Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IDIOT....[TES Summit 2]

There was something weird about the summit.
Participants in the summit somehow all looked the same,everyone wore a business suit,had a blackberry,had frameless spectacles and had a Azim Premji type hairstyle.Each was having a sophisticated aura around him...and you just feel Entrepreneurs ought to be mavericks.How come all of them are same?
Narayan Murthy and Nilekani were the ones for whom i went to the summit However this post is not about them.
This post is about a new hero of mine this post is about Murugan.
40 yr old man...8th Class Dropout...hails from a village in Coimbatore and here he is lecturing 2500 CEOs and MDs in a hall full of people from IIT,IIM and MIT and  of course NITH ( Me :) )
Ok he is standing right there no business suit...just a t-shirt and jeans (Only Steve jobs does that in his presentations).
Text of his speech follows...please try to read it in a south indian accent. :)

I have no ppt, i have no written speech infact  i have not come prepared for this presentation.
but when you speak from here[points to heart] you don't need any of those.......[Mild Applause]

I am not from IIT,MIT or IIM infact i am a 8th class dropout (smiles )[Scattered mild Applauase]

I didn't know English earlier so i had to use a translator,but that guy was a waste.I used to say something and he used to translate something else.[mild giggles]
So i learn't English[Applause]

I want to share my story with you
One day i was sitting in my room and my wife was hiding something behind her back.
I asked her "Sudha what is it that you are hiding?"
She snapped back at me "Nothing none of your business,...just shut up" [Mild Laughter]

As i am a very curious person i ran after her and peeped into the room .[Giggles]
She was having a nasty cloth in her hand...i realized it was her menstrual periods and she was using a cloth .I asked her that why is she using a cloth why not the sanitary napkin that they show on tv.[Audience stunned as this is something you don't talk in front of 2500 high profile CEOs]

She smiled at me and said that if me and your 3 sisters start using those expensive napkins,we won't have enough money to eat.

I felt bad as the cloth was not at all hygienic,so i went to the chemist and asked him for a Whisper.He stared at me confused and wrapped the pack in a if we were smuggling something.[Claps and laughter]
I went home and cut open the napkin to see what is the material inside.It was rooyi(cotton),i weighed the cotton from the napkin and found that it cost me just 20 paise and they were charging Rs10.I went to a tailor gave him the rooyi and asked him to make a similar napkin.[Stunned Silence in the room]

Ok in 30 minutes my product was ready.....but where do i test it????[giggles]
When you(points to us) guys want to test your product you take it to a lab but the only testing lab i had was my wife.[Hall has gone crazy,thunderous clapping and laughter]
So i asked Sudha to test it for me.She took the pad and kept it in the almirah.
I saw that and asked her to test it right now and give me the feedback.She told me to shut up and come after one month to take the feedback.
I thought it is a very frustrating process,you have to wait 1 month before you can test your product.[he is Giving evil smiles]

So one month passed and i was coming back from the market,the moment i entered the room my wife gave me a mouthful of pejoratives.What a nasty thing you have made,it doesn't work at all.[a lot of ohhh shitt and oooh noss in the hall plus a few laughters as well]

[Please keep reading it in a south indian accent,that was making it even more hilarious]

I asked her as to what changes can i make in the product.I implemented her suggestions ,it took me 3-4 days and when i took the product to her .. guess what..she again kept it in the almirah....[He has become the darling of the audience,we are just loving him]

It was a very frustrating process,make small changes to the product but testing team was super slow.

I thought this way it won't work so i went to a medical college ,i thought that this is their profession and they won't be embarrassed about it.[Crowd is Appreciative and Clapping]

Whatever i did product was not working..then i thought that maybe the material is not rooyi ,it is something else.i took the material from whisper and sent it to IIT bombay and BITS pilani for research.After 2 months they told me that it is wool fibre and not cotton.[Sighsss in hall,oh nosss]

After that i made a process that would make rooyi work like wool fibre.I gave the product to my wife this time to test and yess it worked.
Murugan was rubbing shoulders with proctor & gamble ad johnson and johnson.[thunderous Applause and in unison]

After that i thought i can make a napkin but there is a process to it.So i decided that i won't leave it here ,i will make a machine that will prepare these napkins.
I made that machine and it costs around 8000 per machine and it can produce 800 napkins in an hour costing Rs 1 per napkin.I have sold this machine in around 10000 villages giving hygeine to thousands of village ladies and a source of income to atleast 10000 families.
[Standing ovation,clapping,whistles...CEOs running to the stage and hugging him.Absolutely stunning Standing ovation for two minutes or so]

Thank you all..thanks for that...[he is so humble..i just love this man]

I will throw these proctor and gambles and jhonson and jhonson out of this country[he is not only humble,he is aggressive as well],as they are working on the apex of the pyramid and i am working at the bottom of the pyramid.[I was amazed as he knew CK Prahalad as well]

[Now he delievers the knock out punch]
See every year 2000 people go into IIMs and 3000 people go into IITs.These are brilliant people.They achieve a lot and their achievements are glorified by the media,sometimes glorified ...sometimes over glorified.Now when these achievements get so much attention it gives confidence to 5000 students in iits/iims as they think if our seniors can do it we can also do it but in a nation of 130 crores do we need to give this confidence to only 5000 people?
If it motivates those 5000 people ,it sort of demotivates the rest of the nation.
People start believing that it is the IITians and the IIM guys only who can make it big.
Which is not at all true.
Every year just 5000 will get in.Does that make the 5001th person bad or for that matter the rest of the nation

Please show my story to every indian....everybody will feel inspired that if this 8th class dropout can do this,

[Stunned Audience..may be a lot of introspection going on....]
[That filmy style person starts it slowly and the rest of the hall joins it.Stunned and blank audience.]
[Thunderous applause,a sort of eery thrill in the air ,as if all of us have been shaken]

Amidst all this ,organizing head of the TES summit goes on stage and makes an announcement.

TES Head -"I had heard MURUGAN last year at TIE bangalore and i very proudly say that this man is the single motivation behind TES Summit Mumbai".
and rightly so the TES summit 09 was called "JUGAAD" - The enterprising indian.


Isha said...

He has it "d vision"
and you have written it superbly bro as alwz gud keep it up :)

Arjun B S said...

my Gawd! .. amazing...

any chance of a video link to this speech?

Vishal said...

Simply awesome.... and I would also want you to put the link of video if its there...

Gaurav Vashist said...

I am looking for that video myself...the moment i find it...i'll share it with you all.

Prashant said...

hey sir, thanks a lot for writing this piece ... it was as if i was listening to murugan...its really inspiring..

Alex said...

Nice one dude...send me the video if u finds it..

Sanchit said...

very very well encapsulated...brilliantly written !!

a view on the speech and story...i cm across a lot of ppl (from b-school campuses and corporates) who keep talking abt a similar enterprising project, and are capable enuf but dont venture out....and i tend to think that a lot does also originate from the fact that they r all "middle class"....
when u have nothing to lose, u have everything to gain. The middle class executive has more risk on his shoulders or a much higher oppn cost than smone beginning from the the story of Joe Flom from Outliers...

its a view ofcourse...which might help our understanding on venturing to be a murugan :)

Ashtrash said...

HAHAA ...Hilarious one. Which company does he own and which brand of napkins he manufactures? I reside in Mumbai too. Is there any chance of this summit coming on the papers tomorrow? You can read my blog too for kicks if u wanna.

Gaurav Vashist said...

@ashtrash - This summit was over on 23rd December.Financial Times and other major papers gave it coverage for three days.
If you want you should see the papers of 24th december.I don't know the brand.Someone asked him this question and he said "My brand is Self confidence".
I am not sure he was telling his brand or his napkin's brand.

Ashtrash said...

Self confidence? Probably his product testing didn't do that wella ccording to hsi targets or his machinery or whatever was bought over by the biggies. Hmm,I am wondering if he works for Johnson n Johnson or P& G themselves coz if I aint mistaken, one of em had done this thing of going and distributing free napkins in villages as a part of their promotion and educating villagers about hygiene. I had once come across a case study on that long back.

Gaurav Vashist said...

No No this thing he mentioned...he hasn't sold out to anyone.he has also got president's medal from Kalam.He is working at the grass root level and scaling up the pyramid

Rakesh Pandit said...

awesome experience and nicely reported !!

Gaurav Vashist said...

@ all - Thanks A lot guys ...similar to The murugan -when you write it from here [i am pointing to my heart] usually connects.

May all of us find the Murugananian courage to venture out .....

Nitant said...

U have introduced this guy as I have met him...And now I also love him..Brilliantly written. Really a great inspiration.

Gaurav Vashist said...

That's the video link.