Monday, August 22, 2016

Battle between two MNCs – a result of massive cultural fallout or improper business practices?

Sometimes your legacy just catches up with you and bites you in the back. That’s when you realise how important it is to steep yourself in modern business practices and imbibe progressive thinking and articulation. In India we need to work on both, be it getting rid of unscrupulous work ethics or of a lackadaisical attitude that leads to unusual delays in decision making. Often it gets reflected as our work culture and hence the widespread stereotypes about our work demeanour.

We have been witness to the fallout between Walmart and Bharti Retail, the former from USA, as a result of corrupt practices of senior Indian officials working for the Joint venture. Both the companies are a part of two extremely huge organisations excelling in their respective sectors, Bharti in Telecom and Walmart in Retail.

The ongoing feud between Tata Sons and NTT DoCoMo, is proving to be a matter of serious concern and very soon will be served hot as a case study in business schools across India and Japan.

What went wrong?

Japan is a strategic investor in many Tata firms and in India. In fact it is the fourth largest investor in India and Japanese companies have invested $18.81 billion in India between April 2000 and June 2015. In October 2007 the marriage was sanctified between Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and NTT DoCoMo, with DoCoMo picking up 26.5% for around $ 2.7 billion. By 2013 problems started to surface with TTSL failing to meet performance milestones and thereafter DoCoMo initiated its exit strategy. The safety clause which was a part of the initial contract for DoCoMo was dishonoured by TTSL, with the company’s stating that FEMA (Foreign exchange Management Act) rules had changed. This prompted DoCoMo to file for international arbitration in London Court. The case is now subjudice in Delhi High Court.

Ramifications of the fallout

The battle has gone ugly and very public. Journalists are having a field day reporting about it. Japan has already become wary of investing in India especially via Tata. The recent case of Japanese tech investment behemoth, SoftBank choosing Bharti Airtel over Tata Sons as it’s ally in India proves the point. But worse will be the ramifications on India as a place for MNCs parking themselves and for countries investing their dollars in. Maybe this case too will blow over and remain in business history books as just another JV breakdown, but we know the rot runs deep. And its high time Indian companies stopped procrastinating and worked in the now towards adoption of better management practices so as not to lose billions in settlements and litigations. Remember India still does not allow class action suits against companies. The day that law makes it’s entry, consumers can drag every erring company to court. Ask Volkswagen how much they suffered in USA, all for a small software glitch!

Ms. Monica Mor
Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wellness industry: a new dimension

Health according to WHO is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. That’s why this industry is not just limited to providing medical services and remedial care. The primary market for these segments is consumers in the age bracket of 25-35 years, with financial independence and disposable income.

So is the term “wellness” being overused, is it just a fad or being hyped? It comes across as an industry that has not been explored or mostly not used in its appropriate context. Wellness is accomplishing one’s full latent; it is self-directed and an ever-evolving process. There are seven dimensions to wellness: occupational, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, environmental and physical. Wellness is more than just products that are designed to make us feel good or be physically fit.

So what exactly does the wellness industry include? The industry includes spas, slimming & fitness sectors, salon and cosmetic therapy services, alternate therapies among others. People today are very conscious of how they look and feel, also it comes across as an ideal retreat from a chaotic day. While they are mainly enrichment needs, it also focusses on being therapeutic, which is required to maintain a aseptic and fit lifestyle. From spas to slimming centers to non-invasive surgery procedures, there is an entire array of services that the wellness industry can offer. These industries have flourished by taking advantage of ancient Indian therapies like yoga, meditation, Ayurveda etc. Thanks to the growing popularity of the wellness industry, it has fuelled the tourism industry in India.

Hotels too are wooing their guests through wellness. Most of the hotels irrespective of the fact whether its business or leisure is focusing on this segment. The hotels today either have their own signature spa brands or have outsourced the requirement to private spas. Irrespective of the formats hotels ensure that they have few components related to the wellness industry made available for the guest.

While the industry has the potential to boom in future, challenging path lies ahead. The biggest blockade is the lack of trained personnel for this sector.  The Indian wellness industry has seen changes, while the guests have become fully aware of the wellness needs; many spa schools have also opened across the country resulting in trained and skilled man power.  To hire quality manpower is the main issue, sadly most professional in India are by chance and not by choice.
The lifestyle that most of have nowadays wellness is a necessity and not a luxury. It promises to bring lot of positive changes not just physically, mentally as well as emotionally.

- Ms. Bindu Menon
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pollution in Delhi

Pollution is one of the biggest causes of climate change in whole world. According to the global environment performance index (EPI) 2014, India has reached a rank of 155, slipped 32 ranks form the previous year., it is disheartening that Delhi, the national capital of India is being tagged one of the most polluted city in the world. It is world’s worst city for air pollution.

There are various type of pollution like:
Air pollution
Noise pollution
Water pollution

Air pollution: Carbon dioxide is an atmospheric constituent that plays a vital roles in the environment, CO2 absorb infrared radiation in the atmosphere. It is the main the raw material for photosynthesis and its carbon is incorporated into organic matter in the biosphere and may eventually be stored in the earth as fossil fuels. During the autumn and winter months, some 500 million tons of crop residue are burnt, and winds blow from India’s north and northwest towards east. We have burning ever increasing amounts of fossil fuels ( coal, oil, gasoline, natural gas). Because of the fossil fuels burning Carbon dioxide. we all know about the ozone layer function. That is mostly prevent to ultra violate ray which is coming from direct sunlight. While the dominant gasses of the atmosphere (nitrogen and oxygen) are transparent to infrared, the green house so called greenhouse gasses, primarily water vapour (H2O), CO2, Methane (CH4) absorb some of the infrared radiation. Its effect global warming . Deforestation is also the main causes of global warming.

According to the Ambient Air Pollution report for the year 2014, Delhi had PM 2.5 pollution levels, which is the highest level in the world. Various type of serious disease like cancer caused by air pollution. Major air pollutants are like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene that is directly impacted on health. carbon monoxide(co) that is very dangerous to causes pollution, is around 6,000 microgram per cubic meter in Delhi, which is much above the safe level. The safe level of co is 2,000 microgram. The nitrogen dioxide has also been increasing.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is very poor in Delhi according to the ministry of earth sciences. AQI is about how the air clean or polluted is. Today, air pollution is happened by Increasing the no of vehicles specially that type of car which car is used diesel fuels engines. Most of the old vehicles that are not serviced regularly polluted the air more. Air pollution is also caused by many industry , as many as 10,000 people a year may die prematurely in Delhi because of air pollution.

Although the government has taken some steps to control the pollution
“Prevention is better than cure”. Pollution must be prevented rather than letting it go and than dealing with it. India has been working hard to improve the air quality since last 15 years. Delhi as a metro peloton city it can be one of the way to reduce the pollution, by using metro for travelling.

The odd even car rule in Delhi started to prevent the control pollution. Average pm 2.5 concentration in Delhi’s air was 309 micrograms per cubic meter during the period when the odd-even experiment was in force (January 1 to 15, 2016), remaining severe levels according to the central pollution control bureau. Road dust is leading polluter, trucks second, two wheelers third, cards are fourth

Water pollution: It is another major pollution. It causes by textile dyeing, rolling, pickling units, cleaning and washing metal, disposal of chemicals. Now a days the water become acidic, not only acidic but also including heavily iron, arsenic, cadmium, copper, nickel, led that is why water borne disease and infection, stomach pain are rapidly increasing.
Water pollution and a lack of solid waste treatment facilities have caused serious damaged to the river on whose banks Delhi grew, the Yamuna.

Noise pollution : The noise is generated from the machine, generator and bike, automobile traffic.

However , since the environment is a complex, variable and extensive system, protecting the environment is a hard and enduring task. I have been staying in DELHI NCR, since October, 2014. Here the air pollution has increased day by day. We have to take some steps and control the pollution. It is impossible that all the existing pollution problems in the environment can completely be resolved in the next decade. A wonderful and clean environment must be achieved by continuous planning, governmental policies and as well as public participation. We all should resolve to save the environment.

-Kakali Jana, Student, INLEAD

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Medical Errors- A Reality Check

Medical errors are unfortunate but preventable adverse effect of Medical care. Cases of wrong limb being operated, administration of double dose of medicine beyond the permissible limit, wrong diagnosis of disease, health care associated infections are some of the Medical errors which we are coming across every day. But, reality is that Medical errors is reported as 3rd reason causing death in US. WHO lists it among the top 10 killers in the world. Harvard University study in 2013 estimated that 5.2 million injuries occur across India each year due to medical errors and adverse events-majority of them being preventable.

Medical errors are associated with inexperienced physicians and nurses, new procedures, extremes of age, and complex or urgent care. Poor communication (whether in one's own language or, as may be the case for medical tourists, another language), improper documentation, illegible handwriting, inadequate nurse-to-patient ratios, and similarly named medications are also known to contribute to the problem. Patient actions may also contribute significantly to medical errors. The vast majority of medical errors result from faulty systems and poorly designed processes versus poor practices or incompetent practitioners.

“To err is human” but to not accept the err and not to take preventable measures for is grossly inhuman. Majority of errors go unreported and un documented because of the fear of blame and reprimands. Our culture only believe in identifying and putting a blame to the person who has committed the mistake but fail to identify how, when and where. 

Data says that there is one in 1,000,000 chance of traveler being harmed in an aircraft and on the other side there is one in 300 chance of patient being harmed while given health care. Key word is prevention as Patient Safety being the utmost goal of any healthcare organization. Measures like informed Consent,availability of a second practitioner's opinion, voluntary reporting of errors, root cause analysis, reminders to improve patient medication adherence,hospital accreditation, and systems to ensure review by experienced or specialist practitioners should be diligently followed.

- Dr. Anupreet Vig,
Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, August 8, 2016

Gurugram to #Gurujam – A tale of epic ironies

Two years ago, I decided to move to Gurgaon in search of career growth. I would hear stories, and be fascinated about the life in this ‘millennium city’ and looked forward to living here. Never did I imagine that within a span of 2 years, all my fascination will turn into nightmares.

Thursday, 28th July 2016 was any normal day until it started pouring heavily in the city. Within minutes, some major roads turned into rivers with knee-deep water clogging routes across the entire city. #Gurujam as it came to be called on social-media; the traffic jam lasted over 24 hours, causing the entire city to come to a stand-still and making commuting to and from the city impossible. While the city choked, the entire world watched.

Few Indian cities have witnessed growth the way Gurgaon has. More than 250 (over half) of the global Fortune 500 companies, which include biggies like Walmart, Shell, Microsoft, Samsung, GM, GE, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Google, Toyota and Facebook, to name a few, either have their India headquarters or important offices in Gurgaon. The outsourcing industry, of which India is one of the biggest backroom offices of the world, hires around a half a million people in Gurgaon, directly and indirectly, and more than 200,000 workers are employed at factories, including Honda’s and Maruti’s, in and around the city. Gurgaon today is a sprawl of glass, steel and concrete high-rise offices, condominiums and malls, which are the workplaces, homes and shopping destinations for its population of two million and growing. The Millennium City (a nickname that now reeks of black humor) is on the verge of spiraling into a deep and precipitous fall from where it may never recover. The reason for it is clear - Gurgaon’s streets are unplanned, unnamed and, in many instances, unnavigable; electricity for most hours of the day has to be generated by residents, offices and malls (there are 35 of those in the city) using their own captive generator sets that burn diesel for fuel; there is no public transport system worth mentioning that functions within the city; air pollution levels rival neighboring Delhi’s (which is the worst in the world) in a city that has just a tenth of the population; and, as residents and commuters realize every year during monsoon, the city’s drainage and sewage systems are a hopeless failure.

#Gurujam however uncovered this grim reality, bringing it to the notice of the authorities who were responsible for its plight in the first place. The extensive media coverage forced the authorities to wake up from their slumber and initiate the much awaited repair work. By the following Monday, the city was back to its normal life and it hasn’t rained since. All we can pray is that we never experience the nightmarish traffic jam of 28th July.

- Mr. Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD

No frills: are economy hotels taking the center stage today?

Travelling has become a global phenomenon and has contributed to the rise of economy/budget hotels globally. The growing popularity of budget accommodation brands have led to many of the luxury brands including the same in their brand portfolio. The budget brands offer value, ease and suppleness within the realms of affordability. It’s an understood fact that economic liberalization is gaining momentum and with that business travel has increased in leaps and bounds. While there’s a rise in the disposable income of the middle income groups, the interest within the same segment for travel has also contributed to the upsurge of economy sized hotel.

It's not only airlines which are cashing in on the 'no-frills' model but hotels as well. According to the Indian Association of Tour Operator's (IATO), in India, there are around 1,285 budget hotels with a 51,000 room keys. Owing to the growing response, hospitality players are now intensifying their operations in the budget category.

According to HVS International, a hotel consultancy, economy/ budget hotels have great prospective across the country. What works better or could be considered successful would if the hotel has a brand affiliation or a unique USP to survive. Queries for branded budget hotel in India are growing by 179% year on year as compared to just 36% year on year growth in standalone budget hotel queries.  Budget hotel queries already account for 35% of total accommodation searches and a large share of 47% of search queries are for the brands providing budget hotel inventory online.

So, does staying at budget/economy hotels mean that one has to compromise on quality; of course not the hotels cut out on certain services, but not at the cost of quality. Budget hotels scale down certain non-essential services to reduce cost. One of the reasons for this sudden demand is the demand for accommodation in tier I, II and III cities and also their low operational cost. No frills hotels are for those who look for clean rooms, comfortable surroundings and hygienic washrooms. They also offer the regulars such as laundry, Wi-Fi, multi cuisine restaurants etc. other facilities or services required will be provided at extra cost. They attract students, business traveler, corporate on a slab system and at times airlines. They are quite popular in the domestic market and also have a demand from inbound traffic too.

Budget hotels have a promising market, but needs to focus more on a quality and personalization driven approach. The hotels to a large extent are able to achieve this because they have lesser number of rooms which helps them offer personalized services. Getting guest feedback will also help in improvising on service standards. Branded hotels or chain segments in this category are able to also generate brand loyalty and repeat business.

Ms. Bindu Menon, Sr. Faculty, INLEAD 

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Great Indian dilemma – The feeling of being alienated

When all of India was sifting through the news of insurgencies at Kashmir and some of the soccer aficionados were celebrating Portugal’s win in Euro cup, somewhere in the capital city of New Delhi an incident happened which really put us all in a shameful position. It definitely forces us to introspect that either we are way too ignorant or way too condescending in our general demeanor.

The incident unravels...

A very senior Indian aviation officer posted in I.G.I airport questioned an Indian-Manipuri girl to prove her nationality to be Indian. Despite showing her Indian passport the officer remained in a state of disbelief. He persisted with his relentless interrogation by asking her to name all the Indian states and all other kinds of irrelevant questions.

We are flabbergasted and what makes us sad is that these kind of misdemeanours are being increasingly attributed to people who are in the top layer of the Indian government, ironically whose primary work is to assist the citizens & to serve the civilians of this country. And what further angered us was that the lady was enroute Seoul in South Korea to attend a global women conference. We can’t even fathom the horror of it all for the lady and the trauma she was suffering at the time of questioning. I mean, why the hell she has to prove her Indianess to any ignorant person let alone an immigration officer who can’t spot the difference between different races. His job entails him to be aware. That’s what he’s paid for.

A racial problem that’s rooted way too deep...

This is not the first time these things are happening in our country, now and then we hear news of racial behavior, racial slurs even racial attacks by all the bigots towards their Indian counterparts. The irony is if we face any kind of apartheid like situation in foreign countries where our people are targeted just because of their race, their accent &/or their appearance, we make a terrible hue and cry about it. Apart from social media backlash have we as a nation done anything about this deep rooted malaise? 

That official has slapped our “unity in diversity” claims, which has been our mantra for the longest time. This will surely be very harmful for our country and it will further alienate the northeast people. They who have to prove their patriotism just because of their slightly different physical features than mainland Indians will someday display their angst, and we don’t want that ever. These stereotypes need to go soon.

I believe India is big not just by its geography but because of its tolerant attitude towards every community irrespective of race, caste, creed and religion.

Let’s not malign its glory ever.

Prateek Bhatt
Student, INLEAD
INBM, April 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mystery of Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. According to the US Navy, the triangle does not exist, and the name is not recognized by the US Board on Geographic Names. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were spurious, inaccurately reported, or embellished by later authors.

10 shocking facts about Bermuda triangle

Fact No. 1- The Bermuda Triangle is not small. In fact, it is quite large and covers an area of 440,000 miles of sea. This is larger than the combined area of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Maharashtra.

Fact No. 2- The triangle is certainly not fixed and its effect can be experienced outside of the triangle too.

Fact No. 3- The disappearances are ascribed to UFO's and alien activity, city of Atlantis lost under the triangle, and various other technical, natural and geographical reasons.

Fact No. 4- Whenever any plane or ship disappears in the Triangle, its debris cannot be found. The reason behind this is that Gulf Stream runs near the triangle, which quickly gets rid of the debris.

Fact No. 5- At least 1000 lives have been lost within the last 100 years. On average, 4 aircraft and 20 yachts go missing every year.

Fact No. 6- Inside the Bermuda Triangle, US Government has AUTEC (for Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center), which is located on the Andros Island of Bahamas. Here US Navy tests their submarines, sonar and other weapons. However many are of the view that it is more than just the testing center.

Fact No. 7- People have experienced electronic fog in the triangle, which can be a Time Travel Tunnel too. Pilot Bruce Gernon claims he lost 28 minutes after flying through a time-warping cloud tunnel. The plane went missing from radars, only to re-emerge in Miami Beach. (Source: The Fog by Bruce Gernon.)

Fact No. 8- One of the biggest and famous losses of US Military occurred in 1945. Five US Navy Avenger torpedo bombers flew from Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a sortie to the island of Bimini. The mission had 14 men. After about 90 minutes, the radio operators received a signal that the compass was not working. After that the communication was lost. The bombers were never found. The three planes that went for their rescue also disappeared.

Fact No. 9- The first person to report about Bermuda Triangle was Christopher Columbus. He wrote in his journals that inside the triangle, the ship's compass stopped working and he also saw a fireball in the sky.

Fact No. 10- Bermuda Triangle is one of the rare places on earth where the compass does not point towards Magnetic North. Instead of that, it point towards true north, which creates confusion and that's why so many ships and planes lost its course in the triangle

- Mr. Mohit Hooda
  Student, INLEAD
  INBM, Jan 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Poking into the Pokémon Frenzy

The month of July 2016 has taken the entire gaming fraternity to a new high altogether. Yes, I’m talking about that one augmented reality game that has stormed the world by its popularity in just couple of weeks. You guessed it right! I am talking about Pokémon Go!

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is Niantic’s free-to-play location-basedaugmented reality game developed for iOS and Android devices which released in most regions of the world in July 2016. The new game lets your inner 90’s self, roam the streets with your smartphone to capture, train, battle and trade your favorite Pokémon. What makes this game different from the traditional ones is its reliance on your GPS position in the real world to find catchable Pokémon. So, if there’s a ‘Squirtle’ – one of the Pokémon’s in your neighbor’s backyard, you’ll need to trespass to get it, which is fairly illegal last time we checked.

How the PokéMania is taking over?

As of July 8, the augmented reality smartphone game has been downloaded on more than 5 percent of all the Android phones in America — more than Tinder, according to the website-analysis company SimilarWeb. Three percent of all American Android users play the game daily.

Pokémon Go’s popularity might seem puzzling to those not struck with the urge to catch ‘em all yet. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Numerous hints about augmented reality’s potential appeal have appeared in research literatures over the past few years. Augmented reality shows users a video feed of the real world with text and images superimposed on top of the feed on their smartphone or other smart devices. In Pokémon Go, players see cute Pokémon animals apparently hanging out in their bedrooms, on sidewalks, and at local parks.

As much fun the game may sound to be, it has come amidst dark clouds of speculation over the risks it carries. Besides jolting technical issues like draining the battery life and exhausting the cellular data of your phone, a lot of privacy concerns have already been reported across the world by the users, which the makers of the app have shunned stating that the effect of Pokémon Go on consumer privacy has been overhyped. People’s worry, however, over the collection of their personal information still remains. Not only this, there has been a spike in the crime incidents caused due to the game across the world. Multiple police departments in various countries have issued warnings, some tongue-in-cheek, regarding inattentive driving, trespassing, and being targeted by criminals due to being unaware of one's surroundings.

So, all the budding Pokémon trainers out there - remember it’s always better to look up, away from your smartphone and then cross the roads. Stay safe and catch ‘em all!

- Mr. Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, July 25, 2016


Is there a difference…no it’s same…or used interchangeably? Arguably one might say that hotels are a part of hospitality and all the allied industries would be categorized under service. So why are we discussing this since it could mean the same or used in varied context. To further decode it according to Aaron Bare, entrepreneur and strategist: Service is delivering on your promise. Hospitality is making people feel good while you’re delivering on that promise. “Hospitality” means exceeding the basic services you promise.

Hospitality as a term or as an industry is not new it has been around for ages, but the fact is that there are too many players and then there’s a lot of competition, so what that unique element that you provide that makes you shine on, favored and recommended. For those who are acing hospitality carry on and for those who have been stressing more on service it’s never too late. Incorporating hospitality into the existing service standards doesn’t mean that one has to change their entire system and processes. In turn what needs to be done is to include a small gesture in the service model that would stand out, become worth mentioning. Once done you’ll discover that guests will notice the difference and will boast to others about their special experiences.

Few examples where hospitality takes over service would be:

Accor Hotels at its Sofitel and Novotel properties in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. –identified their loyalty members interests through their social media profiles. On arrival there was gift given to the guest “Take guest recognition to the next level, to a more powerful level.

Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples asked Facebook fans how they like their coffee. If you answered, then stayed with them, your coffee would arrive perfectly sugared—without having to ask.

Hospitality today has become synonym with every industry not just hotels. Earlier it was understood that if you are working with hotels only then one needs to become hospitable. But the fact today is that every service industry is focusing on hospitality, it has become an integral part of any business operations. It’s a tool that is used to have a demonstrative link with a guest/client or customer. Just look around hospitals, airlines, retail sectors, corporates and educational institute all are focusing on creating that distinctive connection with people that they serve or cater to.

So how can one achieve this? There’s a saying that attitude can’t be trained, I however disagree on this. The result may not be instantaneous and is unquestionably time consuming and needs an individual approach. Is it possible, the answer is a big yes, the key being hire and train right.

You know how to train people to become better at what they DO ...

The Bad News: The essence of hospitality cannot be taught as if it were another job skill.

The Good News: You don't need to teach it. It should come naturally which is an innate capability of all human beings.

The Great News: You may already know WHAT works, but when you really understand WHY it works, maintaining that warm feeling can become remarkably effortless.

- Ms. Bindu Menon
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thalaiva – India’s true Superstar

Thalaiva…just 8 letters, but this name packs a punch for fans  all around the world. July 22nd 2016 will surely be etched in history, as the day South of India and some cities abroad too, came to a standstill with the release of Thalaiva’s movie, Kabali. Companies declared holiday to avoid the burden of excuses their employees would pull out to skip work to watch Thaliava’s movie; tickets are being booked by Minister’s PAs by sending special request letters to movie hall owners; and life size posters are being given milk bath despite Thaliva’s earnest request to refrain.

Thalaiva…that’s Rajnikant for you, a demigod of sorts, one of the most revered actors of all time in India. His USP could be anything, from his larger than life persona in reel life, to his charity work in real life, or just that his movies have that magic that makes the audience go ummm!

So, how did the Rajni phenomena evolve?

Born in 1950, fourth child of his parents, Rajnikanth lost his mother at a very young age. He did many odd jobs to survive, like that of a coolie and a carpenter. His last before he joined the regional film industry was that of a bus conductor in Karnataka state transport corporation. Performing stage plays simultaneously helped him nurture his acting skills. It’s been 25 years and Rajni hasn’t looked back. He even dabbled in a few Hindi moves, tasted both success and failure there, and realised that south Indian film industry is where he belongs. His movies are now dubbed in multiple languages and released in screens pan India across many countries simultaneously, to cater to the appetite of his ever growing legion of fans. His successful movies include Enthiran and Chandramukhi, the former a sci-fi, the latter a horror. His movies collect a cool Rs.1 billion in very short durations.

Business of Kabali

With Kabali, Rajnikanth has allegedly pocketed multi - crores even before the release date. Air Asia has plastered its one airline with Kabali poster. This is a promotional coup d’etat for the airline that has been apparently featured in the movie as well. Air Asia went further and announced special Kabali airfares. Kabali has since then tied up with many brands. FMCG major Emami is Kabali’s brand partner to capture the cultural relevance of southern India market with its product Fair and Handsome. The movie makers have cashed in on Rajnikanth’s superstar status with multiple tie ups with brands like Muthoot Finance, VS Hospitals, Airtel, and Cadbury. Amazon and PVR cinemas have the exclusive rights to sell Kabali merchandise including Rajni dolls. All of this monetarily adds up to more than 40 crores in just brand value. The movie will itself cross Rs. 500 crores, leaving all investors and brand partners laughing their way to the bank.

Interestingly, Shivaji Rao Gaekwad aka Rajnikanth, our Thalaiva, does not endorse any brand!

- Ms. Monica Mor
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, July 18, 2016

Da Da Ding...did Nike get it wrong or right?

Da da ding, da da ding, da ding, Wake up in the morning, coz I got goals and I won’t take no for an answer, Got the grace of a dancer, The heart of a panther..”

The lyrics of the new Nike commercial, written by the ad agency Weiden + Kennedy and Genera8ion has the song sung by the latter in collaboration with rap star Gizzle, is not only peppy but also quite inspiring. It focuses on the panther inside a sportswoman that propels her to train to the limit and perform to her best. The 2 minutes 53 seconds video directed by a French director Francois Rousselet has been garnering its share of bouquets with close to a million views just about a week after its release on YouTube. It features many Indian sportswomen, some who are popular and some representing sports that aren’t yet popular in India, like surfing.

Below is a brief about three such ladies:

Rani Rampal was the youngest player in the Indian women’s national field hockey team in 2010. She was the only 15. Hailing from a small town near Delhi she’s the only Indian to be nominated for the International Hockey Federation Women’s Young Player of the Year Award.

Jyoti Ann Burret began her soccer journey with the Indian football team in 2013. Interestingly she also has a Masters Degree in Sports and Health Science from University of Exeter, had plenty of lucrative job offers, yet chose soccer as her career.

Ishita Malaviya is India’s first professional female surfer, who is working very hard to promote India’s peninsular coastline as a surfing destination.

Why the craze about this ad?

It’s serious when an ad creates such a buzz in the internetscape. I am writing about this advert because it’s a definite feel good, it’s a commercial that propagates something genuine, implores people to worship their bodies like temple and to maybe “just do it”. In a world where Govts are trying to reduce consumption of junk food by imposing ‘fat taxes’, this ad’s concept, I found it to be rather refreshing.

There are many sportswomen in our country and I believe it’s time we started celebrating Indian women sports personalities. What with the Sanias, Sanias and Mary Koms dominating their respective areas. It’s time, in India we worshiped our women sports stars just like we do the men, we paid them as much and gave them just as much publicity.

A burgeoning sports market in India

Nike may have its agenda of tapping into the Rs. 6000 crore sports business in India, especially after Reebok’s successful foray into gym wear with a sweaty and calorie burning Kangana Ranaut playing the lead in their adverts. Overtime as women have become important customers of sportswear and sports products, companies like Nike, Puma, Adidas, Columbia, Asics are pumping money into the Indian market.

Well yes, there is Deepika Padukone in the video, but even she is seen doing her athletic stuff.
The ad is a step away from focusing just on the artificial glamorous side of the world and raises its eulogy to sportswomen. And that should leave viewers with a smile on their faces and a lovely tune in their ears which is quite humble, to say the least.

“Da da ding, da da ding, da ding…”

Ms. Monica Mor
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A frenzy called Politics in India

Indian politics is a jamboree of councils and assemblies, of multiple parties both national and regional, of politicians young, middle aged and even nonagerian (90 year olds). It can get overwhelming for a newbie to understand how the Parliament works, how the elections are conducted and how the Governments are formed or even brought down. The game of power is rather intriguing and while there may not be as much bloodshed in the name of politics as in the medieval age, but there are definitely enough Machiavellis to be wary of.

In light of the recent Cabinet expansions announced by our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, let me take you through a beginner’s journey into the Frenzy called Indian Politics. Fasten your seat belts because this ride could be kind of turbulent!

How it all began in India…

Once upon a time a country called India became independent and decided to move ahead with a constitution that believed in socialism. Remember, then we used to be rather friendly with USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and we wanted to follow their style of economic system. Well that country doesn’t exist anymore – it split into 15 countries, ummm..not all are friendly with us. And along the way we gradually abandoned socialism and adopted an American baby called Capitalism. So is this politics? No, not really. But our economic system defines the manifesto of the various political parties that battle it out during elections (National or State), so it is important.

Anyway the country’s journey continues rather simplistically. It decides to adopt everything that is British, the democratic system, the bicameral legislature, the election commission, and while they have a rubber stamp Queen, we have one in our president. How convenient!

Our Parliamentary system

So let’s talk about our Parliament and how it functions. The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body and has two houses for its legislative members. The Upper House or the Council of States is called the Rajya Sabha, and the Lower House or House of the People is called Lok Sabha. There are 543 members in the Lok Sabha, all of whom are directly elected by the citizens of our country. Soon NRIs will also be able to vote from their respective new countries of residence. The Rajya Sabha on the other hand has strength of 245 members only and can expand to only 250. 233 members have to be selected from States and Union Territories (based on their population strength), and 12 are nominated by the President from the expertise of different fields of science, culture, art and history.

At the State level, there are 7 states, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which have bicameral legislature. These states are the most populous ones and hence have an Upper House called Vidhan Parishad and a lower House called Vidhan Sabha. The remaining States and UTs have unicameral legislature, i.e. there’s only the Vidhan Sabha. 

Elections are held separately for the Central government and the different State and UT governments. Although, now there are talks of cutting costs and preventing loss of man hours by holding elections across all SUTs and the center simultaneously.

Now that I have confused you thoroughly, my suggestion is go ahead and find out how many seats does BJP have in the Lok Sabha, in the Rajya Sabha and how many states is it present in and has formed the state government. Not such a tall task, go ahead and plunge into the depth of craziness!

For more details about our political system, keep watching this space.

-Ms. Monica Mor

 Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, July 11, 2016

The potential of Renewable Energy

 Renewable Energy Sources and technologies have potential to provide solution to the long standing energy problem faced by Developing countries. As INDIA is also a developing country so the problem of energy crisis is also a major challenge for India. The renewable energy is only the option to meet this requirement.

On an approx. India will require an assured supply of 3-4 times more energy than the total energy consumed today. Sources of renewable energy are Solar and wind Energy, Geothermal energy, Ocean Energy, biomass Energy and Fuel cell technology can be used to overcome the energy shortage problem in India.

Today india Constitute about 33% of India’s primary energy consumption. As government is also focused on the renewable energy sector, so this will be the positive step to ensure a more sustainable future. Moreover India is projected to be the second largest contributor to increase in global energy demand to 2035(IEA,2010). It is an estimation that in upcoming 25years Indian’s electricity demand is expected to grow at an average rate of 7.4%(world bank,2010).

In this reference, Renewable Energy represents a win-win opportunity for a country like India. It is true as per the report of World Bank 2010 every 1GW of renewable energy reduces emission of Co2 on an average of 3.3 million ton in an year.

In India the renewable energy sector is administered by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) (Former ministry of non-conventional energy source). Although its true that the formulation of Renewable energy development was started in early 1990. However the first act comes in 2003 under the name of Electricity Act 2003.(EA)

The EA 2003 mandated the State Electricity Regulation Commission (SERC’s) to develop REP (Renewable Energy Power) in their respective states. EA 2003, comes into focus because it includes fixation of minimum quotas for the sourcing the REP known as Renewable energy Obligation (RPO’s). The RPO’s obligates each distribution licensee to includes REP as a certain percentage in its resource Portfolio.

To make this easier in the complying RPO’s Procedure, MNRE introduced REC (Renewable Energy Certificates) that indicates the percentage allotted. Also to help REP generating company the minimum price is fixed below which REP can’t be purchased it is called Feed-In- Tariffs (FIT’s).
RPO’s has been implemented at different times and vary between states between sources of renewable energy. This is the reason the comparison is difficult.

This type of Regulation should on the one hand give a positive signal to investor to develop energy capacity on the other hand stimulate demand for REP in order to comply with state legislation.
Hence it is clearly visible that FIT and RPO’ have a positive impact on the development of REP. At the end it is well known that importance is given in National policy to create and enable environment for the Renewable Energy Development, but emphasis is shifted from Center to the state for the development of policy and regulatory support.

- Mr. Vaibhav Mittal
  Student, INLEAD

Triumphant Trump and its impact on India

The reality TV star and supposedly successful real estate mogul has, in a very short span of time, become United States favourite nightmare. Ever since he threw his hat in the ring as a presidential candidate, Trump has appended all notions of decency, civility, decorum and code of conduct. To him rules are merely suggestions that he could play around with. From his profanity littered speeches to his almost reality TV like campaign events Trump has captivated people like a Rahul Gandhi speech you can’t just stop watching.
So, if one were to entertain the idea of Trump as President of the United States Of America, what would it mean for India?
PM Modi has invested a considerable amount of time and political capital into Foreign policy. He has so far visited over 33 countries in an effort to build bridges that had almost vanished under the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh. One particular highlight has been the close rapport he has built with incumbent President, Barrack Obama. PM Modi pulled off a coup by getting President Obama as the guest of honour on Republic day. It also led to the resolution of the contentious issue of the nuclear liability law, which was the bone of contention between the two nations.
Although not all is well between India and the US, relationships have progressed by leap years compared to the previous administration. Issues like WTO food subsidies and issues over IPR still however remain.
Donald Trump is rather unpredictable. He is a volatile and a supposedly shrewd businessman but he has so far failed to provide a great deal of insights into his foreign policy other than “Bombing the of ISIS” but if one were to extrapolate using the pattern he has so far displayed it would be a morose and troubling period for US as well as the world.
He has already dragged China and India over the issue of jobs. This issue might become a bargaining chip to underline his bombastic credentials to the people of US much like his xenophobic rhetoric over immigration. India would feel deeper nerves in the following points:
·    India will have a far harder time dealing with US under Trump, given his policy inexperience and his tendency to look towards short term headlines.
·    Trump will most likely resort towards using inverted domestic protectionist policies to shore up his domestic appeal because that is how leaders like him stay favourable in the public eye.
·    His presidency would be also be one of the most uncertain periods for global institutions including the IMF, WTO, NATO and so forth over which US has maintained an iron grip. He might also use them as tools to pressure countries like China and India over labour issues and exports there by posing a sizable threat to India.
·    Trump’s presidency would also mean a great deal of uncertainty for the Middle East. It would also mean exposing hidden fault lines between nations, thereby putting India’s foreign and economic policies and relations under stress.
·    He has hinted at the US taking a backseat in the Middle East, but the deep nexus between the administrations and industrial military complex would not be broken so easily. It might also result in Trump using his Middle East policy to lash out at vested interests and his political opponents thereby further muddying the picture somewhat.
·    Under Trump, India will also have to contend with the possibility of increased uncertainty over labour and exports which will severely impact the IT and Pharmaceutical industries.
·    It would also mean that India has to move towards building relations with China, rather than trying to counterbalance it like it is doing now with the help of the US. There is strong possibility of Trump bungling the South China Sea issue which will have an out sized impact ton India’s relationship with China.

India will have to build bridges and strengthen its relations will all its closest allies and trading partners because an era of Donald Trump can very well be a terrible mistake the whole world will have to pay.  At a time when the global economy is teetering on the brink of collapse, the threat seems more prescient.
- Mr. M.Ankit, Student, INLEAD  

Monday, July 4, 2016

Revenue Management- The Concept

Revenue Management for an organization means to Increase Profit, utilizing market demand and converting the demand in revenue maximization.

This utilization can be from:

1- Resources available are limited or fixed
2- Resources are perishable (as Vacant Seat in airline flying today cannot be used tomorrow)
3- Customer willingness to pay a different price for the same product/service (there will be  a difference between booking done in flight six months before & 1 day before the departure, here comes the role of demand and supply)

The strategy of Revenue Management is to focus on price rather than costs when balancing supply and demand. It suggests exploiting each products value cycle & continually re-evaluating revenue opportunities.

The strategy of Revenue Management is to focus on price rather than costs when balancing supply and demand. It suggests exploiting each products value cycle & continually re-evaluating revenue opportunities.

For Effective Revenue Management an organization must have:

1-Segmentation (Know your Customer based on Pricing) a different rate must be charged to Leisure guest and a Corporate Guest 

2-Price Fencing, it must be done properly in order to sustain for long term in market as the price must be according to market it may not be more or less.

Online Travel Agents (OTA) are considered as Frenemy for hotel business as they provide the business in the time of low occupancy as well as they cut the profit margins of hotel at the time of peak season, Here the part of Revenue Management plays effective role of taking decision how to deal  with situation and raise more revenue.

Tools for Revenue Management

Sticker is related to pricing strategy of Revenue Management, Sticker must be placed according the market condition as how the organization wants to capture the value of product or service. It must be marked different for Superior, Inferior & Substitute products or Service.

Stock is the Holding Inventory with the company. The Revenue Management focuses on controlling & effective utilization of its Inventory as an when demand of market.

Organizations performance is mainly dependant on the way of product or service presented to the consumers by the Marketing, an effective marketing promotion helps to maximize revenue & increase the loyal customer.

Mode of Distribution plays a vital role in Revenue Management. It decides proper Channel of distribution that is cost effective for both organization & customer. For example a customer purchasing online is more Price conscious than a customer doing offline shopping so the channel of promotion & distribution must be through e-business or Web portal.

During the time of Recession Revenue Management played a vital role in effective utilization of available resources by the means of Cost Optimization.

“Poor marketing can damage an organization, poor pricing can damage an entire market”  -Colin Jasper.

-Dixit Mohit Tejkumar,
 Student, INLEAD 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Privacy that never was!

“All your posts can become public tomorrow. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste
Better safe than sorry is right.………..

If you are seeing this weird privacy message on your friends’ timelines, there is no need to panic. Just like “Modi declared the most popular PM by the UN” or “Apple claiming iPhones could be recharged in a household microwave”, this message too is a HOAX! Although the message quite convincingly claims to protect a user’s content by warning him or her against a non-existent Facebook policy to make private posts public, it’s is not the first time the ‘Facebook Privacy Notice Scam’ has cropped up its ugly head on the most widely used social networking platform worldwide. This can be of concern for many of us; quite amusingly, can even be a life changing situation for many who breathe, eat and live on Social Media all the time!

The new message reads like this: “I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).

NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.”
The other variety of the hoax doing rounds reads something like -- “Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook’s privacy policy,” and then adds the privacy message to it to make it more believable.

The same hoax appeared in 2012, 2014, 2015, and now being circulated on the social media site again, with no changes to the format at all. Facebook, being a public company, doesn’t mean the privacy policy changes and goes for a toss; neither can they use your photos for ads. However, for those paranoid about their Facebook privacy, go to settings and turn everything to ‘only me’, so that not even your friends could see what you post. Frankly, that might turn out to be more effective than sharing this ‘Privacy’ protection update.

Having said all this, what remains the most interesting fact is that one’s absolute privacy ended the very day their Social Media accounts were created. Then why’s all this hue and cry???

- Mr. Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, June 27, 2016

The World Celebrates ‘International Day of Yoga’

“President, PM join thousands in celebrating International Yoga Day” read one of the news headlines in a leading daily. June 21, 2016 marked the celebration of Yoga on a worldwide scale. Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice having its origin in India, which aims at transforming both body and mind. On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly, following the call for the adoption of June 21st as International Day of Yoga by Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, declared June 21st as the ‘International Day of Yoga’. During his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014, he stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." While suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Modi said, "The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world."

Stress has become a chronic aspect of life for many of us; and it takes its toll. With our brains over-stimulated and our bodies more sedentary than ever, many of us suffer from the fatigue and imbalance that comes from chronic stress without sufficient recovery. Practicing Yoga is an excellent way to soothe nerves that are in a constant state of overdrive. Yoga can help give us the ability to live healthy amidst our hectic schedules and bustling environments.

It is no wonder yoga has soared to such heights of popularity. Through yoga practice we begin to find a sense of wholeness. We become more aware. We create balance in our bodies, in our minds, in our lives. As we evolve individually and come closer to an open, authentic state of being, we also evolve as a species, creating a better world for us all.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagwat Gita

-          Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Rise of Coffee Culture in India

Changes in lifestyle of the urban population have given rise to the coffee culture in India. Contributing to the growth is also globalization and changing pockets. The coffee culture has now percolated from metros to tier – II and tier – III cities. Coffee earlier was considered to be expensive indulgence and also coffee cafes were places for socializing or for holding business meetings. Major chunks of the urban population live in a nuclear set-up and also fall in the DINKS (Double Income No Kids) segment. This target clientele would not mind to replace a meal with coffee and a snack, which could be a sandwich, wrap or doughnuts. Comparing the growth to the last decade there has been a significant increase in the consumption basket too.

The new age coffee brand primarily target corporate and students. According to TechSci Research’s report  titled ‘India Coffee Shops/ Café’s Market Forecast, Consumer Survey and Opportunities, 2021’, coffee shops market in India is projected to grow at CGR of over 11% during 2016 – 2021, on account of the growing coffee culture among young population, increasing urbanization, rising disposable income levels and changing lifestyles preferences of consumers. There has been a significant change also in the way people work now (virtual offices), most of the coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi and entertainment zones. The demand for coffee brands is huge from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. While they are expanding here at a break neck speed, the coffee chains are also targeting expansion to tier II and tier III cities.

Café Coffee Day introduced India to the coffee culture and also considered to have pioneered the art of coffee serving. The brand plans to open 400 new outlets in the country, with an investment close to about 400 – 450 crores. While 70% would in opening up new outlets in cities they already exist and the remaining in new cities and highways. Tata Starbucks Pvt. Ltd is a 50/50 joint venture between Starbucks Corporation and Tata Global Beverage Ltd. As of now they operate 79 Starbucks store as of Feb’16, after launching in Oct’12. UK based Costa Coffee entered India in 2005 on an exclusive master franchise with Devyani International.  Costa Coffee was the 1st International coffee chain to set up operations in India. Costa currently operates 96 outlets.

Logistics is one of the biggest challenges faced by coffee retailers. Huge cost involved in supply chain restricts expansion of many coffee brands and considering that there’s a huge investment setting a new production unit, seems an expensive affair.  Location plays a very important role in steering the business towards profitability. High rentals are also one among the many challenges faced by them. Brands are focusing more on making coffee culture a profitable business rather than increase the counts.

Indian and International coffee chains should be able to cater to the local flavors. With the existing competition one needs to incorporate specific regional preferences in their menu. While coffee chains operating in the country are taking pro-active steps to change the perception and overcome the challenges, at the same time somewhere, someone is enjoying their cup of cappuccino and thanking all the coffee retailers for making coffee a stress buster / pick me up /wake me up drink.

- Ms. Bindu Menon
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

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