Friday, February 11, 2011

A day in life at RTO

I, had the luxury of spoiling my smart card driving licence issued by RTO Gujarat State and upon enquiry was told that physically an individual needs to be present for obtaining a duplicate.

Earlier when I, had obtained the existing driving license, I had visited only the driving school and presto the driving license was handed over to me (only for formality sake had visited the RTO).

However I, was informed currently this practice has stopped and it is not possible to get it done through an agent as stringent and regular checks are in place, so I along with my colleague irritatingly reached Ahmedabad RTO only to find a huge queue already.

Reluctantly, grudgingly, or rather painfully we decided to endure the long queue, however during this ordeal I, had opportunity to observe a few interesting facts which made me ponder, even in such adversities how mankind looks for opportunities remember Sir Albert Einstein had quoted "In adversity lies opportunity."

In order to beat the heat, we had salesmen or rather sales women selling water in small pouches of Re. 1 each and for tea lovers like me, we had vendors selling tea, to idle our time groundnuts were being sold for munching, and while observing all the above suddenly I, could spot rag pickers coming to pick the empty plastic water pouches for re-selling it to vendors.

A gentleman came to sell smart looking covers for keeping the Smart Card intact without getting spoilt, another gentleman walked in with a pack of visiting cards specifying an address of nearby shop and urging people to laminate their old or new smart cards guaranteeing a longer shelf life.

A realisation dawned on me that a whole lot of entrepreneurial activities do happen around us without us, even realising it or that matter even the RTO authorities would not have realised how much entrepreneurship they must have generated.

This particular experience was unique; I could never imagine such experience could come from these sets of people. Here I, wish to borrow the words of the ancient Roman philosopher, Horace: “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant”.

Luxury was mentioned in the first line because it gave me a good learning

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sports and Marketing

What a nerve wracking match the Vth and final decider match between India and South Africa turned out to be yesterday.

Finally the better team won; the lessons to be taken from yesterday’s game are grit & the positive attitude that differentiate men amongst the boys. How a single individual with the right positive approach, attitude, and passion can weaken a strong opposition.

The result was a foregone conclusion, the point that needs to be pondered are how Yusuf Pathan played mind game against the opposition; out playing them even though the chips were heavily loaded in favour of the opposition, speaks volume of what an individual can do. The grit and determination he displayed has to be commended.

I, am not here to analyse the plus and minuses of the game but how relevant games are in our day to day context and this made me sit up and analyse how games can be closely related to our sales and marketing lives.

The key attributes could be

 Confidence
 Discipline
 Focus
 Goal direction
 The drive
 Ambition
 Mental Toughness

We can probably deduce that the same characteristics apply to successful people in marketing, Sportsmen always are always on a lookout for a way to get an edge on their competition. A sound mental training can often make the difference between a winner and a loser.

Same techniques can help a marketing personnel to become more successful in both business and life. There are studies documenting the performance improvement that comes from spending 5-10 minutes a day visualising an upcoming competition.

Think about the performance improvements that could occur. It could make the difference between you and your competitors, or even between you and a peer going for the same promotion, no wonder Yusuf Pathan is the second highest paid player in IPL.

Sports can be a great metaphor for business, but we can and should apply more than just a story about a favorite player or team. If you want to get an edge on your competition, utilize some of the same techniques Sportsperson do.

We always crib that the targets are high and is un-achievable and whatever has been decided and handed over to us is from the perspective of the top management, the management is impractical, they do not understand the practical problems faced by Sales people in the field etc etc., thank God Pathan did not think negatively like that; else he single handedly would not have turned the match against proteas and made it more interesting; and worth the watch.

Reminded of one more old school of though “ Fortune favours the brave”