is bigger than yours" syndrome.

OK I quit. I am unhappy about something that I am not able to put my finger on.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More on Branding

When I read the above title in one go, it reads like "Moron Branding". That is not how I want it to sound, but my crippled vocabulary can't conjure up anything better. I truly believe in the power of brands, for the uninitiated my understanding of the word 'brand' is not limited to the label I sport or the ones those are brandished on the sidewalk. Brand to me is an *intangible psychological undercurrent* it just lives in people's mind. I am yet to meet someone who knows the 'whys' and the 'hows' of this equation.

When I was 13-14 months old in my career, I was meeting one of my very close friend after a long time. During the conversation my passion for brand brimmed over and I remarked "it is so important to be associated with a positive brand in all walks of life". Corollary of which is, your personal brand should always have a positive ring to it. Considering she was a student of MBA in Brand Management, I expected her to echo my thoughts but I should have known better. BOOM comes the retort "see Vinna, I know you are passionate about certain things but you got to explain". Ha ha.. vivid examples are my forte :

Example #1 : You walk into a store to buy a loaf of bread. On the shelf there is a nameless (read un-branded) loaf and then there is Britannia...which loaf will you pick up? Britannia is the answer.

I ran into a similar situation sometime ago where one of my colleague exhibited a nonchalant attitude towards the word "brand". Now, I had to come out with a really solid example because she has got a really thick skin (Kaziranga Rhino anyone?..).

Example #2 : Your parents are looking to get you married off to a nice guy. Parents always wish good things for their kids...right? After passing all the gruelling tests of their daughter's likes and dislikes, they have two potential matches for their lovely daughter. One works for Microsoft and the other works for 'Notsosoft' making lot of hard money. I asked her, "do you want to take a guess whom your parents would choose?"

Just four alphabets, that is all it takes! Rest assured I can give more extreme examples.

Blog number 50 UP! The regulars - Please leave a note and enlarge this wannabe writer's ego.