Jul 25, 2010

Karnataka - One State Many Words

'Karnataka - One State Many Worlds' reads the Karnataka tourism department's logo. Just two weeks into my sales stint here and I can vouch for this. And I can do that in multiple ways.

I am doing rounds to lots of rural places (upcountry as we fondly call them) these days. As I see them, each market comes out as a unique one in its own way. Be the brands that operate there, the way retailers do their business or eventually the way people make purchase decision - things change from one place to another. However, not all these differences are very prominent. Subtle nuances of consumer's behavior can be sensed only if you speak her language. Translations are hardly as good a replica of thoughts and feelings as the words spoken from heart in heart's language. So even though I am not really bound in the language barrier, I still feel a little distance. Damn! I had spent seven precious years in this state but still did not learn the language. I hope these six months don't go waste on that front.

The geography of land I have visited varies from seashores of Konkan region to rain-rich hills of Malnad region. It's green all along though. Rains do wonder in such terrains. Nature plays a magician if given a chance. Beautiful is the word if I think of whatever I have seen.

I have crossed more than one bird sanctuaries, one elephant training camp, one big man-made dam and its backwater, more than one river rafting sites, wildlife sanctuaries and ofcourse many waterfalls. I must admit Karnataka tourism has done well in identifying these places on its road network. Regular direction boards keep reminding me of things that I can do over the coming weekends. Everyone's invited.

I have not yet faced any issue with food. Dosai and Idli is available everywhere. Though I really find it difficult to adjust to changing taste of sambhar. Yesterday I tried the rice meal in a true localite style. It was nice. Specially 'coz of the satisfaction that I saw on my team's face for having me try the local food. The adventure will continue, I am pretty sure.

Jul 14, 2010

Fugly Shirts wale

An IBanker is one of those stereotyped jobs in Indian cinema today. Atleast in the kind of cinema you and I see, he (yes he) has been portrayed on more than one ocassions. Popular Hindi cinema has traditionally almost always shown the riches to be hotshot businessmen. Inheritance has been the rule of the game. Hero, if he was not very poor, never needed to worry about profession as his Dad had built an empire to be inherited by him. Even the profession of poor guy hardly mattered as most of the emotions that Indian Cinema relates to, come outside the boundary of work life. Only in recent time, that the hero has actually become a photographer, a painter, an IBanker and likes.

It's a welcome change. However we are still coping with stereotyping phenomena. Chetan Bhagat and host of other budding 'writers' did it for IIT/IIM graduates. Our directors continued from where these 'writers' have left. Be it Kartik Calling Kartik, Rock On or I Hate Love Storys - there is a hotshot banker/professional at work. Some of them are shown as dork, others still evolving as a person. I just hope they come closer to reality. That's all. This change should be for good.

ps: It's a totally unstructured and incomplete collection of thoughts on this topic of Stereotyping. Hope to write it again some day.

Jul 10, 2010

Rocket Singh starts...

Every morning I am greeted by a beautiful view of Hubli from the balcony of my cozy room in one of the most luxurious hotel in the city. I take my time to get ready for the days work. By now I am kind of addicted to the smell and feel of those hand-made soaps and shower gells. Hot water shower does not appear as a luxury anymore. I indulge myself in a sumptuous breakfast buffet sharing the room with many others so-called corporate junta. They carry a neatly folded newspaper in one hand and a smart-phone in the other. Short and crisp talks over a couple of phone calls and they have the day's plan with them. I had seen many of them in the early morning flight that I had taken from Bangalore to reach Hubli by office time. I am in process of becoming like them.

I leave my hotel to reach the market. (Fortunately) Everywhere I go, I am greeted well by people. The attention I get is remarkable. I, sometimes, wonder what makes me different from the people I meet? I lack the market knowledge as well as the skills that they possess. I am an outsider to this place too (atleast for now).

Is that respect really due to me? Or the brand I represent?

For now, it's the brand I represent. It'll take lot of time and unfailing efforts to have some element of me in that reason. And that's why I am here. I am here to learn from them. To build the skills that I lack. To use the knowledge that I have acquired in whatever little time I have tried to understand the business. And life.

Next couple of months will be a repeat of what today has been like. Just that I will meet new people, talk about different things and learn newer skills. The enthusiasm is the key. I know the biggest challenge in front of me and I have to find a way to overcome that.

For now, I settle myself in the confy bed in my air conditioned hotel room. Home was never like this. Homes are not meant to be like this. I miss home, my parents and family. I miss my friends too, howmuchever I am connected to them over phone and facebook. And most of all, I miss the old me. I know this change is for good. I will make it that way. 

PS: I meet so many Rocket Singhs every day in field. The more I meet them, the more I like the movie.

Jul 5, 2010

Abe Kaun Si Rassi Pakadu

One more memorable advertisement from monster.com. It's funny specially the way the guy says "abe kaun se rassi pakdu?" Brilliant execution. It sticks to your mind and I have had atleast two people telling me about this advertisement. If I really think of it, the purpose of the ad is solved.

Moving on, this post comes after a long break. A break that even I had not imagined. Sometimes it is difficult to predict which way our life would lead. Induction at the new job has been a good experience. Filled with lots of activities, it was a good chance to meet some of the most inspiring people around in the industry. The onus is totally on me to make best use of this opportunity and do well for the organization as well personally.

Gurgaon - Delhi - Bangalore - Chennai - Sattal - Aligarh : these are some of the places that I touched in last one month or so. I have had a new experience at each place and really look forward to enrich it in my sales stint that starts tomorrow.

I have been 'connected' all this while. It's a strange feeling. I am just a few clicks away from my virtual social world and I know it's a great power. However as the monster.com mentions - 'what is the advantage of so many choices if you cant make use of them,' I am little wary of the power in my hand. The balance is the key as the more social I become the more my life becomes a public matter. I am thinking too much may be.

As I spent the last evening before actually hitting the field, I have a mixed bag of feeling inside me. I am excited and am raring to go and face the challenges. But I also feel a little nervous seeing the things that are coming my way. It's new and I have to start the adjustment process again. I am pretty sure, I will be able to do that pretty soon. Hoping for a great time in Hubli.

It's a fresh start. To many things.