Notes from Martina Navratilova’s talk at IBM Software Universe 2011

2011 made me read, listen and meet a lot of people. People I’ve always admired for one reason or more. One of the most memorable ones include listening to Martina Navratilova, live at IBM Software Universe 2011, at Hotel Renaissance in Powai, Mumbai.

I grew up playing lawn tennis and it is the sport that I enjoyed the most. I’ve played it at various levels but this post isn’t about bragging. So I’ll let it be. 🙂

Here’s an abstract of what Martina said on motivation, goals, teams and people;

“Champions make things happen, they don’t rely on others.”

“You got to have goals and athletes know it the best. Remember to take one step at a time and that every single day counts.”

“Don’t be afraid to lead.”

Martina had to make changes in footwork after 26 years of playing, after she started to lose matches, starting with Steffe Graph. She had to *adapt*.

“Responsibility is important, so is determination.”

Martina Navratilova quoted her coach: “Everybody has a will to win, but very few have a will to prepare.”

“Everyone is unique – with talents & abilities.”

“Strive for excellence but not for perfection. Making mistakes is fine. Just don’t make too many of them.”

“Being good at your worst – the ability to bounce back using all the resources you have is the key to achieve your goals.”

“Don’t overdo it. Take care of yourself. Feel good about yourself.”

“Participate in some sports activity.”

“It’s OK to be nervous but what’s important is how you deal with it.”

“No business or individual reaches at the top without a great team.”

“Be an innovator, play to strength – mine was forehand.”

“No matter how fast the ball is coming to you, if you know where is it going, you’re good”.

“The beauty of sports is you don’t see religion or origin. It’s the person and his game that’s important.”


Social Media Club – Delhi

While Social Media agencies continue to work for brands to create strategies and leverage social media spaces for them, there is a need to bring up media literacy, promote best practices and stay up to the trends. Social Media Club is a platform that facilitates these and more while helping industry practitioners connect and engage offline.

Social Media Club’s primary mission is to promote media literacy, promote standard technologies, encourage ethical behavior and share best practices. We bring together journalists, publishers, communications professionals, artists, amateur media creators, citizen journalists, teachers, students, tool makers, and other interested collaborators.

If you’re interested to know more about the Social Media Club initiative, you may check the global website.

Social Media Club has 230 chapters worldwide with chapters in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in India. Last week, SMC Delhi had it’s February’2011 meet at NASSCOM office in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

I’d like to thank Rajesh, who talked about IndiaSocial, a community of social media practitioners in India.

Rajesh took us through how, when, what, why, where and more on the IndiaSocial Community. It was inevitable to know how unbiased the community is with folks from fellow agencies contributing avidly to it by writing articles on social media trends, events and case studies in India.

In an interesting fashion, Rajesh gave away 2 copies of the India Social Media Report 2010 which is also available for sale on the website. I am thankful to him for passing on a copy to me as well. 🙂

I’d like to thank Gaurav and Avinash for reviving the spirits to bring up this session. We missed both of you this time.  It was great meeting Rahul Narvekar – Co-founder at Fashion & You, Sumit Goyal – Editor in Chief at Food & Nightlife and others who came up for an amazing discussion during and after the meet.

We’re looking forward to see more action at the next session of Social Media Club, Delhi which is tentatively scheduled for 4th of March’2010. We’ll have Rabi Gupta from iDubba as a speaker for the March session. You may check out iDubba review on Pluggdin.

We’ll soon have the details up for RSVP. Follow SMC Delhi on twitter to stay tuned!

I would request all stakeholders to participate actively, spread the word and help revive the community.

See ya!


The Diesel Island Campaign


Last month, when I came across the whole idea of ‘Diesel Island’ campaign, I was always looking forward to experience it. I am grateful to receive an invite to the ‘Diesel Democratic Party’ at the Lap, Hotel Samrat, New Delhi, last week.

What’s with the Island?

The idea was conceived by the agency, Santo (a unit of WPP, which also bagged the AdAge International Agency of the Year award, last week). Here in, the ads have a mythical island populated by models/ fans. The whole idea is further extended to belief via online games, videos and a facebook app where fans can interact with the island and its imaginary population. What more, there’s even a fake Wikipedia entry that will be updated weekly as the island grows!

DDP Logo According to Riccardo Bellini, Diesel’s global vice president of branding and marketing, the Diesel Island campaign can be described as – “Think ‘Lost’ but with nicer clothes and no polar bears”.

The #DDP (Diesel Democratic Party) had DJ Gordon Edge who flew in from UK for this event to play some great music, complemented by a fashion show and a lot of page 3 celebs. The list included Jas Arora and Rohit Bal. Cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan were amongst the invitees, but were never seen around!

The fun elements included the Diesel Island anthem and official haircut of the party called the ‘Mohawk’. Men and women of all ages were found sporting it and getting clicked! I could also spot Darshan Mehta, President & CEO, Reliance Brands Limited, but not with a Mohwawk!

It was nice meeting Abhishek Baxi, Bharat Joshi & Naina, Aman & Akansha, along with my very own Media Redefined gang!

You may want to stay tuned with what’s up and next at Diesel India on Twitter!

Thank you Priyal and the entire Nex Sales team for inviting me to the event and pulling it off in a great fashion! Cheers. 🙂


Offline Communities – Road ahead?

In this digital era – where we look into the world through our wide screens monitors or 4″ screen iphones, we foresee a large amount of conversation around varied topics. To an extent, we’re true with our perception. However, when we talk about online communities, do they actually help scale the passion to a level that smaller, yet offline communities are good at?

When I think of offline communities and societies, there are  direct, one-to-one relationships that appear in the backdrop of my mind – many, if not with all the members. However, being a member of an online community – where I may share an idea, get it voted, do a debate with ‘handles’ and not always people – just fails to generate those vibes. … 


Apple iPad and Sociology


I am a gadget lover but by no means a freak. There is a hell lot of difference between the two. I read TechCrunch regularly and Engadget often. There lies the difference, if I am in my senses.

While Steve Jobs is adding to the orgasm of Apple fanboys across the world, I have been trying to figure out, how does anything Apple affect the online ecosystem. It’s beyond the power of any agency to build such an ecosystem, community or fan following around any thing. Apple is again a brand.

The sheer ability to build great products is the only reason that I see people getting crazy for such an event. Of course, Steve Job’s’ presentation might just be another reason for people to swarm networks and websites and cause them to go down!

This is a great social effect which could lead to #apple and #ipad trending in minutes on Twitter, timeliness getting flooded with similar updates after every miniscule detail revealed by Apple. Which other brand can think of doing it, at this scale?

Amazon has always ruled the industry for the tablet/reader segment with its Kindle. It would be interesting to see how do things take shape now. Do we see a price war? Apple for sure would not get into it. Apple products have always been priced slightly higher, but it’s a matter of fact that it still excels.

For 499$ for a 16GB WiFi enabled tablet, Apple’s iPad might just attract gadget lovers across the world to opt in. A 3G version is slightly costlier but I guess that’s more value for money when it comes to developing countries where WiFi hotspots aren’t yet very popular. But then, people still get things done over a netbook, which according to Steve, doesn’t do anything great!

I wonder how many people in this part of the world aren’t ready to compromise on the ‘great’ factor, when they get a fully functional netbook for as low as 300$ 🙂 This is still debatable.

Coming down to the key features of an iPad, it is/has;

  • Half inch thin,
  • 1.5 pound in weight (approx 600 gm)
  • Slimmest Tablet
  • 9.7 inch diagonal screen IPS type
  • Capacitive multi-touch
  • 16 to 64 GB Flash storage
  • 1 Ghz A4 Processor
  • WiFi 802.11n Wifi
  • Built In Speaker
  • Built In Microphone
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • 10 Hours Battery with One Month Standby
  • iPad 3G models are unlocked
  • Will be available in 60 days worldwide
  • Comes with Wifi and / or  3G
  • USB Sync with iTunes
  • Uses new GSM micro SIMs

Price Watch


That’s the matrix. Which one are you opting for?

Thanks to Rohit for collating the technical specs!


Mobile Advertising & VAS in India

Yesterday, I attended the Mobile Advertising and VAS Conference – Mobile Conclave 2010 at Amity University, NOIDA. Thank you, Vishal, for inviting me over.

The conference was an outliner to where we as consumers stand for the VAS players and telecos. India has always had high usage trends when it comes to infotainment on a media. Be it television, the internet or mobile. Inherently, VAS services like games, jokes, astrology, flowers on demand, etc. have been there since the inception of VAS in India.

But that by no means Indicate that we as Indians are satisfied by the operators or the VAS services, for that matter. There is a huge different between a commodity being an accessory and that being a necessity.  How many services actually target the later?

Checking PNR status is one good service I would say. There might be a handful of others. But do we ever see a – doctor on call, lawyer on call or a mentor on call service? I would want a provider to incorporate these. Is there a VAS player who would possible build a service which can lead me to the closest physician while I am travelling in an area that’s 1000 miles from my residence, without having an access to the internet? This is a need, not an accessory.

At the conferences, there were talks on social networks being accessed over mobiles and then facebook adding 45million people to their mobile users within first 8 months of the launch. How many Indians are willing to afford a Rs 500 worth of an EDGE data plan on their carrier beyond the usual monthly rental and that of the resident internet connection, say broadband. How many Indians do have a phone that has a WiFi? Leave all that, India still has just over 8% of broadband penetration. Still the users of Orkut, Facebook and Twitter are very high in India as compared to rest of the world. That doesn’t mean we, the Indians are heavy users of social networks on mobile.

If this small a market is good enough to advertise and get a good ROI, I would love to be directed to a few case studies on mobile internet based marketing case studies in India.

I liked the thoughts of Milind Pathak, Vice President, Comviva. Crystal gazing through the year 2010, he said, “Netting the un-netted is a big area which shall need to be looked upon. Also, there exists a payments asymmetry in mobile commerce in India.” According to him, there is still a wait for 12-18 months to see 3G as a service which we as a consumer can benefit with.

While all of us are eager for the spectrum to roll out and 3G to arrive, using mobiles for many is still limited to voice and sms. SMSgupshup comes in handy as an API to use and build products around social networks. SMSTweet is one good example.

Looking forward to the year 2010, as in what we get to see and how accurate is the crystal gazing we did yesterday at the conclave.


Samsung Bloggers’ Meet –Technology@home


Anything that has a blend of technology and sociology always seemed to fascinate me. Not for now, but ever since I modeled myself around the idea of “group studying” while in high school! The truth however was to to play, tweak and watch movies on computers, all in a very social fashion 😉

This post originates with a backdrop of today’s entertaining meet for bloggers by Samsung at Choko La, Khan Market, featuring confirmed geek, Kishore Bhargava and India’s leading interior designer Rekha Nambiar.

It was my first acquaintance with Kishore after having heard about him, countless number of times from my colleagues Honey and Gaurav. Undoubtedly, he is a humble person and a good speaker. It was an entertaining session with one of the best presentation aesthetics. I admired the way he put forth his bio on the slideshow, followed by a number of humorous and sensible stories. I am sure, him being a geek is just one side of what a person he is.

Kishore elaborated on how we consume media for entertainment. Typically the storage media over the access medium. WiFi is the word and seamless connectivity is the need of the hour. With most digital devices used for entertainment@home having ports like HDMI and USB along with WiFi in many cases, the idea is to build, organize and manage a single repository of media – be it music, movies or pictures and stream it across devices within the periphery of your home. In case you can understand what a static IP is, and can manage a fast enough Internet connection, you can have the privilege of running a media server too! Now that’s entertainment 2.0.

I seriously enjoyed the session!

What followed next at Samsung bloggers’ meet was a session by Rekha Nambiar who traversed us through the slides talking about how shall an ideal home be set up using technology, products and likewise. From the importance of proper lighting  to ergonomics, she kept a tab on all things that make a good home entertainment experience.

Joining me were around 20+ bloggers, Mr. Madhavan Narayanan and a handful of other guests. In an exciting contest, Hardik, the Xbox evangelist at Microsoft, who recently moved in to Delhi from Mumbai, and was trying to beat the cold, won a Samsung LCD TV! Congrats dude. I might drop in someday for a gig and I do not drink water post 6 pm. 😉

What all of us carried back was a T-shirt with our twitter handles and some good memories to share .:)

I admire the new concept for the bloggers’ meet where we had a blend of tech and otherwise. Not to mention Choko La served us a good assortment of food and drinks. Oh yes, with that I mean coffee 🙁

Kudos to Blogworks team including Rajesh, Amita, Manpreet, Rajika and other pretty girls whom I might have missed 🙂

I look forward to more such events in Delhi, not just by Samsung but by anyone who forms a part of Delhi and a larger set, India.

Image credit: Abhishek’s iPhone 😉