Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Value of Saying No

One of the most common mistakes small companies make - accept any business, be anything to anyone. Without a focus, it is difficult to be superior to the next competitor, especially if they are specialised. And focus develops by saying no to distractions, and spending time in developing the superior insight and spending sales efforts on the relevant entities.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Oil and the world

I just read The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. This is a terrific history of oil, and the role it has played in shaping the world over the last 150 years. The rise of oil at the time of the decline of colonialism and how it shaped the world's countries, especially the middle east, is very interesting in trying to understand what comes next. It is fascinating to see how many eccentric & strong minded individuals made huge fortunes or created large companies, often both, over this period. Take a look at the top companies of the world - it is dominated by oil.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Saving Crafts

Over the last year, I've been thinking on and off about how to save crafts in India from dying out. Interestingly, Subir Dutta, CEO of, startled me a couple of days ago by saying that 23+ million people hand-making things from India, and that the overall market is Rs. 10,000 crores, largely for export (does this include handloom textiles ?) So what is the issue ?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Customer Experience Design Firm

The last few days have been spent at IFFI, the International Film Festival of India. The poor experience started with the atrocious website. The next interaction was the various communications on the public domain. The real clincher was the horrible process of getting the delegate cards.

My idea is that there is a space for a firm focused on the overall customer experience. This would cover not only things like web site, general communication design, but also have wings with expertise in process design (think TQM, Lamm and Six Sigma), and in customer service.

The overall premise is to focus on the overall customer experience across all aspects, not just the traditional areas that designers do.

Another example is inter city bus travel. Opportunities for improvement abound.

Questions: Who in the company is this sold to? And what is the pricing model?

At first glance, one would expect event management companies to have a great deal of expertise in this area. But I would say that most do not see what they do in this light.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Sweating the small stuff

One of the most boring parts of running any organisation is executing on the details well. I find many of the people I work with do not appreciate quite how important this is for their success.

Some great examples of this come from the world of the internet and ecommerce. Many Indian websites have woefully inadequate user interfaces / user experiences. Yet, there is a wealth of experience in designing user interfaces, especially to increase success in ecommerce. Take a look at this link for example. If you look at the first case study in the article, there was a 30% increase in sign-ups based on a simple wording change. Now, in any business, getting a 30% increase usually takes a lot of hard work. Here is a place where there's easy pickings, but for some reason, very neglected.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Idea : How to discontinue paper statements

We have all had banks and various utilities trying hard to get us to give up paper statements and opt for e-statements. I, for one, have resisted switching to e-statements. Since its obviously greener, I have been thinking hard as to why I am reluctant, and what will it take to make me switch.