Friday, June 19, 2009

Polarize -v 1.2

Now we come on to the question that was responsible for the polarity and this series of blogs.
So in the meeting all of us were having a discussion on the topic "Why Indian IT is service based and not product based?".
Answers were something like--
To find a market for a product is much more difficult then to find a market that needs servicing.
Another reason that we got was --Return of investment is much faster in a service based industry.
Another rationale given was --Risk is much less in a service based industry.

I was sitting there listening to all these pretty convincing points...but somehow i was not able to digest that these are the sole reasons for our being a service based industry.I was thinking that if we remove all the constraints of money,risk,rate of investment and potential market.Do we have it in us to come up with a iPhone** and suppose we do come up with a iPhone.Do we have the self belief that our iPhone will be consumed in the western markets or our own markets.

It really needs a leaders mindset ,a winners mindset to see a market that just doesn't exist.To be a leader one doesn't just need hindsight,it has to be foresight as well and to be a industry that comes out with Products(innovative and path breaking ones) you have to have a Leaders mindset.The whole industry should feel like a leader.It has to believe that if we manufacture a car,a phone or a computer.Our product will create a market of its own.

The fact which was disturbing me even more was that we as Indians will be behind most of the softwares being written.It is very much possible that for iPhone also the software has been written by some Indian software company.This means that we have the talent and the expertise to write software for Apple but we just can't think of it ourself. It has to be Steve Jobs who comes up with this idea and it has to be us who will implement his idea.

We make pretty handsome money from this Apple deal but we lose on the bigger picture.We don't create the hype and the excitement that Apple and Steve Jobs create.In the end it is Apple that is the apple of everyone's eye and we just have a few hundred thousand dollars.

To add to it was the fact that Steve Jobs hasn't written a single line of code in his whole life.He just has a mindset and a vision that does the magic for him.In addition to these i had read CK Prahalad quoting somewhere "Being a Developing nation is just a mindset".

All this facts led me to the deduction that we have got everything (talent,expertise,knowledge etc),only thing we are lacking is in mindset.

All these things were going on in my mind,
I raised my hand and let go of the revolution that was going inside me...

I took help of a story to keep forward my point

Once upon a time there was a Gurkha(lets name him Bahadur singh).He was a watchman and so were the men from his earlier generations.He was fed up with his job,he didn't want to be a watchman any more.He used to cry ,he used to ask god to free him from this boring and mundane job of his.He decided to leave the job and start a Tapsya(prayer) to Lord Shiva.After 12 years of rigorous tapsya in the himalyas,Lord Shiva decided to meet this devotee of his.Clouds thundered,lightening occurred,it started to rain.Bahdur Singh felt a hand on his shoulder....he opened his eyes and was very happy to see Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva:: "I am really happy with your devotion.Ask whatever you want to have?I'll heed any number of wishes??"

Bahadur Singh::"I want to be the richest person in the world"

Lord Shiva ::"Tathastu (Granted) .What else??"

Bahadur singh ::"Most beautiful lady should become my wife"

Lord Shiva::"Tathastu,what else??"

Bahdur Singh::"Most beautiful home in the world"

Lord Shiva::"Tathastu ..what else??"

After heeding to as many wishes as Bahadur asked for.

Lord Shiva says::"Bahadur ,now you have everything possible.Can i leave or there is something else??"

To this Bahadur singh(richest man in the world) replies

Bahadur Singh ::"Itna kuch de diya ,ek shaab aur ek mem shaaab bhi to de do."

Lord Shiva::"With a big satirical smile said ....TATHASTU"


think about it...
We have everything that is required to be the leaders ,but it's just a case of changing our MINDSET.

**iPhone - its just a representation that i have taken to symbolise a product which creates a niche for itself.

Note:We already know what happened after narrating this story.If not , please read the previous two blogs of this Polarize series.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Polarize -v 1.1

Sequel to polarize -v 1.0
(if you have not read version 1.0 ,Please do that first or else you'll lose plot )
Guy Kawasaki in his book has talked about a concept called "Polarizing people".In this concept he says whenever you come out with a product in the market ,it should be able to polarize people.

People should either have a jaw dropping ,eyeballs-popping reaction

(ie Oh my god....i just want to have it right now)
eg .iPhone


They should have a "just-take-it-away-that's-pathetic" kind of reaction.
eg Chinese variant of iphone

Your customers should either like it or they should dislike it,it shouldn't be a ok-ok reaction.If the product polarizes customers it will stick.Your brand will stick. You'll keep your visibility intact in the market .

so that was from marketing perspective,but i felt it could be applied anywhere.

For example schools- After 10 years if you go to your school,chances of your being recognized by your teacher are directly proportional to the degree to which you have polarized your teacher.

If you were a brilliant student --you'll be recognized.(+ve polarity)
If you were the nastiest student in class -you'll again be recognized.(-ve polarity)
but if you were a ok- ok mediocre student-- chances are that you will be greeted with a name that you have never heard before.(may be a rahul or a pooja )[no polarity]

So i suppose you get the concept of polarity...

Now we'll continue from where we left.....

I got a mail from tie about another event.This time i told myself that please ask your questions sensibly or better-- keep quiet and listen.
I reached there ..attended the presentations.In between the presentations we had a tea break(high tea or networking tea as they call it).

In this tea break i was trying to hide myself from the attendees of the previous meeting.As they might have seen Mr Rekhi knocking the hell out of me.

A person in his mid 40s approached me and we exchanged greetings.He told me that he felt bad for the way Mr Rekhi responded to my query.He said it was a valid point but Rekhi sahab just blew it away.

I couldn't believe ..this man had thought about my point ..he still remembers me.... how was that possible?

Then a few more entrepreneurs came to me and talked to me about that discussion.I was like stunned that so many people recognise me and actually they remember my point which i had given almost a month ago.

If i would have kept quiet....rekhi sahab wouldnt't have answered in that way...

if Rekhi sahab wouldn't have answered that way...i wouldn't have POLARIZED the audience....

so that was a case of negative polarity working for me .....although it was -ve but it was polarity and i was happy.

So many entrepreneurs gave me there visiting card and asked me to keep in contact.

It got all the more exciting when i realised its mapping to Guy Kawasaki's concept of polarity.I came home --told my friends about my stories of bravado(this time they were real).

I thanked Mr Kawasaki for writing that book and my devotion as a fan to Mr Kawasaki increased many folds.

I knew he is a super busy person but still i wanted to share this event with him.
so i sat down and sent him a detailed explanantion of what had happened.i sent him an email...i wished he would reply..

and yes

my wish was heeded .....he replied....GUY KAWASAKI replied ....:)

I had a guy kawasaki mail in my personal inbox.....i was jumping all over the place....telling my friends about Guy's mail...

It was a nice little journey from that guy kawasaki video -to guy kawasaki responding to my mail.

From all this i have learn't my lesson ie

Try real hard to polarize people positively,try to be on the positive end of poles but in that process if you come across some -ve polarity as well. Take it. It will help you remain visible.

**Next post is about the Question that i asked from Mr Rekhi..

Friday, June 12, 2009

Polarize -v 1.0

Some facts you need to know before i start this series...
1)Polarize -verb To cause to concentrate about two conflicting or contrasting positions(eg. magnet -north pole south pole)

2)Guy kawasaki - ---Author to some amazing business books,
out of the world Blogger, entrepreneur, venture capitalist,great great orator,Apple evangelist

3)TIE - The Indus Entrepreneurs - Nice platform for budding or want to be entrepreneurs.join one in your city

4)KR - Kanwal Rekhi - Indian-American engineer, businessman ,venture capitalist ,entrepreneur ,millionaire philanthropist


It all started with a TIE Conference video.Guy Kawasaki impressed me like anything,the guy has amazing articulation skills.After the video i searched on the net about Guy Kawasaki .I went through his blogs,the books that he has written, some speaking assignments.I bought a few books and after reading those books,i must say i was a fan of Mr Kawasaki.

In these books he has come up with a funda of Polarizing people.I'll discuss about that later.

Then i searched for TIE ,i wanted to know -what is this organization that invites such brilliant speakers ? after some googling i knew that TIE is a pro-entrepreneurship organization and it has a chapter in delhi also(it has one in major cities).I checked on the new delhi TIE site for some upcoming events...and yes ...There was one coming for the weekend -"A Discussion with KR-How to promote entrepreneurship in recessionary times?"

I was all excited for the event. Little bit of aage-se-left-then-right-then-turn got us to the venue.If any one is thinking of starting his own enterprise but is not being supported by family members (parents ,girl friend or your wife),i will say this is the place to be.Its like the dream world -utopia for all of us "wannabe entrepreneurs".I mean ,you are surrounded by around 200 young enthusiastic entrepreneurs,a renowned investor is telling you about the nuances of the trade,and the best thing is people are listening to your idea.The atmosphere is so stimulating that you just get the confidence to be the next Google.

now about the discussion....
The discussion began with Mr Rekhi giving us his inputs .That was followed with Q&A session.Somehow towards the end of the discussion we were not discussing "How to promote entrepreneurship in recessionary times?" but instead- discussion had shifted to "Why indian IT is service based and not product based?".and that i must say .... is a sensitive topic to discuss with someone(Mr Rekhi) who is like a father to indian IT services.As expected discussion got a bit hot.

I had an answer to our being service oriented and not product based but Being the youngest in that group(22 yr-avg age of group was around 38) ,i had my reservations as well ....but still i gave it a go.

Rekhi listening to me .....looking straight through me.....i knew he was fuming and not liking what i was saying...

I stopped with my explanation ....and that proved to be the breaking point for mr Rekhi.He blasted me off with expletives such as non sensical :(.It was as if i had talked about carnal pleasures to a person following celibacy or vice versa.


After his attack ...i sat quietly on my seat .I couldn't feel the seat...infact i couldn't feel myself.
Why did i say that? I shouldn't have spoke in my first meeting?? How could i ask that??How do i run out of here? where is the door?

With all these thoughts and a few nervous handshakes i just ran the hell out of there....

Now being an optimist i decided to take whatever positives i could make out.I tried to convince my self that my point was valid was just that Mr Kanwal Rekhi was too intimidating to have a debate with.

Reaching home , my friends asked me about the event.I couldn't tell about Rekhi overpowering me ,so i did just the opposite.It was very much like that andaz apna apna scene--In which Aamir khan and Salmaan khan come downstairs after facing the wrath of Uncle and when there girl friends ask about what did they say to Uncle.Both of them boast away to glory by telling false stories of bravado(unka ek ek sawaal mere do do jawaab).

So that was what-- i also did.Rekhi sahab ka ek ek sawaal mere do do jawaab..aur phir ek lambi khamoshi... :D.

The event was done,i had my share of censure but there was something that made this event worth remembering .

but that is for the next post ....

What followed was another TIE interaction with guy kawasaki.... concept of polarization and yes the question that i asked from Mr Rekhi.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Healthy Cow...

This posting should have come a few years ago ,may be in 2001-02.
It's a story about me,my health,our religious beliefs and a cow.

Back then i used to be the thinnest person possible on this planet.

I used to ask god ,why me ??why only me?? There were people plump and fresh around me and i used to ask GOD for mercy.
I mean ,just 40-42 kg in 12th standard was something that was lighter then the girls of my class.
The feeling of being the shortest and the lightest guy of our class was something that used to send shivers down my spine.
You imagine for yourself ,i had a crush on a girl 10-15 kgs heavier and 5-6 inches taller .I know if we leave emotions aside ,
i had literally nothing to impress her..and emotions were something that i never came out with.(and i thank god for that)
by god ...If i would have come out with all my emotions at that time i would have certainly made a fool(a big one) out of myself.

But its not the crush that i am here to write about ,its my PHYSIQUE that i want to blog about.

OK so i was tense about my health,my mother was worried and everyone who cared about me was in some way tense that why don't i put on weight.
I myself felt that its something destined for me and i have to live with it.i could see no hope,i ate like anything,i exercised ,i took health drinks .....
but improvement :(. day a ray of hope came

There was this renowned pundit ji who could cure anything.
My mother took my Kundli** to him and dragged me along with her to meet this man,i had a physical frailness but my ego was super strong.
I hated being talked about my health to strangers.But willingly or unwillingly...there i was sitting in that eerie room of this holy man.after looking at my kundli ...he said "roz subah 4 pinni khilao kaali gaye ko"(everyday take 4 buns and feed it to a black cow).OK great ....i felt rejuvenated..that's it. just this simple task and i 'll be light and short no more.

For the next three months...

Every morning my mother would put a tika on my forehead ,would give me a plate with four pinnis(buns).I would take that plate ,close my eyes before that black cow,pray to god(of course to the cow as well) and feed her those buns.When i started with this ,i was hopeful that mother cow will help me out ..but to my disgust in these three months i didn't gain a single kilogram,nor did my height budge off a cm.
I was where i was....and it was disheartening..I felt cheated ..pundit ji was a fake.

I did what he said with all my devotion but nothing happened....

It still continued for another week or so but now i was reluctant.I would feed her daily but i used to think ,its me who needs to increase the Diet not the cow......
then i realised it was the cow that was putting on the weight.She got stronger ,taller and smarter.I was still my sorry self.:(

by this time i had figured out that its total insanity to feed a cow if you want to put on weight.
Its simple common sense that if i want to put on weight -I'll eat
and if i want to lose weight - I'll not eat.Simple as that.

I cursed that pundit ji for the false regimen he put me into.

That day and i swear ....i have never looked back..i have made it a point ,not to listen to any of these holy man in future.i will go by my own logic and do what i feel is right.After that day i ate what was meant for me and also ate what was meant for that black cow. It took some time to show results.

but results did show....i put up 24 kgs and now i am a super cool looking young man :P (height nahi badi koi baat nahi).
and yes ...Cow is also doing fine , a bit weak but looks great....

**Kundli - Its a text document that somehow knows all about your future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Everyday i see the sky......and i want to fly

Born today , i stared up
it's only me,yes only me that's laying down
rest everyone is standing up
i wanted to stand ,i wanted to be one of you

i tried..........., i fell.........., i cried
i was in some sort of pain
but he came

and yes he helped me get up again..........

Now i can stand on my own, i don't fall any more
but i know ,it has got to be much much more

I want to walk ,
its such a big house and i want to explore

Walking was fun until that stair came in my way
i wanted to conquer that stair

i tried ....... , i fell........ , i cried
it was such a pain
but there she came

and helped me get up again............

Now i walked around with ease ,no obstacle was big enough for me
but i knew
it was not had to be running for me

i wanted to beat everyone....i wanted to be fast
i entered a race and i was not sure when would it last

competition was strong and terrain was rough ,
i was afraid.....

i tried ........ , i fell............ , i cried........

but there they were.....
watching me run in my lane

and yes they came and made me get up again......

Now i run amongst the fastest

and all these years have taught me

no race is hard enough as long as you put in a genuine try.
running was fun,tracks were my forte but now I WANTED TO TOUCH THE SKY

yes yes has to be the SKY as now i want to FLY......

and this time
i'll give it the best of my try
i may fall ,i may rise
but i assure
that i won't cry

and yes thanks to all of you to get me this far
i have learn't how to handle my pain

and this time if i fall

I will MYSELF get up again

best of luck dear , go chase your dreams.......