Headed to London 2012? V Krishnaswamy has some tips for you.
- If you have been fortunate enough to get tickets to any events, remember to use your free Games Travelcard, part of the ticket package, which is valid on public transport on the day of your event across a selection of services.
Last month, when the latest Indian Readership Survey rolled out to all major advertisers and media groups, not too many people outside the marketing community may have realised its significance. The latest round of reports carry a whole new way of classifying consumers—something that the industry has been grappling with for more than a decade. With this new system in place, marketers hope to segment consumers a lot more sharply—and target their offerings better. Except that not everyone agrees with that assessment. But we'll get to that in a bit.
First, what's changed? Since the mid-80s, Indian marketers and media planners had relied on a socio-economic classification (SEC) system as an important aid in helping them decide on marketing strategy and budget allocations. The SEC's main aim: To segment consumers based on the education and occupation of the chief wage earner in the household. Marketers were left with eight classes of urban and rural consumers. As these classes had varying spending habits, it served as a good barometer for companies that had goods and services to sell.
This may not be the influenza season, but news about the virus that causes the pandemic has been infecting us in the last few weeks. First, two academic groups published their much-debated research about a lab-engineered strain of bird flu (H5N1) that shows how it can acquire the ability to rapidly spread among humans, even though now it only hops from bird to bird. For six months, various agencies, including the World Health Organization, had debated whether public knowledge of this research would help fend off pandemics or aid bioterrorism. It was then followed by a slew of recommendations on preventive measures and preparedness, urging the governments and regulators around the world to enhance surveillance and collaboration.
On June 27, the medical journal Lancet published an analysis of the 2009 swine flu (caused by H1N1 strain, which had jumped from pigs to humans) deaths across 13 countries, rich and poor, which shows 284,400 people died in the first year, eight times the officially reported figure. It hints that the forthcoming analyses could reveal even higher numbers.
The Olympics is the greatest show on earth. At no other time do we see such a concentration of the world’s best talent in so many fields. In ancient Greece, the Olympics saw nations cease battles to participate in harmony. The modern Olympics haven’t been quite as successful in stopping wars: There were no Games during the World Wars, boycotts and international conflicts have sometimes robbed them of the lustre, at times violence has drawn a pall over the celebrations.
These games have been clouded over somewhat by Dow’s sponsorship, but as of this writing, the excitement is rising already, and no actual boycott looks likely.
Age: 52 years
Education: Marketing Professional from ESCP – EAP Paris, a leading business school in France
Before we answer that question, let's first survey the grim reality. For the past five months, about 4,500 employees of the airline haven't been paid their salary. Many of them say they can't quit because they won't get a single dime out of their dues from their employer. Airports, which allowed the red and white aircraft to land and take off, haven't been paid either. Faced with the spectre of bounced cheques, they've now moved courts to recover their dues. No one has any clue how long it will take, though. A clutch of banks have lent Rs 7,000 crore in all to Kingfisher Airlines. And they don't have enough collateral to cover even a fraction of their debt. At least some of the lessors were perhaps smarter. They simply repossessed their aircraft.
As my colleague Cuckoo Paul's cover story shows, the mess is now so deep that the airline's future is practically sealed. It is a matter of a couple of quarters or even a few months before the airline runs out of cash. In recent times, other than the Satyam saga, nothing comes close to the sordid tale of hubris and irresponsibility that defines the mess inside Kingfisher Airlines.
You've probably heard about Mitticool, the clay refrigerator from Gujarat, and Revolo, the plug-in system from KPIT Cummins that gives the benefits of a hybrid car. It’s likely you’ve learnt that Embrace, the infant warmer that originated from Stanford’s class of Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, is now sold in India and elsewhere for one hundredth of the cost of incubators sold in Western markets. It’s also likely that you may have ranked these as low-cost solutions that smack more of improvisation than patent-toting innovation that modern businesses have built their edifices on.
In that case, you’re probably missing the point that the authors of Jugaad Innovation are making through a raft of well-executed ideas, from Brazil to China, from Argentina to India.
Lower energy costs are always good news for growing economies. And international oil and coal prices have come down significantly in the past few months.
The price of a barrel of Brent crude, to which two-thirds of the world's oil varieties are benchmarked, has tumbled from about $120 to under $100, falling almost as quickly as it did in late 2008.
The residents of Dholakpur are a resilient lot. They regularly brave demons, robbers, evil wrestlers and various other calamities, big and small. They have a timid, but benevolent king in Raja Indraverma and a beautiful princess in Indumati. And of course, they have Bheem because of whom they emerge unscathed from various assaults.
Bheem is the nine-year-old protagonist of Pogo TV's wildly successful animated show Chhota Bheem that runs for four to six hours every day. Created by Rajiv Chilaka's Green Gold Animation, 130 episodes have already been shot and on an average one new episode is released every week. The show has beaten Disney's Doraemon to emerge as the number one show on kids channels in India, consistently averaging a TV rating of over 1. The animated movie, Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan, released in May 2012, has grossed close to Rs 5 crores.