Tag-Archive for » US «

Thursday, April 09th, 2009 | Author:

Shoe, shoe what to do, what to do, gleefully shoot and un-do

The shoe has proved pricey for Congress candidate for Delhi. He gave up. A few months back an Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi threw a shoe at outgoing US president George W Bush . That shoe is in high demand. Zaidi has proved a good Samaritan, at least for Turkish shoe company Bayden. In a time of recession the company has created employment for scores. According to confirmed reports
UK and American markets have the highest demand for this brand. Which is now known as ‘Bye-Bye Bush’ – see company’s official website

We looked at the video where the placid Chidambaram jerked his head to give way to the sports shoe Reebok trainer, if I am not wrong. Quite much in contrast with the Iraqi scribe Zaidi if I talk about speed and distance. This type of protest is bad in taste, I am sure you agree with me. This kind of protest has occurred for the first time in India, earlier it was joote ki mala ( shoe garland – a ritual practiced in India and elsewhere symbolizing dissent towards an individual). Similar incidents have happened in past, the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao face a similar situation during a speech in Cambridge University early this year. However, the Israeli ambassador to Sweden was unfortunate, he was meted a similar treatment while giving a speech in Stockholm University. The shoe hit his stomach.

Leaving the later two incidents, I have a question, where does the basic objective of a journalist of being neutral and objective reporting with an unbiased nature goes? I know that this is a one off incident but throwing a shoe during a press con at your minister takes a lot of courage and job loss too. For the sake of this fraternity I do not wish an incident like this happen any more. If it happens it is sad!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 | Author:

It is high time that politicians in India should take an unconventional path of reaching out. The INTERNET.  While the top ones seems to be aware of the potential. They cannot afford to do it now and lag behind the race, lots of bucks at stake + an un tapped potential for reaching out.

FYI Barrack H Obama raised over half a billion dollars for his election campaign over twenty one months and managed a lavish opening ceremony, after becoming the president of US.

While the right winged BJP seem to be catching on- to understand- the reach. Majority of the political parties in India appear to be lost. LK Advani’s website is powered by Blogs possibly taking a cue from the American style of web campaign.

Any why not, there is a catch here. According to reports, there are merely 55,000 active bloggers in India and users are growing. The parties should find themselves in the webspace more from now onwards. I also understand limitations like internet accessibility, user friendly environment, literacy and foremost funding. At the saem time we all know how much amount of money goes into the campaign (the difference as well. What is allotted by the election commission and the amount that is spent). Thousands of IT and non IT professionals can derive direct/indirect employment with this exercise. I am not at all counting the reach and public relation activity which will follow. Digitalizing a political party will ensure transparency (to a great extent), that connect with the decision makers and one step close to what I see digital India as. With the assembly elections inching in, there is still a lot to do and LOT of education.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | Author:

Satyam down, Lot of big names getting Bankcrupt, Jobs no more in Market, cost of homes too high, high cost of living. Everyone blaming everyone else. What’s the root cause? Let’s think why it happened –

  1. As shoppers, we look for the cheap and best product.
    As sellers, we look for the best price for it (we are too happy if we sell it at higher price).
  2. As Employees (Software Engineers) we look for higher pays, promotion and Onsite opportunities.
    As Employers (Project Managers) we look for getting things done at lesser price.
  3. When we get profit in shares we are Happy without thinking that we’ll be on the receiving end some day.
    When our share prices go down we are Sad without realizing we were at the other end the other day.
  4. We blame Politicians for not doing good and spoiling our Country.
    We don’t resist them if they do anything good if it’s for our Caste/creed/sex/religion. We don’t even vote forget about contesting an Election.
  5. We are ready to pay anything for our Entertainment filling the pockets of Film stars, etc. If anything happens to them it’s a Breaking News. We cheer their punched on Enemies.
    We do not pay or donate money to Army personals who sacrifice their lives. We don’t even come to know how many bullets they fired to save us or how many have they taken on themselves.
  6. We fight on minor issues ‘coz of Ego. We want our voices to be heard.
    We don’t want to hear what others are saying.
  7. We are happy because all the work is coming to India and we are getting paid without realizing that we have snatched away someone’s job in US or elsewhere.
    We say it’s bad if outsourcing is stopped. We crib when we are thrown out of the Office. We don’t realize it came to us for profit and will go if they get the profits more by getting the work done from somewhere else.
  8. When we are sad and disappointed we pray to God.
    When we are happy we don’t remember him.

Clearly we never think about someone else. We always think about us/ourselves. There’s an “I” everywhere. Think of the time 10 years back. It was Peaceful. Today we neither want to stay quiet and calm nor did we let others do the same. Clearly, either we all start thinking about Humanity or stop blaming others for our Sufferings. Not intended to hurt anyone or Pravachan. It’s the thought which came to my mind and I wrote it here. Thanks for your Patience to go through it.

Monday, February 16th, 2009 | Author:

Wherever I go and hear people talking about India Inc, the first thing I hear is “INDIA is the biggest growth market, next only to CHINA.” I do feel proud, as rest of my compatriots …. But, then I ask, why next to China? Why not the leading growth market? I believe that India has enough potential to overtake China in its pursuit for growth. Well, at least one person tends to agree with me on that respect. And, that person is none other than the CEO of the Google Inc, Eric Schmidt!!! In a statement made in 2006 (I know it seems slightly outdated, but India’s prospects haven’t changed in these years, have they?), he had emphasized that it is India and not China that is set to become the world’s biggest Internet market over the next five to ten years!!

INDIA – Where is the growth on the Internet?
I know you will be asking yourself (or me), if the above statement is true then – WHERE is the growth? India seems to be a rising star for the Internet but where is the presence of Indian companies on the net? When I go and search on the Google search engine, hardly do I see ads of Indian companies being displayed on the Google search page. Neither have I seen Indian companies utilizing one crucial tool offered by the web – Internet Marketing!! What to say of others, even the top Indian companies (the so called big wigs) are ignoring this powerful tool that can significantly enhance the visibility of these top-notch firms on the web. This is particularly disturbing given the fact that India has its share of high-quality Internet Marketing providers. And, these providers are increasingly being used by companies from world over to improve their net presence and customer awareness….

Popularity of Internet Marketing – The STATS
In fact, Internet Marketing is gaining strength over the other marketing media the world over. See the facts!! The Nielsen Monitor-Plus survey for 2007 (the year when cash crunch hit the US by force!!) has indicated that while the advertising spending in the country grew by just 0.6%, Internet ad spending rose by 18.9%. Don’t think I am US-centric. The rise in Internet marketing is not just limited to the US but is a phenomenon that is being seen in Europe and the UK. In fact, analysts in the UK are predicting that Internet will overtake television as the biggest advertising medium in 2009. Amazing, isn’t it? Or, is it “YAWN!! O come on Shalini, we have had enough of the stats! Can we now come to the punch line?”

Attitude of Indian Companies on Internet Marketing
Ok, so here I do. Let me get back to where I started. Where is India on the Internet Marketing scene? Except for being a country housing some of the most remarkable Internet Marketing providers, it is nowhere close to using this entire exciting marketing concept. When it comes to corporate biggies, they are spending millions on television, radio and even newspaper marketing, but when it comes to Internet Marketing, all they come up with is “This concept is interesting. We can use it later maybe but now, in this cash crunched market, we are not sure whether this we are ready for this!!” The difference in the marketing attitude of the cash-crunched West and the on-the-growth-radar India is palpable. And, so is the visibility and brand identity of Indian companies, which beyond doubt produce better products and services than their Western counterparts, but fall far behind in popularity and demand!! Need I say more on where India stands on the Internet and what it is missing?

I will be back with what Internet Marketing can do to our Indian companies, irrespective of their size, in my next blog!! Till then, cio.

Monday, January 19th, 2009 | Author:

Muntazer al-Zaidi is planning to seek asylum in the cooler pastures of Switzerland now. Well he can live in peace now and can even manage a better paying job at the UN. Zaidi who? I am very sure you guys have forgotten his name. But hey do you remember a guy who hurled  a ‘size 10’ shoe at the outgoing American president George W Bush? Now you remembered. “Once settled in Geneva, the bachelor without children could “very well work as a journalist at the United Nations which has its European headquarters here”, said Mauro Poggia this young man’s lawyer.

That’s one story Mr Bush would not like to remember out of many which he did out of intention. The news is that Mr George W Bush is leaving Washington DC and perhaps plans to spend more time in Texas tomorrow onwards. By the time you start reading this piece, another historic kindly read expensive moment would be grabbing world attention on January 20th. Barrack H Obama’s swearing in ceremony will grab eyeballs, TV crew, and many miles of print will be dedicated to this already iconic politician, like never before. R Issac Robert cautiously points,”the sad part is that he is yet to do something. Apart from laudable speeches what has he given till date?” Okay, I should come in those details a little later in this article. Firstly I would like to congratulate America’s first coloured president, for whom expectation of a better future for American becomes a huge promise to be kept.

Mr Obama is perhaps being labeled as a brand. The Obama industry has quite a good number of buyers and it sells well, till now, if I am not wrong. A brand, constituting T-shirt, mugs, commemorative coins to hand towels, and from bobbing-head dolls to glossy books, posters, sticker, railway engines, educational institutions and what’s more streets and cities as well. Yes you read it right, cities and streets, followed by junior schools. Delmar Boulevard criss crosses between the most racially divided pockets of St Louis, Missouri and some elderly men are planning to rename, which will, most probably not succeed. But, a long Island elementary school in Hampstead, NY recently changed its name from Ludlum to Barack Obama after their students raised a campaign, another school in Portland, Oregon is still thinking of doing so. The black Perry County, Alabama, went a step forward by declaring every second Monday of November as Barack Obama Day and a government holiday that day.

Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the USA today which is likely to attract much more than 1.5 million people to Capitol Hill, only after Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Amidst a steep downturn in what can be said ‘The Great Depression of ‘32’ revisited in ‘08, Obama and his team should be spending close to $150 Million in celebrations. Undoubtedly the most costly carnival till date. He has his reasons to celebrate, let me break down his list to make it easy.

Can I assemble them in number? Let me please!

  • One ton each of chocolate and cheese.
  • One ton each of chocolate and cheese.
  • About 1,500 cases of beer.
  • Eight hundred pounds (363 kilograms) of bison.
  • $40 million an estimated cost of the inaugural parade, balls, opening ceremonies, giant television screens on National Mall and other expenses for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
  • 432, total Presidential Inaugural Committee staff members.
  • 240,000 free tickets have been distributed so far for the swearing-in ceremony.
  • 58, law-enforcement and other agencies working on security.
  • 8,000, District of Columbia police officers on duty
  • 1,000, US Park Police officers on duty
  • 550, Metro transit police on duty
  • 10,000, National Guardsmen
  • 20,000, passenger’s expected to take a ride today
  • 2 million, inauguration subway maps Metro are already printed
  • 10,000, charter buses expected to descend Washington DC
  • 600, hotel rooms left in Washington.
  • 90,000, unique internet hits that Destination D.C., the city’s tourism bureau, has received on its inauguration Web site.
  • 13,000, military and civilian participants in the inaugural parade, including marching bands.
  • 112, light bulbs replaced in lampposts on Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.
  • 10, large screens broadcasting swearing-in on the National Mall.
  • 1,000, vendors so far who have received licensed spots to sell wares around parade route and city streets.
  • 15,000 to 18,000, volunteers helping Presidential Inaugural Committee around the city.
  • 4,100, minimum number of portable toilets available to the public.
  • 10, official inaugural balls.
  • 12,000, eggs that chefs at the Willard InterContinental Hotel will use for meals from Jan. 17 through the inauguration.
  • 10,000, square footage (930 square meters) of the swearing-in stage.
  • 6, number of bicycle rickshaws D.C. Pedicab plans to operate.
  • 5000 portable toilets
  • What’s more, performers from LA are descending for this gala celebration, to name a few Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Cheryl Crow, Shakira, Stevie Wonder and Renee Fleming.

I would like to end this piece with Mr. George W Bush’s quote

“Most imports are from outside of the country”.

Thank You!