Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Life is a tough ballgame: A philosophical interlude. #startup #entrepreneur #business #management #life

Life is like the game of squash. You aren’t even as good as the last point you scored. Because there’s no guarantee that the next point will be yours. You may find it too good for you or you just might win it too, but then again you might lose the next point and the next and the game eventually.
Life is also your opponent in that game. An indefatigable, strong, skilful and energetic opponent who plays a better game than you. Which means that if you slacken even a tiny bit in your game you’re done for. So you have to be twice as quick, sharp, cunning and strong to win a point. Most importantly you will need to have mental toughness to recover quickly from the loss of a point or even a game or a match.

 There are days when you will lose continually. Your opponent would seem to have outclassed you, both physically and mentally. Your body could be suffering from pain or a fever. These are the days when you are tested both in body and in spirit. During these times, don’t be hard on yourself, don’t believe you have to win everything, everyday. Such occasions are meant to teach you about an important aspect of life; there’s nothing called defeat or failure, these have to be treated as setbacks that need mental resilience to help overcome. They are important for they test your essence and your will to survive. 

 You have to keep on ticking, even on such days. Reset your objectives. Don’t be impractical and aim too high. You’re simply setting yourself up for a debilitating failure if you’re trying to attain implausible goals. Instead on such days focus on the small victories. One point. Two points. A hard-fought rally. Aim to win one game out of the set of 5. Push it to two. Reduce the margin of defeat. You may lose the game, yet your mental state is that of being victorious, then look at your opponent and you’ll realize that even though he’s won, he’s not looking happy. Because he knows that he couldn’t upset you.

 That’s the next point. Never get upset during the game and life. Keep your cool. Don’t smash your racket. It’s only a dumb tool and isn’t responsible for your loss. Just like how in life, nobody or nothing but you are responsible for your own failures. Learn to smile at your loss. You will see the gaps in your approach more clearly and can then work on overcoming them. It’ll infuriate your opposition because they’ll know that you’re still in the game and you have something special coming.
Your body like you will bounce back. Slowly at times, fast other times. Because the human body and mind is honed to survive and win, let it take over and believe in it. You’ll rebound and win.
Now the point of caution. When you know you’re on the upswing of life, don’t get cocky and overconfident because you won a point. Your cockiness may cost you the game. So stay calm and keep collecting points, games, sets and matches. Return to do this again and again. Remember every point has to be won like as though it is the first and the last.

 You aren’t fated or destined to win or lose anything. If you think so, the end result will definitely be loss. The outcome of life, be it a day or a year or a lifetime, is entirely decided only on how you play each point. Wait, each shot, and make that each day, each moment. Win each shot, win that moment. Keep your focus tight and unwavering and you’ll keep winning in the game and in life. You will win, believe in that and work on it. Keep on working at it.

Because life, like squash is an open court with a tough opponent waiting inside. And you are only as good as the shot you will play.
 #startup #entrepreneur #business #management #life

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Lonely Cloud Consulting for Mahindra First Choice Services @Newsvoir #Mahindrafirstchoice #thelonelycloudconsulting

Mahindra First Choice Services Launches its First Nationwide Television Commercial – “Free ke baad First Choice”

Jan 22, 2016   15:00 IST 
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
- When a customer buys a new car, he gets free services to be consumed in an interval of 2-3 years. In this free service period, he is generally carefree as he need not pay any charges to the workshop.

- Once the free service period is over, the customer longs for honest advice and assured quality of service at the right price.

- Mahindra First Choice Any CarService is transparent in its dealings and offers car owners an alternative where they can avail the best technical service, honest advice and are charged only wherever necessary.

- With 100 workshops, Mahindra First Choice Services this is undoubtedly the best choice.

Mahindra First Choice Services (MFCS), part of the USD 16.9 billion Mahindra Group is India’s leading chain of multi-brand car service workshops, with a national network comprising 100 workshops across more than 60 cities, today launched its first television commercial “Free ke baad First Choice.”

We are delighted to announce that we have scaled our Multi Brand Organised service network to 100 workshops across 15 states with a robust spare parts and service supply chain. This campaign is to take the unique positioning of ‘Free ke baad First Choice’ - MFCS being the destination for car service post free service period,” said YVS Vijay Kumar, CEO, Mahindra First Choice Services Ltd.

“The campaign is based on the customer feedback received through various market research conducted in last 3 years. Set in a humorous undertone, the TVC brings out the key message which every car owner is familiar with – the pains and perils of getting your car serviced once the paid service period is over. The consumer gets the feeling of behaviour change and implied costs of car maintenance. The customer looks for honest advice and assured quality of service. With this campaign we hope that the customers will be able to relate to the concept which is straight out of a real-life situation.” said Alok Kapoor, Head- Marketing and Franchise Development- Mahindra First Choice Services Ltd.This month long multimedia campaign will be majorly through television, outdoor, radio, online and print. The approximate spends are to the tune of Rs.10 Crore  and the campaign will break in the coming week , post Republic Day,” he added.

“We understood the concerns and saw an opportunity to create a humorous campaign addressing them. The TVC establishes a contrast between two scenarios, during free service period and paid service period -  how the behaviour of the customer and service advisor (workshop) changes towards car maintenance. During free service period the customer is king, he has the upper hand, asking service advisors to do work which might not be required since there is no cost. The contrast is during the paid service, when the service advisor starts behaving like a king, and tries to oversell things which might not be required , thus creating a doubt in the mind of the customer,” said Rajan L Narayan, Founder and Principal Consultant, The Lonely Cloud Consulting Company.


Key Communication Thought:
The key message “Free ke baad First Choice” is to inform car owners that now they have a viable option at the end of their free service period. Mahindra First Choice Any Car Service is transparent in its dealings and offers car owners an alternative where they can avail honest advice, the best technical and assured quality of service and are charged only wherever necessary.

Establishing a contrast between two scenarios, during free service period & paid service period, how the behaviours of the customer and service advisor (workshop) change towards car maintenance.

During free service period


Customer is king, he has the upper hand, asking service advisor to do work which might not be required since there is no cost.

During Paid service

Now the Service advisor is king, he tries to oversell things which might not be required creating, thus there a doubt in the mind of the customer

About Mahindra First Choice Services
Mahindra First Choice Services (MFCS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., is a chain of multi brand car workshops across major cities in India like Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik, Nellore, Noida, ,Pune, Ranipet, Surat, Vapi, Villupuram, Moga, Zirakpur, Madurai, Neyvelli, etc. covering an area of over 10,00,000 sq. ft.

Established in 2008, the company aims to offer a world class car servicing experience in India at value for money prices. With a combination of COCO & FOFO workshops, MFCS plans to become one of the top three car service providers in the country by 2018.

MFCS is a recipient of the ISO 9001:2004, 9001:2008 and OHSMS 18001:2007 certification by TUV Nord for its world class quality processes, environmentally friendly business practices and the attention it pays to the health and safety of its employees.

Till recently, the Rs. 20,000 crore plus per annum post warranty car servicing industry was almost equally divided between OEM dealers and independent garages. However, in recent times, changing customer needs and rapidly evolving automotive technology coupled with the exponential growth in the country’s car population, has seen multi-brand car workshop chains such as MFCS gain momentum. MFCS has already serviced over 350,000 cars and has been receiving an encouraging response from across the country.

In last one year, MFCS appointed more than 190 franchisees, of which 79 workshops are already up and the balance are scheduled to commence operations in the next 3-4 months. MFCS expands its network in clusters with each cluster comprising a geographical region of around 250-300 kms radius. Each cluster has a ‘cluster warehouse’ which supplies spares to all the workshops in that particular cluster. Currently, the company operates clusters in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur & NCR.

The com­pany’s investment of around Rs. 250 crore over five years will go towards creation of infrastructure and expansion through clusters. In order to supply parts to the workshops, the company will increase the number of its cluster warehouses from the present 20 to 43. Each workshop of MFCS uses quality spares procured at competitive rates and follows stringent quality measures including a mandatory 60 point “First Choice First Check” on each car.

MFCS also provides hassle-free cashless insurance facility with leading insurance companies. Car owners can book a service either by calling the workshop or the toll free number 1800-22-4008 or through the MFCS website, www.mahindrafirstchoiceservices.com. The company also has a strong digital presence and has recently launched an innovative, first-of-its-kind online car dent estimator tool which can be used not just by its own customers but by any car owner.

About Mahindra
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.

A USD 16.9 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractorsutility vehiclesinformation technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.

In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000, a comprehensive listing of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value.

The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times ‘Boldness in Business’ Award in the ‘Emerging Markets’ category in 2013.

The Lonely Cloud Consulting for #Mahindrafirstchoiceservices #advertising #consulting #marketing #campaign

On 2nd of November last year, which was my wedding anniversary I founded The Lonely Cloud Consulting Company:  www.thelonelycloudconsulting.com  aimed at providing growth strategies for Indian companies. This was backed by my two decades of experience in the Indian marketing and communication space.

The Lonely Cloud Consulting develops & implements growth strategies to grow business. Solutions cover planning & implementation in marketing communications

My clients, friends and family have been my pillars of support as my fledgling company got off to a dream start. Here is our first TVC - a part of the 360 degree campaign we created for Mahindra First Choice Services. The campaign now goes on air.




Like my client, Mahindra First Choice Any car service, The Lonely Cloud Consulting is built on my reputation of providing 'Honest advise and service'. My company brings together the best talent across business strategy, marketing, sales, distribution, communication, consumer engagement and environment sustainability to help companies achieve their growth objectives.
My philosophy is simple, one that my father has ingrained in me: "Do your duty, sincerely. Your reputation will take care of everything else." I couldn't have asked for a better start.
I most humbly thank you for the kind support you have provided me in my career. I will continue to need your support in this journey.

#Mahindrafirstchoiceservices #advertising #consulting #marketing #campaign #thelonelycloudconsulting #rajanlnarayan

Monday, January 4, 2016

Deterrance & modern warfare

Modern warfare requires modern techniques. An Israeli team who surveyed the wreckage after 26/11/08 had mentioned that the Indian commandos were equipped with improper weapons. In a hostage situation, the commandos needed to be given light weapons so that innocents don't get hurt in the cross-fire. Which wasn't the case.
The problem is not just with the commando units but the entire 1-million strong Indian Army. The Indian Army comprises of very brave men and women equipped with weapons and trained for conventional war. This is a relic of our British colonial past. The British had marshalled the forces to counter: An internal revolt like the 1857 First war of Independence and to fight classical European style wars on behalf of the British.
To that end the Indian Army performed magnificently. The Sikh and Gorkha regiments remained loyal to the British and helped them quell the 1857 uprising and the Indian Army was the decisive force that helped the Allied forces win both World Wars.
Then the British left and the Indian Army was split between two countries. Both being similarly trained, fought 3 conventional wars where the Indian Army's size proved to be the decisive factor in India's favour. At the same time its inability to halt the '62 Chinese incursion exposed its inherent and obvious flaws in being at sea on the mountains.
Since then the Indian Army top brass and their political masters have only been reactive. They've continued to style the army for an improbable conventional war, buying tanks, aircrafts and ships which are of little use in countering our crafty enemy's strategy.
Pakistan, having realized after '71 that victory against India  through a conventional war is impossible have moved to a different strategy to finish India, it's called, "Death by a thousand cuts." The strategy used by Muslim Bedouin tribes in North Africa to kill the elephant.
The 'Elephant' is India and their strategy is a series of terror attacks across the country to bleed India to death.
They need a reason and Kashmir is it. It's not that Pakistan wants or care for Kashmir. But by keeping the issue alive, it gives them a reason, a steady flow of dumb-ass miyas willing to blow themselves up for that cause and a counter to India when we raise the issue of cross-border terrorism at international forums.
It's a well-known strategy and all elephants bleed to death after a 1000 cuts. We will too if we don't counter it.
The first part of our plan has to begin with our army and the way we understand and appreciate how wars will be fought in the future and most importantly now, in the present.
It's a wonderful feeling to watch our smart army men march past us on 26th of January in their fine uniforms. Their turbans, plumes and tanks are like the tusks of an elephant. Look very fierce and impressive but absolutely useless in modern warfare. In fact they're a hindrance.
Tell me what use was a tank in these Pathankot attacks? They were useless because they could have blown apart an aircraft if they missed. And what use is a fighter aircraft? The enemy uses missiles not bombers these days. And you can't fight dog-fights in these supersonic jets, I hope you know that. Fighter jets are useful when huge distances are to be covered. But they're costly and require training besides also jeopardizing the lives of our pilots. They're also not made here so very costly to procure from American/European countries.
But do we need so many fighter planes? Our threat is from our neighbours. And fortunately we have the world's best missile technologists in our own country. We can easily batter both enemies at a fraction of the cost using accurate missiles. So why aren't we doing it?
Our 1-miilion army, similarly needs to be trained to counter these low-intensity wars. How do we dissuade the Pakistani elite from attacking our innocent people. Why can't we target their soft underbellies? Why don't we attack their families? Right now they have nothing to lose. They don't care if a lakh dumb-ass fiyadeens die. But if one of their own is killed they'll think. First they'll cry, then swear revenge, but when more bodies come in, they'll realize. That the elephant can hit back where it hurts the most.
War is dirty. But you have a choice. Either die like a bakri or fight like a tiger. The Pakistanis changed the rules to suit themselves. Let's change it again, to suit us.
Let's make them bleed. Let's make them cry instead of us watching the young widows and bereaved children cry at the funeral of our brave faujis.