I want to be a Businessman

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“I want to be a Businessman, ma’am. I am pursuing a Management course to understand the basics of business management. Although I am not sure how much the course will actually help me”, said a confident voice from the crowd at a session where I was interacting with first management graduate students.

Intrigued but a little offended by his comment, I politely asked him if he belong to a business family.

“No ma’am, came a prompt reply. My father is employed with a Bank”.

To try and understand the contradiction between his tone and comment, I continued to question his motivation behind joining a management course. I asked him if his father forced him to take up the management studies course and he replied with a resounding ‘Yes’. He unhappily continue to say that his father did not have confidence about his business skills. His father believed he needed to gain knowledge from the course just like he had by studying business management during his working years.

I did not disagree with his fathers opinion so I asked him, ‘Why do you think your education might not help you in your profession?’

“Ma’am the real world is very different from the book world. Except for English and basic mathematics I haven’t used any of the knowledge gained during school or college. Two more years of education seems wasted as I could spend this time perfecting my business plan.”

This young boy’s conviction about his path and his dismay over the delay and derailment of his plans made me question our education system and the way we think about education. I wondered if all we learn truly has real time application and whether success depended on knowledge or passion.

I understood his father’s point of view. Knowledge can prevent you from making mistakes. It can be the difference between success and failure. I am sure that his father learnt this the hard way given his choice to pursue a business management course in the middle of his career. I could also understand where the boy was coming from. He had been studying for years without practically using the knowledge he gained. He wanted to start his career as a businessman. It is unfortunate when diverse thinking causes good intentions to be understood.

After some amount of discussion, I asked him if he knew what business he was interested in getting into. He confidently replied that he wanted to work on a supply chain model where he becomes a one stop solution for all big and small restaurants in the city.

On asking how he would do that, he replied that its all about relationship management. He accurately informed me that he needed to go to the field and start meeting prospects, work on the back end operations – sourcing of material, rate, quantity, storage, logistics, manpower, funds and so much more. He was quite aware of what he wanted to do but was not aware of how to go about it.

The business concept had potential. He also had the theoretical knowledge to succeed based on his research. The only thing he needed was little bit of motivation and support. It was a bit sad that he didn’t have the support he required.

This young boy reminded me that growth stops only when thinking becomes restricted. He had passion but this passion was mistaken for arrogance. His confidence was often criticized by his close ones because he perceived things differed from others. This difference inperception offended people. Even I got a little offended when he shared his reservations about spending a time on learning. What I and many others did not realize is that this young man was driven by passion. This passion drove him to research, study, learn and understand all the elements of business he needed to succeed.

Not every person has such passion. We need to start motivating  people to have passion as it will help us work hard to achieve our dreams. If we manage to inculcate such passion into every individuals large dreams will no longer seem impossible and pointless. Dreams will be achievable even when you have to struggle to source funds.

I hope to be a motivator who will encourage individuals to passionately follow their dream by building a magnetic platform.

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Inspiration, dedication and the power of a brand

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Inspiration, dedication and the power of a brand

Life has many lessons to teach  and often these lessons arrive through unexpected sources. Recently, I received a lesson in hard work, dedication and the power of a brand through the most unexpected individual.

This individual was not a high ranking brand manager, he wasn’t even a well educated soul. The lesson was delivered through Kallu.

Kallu is a young boy who has a bun masks stall near my office. He wasn’t fortunate like some if us. He didn’t have parents who loved him and were well off enough to provide him with all he desired. Kallu started working when he was just 12 years old. His job was to attract customers. He had to charm the Didi’s to come visit his uncle’s lassi and masala chaas stall as the small tapir was hidden in a corner. He used to go all out convince them to come drink a cold beverage but despite his efforts and success he still listened to his uncle’s yelling that he was useless and a waste of money. He wasn’t allowed breaks and wasn’t allowed to play.

After three years of dealing with his uncle, he managed to find a job at a hotel. He had to clean up tables and wash dishes. This job was slightly better than the previous but it wasn’t perfect. His coworkers were hostile as he earned larger tips through a combination of a sweet smile, polite behavior and an helpful attitude. The hotel owner like his uncle liked to yell. A broken dish brought on shouts claiming he was useless and a wastage of money. Despite the hostile atmosphere he continued to work until the day he got beaten up by the owner of the hotel over a misunderstanding.

Kallu decided he didn’t want to work for anyone anymore. He and three of his friends decided to start a stalll of their own using the money they had earned in the past five years.

This decision started a new phase in his life.

Kallu no longer had to deal with abusive behavior but he had to give hafta to the policemen for allowing him to put his table in the footpath and keep his furniture – a table and stools safe. He also had to buy everyday raw material and packaging material for making bun masks.

Kallu taught his friends the lessons he had learnt from his past two jobs. He taught the manners he learnt in his hotel job and customer attraction tactics that he learnt from his uncle. Using these tricks, they found a visible location for the stall. They paid a few extra bucks for the location but they refused to make the same mistake as his uncle. People visited their stall because they recognized them. They were also quick to service as Kallu knew that delays caused customers to leave.

The first point he learnt was to be in a place where you are visible it’s only then that people would recognise you and come to you, this he learnt from the mistake made by his uncle. Even if calls for a few buck extra it was worth it. And he would be quick in response which he learnt from his hotel job, where he would see many customers go because of delay.

According to me Kallu is an excellent marketer who knows the basic rules of the game – customer acquisition and customer retention. The pillars of marketing.

Today, these four friends work in shifts, turn by turn. They also plan to expand. They also joined a chain of dabbawalas part time where they are learning the secret of time management.

Meeting Kallu has changed a lot of my own perceptions about life. I learnt that you cannot carry on the same attitude through out life. You have to adapt as you learn. So make sure to observe, adapt and inculcate the lesson life offers.

To me Kallu is a good marketer and someday when I train management grads, I would invite him to share his knowledge on all his learnings. As they say sitting in an AC room working on PowerPoint and excel is notas educational as real life experienc.

Kallu Ki tapir is now the landmark for hundreds and thousands who visit that area.

This is the Power of Brand

This one is for Mom

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This one is for you Mom…

Mummy, I can’t even count the number of times I call you. Your name may be Mrs. Savita Manoj Brijpuria to the world but to me you are my mother. The one who brought me to this world and the one who taught me to deal with this world.

You are the best teacher to me and I have learnt so much from you.

You taught me to be good to the ones who are good to you and be ten times as good to the world who are bad to you as it ensures that they are left with no option but to agree with you.

You taught me to walk the world learning their customs but to never forget my personal values.

I loved the way you fought for me. I appreciate how you attended my school functions to make me smile whether I participated or not. I adored you for loving me even when I failed. I appreciate your belief that I would learn the information I needed to know when the time was right, through school, college or life, and if I never learnt then probably there was no need for me to learn and I could survive without knowing it.

Mom you actually made me achieve so much, with your strength and belief.

I hated Math and still do but your challenge to my Math teacher helped me to actually become a Math Honours so that with pride you could flaunt about it.

I probably am the most fickle minded child of yours but to every rejection or new decision you had a logical reason to give to papa, as he fumed.

I have live my life the way I want because you believed I could so I believed that I could.

You may have not been like other moms. You may have cried when I fell down but you also taught me to be thankful that I could stand back up.

You never wore make up but you never stopped me from trying it on me. You believe in being yourself and that is what I love about you. You have always been the strength of our family and would always be.

I love you for being who you are. You are different and I love you for that. You hated to cook still I never remember a day or a meal you skipped because you did not feel like cooking. The way you supported Papa through all the highs and lows makes me respect you more as a person. From taking charge of his work to us at home, every responsibility that you handle is so perfect with all your lovely imperfections. You learnt driving after your heart attack and everyone looked at your courage with amazement.

I still remember when I was asked who is my role model I could only say ‘My Mother’ not just because you are my mum but because you are a strongest person I know. I want to be like you. I want to have the strength you have.

Mom may you live your dream…I would love to see you doing all you want to in life.

Thank you mom for teaching us to be individuals. Thank you for your little gestures that make me feel so special, so connected to you. I sometimes doubt if I could be such a complete mother to my own kids.

Love you always

 

Mother's DayShweta Brijpuria

Where they trust!

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Just imagine a world where you dedicate your time to work and you are respected for your efforts.

Don’t you think this is how it should be? Out of the 24 hours in a day, we spend 55% of our time either working or thinking of work. For most, work is not just a reason a place to earn; it is a place that adds meaning to our life. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys a good working environment. For many work has becomes a reason for stress.

Like a machine, we work; like a human being, we crib but as routine we follow. We never try to find where the gap lies. The lackluster attitude means that the expectations and deliverables of both employees and management are never met. Issues that could be easily sorted are never resolved and everyone ends up dissatisfied. Instead employees despair that their companies will never value their internal human resources while the companies feel that the employees lack capability. This lack of trust is further weakened as employees and employers live in uncertainty – employees sure that they will be asked to leave while employers wait for trained employees to switch jobs.

Amongst this world of uncertainties there are many companies that live by to make not only customer’s happy but employee’s happy. The unit does not expect anything more from you, just honest amount of hours that you put in and employees does not expect anything more just a care when in a difficult situation. Any unit is a part of the society and apart from profit making giving back to the society and contributors is an important factor, a fact which is often forgotten.

A few days ago, I read in a magazine about an owner of a multimillion company whose driver served him for 35 years passed away. On hearing this news, the owner flew back from his meeting to drive the driver’s coffin to the funeral, saying that he served me all his life and now it was my turn to drive him to his last journey. It was nothing but humanity. The person was with him for 35 years because he was treated as a human. He trusted him. I was touched by this story.

Planting the SEEDS of a Happy Productive Staff - Part 1

I began looking and reading about other similar instances. There were many. Humanity thrives despite the disparity of wealth and status. There are still companies that give loans to employees trusting that they will be loyal to them. There are still employees give their life for the company thinking that they would be taken care of. When I read of such instances I remember my father, who has always treated his employees like family.

I still remember when I was a child that every Diwali night we would first have pooja, eat sweets and burn crackers with his workers before returning home to have our home pooja. When a worker came home to visit, they were always treated like an honored guest. We would make sure to serve them a hot meal before they could leave.

Today his line of business has changed but the trust has not. His attitude towards his workers has bound them to him, which is why so many years later the same employees still work for him. Trust is like a seed that grows into a green leafy tree with strong stem and roots. Nurture it by treating work as work and employees as human.

Wouldn’t such environment be heavenly?

The curiosity  

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We as human being are curious about almost everything in the world – right from our future to life after death. God has given us the most beautiful gift of our minds, which gives us the power to imagine and transform our desires into reality.

They say ‘you are what you think’ and that is true. Many in this world never grow, develop or achieve because they cannot imagine they could be more than what they are. Others use their strongest desires to transform their lives, challenge their situation and become who they want to be.

 

They say ‘happiness is a state of mind’. What makes you happy might not make another person happy.

Millions of people could fight for happiness, never realizing happiness is individual centric. In fact, the criterion for happiness for every individual keeps changing. What made us happy few years back, may not achieve the same result today. As our desires change, so does the path of happiness. We have to follow our curiosity to our core to discover what makes us happy while simultaneously understanding that we do not actually want to understand what happiness means nor do we ever want to challenge our capacity to remain happy once we reach there.

This is how we are made. We have this power to think and we keep messing with the productive side of this virtue. We become our own enemy; we keep following others who we feel are principally strong without realizing that we never looked into our own strengths. We definitely need a Guru who would direct our ways to get answers to those curiosities but we don’t have to follow his path towards getting our answers. We are given this life to have our own experiences.

Be curious but reasonable, this is what I have learnt from life because happiness lies within you only thing we need to do is accept.

Have a happy life guys. Keep your curiosities working for you…..!!!

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The Cricket Fever

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“Ma’am I am feeling extremely low today. I wish I could travel back in time. I was so excited about the match yesterday,” said Amit, my colleague.

 

Amits’ enthusiasm for cricket is crazy. On his only day off, he travels all the way from Navi Mumbai to Malad to play cricket all day. The next day, he was always arrives at work on time without any sign of tiredness.

 

Today, he is disheartened and tried. He is disheartened by India’s defeat. It is such a different look for this normally fervent man.

 

Amit represents the teaming of fans that live for cricket. They not only know the sport not only by the rules but by the cricketers’ history and their family background. To them cricket is a religion – they eat cricket, they play cricket, they pray cricket, they talk cricket and they even walk cricket.

 

I noticed this love for cricket developing amongst boys during childhood. My chotu brother had just reached the 4th standard, when he started walking and talking cricket. He made me laugh as he constantly bowled or batted as we walked. It was odd but I realized that most boys his aged acted that way as their love for the game of cricket grew.

The craze for cricket not only affects the young. It also keeps India young. During matches, a common and fun sight was my 75 year old my grandfather advocating cricket. My friend’s home was even more entertaining. My friend’s enthusiast mother used to prepare menu based on the cricket match. The menu ranged from South Africa-India bhindi masala to Pakistan-New Zealand cricket tadka dal. The family is so cricket obsessed that even their maid is given a day off from work to join them watch the cricket match on TV.

 

Let not forget, cricket and work. Most offices with television sets are set to watch the live telecast. We sneak away from work to watch the match. We get so involved in the match that it often seems as if we are playing the game and not those two teams. It makes the victory or defeat personal.

An emotional connection exists between game and all fans which is far far beyond the religion we follow or language we speak.

 

We bleed blue, we breath blue, we support blue because we believe in blue.

 

We might have lost in the semi finals this time but this is not the end of the world. Team India performed well and we are proud of them. The regrettable remarks made by some disappointed fans, about the personal lives of cricketers, do not truly show the true spirit of the hard core cricket lovers. It does not show the right spirit towards the game. Cricket is a game and we have to enjoy the spirit of it.

 

May the best team win and I am sure next time it will be India!

 

 

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The Branding Logic

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Last 40 years has seen a fight between the human mind and the men who create Brands.

There are many products and many Brands. Human brains waste time guessing which brand is the best and why is it the best. While the Brand Gods spend their time thinking how to make a space for their brand within the human mind. They also ponder on how to prevent the minds from forgeting about the brand when its time to take out the wallet and purchase. 

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Branding
Branding is a science just like cooking, playing or driving. The right ingredients cooked at the right temperature creates the right dish for the right occasion, so, that the right person praises it and you.

To develop the right dish or formular, you need an alert mind, right time and, practice. Only then can the game be won.

Branding is also an art as the men who create Brands are expected to be creative. In realtity it is a combination of art and science. It takes creativity to conceive a piece of art but requires the  science of research, to gain an in-depth understanding about the subject.

The men of Branding
People who create brand are often termed as politicians. They are devils as they play with human emotions to attract consumers. They make advertisements, packs and other materials to reach to their consumer through every way. They sweeten the deal by offering freebies to entice customers to buy. However, human minds don’t realise these things are not done to trap consumers but to ensure that the benefits of the products are well known.

People and Brands
Brands inform people of the quality and features of a product. However, to inform human minds about the existence of brands, the men of branding hammer about the existence 24×7 on television channels. This causes consumers to flip the channels instead of learning more about the product and brand. 

Brands will keep making attempts to make lives better, knocking on doors and entering whichever way possible. A balance needs to be reached to ensure consumer education without causing irritation. 

Eleven years of my career in Branding, I have learnt patience is important. I am lucky to have received such a lovely exposure and so, I couldn’t help but share some of the insights into the branding process.

Writing the climax of your book

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We are characters and life is our stage. We live life every day, every hour and every second. If we claim that the situations we are surrounded with are pretty surprising then we are not being true to ourselves.

We know exactly ‘why’ we do the things we do and the probable outcomes of these actions. We are only reluctant about being proactive because we like having control over situations and deciding the outcome of the story.

‘The Story of Life’

A few days ago I read that everything can be slated by a person’s willpower including his birth and death. I wasn’t surprised by this interpretation of life. My lack of disbelief comes from the stories I heard as a child – stories about Indian mythology, supernatural powers, and about God and how he would grant us wishes. My belief or disbelief in the creator aside, there are many examples of human greatness. People with strong willpower have created history and become Gods of the Era.

I live my life with the belief that while I carve the climax of my life, I should occasionally stop to remember the fun times that occurred as I walked the path. So, it is important that I live life to the fullest; for if the journey is not fun would I visit those times again and again.

As I near the climax of my next Novel, I felt the desire to revisit my journey from a single idea to the climax. The power of thinking, the power of believing can help you create anything, work miracles.

When I write, I have the power to create not just the climax but also the complete story. With life the power rests with me and the Almighty. He gives me the wisdom to make the right decision but he probably does not retain the power to edit my life story or the climax of it. There is a tussle between the creator and the created. This tussle exists only because he gave us the power to think and act. All he has given himself the charge of is the incentives and fines. We receive incentives for all the right that we do and are fined for all the wrong we do. He could just grant us our desires but he controls or tempers our actions by tying us to the karma of time. I ask him to give me the wisdom to make the right decision while I live my life story and write a story, so that the climax is worthwhile.

As a writer, I have decided the climax of my novel. Whether it is correct or not, I do not know. I will share my story with you soon and then you will be able to decide if my story and climax lives up to expectations.

Happiness is infectious and in my happy mood pleased with the fruit of my labor, I wish you a happy life.

God bless!


 

Wish kar ke dekho

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Life is a series of incidents. Some surprise you while some are predictable. Many times these incidents

leave you amazed at the power of the universe.

Rashi, a young married woman moved to a new city with her husband Rakesh, a loving man who would

do anything for his family and her small daughter, who was too young to go to school. Moving to a new

city meant adapting to new routines and she was slowly getting used it but she missed her family and

friends and her old life. She missed working. She has lovely memories of her students and school. She

loved her life and her family but life wasn’t as satisfying.

She had spoken to her parents and siblings to elevate the homesickness but she couldn’t talk to them

about this feeling. She didn’t want to seem ungratefully for her many blessings. She just wished that she

had friends close by, even a single friend to spend time with and who would understand her feelings.

This longing grew as Holi approached. Celebrating the festival with just her husband and daughter would

be great but it wouldn’t have the same Masti just the years before when they were surrounded with

friends and family.

Thankfully the universe was hard at work and one day while whiling away her time on social media sites,

she noticed a friend had moved to the same city.

Raman was a childhood friend and neighbor with whom she grew up. They had lost touch due to family

fights. She contacted him through the site and invited him over for Holi fun and lunch. Thankfully, he too

was looking for a familiar face amongst the sea of strangers and agreed to let bygones be bygones and

accepted her invitation.

Holi in a foreign land became a happy time. Raman and Rakesh got along very well and she was happy to

have a friend.

Raman was also overjoyed to have friends in this new place. His status said felt at home with Rashi

Rakesh……I couldn’t have asked for more.

Rashi’s desire for a friend may have been stronger than Ramans but they both enjoyed having a friend to

share and cherish.

Life is bountiful and the universe giving. It waits to create a series of incidents to give your deepest

desires. So, look inside and decide what you really want. I am sure it will you will achieve it.

Have a Happy Holi guys!

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Book Review – Gently falls the Bakula

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Shrimati and Shrikant were once classmates and neighbours but they were brought up in completely different family environments. Never realizing that one day they would become a couple. ‘Gently falls the Bakula’ is a story of love, friendship, marriage and the meaning of life.

Author Sutha Narayan Murti has weaved this story so beautifully that it leaves the reader with no option but to read. The first half of the story is set in Hubli, a small town and the pace of life. She slowly and beautifully graduates the story to the hardships and the luxuries of living in Mumbai. The characters are so well crafted thatthey come to life. You watch and lament as ambition begins to dominate life dominate life and the essence of relationships fades.


Shrimati and Shrikant, young couple begin their marriage with great love and passionYet as modern life gets a grip on their life, this intelligent couple cannot hold together. The intelligent Shrimati struggles to save her marriage as she loses her individual identity while the ambitious Shrikant loses himself in a career unable to see or grasp the sacrifices she makes for him.

Bakula symbolizes the love for the couple. It plays a very significantrole in the story. It says that despite of all the hardships, love standsstrong and rooted as long as they make an effort but the momentambitions replace love the symbol of love loses its meaning.

A short and sweet story scores 7 on 10 for its concept and simplicity. Author Sudha Murti has written many more short stories, since this was the first one I read so I felt it deserved to be one of the first books I reviewed.

For any couple whfeels that they are missing something in lifeI recommend this book. It will help you rekindle the good times andfind reasons to get back together. Nothing should replace love, especially not material things which do not last forever.

Stay together, stay happy…wait for my next review…!!

 

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