Kabuliwala and Mini

Kabul is very much in the International news these days. Watching the men in Kabul on TV has reminded me of Kabuliwala. The name Kabuliwala is typically from Kolkata given to men from Afghanistan who are merchants in the city. During our childhood we have seen the turban clad, bearded, tall men with baggy pajamas carrying a big bag. Our grandmother used to scare us saying that the bag is full of naughty children kidnapped by the Kabuliwala. I later realized that this narrative had reference to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s short story titled Kabuliwala. This famous story has been made into films in Bengali with Chhabi Biswas as the protagonist in 1957, and in Hindi with Balraj Sahni in 1961. A poignant story of filial relationship between Rehmat, the man from Kabul, and five-year-old girl Mini, daughter of a Bengali writer. In case you have not read the story, click this link  Kabuliwala and buy it from Amazon for only Rs.113 (Maple paperback). Rest assured, you will like Kabuliwala written by Tagore in 1892. Quite different from what is being written these days about men from Afghanistan.

Olympic Medal comes with a symbolic Mascot and Flower Bouquet

In Olympics all participants aim for a podium finish to win a medal. Gold, Silver or Bronze. In Tokyo Olympics 2020, all medalists are also receiving a flower bouquet and the mascot called Miraitowa. The Japanese word ‘mirai’ means future and ‘towa’ means eternity, thus wishing the world a future of everlasting hope. It is also a tribute to both tradition and innovation. The yellow, green and blue flowers in the bouquet were grown in three different districts devastated by earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown in 2011. Almost 20000 people including children had lost their lives. The bouquet symbolizes the gratitude to the International community for reconstruction of these affected sites. This is Japanese culture and values.

Fast Delivery of Lifelong Value

Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu created history in India by winning a silver medal in weight lifting on the first day of Olympics. After winning the medal, in an interview, she said “First of all, I will go and have a pizza. It has been a long time since I ate it. I will eat a lot today”. Dominos was the first to respond and fast in delivering a life-long value to the celebrity. Free Domino’s Pizza for life for Mirabai Chanu

Mindful Marketing Maestro Phil Kotler

Philip and Nancy Kotler

While listening to Prof. Philip Kotler last night, at the Bombay Management Association Masterclass, I found him to be a Mindful Marketing Maestro because of his concern for the society, planet and the bottom of the pyramid. Phil, as he is fondly called, considers Peter Drucker as the Grandfather of Marketing who said the aim of business is to create customers. Kotler further added that Drucker also said that the functions in a business are Innovation and Marketing and all the rest are costs. He also referred to other authors like Hans Rosling of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’Re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think, Jerry Zaltman of ‘Unlocked’ which speaks of open mindedness and Fujifilm Chairman Shigetaka Komori with whom he co-authored the book ‘Never Stop – Winning Through Innovation’. While speaking to the Indian audience he also expressed his love and respect for India and the Indian Professors and Authors of Marketing in USA like Mohanbir Sawhney, Lakhsman Krishnamurthi and many others. He made a special mention of V.Kumar’s book ‘Intelligent Marketing: Employing New-Age Technologies‘. Christian Sarkar was mentioned more than once with whom Kotler has co-authored ‘Brand Activism: From Purpose to Action’ and co-founded The Marketing Journal. An amazing trivia is that the Marketing Guru Philip Kotler, now 90, married Nancy in 1955 and visited India for the first time the same year. I guess India was the destination for their honeymoon.

Andy Jassy New CEO of Amazon

Andy Jassy

Congratulations Andy Jassy on being elevated as CEO of Amazon the most valuable global brand. Jeff Bezos has rewarded you well. You started as a Marketing Manager in 1997 and worked as a technical assistant for Bezos. You founded Amazon Web Services (AWS) and later converted Amazon into a cloud computing company from just e-commerce. You are yet another illustrious alumnus of Harvard Business School. All the very best.

Both Are Leaders-Spiritual and Corporate

Gauranga Prabhu and Sundar Pichai

Both are Leaders. One is a Corporate Leader and the other a Spiritual Leader. Both are B.Tech Metallurgy from IIT of 1993 batch. One from IIT Kharagpur and the other from IIT Bombay. Sundar Pichai CEO of Alphabet Inc and Google created Chrome. Gauranga Prabhu of ISCKON created Govardhana ECO Village. Sundar Pichai is transforming the world with Digitalisation and Gauranga Prabhu is transforming the world via a 3S philosophy –Spirituality, Sustainability and Social Inclusion. Both are Leaders.

AI / ML in Pharmaceuticals

Subroto Mukherjee Head-Digital Innovation & Transformation GSK New York

Subroto Mukherjee , Head- Digital Innovation and Transformation at GSK New York, gave an insight into the benefits of Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning in the Pharmaceutical Industry. In the pandemic, the biggest use of AI/ML has been in reducing time in discovery, development to clinical trials and final FDA approvals. The speed and agility of the vaccines took 300 days, which previously has taken from eight to ten years. The use cases of AI in consumer healthcare have been Predictive Forecasting, Sensory models and Eye-tracking. https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2020/12/26/the-increasing-use-of-ai-in-the-pharmaceutical-industry/?sh=541b6ed94c01

IKEA-committed care for customers

Namaskara Bengaluru, we are now delivering to your city – is what IKEA announces when you visit their site. The cartoon is a take-off from their unique idea of ready-to-assemble furniture. More valuable than that is their commitment to care for their customers. They have announced product recall of plates, bowls and mugs due to the risk of breakage and burns, extendable dining table due to the risk of falling extension piece and ceiling lamps due to the risk of falling shades. As we are getting ready to reopen, IKEA , as they claim, will make people look forward to going home.

European Inventor Award 2021

Dr.Sumita Mitra and Dr.Smarajit Mitra

Technological Innovation by Dr.Sumita Mitra has been rewarded with prestigious European Inventor Award 2021. Dr.Mitra used Nanotechnology to produce stronger and better looking dental fillings which doesn’t weaken on biting surfaces, nor does it lose its polish. These nanoclusters have been used in one billion dental restorations worldwide and is a commercial success. On a personal note, her journey with her husband has been fascinating. Both studied Chemistry in Presidency College, Calcutta (1966-69), Calcutta University (1969-72), Michigan University (1973-77), both worked as Scientists at 3M for 32 years in US and since last 10 years they have been running their Mitra Chemical Consulting LLC in Florida. Isn’t it amazing?

Empathy drives Innovation -Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella Chairman and CEO – Microsoft

Congratulations Satya Nadella on being elevated as Chairman and CEO of Microsoft. A product of Hyderabad Public School and B.Tech from Manipal Institute of Technology, you have done us Indians proud. Liked your quote “What’s the source of our Innovation? It comes from our ability as designers or product creators, our ability to meet the unmet and unarticulated needs of customers. You’re not going to do that unless and until you have some deep sense of EMPATHY”

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