Friday, December 30, 2011

My 2011 Best of 5 Blog Posts


“you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology."

Steve Jobs - Life & Death - Quotes & Salute 


Battle for Profit is won with great relationship ( suppliers, employees & customers ) and not by logical /rational analysis of left brain thinking alone.

5 things MBAs MUST learn from Entrepreneurs 



Just shut up , create memorable customer experience and allow/ enable customers to become brand ambassadors.

5 Reasons Why Traditional Marketing is (almost) DEAD in Digital World !!!! 



Unexpected Speed ( Execution, Thought, Response ) WOWs !!

12 Ways to WOW !!!!! - ( For ) Individuals & Enterprises


No focus on CUSTOMER. - Business Plan/Strategy defines everything else but  Customer Experience company propose to offer.

9 (old) + Three (new) Early Warning Sings of a Troubled Company

Monday, December 26, 2011

My 2012 Reading List , Favourite Blogs and Tweeters

Books on the Agenda

1) Likable Social Media by Dave Kerpen ( On How to delight customers using social media )

2) Read This Before Your Next Meeting. The Modern Meeting Standard by Al Pittampalli

( On How to make meetings more effective, efficient, and worthy of attending )  (On meetings Tom Peters says " No meeting is routine, every meeting is a chance to show leadership" )

3) Get Bold by Sandy Carter ( Using social media to create new type of business)

4) Social Intelligence by Danial Goleman ( On understanding human behavior , dealing with people and soft skills )

5) Shant Sudharas by Swami Vinayvijayji ( On 12 Bhavnas i.e. 12 Reflections of the mind - concepts in Jainism )

& to Finish already started book 

6) Save the Cat  ( On Script Writing )

7) Samaysar by Swami Kundkundacharya ( 2nd time Read )  ( On Jainism Concepts of Nine Elements )

My Favourite Blog /News Letter:

1) Seth Godin

2) Social Media Examiner

3) Copy Blogger

4) Bain Insights

5) Strategy + Business by Booz & Company

6) Fast Company

7) Customer Experience matters by Bruce Temkin

Favorite Tweeters I  Follow

1) Sekhar Kapur ( Sensible views on matters relating to INDIA )

2) Tom Peters ( Inspiring , Innovative , action oriented )

3) Paulo Coelho ( Thought provoking )

4) Amitabh Bachchan  ( No need to mention reason for him, he is what HE is )

5) Arvind Kejriwal ( True nationalist and clear thinker )

6) Guy Kawasaki ( Entrepreneurship, updates and many many more, U must be ready for 
bumper tweets daily )

7) Zig Zagler ( Motivational quotes )

8) Mashable ( Updates on whats happening & powerful contents of the online world )

Will update this regularly. 

Happy Reading and Action-ing your learning in the new year. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

I enable Entrepreneurs to Pay More Tax !!!!!

Yes, when I help them in capital structuring , interest cost does down 

When I help them to take make or buy decision, it impacts investments in fixed assets which in turn affects investment requirements, depreciation , interest cost and Mfg Cost

When I help them lean manufacturing and operations, wastage is reduced

When I help them in process rejuvenation , it reduces wastes and quicken the business

When I help them in offering WOW !! Customer Experience, they get more sales ,
premium pricing & powerful branding

When I help them on Social Media Strategy, it reduces sales & marketing cost and increases referral sales

All these initiatives will add to PROFIT and therefore it impacts Direct Tax , add to enterprise's Tax burden. 

As a CA I started as a tax practitioner and focused on below the line tax consultancy & helped enterprises in reducing their tax burden,  now I am focused on above the line advisory and helping indirectly to the Govt in filling their tax kitty. Govt & Entrepreneurs both are happy along with me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2 Ways to Present Your RESUME (& Do Anything)

You have two options to present RESUME. 

1) Structured , Standard - Starting from your name, date of birth , address , qualification & experience etc etc etc. No Innovation , not even interesting for readers.But yes in proper format and how it used to be.  { Even u will find it boring }

Option 2

2) Describe your life story till date. Your likes, dislikes, your achievements and failures, your projects and performances , your family and friends, your education and experiences.  Its a story and one can make real life movie out of it. Make it interesting , keep it real do not fake , readers must get engrossed. You are the HERO of your story.

Its a competition (red ocean) everywhere. How do we differentiate in whatever we do? To stand out in the crowd, we must add SPICE to whatever we do and present.

Be it your RESUME or your Project or your day to day work. Nothing is routine if we are SPECIAL. To quote Dev Anand " Without style we don't exist. We are our own STYLE. "       The man has proved this also throughout his life.

Bottom-line - Do everything in STYLE. Your OWN STYLE.     Most routine and monotonous things can be presented and done in STYLE. Simplicity Yes, Routine No.  Refrain from being routine and boring.  Who likes it??

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feedback Can Transform Valia the Don to Valmiki the Sage

All Indian readers must be aware about the Valia to Valmiki story.

In short the story is : d Don Valia was looting the people in his area , one day sage Naradji asked him - for whom are you doing this anti social things. His reply was - for his family. Naradji asked him to check with his family whether they are partner in his wrong doings? Family refused to bear the fruits of his wrong doings. That made d don Valia to think for whom I am doing these activities. And that thinking turned him to great sage known as Valmiki. Rest is history. 

Most companies can be compared with feedback less Don Valia. Thinking they offer great value and customer services to their customers and all stake holders, however they are not aware about what their customers and stake holders thinking about them. Neither they care to talk to them. 

When was the last time your company took customer feedback?  Feedback which is relevant and asking right questions affecting the customers. Your employee policy, CSR activities, social and anti social activities (tax evasion and pollution) , suppliers policy and customer experience design. Everything requires great insight and feedback from the stake holders. Unless companies have them & act on them, they live in illusion and spreading great social unhappiness and stress. 

Feedback and action on feedback is so important that it can make or break and even set stage to transform the companies. Periodic feedback is not only essential but its a compulsory practice. Is your company practicing it?

Monday, December 12, 2011

HOW WOW !!! Customer Experience Works for Business ???

Location: Bungalow @ Lonavala

Time : Eve Tea

Group: Gathering of Friends to celebrate 25 years of Friendship

Number of People at the Tea Table: 7 

Story Narration ( Real Life Experience ) @ one of the dispensary in Mumbai by one of the friends. 

How this dispensary is taking care of the relatives of the patient too while the patient is under the treatment.  How whether the relatives have taken the food or no is taken care of. This is bit unusual as mostly doctors don't care for such little things. Many of them even don't know how to talk with patients and their relatives. They consider themselves as GOD. In majority of the case doctors talk to relatives for insurance matters and HOW to get more out of insurance claims.When medical profession has almost lost its credibility as far as financial dealings are concerned, this kind of pleasant service and care will certainly stands out.  Somebody MUST have thought of  it and implemented it to differentiate.  Not expected & hence pleasant surprise.    

Of course we go to doctors for technical skills but this kind of going extra mile is what makes him STAND OUT from the rest.  

Person who was describing also said " we don't mind paying extra for this kind of services and care."
Result: Talk of the Town Service, low (no) resistance to premium charges, if any. 

Experience Shared in the group and it will spread to many through word of mouth. Imagine what it can do in times of Social Media. Social Media success of song Kolavari D reinforcing the need for WOW!! Product & Services and Its unprecedented success through word of mouth or click of the mouse.

People pay for perceived value, people share bad or good experiences. Both spread fast and impact the business results, brand value.  

{ If you are in Mumbai and want to know more about high profile event on social media is taking place in Jan 2012.  Click here to know more and participate }

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

6 things Entrepreneurs can learn from Dev Anand

Yes, legendary and complete film professional Dev Anand can be a great source of inspiration and  learning for every entrepreneurs. 

Industry known for its misbehavior and arrogant attitude, he was a complete professional and very well behaved. 

- Believe in your self. have your own way of doing things. Don' t copy or follow any one { His style was his unique and his own brand } . Style says he is YOU. Unless you have your own style you are non existence. 

- Behave with conviction { When people told him not to make cult movie like HRHK, he was convinced internally and it was history thereafter } 

- Passion what you do { Passion to live & breath MOVIEs for 65 years }

- Unrelenting Pursuit of Passion { Till the age of 88 he was active in making movies } . In an interview with Karan Thaper he says " No one can be master of any subject in the word. The moment one thinks he is a master, he stops learning and that's the beginning of an end. "

- Of course commercial failures of his movies in the later age teaches us ,  change with the time, delegate to others what others can do better than you : After Desh Pardes , all movies failed commercially but he continue to remain director and actor, like Yashraj Films , he should have developed brigade of directors and actors working for Nav Ketan Films } 

& Finally 

- Live life to its fullest, NOW, Today - as the time is flying faster than we think. { To a question by Anupam Kher: Why he was speaking fast , he replied, life is short and I don't have time to speak slow

" I am a fast executor,  once I decide to do things " Dev Anand { & we can see that from so many projects he has executed during his life time } 

Learning can come from anywhere, & Dev Anand had huge real life experiences and insights to learn from. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

9 Ways Twitter is Changing the Way We LIVE.

Twitter is going to change the way we live. 

- News Paper & Magazine/News Channels - Aren't we get news as it happens from people and channels we follow? Yesterday there was an accident at Kandivali Highway, someone to whom I follow in twitter was eyewitness and has tweeted about the same. I didn't need media and news paper to know this. 

- Marketing & Adverting - Product Launch on twitter or FB Fan page, can spread like a fire and customer reviews and feed backs are even more quicker.  Cost? Well its almost nothing. Rajdeep Sardesai reminds his followers about CNN programmes  sometimes when programmes is live on TV. 

- Communication - eMails are going to be history soon. Spam emails and ineffective emails have taken the toll of this medium of communication. Preity Zinta tweets about her whereabouts whenever she is travelling to know local sepcialities and news. 

- Relevance & Focus - Unless people following u find u relevant, they will quickly unfollow u as they have huge numbers of tweets to surf. Interesting & relevant is d key. 

- Customer Service or disservice - Quick response and addressing of customer issues will not only solve the customer problem but words will spread fast to the world. Similarly reverse can also spread fast and can spoil the brand name in no time. Companies have to become Social Media vigilant. Power has now shifted to customers 

-  Knowledge Sharing - So many information and knowledge sharing links are available ion the run in real time. With Kindle like e book reader, our spare time will have competition from Kindle also apart from games. 

- Public Opinion - Jr Bachchan is using twitter followers to get suggestions for name of his daughter Beti B. Many such opinions can be quickly obtained. Dirty Pictures is ruling at the moment. Its people to people now , so called experts are out. 

- Emergency Help - Yes this is real really useful. When anyone ened medical or other emergency hep, just a tweet and words can spread fast and response can be faster. I don't who can help and that's why when I broad cast on my twitter/FB , relevant response can come out of the blue.

Opportunity, I can follow someone rich and famous, reply to his tweets and if I am lucky, he also will revert to my tweets and I may even get  chance to meet him/her { unprecedented }. Anything is possible. 

{ keep tweeting the same message 3/4 times considering the time zone, with huge volumes of tweets sometimes your first tweet might miss the attention of your followers }.  

Everything is highlight now. If viewers/followers like the highlights, they will dig deeper  in to it, or else its a waste. 140 words to demonstrate how interesting , engaging and relevant you { your brand  } are.  

I invite readers to share their real life experiences. 

 { If you are in Mumbai and want to know more about high profile event on social media is taking place in Jan 2012.  Click here to know more and participate } 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inverted 30 : 70 Ratio - Customer Experience

Writing is like a pregnant lady. Till the time u deliver (write) u r restless. 

Today I met a ED of one of the industry chambers in Mumbai. 

Agenda: Customer Experience for their Members

One more management jargon was his initial reaction. 

Well a big NO. 

All earlier version of business performance improvements were internal & limited focus like - TQM, Six Sigma, BPR, Lean, TOC - all are fine but these projects are never worked keeping CUSTOMER @ d center.  

One can argue that six sigma and lean or for that matter TQM are obviously for the customers. However its not. Everything is to work on improving internal efficiency and productivity. Its necessary but not sufficient. 

Unless the organisation as a whole looks in one direction i.e. Customers, unless everyone is aware about impact of their action or inaction on the customer experience, unless internal massive projects are touching customer experience  at all the touch points, unless customer experience is designed keeping in mind end to end touch points in mind, unless one single person responsible for end to end customer experience, they are not customer focused projects. 

Why its not only important but critical because : 

Delightful and Memorable Customer Experience  =  Repeat and referred customers, sharing the experience on social media channels (bad experience travels faster on this channels), lowering sales and marketing cost , increase in margins and sales, brand loyalty and rise of brand advocates. 

Its the ONLY way , to create blue ocean in otherwise red ocean business land(water)scape. 

"If the optimal business decision in the old world was too  spend 30 percent of your time, energy, focus, and dollars on building great customer experience, and 70 percent of your time, energy, focus, and dollars on shouting about it, today that's inverted. Today, the optimal thing to do is to spend 70 percent of your time, energy, focus, and dollars on building great customer experience and 30 percent shouting about it."

Next question is - HOW? {  when and why are now obvious  
Watch out this place!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Who is Cyrus Mistry of Your Business??

Having a competent person rather than hereditary is the KEY for long-term survival of any enterprise. 

Bal Thackrey to Uddhav Thackery, Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi & now Rahul Gandhi, Mafatlals , Most Birla group companies are struggling barring KM Birla Group,  and many other organisations have suffered due to this mind set of hereditary succession plan, competence irrespective. 

Look at Infosys, Tatas, MNCs like HUL,Colgate and Others. These companies focus on long term survival of the business and entity rather than own family managing it. Distinct arms length between ownership and management. 

Interesting things to look at is next succession at Reliance Group.

Famous sayings like -  Wealth does not sustain beyond 3 generations and 1 out of 3 business fails in 2nd generations , requires serious attention while planning family business succession

Reasons could be : 

No passion, Changed landscape, High expectation pressure, Disconnect from ground realities as was possible when enterprise was first generation, Too much attachment with successful business models.    

Having a advance leadership grooming and competence based succession plan in place for family managed large /public companies requires closer attention and priory for the present owners. Why business, it applies to every organisation be it business or  politics { even GENEXT is not interested in family business }.  

Ask  NOW - "Who could be my Cyrus ?"