Chidambaram Saved Ahmed Patel, Congress

It was Chidambaram who clinched it for the Congress. It is people like him and Jairam Ramesh who should helm the party. The Congress has some of the country’s brightest political minds with sound educational credentials.

Sonia, Rahul and their half-baked cronies are best kept at a distance.

If they do not see the writing on the wall and step aside, it will be the party’s funeral.

G Joslin Vethakumar

How Congress flexed its muscles for Ahmed Patel’s win : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/how-congress-flexed-its-muscles-for-ahmed-patels-win/article19458824.ece

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The Future of Singapore on Show at NDP

 

An AI-Driven Smart Nation is Better Than One  Stifled By Overpopulation!

It was a National Day Parade aligned with the realities of today. It was not about threat perceptions or any fear psychosis relevant for even countries insulated from violence, crime and political mayhem.

It was about reassurance that Singapore is in good hands ready to face the future with confidence and preparedness.

Not surprisingly, Singapore’s military might with focus on maritime security, artillery power, new-generation combat support systems and even terror-attack simulations were effectively presented at the Parade this evening.

Robots and Drones: But, to me, what stood out was a robot among the show hosts and drone formations that tie into what the future may look like for not just Singapore but the world, not excluding the most populous ones.

It is more than just a hint of an Artificial Intelligence-driven future.

PM’s Message: This is, to some extent, reflected in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day message that touched on three factors critical for Singapore’s future – Education, Healthcare and Technology, with its Smart Nation vision.

Singapore is already world-class in these areas, the difference lying in how the interests of its citizens appear to have been taken lightly.

My own vision is of a Singapore with a population that is 20% lower than that of today for a better quality of life.

An AI-driven Singapore is better than one where overpopulation and alien interests are prioritised for a strong government chest.

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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NDTV, Fake Liberals and Cheap Tricks!

I picked up this book from Landmark in Chennai yesterday. I hope Arundhati Roy does not disappoint me! But this post is not about the Booker Prize winner or her second novel.


It is about fake liberals and the pits they descend to in a desperate attempt to market their paperware.

Following the initial publicity blitz on NDTV, I wanted to get Indira by Sagarika Ghose as well.

But the channel slid into cheap territory by positioning the book as a no-holds-barred “story” of the life and times of Indira Gandhi.

Worse, to boost sales, NDTV tried a vulgar trick with blurbs that pointed to the late prime minister’s affairs. That sleaze was enough for me to avoid forking out Rs 699 for a book full of lies and half truths. 

Having read extracts in the media, it was clear Sagarika had used disgusting language to portray Indira Gandhi as a loose woman – merely based on hearsay without a shred of evidence.

Detestable Writing

Even if there was truth in what she brought up, one does not expect such detestable writing from those who seek to project themselves as liberal intellectuals.

Sagarika’s book is a mere attempt to placate the BJP by spinning tales verging on character assassination of Indira Gandhi.

I am not one to support authors with an agenda.
But, not surprisingly, The Hindu carried a review today to support Sagarika’s suspect biographical foray.

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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Behind-the-Scenes Deal Clinchers!

Sales Empowerment, the New Way – Pursuit Excellence, Price, Performance, Risk Management and Brand Protection!

Marketing fuels brand building, thereby enabling sales. It is no surprise then that it is a well-entrenched function in today’s world of business. It touches every sector, with its sphere of influence extending from corporate battlegrounds to the glitzy ring of Oscars and Grammy.

The message is clear – a charm offensive sells, not quiet innovations or immaculate performances without the marketing muscle!

As I had argued in an earlier post titled Innovation, Marketing and Why Founders are Let Go, whether it is Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, Uber or Airbnb, they owe their grip on the market to their products that meet the changing consumer demand and to the innovative marketing strategies they invested in.

Selling Perceptions

Through sustained campaigns, conclaves and roadshows, businesses can sell perceptions to support their forays into addressable markets. What is hidden may be part of their drive – conquering markets with accent on visibility, value and vision, not on factors that may invite scepticism or even scorn.

Now with the social media all pervasive, it has become easier for companies to get the marketing momentum going through their own staff.

Essentially, they are a big bunch of forwards involving thought leadership blogs or whitepapers relevant to the solutions they offer. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are some of the media that come in handy for this execution. Unlike the other marketing engagements, these involve no extra spending.

A Multi-Pronged, Multidimensional Approach

But, go-to-market strategies involve a multi-pronged, multidimensional approach and usually what happens behind the scenes turn out to be deal clinchers. We have known them as sales enablement and sales operations professionals helping with revenue generation and contributing to the corporate bottomline.

It is sales empowerment all the way – with a combination of everything from pursuit excellence to price, profitability, performance, risk mitigation and brand protection!

CROs and Sales Information Officers

Not surprisingly, Chief Revenue Officers are now common in big establishments which also have bid management centres of excellence.

Bid Managers or Pursuit Managers (or Proposal Managers) are a core part of Sales Empowerment, helping customer-facing teams in multiple ways – pursuit strategies, competitive intelligence, risk assessment, credible value selling, professional writing and focused content supported by verifiable evidence.

The growing importance of APMP (Association of Proposal Management Professionals) is testament to the critical nature of the role.

Anyone imagining that bid management is all about pursuing stakeholders relentlessly for their inputs and lending some finishing touches with a little bit of embellishment that is making a travesty of sales enablement. Worse, they are making themselves susceptible to being swept away by the incessant flow of automation.

On the other side of the spectrum, the leadership will find it meaningful to give win-loss analyses a scrutiny and draw mileage from bid managers in crafting and executing a pursuit strategy that transcends traditional functional clichés.

If gatekeeping helps with risk management and protection of the corporate brand, bid qualification will ensure optimal utilisation of scarce resources.

Big-picture visualisation, going beyond dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, is another crucial facet of bid management. This encompasses conceptualising win themes and enabling customer-focused submissions. Amid the new-generation challenges businesses face in winning new deals, this assumes a dimension that cannot be discounted.

No Templated Approach, a Custom Bid Strategy is Vital: As I had argued in one of my earlier posts, a template approach to bid management amid a dynamic environment of technological evolutions only smacks of smug recklessness.

It is incumbent on both sales enablement personnel and businesses to move away from the ivory tower they cocoon themselves in and tackle real-world challenges in a manner that capitalises on the opportunities that new frontiers in technology are unleashing.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Swiss Double at Wimbledon!

Hingis Stands Vindicated for Dumping Leander

A Swiss double fructified at Wimbledon as Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray romped home in Mixed Doubles just now.

If Hingis had not dumped Leander, it will perhaps have been another first-round exit for the duo after their French Open fiasco just last month.

Leander, not surprisingly, was booted out at Wimbledon at the first hurdle he ran into in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles. In men’s,  the loss was to a pair that had a 40-something player and not a seasoned one.

Sport is not about loyalties, it is about winning without allowing your partner to crush your win chances. Leander, of late, had become the weakest link for his partner. At Wimbledon, he was the poorest performer among Indians.

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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Alpine Charm, Watches, Chocolates and Roger Federer!

All Part of Swiss Glory!

Federer Shows Why He is a Maestro with an Easy Title Win at Wimbledon

Switzerland is a dream location for most who love, and can afford, international travels. More so for honeymooners with its breathtaking alpine charm and nature’s bounty being a big draw.

The small country, which is often compared with Singapore for the economic successes the two nations have had despite their size, is also known for its chocolates and watches.

That was until Roger Federer hit the tennis circuit and the Grand Slam records started tumbling. Now, though, any mention of Switzerland is certain to invoke the sporting genius of Federer.

Fedes Wimbledon

Today, by winning his 19th Grand Slam title with an easy win over big-hitting M. Čilić at Wimbledon, the man often referred to as FedEx cemented his position as possibly the greatest tennis player ever. Remarkably, he lost no set through the course of the tournament, from Round 1 to the Final.

It did not appear to me that the Croat was at his best today. The aggression and the confidence I saw in Cilic’s semi-final win over Sam Querrey was missing, leaving Federer with a resounding win. 

In doing so, he may have become the oldest player ever, at 35+, to clinch Wimbledon, his eighth at the premier Grand Slam championship, now ahead of Sampras’ seven. But they are just another pieces of trivia.

What matters most is that he has shown the world why he is called a tennis maestro, the best ever!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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If China and India Rule the World, it Will Be “Goodbye Humanity”!

China: A Jailed Nobel Laureate Denied Basic Rights Dies

India: Hardcore Criminals With Illgotten Wealth Live Like Monarchs in Jail

In China, a Nobel Laureate, who was jailed for being a pro-democracy activist, is denied basic rights, resulting in his death of liver cancer today.

Dr Liu Xiaobo, an academic who was once a visiting scholar at Columbia University in the U.S., even had his dying wish for treatment abroad rejected.

In India, hardcore criminals enjoy a life of luxury in jail, as it surfaced today with reports of privileged treatment being given to corruption convict Sasikala Natarajan, who had gone on a looting spree in collusion with late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha.

Sasikala is accused of paying hefty bribes to get a Queen-like treatment in jail, including a kitchen exclusively for her.

In a TV debate a little while ago, it became clear that the Sasikala saga was not an isolated instance. Former top prison officials revealed that it was common for influential criminals to get special treatment in jail.

These, my friends, are how the establishment in the world’s top two populous countries works.

And the world wants to hand global leadership on a platter to China, with even the democratic West sucking up to the communist giant while shedding crocodile tears!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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