August 29, 2009

Tata Crucible Quiz

Tata Cruible Hyderabad witnessed a seesaw battle between Google and Mahindra Satyam, both the teams scored 35 points each after three rounds. Google hold its nerves at this stage and satyam's mistakes on buzzer helped them book a place in national finals for second year in row

DE Shaw, SBi Life, Microsoft and Idea are the other teams to enter finals


Whirlpool Logo

Which term is derived from latin word "secreme" meaning to distinguish and to set apart - secretary

This magazine always featured only its founder on its cover, before Michelle Obama appeared along with her on its cover - O, Ophara winfrey's magazine

Identify - Deepak Chopra

Which computer industry billionaire owns valley crest, Americas largest landscaping firm - Michael Dell

Sr. Journalist Flynn Remedios is the official spokesperson of which controversial personality - Rakhi Sawant

Who siad this - " Keeping liqidity and not investing in low market is like saving up for sex in old age" W. Buffet

Which MNC is nicknamed "The Big Australian " - BHP Bilton

Identify - Geeta Piramal

Which mgmt guru said 'Todays problems comes form yesterdays solutions " - Peter singe

WHich maverick tycon was briefly given the post "litter tear" by the M.Thatcher govt, charged with keeping Britan tidy - Richard Branson

Founded by W.S.Borne in 1791, this is worlds oldest sunday newspaper - The Observer

Which NGO was founded by an airlines purser and his 6 friends around the founders 6 mothers dining tabel in 1979 - CRY

Identify this logo - Prax Air

Which multiplex chain has inhouse food and beverage counter called Refuel - Inox

Who had a fragrance line called contoversial and beauty salon called 'homme fatal' - J.Goody

Which buss group entered fiberglass boat manuf industry with 'odyssea' - Mahindra & Mahindra

WHich comp launched a city specific program called 'mana Hyderabad' to reach out regional markets - Canon

Which comp sponsors the reality game 'khelo jeet lo jiyo' - godrej

First indian company to sponsor a car in the Nascar national wide series - M&M

Forbes india was launched in association with which bussiness entity - TV 18

Which iconic brand did Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery of china buy - Hummer

TVC's of HDFC, Heinz


They began Indian operations in 1928, closed down in 1959 returned in 1994 with a JV with CK Birla group - GM

Connect mobira, salora, televa, luxor - Nokia

This was first introduced in USA during 1930 depression by Albert an unemployed architect - Scrabble

Pic of Dale carrnige and their training model

Pic of Mortin Salt global identity

Identify this educationalist and economist - Dr. Jhon Mattiaha

Identify this great moment of time - Omega

It is positioned as India's first national youth focussed mobile - Virgin

This comp was incorporated in 1955 as the commercial printing divsion - Tata Infomedia

Pure, is positioned as India's first international restaurant with a focus in organic ingredients - Taj Hotels

To sum up its a typically pickbrain quiz with a mix of questions.

In case you missed it,check out the interview I did with giri here

Bizdom posted Tata Crucible Bangalore questions here

Coimbatore Quiz circle posted coimbatore round crucible questions here

Anish Raju posted Tata Crucible Cochin questions here

SEQC posted Tata Crucible Goa questions here

Rohit Nair posted Jamshedpur tata crucible prelims questions here

Qbit Mesra posted Ranchi Tata Crucible questions here

August 20, 2009

Readers Digest trivia n history

Readers Digest was conceived in Montana when DeWitt Wallace, a college dropout and struggling with life by publishing an agricultural digest for farmers.

DeWitt Wallace thought about why he could not do the same with general articles from leading magazines for a wider public.Dewitt wallace worked on his dream two years later in a hospital in Aix-les-Bains, France,, as World War 1 intervened

Dewitt Wallace felt magazines at that time or either too long or not worth reading

Dewitt relocated to USA and then used to go to Minneapolis Public Library,and attempted to cut a selected article in a magazine by as much as 75% while still retaining the substance and the author's style.

Dewitt then selected 31 such articles(one for one day) and published it as a pocket sized book and named it Readers Digest

Dewitt approached leading magazine publishers but none showed any interest. So Dewitt decided to sell it directly to the subscribers. He wrote a mail-order circular and posted it to a list of potential subscribers

Dewitt Wallace and his wife Lila launched the magazine in 1922 with a mission: to help new immigrants learn how to become American citizens.

Way ahead of his time and amazing focused execution that's what I think made RD such a iconic brand. I hope RD survives the recent crisis

August 14, 2009

origins of share trading

Share trading originated in Amsterdam, where the ‘Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie’, a large shipping company, was in permanent need of funds to finance the shipping of goods from the Far East.The popular Dutch nickname of this company was V(ergann) O(nder) C(orruptie) which means "Ruined By Corruption".

VOC founders decided to raise money from general public, with one condition - in case you want to take back your money, you need to sell it to some other partner, thus introducing the practice of share trading

The Oldest Share in the World:

Dutch Vereinigte Oostindische Compaignie (VOC) share certificate # 6, down-payment on a share; issued by the Camere Amsterdam 27th September 1606.

August 03, 2009

Blue Oceans in web conferencing market

Last night I read, Blue Ocean Strategy written by W.Chan Kim and Rene Mauborgne. Blue Ocean strategy promotes creating new market space or "Blue Ocean" rather than competing in an existing industry. The authors argue companies need to go beyond competing with in themselves and need to seize new profit and growth opportunities abd create blue oceans. Chan and Rene argues companies instead of dividing up existing and often shrinking demand and benchmarking competitors, need to focus about growing demand and breaking away from competition.

It looks good on paper, but creating a blue ocean is really a challenge, and sustaining leadership position in blue markets is equally tough.

Blue ocean strategy makes more sense in industries which are prone to technology innovations like say web conferencing markets

Web conferencing market is a highly competitive space fought between two set of players

Software based tools – Like Webex and Gotomeeting in which users need to download software before conducting conferences in a browser. Software based tools are primarily used by business users, medium to large companies as stability is their primary concern.

Browser based tools - Close to 80 browser based tools came in last couple years (Dimdim, fuze meeting etc) which radically transformed the industry by offering conferencing products purely via browsers without adding any software and at significantly lower prices. Browser based tools are slowly becoming popular in B2B space and enjoy a good amount of patronage in B2C and SMB category.

Software based tools hold around 65% in market share and around 80% in market value however it is intensely fought space driven by price and features

So how can web conferencing markets create blue oceans?

They can do it with widgets; widgets which create new applications and market segments

For starters, Widgets are mini-Web applications that are downloaded onto a desktop or transported into personal Web pages, blogs or social-network profiles. Widgets are built to share. If you see one you like, you can take a copy and customize it for yourself and use it in your blog, on your web pages, on your computer desktop or on your cell phone

However many brands limit the scope of widgets for content distribution, the real opportunity I guess is in adding more functionalities to make widgets as a “must have” tools for publishers.

Let me explain with the case of Dimdim widget, the only company as of now offering conference widgets

Dimdim widget is powered by clearspring and every time a user schedules a meeting with dimdim a widget will be created by default. You can customize it with features like chat transcripts after meeting, show recording after meeting, add countdown timer and registration form in the widget.

Like any widget, Dimdim widgets can be promoted in various social networks, blogging platforms or any other website just by copying a bit of code. Users can confirm their participation from all websites in which the widget was added.

The widget looks good, but got some issues in sharing options, when I tried to share the widget in twitter/facebook it gave some code and asked me to “copy and paste this url “, I am not sure where to paste it

Dimdim can take this widget to next level by adding e-commerce element to it. Offer a one stop solution to publishers who want to earn extra revenues via Webinars and a build a community around it, a community of publishers who want to share knowledge in various topics via Webinars and users who are willing to pay a token price to get knowledge

Let’s say, Steve is a popular HR consultant and runs a popular blog, probably he can conduct a monthly webinar on HR practices via dimdim and charge a token amount for it.

They are few reasons why Dimdim should chase this opportunity:
Market space:
Dimdim and other browser based tools are increasingly eating software based tools market share and at the same expanding the total pie. Web conferencing services are now affordable to a larger set of users and new set of applications are build over it(especially in e-learning space).

What Dimdim should do is gain significant market share in b2b space by offering more stable services and gain trust of enterprise clients, at the same time expand the overall web conferencing market by developing new set of applications and reach new set of markets and users(like many of them are chasing e-learning clients)

Community: Community as a USP is a very strong differentiator and dimdim can build it using a widget which offers a large section of publishers to earn extra revenue and at the same time makes webinars more popular

Revenue per user: If successfully executed, the revenue per user can go up significantly

First Mover: First mover strategy may not work in all cases, but a feature like this will create lot of buzz and this will help diddim earn more brand recall and place it as innovator in conferencing space

Value Innovation: One more term coined by Kim and Rene, value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. Value Innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation. Value without innovation tends to focus on improving value but is not sufficient to make you stand out in the marketplace. Innovation without value tends to be technology driven, market pioneering or futuristic.

Widgets right now are good to have, it helps to spread your word, but it won’t motivate more speakers to try Webinars. Building a monetary system around widgets, coupled with dimdim’s strengths in delivery platform will result in more users trying Webinars and create a blue ocean