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My previous blog post was a reflection of how doctors are perceived in India these days. No longer are they seen as almost God-like healers of disease and harbingers of good health and glad tidings. They are routinely dissed, summarily replaced and often unfairly targeted by the irate Indian populace and a newsbreak-hungry media contingent. It is time to tell the doctor’s side of the story. Read the rest of this entry
The Spring Equinox is upon us. Today the Sun crosses from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere and intersects the celestial equator. Indians in Maharashtra celebrate this day as Gudi Padwa while Telengana & Andhra Pradesh celebrate Ugadi. As per the Hindu calendar, today is Chaitra Shukla Pratipada – the first day after the new moon in the month of Chaitra [Hindu Lunar Calendar] or the first day during the waxing phase of moon in the Chaitra Month. It marks the beginning of the New Year of Vikram Samvat 2075.
Today also marks the beginning of Chaitra Navratri, nine nights dedicated to worshiping the nine forms of Goddess Shakti, culminating with the birth of India’s beloved deity Lord Rama on April 5, 2017. Celebrations are resounding all across India. The beginning of the New Year begins by offering salutations to Devi Durga – who is seated on lion and is known as the symbol of power and victory. On the next three days, Devi Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, is worshipped and the last three days are devoted to Devi Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. The prayers are held for nine days and nine nights therefore known as Nav– meaning nine and ratri – meaning night. Devotees keep fasts and perform oblations in the glory of the Goddesses and celebrate navratri with full enthusiasm.
Dhol (drums) & Tasha (cymbals) resound today in celebrations across Maharashtra
Source: NDTV Food
So how is all this related to business? The final two mantras in Modi’s Marketing Manual reflect the ethos of today. Obliterate your competition. Win your game. (In case you have not read the backdrop to this discussion, you can read it at http://wp.me/p6tQjj-3o)
Much has been said about how PM Modi wants to make India “Congress Mukt (free)”. He often adopts an antithesis rhetorical strategy by juxtaposing the hapless Congress Vice President against him, usually in unflattering light. This is how PM Modi won the Indian General Elections of 2014 and all but two elections thereafter.
As a business owner in India, when you are trying to identify markets in which the company can become the clear market leader, the presence or absence of competition is an important factor. At a macro-level, there are three strategies for taking on the competition:
Each of these is a valid competitive strategy. Which one you select as a business owner will depend on resources available, strength of the value proposition, the size of the market, and the long-term objective for an expansion stage company.
PM Modi wins all the races that matter. So far he has not just won at the hustings, but has also won the hearts and the hopes of 1.25 billion Indians. On so many levels, what makes this man such a Victory Machine? How does he do it?
Simple. Like he does, you need to focus your marketing message on The End Result, The End Benefits.
Let me show you how this is done.
So now you have it. The secret mantra to unlock revenues and profits in Indian markets is given, not by a business guru but by a Prime Minister who has trade and commerce in his blood! Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. The mantra is simple – E.S.C.R.O.W. = Empathize. Segment. Create. Realize. Obliterate. Win.
Yes, the Indian market is treacherous, its consumers are confusing & oftentimes tried & tested strategies fail to work in India. So how can you ensure your dreams of being successful in the vastly profitable but yet under-served Indian market can come true? This depends on how well you employ Modi’s Marketing Mantras.
Do reach out to me for any assistance. I am glad to serve you. After all, who knows Indians better than one herself!
Dream big in New India. Led by our Prime Minister, we are a land of opportunity today.
I always wonder – if entrepreneurship is solo travel, why do we not hear more autobiographical tales of the voyage? Tales with real life drama, pathos and surging joy. Surely, sharing personal stories of how one made it in the business world must be important too. But no, conventional logic rules in business, a domain that is all about being human. So keep your emotions aside. Focus on the objective, the rational and the soul-numbing, forced “professionalism” that rules modern day business sagas.
Its time to change this. And what better day than today! International Women’s Day, 2017. So here goes my story.
In my business, I tried, I fell, I survived and today I thrive. It has not been easy. But it has always been satisfying.
Over the past year, I lost my father (that was huge), my business trajectory changed abruptly (that was big), I became the primary caregiver for my elderly mother (that wasn’t a surprise) & my son’s career choices swung from being an academic to becoming a mercenary (that was interesting)! Not to forget, I had a business to run. My life had more drama and woes than I could handle. In and through all this I morphed into something quite spectacular. How effortlessly I did this amazes me! But then, I’ve always lived my life thinking “better-an oops-than-a-what-if”.
I found myself one morning, just like that, when I opened my bedroom window and smelled the fresh jasmine flowers blooming in the pots I’d planted them in. I ran outside, in the weak winter sun, arms outstretched. Nothing had felt that warm in a long time. The rays of the sun on my skin, the nippy morning breeze ruffling my clothes and the patchy green grass beneath my feet, nothing had been that normal for so long.
I found myself in the books I read and the journal I wrote, in the strains of the music I heard as I completed pieces of needlepoint. I found myself while walking down busy city streets and returning home amidst multi-hued sunsets.
It was beautiful to wake up really early in the morning, spend time writing & sketching in pristine solitude, watch the sun rise over the Taljai Hills near home, and hear my beloved city, Pune, stirring to a new day. I found myself , just like that, while trying to tie my curtains up. I made myself some hot tea and I thought , “Hey girl, I’m going to be alright”.
I found myself while pacing up and down, alone, in my beautiful but now empty office. And I laughed under the stars when I remembered that this world is much bigger than I am. There is so much more out there than what I had. So many customers to serve and so many folks who’d love to hear my voice. I found myself while tracing back my footprints along the sand and listening to the water rush along the creeks in the Sahayadri forests.
I found the warmth of living and breathing after all the tribulations & the tragic. I found the person I was before I realized that bruises weren’t just physical, they were internal too.
But I found that person again, who still believes that life is good. Like the poet & painter Erin Hanson puts it:
This life is but a garden bed, the rain it comes and goes, But you can prick yourself on all the thorns, or you can learn to love the rose.
As I simplified my life, stopped faking “happy” and realized I wasn’t “alright” but I was still OK, was the moment I reclaimed my personal power. Both in the familial & the business spheres (they are always intertwined for me!). The only person who saved myself was ME. I did this much in the same way as do the sun, the stars and the sea….they know beauty and strength can’t be taught. It happens when you simply BE.
Pay attention, peeps! Its the little things in life, which are often free, that speak the loudest<3
Your turn now to share story. Do tell your tale in the comments section below. I’m eager to hear it.
Its been a while since you heard from me!
Like many business owners, balancing the needs of my family and my work commitments took up a lot of my time. And in the middle of frenzied working, I had a career –altering epiphany! I was reading an article in the National Geographic1 which spoke about how, over 3,000 years ago, ancient Polynesians sailed thousands of miles across the Pacific, discovering and colonizing hundreds of Pacific Islands. They did this using an indigenous, complex system of wayfinding techniques, which involved reading the stars, the sun, and the ocean’s swells like a map.
In my present situation, this article appealed a lot to me. As an entrepreneur I felt marooned on Profit Island, which in turn was draining rapidly into choppy business waters. I had to urgently find newer pastures, away from my comfort zone, if I had to stay afloat. Business was humdrum at best and tedious at other times. This frustration reflected in the quality of my familial relations as well. That’s when I realized I was working harder and more furiously at climbing a ladder that was leaning against the wrong wall. This is certainly not why I became an entrepreneur! (To learn more about what I do, please visit me at http://cobblestonesconsulting.com)
So, like a true business voyager, I decided to leave familiar shores. Armed with nothing but my own self-belief (which was shaky at times, what with all this turbulence around me), my knowledge of the business terrain and the guidance of a mentor who was my Pole Star, I adjusted my sails, sought warm currents and read the stars as best as I could.
Image Courtesy: Pinterest
It worked! With a few missteps behind me, a couple of clients who taught me what NOT to do and greater wisdom, today I am in a much better place than I was. Business is looking up, familial relations are sorted and I am focussed, productive and clear.
And so today, on the eve of International Women’s Day, when the United Nations is calling upon all actors to Step It Up for Gender Equality, by ensuring that the world of work, works for all women, I share with you what I’ve learnt as a lady business owner.
This is what I learnt:
Community is Critical – This is what all of us women entrepreneurs need. And enjoy. The reciprocal give and take among clients, support systems and staff with self is what fuels our entrepreneurial urge and keeps us centered.
Organisation is organic, not fostered – As women, we are born organizers. Our ability to multi-task derives from this ability. So go on! Be as chaotically organized or as methodically ordered as you want. It’s what you do naturally. Use whichever resource suits you best. To-do lists, digital reminders, organizers, bullet journals…….take your pick, run with it and make it work for you like I did.
Intuitive Understanding – Never downplay your ability to sense the unseen. In business, as in life, go with your gut instinct. More than objectively reading the business scene, do what women do best! Scan the business environment, read the patterns emerging in the market, follow your inner voice and be ready to serve emerging customer needs today. This ability to satisfy the market today as well as offer the market today, what is needs tomorrow, has helped me stay ahead in today’s shape shifting markets.
Number Crunching – It has nothing to do with Math Aptitude. Yeah, this is this is one of the best kept secrets in the business world. And as a woman, you know it almost instinctively. What you can measure, you can control. All else is just a fairy tale you tell yourself to stay in the rut! To succeed in business or anything else, keep your focus one-pointed, have indicators to measure how well you are achieving your target, course-correct regularly and never hesitate to change the metric if it does not serve your objective. You are allowed to do this, like I discovered.
Service with Personalization – Clichés be damned, but as a woman, this is my core strength. Be it a family dinner or a business offering, nobody does it like I do. So I have institutionalized how my company offers its services. This service manual of sorts helps me deliver results that keep my customers happy, the cash registers ringing & competition at bay. Do what you do best, do it with flourish & let your swag be your signature. Like it does for me, profits will taste much sweeter for you too, when they are earned this way.
Go on ladies, make success happen for you!
#BeEpic!#Be Bold!! #BeBossbabe!
What have you learnt on your business voyage? Do write in and leave your comments. I would be glad to hear from you.