Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Role, city, organization

Hey, there've been no posts for quite a while - I was busy resigning, relocating, orienting and restarting - that means I quit Trianz and Bangalore, moved to Delhi, joined Accenture (management consulting) and was getting settled in the global CRM strategy practice. More to follow!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Will YOU survive?

I was reading this business book called "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture" by John Battelle (he has a great blog here). One of the assumptions that he makes (and that most biz writers make thesedays) is that the web will always be around, and that the growth of the internet will be eternal, always robust, and that consumers will increasingly lead a large part of their life online. In fact he rates the 'net and search as one of the key inventions of mankind.

"Interesting", quoth I. That triggered a thought - what would happen if the Internet suddenly vanishes, or in a larger sense, what happens when if all our ubiquitous electronics were to vanish overnight - say hit by an EMP pulse in a nuclear war, or attacked by a silicon-eating virus?

What aspects of our life would be disrupted? Well you wouldnt be able to call a repair-person (or anybody else in the world for that matter) since your phone wouldnt be working, the internet would be disrupted, your computer would be a junk-heap of smoking parts and mobile networks would have vanished forever. You wouldnt be able to drive down to fetch help either since your car's electronics chips would have been fried which means that your engine wouldnt even turn over. Any thoughts of cooking yourself a snack while you wait for help would be impossible (unless you have a tree and an axe close to hand, and you know how to use it) since your kitchen appliances wouldnt work. And of course your utilities would have long stopped working since the control mechanisms would have been disabled too.

Over extended periods of disruption like this where would you find food and shelter? In extreme situations (say if you live out in the country) do you have the basics close at hand - tinned foods, manual tools for carpentry, hunting and cooking? Non electric blankets and whatnot.

I guess the only people who wouldnt be too bothered would be the people who are increasingly ignored in todays high-tech society - people who do physical work - farmers, carpenters, cooks, constructors, lawmen. All the rest will go the way of the dinosaur- graphic designers, sales and marketing people, business leaders, politicians, film stars... and yes, bloggers too.

Think about it - do you have any REAL survival skills?

Atul Vaid
Reach me at

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Been real busy - launch preparations for new service line

Been completely wrapped up in preparing for the launch of "India Research & Market Entry Services" for my current employer.

Basically, this is meant to appeal to coroprates who want to explore some specific aspect of the Indian environment of relevance to their India-focused plans.

Had to develop a go-to-market strategy, budget and staffing plan, and the preparation of all support materials
> Brochures design, development and production
> New section of corporate website
> Translation of website content and brochures into Spanish, French and German
> Collection and writeup of case summaries
> Comparison of competitor research reports
> Identification of research firms to provide primary research support
> Target list for communication - Journalists in India
> Target list for communication - Embassies/Consulates/Commercial sections
> Target list for communication - MNCs

Now I'm just waiting to get the green-light to hire some analysts. Any takers out there?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hidden Nation

The figures on the mobile phone subscriber base in India indicate that an amazing 6 million new subscribers are signing up every month. The July 2007 subscriber base has been reported at 180 million. This is when I got really curious about what it means, not only to the telecom industry but to the economy as a whole, since that figure is a population larger than that of most countries (and about half the entire population of the USA).

Some quick back-of-envelope calculations showed me that at the national per capita income average, this group would have a GNP of around US$ 110 Billion. That when I got seriously curious. After all, an economic group of this size invariably invites comparisons with countries. So a quick look at World Bank data showed me that the countries of equivalent size (GNP of $100-$120 billion each in 2005) are Columbia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Singapore! That’s when it hit me – there’s an entire country hidden here!

Like any other country, citizens of this Mobile Nation share an identity and some similar characteristics – they are connected, communicative, and probably upwardly mobile individuals. They are amongst the most energetic of their peers and connect well with each other - its not uncommon to see individuals from widely varied economic groups casually comparing their handset features and talk plans. And they are collectively worth over US$100 Billion! That’s a demographic that puts in the shade probably three-quarter of the world’s economies.

With a demographic worth that much, marketers should be adding another segmentation parameter into their thinking - "mobile-affiliations" - groups of people who can be described by their telco adoption, and have more in common with each other rather than their physical neighbours of the same economic, ethnic and social strata. It’s now worth it for marketers to build detailed psychographic profiles around this aspect.

Till now mobile marketing has been considered a niche area, and mobile marketers have mainly focused on mass marketing tactics to reach out to these prospects. Its now time for mobile marketing to go mainstream, probably more so than some traditional mediums. ALL marketers, not just the specialists, need to be thinking of marketing to mobile social groups.

Looks like interesting times ahead for the marketing and media sectors - the telecom revolution is going to have an interesting side effect!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Mobile Nation

I've just seen the figures on the mobile phone subscriber base in India. Did you know we are adding over 6 million new subscribers every month? This is amazing!

The July 2007 subscriber base is about 180 million. Thats a population more than that of most countries (and about half the entire population of the USA). And even more interesting, consider that at the national per capita income average, this group of (fairly) homogenous consumers would have a GNP of over US$ 111 Billion. Thats probably more than that of 75% of the countries listed in the World Banks databases.

Mouthwatering stuf isnt it, all you marketers out there?