Posts from the ‘Business Thoughts’ Category

Facebook weds SMS

Good News for Facebook fans in India. Recently Facebook has inked a deal with an Indian SMS service company called GupShup, the advantage from this deal is, Facebook users can register their mobile phone and update thier status through SMS from anywhere in India. Earlier, this can be done only if your using TATA Indicom or either through GPRS or using internet from your smart phones.

In India, most of the people dont use smartphones, but the SMS is used like crazy. Almost 90% of the users know how to send sms from their phone. Facebook has also made is very simple, people cant forget the number to which they need to send the update. (9232232665) you can read it in another way (92FACEBOOK) simple isnt it ?

How to activate the service?

You need to log on your Facebook account, go to settings and then to mobile. You can register your mobile number by choosing “Other Carrier”. You would be receiving a SMS with an activation code, you need to enter this code and done. Now you will receive an another sms with some tips on how to use this service.

When you need to update your Status, just type your status like how to send a SMS then use this number (9232232665) you can see your update updated in your profie. You can edit the prefrence in the settings tab.

How to Deactivate the service?

Just send a msg “Stop” to the same number, simple !

Some words from the director of Mobile from Facebook “Henri Moissinacm, “We realize how important it is to work with great companies in the mobile space in countries like India, and by enabling Facebook on SMS, users can now use it even when they’re not near a computer.”

I am sure, VAS is the next big thing in the Indian Mobile market. Watch out for more interesting news ! Do pass on your feedback on this service.

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Spit it – If you can ?

I was totally annoyed in my earlier post on “people spitting” when they were driving or walking in the public places, I was annoyed because was there were lot of such people. Yesterday was little different for me, I was thinking about how to stop this non-sense, I was also aware that, there are lots of people facing similar problems in thier respective areas. So this made me to think, what did those guys do to thier area to stop such an idotic thing.

It stuck to me that, people usually spit on the compund walls or/and on the road. Spitting in the road may be reduced by installing lot of spitoons in different areas ( still I cant agree to it completely), but how to stop these guys from spitting on the walls? If you need to see any examples, please go to sowcarpet, in Chennai to witness it directly, how the colour of the walls in the stairway can be changed to red colour, using a new technique called “spitting”. But there are lot of measures coming up to stop this insane activity. Let me tell in a way of real incident. Read – on.

People are really creative in stopping such a menace, we are aware that people in India are soft when it comes to religion, God, superstition etc; so a shop owner used this as his weapon to stop people spitting, next to his shop. Its a road side shop, where he sells sandwiches and bread omlettes, next to his shop there is small compound wall, where people usually spit, so there was a drop in the sales. People dint like to have sandwiches there. So he got a brilliant idea, what he did is, he redesigned the compound wall. You can look at the pic below

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Now you got the idea ? 😀 simple, now look at the compound wall, its clean, though there are some waste papers trown next to it. But cleaning the waste papers is much easier than removing the stain of gutkha. Now I am sure, there wont be any problem for the shop owner, his idea got clicked. People started to use this

Do you dare to spit here ? 😉 If you guys can help in different way, please pass on your suggestions.

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Customer Satisfaction a “Wow” story !

Customer satisfaction is very important for any company, where Service is the main product. Like, Salon, library, hotels etc. It was a wow moment for me today when I received a mail from British Council Library. If you had been to British Council recently you must have seen their new advanced book lending and returning system. British Council is using the technology to its benefit. British Council is already providing free Wi-Fi for all the people who visit the library, I always like to go there sit in the bean bag relax and surf the net.

On the new system; customers need not have to wait for their turn standing in the Q for borrowing the book. Instead, they can go to the kiosk which is placed inside the library and borrow the books without any glitch. All they have to do is place the books on the glass surface along with your British Council membership card, the reader automatically reads the information using the RFID technology. The user can see the options in the screen and select “borrow”, thats it! you get a printed slip as an acknowledgment. It doesn’t end there, when you need to return the book, they have arranged a drop box at the entrance, you just need to drop the books and reader gets the information using the same technology.

I was really satisfied today, when I received a mail from British Council acknowledging that the books has been returned. This simple mail creates alot of values. This is what I say ” the human touch” no matter what kind of sophasticated machines and technologies this cant be ignored. People would love to get this human touch when its needed. This human touch can be of any form, a personal email directed to the cutomer individually, meeting the customer directly, giving  a call and talking to the customers etc.

This in a way helps the customer to break the ice with the company or vice versa. There can also be a mental block, which keeps saying in the customers mind that, “may be this company doesnt have any sales or customer support guys, its always on IVR“. Where there is no interaction in the interactive voice response, its always one way talking.

Bottomline: Make use the technologies as much as you can, but when it comes to human interaction please dont hide from the customers. A simple mail can do wonders. Plan for a good customer support. You might have planned exceptionally but you might have missed out tiny details, you dont have a second chance to rectify. First Impression is always the best Impression.

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Aircel time to move on

Building  goodwill is the best and hard thing to do for any Organisations. Every organisations are now focussing on building goodwill among thier customers. The recent brand building activity done by Aircel was amazing. If you guys been to mumbai, especially near milan subway you would have noticed it. Aircel, anticipated a heavy flood in that area, so they had stuck a empty raft in the billboard and they wrote ” In case of emergency, cut rope”.

Aircelraft1This is really an extraordinary approach. As they expected there was heavy flooding in that area and people can use this raft as means of transport. People called this as “Aircel Raft”. This moment has made a big impact in the minds of the people. Now they wont forget Aircel at all. In return, even Aircel has gained lot of goodwill among Mumbai people.

Cutrope1

Raft2

Woah! Wat an Idea sirji ! I recently saw a TV commercial for Airtel. Where some patriotic Son becomes a MP and goes to the parliament, … so now adays the importance is given to patriotism and fellowship. Hope we see the change.

Photo Credit: bhatnaturally

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Driving @ Indian Roads

Its getting tougher and tougher to drive now a days. Its becoming a daily routine for me to start from office around 1800 Hrs and get stuck in the traffic.  Drivers are losing patience nowadays, they dont seem to be obeying the traffic rules. Sometimes, its crazy to see the Yellow line violations, which is of no use et all. Traffic cops are imposing fine on those who violate the yellow line, but of no use. A recent report on yellow line violation:

“BANGALORE CITY recorded a 314 per cent increase in yellow lane violation in the year 2008, as compared to 2007. The number of yellow line violation cases registered had increased from 17,588 in 2007 to 55,378 in 2008”

Though this figure is of 2008, I am sure it must have increased by now. This is not happening only in Bangalore, even in Chennai and other metros, there is a significant increase in the violations. I cant imagine Mumbai (busiest roads ever)

People don’t bother about any rules, they have their own rules. ” dont bother about others, I need to reach soon, no matter what”. This makes them to drive without any care for fellow humans. Worst of all this, “auto drivers”- are the best examples for any kind of violations in the city. Driver will confuse you in many ways, the best of all is ” put his right hand outside and switch on his left indicator and go straight”.

There are other kind of nuisance. Those guys who sit in the window seat of the bus and keep spitting all over the road. “yuck” thanks to gutka or pan parag. Now I need to keep an eye on the road as well as to these idiots. This ritual is now practised by almost everybody, who ever I see they keep spitting, is this a disease or it has become an habit? Why do they need to spit? I asked this question to one of my friend, he was thinking for a while and said these guys think, if they spit it brings the macho effect in them “Yawn”. crazy! Once it happened to me personely too, we had painted our compund wall, and the same day evening we had to witness the some panparag stain on the wall.

I heard during Ramadan, muslims keep spitting in public places if they are outside. They arent allowed to swallow during thier fast.  is that true?

Well coming to this matter again, I again heard Chennai govt had issued a statement saying people spitting in the public places should be fined. But they removed it, stating they cant monitor?

“Last year the Corporation proposed a fine of Rs.50 for spitting in public places but it was not imposed. Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said there were practical difficulties in enforcing it. The civic body may consider placing spittoons in strategic locations, he added.”

No matter what kind of law being enforced, unless there is a proper education about the illness of spitting there wont be any change in the society. Placing spittoons? will this be possible? how much spittoons will they place? the ratio of the people spitting and the spitoons will have a huge difference.

What you guys think? how do we solve this problem? would love to hear your comments.

Facebook next big thing!

It was a great news for Facebook this friday. Barely few months ago they were claiming they had 200 million users worldwide, now they have crossed another milestone. The current user base worldwide is around 250 million users. This clearly says that, Social media is growing like crazy.

According to Mark Zuckerberg in this official blog post commented  “So today as we celebrate our 250 millionth user, we are also continuing to develop Facebook to serve as many people in the world in the most effective way possible. This means reaching out to everyone across the world and making products that serve all of you, wherever you are—whether through Facebook Connect, new mobile products and the other things that we are building. We’re grateful to have all of you with us, and we look forward to helping connect the next quarter billion people on Facebook.”

Nowadays people are using the social media for everything, be its a company or an individual or a brand. I hope you are aware of the power of Twitter, I dont need to say about the United airlines incident and the song ” United breaks guitar” . So if there is any delay in air service or anything that matters, people don’t hesitate to tell it to the world through social media. Thanks to smart phones.

Companies need to listen to social media, they need to hear what the customers or the prospective customers are talking about your brand. If there is any negative comments are being said about your company or brand, you need to act immediately. I will write an another post, about the social media in detail.

Do you have an account in Facebook?

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Mc Donald’s Chennai Entry

Today, I came across a beautiful and more innovative branding activity by McDonald’s here in Chennai. All the metros had atleast one McDonald’s, but Chennai was an exception but now, after a long wait ie: after 11 years of their first outlet in Delhi, they came to Chennai, they are planning to open one in Coimbatore too. You can read the story here. Also there is an interesting story here, where they auctioned one burger for INR 400,000,  they did this for a good cause. All the money was given to charity.

Now they are opening one more outlet in Chennai. Its coming up in Anna Nagar. According to some sources, opening date is 4th of July ( That’s today! 😀 Yey!).

Good initiative by McDonald, (look at the pic) they placed a huge Mc Donald’s clown at the top of the building which is visible to everyone.  The interesting part is, it waves its right hand 😉 ha ha sounds funny thou, thats really innovative.

I shot with my mobile, when I was waiting at that signal today. Isnt this cute?

070409095427 The Side effect: Lot of bikers were constantly looking at this even when they were driving. this is really dangerous, it diverts your concentration. This was the main reason for the state government  to remove all the banner ads in and around Chennai city.

I would like to see some good innovative ideas coming up. Yey!

Chennai you always Rock!