Sunday, August 22, 2010

Voice of Youngistan!!

Main aur Meri Tanhai...... Aksar yeh baatein karti hain..

*These ramblings by the anchor are real life - on a show called Wuzzup - The voice of Youngistan on MTV

** Stick figures concept inspired from thevigilidiot (though not very well copied)

*** More MMTs here

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What is IBU?

Infosys Technologies is one of my favorite companies - largely because of the inspiring leadership and also because I started off my proffessional life here. 

Soon after I joined in 2004, the company was re-organised into different industry verticals. Almost every Infoscion today is a part of  one of this vertical known as IBUs. 

I used to forget the full form of IBU initially when they were formed. And gradually I had drilled it into my mind. But recently that information betrayed me. The full form which I knew for so long - "Independent Business Unit",  was wrong. 

So I decided to ask my friends and ex-colleagues if they knew what IBU meant. The results were interesting. 

The question was posed to 20 people - including ex-infoscions, present infoscions who joined along with me, some seniors and some young people with less than 3 years of experience.

3 answers formed the majority - 25% each for "Independent", "Industry" and "Dont know". (that was the I of the IBU. Everyone knew that BU stood for Business Unit). 

The correct answer according to the intranet @ Infy is "Industry Business Unit".

Yes, 20 people out of more than a lakh is a totally illogical sample size for a survey to provide any kind of conclusion or evidence. But it may be a fodder for thought for some intervention by HR @ Infosys. 

P.S: A special thanks to my friend V at Infosys for quickly getting the responses from people around him. 

P.P.S: I have a strong feeling that it used to "Independent" earlier. Even a very senior manager who now has left Infy replied "Independent"

Update: Amit just pointed towards this Client Presentation (Slide 7) where IBU is Independent Business Unit... and this presentaion where it is "Industrial".  In Business World the definition is "Integrated". Seems like no one knows!!!


Responses of 20 people who were asked the full form of IBU


Saw the latest advertisement from Lava Mobiles. First could not understand what was so special about the keypad and why were they focussing on a Qwerty Keypad while every tom, dick and harry is having one. But then it dawned that it is not a Qwerty Keypad. It is a ABCDE Keypad - called Alpha Keypad. Instead of copying a computer keyboard, they have done it differently. 

The first reaction, however is "Silly". The argument being that everyone today has a computer and is accustomed to typing on a Qwerty keyboard, so ideally the mobile should also have that.  

But it may not be that silly actually. Many people do have computers but everyone may not be an expert in typing on high speeds on that. Even if one is quite adept at it, doing it on a mobile is a different ball game, specially if you are shifting from a normal mobile keypad where you have to press the same button 3 times to go to a "C" and where the alphabets are not jumbled up but in order. 

I myself took sometime to adapt to a qwerty keypad on mobile despite using a computer for 6 hours almost everyday for the past 10 years. 

Only the keypad may not be the reason for the success or failure of the model but it would be interesting to follow the user comments on this experiment. 

P.S: Lava has two research labs so good thought must have gone behind the move. Also read recently that the new rupee symbol has also been incorporated on the kepypad. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hyundai Traffic Squad

It was taking a long time for the traffic to move at one of the prominent intersection. On moving closer it was observed that the traffic lights had conked off.. Well..Not surprising at all. Reasons for major traffic jams are the traffic lights going blind followed by us trying to make the 'best' use of the situation.

But what was surprising was a couple of guys handling the traffic. They were managing the flow to their best of abilities - bravely stopping us from entering the gates of hell. Without them the minor jam could have easily turned into a major headache. I was impressed with the work of these good samaritans.

But on moving further closer I saw not two but eight people there. All similarly dressed and Hyundai written boldly on their T shirts.

So it was a plain marketing gimmick. In all probability the traffic lights were deliberately turned off and these people were managing the traffic and gaining eyeballs. I would not be surprised that in their annual report, under the CSR Activities there is something like "formation of traffic squad to assist traffic Delhi police during peak traffic hours".

It may be the case that they were actually helping, the lights had actually gone off and it is actually a positive CSR activity. But still some questions did surface.

How much they must have paid to the Traffic Police/Delhi Govt for this activity? Do they have the right to do this? How much extra fuel must have been burnt due to this activity by a company which is attempting to project a 'Green Image'?

The good samaritan brand image sadly failed to make a favorable imapact on atleast one of their audience.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


9th August will always be an significant day - no matter it is forgotten or remembered..

The graphical representation inspired by NM-Indexed (and originally by Indexed). Just thought to try it again - not satisfactorily though.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Slice of Delay...

It was my first experience of ordering from Slice of Itlay. And possibly it will rarely happen again. There was an important lesson which we learnt during MBA and yesterday's experience was a good example of it - Product is not everything. The accompanying services are much more important.

The trigger for ordering from Slice of Itlay(SoI) was their beautiful pamphlet which came along the newspaper with a wide variety of delicacies and "Express Delivery" prominently displayed on it. SoI had made an impact on this first moment of truth. But sadly, it went downhill thereafter.

In the evening, a phone call was made. When I told them that I wanted to order for a home delivery, the response was "1 second". There was fumbling noise and this guy asked another person to take the order. The second guy came along and asked me my contact number and name. On being told, there was no response for a long time apart from "Sir, 1 Second" - marring the very definition of a Second! Then he let me know that there was some problem with the computer.

May be the SoI people can henceforth update their training program with  the suggestion that the customer is not at all concerned with what your internal problems are - be it computer or an untrained guy picking up the phone. I just want to order! The simplest alternative in case of technical issues is to take down the order on a paper and update it later. But No. Probably the guy was working according to a script and didn't know what to do when such a problem arose. It took me a full five minutes to order one pizza and one garlic bread. And believe me 5 minutes is a lot of time in the context of ordering on phone. Try calling the next door resturant. It hardly takes a minute. May be lack of technology can be a boon sometimes.

Next failure came at the time of delivery. In a business where competitors have a delivery time of less than 30 minutes, these people took One hour and 10 minutes including a reminder call to them after 50 minutes.

A very basic step while getting an address is to ask a landmark - which I believe in this case would have reduced the time significantly. But there was a failure on this part too.

The product though was good - a crispy and fresh pizza. But no matter how I like the product, it is the service that will lead me to think twice before dialing their number again!