Monday, August 31, 2015

Management Skills on the 70MM Screen

Cinema has never remained merely a source of entertainment. For decades, movies have played a vital role in enriching one’s learning, giving an advanced approach to what cannot be learnt simply from textbooks and lectures. The count of movies depicting Management lessons is endless; however, here are a few picks from my ‘must watch’ list:

Moneyball (2011)

Based on a true story, this great piece of cinematic art illustrates how organizations, in order to gain a competitive edge over competitors, often need to challenge the prevailing old assumptions and seek 'clear blue water' away from the rest of the industry. 

Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

One of the most inspiring movies ever made. It’s a story of how a struggling salesman transforms his life through an internship. Will Smith’s powerful performance along with Gabriele Muccino’s brilliant direction will make your hearts melt. The protagonist’s attitude towards life and pursue dreams amidst all adversities with constant determination is highly motivating.

Up In the Air (2009)

The story is of Ryan Bingham, a corporate head-honcho, played by George Clooney, whose job is to fire people from their jobs. He travels through air most of the year doing his job and lives out of the suitcase. The movie is crisp and also shows how he transforms when his own company grounds him. This movie offers a lot of insights into HR issues, personal issues, communication skills, management and lot more.

12 Angry Men (1957)

This movie is one of the best sources to understanding group dynamics or behavior. The fate of an accused is left out to the decision of 12 men in a closed room. In the beginning, eleven out of twelve agree to wrap up the case instantly and convict the accused but one man stands against the motion and makes everyone debate. How he does it and what comes out of it is the real learning out of this movie.

Pirates of the Silicon Valley (1999) 

One of the best movies on management and business! If you wish to understand the story of how Apple and Microsoft were formed, this is the movie. Based on true stories and incidents, this is a must watch for any management student or otherwise too. 

The story starts with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both in college and ends with both making the giant brands, a reality. It has some amazing scenes like in which Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer sit in a meeting with IBM and sell them the operating system which they didn't even have. The other scene in which Steve Jobs goes to Xerox to understand the new UI based operating system. Just brilliant!

The Social Network (2010)

This movie needs no introduction. It’s the story of how today’s biggest social media platform - Facebook came into existence. It's a beautifully made movie. Watch it to learn the nuances of entrepreneurship and related elements.

Wall Street (1987)

In management or business we talk a lot about Ethics. Are they always followed or are often compromised – forms the crux of the movie. Greed, insider trading, going to the top are just few of the things Wall Street will show you. One of the best movies on Business, Stock Market and Ethics! Not to be missed for an MBA student.

Antitrust (2001)

This is a high voltage drama on trust issues and the tussle between the Open Source Software Business model and the opposite way of doing the software business. The movie is a good piece of cinematic work. It shows how two friends choose different career paths, moreover, two separate ways of doing business.

Remember the Titans (2000)

Based on the true story of an African-American coach, played by Denzel Washington, this movie revolves around how he creates a racially mixed team in which White and African-American players learn from each other and form an ultimate team. Watch this movie to learn Team Building and Acceptance.

Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year (2009)

Very few Indian movies are made so well on topics of business or management. The movie shows how a simple man pursuing internship in a computer company takes on the entire system of bad sales practices and establishes his own company on the basis of ethics and honesty. He makes one mistake though. The movie shows both sides of business very effectively - the bad side of Puri's business style and the good side of Harpreet's business sense.

-Mr.Sumit Chakravarty
 Faculty, INLEAD

 Images Courtesy- Google Images 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Is the Chinese Dragon losing fire?

The great Chinese Dragon tumble on Monday led to a furore in almost all the leading markets of the world with all of them ending in deep red. The Shanghai Composite Index ended trade on Monday down 8.49 percent, after all of the yearly gains were wiped out of the market. Let’s start decoding what led to this Monday Mayhem.   

A quick background…

In 35 years from 1979 to 2014, the Chinese economy has grown by 10% per annum and doubled in size every 8 years, relative to the US economy. The subsequent governments in China worked on “decollectivization” of individual farm lands which helped improve agrarian productivity to help feed a burgeoning city population. Then they set up innumerable micro and small enterprises in the manufacturing sector and opened new industrial zones in Pearl River Delta in South China (adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao) and in the Fujian Province (close to Taiwan).

The Economic Boom

Gradually, foreign investments surged into China primarily due to availability of cheap labour, and also due to the succession of Hong Kong into Chinese mainland in 1997 and China’s subsequent entry into the WTO also added to the cause. Chinese Government ensured competitiveness of Chinese goods by repeated devaluation of its currency from 1.5 Yuan to 1 US$ in 1978, to 4.8 Yuan to 1 US$ in 1990, to 8.3 Yuan in 1994, to 10 Yuan very recently. One example of a successful manufacturing enterprise from China is Foxconn, manufacturer of iPhone, which is now setting up its manufacturing units in India.

The Problem starts                                                                   

With a devalued currency and manufacturing glut, exports surged to unprecedented levels. Over time, while manufacturing continued to power ahead, unfortunately, the global demand and consumption of Chinese manufactures hit a new low. China started experiencing a crisis of over accumulation; i.e production far outstretches consumption both in the international and in the domestic markets, especially in cement, steel, aluminum and shipbuilding.

The situation deteriorates

The Chinese economy in 2007 found itself to be uncoordinated, unbalanced and unsustainable. In 2009, thousands of companies shut shop leaving 20 million workers unemployed. By the time it was 2013, there were ample Government stimulus programs in place and shadow-banking networks active. (It has been common practice for investment banks to conduct many of their transactions in ways that do not show up on their conventional balance sheet accounting and so are not visible to regulators or unsophisticated investors.) Growth rates were upped, but it left a toxic legacy. There was indebtedness all around, insufficient consumption of manufactures, and to top it all the property bubble deflated in 2014. Central Government then encouraged investors to flood the stock market with money, and by June 2015, the Stock Exchange had soared by 150%. But, since this was in complete dissonance with the real economic situation, and with huge numbers doing margin trading, it didn’t take long for the stock market to crash, which it did on the 12th of June, 2015 and there was rout of 4 trillion $ of value from Chinese stocks. These developments in China will surely have had repercussions all over the world and for a long time to come!

And, eventually on 24 August, the worst fears of most of the world economists were realized when the Shanghai market tanked and took all the major markets with it. 

-Ms. Monica Mor
 Senior Faculty, INLEAD

Courtesy- Google Images 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The changing Food and Beverage Scenario

Gone are the days when one would walk into a hotel and be welcomed with a royal spread of multiple Food and Beverage options. The guests had a lot to choose from …ranging from authentic Indian to exotic cuisines like Italian, Chinese, continental etc. Instead, what one  finds at majority of hotels today is  just limited to two-three options like an All Day dining, a Bar, one Specialty restaurant and of course, an optional in-room dining.

Guest preferences and financial factors are primarily the reasons to be blamed for the big change. A guest today might find it more comforting to work sitting in a coffee shop while having an internet access.

Recession has also tightened the budgets of corporate and business travelers, which has ultimately led to a rise of mid-segment, economy and budget hotels. With economy or budget hotels taking the center stage, lodging projects that are under construction or planning stage are venturing into what is understood today as “Select- Service” with limited amount Food & Beverage option.

From hotels perspective, Food & Beverage departments are viewed as an intensive operation that takes a lot of time to manage but have extremely low profit margins. This doesn’t eliminate the hotel that boasts about Michelin star restaurants, new menu trends like gastro pubs and tapas style offerings. It’s limited to hotels offering world class service; standalone fine dines restaurants or high end pubs. The target clientele for these segments are the “High paying Guests”

Another trend that is slowly and gradually catching up in the hotel industry is partnering with well-known Food & Beverage brands. For example, Marriott, partners with Starbucks for many of their coffee shops at their hotels. Johnny Rockets opened a unit inside Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.  Beyond partnership, many hotels have also created grab-and-go meals. Aloft’s Re: fuel and Hampton Inns offers On-The-Run breakfast. They are easy meal option for guests on the move. The Grand Hyatt in New York recently launched Market- a 24 hour self-service grab and go area. It’s open to public and offers hot meals, salads, pastries that are packaged for take-out.

These are few of the trends that are driving sales in the hospitality industry by meeting guest’s needs for convenience, value, flexibility along with quality.

“The Guest isn’t always right”. But, if you don’t listen to them, your product won’t either. 

-Bindu A. Menon
 Senior Faculty, INLEAD 

Courtesy- Google Images 

Monday, August 24, 2015

BIONICS: “A lot Like Life”

BION-IC (Life-Like) literally means imitating the nature.

Science and Engineering have been the two most fascinating fields known to the humankind since ages and when these two fields come together, they create Bionics.  

“Bionics” is technically defined as the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the designing and engineering of systems and modern technology. It is basically the flow of concepts from Biology to engineering. Imagine conceptualizing an Information System for a hospital based on the mechanism seen in the nervous system of a butterfly. Seems impossible? Well, with the Bionics the impossible becomes possible.

Bionics also includes inventing new innovative structures which can mimic the damaged natural body organs or parts. By using a similar technology, we can increase the chances of acceptance by human body. The development in the field has reached to a level where they can incorporate electronics and pneumatic mechanisms of considerable complexity into the Modern prosthetic limbs often giving the feel of a real limb. Imagine how easy it would be for a person with no legs to accept an artificial limb that looks and functions like an original one.

Few examples of body parts and the biomaterials and biomedical devices that can be used to replace damaged or diseased body parts are as follows:  

1.    Artificial Joints: Artificial hip joints are made from materials like stainless steel-polyethylene or cobalt-chromium alloy-polyethylene combination.

2.    Pacemakers:  A pacemaker is a battery-operated device intended to stimulate contraction of the heart at a certain rate. 

3.    Crowns and Dentures: Recent developments have led to innovations of metal-ceramic crowns and have led to an increase in strength of these structures. Dentures (false teeth) are generally made from acrylic for ease of fabrication.

4.    Cochlear Implants: It is an artificial device that can replace a damaged ear and help in hearing. It is designed to stimulate nerves inside the inner ear, thus producing a hearing sensation. The technology involves converting sound into electrical impulses, which can be used to stimulate the auditory nerves, sending a signal to the brain, which finally creates a hearing sensation.

5.    The iron lung: Artificial lungs are not a new development. The history can be traced to 1940s where the “iron lung” was used in treating polio.

Bionics can prove to be a life changing technology for a lot of people and with more and more development happening in the field with each passing day, the field can prove to be of a real help to the healthcare industry. 

-Ms. Ginny Kaushal,

 Faculty, INLEAD

Images Courtesy- Google Images

Saturday, August 22, 2015

GST – why India needs it?

The 15th month young NDA government is all set to keep its prestige at stake for the early passage of the much controversial GST bill. So much so that it is even considering having a special session for the same next month.

The main question that arises here is why is the NDA that opposed the bill for ten good years during the Congress regime is so curious to get it passed now. Here, in this article, I will try to find answers for all that. Before we begin, let’s first understand what GST actually is and what it means to India.

What is GST?

The Goods & Services Tax or GST is a comprehensive tax levy on manufacture, sales and consumption of goods at a national level. One of the biggest taxation reforms, the GST will hopefully integrate State economies and boost overall growth. It is set to be implemented from 1st of April, 2016. There is an expectation of a boost of about 2% to nation’s GDP with the GST bill in place.

Currently, through a tax credit mechanism, taxes are being paid at all value addition level, at each stage of sales and purchase in the supply chain. For example, a manufacturer has to pay tax when the goods are rolled out from the factory. The goods are then again taxed at the point of retail.

In the GST system, both Central and State taxes will be collected at the point of sale. GST proposes to replace most central and state levies with one single tax.   In fact,  all indirect taxes like excise  and sales tax, value-added tax, central sales tax, entertainment tax, luxury tax, octroi, lottery tax, electricity duty, state surcharges, etc. on all products (except alcohol, tobacco & petroleum) will be replaced. This will benefit individuals as it will bring down the prices, and lower prices will lead to greater consumption which will eventually benefit the company.

What type of GST is proposed for India?

India is planning to implement a dual GST system, where there would be a Central GST (CGST)   and a State GST (SGST). Currently, the rate is expected to be around 14-16%. After this rate is decided, the states and the center will decide on CGST and SGST.

The GST has been implemented in about 140 countries, with France being the first to do so in 1954. Brazil and Canada follow a dual system of GST which is the same as being proposed in India.

Opposition to the GST within India:

There are some states that are in opposition of the enactment of the GST, like manufacturing states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu. This is because the GST is levied on buyers or where goods and services are being consumed. On the other hand big consumer states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala would benefit, with huge collections from multiple points of sale primarily due to their size of population and its consumption habits. The states (especially the manufacturing ones) which may lose out on their earnings want an assurance that their revenues will be protected. Finance minister, Mr. Arun Jaitely, has been reiterating the fact that there would be compensation to states who would suffer revenue losses for at least five years after moving to the new regime. This compensation would be to the tune of a 1% additional levy on the GST for loss of revenues. The GST has been passed  its Lok Sabha test where the BJP has a majority but is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where Congress has waved the red flag since the party feels that there could be a cascading effect of the 1% ‘entry tax’.

Nevertheless, modalities are being thrashed out and a GST empowered committee would be responsible for the transition to the new taxation regime. There would be constitutional amendments to be done as also discussions with industry associations.

With the rollout deadline of April 1, 2016 looming near and the Congress stalling the entire monsoon session, the NDA government will have to take some serious steps in order to end this tug of war with the Congress.

-Monica Mor
 Senior Faculty, INLEAD 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Life is all about learning!

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

We all learn something new every day. Consciously or subconsciously, this is a gradual and a never ending process.

We as learners, use our individual methodologies, capacities and interests to learn new things in life. And our learning approach is affected by many factors like age, intelligence, attitude, aptitude, and sensory preferences.

Knowing the learning styles is important for us. No matter which walk of life we are from, directly or indirectly, we are involved in some kind of learning process.

In this article, I will be discussing the VAK learning model by Neil Fleming, which is used by professionals worldwide.

Let’s start by understanding what a learning style actually means.

Ellis (1985) described a learning style as "the more or less consistent way in which a person perceives, conceptualizes, organizes and recalls information.”

Everyone has a preferred or a predominant style of learning. Knowing, understanding and nurturing that preferred style of learning makes your learning process easier and much more exciting. However, this doesn’t mean that a person only learns by using one style. We can use multiple styles at a time or different styles at different point in time.

Talking about the VAK Model, each and every alphabet in VAK has its own meaning. In VAK Model…

V stands for Visual: It means learning by seeing.

Here an individual:

  • Absorbs the information by seeing the images, faces, diagrams, charts, pictures and maps
  • Learns by observing the body language and expressions
  • Tends to pen down the information
  • Creates list of information and make notes in an organized manner
If you are a Visual learner, use color coding to highlight important information and carry a note pad with you wherever you go. Cover your room walls with pictures that motivate you   and try seeing more of learning videos.

A stands for Auditory: It means learning by hearing. 

Here an individual:

  • Absorbs the information by discussions, speaking and arguing
  • Learns by auditory activities
  • Tends to have the internal dialogue
  • Repeats & paraphrase for the confirmation of the information
If you are an auditory learner, use audio, recording and recite to memorize information. Listening to experiences and discussions has a great impact on you. When you read or learn new thing, try explaining it to yourself aloud. You would learn better and quicker with quizzes and discussions and reading. 

K stands for Kinesthetic: It means learning by movement. 

Here an individual:

  • Absorbs the information by involvement, performing activities and movement from one place to the other
  • Learns by expressing, acting and moving
  • Tends to get distracted if have to just sit for longer without a task in hand
  • Excellent motor skills, which means hand eye coordination
If you are a kinesthetic learner, you learn and memorize while in motion and express yourself better through dance, theatre and sports. You learn faster through the sense of touch like using a keypad. You should try to use models and experiments as your typical way of studying.

Lastly, whatever style or model you follow, the one prime factor that is required for effective learning is passion. Passion is like the fuel to the knowledge car. You may take different paths to reach your destination but without the fuel, your car won’t be able to move an inch.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Happy Learning!

-Priya Bali
 Faculty, INLEAD

Images Courtesy- Google Images 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


The hospitality Industry is thriving like never before. New hotels are mushrooming one after another across the globe. With more and more travellers taking the travel way, this boom in the industry is here to stay. 

This exponential rise in the Hotel industry has led to a creation of a number of classes which is not only confusing for the guests, but also for the hotel companies, as now everyone has a different interpretation of what each of these classes mean.

Full Service…Luxury… Limited Service…First Class… Select Service…Focused Service… Extended Stay… Seven Star… Five Star Deluxe… Five Star… etc. 

And, here enters the boutique hotels; the confusion around what classifies as a boutique is one of the most interesting unsolved mysteries known in the hotel industry. 

The expectation of a frequent traveller today has moved beyond just comfort and convenience. Increasing number of travellers prefer to be "surprised" — positively of course. Nowadays, they look for properties that are different in look and feel, somewhere where they can get a unique experience while on the go and, their this expectation is fulfilled by the Boutique hotels

The origin of Boutique hotels dates back to the early 1980s. Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London and Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco, are known to be the first two boutique hotels in the world.

Boutique hotels distinguish themselves from others on the basis of their small size . For a property to be considered a boutique hotel, it should not have more than 100 rooms, but shouldn’t be that  small either. Hotels with less than 10 rooms are generally not categorized as a boutique hotel. It can There could also be a Boutique wing of a big hotel. The boutique section feels like a separate hotel. It has its own reception desk, lobby, and decor. Guests can quickly sense a more exclusive identity and better service in a Boutique hotel. For example, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace in Vegas, has a quiet enclave within the massive Caesars Palace casino-hotel.

A Boutique Hotel offers ultra-personal service.   They are eccentric and can surprise and delight guests with winsome touches. A Boutique hotel has a special focus on Food and Beverage. Most of the boutique hotel houses outstanding restaurants and bars; celebrity-chefs and offers stylish lounges. The Taj Campton Place in San Francisco has a bay area two-Michelin-star restaurant Campton Place.

   W St. Petersburg Hotel, Russia

A Boutique hotel is not generic, or bland. It strives to be one-of-a-kind, and has an independent attitude. The designs can range from Modern or Designer Decor with a Quirky Touch. For example, W St. Petersburg Hotel in Russia has a fantasy d├ęcor which resembles a space-age disco. 

So, if special attention, best food and services are on your check list for your ideal hotel, a Boutique Hotel is the hotel for you.

-Bindu A. Menon
Senior Faculty, INLEAD 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Land Acquisition Bill: The Battle continues

With the BJP and the Congress party entering into a to and fro squabble battle about the Land Acquisition Bill, the real party bearing the brunt here is the so called “Janta” (Public). For people who aren’t much aware about this burning issue of the Indian Politics right now, here’s a rundown of events in the now in-famous Land Acquisition Bill.


The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bill (LARR) 2011, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2014. Two similar bills were earlier introduced in Lok Sabha in 2007. These bills lapsed with the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha. After making the First Amendment in the Land Bill 2011, it was passed in the lower house on 11 March 2015 among strong protest from BJP allies as well as from the opposition.  The Allies who protested include Mazdoor Sangh, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh & Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram as well as AIADMK.

As expected, the bill is facing opposition in the Upper House and is being dubbed by the Congress party as “anti-farmer”.


What is Land Acquisition?

Land Acquisition in India is the process by which the Union and the State Government in India acquires private land for the purpose of infrastructural facilities or urbanization of the private land, and provides compensation to the affected landowners for their rehabilitation and resettlement. There is a significant difference between acquisition and purchase, where the former implies compulsory takeovers. Till 2013, land acquisition had been governed in India by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

Highlights from the Bill that are a cause for controversy

(A)   This Bill enables the Government to exempt five categories(Defense, Rural infrastructure, Industrial corridors, Affordable housing and Infrastructure including PPPs where Govt. owns the land.) of projects from the requirements of:

(i)    Social Impact Assessment (SIA), which was earlier mandatory,
(ii)   Restrictions on acquisition of multi-cropped land, and
(iii) Consent for private projects and public private partnerships (PPP) projects.
All these have been shown a red flag as there could be wrongful utilization of land acquired. 
Further, there is usage of ambiguous terms to define the above mentioned five categories.

(B)   The Act would apply retrospectively, if an award has been made five years earlier and compensation has not been paid or possession taken. The Bill would however exempt any time period which was under stay order by a court.

(C)   According to the Act, the head of the Government department responsible for land acquisition would be guilty for any offense by the department.

Situation right now on the LARR Bill 2015

As of 4th of August 2015, according to Economic Times, Modi Sarkar has beaten a retreat and is willing to compromise on amendments suggested by the opposition bench. To name a few:

(i)  The Chapter IIIA that was inserted which dealt with exemption from getting “consent” & “Social Impact Assessment” has been removed;
(ii)   Then, provisions for exempting acquisition of 1km on both sides of an “industrial corridor” has also been done away with;
(iii)    The clause on Accountability of senior Govt. official has been removed.

With the Joint Committee of Parliament seeking more time to finalize its report on the contentious land acquisition bill, the bill will only be able to see the day of light in the winter session of the Parliament now. 

-Monica Mor
 Senior Faculty, INLEAD

Friday, August 14, 2015

Effective Patient-Physician Communication - Key to Effective Patient Care

          News Headlines:  Communication breakdown leads to Patient Death
A 67-year-old patient, referred to emergency with a suspected transient ischemic attack. He was seen by a junior doctor on duty, who arranged a CT scan for the following morning. The radiologist was not able to report the scan straight away, but the patient was told that he could go home and that his doctor would be contacted in due course with the result of his tests.Two weeks later, the patient was found dead. 

Yes, Dead. You read it right.

What went wrong?
The hospital in which the patient was admitted was changing their systems from paper records to electronic records. The radiologist had lodged his report in the electronic system, but this had not been transferred to the patient’s case notes, hence it could not be communicated to the doctor which ultimately costed the patient his life.

The current scenario
According to the Joint Commission, which is a United States-based organization that accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States, “Medical Errors” appeared on the National Center for Health Statistic’s list of the top 10 causes of death in the United States,—ahead of accidents, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as AIDS, breast cancer, and gunshot wounds. If such is the case with developed countries,we can only predict the situation in developing and under-developed nations. More specifically, the Joint Commission cites “Communication Failures” as the leading root cause for medication errors, delays in treatment, and wrong-site surgeries, as well as the second most frequently cited root cause for operative and postoperative events and fatal falls.

The way ahead
Responding to the current scenario,International bodies like JCI (Joint Commission International) have introduced International patient safety goals which focus on the importance of effective communication in healthcare settings and how it leads to patient safety. National standards like National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare (NABH) have also emphasized on the need of effective communication regarding treatment, prognosis, discharge and patient rights.

Safe practices and effective patient-centered communication is the basis of quality care. The first visit for a patient is a crucial encounter that can either lead to the development of a therapeutic patient-doctor relationship or end in patient harm or extreme dissatisfaction. The entire process from entry to discharge has to be completed within a stipulated time frame and hence it becomes imperative for all the crucial communications to be made within that time with regard to treatment plan, possible complications, medication, prevention techniques etc.  A review of reports from the Joint Commission reveals that communication failures were implicated at the root of over 70 percent of sentinel events.

Patient Physician communication plays the most vital role in building a good doctor patient relationship and eventually good care. While modern and sophisticated technologies may be used for medical diagnosis and treatment, inter-personal communication is the primary tool by which the physician and the patient exchange necessary information. Hence, the healthcare facilities need to make extra efforts in ensuring that they treat the patient with the best Patient Physician communication along with the treatment.

Ginny Kaushal, 
Faculty, INLEAD 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How to build a Houseful event?

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” - Paul J. Meyer

The few hours before the event are the most nervous times for an event planner, as it is the time that they have to face that one big litmus test, the test of audience attendance. So, whether you are organizing a convention, product launch, dealers meet or a customer event, the size of your audience will hold testimonial to the success of your event. It’s a fizzle when an event manager spends countless hours and money in planning an event and only a pint-size of the expected attendees turn-up. Empty chairs are the bane of every event planner’s existence, thus the following suggestions can be considered by event planners for improving the attendance of their events and keep this bane at bay.  

• Research upfront & feedback afterwards: Try to find out what your prospect attendees are (do’s & don’ts) looking forward to in an event and try to accommodate as much as their requirements as you can. After all, they are the ones whom you’re organizing the event for. Further, since you’re an event planner and planning events is an ongoing process for you, make sure to take feedback from the audience after the end of the event about the things they liked and didn’t like in the event. 

• The venue is at a convenient location, which is notable and affordable: The venue chosen should be accessible and not very expensive so that it suits the pocket of all the attendees. Further, a notable event location draws more crowd and buzz as people are already aware of the location and scale of events taking place at that particular venue. Kamani auditorium and India Habitat Centre are some of the most famous and affordable event venue locations in Delhi. 

• Right date and time: The time of the year, day of the week and time of the day, all make a difference when it comes to audience attendance. For example, mornings are great for seminars, after work is great for appreciation/networking events and weekend afternoons and evenings are preferable for weddings and concerts etc.  

• Save the dates: Save the dates reminders should be sent out early to the target audience as it gives them time to plan their calendars well in advance and assure their availability at the event.

• Incentives for early check-inn or arrivals: Discounts/vouchers are a great marketing strategy for early registrations or last minute walk inns. 

• Personalized invitations:  A handwritten invitation or an invitation with some kind of personal touch e.g., name etc. garners more attention and makes the audience feel special.

• Overlapping with identical events: In case of 
an allied event is planned for the same time/day when you’re planning to hold yours, it’s recommended to look out for other options available as having two large scale events will only eat out into each other’s success and none of the two events will be benefited.

• Entertainment & lively activities: The event manager should make sure to include some extracurricular activities and fun time into their event schedule if the duration of the event is for a complete day or so. 

• Use Social Media: Go to multiple social media platforms and create your event. Using various channels to get your message out is essential. Nowadays, social media isn’t just about the youth. People from all generations are there on these platforms and using these platforms can get one maximum visibility and that too absolutely free of cost.

The above mentioned pointers will not only help increase registration/attendance for the upcoming events but also make attendees feel comfortable, lively and more enthusiastic about the event.

Thus, it sums up, “Build it up and they will come”.

-Parul Sardana
 Faculty, INLEAD 

Images Courtesy- Google Images 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Remembering Kalam - A leader, the Nation loved

Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.” We lost one such humble soul, when we lost Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. His profile on Wikipedia  reads he was a career scientist turned reluctant politician. However, this reluctant politician is one of the most well respected and loved politician of this Indian generation. Above all, he was a great teacher. His life is a lesson for all. He taught us to dream, to work, to persevere, to succeed, and to excel.

A man of action, a man of distinction and a man with a vision, he dreamt  of a nation of prosperity and integrity. In his book, ‘India 2020’, he shared his vision of developing India into a "knowledge superpower". Dr. Kalam once said, “In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime.” He dreamt  of changing this situation and building an India free of these evils.

The Missile Man, as he was fondly called, was a visionary who felt strongly for the youth of the nation and considered them as the building blocks of a future which was brighter than our present. He said, “Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.” He was a man who envisioned a corruption free Indian society and his ‘What Can I Give Movement’ for the youth of India was aimed at defeating  this  social evil. He believed “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” Sadly, his this particular dream couldn’t be realized.

Losing him is too great a loss. However, rather than crying over the loss, we should all just take a moment to remember and recall all his contributions and learn from his spectacular life. Even though, he is no longer amongst us, his words will forever guide us, “Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.”

- Sumit Chakravarty 
  Faculty, INLEAD 

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