The hypocrisy of Indian value systems

In the land where Vatsyana gave the world a treatise called the Kamasutra ( which NOT ONLY deals with the beautiful art of love making, BUT with the art of conducting oneself with the fairer sex…this may please be noted), where the hindu ancient scriptures have venerated the female goddess, Shakti ( Meaning- POWER), it is pathetic to see the ugly face of male  hypocrites in Indian society today.

It may be noted , that ALL priests in the Hindu religion are men, AND like our corrupt political class have realized a long time ago (centuries ago) that in order to maintain their firm grip on the other half of the population ( women) they will keep them subjugated through deliberate illiteracy, lack of access to education and plain terror. Of course, subversion of the written text in our scriptures, by translating that for the uneducated women, through male chauvinist eyes, was the natural next step that perpetrated the exploitation of women through centuries.

Legitimacy to this was granted when the Muslim invader ruled India and finally settled here.

Here are these male priests who lead the prayer offered to Shakti, AND con-volute the written verse to exploit the devdasis in temples!!

Here are these male priests who capture the attention of the congregation, including women, and then go about endorsing their economic exploitation and their sexual exploitation. They have willfully curbed the rights of women, especially in rural India, where a majority of India resides, and where women constitute majority of the illiterate and uneducated !!

Today’s comment by the leader of the RSS, Ram Bhagwat is a telling comment and an expose of the level of perverse thinking of the “leaders” that lead our country.

He is not the only one- lets take a countdown

  • Abhijit Mukherjee- Son of our President, MLA from West Bengal, who has a sister, and a mother, saying that he is an authority on “real” women- their reality according to him is that protesting women are “dented ” and “Painted”!!!
  • Aniwur Rehman- CPM leader who asks the price to be paid to the CM of the state if she was raped!!
  • Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya from MP Govt, from the BJP, says women are to blame for men being seduced and eventually raping them!!

These are just some instances that have cropped up over the last 24 hours which are a reflection of the all pervasive perversion existing in the political class in the “modern” India today.

I am now taken back to utterances by Robert Vadra recently, when he referred to our country as a banana republic. At that point in time and with the context, it came as a rude shock to me!! It seemed out of line and in very bad taste and almost arrogant…

And then I go back to the very recent past, when Ratan Tata said that the way things are panning out in India, the way governance ( or is it??) in being done, he would not hesitate to call our country a banana republic- NOW this coming from a person of the stature of Ratan Tata DID NOT shock me, but made me stand up and take notice.

In the light of the contents of this blog and the events of the last few weeks, I could not agree more with the above statements- that India indeed is a banana republic, fit for rule by a one eyed king, in the land of the blind, whose opium is HOPE.

HOPE, that protests will change a corruption ridden , self serving system, serving the neo rulers ( not leaders) of India, led by the political class.

My friends in the US and the EU, please take note of this and think twice before making your investment decisions in this banana republic!!!

3 Strategies for Successful Pricing during a Downtown

Hi readers,

Since 2008, its been a struggle across the globe for leading brands- those providing cutting edge services and great products are on their edge trying to figure out strategies that will not only help them tide over this global recession and depressed demand, but also enable them to make decent profits.

Not an easy as it sounds.

The US markets have been sputtering at below par GDP for over 4 years, the Nigerian market, largely unaffected by global money markets has managed to delightfully buck the trend and has grown at over 5%, and growth in India currently stands at 5.5%, well much higher than that in the US, much lower than that seen in China, BUT well below its real potential.

Those who wish ( or wished ) to invest in India are cagey at best, or have already given up on the India story “fairy tale”perpetrated by the Indian Government and their spin doctors!

Business leader after another has painted an abysmal picture of the Indian economy and would rather take their investment plans overseas than sit on piles of cash here, with no returns.

So what are the facts-

The current economic climate might be the worst some managers have yet seen. With customers so jittery, the stakes for getting pricing right are high, and managers may be unprepared to avoid common pitfalls of pricing in tough times.

Based on my assessment of strategies used by successful businesses in past economic downturns, I have put together 3 generic strategic directions that the enterprise may want to consider before formulating and deploying a strategy that works in this downturn

  • Understand how price-sensitive customers will behave – and act on that knowledge more quickly than competitors.

A recession, is an opportunity to learn faster about changing customer behavior and gain advantage through this insight. You look not only at the taillights of the car in front but the car in front of him (and in front of him). By paying attention to your customers’ customers (and their customers), you can identify problems before your business crashes into some unforeseen pricing reality.

Essentially it entails that you need to develop client/consumer insights beyond your nose. This requires first class grip on analytics ( big data need of the hour!!), practicing DILO (Day in the life of) and spending more time with trade channel partners, with THEIR clients and comprehending their needs.

  • Consider the longer-term strategy before changing prices.

“The great danger is you take sensible short-term decisions that screw up your long term brand value,” says Cram.

What this means is this- dont get pressured into taking decisions on impulse- if the board or the CEO (under pressure from the board) starts breathing down your neck, action AND NOT reaction may be the best strategy. You need to understand that in times of crisis and pressure, anger and reactions are normal- problem is, that if it starts to impact the board and the CEOs behavior, some where down the line, the reaction needs to stop; better it starts with YOU and you put your head down to really think hard and think through and then put your well thought case to your CEO or the board. You will be better served when you are seen as a sane voice in a room full of senior executives gone insane with pressure!!

AND dont forget- your logic and a long term perspective has to be the underlying theme for your pricing strategy.

  • Be sympathetic to cash-strapped customers – and take care not to start a destructive price war by accident.

Make sure your price cuts don’t appear to be panicked reactions to falling sales. Your rivals will be watching you closely, and you don’t want to start a price war. If that’s a possibility, it’s better to promise to match competitors’ prices. And if it’s your competition that’s slashing process, think carefully before following suit. Your rival’s decision,  might be ”the idiot decision of one manager who is going to get fired.”

I could not agree more on this. Panic an knee jerk reaction to a competitors pricing policy is NOT the answer for ensuring long term sustainability of the business, the top line and the bottom line.

 

Can You Master Your Selling Skills?

Hi readers,

Training sales newbies in a team is a time consuming process. Having been involved in training my sales team members for over 10 years, I can certainly say that it is like an iterative process divided into 2 parts or levels.

LEVEL 1: Theoretical Understanding

  • Stage 1: Unawareness. You are completely unaware that there is a skill to be learned. Example, a novice sales rep might be making cold calls without realizing that her accent is making it difficult for customers to understand what she’s saying.
  • Stage 2: Awareness.  You realize that something isn’t working. Example, that novice rep may notice that her hit rate on the cold-calls is much lower than the other people working in that office.  She asks colleagues and her sales manager for suggestions.
  • Stage 3: Clarification. You understand what you need to do differently. Example, that novice sales rep signs up for a class that will improve her diction and make it more understandable to the target customer base.

LEVEL 2: Practice Until Mastery

  • Stage 4: Awkwardness. You attempt the new behavior and find it difficult. Example, the novice attempts to apply the skills learned in the class and speak without the debilitating accent.  She finds it’s hard and exhausting to hold a conversation without slipping into her old accent.
  • Stage 5: Familiarity. The new behavior is easier but still not automatic. Example, the novice finds that she can now hold a conversation in the new accent without fumbling or falling into the old accent.  Practicing the new skill is no longer a burden.
  • Stage 6: Mastery. You no longer think about the behavior but simply do it. Example, the novice now finds that talking in the new accent seems as natural than the old accent.  Her brain has been reprogrammed so that the new behavior no longer needs monitoring or specific practice sessions.  It’s now like “riding a bike” – a lifelong skill that you’ll never forget.