Sunday, July 26, 2009

It’s raining discounts and sale….

Open the newspaper these days….more than news content or must I say, content that educates the readers about the current business scenario, the political system, or about what’s happening in the entertainment industry…..you’ll find huge brightly colored advertisements occupying prime space in the newspapers. And these advertisements do not only talk about brands or products, but they talk about discounts and sale, to lure readers to jump off their couch and head straight towards the stores offering those whopping discounts.

These adverts do look good and truly enticing and kind of makes one go wow. I must admit…..it makes me go wow too!! Name the big brands and all of them are offering discounts, some spinning off a flat 50% discount and there are those smart big-wigs who say they are offering a discount of upto 50%....only to rush there and realize that the real good stuff only comes at a discount of 5-10% on an eye-popping mark-up price. Marketers’ truly think we are a whole lot of bimbos.

Do I actually need this?
This clearly illustrates how the economic downturn is playing in everybody’s mind, how people are controlled when it comes to spending on luxury products. The first question you would ask yourself is, “Do I actually need this”. The circulation of money in the market has reduced tremendously and to better the economy this trend needs to change…the purchase power of the buyer has to increase. And marketers’ are pretty optimistic that, this is possible by luring the masses through take-off prices.

If you ask me, shopping is something I never really like doing….I love having things but only wish the shop came to me or maybe I could get what I like without making that effort of standing in snake queues right before the trial room or walking down the buzzing mall. It is so damn boring or am I lazy?? ….I have no idea.

Consumer spending linked to nations GDP
Let me conclude this, corporations think that they are playing the gorilla warfare by offering discounts at already high mark-up prices,……consumers feel that they shouldn’t buy now because they don’t really think that they need the luxury stuff during the pounding economic weather. In the end, there are no gainers.

Besides, the government should work real hard to improve the consumer spending power by stamping out unemployment; by making sure that each child goes to school and completes (atleast) her/his basic education; support families who are below the poverty line to sustain by offering sponsorships; encouraging willing senior citizens to take up some kind of assignment which will keep them busy and happy and simultaneously will be contributing to the country’s GDP; Encouraging educated house-wives to come out of their homes and contribute to society and the nation’s GDP by making flexi-time compulsory everywhere; improving the infrastructure of town and villages, thus encouraging investments and penetration of industries and organizations there.

These are a few of my wishes and the wish of every citizen of this country. And we are ready to get our hands soiled to make this happen. Hope these simply don’t remain wishful-thinking!!

Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you enjoying every bit of it.

Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.

Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!

Stick around, because life is beautiful!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The picture speaks louder than words!

Look at this picture right here….doesn’t it say it all? Yes indeed!! My caption to this picture would be: “A woman taking centre stage, while corporate honchos keenly and attentively listen to her.” Perhaps, my caption would look different, if this was something that occurred like almost everyday in the business world….Sad but true, it isn’t this way always.
I picked-up the newspaper this Sunday morning, to hit upon an article on the front page, carrying details of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s visit to Mumbai. Before actually getting into reading those details, the picture which supported the article was quite impressive and was the first thing that caught my attention.
Woman on Top
Let me clear the air first, I am no Feminist and not a member of any Mahila Sangh (a group which fights for the right of women), but yes I believe, that women can reach for the stars, if the corporate world gives the talented “her” to lead from the front.
Its not that there are no women in India or in the world, who have proved their metal. Yes, we see that in practice too. But the sad thing is only a small percentage of women are actually holding those top and aspiring positions in the corporate world today. What is the reason for this tiny estimate…..is the big question mark? I don’t want to get into my judgment on this or what I thing about it…..it’s really not important!!
I simply believe in equality of all humankind. Man or Woman, you need to have a set of common rules and regulations for both the sexes…and this is not something I say because I am a woman. It is because we are human first.
An ambitious her
Ask a young girl in school, what she wants to do when she grows-up and you’ll get an instinctive reply, saying I want to fly aircrafts, I want to become an Astronaut, I want to become an Architect, I want to become a Journalist, I want to become the no. 1 tennis player in the world, I want to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I want to become a civil servant, and there are some who are even passionate about doing social service. She is very very ambitious!
What happens next is not destiny, but it is the opportunities that she grabs and the support that she gets during her journey in life. It is good to see, how organisations are encouraging women to take-up top positions and supporting them all through their journey. It is a positive sign for sure.
Social Responsibility
It is also our social responsibility to build on awareness, of the need of education for children, both the boy and the girl. In the rural areas of India, there is a lot of differentiation between the sexes, even today. The notion is still primitive. Besides, it is still believed that the girl child doesn’t need to be educated, because ultimately, she is not going to earn bread for the family. We need to change this mindset completely. Education is not about preparing oneself to make money; it is about developing the right attitude, personality, perspective towards life, approach, and being- aware of your surroundings, that education carries with it.
So, Do what you want to do, Be what you want to be. And remember, if need arise, bend the rules…but don’t break it;-)
Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.
Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!
Stick around, because life is beautiful!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mumbai Marathon 2010 – Get yourself registered now!!!

It all happened that very busy Monday morning, when one of my friends called to tell me that registrations to the Mumbai Marathon 2010 had began. That was it!! I left everything and visited the site to do an online registration, since I didn’t want to miss the marathon, like I did in Jan 2009 – a late-latif, like always.

Group registrations
A group of maybe three of my friends had already registered and then it was my turn. Bingo!! I successfully registered to the Dream run, a 6kms sprint, and was like on top of the world at that instant. Simultaneously, I was thinking, it would indeed be a good opportunity to use the Mumbai Marathon 2010 as a corporate branding event. This was like trailing in my mind and then….it was a spin-off! I shot an email to the top management, and not surprised at all, the deal was passed by them.

Though, I was stressing upon us participating in the “Corporate Challenge” – an event where a corporate support a cause and then contribute towards the cause through pledges. I didn’t get an okay for this one, because the entry fee was about INR 2.5lakhs, and with the economic downturn playing in everybody’s mind, this was bound not to go through.

Team building
The next stride-out was to intimate all colleagues in Mumbai, by motivating them a little. But believe me, in 2 days flat, the allotment for the Dream Run was full and no-one could make it for that particular event. But no worries, ten of them successfully registered to the half marathon, a 21kms run across the city of Mumbai.

When I heard this from them, my first reaction was like - you guys ditched me big time. But then yeah…its kinda okay!! All I had to do was simply upgrade myself to the half marathon. Frankly, I couldn’t actually see myself completing that long trail of 21kms, but… as long as we are successful in carrying the corporate message - all geared up wearing the corporate gear, what more should I ask for hah!!

How do you register
Quickly, let me tell you how you go about making your registration to the Mumbai Marathon. You could do so online at www.scmm.indiatimes.com. Alternately, you could collect the registration form, from any Standard Chartered Bank branch, the sponsors of this event. You could also contact the helpline at +91 22 42020200 for details.

No matter how much we crib about our city Mumbai, we still miss her when we are away…..we still love her the way she is……there is some kind of addiction in this city, isn’t it?…….Infact, I have still not figured out the thing that makes us love her so much!!

Remember 17th Jan 2010 is THE DAY….so see ya there!!

Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.

Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!

Stick around, because life is beautiful!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Achieving milestones through sheer determination

I know you must be thinking that here is another business guru, come to give us her gyan fundas. Let me clear the air first, I am a real idiot when it comes to business communication…infact communication of any form is not my cup of tea. Wow…It actually feels nice to let out this truth through this blog….you see I cannot admit this when I appear for an interview ;-)
Through this article of mine, I am basically trying to impress upon the fact of some people who go down to any extent to achieve their goal- may it be giving up a bad habit of smoking or to attaining a size zero figure or maybe to simply become the richest person on this planet and own all the luxuries that life can offer.
It is good indeed to be ambitious in life and go that extra mile to achieve what you have set for yourself and make it a winnable one. But its worthy if the ambition is positive…..a dream which is good for you and the society that surrounds you. Running behind your objective through bootlicking, corruption, conspiracy, giving people wrong promises, et al, is no way of attaining success. Off course this is my perspective and I don’t think any sane person would think differently….until otherwise.
The Metamorphosis……
Through this article of mine, I want to share with you real life instances of people who have achieved their ambition through sheer determination and will power to fight. Memories galore!!!
There is this person who I have known for years together and he is still my very close buddy. Yeah, he had this bad smoking habit…a kind of a chain smoker. He tried everything under the sun to quit smoking completely. It’s like you do something, not once but many times throughout the day, 365 days a year, and you also know that all that you are puffing, is real bad for you. But you still continue to do it because you simply cannot resist the temptation. Can’t blame anyone though with this kind of a habit, a bad one!
Then came a day, when he tried to quit smoking and was determined to do so for his parents and then the second time for his girlfriend. Tried hard..maybe successful for 1 month or so and then got addicted to it again. Now here is the catch! If you actually plan to achieve something, you need to first DO IT FOR YOURSELF. You simply love yourself so much, that you become worried if something goes wrong..then what? This is when he made this dream to quit smoking a reality. Yeah and now, Cigarettes….what are those? is the answer you’ll get from the man.
Recently, I have got to know from a colleague on how he went from fat to fab! Initially, I didn’t actually believe it, until I saw some real transformational pics. I was actually dumbstruck and kind of lost of words, because that looked like a true metamorphosis…quite literally! Off course, I have now assured myself some free off-the- shelf exercise routine and diet maintaining tips, by making a mention of this in this article for sure. I know, I know….I must be selfish na!!
So surely, there is a way out from a bad habit/ fad. And to achieve your moto in life, you need sheer determination and sustainability. I think I need to learn from it!!
I too have a so called ambition to achieve, and I am working hard on it to make it achievable. But yeah, it’s a secret right now and I’ll share it with you as soon as I make it happen;-)
While I still say that I will wakeup at 5 a.m everyday and start my morning workout, sad but true, this hasn’t happened till date.
Thanks for visiting my blog. I am sure, you must be finding some articles real crazy and offbeat, but that’s what makes life interesting and adventurous… Isn’t it!
Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.
Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!
Stick around, because life is beautiful!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Everybody is talking about green shoots of recovery….

Beginning Q4 2008 the global economy went into a recession and certain markets awfully collapsed with no signs of warning. Fortune 500 companies closed down in a blink and the whole world got sucked in the infectious global meltdown phenomenon.
The question is how do we tackle this downturn and move ahead in the way business and markets use to operate prior to the slump. If only we could do business with another planet, things would have been better. Sad but true….we do not have that option open to us yet.
Identified ways for tackling recession
If you have a marquee product to sell, the prospective customers do not have the money to buy your product. Unemployment is increasing globally. Demand is shrinking. Consumers are postponing purchase of luxury goods until market recovery. Violence, hatred, inter-continental grudge is mounting. People waiting for a career-boost in terms of position and salary are left lurching in the dark. Cost cutting is given the top most priority in the corporate strategy. Disinvestment of public sector companies is the immediate action to be taken. Off shoring jobs to low cost nations is the punch line to success – indeed at the cost of people loosing jobs in their home country.
These are a few tactics identified by organizations and consumers to beat the downturn and be able to sail through it without being hurt.
Is the approach right…….or do we have to rethink our strategy?
The Finance Minister of India announced the Budget today and all through his speech, he has been positive about India showing green shoots of recovery. He stresses saying that India will show a turnaround in a few months from now and that India is an emerging country and is currently walking on greener pastures.
It is indeed good news for India. We are sailing on safe waters and can expect a good life ahead. But we need to be clear whether this good life predicted for the future is not where the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. It is nice to be living in a country that is booming and showing positive signs but what about that part of the population in India who are below the poverty line.
Are we doing anything to support them and convert their standard of living by providing them the basic necessities of life? They are not really asking for more!!
Each one of us has an opinion and here are a few immediate actions that I recommend:
  • Free education to children below the poverty line – education up to graduation is must.
  • Employment to the million people still jobless in India.
  • Increasing benefits to Entrepreneurs, thus encouraging them to take on new assignments.
  • Providing low cost homes to people who do not have a home.
  • Farmers who provide the whole nation with our staple food are committing suicides today. The reason – the production is less and the money that they get after selling their produce to the middle-man is a quarter of what is sold in the market. Let the farmers get the full price for their produce.
  • Offshoring is an area where India is benefiting today, but we should simultaneously put a contingency plan in place. There is a possibility when some years down the line India would be offshoring local jobs to other low cost countries such as Vietnam, China, Philippines. What do we do then?
Live and let live!
Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.
Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless.
Stick around, because life is beautiful!