Wimbledon, Cricket World Cup: The Tiebreak-BAFO Commonality!

In Business as in Sport!

It was a Sunday of tiebreaks, heartbreaks and pulsating drama in England yesterday with two tear-jerkers carrying all the trappings of edge-of-the-seat operatic thrillers that reached a crescendo almost simultaneously.

Such heart-pounding actions are not uncommon in the world of business, except that they are not played out in the open for connected moments of euphoria, mania and angst. Bid war-rooms go through it all with multi-pronged pursuit strategies taking centrestage.

Now back to yesterday’s moment in history. First, the most-Grand Slam-bejewelled Roger Federer was at the losing end after frittering away two championship points against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon even as New Zealand tied twice without losing but still England took home the Cricket World Cup. Not to take credit away from the winners, but I am still left with the inevitable thought that those who finished second deserved the top honours.

Sport and Business

If Wimbledon threw up the longest-ever final, Lords witnessed the world’s first Super Over – one each for the two in the Cup chase. It still did not produce a loser, with the team that hit the greatest number of boundaries emerging as the winner. It is rule-based judgment, so no arguments against it.

Djokovic, the world’s number 1 tennis player, clinched all his three winning sets through tiebreaks whereas Federer, considered an all-time great, won the two sets the regular way and quite convincingly. Federer played superior tennis for most part of the match, but Djokovic came out trumps where it mattered.

Flippant questions may arise such as: “If tiebreaks, super overs and penalty shootouts (in football) are clinchers why not have just them, tossing out the regular formats?”. No scrutiny is needed to dismiss any such frenzy as just emotional drivel!

We have seen it in business, too, with deals having been decided upon at the BAFO (Best and Final Offer) stage. Bidders go through multiple phases of evaluation at their cost, with some even lasting more than two years.

To break the impasse between two or more vendors, businesses invite them to make their BAFO submissions to simplify their task of contract award. That does not mean the earlier complex bidding phase was a futile exercise.

It is a phase that has served its purpose – resulting in a shortlist of vendors with the ability to meet the technology requirements of RFP issuers. If the proposed solutions and the value they bring forth failed to find resonance with prospects, they will not be present at the negotiating table.

Effectively, the pre-BAFO stage is the most crucial part of bid evaluation. That is an arduous period when pursuit teams have to wade through reams of RFP documentation, evolve bid strategies and win themes for execution, mitigate risks to protect business interests and prepare compelling proposals to address prospects’ project drivers for potentially winnable submissions.

Every stage (every round, in essence) in any sphere of activity has been architected to serve a purpose full of engagement and substance – that of picking a deserving winner! We may or may not like the direction they take, but they are certain to have been battles well fought in a true competitive spirit!

Back to Sunday’s epic battles and dramatic (to some, traumatic) results, the tennis and cricket winners may themselves not be satisfied with the outcomes in their favour.  Ultimately, it is only the titles that will count, not how they won them even if history may record the run-up to the denouement!

personal jottings

G Joslin Vethakumar


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Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! Oh Manila!

Hovering clouds, dancing leaves and near-still traffic (well, chaotic is apt!) in Manila provide some diversion and amusement as Grab Car takes me on a meandering ride from the airport to the Novotel hotel for the three-day Genesys Solution Consulting Organisation (the other SCO!) Summit that started this morning (live social media updates are fun, making me want to be at the venue soon!)

I planned to be there from around 3.30 pm, but having been in the cab for more than an hour, I will count myself lucky if I reach there by 4.30 pm (it’s 3.00pm now).

Traffic snarls in Manila are legendary, so came prepared for it! The Grab driver tells me that the best time to be on the road is 5am to 6am! Need I say more?

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Tamils Waiting for Release of their “Step-Mom” to Make Her CM?

Govt Turns Down Kerala’s Water Offer!


Why will they reject this? Because the water was meant for people and not for OPS and EPS.

But then Tamilians are waiting for the release of their “step mother” from jail so they can prostrate before her and make her the CM! The State and its people will never change.

The report does not go into the reasons for turning down what is a timely gesture. That is the state of the Indian media today!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Misplaced Bragging: MPs Could Not Even Pronounce “Tamizh” Right!

They just made an ass of themselves

Taking the oath in Tamizh is fine. When MPs can take oath in a language that is fit only for Bollywood, why not in a richer language like Tamizh?

But most of the MPs were unable to get even the pronunciation of ‘Tamil’ right. Bringing this up, BJP supporter Ramasubramanian joked: “It was like a scorpion sting, not like honey flowing into our ears.”

For once I concur his view. The wrong pronunciation was jarring and shameful. There is no reason for them to feel proud.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Time To Prioritise Innovation, Not Imitation


Admission finally …of the anticipated damage to Huawei’s bottomline!

U.S. businesses will be hit, too, by the trade war, but as they get around 50% of their revenues from within the country, the impact will be less.

So, they will be able to cope better than China with a downturn. An affluent population gives them further cushion.

Moreover, it’s time consumers worldwide prioritised high-quality, not cheap, products and supported innovation, not imitation.

This is not about Huawei, but about products on a broader scale selling on price.

Also, national security is not to be trifled with. The issue here is not about technology vulnerabilities being common with solutions from every vendor. What is at stake is the suspected company-Government nexus.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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After Mixing Religion and Politics, Sport is His Next Target!


The power of negativity.. losing 40 CRPF men and a plane were wins? Okay, he referred to the surgical strikes!

Not a word about the 140 runs scored by Rohit, who spelled the difference between the two teams. Nor about the bowlers who dealt lethal blows to Pakistan!

All he can revel in is politicising sport! After his party’s huge success in mixing politics and religion!

What a disgusting Tweet!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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India-Pakistan World Cup Match, My Father’s Day Gift!

It has not exactly been a quiet Father’s Day so far today – filled with fun nonetheless with cakes and other sweet delicacies bought for me by my daughters.

I also gave myself a good Adyar Ananda Bhavan lunch here in Singapore while looking forward to watching what is perhaps the Game of the World Cup – the one between India and Pakistan that is about to get going.

No, I am not in England for it, just glued to the Television set – this year’s coverage must rank as the finest ever.

Missing my father, though, whom I had lost while I was in England on an official visit in 2010! Just that there was no World Cup then!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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