Monthly Archives: June 2008

Unaccustomed Earth

I liked the book, in parts. Detailed review would be later. Here, in the meanwhile what Abhijit thinks:

Like in her first novel, I liked the title story the best. It is about the daughter coping with the death of her mother as she stumbles upon evidence of her father’s romantic interest in another lady. The beauty of the prose lies in being able to capture how the two different world views lead to an awkwardness in the relationship. Another story I loved in this collection was the one called Heaven and Hell. That is the story of a Bengali wife’s attraction to another immigrant Bengali man only to fall out of favor for marrying a white American lady. A story that will remind you of Satyajit Ray’s film Charulata which remains one of my all time favorites in cinema.

The stories are all about upper middle class Bengali couples and their children who have grown up in the adopted land. The subtle insights into that world are charming. For instance the struggle of parents whose son drops out of an Ivy League college and becomes an alcoholic reflects the Bengali immigrants’ view that education helps a person to climb social rungs in the adopted home.


On the Indian Communists

The alleged Rakesh Jhunjhunwala on his blog gets his hands on to the new Communist Manifesto 😀

  • Find a Capitalist Prime Minister and support his party. Then make his life hell by creating more trouble for him than the opposition. Support the government but act like an opposition YET oppose the opposition on the basis of ‘ideology’.
  • If something like the Nuclear Deal is good for the country, then it is by default bad.
  • It is necessary to have the government waste a ton of cash in trying to negotiate the deal for 3 years and then to stop the deal at the last stage by using the sacred word: OPERATIONALISE.
  • A sick old man of eighty called Pranab Mukherjee must be stressed to the point of Cardiac Arrest in negotiating the nuclear deal.
  • The party should use a stone faced mole man to shout at television journalists in explicit words. That man should be called AB Bardhan.
  • In case AB Bardhan does not produce the required effect, D Raja must be let out of his cage to go and abuse TV journalists in Tamil coated English expletives. He must also repeat ‘nuclear deal’ every 2 seconds and pronounce every as ‘yevery’.
  • Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh should be called ‘comrades’ and given undue importance so that Sitaram Yechury can act in a film alongside Amitabh Bachchan.That film should not be about the nuclear deal.

Contribute to the list of Small and Medium Consulting Firms in India

Have started an ambitious task, to try and make a list of the small and medium consulting firms in India.
The start has been modest – with a list of firms in the HR and general management consulting space primarily owned and led by people whom I know

If you have your own firm/know of firm that should be on it, leave the details (name, location, website) as a comment to the post.

Any more suggestions to the categories would also be welcome 🙂

Value of Sales training?

Pradeep Maheshwari raises some interesting points on his blog at the HR Professionals network:

My personal observation is that most sales people are from a very different environment (economically, socially & often educationally) to that of the buyer. This results in a vast chasm between what the buyer expects and the seller is able to respond to.

Read the post.

Insightful and very apt!

By the way, the network has more than 200 people now. If you are a HR professional. Feel free to join!

Open Innovation

The McKinsey Quarterly looks at the emerging nature of collaboration and the challenges for organizations as they make try to make sense of it all. I personally think that the model cannot be replicated in toto. Trying to make a Wikipedia for organizations is not possible unless they relinquish control. And that is not going to happen. More from the article:

The example of Wikipedia suggests that companies can take even greater advantage of specialization by ceding more control over decisions about the content of products to networks of participants (suppliers, customers, or both) who interact with one another. Does this seem far-fetched? IBM apparently doesn’t think so: it has adopted the open operating system Linux for some of its computer products and systems, drawing on a core code base that is continually improved and enhanced by a massive global community of software developers, only a small fraction of whom work for IBM. In software, open-source packages are gaining such favor that they are cutting into profit margins and drawing market share from proprietary software brands.

Many other examples of cocreation are now under way. One of them, participatory marketing, which encourages customers to help create marketing campaigns, is sometimes more than just a new tactic to attract attention. Approached in the right way, it is also an opportunity to start cocreating products with them. Last year, for instance, Peugeot invited people to submit car designs online and attracted four million page views on its site. The company built a demonstration model of the winning design to exhibit at automotive marketing events and partnered with software developers to get it included in a video game. Even business-to-business companies are starting to cocreate with customers: corporate users of SugarCRM’s customer-relationship-management software customize it to meet the specific needs of their industries.

Companies have three ways to win by adopting distributed cocreation. First, they can capture value from the cocreated product or service itself, as LEGO and Threadless have, by merchandising good ideas gleaned from the network. (In South Korea, the cocreated cosmetic brand Missha has seized a 40 percent market share in its segment.) Second, companies can capture value by providing a complementary product or service. Red Hat, for instance, sells a host of technology services to users of Linux. Third, they can benefit indirectly from the cocreation process—for example, through an enhanced brand or strategic position.