Friday, April 27, 2007
I am not a fan of the SEZ, and hope good sense prevails. Why is there this constant need to compare ourselves or try to copy China? State directed capitalism may work in the short run, but do we really want to poison off the next generation in doing so? 34% of Chinese children are reported to have higher than normal levels of lead in their blood. Lead is a cheap ingredient into most of the Chinese manufacturing units, its effluent resulting in alarmingly high levels of pollution. There are villages where all the kids have black and blue fingers, being slowly poisoned to death.
I met a British gentleman yesterday whose chose to come here to work rather than China, because he believed that we had more humanity. That was a nice thing to hear. Trillion dollars worth of money goes well with a billion minds that never say die, and a billion hearts that still seem to care. Mera Bharat Mahan!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
You are The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
a time to plant, a time to reap...a time to rend, a time to sew.
I guess you all the know the full lyrics of this song.
This year we decided to plant a little, to take awards more seriously even though our big sister frowns upon this. So far we have won five: Two golds for branded entertainment - for Idea and ITC; two silvers for Bindaas Bol - best use of TV and cause marketing; and agency of the year at the Indy's.
Here is a picture:
Kunal and Himanka are missing from it, they weren't here when we clicked, but are here anyway. Seems like it's time to reap.
And then I hear about a friend gone astray - a kind soul who couldn't say no when he needed to, not to others and more important not even to himself. So for his organisation, it became a time to rend. But I hope that wherever he goes he will learn to sew up the tears in his moral fibre.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
But it was good fun. The sands were hot and the weather was hotter, but drinks flowed freely, and the under 30’s had a whale of a time. Akanksha and Hardik went parasailing, Sharad and Deepa went jetskiing, Venky and his gang of girls caught up with old friends from other agencies, and we all agreed that next year we should send in a larger contingent. With a hooter.
Goafest is a good idea. It goes beyond awards, and in doing so, sends out a subtle message. I hope it lives.
The second half of the Goafest Advertising Conclave yesterday morning expressed a great deal of that. Rifts between business partners were exposed. Pent up pressures found unlikely outlets. Media agencies got pelted at by both creative agencies and media houses, and its leaders (us) came away rather bemused. Speaker after speaker expressed negativity and angst against the advertising industry, eventually concluding that it didn’t even act like an industry in the first place. Harish Bijoor, the suave and intelligent moderator, tried to draw up a way forward action plan nevertheless.
In other words, there was a lot of discontent, but much of it wasn’t divine, so I am a little worried. I hope that the ‘builders’ among us will prevail over the ‘scavengers’ and raiders’. What is needed is ‘discontinuous social value addition’ as succinctly described by Uday Kumar, CEO of Star News, and the ability to act as ‘change agents’ and not just commission agents, as Meenakshi Madhvani so aptly put it.
As Shanta Kumar of Saatchi and Saatchi said, some years ago holidays were about going home to grandma in native place. Now it means taking grandma away for a holiday. That’s the kind of paradigm shift we are all looking for, and whether it lies in re-integration of services or not, we sure have to find new ways to operate because we seem to be seriously pissing off our business partners in the media houses and the creative agencies.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Taking the advertising industry from Rs 15000 crores to Rs 50000 crores may be no mean feat. But as Dr Sinha opined, our industry seems bent on playing a 'zero sum' game, with egos and factions taking precedence over a common agenda of progress and growth. Unless drastic steps are taken by its associations, and clear thought leadership emerges, we may not make it. I liked his analogy of the 17th century London city council fearing that they had such a problem of horses defecating in the streets, that within a short time the streets of London would be steeped in horse manure.
But how do we clean up the horseshit? Hopefully the panelists tomorrow will shed some light. In the meantime, I am going to bed pondering over the more encouraging words of Martin Sorell delivered by videotape - that Indian advertising has been growing at twice the rate of our GDP growth, and that we should not doubt our abilities so much. So true. Four hundred years later, the streets of London are still pretty clean, aren't they? Lesson : replace the horses, the horseshit will go.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Meanwhile here is an article written for the festival concept which appeared in Financial Express last week.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
One of the entries featured the national anthem. CD stood up first, I quickly followed, and then the whole group. To me, it was the most impactful moment of the entire day. Ten vociferous jocular judges found three minutes to stand silently at attention in unison and respect for their national song. We didn't approve the entry, but no guesses for who won the patriotic vote at that moment.
I love being an Indian in India, I truly do.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
It isn't easy being cruel in order to be kind, to mete out a bitter medicine today in order to enable a better mind or body or value system tomorrow.
But....it's got to be done. As I look back on my own life, the people who made me what I am often did the most unpleasant things to me, things I appreciated and got a chance to thank them for only much later. Some of them died before I could show them how much healthier their medicine made me, but they know - every day they show me that they know. Sometimes, they still send down a bitter pill or two. Which I swallow most gratefully.
Rashmi, this post is for you. Read it again in 20 year's time.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
And this is not an April Fool joke.
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