ITC : positive vibes

Brand ITC. Just see where it started and where its aiming to go! eChoupals, retail, confectionaries, the whole gamut is mindboggling. Oblivious of ther size, I had considered their hiring the King Khan as their brand ambassador a mere marketing waste. Just a marketing gimmick gone all wrong. But how wrong was I!

It was last Amul (how can one forget those ads during Surabhi!) that really could bond with me at a personal level; the idea of a company working closely with the community; making the community closely involved with its business strategy was it best way to give back to the community. And now ITC, with all its ads of adopting villages and other socio-economic development coming out it just working closely with the community, has the positive vibes going great. Im definitely impressed with the effort they are putting in making the social(not social as the in the web2.0 social, just the real social) thing really work for them.

philmi philosophy

Yesterday after watching Rakhee; Im in two moods now.

One, for the reason that finally mainstream directors are seriously tackling the issue of women inequality in our society. Some of the points raised in the movie are really good.
Secondly, though for the very simple solution that is being taken to tackle the problem : Capital punishment a.l.a Tit For Tat. Shankar took to the same solution for his two movies dealing with tackling corruption Indian/Bharateeyudu & Anniyan/Aparitichitudu. Even RDB took the same path. Fear of death as a simple solution to regulate/retaliate human ills.

Whats more intriguing though is the audience is pumped up by this gratuitious violence and the notion of violence as an answer to the problems. In each of the movies though, the society/common people and consequently the audience believe that they are always the victims and the system is a perperator and everyone part of the system need to eliminated. Every ill of the society is simply attributed to corruption of the system.

The mantra is simple ‘Eliminate the components of this system; eliminate corruption.’

  • Is the nature of todays India just because of corruption? That is all that is there to the ills of India today? Just look at the movie Anniyan to understand how a complex problem of why India could not develop as rapidly as Korea or Singapore or other better developed Asian countries is all attributed to Corruption. I dont think not many in the audience think any different.
  •  Not even one film seems to show that the system actually comprises of the audience too. If the system has failed, the society has failed too. Or actually, the system fails because the society failed.

There is a logical flaw… but …

whoring in the film review community

2002-2004, Friday mornings, 11am types.
Frantic looks from watch to the professor; professor to watch. Class finishes; ask your non-interested geek friends to carry your books to hostel. Go (rush!) to the movie theatre, buy the tickets in black (obviously!); watch the movie; love it or hate it, dissect it. Simply every person in the audience donned their role of serious reviewer VERY seriously. Afterall we had to get the paisa vasool for the grades we had to miss for watching these movies 1st day 1st show!

After getting our share of enough bad movies, we changed our strategy, We simply started going to movies for 1st day 2nd show (the night show). But to help us carry us through the trauma, we simply depended on our good friendly neighborhood reviewer who would be the very first one to review the movies and by afternoon we were mentally prepared with our expectations. We have our own reviewer Jeevi who did scathing reviews of telugu movies.

2004-2006
The scathing reviews are still there but then he has mellowed down quite a bit. Reviewers are no longer passionate film reviewers. He is now no longer the guy who does scathing reviews. If its a huge star’s movie, it gets 3.5 no matter how many Zandu Balms and Asprins we had to use to get over the trauma. And a really good small budget movie would get 3.25 however hard it tried.

And now in 2006, we have officially sounded the death knell for sincere reviewing. For a really pathetic reason for a movie[read Sainikudu], an otherwise serious wisecracking reviewer[read Jeevi] had inexplicably chosen altogether not to review the movie(!). And of course who can forget the Rediff reviews where its now a official norm; every big movie gets two reviews: one bad and one good. Safe play!

Going hmmm

Sadly my Bangalore trip got cancelled; and hence all my plans for Bangalore went bust with it. Much fun came from not going though. Playing in the sea is still fun; and its still tough changing to a underwear with many others choosing to stay fully robed.Its terribly self-conscious moment; and now understand only partly why Miss Basu chose to go on an orange only diet for 3 days. On the contrary, going to the sea (from a landlocked city like Hyderabad) and choosing to not take a dip is hugely insulting to the sea god, imho! 😀

Friend got married and its quite a frightening moment personally. Now we have formally moved from the bhaiyya zone to the uncle zone 😦 However this was bound to come with every kid who hits a ball in your compound choosing to retreive the ball by just asking the good `uncle` …

However, I was quite happy to see the strides the ticketing system in India has made; all I need to do now is to just register my ticket online and take the printout!!! Thats it! Quite a long way from standing in the line and waiting and waiting and waiting. Indian Railways Rocks!

However, missed the rocking barcamp3. Stupid timelines, I need to be Hiro Nakamura.

Messiness vs Order.

Need to point you guys to a really good post by Umair. Its about the edge and why LinkedIn needs to be more messy than it is currently. I have been in LinkedIn for the past few months and its been a really tough thing to get anyting going; Im just a squatter there, hoping someone would come and we could have a good coversation going. On the other hand, Orkut which I started using after having abandoned way back in 03-04, is now my social network. There is so much activity going on; if I were to smoke my time away; Orkut would be the place to be. I digress, so back to the topic. Some gems:

Forget about economies and cost-cutting and trimming the fat – because that stuff’s a commodity. It’s not a basis for any kind of advantage.

… in the post-network economy, (re)learning how to create value is going to be, in large part, about getting messy. This is perhaps Google’s deepest – and most jealously guarded – secret.

This actually brings to the certain conclusion I have come about recently: It is fairly impossible to predict what the future will be like. The business models, value creation are all going to be radically different and mostly will be something we cannot even imagine now. And certainly they will be very disruptive.

Way for IITs and IIITs?

First as an alumnus of IIIT, its quite heartening to see IIITs being considered alongside IITs in Prof. Sadagopan’s post.  For one this attitude towards IIIT is in itself a milestone for a such a young institute like IIIT which aspires to be a research institute.

I digress, vanity prevailed. What is the direction then that IITs and IIITs need to take? As PG says, IITs and IIITs are the best surroundings to build a ecosystem of startups in India. Already IITs are making their mark in the arena. I personally know of atleast 5 startups (all in the early stage) from IIIT and thats quite a cool thing for such a young institute. I hope too that the money too starts flowing in; the circle shall be complete.

While I still know its not that the ecosystem is displaying signs of bubble behavior, I sometimes get worried when off the head you hear someone wanting to talk to you (only after an NDA that is!) about a brilliant dotcom idea…