10 great quotes to celebrate “World Kindness Day”

Kindness starts within, how do we treat ourselves in a very moment of time & thus it reflects how we see others. A smile; a word; a gesture of kindness, can do more than we can imagine. A kind heart captivates love & gratitude, it attracts happiness & free us to experience the ecstasy of selflessness.

Start with a note to yourself, no matter how small it is, it matters.  A morning wish; to offer the lift; to share a good thought; to make someone smile, everything counts.

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“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

— Saint Basil

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

— William Arthur Ward

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

— Morgan Freeman

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” 

— Henry James

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and blind can see”

— Mark Twain

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” 

— Joseph Joubert

“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” 

— Dalai Lama

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”

— William Wordsworth

“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in the prayer.”

— Mahatma Gandhi  

Perform a random act of kindness for two minutes a day, you can actually retrain your brain to be more positive. Kindness is contagious, it comes back with added happiness and contentment.

Happy Kindness Day! 🙂

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Event: Branding building in the age of cognitive overload

Since Professor Richard Thaler has got Nobel in Economics for his theory about “Exuberance is Rational,” it is sort of introspection for me to sit and re-look the concepts of marketing I know. I always perceived myself as an irrational customer, that’s why I was reluctant to pay the maintenance fee for 1 year at CR7 CRUNCH when I am about to use it for 9 months. Yes, Eli (MRCB Partner in crime) found it weird, and I kept my point explaining the concept of rationality.

Prof Thomas Ramsoy did answer my question in a beautiful way that how important it is for managers and academicians to collaborate and work to achieve the purpose of grabbing “attention” of customers in the times of cognitive overload.

Neuromarketing is indeed a beautiful invention of cutting-edge technology to analyze what a consumer never shares. It indeed tells us how a consumer “behaves” in a particular situation without even consciously intended to. Learning about the brain always makes me inquisitive that how capable it is, thanks to my association to positive psychology.

It was an informative session from an eminent professor, who is also the founder of Neurons Inc, revealing the exciting facts about brain and how it is targeted in the world of marketing. In a race of seizing the pie of a customer’s market-share, how brands end up without even getting noticed.

There is no tunnel with a single way, while the time is limited and the customer is impatient. It is the matter of a couple of seconds, in which customer makes its purchasing decisions. Challenge is to focus on direct emotions, not just liking.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to learn for marketers from Neuroscience, and it is the time to “re-search” the subconscious!

Tough Love

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If continued working with Asian Paints, today I would have completed 6 years of professional journey. It is wonderful to be at IE and starting a new adventure with hugely talented & phenomenally diverse bunch of people on earth. Sometimes, I can’t even believe that it is happening and yes, it is profoundly happening now.

Starting the first day at Segovia, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,  is famous for its cathedral, alcázar castle and its aqueduct. It is also renowned for its Romanesque art and many other outstanding buildings, including monasteries and convents. One of these convents, the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real, is currently the headquarters of IE University campus just outside the city walls in the Eresma River valley. A 12th-century building which was personally commissioned by Queen Isabella, whose figure sculpted in wood appears praying together with her husband.

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The Dean, Mr. Lee Newman commenced his powerful speech about IE’s believe in dynamic learning in a continuously changing world, and infusion of “Change is attitude” DNA among its students. To “TOUGH LOVE,” and strive to bring out the best possible; (H)umanly, (S)ocially and (T)echnologically. It was already quite clear that it is going to be a tough year ahead. To challenge the limits and GO BEYOND.

IE is not traditional, and it is never going to be, it is the Business School of today!

It is the place where technology and humanity meet to create remarkable scientifically proven facts. It is amongst few places on earth where women outnumber men, where the student to faculty ratio is unbelievable, where the whole world studies in a country.

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Precisely, IE School of Human Sciences and Technology is the home of 357 meticulously chosen students from 67 nationalities, who can speak 32 languages, who represent the world’s best organizations and possess the capability to become the future ambassadors.

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IE demands better than the best! You work after you are done with your work. Every day begins with a challenge to give the best shot. I heard that people start in nice suits and end up in Jeans and T-Shirts. That’s TOUGH LOVE!

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…..till the next BLINK, proud MRCBian! 🙂

 

 

 

How “Market-ing” is Evolving in Digital Era

As the market-ing entered into the digital era and thus continuously evolving its concepts. Marketers have to re-look and re-arrange the strategical inputs to co-create the whole thing. Unsurprisingly, marketing has adopted the process of digitalization at its best to understand and connect the customers, thereby creating the superior value propositions.

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In the digital world, communities are the new segments & brand-advocacy is the new customer-loyalty. Customers are socially connected and they find themselves in a better position to believe the recommendation of a stranger rather than organizations. Such communities serve as a medium of the noiseless decision-making process and refrain from falling into the trap of luring advertisements. Today, consistently communicating and maximising touch points do not necessarily translated into the desired results. On the other hand, a calculated attempt of winning a customer can result in a better return. With increasing mobility and connectivity, this is the challenge that marketers have to come up with.

In the era of traditional marketing, customer loyalty was somehow considered as customers retention and “word of mouth” was restricted within a group or area. The term is now evolved as “Brand Advocacy,” to let the customer endorse a product or service in a better-connected world and this is crucial to the success and failure of the product or service. Its importance increases with increasing trends of communities and especially when it is unlikely to influence the decision-making process of today’s customer.

It brings a change to the earliest and widely used framework to describe the customer buying process is AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action). Derek Rucker has proposed a modification of AIDA that he calls the four A’s: aware, attitude, act and act again. Four A’s further modified by Philip Kotler: aware, appeal, ask, act and advocate, to make them more relevant in connectivity era. The terms, “act again” & “advocate,” clearly signify the target area of marketers.

 

Young & Productive: Focus in Social Disruption

Speaking to young minds is an exceptional experience, fiercely energetic and eager to learn. They unusually figure out the directive path with steak eye & always curious to question. It happened to be at Lovely Professional University last month while speaking to around 400 grad students.

Today the world is evolving in an entirely different way. While it is modified to interact socially with the personification of digital, emotions are reshaping. Bombardment of over-information has kept people busy and ignorant to what really needed to learn and what should be avoided entirely. Just feeding our mind with overload doesn’t mean to be a worth of knowledge. It is the biggest challenge for gen-next how to organize the information and filter it as per its significance. Posting on Facebook about changing the world doesn’t help, apart from ‘virtual contentment,’ which is a new kind of disguise.

To push forward and challenging the status quo needs conventional but intelligent approach, books are still brilliant regarding information dissemination and logically reason the process of thinking. The Internet is helping disastrously, not because it is bad, but it has made to engage people smartly in a useless way and to make money out of it. I, somehow, find it better to disengage uniquely by uninstalling social media apps and login via laptop only. Just to keep a smartphone nearby, decreases the efficiency of a human brain by 10%.

There is a lot more needed to change the world, and the good news is we, all, are blessed with the ability to do so. Figure out, what is really important and how should it can be achieved & how really it is going to contribute to making a difference. Start it with a random act of kindness and develop the ideas of future, involve everyone without distinguishing, read WHY NATIONS FAIL by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson.

Relying on others fail people more frequently than to get up and take the baton of responsibility, to put more than required and constantly. There is no innovation yet so effective, to make a human more capable against his willingness to dream and work hard to achieve.

P.S. Blog is not aligned to my core profession but human-factor is the basis of existence.

Book Review: “Roohaniyat”- The Book of Soulfulness

Life is unusual!

Sometimes it takes all the beautiful people away from you and sometimes blesses you with equally loving people. Our friendship prospered in the phase where friends could turn foes. A man with such wisdom, in tender age, is what made me his fan before even knowing “Roohaniyat.”

There is something great about Roohaniyat; it makes this boy bleed his heart out, to cherish the sheer essence of poetry, to make words fall for his pen. Hindi poetry is rare, so the writers of it. The most beautiful thing about Roohaniyat is that it has been written in flawlessly uncomplicated words, which can be well-understood, even to a ‘not so poetic‘ girl. 😉

To review such a good work is obviously not my cup of tea, but I would still rate it 4.5/5. 0.5 goes to the probability of a stereotype-judgment & to let him work even harder in life.

P.S. Next time if you go to his clinic for a root-canal, do ask him to sing his soothing poetry, instead of Anesthesia.

“Roohaniyat” is available on amazon.in. Grab a copy!

From a Motorcycle Gang to Novartis CEO: Daniel Vasella’s Inspirational Story

I could imagine the pain he has suffered in his lifetime to blossom as a leader of great prominence. There are so many examples I came across as a source of inspiration to lead my life in a right direction. From Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama–greatest they become, wrenching their stories are. The thing matters that how these icons have turned those adversities into an opportunity of their lifetime.

Who has no pain? only a dead cannot feel it. As per Psychologist Abraham Maslow, tragedy and trauma are the most important human learning experiences leading to self-actualization.

This is the story of Novartis Chairman & CEO, Daniel Vasella

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Vasella was born in 1953 to a modest family in Fribourg, Switzerland. His early years were filled with medical problems that stoked his passion to become a physician. His first recollections were of a hospital where he was admitted at age four when he suffered from food poisoning. Falling ill with asthma at age five, he was sent alone to the mountains of eastern Switzerland for two summers.He found the four-month separations from his parents especially difficult because his caretaker had an alcohol problem and was unresponsive to his needs.

 At age eight, Vasella had tuberculosis, followed by meningitis, and was sent to a sanatorium for a year. Lonely and homesick, he suffered a great deal that year, as his parents rarely visited him. He still remembers the pain and fear when the nurses held him down during the lumbar punctures so that he would not move. One day, a new physician arrived and took time to explain each step of the procedure. Vasella asked the doctor if he could hold a nurse’s hand rather than being held down. “The amazing thing is that this time the procedure didn’t hurt,” Vasella recalls“Afterward, the doctor asked me, ‘How was that?’ I reached up and gave him a big hug.These human gestures of forgiveness, caring, and compassion made a deep impression on me and on the kind of person I wanted to become.”

 Throughout his early years, Vasella’s life continued to be unsettled.When he was ten, his 18-year-old sister passed away after suffering from cancer for two years. Three years later, his father died in surgery. To support the family, his mother went to work in a distant town and came home only once every three weeks. Left to himself, he and his friends held beer parties and got into frequent fights. This lasted for three years until he met his first girlfriend, whose affection changed his life.
At 20, Vasella entered medical school, later graduating with honors. During medical school, he sought out psychotherapy so he could come to terms with his early experiences and not feel like a victim. Through analysis, he reframed his life story and realized that he wanted to help a wider range of people than he could as an individual practitioner. Upon completion of his residency, he applied to become chief physician at the University of Zurich; however, the search committee considered him too young for the position. Disappointed but not surprised, Vasella decided to use his abilities to increase his impact on medicine. At that time,he had a growing fascination with finance and business.He talked with the head of the pharmaceutical division of Sandoz, who offered him the opportunity to join the company’s U.S. affiliate. In his five years in the United States, Vasella flourished in the stimulating environment, first as a sales representative and later as a product manager,and advanced rapidly through the Sandoz marketing organization.
When Sandoz merged with Ciba-Geigy in 1996, Vasella was named CEO of the combined companies,now called Novartis, despite his young age and limited experience. Once in the CEO’s role, Vasella blossomed as a leader. He envisioned the opportunity to build a great global health care company that could help people through lifesaving new drugs, such as Gleevec, which has proved to be highly effective for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. Drawing on the physician role models of his youth, he built an entirely new Novartis culture centered on compassion, competence, and competition. These moves established Novartis as a giant in the industry and Vasella as a compassionate leader.

 Vasella’s experience is just one of dozens provided by authentic leaders who traced their inspiration directly from their life stories. Asked what empowered them to lead, these leaders consistently replied that they found their strength through transformative experiences. Those experiences enabled them to understand the deeper purpose of their leadership.
[Article includes original excerpts from Bill George's DISCOVER YOUR TRUE NORTH]

Depressed? Go, Exercise!

 

People talk about physical benefits of exercise but it is as good for mental health & emotional stability. Whenever I feel over-burdened and depress, I prefer to rush to gym, it is an antidote to fatigue & miraculously helps to stay happy & cheered-up. While we are so busy in our lives with lot of work & life related stress, it is highly recommended to spare at-least 40 minutes for exercise. Whatever we may do; whosoever we are, it’s great to exercise.

Exercise is good for mental health 

Exercise changes the structure and function of the brain, improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels and even new brain cells, thanks to the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF triggers the growth of new neurons and helps repair and protect brain cells from degeneration. It may also help people focus, according to recent research. It’s linked to less depression, better memory and quicker learning.

Exercise makes us happy 

Countless studies show that many types of exercise make people feel better and can even relieve symptoms of depression. Exercise triggers the release of chemicals in the brain—serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, dopamine—that dull pain, lighten mood and relieve stress.

Recovery from a major illness

People with different chronic conditions, from Type 2 diabetes to heart failure, should excercise. That’s new thinking, because for decades, people with certain diseases were advised not to exercise. Now scientists know that far more people can and should exercise. A recent analysis of more than 300 clinical trials discovered that for people recovering from a stroke, exercise was even more effective at helping them rehabilitate.

 

Exercise should be like bathing, if you can hardly skip it any day.

 

 

Note: The blog-post is based on an article published in TIMES Magazine

 

Why Meeting IROM SHARMILA is One of the Best Moments of My Life

The most appalling thing can happen to someone is when he wants to eat but cannot. His jaw is dismantled and stomach is craving for food. He has to say something and cannot even speak. It was the time when no quotidian motivation felt enough and needed something beyond human propensity of unendurable. I wrote to her!

Unexpectedly, I have received a letter bearing the sender name as IROM SHARMILA CHANU. *Time has stopped for a while and life has changed into its due course*. What that was unbearable, went-off unharmed. Such was the power of her words. Eventually, an abandoned brother has found his abandoned soul-sister. An alone woman who is fighting the devilish for a selfless cause, what can be more powerful than her, not even the whole eternity.

Finally, the day had come, I went to see her; excited and thoughtful. Bewildered, I had no idea how to present myself in presence of Iron Lady. She saw me the first time and called me, “Sourav.” Her simplicity and miraculous smile were a sister’s love towards her brother. Her thoughts were so pure and fresh; she had chosen to talk about beggars in the city instead of the expensive beauty. A woman whose time is so precious that someone like Arvind Kejriwal wished to meet her. She has given me more than 2 hours to chitchat and share her experiences.

Her greatness is beyond words, just beyond words.

 

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Happiness! Utter Happiness!!

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Welcome Letter to Iche.

How Sugar Industry Dodged Its Social Responsibility

To mark profits is preponderant task of survival for any industry. Many times it gets obliterated, in silence, the concept Social Responsibility and left unnoticed for decades. Success of an industry depends upon its offering and how ‘sweetly’ people perceive it. In marketing terms, how well the behavioral changes are induced to attain the favorable disposition.

The sugar industry of America had an idea for its people, if persuaded, to shift dietary habits towards low fat. To remain healthy fat would have needed to be replaced with something else. Thus, an opportunity to spearhead a paradigm shift of three folds in per-capita sugar consumption.

The biggest threat that sugar leads to obesity and it had to keep in check by manipulating the facts. To derail the discussion, the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between obesity and heart-diseases and promote saturated fat as culprit instead. The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher, at UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA suggests that the dietary habits and recommendations were largely overshadowed by the sugar industry for last five decades. It ultimately became public opinion and consumers dutifully obeyed. The documents reveal that the sugar association paid three Harvard scientists to publish the malfeasance study that minimize the link between sugar and heart disease.

People replaced steak and sausages with pasta and rice, butter with margarine and vegetable oils, eggs with muesli, and milk with low-fat milk. But instead of becoming healthier, they grew fatter and sicker. In 1950s, just 12% Americans were obese whereas in 2000, it surged to 35%. In case of UK, it is even more terrible. Only 6% Britons were obese in 1980, today, two-third of Britons are either obese or overweight.

The conspiracy of projecting the different angle is widespread. Many organizations are indulged to makeover the grime as gold. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola’s sponsored researches aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. Recently, the associated press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weight than others.