My new post on strat.in – Apple iPhone and its India Strategy.
Excerpt: As we all know iPhone is one of the most sought after possession in the recent times. The phone which combines iPod with a mobile phone and wireless connection which enables us to connect to the web has captured the imagination of the people all around the one and lots of them are dying to lay their hands on it.
But as history tells us it was a flop in India. Now that Apple is preparing to release its next version of iPhone, iPhone 3G, we can try and see what went wrong with Apple’s strategy last time. …..
For more… read the post at the link posted above
Some post which i had written a month and a half ago, but had not published….
Now that the result of the election has come through, it is great to see at least one of the fronts getting almost the full majority. It is also great to see the left being routed in their strong bastion. Also the NDA led by the BJP has been sort of rejected by the country. This post is not about the reasons why the UPA won or the reasons behind the routing of the NDA. I would leave that to the parties and the more capable bloggers.
This post is about something which is going on in my head since yesterday. Although I am not a member of the BJP, you could actually say that I am a supporter of them and their ideologies. So, it was obvious for me to think about how the party should go ahead from now on. There are also voices here and there telling that this was the best chance which they had to form the government in the near future, reason being the rise of Rahul Gandhi and the apparent desire of the country to have a young leader. So, these are a few of the points where I believe they have to concentrate on.
One of the reasons which I believe is responsible for the poor performance of the party is that they are branded continuously as a communal force. Even the major news channels and the media continuously keep calling them communal forces and the others as secular. Some of the educated do know the level of secularism of the other parties and knows that even they are the same in that front. But the difference being they are coming across as secular cause they are branded so. Even though the branding agency is no one but themselves, they are able to somehow convince the country that they are secular.
The way forward is not to somehow brand them communal, but make it clear to the nation that they are as secular as the other pseudo-secular parties are. The educated in most of the urban areas believe it, the question is how to get across the message in the other rural areas. How to go about it?
I am sure they do have a minority’s wing in the part organization. I believe this is the time to come to force. Yes, even though you are not in power, this is one wing which I would like the party to mobilize. They could start working with the minorities and other “secular” communities at the base level and start creating a support base among them. In the states in which they are in power, there could be some schemes and programs aimed at them and their welfare. I am saying this because although they are called the minorities, they are actually the largest voting force. And this would be an effort to show to the nation that we are not communal and we do care about the other communities. Further it would strengthen our base among them. I have already seen an example of this in the Bangalore Central constituency in this election, where there was a close fight and the BJP candidate won the election when surprisingly a Muslim dominated area, did not vote for the Christian standing from INC or a Muslim from the JDS, but voted for the BJP.
Apart from this I seriously believe that some of the leaders can actually tone down on the brand of hot talks. Yes, Narendra Modi is a great chief minister in Gujarat who has worked for the development of Gujarat. The people of Gujarat does recognize it, but it is really bad that the people of the other regions sees him only through the glasses of Post Godhra riots. Varun Gandhi has the making of the great leader, but he has to take all the people of all the communities with him. But these are the leaders which the other people see as communal. I am sure Modi government in Gujarat would have worked for the development of the area irrespective of the communities in the area. It would be great if Varun Gandhi too use the funds allotted to him in developing Pilibhit. And I would say for the starters at least use it to develop the pockets of muslim dominated regions along with the others. And mainly it is not just enough if we just work, we need to brand it too. To ward off the negative and the false branding of the anti-secular force, we need to brand ourselves strongly as the secular force and these would help it.
What I am saying is not to give up Hindutva, but also make sure you come across as someone whom people from all the communities will have trust in.
Though the party has made inroads in the south at least in my state, the major worry has to be its losing dominance in what were once its strong hold states, UP and Delhi being the major example. UP being a large state was once the strong hold of the party, but we have consistently lost the hold over there. The state which once used to get us more than 50 seats have seen us return with 15 odd seats this time along with the allies. I would say the reason goes back to the time when the BJP was in power in that state. There was a constant infighting in the camp and now the party organization has gone to the doldrums over there. The first responsibility right now is to get the party organized in these regions. Get in a good strong and a young leader with a clean image in these areas, and let the party organize itself around this fulcrum. Get in the second and the third rung leadership around this leader. Get the units up and kicking. As the minority is also a major factor in UP, the minority wing of the party should be more active in here. Get in good leaders who can build the organization and support base to head the minority wing.
Delhi, though it is a small state, returning only 7 seats, is the national capital and if we have to have a central government, then this state is important. But unfortunately we have seen this going the UP way only and there are no regional parties to contend with over here too. The main reason I believe again over here is the leadership and organization. Try to get in the new organization or mobilize the organization. This is important because in another 3-4 years I think Delhi will go for voting again and the ruling party will be incumbent for 10 years by then. If we can get the organization running in the state you can capture it and with it start the march ahead for the center.
Also the states in which the party is in power are really important. Work towards the welfare of the people and avoid being in controversy. I am really happy to see the Sri Rama Sena controversy did not affect the result from my state. But such controversies have to be avoided for sure.
Lastly but not the least of all, identify your opponent in the next election. It is pretty clear what congress strategy for the next election would be. Project Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, saying that he is a young, dynamic leader with a clean image and then brandish BJP as a communal party. To counter this, the prime ministerial candidate from the party has to be someone who is strong, young, dynamic and not seen as “communal”. Try to identify such a leader. It would be better if it is allowed for the organization to throw up such a leader by itself rather than pushing him/her onto it.
What started out as a discussion about the product I am working on led me to think about this particular aspect of it. One day on a post lunch afternoon walk, I was talking to my friend at work and told him how the product I am working on is not a complete product. My friend who had worked on a similar product at his previous company asked me why is it that. I started discussing with him how the product provide all the features that it claim, but the amount of redundancy of data being asked, some of the unwanted data in a few screens and existence of multiple places to take in the same required data. Though I was looking at the screens which are shown in demos, I thought when you are claiming your application as a product these glitches should not be there. But my friend was of a differing opinion. He said a product in a business sense is made up of its features, and as long as all the features are there, it is a product. The rest are not the problem with the product, but configuration glitches etc.
My point of view is that though they are all not problems with the products per se, even configuration management is a part of product management. There should be a base version which has the proper configuration management and with no glitches. If you are showing these in the demo and have to give weird reasoning for the existence of few fields and the existence of multiple reports which provides almost similar data, and multiple places to take in the same data, then the entire packaging is lost. Yes a product is made up of its features, but it contains many things more to be able to sell it. You need to have a good look and feel, no glitches and also provide an easy deployment capability to be a good product. Yes these are not problems of the product features per se, but in the business it is considered to be a problem with the product. Thus my point of view is that the entire packaging (which involves fully functional features + look and feel + any other things) is more important than functionality.
Agree or disagree?
Edit: Removed the confusing Levis wala example