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Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

SPJAIN_PGPM

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A subject that was perceived to be bulky because of the names of Kotler, Drucker,titles with “father of marketing” and “son – in – law of new strategic techniques” holding lots of thoughts filled with inertia in mind was just broken at the beginning of very few sessions by Prof. S.K Palekar. Why go for a customer analysis at Andheri station or at CST flying trains? Taking the liberty of rationalizing the proverb “Customer is GOD” implies me GOD is everywhere, that’s says even inside the manager a customer is there. It started in SPJIMR as a very interesting subject that needs introspection of the Manager to identify himself as a customer first.
Professor Palekar addressing queries.

Professor Palekar addressing queries.

For the first time I learned that equations can be made for any subject to make it more comprehensive when the Prof simulated discussions with “Bone for a dog and chocolate for a girl friend concept”, while taking decisions. The comic example has changed to an emergency formula at the end of the day to arrive at serious decisions. The subject was made lighter and with examples from Philips, Panasonic, Caterpillar, Maggi, Tata steel and of course never to forget Fitted kitchens was just engrossed in the minds of the participants who had an average experience of 60 plus months. There was an absolute abstract feel among the professor and the participants as the class can really think of the concepts in the industry and correlate the theories rather than simply believing E=mc square where m holds some infinite decimal values and God knows who found it. This can be only achieved in a B-School with a fantastic mix of experienced professionals, but I make a point humbly that I am not underestimating freshers here. The assignment based on the verticals allotted, made some ownership of the organisation which I did in my presentations. The so called MS ppts stands before me like some monuments and sculptures involving lots of discussions, debate and infact it has increased the revenue of the night canteen as people finally get settled their arguments with the cup of the tea and you can name it rather “tetley of versailles”. But I am really proud to say if the organisation I am alloted (Tata sky) gets an oppurtunity to see my presentation which we did in group, they may really understand “who am I”? and “what question or comment I am putting before”!

So in a hint I can say that marketing is just about common sense and rest are non sense if you come up with some fourty arrows peeping into twenty boxes which finally perplexes with overdoses and side effects of concepts leading to Ph.D ( permanent head Damage).

To sum up, the session was a superb insight of real marketing practices in four simple steps, crystal clear, pragmatic and I bet neither a Kotler nor a Drucker (hope they don’t mind) can compete in installing these powerful concepts in those minimal duration where a balance between sharing new things and retrospecting past experience is required.

Really a fantastic course organised with the support of the symposium like Buzaar etc etc which made an impact to market me the subject as an experiment and I take this article to be an endterm paper rather than the other one I gave earlier.

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I know it is always “No sorry, No thank you” among friends, but I would still like to thank each and every one of you, for your support (moral and otherwise) for our Buzzaar – Destination India finals, especially, Ankan, Prateek, Vivek and Kedar.

This is about OJAS 2009, which had a marketing competition requiring to promote a state in India to attract foreign tourists. Gujarat was the obvious, but unusally choice for me. First round was a pretty much lone effort and I did not expect much from it. Uttarayan was fresh in my mind as it just happened on 14th, so I created a poster depicting a typical kite shop. Getting a qualification for the finals came as a surprise to me, and Abhishek (my teammate) and me started to count the possibilities (or should I say probabilities). We divided the work amongst ourselves with regard to the presentation and the advertisement.

The start was very slow on the advertisement part, thanks mainly to the BS 11:59 assignment and the Eco quiz. After I did manage to start, I thought a slideshow with a music in the background should be sufficient. But then saw some of the competing teams, one from NID, and thought, that would be insufficient to win the event. No point in shooting a film, when Uttarayan is a year away. So, finally decided to create an animation, with a jingle.

Next came the need of resources! Tried some software like Synthfig, KToon, etc.,  only to give up due to a steep learning curve. Found Flash 5 on the LAN and began. The animation was mostly completed in a day, and now I needed to concentrate on the jingle part. Tried recording with my own voice, which was frightening experience. Caught hold of Arun (with headphone speakers from Sandeep) and made him sing the following lines:

I am a runner, I am running now
Missed to see the flowers some how
Happy to see the birds pass by
Couldn’t care less ’bout the butterfly
Coz there are more, Even more, Many more
Colors in the sky, Colors in the sky, Colors in the sky …

Regarding music, I had first intended to do an Anu Malik (no offence) and pick tunes from existing songs (Audacity zindabad!). But it didn’t work out as intended. Needed Ankan desperately, but he was out as it was his Mom’s birthday (belated wishes). Convinced reluctant Prateek, thinking it would be a quite simple job. Yeah, alright!

Prateek created a simple note, which could be played throughout as a background under Arun’s voice. With audacity, we were able to fix/patch it up and finally, we had something substantial. Feedback time, and our ship sank before it could start-off the engines. I was too tired to make any further changes and aceepted the fate. But, others weren’t convinced. Then came Ankan!

Gave him the lyrics and some stringent requirements, and he and Prateek brainstringed (new word for brainstorm music – invented by me, thank you). Amazingly, they came up with a tune, which was acceptable to me within half an hour. Arun was happily sleeping by that hour (00:50 I guess), so I asked Ankan to himself record the song. And man, did he sing! (All this while Jaspal, my roomie, was trying to act in front of others that he is very studious, by feigning to read BS). The song was completed in less than ten trials and with “minimal effort”, we stitched it together with audacity (I already said zindabad). After small synchronization issues, the flash was ready at 02:30. Got a positive feedback from the batch this time.

Vivek was helping Abhishek with the presentation – formatting and stuff! Next, we needed to add the flash to the presentation. Converting flash SWF to AVI seemed to be the best option. From 02:30 to 05:00 in the morning, Vivek, Kedar and me looked for a tool that could do the conversion, but damn! Finally we gave up, and embedded a link to a Flash Projector exe of our video.

Managed a sleep of four hours and went to the college in the morning to submit the presentation and the video. During the presentation, almost all of the 56 PGPM folks were present to support us, which was really encouraging. Ours was the second presentation among the five finalist teams (2 from SPJIMR, 1 from NID, 1 from NITIE, 1 from FMS). Ankan and Vivek were counting the number of “okay”s spoken by me (four – lot of control) and Venkat was keeping track of “basically” (21 I guess – Venkat?). Presentation was good, but felt the judges were not too impressed. The presentation was meant to be of 13 minutes followed by a Q&A for 7 minutes. None of the teams could finish within time, one team was actually doing the presentation after 25 minutes. Atleast, we were on the concluding slide when the 13th minute bell rang. (In between Idea called to check how I am doing – what an idea)

Somehow, the advertisement played the audio out of sync with the video, which really took away any impact that it could have generated. It looked like a drag in the end, with only visuals and no audio. (Alas, it played well on the other computer, after the winners were already decided). After the results were announced, we were not in the top two (even top three should I say), which was disappointing.

Anyways, we can take pride of being the only team to have original visuals/screenplay (not flicked from anywhere), original lyrics and original vocals/music.

Thanks again every one for all your support and time! I am proud to be in SPJIMR, proud to be in PGPM.

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Who Are You?

“Who are you?” You are wrong if you think that this is a popular dialogue from a Bollywood blockbuster. But it has managed to achieve a near cult status among the PGPM students.
Can you believe that this seemingly simple question is the first step to solving an ambiguous and debatable marketing scenario? Some of the most interesting discussions in the PGPM program so far have been in the marketing classes. Mr.SKP uses his rich industry experience and manages to hold the attention of the class with his real life anecdotes and witty examples. The ‘chocolate to dog and bone to girlfriend’ example had the class bursting with laughter, but drives home the point that it is crucial to target the right market.

SKP has steadfastly stayed away from theoretical jargon and complex textbook models. Marketing classes have been common sense 101 all throughout. There has been hardly anything to take notes. And yet, his uncomplicated approach to teaching has been quietly orienting our minds to a pragmatic thinking towards this subject.

1. Just as no two doctors prescribe the same medicine, no two marketing managers design the same strategy.
2. There is no right answer in marketing (Hope this holds good in exams too!).

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Jostling through the air the questions flowed/ discussions spawned in the classroom, spanning from General Motors balance sheet analysis to Infosys strategy insights and of course not barring the current headliners Satyam fraudm juxtaposed with Educomp rumours and Subhiksha’ nightmares. Mind you this was the Financial accounting class in the afternoon. Our PGPMites bustling with energy to sort out issues of today and proportionately synthesized responses from our respected professors here in SP Jain. Made me sit and wonder the power of professional experience which spurs out such insensibly sensible interrogations and adds value to the very foundation of the course. Well let me brief you, if you are not aware from the previous blogs, this class of PGPM 508 is mix of professionals from manufacturing, financial services, power, IT with an average of close to 7 yrs of experience. So now this explains the breadth and depth of such classroom curiosities. Learn the past, watch/analyse the present and create the future.

In retrospection, the credit goes to the institute (hate to use the word ‘college’ as it holds a bold demarcation between a tutor and a student) as it seeped into our DNA to analyse the insights about our previous respective organizations by starting the pre-foundation off-contact 6 months program before we joined our course. Helped us to align our corporate understanding with the learning here in SP Jain. And probably the insensibly sensible doubts gathered dust since then.

As I write, there is a discussion going on ‘Marketing strategy for US Auto industry’ via the internal mail system. 🙂  Well let get back to our B-school latest initiatives, to keep our brains probing for answers in this economic turmoil, have squeezed in ‘Window to World Series’ sessions. I am looking forward to the next exhaustive discussion session on the financial crises. So that in today we search solutions to rein the future.

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