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Making money is good. But at what cost? March 23, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Airtel, Bharti, Brands, Business, Greed, India.
2 comments

Churumuri carries a story today where Airtel is conducting an SMS poll about Bob Woolmer’s death. They are going to make money our of every reply sent.

Is that what we have come to? Use any excuse to make money even if it means dragging a dead person into the picture?

Looks like the media (TV, Newspapers etc), and Communication companies revel in making money out of sensationalism. How else can you explain the gory pictures you see on TV and in the papers?

Have we really stooped so low?

The small retailer still rocks March 13, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Brands, Business, Retail, Small Retailer.
11 comments

He is alive and well my friends. The small retailer that is.

We have had a couple of posts on this issue, one was whether the small retailer will survive and the other was some reasons why he would.

Last weekend I accompanied my friend Raghu to a local store. He has a bag with a list inside that he drops off. We then proceeded on our walk. In the meantime, the bag filled with goodies from the list had made it to Raghu’s house. Account to be settled at the end of the month.

Do you think the big boys will do that?

Open Source – Here to Stay March 9, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Brands, Business, Innovation, Internet, Open Source, Software, Trends, Wordpress.
10 comments

Some time ago, I attended a TiE meeting where some of Silicon Valley’s top VCs participated in a panel discussion. One thing that stands out from that meeting was a comment that said “All companies trying to develop and sell software products in the traditional manner will be wiped out and replaced by Open Source”.

This got me thinking. Six months later, I am convinced that what they are saying is true.

Over the last few months, I have been installing more and more Open Source packages to help us in our business. This includes HR Systems, Resume Management, Knowledge Base. All of them I have found on Open Source. Here are my observations:

1. The very nature of Open Source ensures a better thought out product. People comment on features, beat down on useless software. So if you look properly, you’ll find very good products.

2. I have found installs are much easier and documentation is very good (at least in the ones that I have installed)

3. Extending functionality is easier.

4. You can ask for features that you want and if it makes sense they’ll add it for you.

How do they make money? Typically through support, customization, and consulting.

One of my favorites is WordPress. Really love their famous “Three Minute Install”. Especially like the message that comes up after their installation that says something like “Installation complete. Sorry to disappoint you but thats all there is to it..”

In addition to blogging on WordPress, I use it a lot internally on our Intranet for collaboration, Knowledge sharing, and Knowledge Management.

The Relevance of NASSCOMM February 9, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Brands, Business, Entrepreneurs, Issues, NASSCOMM, Trends.
3 comments

Years ago when the IT industry was still nascent and needed a voice,NASSCOMM provided a much needed boost by influencing Government policies, and building brand India.

Today, NASSCOMM mostly states industry facts that are already known, conducts award ceremonies, and summits. At least thats the way it appears to us.

Somehow the face of NASSCOMM has gone from the maverick organization that Dewang Mehta built to an organization that provides no value to the small companies. We can’t blame NASSCOMM for this. The world has changed.

In today’s Internet world we dont need NASSCOMM to point small businesses in the direction of opportunities. Most of us know our markets. The world is indeed flat.

So what is the value of NASSCOMM in today’s business world? Are organizations like TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) more useful? Do they need to re-brand and re-orient?

HighDesign – Global Brand February 2, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Brands, Business, HiDesign, India, Trends.
6 comments

If you have walked through any of the duty free areas of some of the major airports of the world, you would have seen a store called HiDesign. They sell up-market leather goods and are stocked at some of the leading stores worldwide.

Their branding, marketing is truly global. They are a nich high-value player AND they are based out of Pondicherry. Here is another writeup about them.

As one of my friends who is a leading brand consultant put it, HiDesign has built more “value per employee” than any IT company.