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Showing posts from May, 2007

Don't hop jobs? You must be dumb!

Job hopping is in. Most youngsters today hop jobs at a rate that is alarming. Take the BPO / Call Center sector for instance. Job-hopping amongst young people working in the BPO sector has become the norm. It is common for youngsters to switch jobs for a few hundred rupees. The impact on the industry, is that attrition rises to levels that are not sustainable. Attrition levels of 30 - 40 percent in BPOs are now considered 'normal' while call centers routinely deal with a turnover of 60 - 75 percent of their workforce each year. Wage inflation is also rampant in the industry. Wages are being projected by leading manpower consultants, to rise by between 15 - 25 percent in 2007.

But the 'wage rise' is not the only reason why youngsters hop jobs. ShrutiRavindran in the Outlook writes that 'capitalising on a highly mobile job market, an increasing number of young Indians are rejecting the fabled Indian drone-worker ethic in favour of greater mental stimulation, constant …

Publicity, PR and the BMW case

In the book, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR , Al Ries talks about how PR has risen to being the most potent communiqué that companies can use in building brands. This is because PR carries more credibility that Advertising. I agree.

But what about Publicity? The difference between PR and publicity is that Public relations encompasses a variety of marketing tactics that strengthen your credibility, enhance a brand’s image, develop goodwill or influence public opinion. These tactics, such as speeches, special events, newsletters, annual reports and news releases, are targeted to an audience. P.R. involves communicating who the brand is, what it does, and how the brand benefits customers and the community. On the other hand, Publicity is only one function of public relations. It is media coverage — news stories, feature articles, talk show interviews, editorials and reviews.

Publicity is extremely credible as it is a communiqué that emanates from a neutral entity and therefore …

Monsoon in India

The monsoon showers have hit the southern coast of India.

TOI reports that the much-awaited south-west Monsoon, crucial for kharif crop in the country, on Monday (28th May) hit Kerala, a day ahead of the Meteorological Department's prediction.

Monsoon rains were reported from Kannur, Palakkad in Kerala and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, the weather office said. Conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon over some parts of coastal and south interior Karnataka and some more parts of Tamil Nadu during the next two days, it said.

The onset of monsoon occurred due to the strengthening and deepening of westerly/south-westerly flow over Arabian Sea and south peninsula, development of an offshore trough extending from Karnataka to Kerala coast, persistent cloudiness over the Arabian Sea and adjoining peninsular India, the weather office said. Pic : www.keralatourism.org

Standing up for what is right !

The suspension of dean of the arts faculty of the Vadodara's MS University, Shivaji K Panikkar, for lending support to the student who was arrested over an alleged obscene painting is tragic.

Standing up for a student cost the dean his position. How ironic when such an act should have been celebrated. Prof. Panikkarhas not yet lost hope and has now taken his case to the UGC. People who find Panikkar's act punishable must listen what Lt. Col. Slade talked about in the movie, 'Scent of a Woman'. In Fact, I think, everyone must!

Radio listenership Measurement system in India

Radio Audience research is not easy as different Radio stations have different versions about their listeners. But in a study conducted in June 2003 by Development and Research Studies (DRS), a Delhi-based research outfit, it was discovered that listeners could not distinguish between stations. The study inferred that in 74 per cent of the cases, the listeners associated their favourite programmes with the wrong FM station. To minimise risk, most advertisers spread their FM radio communiques across stations in India.

Now tracking listenership is going to get better. This will then help Advertisers plan their FM monies better. Agencyfaqs reports that TAM Media Research has officially rolled out its radio listenership track, and has named it RAM (Radio Audience Measurement). This service will be jointly provided by Nielsen Media Research and IMRB International. RAM will operate as an independent division of TAM Media Research.

RAM will make use of the ‘Radio Diary’ method of listenership …

Interruption / Permission Marketing

Marketeers have no business interrupting consumers with a marketing communique at times when they least tolerate such interruptions. InsteadMarketeers must master the art of seeking and getting permission from the consumer to start a relationship that may lead to an ultimate sale somewhere down the road.

Welcome to the world of 'PermissionMarketing' as made famous by Seth Godin.

In spite of being aware of the dangers of interruption marketing, Marketeers keep going down the road of interruption, hoping the consumer will relent and engage in a purchase.

One of the letters to the Editor in the Outlook Magazine reads thus ,

Humble Plea
The moment I get Outlook, I tear off the extended cover page. I know you need Ad revenues, Mr. Mehta. You can give the advertiser the extended privilege in some other way, but please make sure it does not irritate the subscriber.
A.Balu, Chennai.

Wonder how many Mr. Balus are out there? Are marketeers listening ?

Cannes declares winners - Romania rules

From the NYT ,

The message from the Cannes Film Festival juries was clear: Romania rules. In its closing ceremony on Sunday the festival bestowed two of its most important prizes on Romanian films, affirming the vitality of this recently emerging cinema. The top award, the Palme d’Or, went to Cristian Mungiu for “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” an unsparing yet humane look at life during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. Additionally the jury for Un Certain Regard, a sidebar to the main competition, gave its highest honor to “California Dreamin,’ ” a first feature by Cristian Nemescu set in Romania during the Kosovo war of 1999. It was a poignant victory, because Mr. Nemescu died in an automobile accident last year at the age of 27.

The last time an Indian entry won was when Murali Nair's 'Maranasimhasanam' won the prestigious Camera d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1999.

Pic : news.bbc.co.uk

Focus is overrated

As CBSEXth standard results are declared, most toppers can't think beyond careers in Engineering or Medicine. As experts extol the importance of being 'focused' in building successful careers, I am reminded of an article by MaheshMurthy that appeared in the BW magazine that talked about Focus being overrated.

Excerpts from the article -

'Somehow, the highly-focused do-no-wrong Mr Xs of the world never impressed me. My heroes have been different. I've been a huge fan of Richard Feynman, the Nobel-winning physicist who thought up quantum electrodynamics, helped make the atom bomb, figured out why the first space shuttle exploded, taught drumming to the Brazilian samba team, wrote a treatise on picking locks, and also figured out how to pick up women at a bar when he was scrawny, broke and not exactly good looking.

It blows me away that Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull is a hugely successful fish farmer. Or that Neil French, the legendary creative director I had the fortune o…

Infosys - Model of Transparency

The Prime Minister's call ( at the CII annual General meeting- 2007 ) to industry hotshots to take pay cuts brings to mind what Mr. Narayana Murthy, InfosysChief mentor said way back in 2002.

Mr. Narayana Murthy and Infosys, who have topped quite a few polls year after year as the most admired CEO and company in India and around the world, said that, the highest-paid employee (at Infosys) would receive no more than 15 times the pay of the lowest. But he also admitted that, 'the system, even at Infosys, doesn't work. Many of Infosys' top executives already make more than $30,000 a year, and starting salaries for entry-level programmers are now $23,000. Outside India, Infosys must pay salaries in line with the global demand for talent--one employee in the U.S. makes $300,000.'

But then, it's the thought that counts. Cheers to that.

Pic : www.siliconeer.com

Interest rates rise - An instrumental action impediment

In India enhanced disposable incomes have resulted in increase in consumption levels. But when it comes to Indian consumers involving in High Involvement purchase decisions, like for eg., buying a car or a home, the impediment that they face is high interest rates that makes for costly financing options. Financing, an instrumental action today is responsible, more than any other factor, for dissuading buyers in India from engaging in High Involvement purchase decisions.
Purchasing in complex decision making is not likely to be immediate. In spite off a lot of though about making the 'right' purchase decision, consumers in India have put of their actual purchase action due to climbing interest rates that makes it very difficult for them to manage the EMIs that accompany a loan. This in turn is being expected to lead to a correction in the Indian market place resulting in drop in prices.
We are now witnessing the start to this drop.
Pic : www.aigo.com.sg

Interest rates deflate bikes in India

ET reports on how the interest rates rise (RBI measures) in India have left consumers shying away from buying passenger vehicles and two wheelers.
Potential buyers appear to be holding back purchase decisions amid concerns over inflation coupled with the steep rise in interest rates. While the two-wheeler segment has witnessed a 6% slide in sales in April 2007 compared to the previous corresponding period, the passenger vehicle segment reported lower-than-expected growth. Automobile makers now expect the lacklustre spell to continue for several months.
Under normal circumstances, nearly 85% of new cars are bought using financing options. Following the rise in interest rates, this ratio has fallen to 70-75%. In case of two-wheelers, the ratio now stands at 50% compared to 60% prior to January 2007. Auto loans are now available at around 13.5% while banks charge 21-23% for two-wheeler loans. Pre-January 2007, both auto and two-wheeler loans were available at an average 300 basis points …

Is India Inc. listening ? Don't think so.

CEO salaries have always a touched a raw nerve. Discussed all over the world in business forums this topic was brought up by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the National Conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Who better to talk about burgeoning salaries than our modest Prime Minister who has epitomised a life lived with utmost dignity and humility.

In a country where a large cross section of people live below the poverty line, it is shameful to see the rich flaunt their wealth. Sure, wealth that the rich enjoy must not be faulted. But the manner of their exhibition of wealth is what borders on being ugly.

Addressing a CII meeting, the PM said while Indian industry's success in wealth creation is worth celebrating the corporates should share the benefits of economic growth with the common man. The companies should contribute more to employee welfare and desist from granting excessive remuneration to promoters and senior executives. Mr.…

Misplaced Ban

Today's TOIeditorial :

Despite India having made giant strides since pre-liberalisation days some areas still remain havens for licence raj junkies — higher education is a good example. Government bodies regulating higher education, like UGC and AICTE, stifle new initiative and contribute to a critical skills shortage that could hobble the country's future growth. Their overweening powers over higher education, or so one is told, are all to prevent 'fly-by-night operators' from duping poor students.

The globally recognised CFA Institute operates in 134 countries and has been around since 1947, but that didn't prevent it from being banned by AICTE — leaving an estimated 6,800 students who were about to take its exams in the lurch. The institute trains fund managers and equity researchers, and got into a legal spat recently with the Hyderabad-based Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) over the latter's use of the trademark 'CFA' in its…

Football vs. Cricket

It was sweet revenge for AC Milan as they beat Liverpool 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens to win the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League final, going on to lift their seventh title.

In India, football is growing in its popularity. MukulKesavanwrites in the Telegraph about how his son and his classmates find greater pleasure in watching Thierry Henry, a Frenchman who captains a London club, Arsenal, than in watching RahulDravid turn out for India.

Pic : ParthSanyal/Reuters

New Delhi - Realty Trends

In a report by global realty consultant CB Richard Ellis, it has been found that New Delhi has become the world's second-fastest growing city in terms of office occupation costs in the year ending March 2007. The report also noted that AbuDhabi in the United Arab Emirates, scored the first position in the global rankings of fastest growing office occupation costs in the 12 months to the first quarter 2007.

Rents in AbuDhabi grew at 103 per cent, while the growth in rental values in New Delhi was 79.1 per cent, it said. The rentals in Mumbai grew at 45 per cent and was placed sixth in the ranking. New Delhi also entered the top 10 list of the most expensive office markets this year.

( From today's ET )

This report by CBRE is on rental market indicators across cities in India.

Pic : www.investmentcommission.in

Abnormal Faith

Must Read ! Pic : abbeynews.com

Ambient Findability

I guess I should not find this surprising. Some things are similar across geographical boundaries, and in spite of cultural differences. Take 'student responses' to assignments given. What I find as an academic in India is similar to what academics find elsewhere.

Shawn, writing in the 'Anecdote' verbalises something similar to what happens in India. He says, 'I have just finished marking a bunch of assignments. Not surprising the topic was narrative techniques in knowledge management. The students are masters level and I have to say I was depressed by what I received. The majority of the students were relying on Google and wikipedia to support their claims and arguments. The only journal articles referred to where the ones I made available in the shared online space.

What's happening here? I was reading Jay Cross' blog and he mentioned Peter Morville’s Ambient Findability: What we find, changes who we become. What a fabulous title. I agree, we definitely bec…

Indian Talent

In spite of a horde of 'unemployable' graduates churned out by technical institutions in India, there is still hope.

In an article in FE, In 2007, only 9 per cent of Indian employers found it difficult to fill positions because of lack of suitable talent as against 41 per cent of employers worldwide. What’s more, as opposed to the global trend, the crunch seems to be easing off in India as just last year 13 per cent of Indian employers reported difficulty in hiring. Remarkably, the 2007 figures are also the least of all country statistics reported by the global recruitment firm Manpower that conducted the study in late January 2007.

The survey covered 37,000 employers across 27 countries, including 4,858 employers in India. Other countries where the talent shortage is not so severe are Ireland (17 per cent), Netherlands (17 per cent) and China (19 per cent). Those looking for a job can also head out to countries like Costa Rica (93 per cent reporting shortages), Mexico (82 per c…

CFA ban unfortunate

The ban on CFA institute in India is indeed unfortunate. The need for financial professionals in India is on the rise. The CFA course is one that is accepted and rated very highly around the world and so its ban in India is unfortunate.

Thousands of students enrolled with the American CFA Institute have been hit hard by a regulator's (AICTE) decision to ban the course in India, reports CNBC-TV18. The reason was that technical education regulator AICTE, has asked the institute to cease its operations in India. This move has left the future of more than 10,000 CFA candidates uncertain.

The CFA Institute had told the AICTE that their CFA programme does not come under the perview of the regulator. But AICTE found this response unacceptable. The ban comes in the wake of a bitter fight between ICFAI, the Indian CFA course and the American Institute. The Indian arm dragged the American institute to AICTE accusing it of being illegal.

The American institute that has 6,800 students enrolled, …

Visual Radio - The next wave in India ?

Will Visual Radio be a hit with customers in India? With the proliferation of mobile phone users in India, the potential market segments seem to be quite promising. Business Standardreports that, with over 700 stations spanning across the country and mobile penetration on the rise, FM players are now reaching out to listeners via the visual radio route too.

Radio station Radio Mirchi took the leap last year and launched the visual radio service at its Delhi station, in collaboration with Nokia and Hewlett Packard (HP). Currently, visual radio (via Radio Mirchi) is operational in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, and it has plans to roll-out the service at its Bangalore and Pune stations as well.

Listeners pay only for the data service carried via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). The average rate is Rs 2 per hour (10 paise per 10 KB data download). Radio Mirchi claims the interactive features of the service receive a response rate of as high as 70 per cent.

Radio entertainment is pegged to b…

Do Customer Loyalty programs work ?

In a report by Knowldge@Wharton customers are hard to attract and even harder to keep. As increasing numbers of companies pack themselves into already crowded markets, consumers are spoilt for choice and are becoming ever more willing to switch from one brand to another.
Companies often try to secure their customers' loyalty through reward programmes.

At American Airlines' AAdvantage e-shopping site, for example, more than 200 vendors, including Bergdorf Goodman, Home Depot and Petco, offer bonus miles to shoppers. At the Apple Store, a dollar spent earns a mile, while Hallmark offers ten miles per dollar spent. Gexa Energy of Houston.

But according to this report, while such programmes are increasing in number and size, their effectiveness in securing customer loyalty is dubious. "The programmes are growing but they are not necessarily successful," says Wharton University marketing professor Xavier Dreze. He adds that setting them up "is now just an added cost of …

Tortilla maker eyes 'Naan'

WBreports that Mexican tortilla producer Gruma is now using its expertise in rolling flour into flat bread to reach new markets in China (wraps) and India (naan).

This strategy reveals that all countries going through industrialisation share similar needs at each phase as they catch up with the developed countries.

The four phases are as follows: survival, where people want food, shelter and clothing; quality, where a growing middle class seeks better products; convenience, where there is demand for time-saving appliances and processed food; and customisation, where people will spend more money to satisfy individual desires.

Dissatisfied Retail Customers

In the second annual Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study conducted by Wharton's Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative with the Verde Group, a Canadian consulting firm it was found that disinterested, ill-prepared and unwelcoming salespeople lead to more lost business and bad word-of-mouth than any other management challenge in retailing.

"There are a variety of different triggers for having a bad shopping experience, including things like parking or how well the store is organized. Some of those things retailers can do something about and some of them they can't. But frankly, a very important part of the retail experience is the interaction with the sales associate," says Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch, director of the Baker Initiative.

In a telephone survey of 1,000 shoppers who were asked about their most recent retail experience, 33% reported they had been unable to find a salesperson to help them. Many of these shoppers were so annoyed by this one problem …

A College Education Without Job Prospects

NY Timesarticle on Indian College education.

MBA Mafia

Read Hony. Dean of Centre for Economic Research and Advance Studies, IIPM, Prof. ArindamChaudhuri's article on 'artificialscarcity' as practiced in the Educational sector in India, here.

'Enterprising Students'...time to correct 'supply side' of education

India is a country desperately crying out for more Quality educational institutions run by the private sector. Many a commentator has written about the need to deregulate the Education sector and welcome investments from the outside. But the sector still remains heavily regulated with top government educational institutions maintaining the number of seats available at a constant level. This has resulted an exodus of students from India to other countries seeking quality higher education.

The scenario is so desperate the seats at premier educational institutions are auctioned. A report that appeared today in the TOI talks about Students auctioning medical seats and in the process making lakhs of rupees.

Write three entrance examinations, get three P-G medical seats. Choose one, auction the other two for lakhs of rupees. Students who are already studying in Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Baroda medical colleges are holding on to two medical seats in Karnataka against the rules. With MD Radiolo…

The chasm that divides public and private schools in India

Most schools have declared their results for the Xth and XIth standard examinations. The results are stark in their disparity.

Most government schools that follow the PUC system have declared results that are not at all encouraging. Of the 4,57,187 students who appeared for the exams (under the new syllabus), 2,31,514 have passed. Of the 36,517 students who appeared under the old syllabus, only 4,810 students have managed to pass, registering a pass percentage of a mere 13.17.

Contrast that with the results declared by private schools that follow the ICSE system. The results of the Indian School Certificate (ISC) and the Indian Council of Secondary Examination (ICSE) was announced on Saturday at 3 p.m. Around 90,000 students appeared for the Class X (ICSE) and 44,000 for Class XII (ISC) examinations this year. Almost all Bangalore schools logged 100% pass results for both the exams.

This stark contrast between the results logged by government schools and private schools is indeed a cause…

How to take the boredom out of your city!

An article by Niranjan Roy in the Business Standard talks about three ingenious set of people who have let their 'wacky imagination' run riot in their city. And the effect has been startling!

The three things they did that you can do with your city -

1. Free the Little People: In a recent street-art experiment, one artist posted giant and unpleasantly realistic cut-outs of himself all over Nehru Place in Delhi, briefly startling the normally blasé citizens of the capital. A more sophisticated, and permanent, version of this is Slinkachu’s Little People Project.

Slinkachu sculpts tiny, near-perfect human figures and leaves them around London and Manchester where people might serendipitously stumble on them. If you squint at his two tiny golfers in the rough, it looks as though one’s trying to cheat by moving his ball to a better lie. His little people have been found under ATM machines, or popping up on drain covers. They have gone urban camping, or stalked electrical plugs with r…

Queues in India

In spite of numerous Technological advancements in India, in certain cases, India still lives in the dark ages.

Take the example of collecting admission forms to apply to colleges in India. Most private schools and colleges have ensured the availability of admission forms online that can be downloaded, filled and sent to the authorities. But in a majority of educational institutions in India, this practice is non existent. Any one intending to join has to go through the laborious act of standing in queues that are miles long ( and that's not an exaggeration ) to get to the counter that gives out these forms. Whats even more shocking to note that this is quite common in colleges in Bangalore that boasts about being the IT capital of India.



Tak a look at pictures of students, parents queuing up. Its simply pathetic that they have to go through this nightmare.

The Google phenomenen

Guess why Google is truly a remarkable company ?
Simple....it has the most remarkable people working for it.

Why do these remarkable people work at Google ?
Simple. Watch why!

McCall that Burger !

McDonald's is adding the 'delivery' dimension to its 'burger business' in India. After customising the Burger menu to Indian palette conditions McDonalds is now adding home delivery service to cater to consumers who want the Burger at their doorstep.

McDonald's new mantra for growing its business - 'If you can't come to us, we will come to you'

While pizza chains thrive on delivery, the same isn’t true of other fast food chains. But lately, McDonald’s has attempted to up the ante in its delivery operations. After all, with changing consumption patterns and fast moving lifestyles, delivery services that offer convenience at the doorstep are now a necessity.

Although McDelivery has been around for the last three years, it is only recently that it woke up to the potential of delivery operations. The fast food burger king recently announced a single access number for McDelivery, 66-000-666, and the initial response has been pretty good, reportsBusiness Sta…

Indian Cinema

There have been quite a few movies made in India with 'patriotic' themes. This essay in the Outlook Magazine by MukulKesavan on such movies is quite interesting.
Oh, by the way, Bollywood, should you have heard of it, is not synonymous with Indian movies. Regional cinema in India is far more sensible and meaningful.

'Country of origin effects' on Consumers

'Country of origin effects' is defined as the effect that the country of origin of the product has on the buyer's quality perceptions of the product.

Over a period of time ' Made in India' brought about perceptions of 'poor quality'. Now that could be changing. ETreports that 'the manufacturing saga is seeing new turns in the consumer electronics space. Global biggies like LG, Haier, Electrolux and Whirlpool are finalising plans to sell ‘Made in India’ labels in mature markets like Europe and the US. At present, sourcing from India is largely limited to SAARC, the Middle East and African nations.

MNCs have already done their groundwork to develop India as one their prime global production hub, either by expanding capacity or through third-party arrangements . The export product basket is also being expanded in segments which have a developed domestic vendor base'.

The interesting point to note is how Indian consumers react to 'Made in India ' l…

Real Estate decline in India

HTreports a sharp decline in Real Estate rates in India, in certain areas. Now that's welcome relief for most Indians who were subject to skyrocketing rates. In fact most people were expecting a correction in the Real Estate market rates. India’s once-buoyant real-estate market has now gone into a deep freeze with more than a 50 per cent drop in actual transactions over the last two months, developers and real-estate analysts have said.For the first time in three years some developers have dropped rates to bolster demand. A nation-wide survey reports a drop of between 5 to 10 per cent in rates across edge suburbs like Kharghar, in NaviMumbai, Greater Noida in the National Capital Region and Bangalore’s Hosur Road.

Developers on the fringes of the big cities have found it hard to hold the price line. Cheaper land also allows them greater freedom in fixing profit margins. However, within the metropolitan cities, developers have withstood the plunge in sales and held their price lines…

Booming Car sales

China and India are zooming ahead to having the largest number of Car owners, HTreports. Most consumers in India and China are now graduating from Two wheelers to buying Four wheelers.

Nine per cent of Indians and six per cent of Chinese aged 18 and above now own a car, making them the 11th and 12th highest-ranking countries worldwide for car sales.
However, the level of car ownership in the two countries is way behind the US where 89 per cent own a car, Britain where 80 per cent own a car and Germany where 76 per cent own a car, found the Nielsen Company market research group.

The Asia-Pacific region's top country for car ownership is New Zealand where 82 per cent own a car followed by South Korea at 74 per cent, Australia at 70 per cent, Malaysia at 67 per cent and Taiwan at 66 per cent.

The world's fastest growing car markets are China and India, and car manufacturers invested $1.85 billion on marketing in China in 2006, nearly half the region's total car advertising spendi…

Raising prices - Do consumers react adversely?

Raising prices of products and services in a country like India may result in adverse reactions from consumers, especially the mass consumers. It may even alienate consumers from a brand. One important factor to consider while raising prices is how much to raise it by. Is it possible to raise prices to an extent where consumers fail to notice the price rise ?

Yes, it is.

To do that, the price must be raised to just below the JND, or the Just noticeable difference. The concept of JND otherwise known as the Differential Threshold, is the minimum amount by which stimulus intensity must be changed in order to produce a noticeable variation in sensory experience. Ernst Weber (pronouncedvay-ber), a 19th century experimental psychologist, observed that the size of the difference threshold appeared to be lawfully related to initial stimulus magnitude. This relationship, known since as Weber's Law, can be expressed as:
'Price' is a stimulus. If price is raised to an extent where it is…

Radical Shifts In Consumer Decision-Making

Consumer decision-making patterns and speed-to-action are radically shifting, according to new consumer research released by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick.

The global survey, “New Wave of Advocacy,” provides compelling evidence of the shift, and identifies Advocates among consumer groups that actively support and undermine brands, causes and issues.

“In a challenging and rapidly changing business environment, companies and organizations need to engage stakeholders in new and creative ways,” said Weber Shandwick Chairman Jack Leslie. “Advocates play a significant role in meeting this need as they affect the court of public opinion at Internet speed. They forge emotional bonds and higher levels of engagement that help attract new customers, earn support for issues and causes, spread word-of-mouth, and strengthen brand loyalty.”

Among the survey’s findings is information about what influences the opinions of Advocates, how quickly they make decisions and how broadly they shar…

No. 1 Movie - India

The no. 1 movie of the week past in India?

Spider Man 3! ( in its first week in India) ; Weekend gross - $6,464,624
Now that's 3 times more than the No. 2 movie last week, 'Ta ra Rum Pum' which took home $2,553,630. Source: www.boxofficemojo.com

Air Traffic in India

Indians are flying in droves.




In 2006, domestic airlines alone ferried over 16 million passengers. Hence, the high growth in civil aviation sector is to be sustained, it would call for improvement of infrastructure facilities on several fronts. The projection for Indian Airports for 2020 is estimated at:

100 million passengers Including 60 million domestic passengers Cargo in the range of 3.4 million tones per annum Growing fastest in Asia, in terms of flight operations, the rise in domestic capacity in October 2006 was 46%. The capacity in terms of international deployment increased by 14% in the same period. This substantial rise is a direct effect of the low cost fares that have changed the face of the Indian civil aviation sector. In India, demand for low-cost travel has skyrocketed, with domestic flight operations in this segment showing an increase of 466%. But has this been without problems ? No.

In fact Air travel is tuning into a nightmare.
It's all about being jostled by the…

China's Urban Consumer

According to a study by Mckinsey Global Institute (MGI) titled, 'Made in China' to 'Sold in China' : The Rise of the Chinese Urban Consumer, as China transitions to a more consumption-led economy, Chinese incomes will grow and a massive middle class is expected to emerge.
The urban consumer markets, in particular, will develop rapidly, moving from 43 percent of the population today, to 69 percent by 2015, and 76 percent by 2025. Most important, this urban phenomenon will spread beyond China’s large wealthy coastal cities, to smaller cities further inland.

The report states that, as the incomes of the new middle class rise dramatically, China will become the third-largest consumer market in the world by 2025. A key characteristic of China’s new middle class will be that these households will begin to spend a larger proportion of their income on discretionary items, thus significantly changing the patterns of spending in the economy.

It is important to note that the spectac…