Thursday, December 5, 2013

Notes to my twin Sons

My Sons, as I hold you in my arms there are thoughts traversing through my heart, it has been 9 months of waiting from that day at the Gynecologist….It took some time for the news to sink in then. and I would be honest it is taking me time to come to terms with this reality of you guys in my arms now…..No amount of preparation, Parenting Books and well-meaning advise has prepared me to this one moment in time….sometime back the nurses have placed you in my arms…..and least I can say is I am overwhelmed.

As I stand staring in your twinkling eyes I am also thinking about your doggy sisters our first kids from another species who gave us our first lessons on parenting. You will meet them and will learn to call them Angel & Mischief. As I hold you, I wonder what your grandparents must have thought when they held me like this or their parents when they had their moments of truth.

By some stroke of fate “Sachin Tendulkar” has retired yesterday from “Cricket” after 24 long years, in time you will come to know about both…In fact its providence that his entire career encompassed the journey of your parents from kids to Parenthood.

So here I am lost, not knowing what to do or how to react and what to tell you guys….The gibberish that I am puking out is non-comprehensible. hence, I am jotting down these notes hoping that someday both of you will read it. Outside the Mother’s womb life is different, it has its ups and downs, I and your Mamma had ours, as you will have yours.Studies will be hard, Friends will come some will stay while others will leave. Love will happen or it may lead to heartbreaks. You will dream, and while some will be realized others may be shattered, you may love your job or it may be an absolute bore. You will go through your own battles, while as parents we would always be there for both of you; in time you will learn that you cannot win all of them but once you accept this then you will relish the rest of it.

Find what's in your heart - the things you are most passionate about, never think you are not good enough, not because you would be, but because nobody ever is. All throughout your life, opportunities will come at you like everything's there, waiting only for you to take them. Take them! If ever you fall down, pick yourself up…..dust yourself off and look challenges in the eye and say “I am ready for you.”

We all start walking with our wobbly legs, blindly in the darkness, not knowing what we will bump into, or what crossroads we will come to next. But that's the beauty of life. You just never know. Life would be boring if we knew everything. The little discoveries that we make along the way are too special to overlook. So stop and smell the roses, no matter how cliché that sounds. You will find out sometime that clichés are there for a reason: more often than not, they are true.

When you're done smelling the flowers, go run and dance and scream your heart out. Collect all the energy that life gives you and spend it. You will run out of steam sometime, but soon you'll find out it's never enough anyway. And you will find that it will keep coming back to drive you to do everything you can ever imagine. Never let yourself believe that you can't. You can, and you will. We will be there to keep telling you that, and we will keep making sure that you believe that.

I and your Mamma want you to see all the challenges that life has to offer, and I want you to take it all in while it unfolds before you, and enable each of you to do whatever you want with it. Remember, that it doesn’t matter whether you win or you lose. When it’s all said and done make sure that you did your best and are able to hold your head high.

While you would be chasing your BIG dreams, fighting your BIG battles and making a heap of your accomplishments remember that life is not about the big stuff only but it is the smaller things in life which adds up to it. Ours has been the generation that saw the “By-Scope”, Kite Flying and Sunday morning Doordarshan’s Programmes (I wonder if you will ask me what is it)….and gradually grew to FBs, YouTube and Smart devices as I am sure yours would be even more technologically advanced…but remember as I say this ….Respect for elders, Love for all God’s creation and compassion for less fortunate never goes out of fashion.

Be respectful to ladies and open the Car door for them, Give your seat to that elderly gentleman while travelling on local transport and stand up for what is right than what is easy. I repeat what Rudyard Kipling said “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,” both of you will make fine men. You will be distinguished by your talent but remembered for how you treated people.

Never forget to tell your Mom that how much both of you love her remember you are still attached to her by an invisible umbilical cord, and call her everyday once you have grown and left her nest. Always pay your debts. While it’s great to avoid debt altogether, if you do owe money – pay it. Never take what is not rightfully yours. If the books in your shelf take up more space than your movie collection or your games Blu Rays (Hope it is still Blu Ray) – I think you will be doing just fine.

It is all right to be scared, what is important is to face your fears that’s when you will conquer them, it’s ok to say “I am sorry” ,Do a good deed every day, Have a firm grip when you shake hands and look the person in the eye when you talk to someone. Say your prayers and ask for forgiveness.

Follow the law of the land and give generously. But as I dispense my advice, I want both of you to know that we want you to live your life like it's yours to live. Really live. And when you do, we will be the happiest person in the world. God bless you…They have wheeled your Mamma out of the OT, let’s go... and say “Hi” to her…




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stakeholders’ Equilibrium - People that matter

This post was earlier published as my article in "Experiential Marketing" MagazineOnline Version of the article

Lot has changed and lot will, not only for the Clients' but also for people and organizations working in the Experiential Marketing Industry. Globalization and technology advancement is shaping the way we perceive and see things today like never before. Strategies, tactics, and operational processes that just a decade ago reigned supreme, now look a little out of sync, when viewed through today's brand perspective.

As the line between traditional ATL and BTL agencies have started blurring, marketers have started looking for more robust agencies that could rise up the ‘value chain' and be more integrated in its approach. Also, what has changed over time is Stakeholders' Equilibrium -People that matter, their approach, thoughts and adaptability.... be it a client, their agencies or the people who work in these agencies.

Clients today are looking for agencies which can grow up the value chain from being a vendor to a marketing partner, who understands their brand and provides ‘Value for money' solutions rather than rack-listed services. And though this is easier said than done, what is required by the agencies is consciousness of the fact, that at the heart of stakeholders' equilibrium lie the most important stakeholders - vendors, partners and people who work in these agencies.

When Suppliers are paid on time and are treated as an integral part of the agency, they replicate the same passion in delivering the brand promise and gothat extra mile, much beyond their "call of duty". The same benchmark can be used on the internal team who churn out innovative ideas, create concepts, creatives and execute them on ground for the clients.

For doing this we do not have to look far. Our clients have set the best benchmark possible.

The need of the hour is to customize the better practices to serve the purpose of an experiential marketing agency.Making the employee a true stakeholder by on time payment of salaries, ESIC, provident funds, organizational transparency ensuring that the agency performance and employee performance is aligned is the first step. Also, long serving employees could be rewarded through additional perks, bonuses, or something like ESOP making them a partner in the true sense.

NeoNiche lives by the DNA of "Ideas, Innovation and Insight". Any campaign that we work on, we try to bring our ideas to the table coupled with an out of the box thinking mind-set. This has helped us in proposing and executing innovative solutions, be it a ‘Silent Theatre Conference' or a ‘blue casted experience zone' in an event. For all our clients we try to act as a trusted adviser, building our insights into any campaign in MIS recommendations.

When one enters the NeoNiche Office, the first thing to be seen is a board with our ‘Mission Statement'. When each day ‘NeoKnights' walk into the office our mission board is what greets them:-

"We aspire to be the most ‘Respected', 'Caring' and 'Innovative' Experiential Marketing Company in the world. It is our firm belief, that if we pursue respect, care and innovation, then we will not short-change our Clients, we will care for our colleagues, their families and the society in general, treat our partners with respect and understanding and will never violate the law of the land in whichever Country we operate in. It is our conviction that such pursuit towards growth will create an environment of trust, harmony and excellence - the pillars which will lead to constant Innovations for our Clients."

This statement is not just a mere coinage of words but a constant reminder of who we are and what we aspire to be.

We do live in exciting times, where things change within a blink of an eye.What keeps all of us who are a part of an exciting discipline called marketing on the go, is our undying passion, that adventurous streak, our affinity for challenges and that gush of adrenalin when it all falls together...Those "moments of truth", knowledge of a work well done and we all are ready for the next challenge....aren't we?

Monday, January 7, 2013

NeoNiche - A Startup Story

I am a first generation entrepreneur ,and my company is called “NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd”, I have been a regular reader to posts and would say that the blogs has been a source of inspiration to me as to numerous others.

NeoNiche was started with the single dream of bridging the gap between the marketers and the understanding of his/her hired agency ...more specific the Event Agency ....We started with the single aim to reinforce relationship between company & customers, brand & buyers, product & prospects, by creating experiences, delivered real time across multiple platforms of Social, Digital and on-ground Event experiences. While I embarked on this journey with my team we realized this was only possible if we truly cared about people who mattered to us ,Our team, Their families, our customers, society that we live in and the law of the land. That’s how we formed our mission statement where we said-
"We aspire to be the most 'Respected' , 'Caring' and 'Innovative' Experiential Marketing Company in the world, because it is our firm belief that if we pursue respect, care & innovation we will not short-change our Clients, care for our Colleagues, their families and society in general, treat our partners with respect and understanding, will never violate the law of the land in whichever Country we operate. It is our conviction that such pursuit will create an environment of trust ,harmony and excellence, pillars which will lead to constant Innovations for our Clients ."
NeoNiche journey started with a dream ,we had no money, no backing coming from middle class family in Ranchi with only salaried personnel and certainly no major contacts .
However, the journey of past year taught me few things as entrepreneur which I want to share with my fellow entrepreneurs and anyone thinking of bootstrapping.
  1. It’s not WHO you know but WHAT you know and WHERE and HOW you can make a difference – The first Client who empaneled us as vendor are yet to do business with us while there are few Angel Clients who trusted us and brought us more clients by WOM.
  2. Think BIG, Set hairy, audacious, BIG goals but be humble
  3. A motivated team is better than 10 so called experienced experts – Motivate your team to go beyond what they are capable of. and give them the credit when they deliver
  4. Be visible and be different –A paradox but both are also true vice versa …..our recognition at CMO Asia Awards and free media coverage helped us
  5. Follow the law of the land and pay your taxes on time – Helps to maintain the transparency 
  6. Do not hire a family member at least not when you are starting off
  7. Give Value for Money service and be shameful in asking Clients for referrals
  8. Believe in yourself its only then that the world will start believing you
  9. Be Frugal- Its not about the flashy car but about that extra penny saved to get more resources
  10. Follow the rules that exist for everyone in the team and enjoy your free time.