Here are a few pictures, will upload more when I get the time!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Here are a few pictures, will upload more when I get the time!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
However, I recently upgraded my firmware from 3.0 to 3.1.2 and the battery issue just disappeared! Brilliant! I din't know that a firmware update could improve battery life so drastically. It now lasts me more than 15 hours! So for those of you facing the same issue as I was, you should upgrade your firmware - even if yours is a jail-broken (unlocked) phone, it would make sense to upgrade and then again get your phone unlocked.
Another observation is how Apple has such a "Halo effect" with its followers and fans! A friend of mine whose a hardcore Apple fan (He was the reason as to why I bought the Macbook Pro too) would keep telling me that the battery issue was probably coz of my usage! When I told him that I had upgraded the firmware and the battery was fine, this was his response: "See, it was your fault all along. Why didn't you just do the upgrades as they came by"!
A classic example of the "Halo effect" in Branding and Consumer Behaviour going on to Cult Branding.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
- Take a cab or jeepney and go to Cubao Bus Terminus or Calocan bus terminal. The cab should cost about 100 pesos to Cubao and 200 pesos to Calocan.
- From there, take the Victory Liner Bus going to San Antonio via Olangopo city. This should cost about 220 pesos
- From San Antonio bus stand, take a toda (Three wheeler transport) to get to the dock - costs about 50 pesos per person
- Hire a boat to take you to Anawangin Cove (The boat ride costs about 200 pesos per person and takes about 45 minutes)
- Take a ferry to get to San Antonio
- Take a tricyle to get to the Bus stop
- Take a bus to Olangopo City
- Catch a Victory Liner going to Cubao
- Catch a cab to get to Makati (Could even use the local buses or jeepneys)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
But recently due to feedback we received saying that keeping the "Asia" as part of the LOGO of the magazine could limit our market to Asia. So, a debate started on whether the "Asia" should be brought out separately from the logo - like Management Systems and then "Asian edition". The argument for this was that Management Systems primarily comes from the Western countries and not from Asia. The other argument was that Management Systems may have to be tweaked for Asia, and the whole world is looking towards Asia as the next phase in the Global growth story - China and India are being looked at as the possible new powers in the world. We are seeing a power shift and Asia does excite people across the globe.
The argument continued and the organization decided to keep the Asia but not as part of the logo as that would let us be flexible at a later stage of our growth. So we embarked on a new journey to discover a logo that would best embody the attributes of the product and still ensure visibility keeping some of the physical attributes of the previous logo.
All of this has complimented by learning in my Brand Equity Classes at the Asian Institute of Management .
By the way, Management Systems (Asia) is one of the only Management Systems magazine that has an online replica of its print magazine in a very interactive and user friendly interface. Take a look at Management Systems (Asia) eMag . You can read the whole magazine online for free on just registering.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The New Moon really did keep me looking at my watch every 15 minutes wondering if it was time for the movie to get over... But when it did, I was like "Now Really"! Very abrupt end to the movie and leaves the viewer wondering if that's how the movie should have ended. I agree that there are more to come... but still...there could have been a better ending.
There were a number of good scenes though... The "fight sequences" have been done very well with a good background score. The style quotient of the "Vampires" have been taken to a whole new level.
Some of the scenes just drag on and on and make you wonder whether the director wanted to put you to sleep! An all-out chick flick with bare bodied hunks running around the place in the guise of were-wolfs! A must watch for all the "Vampire crazy" gals out there and the romantic guys who wanna keep their gal friends happy! For the others, I would suggest you read the story online and wait for the next in the saga (Which I hear is much better - the book is supposed to be better).... For me, I wouldn't give up on the series as yet and will wait for the next episode before I walk away from the "Twilight"
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I know its strong to call it the last... But well, life will change and things will go on... And at this stage, its so weird that every few days I seem to be getting an invitation to some friend's wedding or the other... The times have changed... I feel like I've actually aged... gone into a new phase of my life... Most of my friends now are older than me.... Most of the people I interact are much older than me...
Well as always, nothing better to do at such moments than listen to Guns N Roses! He he... did it when I left school... Did it when I left engineering college... When I left Infosys.... When I left HCL... When I left India... and now... When I have to say Goodbye yet one more time....
And once again, I hope I have made the right decision and things are going to go just fine for me... Did take a lot of thinking from my side despite what many of my friends think - To stay back here in this country... I believe that my future is going to start from the Philippines and other South East Asian countries.... So now I need to travel and meet as many new people as possible... To a new phase in my life.... I dedicate this phase to all my friends over the past 25 years of my life.....
Monday, November 02, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
All of this again makes me wonder how life is going to be exactly one and a half months from now! I finish my MBA and get back to working.... Will for sure miss the school life... I guess this is going to be the last bit of formal schooling or education in my life (Famous last words... some people may say)! I also wonder at times whether I am making a mistake to choose not to go the huge corporate life way and instead take a different part with a smaller start-up firm to steer the company to where it rightfully belongs... And as always I have more questions than answers and every answer I come up with leads to a number of other questions.... But one thing remains clear to me.... I have come to the right place at the right time,..... and am with the right set of friends..... Thank you god.... For showing me the way.....
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Quality and “Perceived Value of Quality” – A strategy for Small firms to take on the large Multi-National firms
With globalization and liberalization came the mighty onset of Multi-National Companies with the power and resources to wipe out local domestic players. In this game of “David Vs Goliath”, how do the local domestic players succeed in holding their forte, and compete with limited resources and talent? Traditionally marketing and advertising in small local companies have been handled by one of the members in the firm with at the most some local ‘amateurish’ help. They would sit and brain storm amidst them-selves on how they feel could be the best way to utilize the shoe-string budget that had been allocated to them to maximize returns.
Coming from a region in
So thinking on these lines, this brings me to the question, “With excellent advertising, is it possible to get the customer to buy anything?” Is quality only a perceived parameter that can be driven into the customer with the right kind of advertising? If so, is it wise or necessary to spend on quality improvement programs like TQM, Six Sigma and Quality Control measures? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a product that “just manages” to satisfy the customer and divert the funds that would have been used to make a “high quality” product towards advertising and hence increase the “perceived value of quality” from the customer.
I take a break from this line of thought to bring to the front the scenario most of these small firms are in today. With the advent of multi-nationals who have “bottom-less” pockets when it comes to the sizes of their advertising budgets and their expenses on Research and Development. They can bring out the best of both worlds driving towards achieving both physical quality and spending on advertising towards increasing the value of perceived quality to the customer. But what does the customer want? Does he want to be delighted every time and in every product? I don’t think so! When we go to the super market to pick up a tube of toothpaste, we don’t expect the product to delight us every time we use it to brush our teeth; we want to ensure that the toothpaste satisfies basic factors such as fresh breath and anti-bacterial protection amongst others. We are not concerned and we don’t even know if the next time we buy the toothpaste; it is able to fight germs even better!
The initial reaction of all of these small firms to compete with global players has been to increase spending on their Research and Development to be able to compete on “physical quality” of their product hoping that it would make them more competitive and then strain their cash flows by pushing what little they have remaining to advertise on less main-stream modes such as posters, radio and promotional items. There has been a tendency to focus on constantly coming up with promotional items such as “free gifts” and also competing largely on price. They have been forced to reduce prices oblivious to the fact that getting into a price war with the “Goliaths” is the last thing that they can afford to do as that would be the first step towards digging their own grave. I have seen a number of such firms fall from their position as market leaders or being acquired by the large firms over the years.
So how do they compete? Apart from a numerous other methods available such as niching, positioning and all of the “Porter-jargon”, I feel that there can be a trade-off made between “physical quality” and “perceived quality” that can enable these firms to compete with the giants. So where lies this point? We can study the same from the diagram below comparing “physical quality” and “perceived quality”.
The Graveyard – This is the term I have used to refer to firms that are both low on physical quality and on perceived quality. The firms in this region of the matrix will die a natural death over time.
The Bleeding Sheep – These are firms that are high on physical quality and low on perceived quality. These firms are those which still believe that quality sells itself and are heavily investing in improving their quality of their product without being able to communicate the same to the customer. They feel that the solution to their dropping market share should be to further spend on improving the “physical quality” of their product. They are the bleeding sheep because they are slowly bleeding to death as their cash flows are highly constricted and I also refer to them as sheep as they try to replicate all the methods and processes used by the multi-nationals.
The Goliath – This positioning is where most of the multi-nationals armed with deep “war chests” are positioned. While they are constantly spending towards improving their ‘physical quality’ by means of Research and Development and Process Improvement Programs, they are also constantly communicating their high level of quality to the consumer thus raising the perceived value of the product in the minds of the customers. This is where ever firm – small or large aims and dreams to be.
The David(s) – This segment of the matrix represents firms with a low level of “physical quality” and a high level of “perceived quality”. I would like to bring to your attention that when I mean a “low” level of physical quality, I am referring to a threshold level of quality which translates to the customer just being satisfied rather than being delighted and excited to hold your product. This is my recommended positioning for small firms to compete with the large MNCs. The blue circle is the optimal trade-off point that I recommend small firms should position themselves – being a product that satisfies the consumer but working towards increasing the “perceived value” of the product in the minds of the consumer.
Increasing the “perceived value” of the product in the minds of the consumer can be done with focussed advertising. The company should divert the funds that it would have allocated towards increasing the “physical quality” of the product in terms of capital expenditure, process improvement programs and promotional items towards highly focussed advertising communicating quality to the consumer. Focussed advertising could be in terms of geography or target market. If in case of geography, it could be in terms of first fortifying its base in its home market regionally before it goes on towards advertising in newer markets. Focussed advertising is a very important aspect in this strategy as the advertising budget that these firms is not enough to compete nationally or globally with the “Goliaths” and hence they should focus all of their resources towards maximizing results.
Once, these actions begin to translate into increased market share, these firms can choose to expand into newer markets following the same strategy and when their cash flows are strong, they can consider spending towards increasing the value of “physical quality” of their product. This would help them to move into the “Goliath” segment and then they will be a force to reckon with.
While writing this article, I have mainly used products to validate my arguments and have not yet considered the applicability of this matrix and approach to the services sector. The matrix will change for the services sector as in that case the “physical quality” is too closely linked to the “perceived value” of quality.
For example, people from
Try to think of any consumer product that you know is strong or weak regionally and fit it into the boxes and you will see that this model can be validated. There may me many ways for small firms to compete with the large giants and this article tries to highlight one of the ways. What is most important is for the smaller firms to acknowledge that they are not in a position to be able to compete with the MNCs in all aspects and hence they should identify and recognize their areas of competence and try to study if improvement in that facet could lead to improving their market share. If their findings indicate that it could lead to an improvement in market share, they should choose to focus a maximum portion of their resources towards their competency. This could make them all the more competitive. Remember that everyone likes the underdogs and even in the story of David and Goliath, everyone roots for David! Try to use this to pull the market into your favour. Falling down is not defeat…. Defeat is when you refuse to get up.