Vendor-Client relationships

Whatever one may try in building relationships with customers, it always comes back to negotiating prices the way it was done in the industrial (material) age. This hilarious, in-your-face video says it all. Is our client listening?? Can they laugh as loudly as we at this beautifully captured absurdity

Read Ann All’s post “Squeezing Vendors Isn’t a Good Idea” 


Leadership innovation – The beginning and the end of history

Wow, what an amazing Valentine’s weekend! Thankfully “The Consortium of Red-faced, Jobless and Retrograde Men of India” ( male counter to the Facebook group “The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”) was kept in check to allow India’s youth to celebrate Valentine’s day.

Vikram Kirloskar launching the new TOYOTA INNOVA
Vikram Kirloskar (left) – Launch of the new TOYOTA INNOVA.

But that aside, I had a blast. My friend Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, invited us to the most memorable evening with Jagjit Singh, the Ghazal Maestro. His satin voice had everybody spellbound for a riveting two hours. In Vikram San’s words – “It is Toyota India’s heartfelt gesture of gratitude to our customer ‘family'”. The event was fraught with simplicity and genuine warmth. I wish some people would take lessons from Toyota and especially from Vikram on humility and the natural way to live and work.

In concert with Jagjit Singh
In concert with Jagjit Singh

 How business can ‘flow along’ with such warmth. And to top it, to be immersed in such soul-stirring music. What more could I have asked for. My take away was that the “Toyota way” goes far beyond shopfloor efficiencies and product quality. It is a statement of life and living.

Then came Spiritual Sunday at the Chinmaya Mission precincts on Lodhi Road in New Delhi. Before you start imagining yoga mats and a saffron-robed Godman, I must tell you that the event had to do with the launching of Anil Sachdev’s SOIL – School of Inspired Leadership. Continue reading “Leadership innovation – The beginning and the end of history”

7 years on and still a startup

Contact IdeafarmsThis post is based on a true story. The story of  Ideafarms. We started among  equally uncertain settings in the wake of the dotcom bust and 9/11. We had no funds. We had no product ideas. We didn’t know who we would sell to. All we had was passion and deep down conviction that we would make things work for us. Today we’re almost 7 years old and alive and kicking. Ready to take on the current gloom with renewed energy. We’re back to our start-up ways.

The most important thing then was – and I say this with the benefit of hindsight – that we had no past to weigh us down; nothing of a reputation either individually or collectively that needed to be protected. Both of which we have today. So we’ve decided to shrug the baggage off our shoulders. Continue reading “7 years on and still a startup”

An India welcome for Barack H Obama!

Begin Obama

I have a confession to make. I never generated enough interest in watching an American President being sworn in to office. Even yesterday, for me it was an event meant for American Nationals and so I hadn’t planned on watching the inaugural ceremony. It must have been some kind of collective consciousness at work because I found myself sitting in front of the TV tuned into CNN at exactly the time the ceremony was to start. Scenes from Bruce Almighty and Oh God! flashed across my mind as I found myself watching the whole inauguration of the 44th President of the United Sates of America, Barack H Obama. Now I know that it was probably meant to be and I also know that he was meant to be. For the first time in my life, the TV was not playing a digital image. Mr. Obama was right there in my living room just a few yards away whom I could have chosen to meet or shake hands with had I wanted to. Such was the power I witnessed of the ‘human’ Continue reading “An India welcome for Barack H Obama!”

Innovation 101 – How much is too much?

Last night my daughter asked me to get her a new cellphone. I found myself using Oscar Wilde’s cynicism against her – “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” – little realising that I myself had fallen prey to the ‘glamour’ of new technology quite mindlessly over the past few years.

<cut to next thought>————————————————————-

I was drawn to this hilarious quote from the funny guy, Leslie Nielsen, and then started to see it as Continue reading “Innovation 101 – How much is too much?”