Wednesday, May 2, 2018
During the IPL match ad break, my teenage son and I noticed three different motorcycle brands advertise one after the other all touting power, speed and racing. "Dad, why haven't they bothered to say something different from each other? Also as a potential audience, I find their proposition unappealing. Neither my friends nor I would want to do any of these stunts. This is pure recklessness!" His words reminded me of a famous motorcycle brand launch I had the privilege of working on. Like the team that had developed these racing ads, we too then believed that motorcycle buyers were closeted cowboys, dreaming of impressing the world with their reckless bravado. Consumer research however threw up a surprise! Potential motorcycle owners spoke of having to balance a demanding life of rising expenses and needs with an income that couldn't be taken for granted. Above all what shone out was their sense of righteousness that eschewed risk and embraced struggle. This inspired us to launch the brand on a contra position of being the unshakeable even through rough times. I look at my son and countless other responsible, mature kids of this country and wonder why motorcycle brands can't see the obvious, continuing as they do, to harp on a redundant tune.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
The taxi driver asked these question, "How is it that a poor man like me is unable to get a few lakh rupees car loan from a bank but a rich man gets thousands of crores against no securities whatsoever? Why is it that I have to run from pillar to post and finally raise money at a huge interest from dubious finance companies while banks trip over each other to fund the rich man and renegotiate his interest even when he defaults? How is it that the rich man siphons off money for years without getting caught and I'm pulled up if I miss one installment on my car loan? Why it it that it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to simply manage my livelihood while the rich man multiplies his wealth many times over? Sir, WHY ARE THE RICH GETTING RICHER AND THE POOR GETTING POORER IN OUR DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY? It's because somewhere in the past we replaced our national role model. We traded Mahatma Gandhi for a business icon known to twist and break the rules to become wealthy. That day, our nation lost its collective moral compass. We stopped seeing wrong as wrong. A wrong that managed to not get caught became accepted as right as long as it made one wealthy. We gave away righteousness to gain wealth. We have only ourselves to blame. Change will happen only by resetting our moral compass.