Do Indian CEOs like to be called by their initials?

Back in the early 90’s I had won the pitch for the advertising business of one of the large Indian business houses. Naturally our last round of pitching involved the company Chairman ( also the owner of the company who had taken over his father’s empire ), a…

The Acrimony between South and North Mumbai

The first time it struck me that large looming cities have distinct populations that hate each other, was when I was in New York about fifteen years ago. I had decided to visit an old colleague in Brooklyn. We were meeting after a few years, and she wanted…

Vodafone-Idea Merger : Two brands or One?

When mergers and acquisitions happen these days, the first people from the outside to get very excited are the marketing folks. The easy debate for them is whether the merged company should consolidate their brands into one brand, or leave the brands separate and on their own. The…

Did Bollywood make us the world’s biggest whisky drinkers?

India’s drinking patterns differ significantly from any other market in the world. Much has been written about how India is the world’s largest whisky market. Unfortunately most of what we drink is technically rum since it is made from cane rather than grain. A little whisky flavouring to…

Why I resent Indian immigrants who publicly criticise India

There are a lot of people I know who have spent the better part of their life in India.  But when they immigrate their first reaction is to denigrate India, just because of their new found home in another country. Somehow  I find it distasteful.  It offends my…

Is CEO no longer a coveted title?

When I joined JWT in the early 80s there were only 4 grades – Account Represenatative, Senior Representative, Account Supervisor and Manager of the office. In India, JWT had 5 offices and the supreme commander of these offices was called Chief Executive. Officer is a suffix that was…

MNCs will be caught between two Godmen

Just as the MNCs were putting the finishing touches to what they call their Anti-Patanjali strategies, there might just be another upset around the corner. Sri Sri Ravishankar founder of the Art of Living Foundation, is supposed to open about 1000 stores called Sri Sri Tattva ( Patanjali…

What to do with an Incompetent Boss

The first time I encountered an incompetent boss was fairly early in my career. It didn’t take me long to discover that I had nothing to learn from him. Of course, the man had excellent credentials. He also had the experience. And to top it all he was…

Beware of the Boss who takes away your credit

Over the I have observed a fairly unique phenomenon which somehow escaped me during my career of years.( I was lucky!). Its the untalented boss who takes the credit away from the juniors. I recently observed that a CEO took in a project/business brought to the company by…

The National Anthem in theatres might have its roots in Socialism

When I lived in China, I heard many stories of life during the Cultural Revolution. One of them was related to me by a colleague of mine. It was 1998 and the Titanic was one of the 10 international films released in China during the time. Imagine that…