Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IIPM Faculty Rajita Chaudhuri on 'DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LEAD'

“Men rule because women let them. Male misogyny is real enough, and it has dreadful consequences, but female misogyny is what keeps women out of power.” --Germaine Greer

“What will electing a woman PM do for Australian women?” --Sun Herald, June 28, 2010

For any company to be truly successful and for any country to truly become a powerful nation, the rule is the same – making the women powerful. If there is one country that has done it and shown the world what a difference it can make, it’s China. Compared to 1949, the status of Chinese women as of today has changed significantly; and this has been possible due to (apart from numerous other factors) one milestone, which came when in 1954, a clause on men and women being equal was included in the country’s constitution. This meant that women had the same status as men; politically, economically, culturally and educationally, in all aspects of life. Additionally, this equality status became formally protected by law. China was now ready to take on the world, because a country that looks after its women grows the fastest. It is the best growth strategy that any company or country can adopt. After all, the world’s greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. The ones who have this foresight will stay ahead of competitors and lead.

One organization that realized this early was Google. When Marissa became the first woman engineer to be hired by Google, this is what Larry Page and Sergey Brin told her, “You know, we have seven engineers, and they’re all guys. But we’ve thought a lot about how we want to start our company, and we’ve read a lot of books, and we know that organizations work better when there is gender balance. So it’s important to us that we have a strong group of women, especially technical women, in the company.” Today, numerous Fortune 500 companies are being headed by women. They bring along with them two qualities, which are distinctly female; that of ‘patience and compassion’, which makes them better leaders. It’s said Krishna was a better leader than Ram because he had these two qualities, which Ram did not have. So though Ram became the perfect man, it was Krishna who became the perfect leader. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

IIPM Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri on 'DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DARE'

“Attacking is the only secret. Dare and the world always yields; or if it beats you sometimes, dare again , and it will succumb.” --William Thackeray

Do not be afraid to do different things; things, which had never been done before by any woman; for if a whole lot of women had not dared, the world would not have been the way we see it today.

If she had not dared to enter a “man’s profession”, we would not have discovered radium. Marie Curie went on to become the first woman to win the Nobel Prize; and she said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” If it hadn’t been for these daring women who took enormous chances and made great discoveries in spite of or rather because of the resistance they faced in the male-dominated field, a lot of mysteries would not have been solved. If research is to be believed, then according to the book The Madame Curie Complex, women scientists have often asked different questions, used different methods, come up with different explanations for phenomena in the natural world, and in doing so, have transformed forever a scientist’s role. They have also proved that the concept of ‘male professions’ is a myth. If decades ago, Madame Curie had to fight hard against the general perception of people that science was not for women, then today a whole lot of women are fighting the perception that ‘technology’ is not a field for women. Those are daring women like Sheryl Sandberg and many more who have worked hard to change this mindset and pave the way for future female leaders. It’s not surprising that this time, IBM decided to appoint Virginia Rometty as its first ever female CEO, something unheard of in technology companies. However, women like Meg Whitman (e-Bay) and Carly Fiorina (HP) have already shown that women are as capable of handling technology as men!

The world may not always have been fair to the fairer sex, but it has not deterred many from daring to live their dreams. According to an old Chinese proverb, women hold up half the sky. Do they get their ‘half’ of the pie on earth too? We still live in a world that does not do justice to women, and this fact has been highlighted in the numerous true stories compiled in a book aptly named Half the sky. The best part is that these are stories of courage, of hope. These are stories of how women across Asia and Africa turned oppression into opportunity. One story is of a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery who had the courage to run away and start afresh. Today, she runs a thriving retail business. Another heart breaking story is of a woman from Ethiopia who suffered devastating injuries during child birth. Not only did she fight for survival but in time, became a surgeon. Ordinary women, but with extraordinary stories. They may not have changed the world. No, not yet. But they dared to change their world; that’s what courage is all about.

It’s time each woman dared to change the rules and dared to live her dream. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

IIPM Faculty Rajita Chaudhuri on STICK OUT AND STICK ON!

The aim of a marketing campaign is to make the brand stick out in your memory. Being different, i.e., sticking out, helps in doing that. The golden rule being, do exactly the opposite of what the others are doing. This rule holds true everywhere; the way you dress, the way you apply for a job, the way you advertise and the way you speak. If everyone wears a casual attire to work, wear a suit to stand out. If every competitor of yours is using advertisements with more visuals and less text, do exactly the opposite.
An MBA from Texas desperately wanted to get into the company Accenture, but nothing worked. Ultimately, he decided to do something different. He created a website ‘Hire-’, which had his flashy photos, his blog and his resume. Yet another job seeker mailed a shoe with his resume stuffed inside it to his potential employer with a note “Just trying to get my foot in the door”. One even sent his resume in a pizza box with a note, “Delivering you a great candidate”. Sometimes, the gimmicks work and sometimes they backfire; but if you have it in you, then a little extra attention goes a long way towards achieving your goal.
So set a goal, a target for yourself, and chase it passionately, while keeping in mind the simple fact that to stick on to people’s minds and to be remembered; you need to stick out, and keep thinking of ways of doing things differently from the rest of the world. You will be noticed. Advertisers have been using this trick for decades. Earlier (even now), advertisers used beautiful women to sell just about everything. You have a beautiful woman in an ad for a razor, for a shirt, for a men’s deo, for a bike, for a car, for just about anything. Now they are using men to sell products used by women!
The rule is simple. If you want to succeed in this highly cluttered and competitive world, then work hard towards not just being good but also towards being different from others, so that you stand out from the crowd. Do not blend in. Make your own rules and you will be noticed. Being noticed is the first step towards success. So while making your strategies, remember, “Stick out, don’t blend in”!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Cicero's Carnival is the biggest carnival in the country for school students. It started as an experiment and today it has grown into a big event which sees participation from all schools across the country.

We at IIPM believe your education is incomplete if all you did in school was study! There are various other activities that 'teach' you more than just course books, the most important being the sports field. It teaches you one of the most important lessons in life and that is, how to deal with failure. You learn that it's ok to fail and it's ok to commit errors. Most importantly you learn that failure is not final for there is always another game that can be won.

Cicero's Carnival gives students a chance to rediscover themselves as they compete with the best players across the country. It gives students a chance to develop their competitive spirit and put in a good fight, for nothing is more satisfying than emerging victorious against strong competition. After all, competitive spirit is not about wishing the other to fail but rather is about pushing yourself to excel and exceed that standards of excellence established by your peers. Victory is not just winning but also about being able to tell after a fight that “I gave it all I could. I gave it my best'. That is also the spirit of Cicero's Carnival. It's not just about winning or losing; it's about learning to develop that 'competitive spirit'. The various competitions at the carnival are designed to help you excel as an individual as well as a team. As the saying goes “If you think you think you can, you can”. The carnival is a place where you can test your beliefs and your competitive spirit.

Cicero's Challenge gives students that chance to come out of their class-rooms and have fun while they compete with each other. It gives them a chance to think beyond and dare to do different things. This is what drives IIPM and we passionately believe that if you dare to do things that you believe in, then you are bound to achieve success.

It gives me immense pleasure to see how this carnival has grown, and how every year thousands of students come to attend it. There is no greater satisfaction than to see these very young and very bright minds come here and not just sincerely and passionately compete with each other but also have fun, make new friends, discover their hidden potential and take away not just some fabulous prizes but also some fantastic memories.

I hope as you read this special edition, you too get a feel of the carnival atmosphere and the competitive spirit with which the environment was abuzz that day.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


Good ideas make you rich but not the reverse. As William Cameron said, “Money never starts an idea, it’s the idea that starts the money.” If you have an idea that came out of your passion for something and not for the objective of making money, it’s going to make you a lot of money, for that’s what makes legends. Not just the knack of inventing and creating new ideas but even the ability to identify the potential of new ideas is what makes businesses successful. A genius is someone who can make use of the simplest of ideas. In fact, the simpler an idea, the more profitable it is. Think about ‘Hotmail’, a simple idea of sending mails for free over the internet, which made its founder Sabeer Bhatia richer by $400 million back in 1997. PayPal, a simple idea of making payments online, made its founders richer by $1.5 billion when eBay bought it. Instagram, the most recent company creating waves, is also a simple idea. In fact, it’s not even a new idea, for Flickr does the same; just that it’s for the web while Instagram is for the mobile. Flickr also made money for its founders when it was bought by Yahoo! a few years back

A successful businessman is one who keeps an eye open for ideas with potential. When eBay acquired PayPal, it saw a potential and today, Paypal is contributing in revenues as much as eBay’s core business. Something similar is what Mark Zuckerberg saw in Instagram. Those were not the profits of the company but its potential to grow which attracted him to it; for no one understands the model of establishing an audience before generating sales better than him. When he made Facebook in his Harvard dormitory, he wanted it to become popular, to be liked by youngsters and not make money. Instagram, too, was made with the same philosophy and is loved by its users. They love it so much that they would not move to any other application easily. Love is what makes the world go round; surprisingly, even the business world, and no one knows it better than Apple. It is most loved, has a cult-like following and its consumer base is most loyal. Michael Dell once said that Apple should close down while it still had something to return to its investors. This same company today has passed Exxon-Mobil as the world’s most valuable company and has bigger financial reserves than the US government! For a company that many thought would close down soon, it’s not done too bad. Even though Steve Jobs is no more with us, but the world will not forget him for his iPad. It was a new way of looking at the dying market of tablets. Thanks to the iPad, the tablet market is the most thriving one with new consumers being added every day.

In fact, his iPad has been responsible for infusing fresh life not just into the tablet market but into so many others too. Magazines and newspapers are finding an innovative way to increase the life span of their products. The iPad has made magazines more user friendly, more trendy and more attractive. Schools are finding it easier to teach reluctant kids, making subjects more fun and the teaching style more interactive. It’s Apple and it’s iPad and iPhone that started a whole new business of ‘apps’ and one company for sure (Instagram) is thanking Steve Jobs today for making them billionaires!

A good idea has the power to change a lot of things and inspire so many others too. In fact, one idea can take so many different proportions that could have never been imagined. As Pablo Picasso said, “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.” The iPad was just an idea and today it is the new way of doing business for many companies.

Similarly, Hunger Games was just an idea for a novel and today it has spawned so many businesses. When Suzanne Collins wrote the book, little did she know the ripple effect it would create. Even before the film was released, Lionsgate, its producers, and a host of others built a whole world of marketing around it. Set in the future, the movie is about a place named ‘Capitol’, which selects a boy and a girl from the twelve districts that it governs and makes them fight to death on a live television show, for the thrill of the Capitol’s residents and to keep the districts under full domination. It revolves around a brave girl who is also a sharp shooter and how she not just wins but changes the rules of the game too. A movie that keeps you at the edge of your seat right till the end is also an important lesson in marketing. In a world full of male superheroes, here comes a young ‘girl-superhero’. The audience loved her for they had seen none like her. Her powers (shooting with a bow and arrow), too, were not in-born but could be nurtured. She was a dream that could be achieved and her effect on the young audience has worked like magic. The idea of the story was so brilliant that it influenced many. China Glaze, a cosmetics company, has launched a Hunger Games-inspired nail polish line and yes, you guessed it, it has twelve shades – one for each district. Never to be left behind, Facebook has a game called The Hunger Games adventures, where players build their own traps, concoct potions and even grow food. New York Sports Club has launched a new workout inspired by Hunger Games, which has moves like those used by the girl Katniss and her friends for survival. The winner of the workout is the one who is fit to survive the treacherous arena that Katniss survived in the movie. Very soon, we might see a Barbie changing from a dainty little girl to one with a bow and arrow like Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), the new heartthrob of young fans. The sound track of the movie soared to the number one slot, making the singer Taylor Swift most wanted. It’s remained the top film for three weeks and even the mighty Titanic could not overshadow it. Doing a business of over $300 million, the film shows no signs of slowing down and neither do the marketers who just can’t stop finding ways of making the most of this mania.

One story changed the fortunes of not just the author (she is the best selling author on Amazon and everywhere else), but also of a host of other businesses. The power of an idea could not have been better explained than the way it was done in the movie Inception, where Leonardo DiCaprio is on a mission to plant an idea in the mind of the heir of a business tycoon to dissolve his deceased father’s business empire. He rightly says, “What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.”

In fact, a whole lot of new inventions are doing just that. If the iPad shook up the world in 2010, then wait to see what these can do. A new technology named DIDO will eliminate the need for cell phone towers and you can say goodbye to slow download speeds forever. There is a printer, which will be able to print skin. You can keep your palm on the device and the cartridges filled with skin cells will print out your skin. Although still in the development stage, a lot of burn victims and soldiers are eagerly waiting for it.

There is going to be a world of opportunities that is going to open up; just keep a lookout for the new ideas around you and within you. Be not afraid of expressing your view even if it sounds silly; for most often, that is the foundation of a successful idea. As Einstein said, “If at first it’s not absurd, there is no hope for it.” Remember that there is nothing more powerful than a good idea. Have faith in your ideas and don’t let somebody’s yawn or sneer kill it. You owe it to yourself and the world, for you know what a good idea can do.

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Political Yawner In The Making

The merger of Chiranjeevi's PRP with the Kirankumar Reddy-led Congress may prove to be successful in staving off the Opposition's bid to unsettle the government but it will surely make Andhra politics extremely boring, feels Naresh Nunna.

Vaudeville refers to a stage-variety entertainment show, featuring a series of short acts, songs, dances, acrobatics, comedy skits and animal acts; 'turnaround' denotes a film that has been abandoned by a studio; 'unbilled role' means a supporting role for a major star. Now let's put these jargons to use. In Andhra, a vaudeville-like PRP has made a 'turnaround' by merging with the Congress, confining PRP founder and megastar Chiranjeevi (Chiru) to an 'unbilled role'.

Before and during the launch of the much-hyped PRP, TSI had foreseen the possible walk-on (minor brief role) of Chiru in the political arena. The predictions were not based on wild political speculation but on psephological hypothesis. When the second daughter of Chiru eloped with her friend and got married, it was said that it was a conspiracy hatched to embarrass Chiru by Congress leaders who allegedly paid for the travel and stay of the young couple and the hefty legal fees. Chiru was then unsure about his entry into politics. Chiru made up his mind for a counter-attack with his own political outfit. A real leader would not have been impulsive and no party should have its roots in personal whims.

“A real leader should not be impulsive. It is not a film, there is no avenging hero. Despite his huge fan following, which could be equal to that of the legendary N. T. Rama Rao’s, Chiru was at receiving end, owing to his imprudent steps,” noted psephologist Ramalingam D. Vavilala.

PRP was confined to winning just 18 seats in the 294-member state Assembly in the 2009 elections. In a jolt to his personal ambitions, he was unsuccessful in his native district where he lost to a Congress lady. The actor managed a narrow win in Tirupati, one of the two seats he contested for the Assembly.

“It is not a debacle for a new entrant. It was wrongly perceived to be disastrous since the expectations were high. Though PRP won only 18 seats, its contestants came second in 34 Assembly constituencies. Garnering 17 per cent of the total votes, PRP played a key role in deciding the fate of 65 seats,” Vavilala added.

According to political analyst and senior journalist Ashok Tankasala, Chiranjeevi is an unfazed romanticist, a wrong man in the political paradise.

“The romanticist generally has strong likes and dislikes, irrespective of logic. With all his emotions and fancies, he dreams, imagines, sometimes they are utopian. The flip side of the romanticist is that he is aware of no reality, no rationale, and no logic,” Tankasala told TSI.

If Chiru had been a romanticist in the classic sense of the term, he could have learnt a lesson from the outcome of 2009 elections. It was the first time that his romanticism was faced with the hardcore reality outside. But, the election results did not change the man. An over-ambitious Chiru failed to generate a sense of confidence among its people. During the days of preparation, his discussions with the intellectual gentry merely resembled his sittings with film directors.

“Chiranjeevi tried to fill the voids within, being formed by more than three decades of ignorance - an ignorance of reality,” political commentator Sanjiva Reddy said. Juxtaposing the icons of Gandhi, Mother Teresa with Phule and Ambedkar led to further confusion. In fact, his party's slogan was also very filmy: 'preme lakshyam, seve margam (Love is the destiny and service the only means.' He started disappointing his followers at the very first meeting at Tirupati when he read out a prepared speech.

Chiru became a virtual non-entity in state politics and Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy's sudden demise changed the political equations in Andhra Pradesh. The Congress high command started experimenting with the veteran K. Rosaiah. Now, a new guinea pig in the shape of Kirankumar Reddy is being used with the sole aim of ending ‘YSRisation’ of the state Congress. This gradually isolated Jagan and ensured his exit from party. The issue of a separate Telangana state also jolted state politics. There were serious doubts about the survivability of the government.

“Appointing Srikrishna Committee to study the feasibility of a Telangana state was the first move of the Congress high command. The Telangana ferment was pacified for time being,” Reddy said. Referring to the allurement of Chiranjeevi by the Congress, senior political analyst Prakash Tadi said that the Congress clinched an instant victory with the merger of PRP as ''victories in politics are (must be) immediate and momentary''.

“Individually speaking Chiru is a weak politician. The present CM, Kirankumar Reddy is a constituency-level leader. But, the strategic combination of these two feather-weight champions marked a remarkable victory over the two gigantic figures of Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy and N. Chandrababu Naidu,” he told TSI.

Naidu dare not go for a no-confidence motion against the present government as it could become ‘counter-productive’. Jagan, who bragged that the government is running at his mercy, is now in a fix as he is uncertain of his strength, after the merger. Some MLAs in the Jagan camp are gradually distancing themselves from YSR's son and are reiterating their loyalties to the high command.

By roping in Chiranjeevi, the Congress, which has 155 MLAs, is now confident of facing a trial of strength in the Assembly. But Chiru's romanticism won't go away. After coming out of 10 Janpath, he said his party merged with the Congress to fight more fiercely for social justice. Since his feeble shoulders could not bring about any change, he decided to take the support of the more muscular Congress. Chiru's romanticism may turn Andhra politics into another yawner (a boring film).