Apr 10, 2008

The Best of Indian Business Blogs: Week 3

Yeah, I finally got to writing my share of comments for this initiative to give Indian Business Blogging a little more visibility

Rajesh Lalwani believes that companies offering probiotic products in India are under-utilizing Internet in general, and social media in particular

My take: I believe that Rajesh strikes the nail on the head when he suggests that health products need to tap the net effectively. However, when marketers think in India they still want to focus on shaping mass opinions, which is increasingly becoming fragmented. Maybe they believe that using different approaches over different types of media will give off mixed signals to a target group. A net savvy consumer would read the papers and watch TV too. Approaching him/her through a education perspective might clash with a overly emotional approach for mass media. However, brands do need to understand that they cannot hold on to the brands anymore. It would be better for the brands if they can be shaped by the social media and people are not just consumers but who can be co-creators. Who knows maybe the "crowd" can come up with a better brand identity for a probiotic (or any) product than a handful of brand managers

Sudhakar Ram, Founder and CMD of Mastek Ltd, looks forward to the third wave of Indian outsourcing

My take: Sudhakar urges Indian IT companies to "shift to Wave 3 work – which is strategic, value-added and non-linear." I actually have a problem with the first two words because they are context specific. In a certain time context cost savings via labour arbitrage can be strategic and value-added, specially because the competition and market does not offer it. However it is Sudhakar's usage of non-linear which is interesting. Any service business is linear. The gradient might differ, but it is always something that is charged per effort/outcome. It depends from the dish a master chef designs to one that is sold by a roadside "dhaba". To get 2x the revenue you have to do it again. The only area that non-linear revenues can be derived from is when reuse of product/by-product is possible. The biggest challenge for the Indian IT industry to adapt would be to change their systems and worldviews of working, IMHO and I wish Sudhakar had spelt it out in detail.

- Vijay Anand, founder of Proto.in, says that Indian entrepreneurs need to be more aware of their environment.

My take: Vijay is bang on when he stresses that people need to think in a systems mode. Not connecting with other realities and other stakeholders can actually negate an innovation to irrelevance.

- Kamla Bhatt believes that a pure-play corporate blogging approach may not be successful in India

My take: On the occasions when I have talked with businesses about using corporate blogging, I always try to focus them to articulate "why do we want to do this?" When the answer is a version of "the marketing/corp comm folks feel it would be cool to do it" I know the project is doomed before it begins. Organizations need to articulate what benefits they seek from blogging and then how they should plan to achieve it. It does not negate the approach of transparency and openness of social media. It does require discipline to stick to what one wants from the initiative.

- Atanu Dey discusses the dot-corn debate

My take: If you don't know much about what Atanu talks about then be like me - get to know about it :-)

What is this thing?

The Idea

The basic idea is simple: we form a network of five to ten influential Indian business bloggers to promote link-worthy posts from other Indian business bloggers in the form of a weekly digest published on our respective blogs.

The People

The present members in our network are (in alphabetical order):-

- Gaurav Mishra, is a marketer and a social media enthusiast (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).

- Gautam Ghosh - that is me- an HR Consultant and a veteran business blogger (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).

- Kiruba Shankar is India’s original A-list blogger and podcaster and a regular speaker at technology conferences (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).

- Palin Ningthoujam is a public relations professional and the founder of India PR Blog (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).

- Rajesh Lalwani is the founder of social media agency Blogworks (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).

- Ranjan Varma is the writer of personal finance online weekly Personal Finance 2.01 (e-Book, Blog, Facebook and Twitter).

- VeerChand Bothra is the organizer of Mumbai Mobile Mondays and head of business development at MyToday (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).

The Process

Over the week, we share posts between each other, and select a set of 3-5 posts to highlight. The posts can include all business-related topics including marketing, advertising, public relations, human resource management, finance, and entrepreneurship. The idea is to not link to each others’ posts, unless one of us has written a real gem.

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