Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Going Digital: How the bottom of the pyramid in India get online- video ...

My video with a very interesting entrepreneur, Paresh Rajde, who runs an assisted model for people who cannot transact online. "Earlier he used to go to railway station/ electricity board to pay bills, today he walks into one of my Suvidhaa centres..."

Even today, only 8% of population are online, 92 % cannot, and most transactions a cash, Without digital access and digital money how do we reach the technology benefit to the masses? Suvidhaa is one alternative.

Suvidhaa, in 7 years,  has a pan india, footprint of over 75,000 small retail touch points across 2800+ towns in India and services over 20 mn unique customers. It has 300 partners across 20 categories of services, from insurance to rail tickets.

Suvidhaa was ranked by Red Herring Inc., amongst Asia’s Top 100 Start-ups in 2009 & nominated for Global 200 Start-ups in 2010 and more recently, as per The Brand Trust Report – India Study 2013, Suvidhaa has been acknowledged & recognized as the “Most Trusted Retail Services Brand”.

Paresh's Links

Law for the Design and Creative Folks: Kushagra Shah, IP Lawyer

Kushagra from Kundalia Associates is a Kolkata based lawyer who deals with law as it pertains to a designer, design studio and a creative individual...
Criminal law's aim is to try a person accused of a crime... whereas with intangible property, it is about helping them protect their property. Today's Digital world means that if someone copies somebody elses material, they are 1000 times more likely to be found out. Infact, there are business models built around just infringements of IP law...
He talks about how someone opened a lounge serving purported  Darjeeling tea- that the darjeeling tea folks opposed- this is in supreme court.

Kushagra's links

Saturday, 22 November 2014

"Designing businesses is as creative as picking up a pen"-Mat Heinl, Mov...

My video with Mat Heinl, CEO of Moving Brands, a London hq'd creative/design agency :
Their client base spans a range- from A 200 year old Saville Row tailor -Norton and Sons, to global complex organisations like Swisscom or HP.
On mobile in India, he says-"The leapfrog in access, where you take a group of people with zero access and give them perhaps more access than people in the first world- thats interesting set of circumstances, that just overcomes legacy of we haven't done this before ... it will be like fire"
They designed Infosys experience centre, where they had to explain a wide range of services as an offer to the customer. They made it high tech, interactive form factor opportunity. We needed to work a lot on how we bring content to life- how do i translate strategy into something more engaging and human.

Mat's Links:

Saturday, 15 November 2014

What exactly does a content strategist do? Video with Elizabeth McGuane

Elizabeth talks about how  a content strategist acts as a bridge between visual design and development, and explaining each side to the other... and how terms like Lean, Agile, Systems thinking  which are very software/ developer oriented are increasingly finding their way into the lexicon of the designer and the creative...

Elizabeth's Links:

"Brands need to see design as an investment, as everything is design in todays world"- Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher

My video with Jonathan Ford founder, creative head of Pearlfisher... talking about what it means to be creative in today's world. " A great idea that can be expressed thro' sound, objects and graphics defines human culture". "we need to understand how clients see design -as an investment or as a cost"- they should know, given they have done a lot of work with cadburys dairy milk....

From his website: Never one to simply accept the status quo, Jonathan continually provokes and questions the world, inspiring Pearlfisher to create design that makes the future better. An award-winning designer and advocate of the power of creativity to inspire change, Jonathan has been responsible for creating some of the world’s most loved Challenger and Iconic brands, and for leading a successful series of #challengersandicons interviews with the people behind the brands of the future who understand the need to harness creativity and bold ideas to create success.

Jonathan's Links

Saturday, 27 September 2014

"Finding great clients is like going on blind dates"-Natasha Jen, Partner, Pentagram

"I don't have projects of shame" - "finding great clients is like going on a blind date" My video with Natasha Jen Partner at Pentagram, who talks about what it takes to be a design/ brand/ creative person- she talks about balancing the left and the right brains, finding great work and having great relationships with clients. " Of course, skills matter, but what is hard to find is talent and vision in people..."


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"Mobile payments will takeoff when seamless cashout happens" Shashank Joshi, MoneyOnMobile

Seamless cash-out, which regulators are working towards now, is really crucial for mobile payments to take off. Once that happens, the masses will  adopt. My video with Shashank Joshi, Money on Mobile.

In 2010, when we started out it was about SMS based payments, Today, thanks to the smartphones, India is going digital- To move our audience from SMS to digital, we are first enabling payments via Whatsapp- which is a good via media between SMS and our own App.And whatsapp is catching up everywhere.

We also believe in multilingual indian language apps-  we cannot shove english down the masses throats- so we have it in 10 languages, including Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya, Hindi, Marathi Gujarati etc...

I spoke to the Mpesa founder Susie Lonie, and it emerges that MPesa succeeded where ever carrying cash was dangerous. So you give in your cash in Bandra, and pick it up in Borivili. Thats how it succeeded.

Game changer is through payments because we are changing the habit through payments.

Company :
Susie Lonie:
Shashank Joshi:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Vishal Dalmia- ING Bank-Mobile First

Sorry about the poor lighting- the best i could find there at the spur of the moment...

What do u do with your banking app most often? Check your balance. Well, on the ING app, you dont even need to log in. This video is with Vishal Dalmia,has created consumer mobile app for IngBank- a mobile first app that stands out for its UX and great experience and has enabled ING to successfully compete with the really big boys of retail banking. In a short span of time, they are #4 in average ticket size of mobile transactions though they are not the #4 bank- they see a lift in the logins and customer interfaces.

"Other banks, on their mobile app,  focus on enabling traditional banking functions on a different device, we have tried to use the mobile to create entirely new use cases"

The app does certain things really well and the customer speaks about it.


"The mobile moment is everything"- Julie Ask, Forrester

Julie talks about the role of mobile in creating consumer experiences- she talks about the shortening timeframes that the consumer feels wow about any feature/products. She also talks about how the Starbucks loyalty program on the mobile paid off.

The APAC has among the most shifted mobile mindset regions... My mobile moment was when i saw how the lives of masai warriors in africa changed because of the mobile and i pivoted.

Julie, is a senior analyst at Forrester based at SFO. The combination of technical and business expertise positions prepared her well to work with business leaders to identify new opportunities offered by mobile technology and to develop strategies to engage with consumers on mobile devices. She has worked with hundreds of clients across retail, travel, banking, insurance, CPG, healthcare, retail, and more to advise and guide the development of their mobile strategies.

Julie's research and analysis have been widely cited in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, RCR Wireless, and The Onion and on CBS, NBC, and PBS.

Julie's Mobile first definition:

Friday, 19 September 2014

Innovation and Design in creating great products : video with Todd Rovak, Farenheit212

My video with Todd Rovak, Managing Partner, Farenheit212, a 75 strong London and New York based product design and innovation company.

 "The transparent LCD that Samsung came up was very cool, but could not perhaps become a great TV. Thro' our process of finding a business win and a consumer win, we figured out that the most profitable aisle of the grocery store was the frozen foods section, which was also the worst consumer experience-frosty glass and nothing looked like food. IF we could use these LCDs there, as the transparent doors of the refrigerators- that would be a great consumer experience. We took this idea 5 months from idea to prototype, we were able to create a great product idea for retail businesses- a great example of dual-sided thinking."

"What i really like about India is that India has the ability to leapfrog existing systems, an amazing ecosystem and great talent."


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tim Malbon MadebyMany

Tim Malbon, from Made By Many, a production innovation company based in london, talks to me at Kyoorius design yatra, where he was a speaker. he speaks on on everything from Skype to creative... a great conversation

twitter: @malbonster

Saturday, 6 September 2014

"We follow the consumer"-Marico's Aditya Save

Aditya Save, Head, Digital Marketing and Media at Marico discusses his views in this video
"If you look at the Indian family system, we have gone from three generations living under one roof , who share experiences across generations to having nuclear families, who need to search for information which is why people are increasingly going digital in their search- we understand and follow consumers as they do this."

"We have gone in with mobile first in some semi urban/ rural areas to raise awareness in semi literate/ semi media dark state- and have used celebrities in this"
Aditya Save, twitter: @adisave, is with Marico a leading Indian multinational with brands in Health Care Personal Care categories with presence in Africa & Asia. Some of their brands include Parachute, Kaya, Revive, Saffola amongst others
A passionate believer of digital, he is shifting Marketing efforts & dollars towards digital domains, at a pace akin to that of his consumers in these geographies- he talks about these trends in the video.
Besides his role at Marico, Aditya is also a Mentor Partner for the Microsoft Accelerator, based in Bangalore, India.

Links for Aditya

Friday, 5 September 2014

Business Secrets: Sachin Bansal from Flipkart

Please find some interesting Insights from Sachin Bansal of Flipkart (sorry, not a video)

  1. Lots of headroom for growth in e-commerce- The Indian market for e-comm is $3 Bn(of the $600+Billion retail industry) about 0.4% as compared to the US-10% & China-8%
  2. Flipkart pushes out about 2 lakh items daily today
  3. About 20 Million people transact on Flipkart, and 50 Million people visit the website
  4. 4 states of South (TN, Karnataka, Kerala and AP) generate as much business as the rest of India
  5. Their biggest categories by value are Electronics, and by Volume are Books and Apparel (with the acquisition of Myntra, the apparel, has the lead!)
  6. E-transaction vs Cash on delivery is 50:50
  7. They own their entire supply chain and delivers the last mile connectivity in 250 cities across India-Employs 10,000 people to run this supply chain across the nation
  8. They have a dedicated callcenter (again owned), with 2000 people to manage customer queries which are mainly around preordering (why don’t you deliver here, can you gift wrap etc) and post order (when will my product arrive etc)
  9. All their tech is done in house- they build the code and the apps themselves.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Rajesh - Kyoorius Creative Awards

I am thrilled to present my video with Rajesh Kejriwal, who shares with us his very interesting journey of how he got the Indian creative community together.  He charts his journey as a manufacturer of fine paper who got the creative community thro' a not-for-profit entity Kyoorius to bring together the Design and the Creative community of India- something that as a social cause has huge impact.
Their design awards event is on Thursday, the 12th evening, 7pm at the NSCI Indoor stadium, Worli,  is a must attend for the creatively minded.

Rajesh's Links:

Sanjiv Sharma, Optimystix, Filmmaker

My Video with Sanjiv Sharma.  Sanjiv, erstwhile from O&M, started Optimystix in 2000, and as they say, the rest is history.

 A public school educated Advertising Film Maker teamed up with a writer from a small town called Limdi in Gujarat in the year 2000 to start Optimystix with the clear intention of creating world class Entertainment for TV Networks.

 The diversity of the founders is still the hallmark of the company. Optimystix has produced Hi End Shiny Floor entertainment like Indian Idol Season 1 to Papad Pol a Daily Drama Series aimed at predominantly Gujarati Audiences. In this video  Sanjiv shares his passion and what drives him.

Sanjiv's links:

Indian television article:
GroupM-Optimystix partnership:

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pradeep Guha, Founder/CEO of 9X Media (+playlist)

My video with Pradeep Guha where he talks about "Inging the Thing"- creating defining experiences to propel the brand. Having done what he has, he should know- credited with redefining the Times brand, creating Bombay Times, the turnaround of 9XM,  and crowning a bevy of beauty queens from Aishwarya to Priyanka- he has done it all. A rockstar!
Pradeep Guha is a stalwart in the field of media, advertising, marketing and branding. For over 35 years, he has been a pioneer of change and progress for the brands that he has been associated with. In the mid-70s, he was the President and Director of the Times Group. He was instrumental in building the Group’s flagship brand, The Times of India and magazines like Filmfare and Femina.
He is also on the board of various companies like Mukta Arts, Future Media, Whistling Woods International, Komli Media Inc., Vdopia Inc. and Amagi Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Links for Pradeep:
Businesstoday article:
Livemint article:
Financial express:

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gerd Leonhard

My Video with Gerd Leonhard @gleonhard, Futurist, Author and Speaker,based out of Switzerland on the Internet of Things and on Privacy... "Things connecting with each other is the 21st century electrification"; "we are moving into the world of visuality- we wont be using language, we will be using pictures"; "Privacy debate- you have to be anonymous in somethings that you do- a part of being human is about having things that you dont want to share -we dont want a world of Matrix or Minority Report"

In his own words : I work as a Futurist in the Media, Telecom, Technology, Marketing & Communications, Culture & Creative Industries, Energy and Environmental Sectors. I am also a Keynote Speaker & Presenter, Author and Writer, Strategic Advisor, the CEO of TheFuturesAgency and Visiting Professor at the Fundacao Dom Cabral in Sao Paulo. I live in Basel, Switzerland - and aboard a good many airplanes.

Gerd's links

Monday, 24 March 2014

Manish Vij-Founder-Smile Vun Group

My Video with Manish Vij, founder of the Smile Vun Group. He holds the special distinction of having the most exits in the Indian digital media space...
Manish Vij is the Founder of SVG (Smile Vun Group). He is a veteran of the digital media industry and has over 12 years of experience in the internet domain. Manish has founded leading internet companies in areas of digital marketing and e-commerce with international joint ventures and leading venture capital firms. Manish's entrepreneurial ventures include:
  • Quasar - A joint venture with WPP is an award winning and leading digital marketing agency in India and part of Possible Worldwide.
  • SVG Media - The largest Indian digital media network that reaches over 50% of India's internet users.  SVG Media is the launch pad for successful digital media businesses and houses leading Performance, Mobile, Data Targeting and Rich Media businesses such as Tyroo, Velocity, PrecisionMatch, DGM and Platformplay. SVG Media is a joint venture between Vun Network and Smile Group and is funded by Xplorer Capital. SVG Media was formerly known as Tyroo Media.
  • SeventyNine - Is a leading mobile ad network, revolutionizing the space through its path breaking technology to serve videos in mobile applications. Seventynine was successfully sold to Gruner+Jahr, Europe's leading magazine publisher in 2012.
  • -  India's leading online electronics and IT retailer that was funded by reputed venture capitalists (now sold to Flipkart).
  • Prior to establishing SVG and Vun Network, Manish was associated with for over 4 years and he also started India's first digital classifieds business - in 1999.
Manish, an MBA in marketing is not only a pioneer in the internet marketing space but also one of the youngest dotcom entrepreneurs. Manish has represented the Indian digital industry in various domestic and international industry forums, events and seminars.

Manish's links:

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Dippak Khurana- CoFounder

My video with Dippak Khurana, of who as of Dec'13, served 280 MM mobile internet users across emerging markets - what he calls mobile first consumer markets. His aspiration is to be the #1 ad exchange across these markets.

"Low credit card and PC penetration means that mobile media and internet will leapfrog the traditional PC. He believes mobile will beat TV as the mass channel of engagement in the next 12-18 months.

As the CEO and Co-founder of – a Global Mobile Ad Network, Dippak plays a central role in today’s mobile ecosystem working with Telecom providers, Mobile Content companies, App Developers, Publishers and Advertisers. With 17 years of experience across Internet & Mobile, Dippak has been instrumental in making revolutionary introductions in the space, including
  1. launching India’s first Online Newspaper – The Times Of India in 1996
  2. India’s first Online Ad Network  -  Intercept Technologies in 1999
  3. India’s first SMS Shortcode in 2001 for Yahoo
  4. Pioneered internet portals for Telcos – in 2004
  5. World’s first One Click App Monetization platform – AppWrapper in 2010 and 
  6. World’s first Ad platform with Telco enabled audience targeting – AudiencePro in 2013
He has gained industry recognition as the Mobby’s ‘Mobile Media Professional of the Year’, and also features at #22 on the IMPACT Digital Power 100 list.

Dippak's Links: (linkedin) (facebook)

Saturday, 22 March 2014


My chat with Manu Jain, co-founder and former Managing Director of one of India's leading fashion portals, a portal that changed the way the indian consumer bought clothes...

Jabong has a lot of firsts to its credit, but it basically changed the consumer behaviour in buying apparel. Apparel traditionally has not been considered the best "ecommerce" material- afterall, the conventional wisdom goes, one would want to try out clothes for colour, fit, look before buying. However, by offering a large catalogue of lifestyle products and a super-fast delivery service - infact, same-day delivery in cities like Delhi, they were able to change consumer behaviour.

Manu is now onto a new venture, named Gynjer, will design, develop and sell wearable smart devices, such as smartwatches and smart glasses.The company will also develop smartphones and phablets. However, the devices will be made by third-party manufacturers in China and Taiwan.

Manu's Links
Techcircle article:
Manu's new passion-wearables:

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Murugavel ( #1 Matrimony site

My video with Murugavel Janakiraman, the founder and CEO of, the #1 indian matrimony portal.
From its launch in 1997 with 4000 members, has found great success.  The crowned king matrimony, it has 8X more success than any other, is available in 15 languages, has 20 million members globally and best of all,  3 Million couples have found their life-partners here.

He talks about the interesting online/ offline model he has evolved. With a physical presence with +170 retail locations across India, he has three subscription driven models- online which is pretty much DIY,  Assisted- with relationship managers and a local language offline model.  He claims "Today, though our service is mainly online, about half our subscription revenue is collected from the doorstep across in India". He has also branched into allied services, such as india's first return gifts portal, and, a listing of +50,000 providers of marriage related services (catering, photographer etc),  they also run events, matrimonyexpo.

He talks further about how physical and virtual benefit  from each other- "People who are already online, walk into retail to convert to paid memberships (hand over the payment over the counter), improve their profiles, understand how this works etc and get a sense of reassurance about the physical presence. The stores also convert the non-online people to get online."

Murugavel heads the BharatMatrimony Group as Chief Executive Officer, with the portfolio comprising, BharatMatrimony Centre,,, and He leads an ever-growing work force of over 300. He also launched a non-profit CSR initiative

Murugavel has been honoured by the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 5 Asian Indian Businessmen in the United States (US) below the age of 35. He was also honoured by the India Today Group as the "Business Icon of the Year".

At 34, Murugavel is successful, smart, digital and new age. He is married to Deepa, who, he found on bharatmatrimony. He started off with an idea, that quickly became a passion and is now his purpose- "To build a better Bharat through happy marriages"- Amen to that!

Murugavel's links:
Linkedin :
TEDx Talk:
Murugavel's full profile :

Friday, 7 March 2014

AmarjitBatra OlxDOTin

I get great satisfaction when people come up to me and say, "We post an item at 10, and at 12, we have sold the item". is a top ranked website (Alexa  #22 in India and #299 globally)

My conversation with Amarjit Batra, the Country Manager for OLX India , the online classifieds website. Been with OLX since Dec 2008, currently based out of New Delhi. Olx is headquartered in Buenos Aires with an emphasis on emerging market.

Says he " we seriously solve a major problem for indians- on how to sell or buy used goods- for which the market never existed". He sees this as a mission , a laser focused priority which he passionately believes in.

Amarjit also expounds how his mobile-first view, started 5-6 years ago, gets him ~70% of his traffic on mobile, the highest  amongst e-commerce companies which are in the 30% range.

He goes onto say "Many of us are latent users, who would have never used a classifieds (in its old form of print classifieds) for selling our old mobile phone, or the text books that we do not need, or for that matter the collection of coins and stamps that we have outgrown. Free Classifieds sites like OLX is therefore bringing a new set of users like us who are not in the business of selling but are experiencing online commerce while disposing unwanted stuff from our homes."

His Links