What can we learn from competition?

More Successful competition demonstrates to us that there is some customer need that they have identified and satisfied better than us. They teach us what to do, what to improve in our business.

The competition which is less successful than us exemplify the approaches that don’t work. They teach us what not to do, what to avoid in our business.

Don’t shun competition. Learn from it. Market is a dynamic place. We can grow if we keep learning and improving.

કયો ધંધો કરવો જોઇએ? આજકાલ શેમાં “ચાંદી” છે?

ઘણી વાર લોકો પૂછે કે આજ કાલ કઇ લાઇન સારી છે? કયો ધંધો કરવો જોઇએ?
પોતાની કરિયર કે ધંધાની લાઇનની પસંદગી કેવી રીતે કરવી એ પ્રશ્ન દરેકના મનમાં હોય, એ સ્વાભાવિક છે, અને આ પ્રશ્નનો ઉકેલ સારી રીતે શોધવામાં આવે, તો ભવિષ્યની ઘણી ભૂલો નિવારી શકાય અને પોતાની જિંદગીમાં ધારેલી ધંધા-વ્યવસાયિક સફળતા પણ મેળવી શકાય.
પોતાના માટે કરિયર કે ધંધો શોધતી વખતે મોટે ભાગે લોકો કોઇક સફળ લોકોના ઉદાહરણમાંથી પ્રેરણા લઇને એના જેવું જ કંઇક કરવાની કોશિશ કરે છે. સામાન્ય રીતે આજ કાલ જે ધંધોઓમાં તેજી હોય, એ લાઇનોમાં જવાની બધા કોશિશ કરે છે. આપણા કોઇ સગા-ઓળખીતાએ કોઇ એક ધંધા-વ્યવસાયમાં સારી પ્રગતિ કરી હોય, અને એ લાઇનમાં બીજા લોકો પણ સફળ થયા હોય, તો આપણને એમ લાગે કે આ ધંધામાં દાખલ થવા જેવું છે. આ લાઇનમાં “ચાંદી” છે. અમુક વર્ષો પહેલાં અનેક લોકો પોતાનો રેગ્યુલર ધંધો છોડીને શેર માર્કેટમાં દાખલ થયા. રીયલ એસ્ટેટમાં તેજી જોઇને એ ધંધામાં પણ લોકો આંખો મીંચીને દાખલ થયા.
ભણતરના આધારે થતા પ્રોફેશનલ કોર્સીસમાં પણ આ જ ટ્રેન્ડ જોવા મળે છે. ડોક્ટર, એન્જીનીયર, સી.એ. વગેરે લાઇનોમાં આપણું કોઇ સગું-ઓળખીતું સફળ થયું હોય, તો આપણે પણ એવું કરવાની પ્રેરણા થાય છે.
આ સારી વાત છે, અને જો એનો અમલ સારી રીતે થાય, તો એમાં કશું ખોટું ન હોવું જોઇએ.પરંતુ મોટે ભાગે આપણે જોઇએ છીએ કે કોઇના ઉદાહરણની નકલ કરીને કે દેખાદેખીનો શિકાર બનીને શરુ કરાયેલ ધંધા-વ્યવસાયો મોટે ભાગે નિષ્ફળ જાય છે.કોઇની ધંધાકીય સફળતાના આધારે આપણા ધંધાની લાઇન પસંદ કરવી એ કેવી રીતે ભૂલભર્યું સાબિત થઇ શકે છે એ આપણે જોઇએ.Slide6
1) સૌથી પહેલાં તો જે ધંધા-વ્યવસાયમાં આપણે જોડાતા હોઇએ, એના વિશે આપણી પાસે જરુરી નોલેજ અને આવડત હોવા જોઇએ. આપણો પોતાનો સ્વભાવ એ ધંધા-વ્યવસાયની જરુરિયાતોને માફક આવે એવો હોવો જોઇએ. જિંદગી જીવવાના આપણા અરમાનો-ઓરતાંઓ-સપનાંઓમાં આ ધંધો-વ્યવસાય બરાબર બંધબેસતો હોવો જોઇએ. આપણે એક સ્થળે રહીને આરામની જિંદગી જીવવા માગતા હોઇએ, તો જે ધંધામાં અવારનવાર ટ્રાવેલીંગ કરવું પડે, એ આપણને માફક નહીં આવે. આપણે જો લોકો સાથે ખુશીથી, હળીમળીને કામ ન કરી શકીએ, તો જે ધંધાઓમાં આપણે સતત લોકોના સંપર્કમાં આવવાનું આવે (દા.ત. શો-રુમ, ડૉક્ટર, કન્સલ્ટીંગ, એડવાઇઝર) એવા ધંધાઓ આપણને માફક નહીં આવે. આપણે એકલા કામ કરી શકીએ અને ઓછામાં ઓછો લોકસંપર્ક થાય એવા વિકલ્પો આપણે શોધવા જોઇએ. આપણો ધંધો જો આપણાં સપનાંઓને સાકાર કરવાનું યોગ્ય સાધન નહીં હોય, તો આપણે એમાં સફળ નહીં થઇ શકીએ.
2) આપણો ધંધો શરુ કરતી વખતે આપણને એ ધંધા માટે જ આવડત કે નોલેજ હોય, માત્ર એના જ આધારે જિંદગીભર એ ધંધો આપણે ચલાવી શકીશું, એ ભૂલભર્યું સાબિત થાય છે. આજના સમયમાં દરરોજ અનેક પરિવર્તનો આકાર લે છે. આવા ગતિશીલ સમયમાં જે સતત શિખતો રહે, અને સમયાનુસાર પોતાની જાતમાં, વિચારોમાં અને વર્તનમાં પણ પરિવર્તન કરતો રહે, એ જ વ્યક્તિ ધંધા-વ્યવસાયમાં સફળ થઇ શકે. આપણે જેની કોપી કરી હોય, એ માણસ પણ સમયાંતરે પોતાના ધંધા-વ્યવસાયમાં પરિવર્તનો લાવતો રહે છે, આપણે જો જરુર મુજબના પરિવર્તનો લાવવાની અનુકૂળતા ન વિકસાવી શકીએ, તો આગળ જતાં અટકી જઇએ.
3) હા, ધંધાની લાઇન પસંદ કરતી વખતે એટલું ચેક કરવું જરુરી છે, કે આપણી પ્રોડક્ટ કે સર્વિસની પૂરતી ડીમાન્ડ હોય,એટલા કસ્ટમરો માર્કેટમાં છે. જો માર્કેટમાં ડીમાન્ડ જ ન હોય, તો સફળતા મુશ્કેલ થઇ જાય છે. પરંતુ એક વાર ધંધાની ડીમાન્ડ છે, અે નક્કી થયા પછી, જે કોઇ ધંધો કે વ્યવસાય કોઇ કસ્ટમર વર્ગની જરુરિયાતો સારી રીતે સંતોષી શકે એ ધંધો જ લાંબા સમયની સફળતા હાંસલ કરી શકે. કસ્ટમરની જરુરિયાતો ન સંતોષી શકે એવો કોઇ પણ ધંધો લાંબો સમય ટકી શકે જ નહીં. જે ધંધાઓ માત્ર ધંધાર્થીના પ્રોફીટ માટે જ શરુ થાય છે, કસ્ટમરોનું ધ્યાન નથી રાખતા, એ જલદી બંધ થાય જ છે. આપણે જેની કોપી કરી હોય, એ ધંધો કસ્ટમરોની જરુરિયાતો કેવી રીતે સંતોષે છે, એના કરતાં વધારે સારી રીતે જો આપણે એ કામ કરી શકીએ, તો એના જેટલી કે એનાથી વધારે સારી સફળતા હાંસલ કરી શકીએ. પણ આપણને જો પ્રોફીટ માર્જીન એના જેટલું જ જોઇતું હોય, પરંતુ કસ્ટમરો-કર્મચારીઓ-સપ્લાયરો પ્રત્યેની નિષ્ઠા એના જેટલી રાખવાની તૈયારી ન હોય, તો નહીં ચાલે.
4) આપણે દેખાદેખીથી કોઇની લાઇન તો કોપી કરી નાખીએ, પરંતુ એની કામ કરવાની ધગશ, એનું કમીટમેન્ટ, એના વ્યાવસાયિક સંબંધો, એનું નેટવર્કીંગ, એની લોકોને મોટીવેટ કરીને એમની પાસેથી કામ કરાવવાની આવડત આપણે કોપી કરી શકતા નથી અને એને કારણે નિષ્ફળ જઇએ છીએ. ઘણાં લોકોને બીલ ગેટ્સ જેવી સંપત્તિ એકઠી કરવાની ઇચ્છા હોય છે, પરંતુ એ માણસે 20 વર્ષો સુધી એક પણ રજા લીધા વગર સતત કામ કર્યું છે, એ કેટલા જણ કરી શકે? આપણી નજર જો બીલ ગેટ્સના પરિણામો પર હોય, તો આપણાં પ્રયત્નો પણ એની કક્ષાનાં જ હોવા જોઇએ. દરેક વ્યક્તિની પોતાની ખૂબીઓ-ખામીઓ-ખાસિયતો હોય છે. આપણો ધંધો-વ્યવસાય આપણી આ બાબતોને ધ્યાનમાં રાખીને જ નક્કી થવો જોઇેએ.
5) ધંધો-વ્યવસાય સિલેક્ટ કરવાની એક બીજી ભૂલભરેલી માન્યતા એ છે કે સંતાનોએ બાપ-દાદાના ધંધામાં જ જવું જોઇએ. જૂના જમાનામાં કરિયરના બહુ વિકલ્પો નહોતાં, ત્યારે આ ઇચ્છનીય હશે, પરંતુ આજના સમયમાં ડૉક્ટરનો દીકરો ડૉક્ટર જ બને કે બિઝનેસમેનના સંતાનો એનો જ ધંધો સંભાળે અને સફળ થાય એ જરુરી નથી. સંતાનો જો પોતાની મરજીથી એ ધંધો-વ્યવસાય પસંદ કરે, તો ખૂબ ખીલી ઉઠશે, પરંતુ એમને જો એ ધંધા-વ્યવસાયમાં રસ નહીં હોય, તો એ સરાસર નિષ્ફળ જશે જ. અમિતાભ બચ્ચનનો છોકરો એના જેટલો જ સફળ થશે, એ જરુરી નથી. ધીરુભાઇ અંબાણીના બંન્ને પુત્રોમાં એકસરખી આવડત અને એબિલીટીઝ હોત, તો બંનેનાં બિઝનેસ સામ્રાજ્યો એક કક્ષાનાં જ હોવા જોઇતા હતા. આપણે જોઇએ છીએ કે એ થઇ શક્યું નથી. કુમારમંગલમ બિરલા અને યશ બિરલા ભાઇઓ નથી, પરંતુ એક જ પ્રકારના કૌટુંબિક વારસામાંથી આવતા હોવા છતાં, જે કુમારમંગલમ કરી શક્યા એનો નાનકડો અંશ પણ યશ બિરલા કરી શક્યા નથી. માટે સંતાનોની ઇચ્છા, આવડત, એમના સપનાંઓ અને એમનો ઇન્ટરેસ્ટ આ બધાને અનુકૂળ હોય, એવા ધંધા-વ્યવસાયમાં જ દાખલ થાય, તો એ જરુર સફળ થશે.
ટૂંકમાં, કોઇ ધંધામાં “ચાંદી” હોતી નથી. કોઇ ધંધાની લાઇન સારી કે ખરાબ હોતી નથી. જે ધંધાના કસ્ટમરોની જરુરિયાતો સંતુષ્ટ કરવાની આપણી ઇચ્છા, આવડત અને મનોવ્રુત્તિ આપણામાં હોય, એ ધંધો આપણા માટે સારો. ધંધાની સફળતા માત્ર એ ધંધાની લાઇનમાં નહીં, પણ ધંધો ચલાવનારાની પર્સનાલિટી અને એટીટ્યૂડ પર પણ એટલી જ આધારિત હોય છે.
– સંજય શાહ (SME બિઝનેસ કોચ. લેખક: “બિઝનેસ મેનેજમેન્ટ સિમ્પ્લીફાઇડ”)

How can Patanjali be even more successful?

Blessed by Baba Ramdev, Patanjali is really a great Indian brand. I admire the brand for its quality, honesty and the spirit of Indian nationalism behind it.

Patanjali’s products are excellent, even superior to its competitors. But, having excellent products alone does not promise success in consumer markets.

Proper marketing and branding has to match. With great products which compare with or surpass their MNC competition perfectly, Patanjali needs to work on its customer experience side as well.
Even though I am its customer and want to remain loyal to the brand, there are some problems which disturb me. Here are some weak customer experience aspects the brand must improve upon.

1) Good products must be made available consistently. Out-of-stock products give a window to competition to win our customers. When we go to a Patanjali outlet, we are not sure whether we will surely get a particular product or not, because one or the other product is out-of-stock regularly. Patanjali needs to stengthen its supply and distribution chain.

2) The stores are cramped. They look like a shop-cum-godown. A customer has to struggle her way through assorted items, cartons, boxes etc. spread across the store. The stores must be designed for a pleasant shopping experience. A revamp is a must.

3) The stores are under-staffed. The customers have to wait for a long time for their turn to be attended. Whatever staff is present, it is indifferent at best. They are like MTNL employees in the midst of the efficient telecom industry. They need to be customer friendly.

4) The stores have very restrictive timings. Also, they don’t give any carry bags (plastic, paper, cloth – nothing). Again, customer-centric approach is required.

Overall, the customer feels less than happy shopping at a Patanjali outlet.

This is typical of many Indian enterprises, which make great products but fail miserably in marketing, branding and customer experience management. This gives room to MNCs to succeed in the market with aggressive marketing even though they have inferior products.

I wish that brand Patanjali succeeds by being relevant to the largest customer base. In its today’s avatar, it is just another incarnation of a Khadi Bhandar. If it wants to compete successfully with the HULs, P&Gs, Nestles or Britannias it will have to shape itself up appropriately.

My swadeshi feelings may help me tolerate or ignore bad experience. But I doubt today’s younger generation will have patience to do that.
Either Patanjali should tighten its retailing to be more relevant or it should get out of retailing and get distributors who can sell it aggressively and appropriately in the manner the customer expects.

It is time Khadi Bhandar grows up. Or risk becoming overshadowed by swanky, modern malls.

Three Success Lessons From A Successful Indian CEO

At a recent speaking assignment at a company’s annual day, I got a chance to listen to the inspiring speech of Ghanshyam Dholakia, the managing director (MD) of the Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd.

Mr Dholakia shared an advice with his employees to succeed in life. “To succeed in any job, profession, business or in life, you need to ask yourself the following three questions,” he said.

1) Do you do your job without being reminded?

If you need reminders and follow-ups to complete a task, you will find it difficult to achieve something really worthwhile in your life. Taking responsibility of a task is a characteristic of dependable people. If you need reminders to do something, you reduce the speed of the team of which you are part of. A team or an organisation can grow only if all the members take up their share of responsibilities, and perform the tasks on their own.

Being able to complete tasks on your own requires constant self-motivation. And this self-motivation is an asset, which can take you ahead of the others in life.

2) Do you do exactly what you said you will do?

Successful people keep their word. They do whatever they said they will do. They don’t cut corners. They always deliver satisfactory performance. On the contrary, losers speak more, and do less. They make a lot of promises, but don’t keep them. Their performance is less than satisfactory.

If you cut corners, if you always leave a task before its completion, if you over-promise and under-deliver, you are reducing your chances of success. Talking is easy. Doing is difficult. But, it is action alone which will produce results and that only will determine your trajectory.

3) Do you do it when you said you will do it?

Your relationship with keeping your time reveals a lot about you. When someone meets you for the first time, they believe your words completely. They presume you will do all that you said you will do. This belief remains till you perform your first task with them. If you fail to arrive on time or get late on your first promised action, the credibility of your words crashes down. Your punctuality about keeping your time will determine your dependability. People form opinions about you based on your performance on time front. If you are late in fulfilling your various commitments, your word starts losing its impact.

Your trait about punctuality starts when you arrive at your office everyday. For instance, if the time to reach your office is at 9 am with 15 minutes’ grace time, there will be three types of people in the company:

a) Those who always arrive at work before 9 am
b) Those who arrive after 9 but before 9:15 am
c) Those who always arrive late after 9:15 am

Everyday these later-comers give some or the other excuse for being late. These lame excuses are meaningless, except that those who fall under this category prove only one thing that they are not dependable. They can’t keep their word. These people will not get any responsible assignments, if there is alternative. Their chances of success will always remain limited. Also, it is not only at work that the credibility of these late-comers is weak. Such people fail miserably in keeping up to their commitments in all areas of life, at work, at home or in the society. Arriving late or not doing anything on time is their common trait.

So, ask the above three question to yourself. If answers to all these questions are ‘yes’, you are on the path to success. If not, you have some work to do.

This is a really useful and ‘workable’ advice from a man heading an organization of more than 8,000 motivated employees.

How to handle exam failure?

This is a season of school and college results. Like every examination result, this year, too, there will be many joys and some disappointments.

Handling exam result setbacks is difficult, but not impossible. I have passed through such frustrating experiences.

On the day when I got news of my result much below my expectation, I was shattered. The world seemed to end that day. It was too bad to handle. I felt terribly sense of shame and clueless.

But thankfully, I survived. And no, the world did not end. Neither did it stop.

I did not get good marks as per the expectations of myself and others. But, I got some important learning.

The learnings are :
1) The result is only the reflection of my performance on a particular day. It is definitely not the reflection of my abilities.

2) I learnt that time is the best healer.
With time, I forgot everything, including the painful disappointment that overwhelmed me on that day. I learnt that “This, too, will pass.”

3) The best thing happened was that now I had an experience to deal with a personal setback and survive it. It sort of prepared me to deal with life’s circumstances with renewed resilience.

So, if you are not happy with your exam result, don’t worry. Learn from the failure. Move on.

Remember,  few marks more don’t make you a Hero and few less don’t convert you into Zero.

Life is much more than a mark sheet.

नरेन्द्र मोदी कैसे सफल हो सकेंगे?

हमने नरेन्द्र मोदी पर बडी आश तो लगाइ है, लेकिन क्या मोदी साहब के पास कोई जादुई छड़ी है की वह उसे घुमायेंगे और सब कुछ ठीक हो जायेगा?

अगर भारत को आगे बढ़ाना है, तो सवा सौ करोड जनता के इस देश के नागरिकों को भी कुछ करना पडेगा |

सरकारी नौकरों के एश-ओ-आराम तथा politicians के बेसुमार धन-दौलत-जाहोजलाली का उदाहरण देखकर हम में से कई लोगों को भी काम न कर के पैसा कमाने की लालच लगी है | भारत के कुछ लोगों की सोच भी सरकारी हो गई है | दूसरी ओर आजकल हार्डवर्क के बदले “स्मार्ट वर्क” का ट्रेन्ड चला है | सब जगह कम से कम महेनत कर के “येनकेन प्रकारेण” ज्यादा से ज्यादा लाभ कमाने की रेस लगी है | यह खतरनाक आदत बदलनी होगी |

आठ घंटों के ओफिस समय में आधा घंटा देर से आना, फिर आधा घंटा चाय-पानी और इधर-उधर टाइम-पास करना | १ घंटे का लंच-टाइम लेना और बिच में दो-तीन टी-ब्रेक लेना | छूटने के समय से आधे घंटे पहले ही इस की तैयारी में लग जाना | बाकी के समय भी ओवरटाइम और छूट्टीयां कितनी मिलेंगी इस की फिक्र में लगे रहना | किसी भी ओफिस में ऐसे सरकारी attitude वाले, सदैव घडी और कैलन्डर  देखकर काम का नाटक करनेवाले character मिलेंगे | ऐसी मानसिकता प्रगति की नहीं, बल्की अधोगति की निशानी है |

कुछ बिझनेसमेनों में भी कस्टमर को cheat करके, उसे उल्लु बनाकर किसी भी तरह उसे अपनी चीज़ चीपकाके “मलाई” खा कर अपनी होशियारी साबित करने की होड लगी है | सरकार के टैक्स जमा नहीं करना, लांच-रिशवत दे कर के, गलत तरिकों से पैसा कमाना, काला धन जमा कर के देश के प्रति अपना रुण अदा नहीं करना यह भी सरकारी attitude से कम नहीं है |

किसी भी देश की प्रगति का आधार अधिकांश वह कितनी प्रोडक्ट या सर्विस उपलब्ध करा सकता है, उस के उपर है | अगर हमें आगे बढना है, तो कम से कम काम कर के ज्यादा से ज्यादा पैसा एंटने का कामचोरी का सरकारी attitude बदलना होगा | काम के प्रति हमारा रवैया बदलना होगा | हमारी आलस दूर करनी होगी | अपने समय का पालन करना होगा | हमारे जीवन में Discipline लाना होगा |

अगर हम ऐसा नहीं कर सकेंगे, तो नरेन्द्र मोदी साहब नाम की जादुई छडी भी कुछ नहीं कर सकेगी |

What makes Radhakrishnan Pillai a bestselling author?

Radhakrishnan Pillai’s latest book Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership, has sold 10,000 copies in a month since its release in late January 2014, making it a bestseller. What makes him a bestselling author?

I have known and observed him since last few years. Here are my views on his well-deserved success.

He is authentic
Radha is intelligent and genuine along with being articulate. Amongst the current breed of Business Gurus where many fake and irritatingly dumb copy-pasters are masquerading as Business Gurus, Radha comes as a refreshingly fresh air.

He is focused
He has consistently focused on his studies of Chanakya and his teachings. He is not talking of anything else. Clear, unwavering focus.

He interprets and not simply translates
Radha has made it a mission to spread the learnings from Chanakya. He does not simply translate the verses, he simplifies them with his own insights, making the learning relevant to the contemporary times.

He writes to express, not impress
He uses facts and thoughts to express and does not resort to well rhyming words to impress his audience.

He is not out to build a personal brand
Many business writers write to add the word ‘Author’ on their visiting card. Radha is not driven by such purely commercial interests. He is not trying to lure some unsuspecting businessmen to get some consulting or executive coaching assignment through his writing work.

He is trying to propagate wisdom not encash it
Radha is a student of leadership wisdom of the ancient India. He is living a mission. He is driven by something larger than money can buy or valuers can evaluate.

He is not trying to sell anything
Radha does not write to sell his seminars or workshops. Neither is he bent on building a tribe where he will be worshipped as a demigod.

Radha, This is my tribute to your passion and mission. Keep doing the great work…

Personal Branding Lessons from Priyanka Chopra

I am a Priyanka Chopra fan. She is one of the best things that has happened to India’s entertainment industry. Here are some reasons why Brand PeeCee clicks so well.

1) Connect with the best

PeeCee has worked with the best of the actors in Bollywood. She has worked with all the Superstars of her time. Also, for her music albums, she has joined hands with the best in the world like, Will.i.am and Pitbull.

In an industry where availability, relationships and friendships create collaborations, PeeCee has gone much ahead by connecting only with the best.

2) Dream big and act BIG

Instead of being limited to Bollywood or India, this lady has made the world as her playground. It requires a lot of self-confidence, talent and commitment to have a vision to make a mark globally. There is hardly any other such personality in Indian entertainment scene who has dreamed and realized this big.

3) Be persistent

Success in Beauty pageant, Movies, Singing and Lyrics writing. This multi-talented beauty is persistent in her excellence.

PeeCee puts a lot of hard work in all her movies, songs or other assignments like events, shows etc. Today she is the only actress in Bollywood who can do some multi-talented roles or gigs which the pretty young (or old) things of Bollywood just can’t imagine. She can be called the only real superstar in the current breed of actresses.

4) Make this world a better place (Not in Beauty Queen style!)

All beauty queens have lots of theories of making this world a better place, which they themselves naturally forget after the pageant, because they have mouthed those great-sounding concepts without really understanding what they mean. PeeCee has really made this world a better place through her work.

5) Be unique

Most of the Indian actresses are beautiful dumbs, who can’t be more than a good-looking, necessary accessory to a male lead. PeeCee is refreshingly different. She is a beauty with a functional brain.

Just as in Bollywood, where she created her own unique space without any godfather or uncle or father to hold her hand, she has created her own unique identity on the world entertainment and music scene.

Today, one can confidently say that nobody can fill in the shoes of Priyanka Chopra. She is really unique.

6) Be professional

PeeCee has not allowed controversies or personal tragedies stop her.

She was embroiled into some media created flings with her co-stars. She has withstood all her relationships related gossip or controversies by maintaining a very dignified silence and let her work answer all the gossip mongers.

She exhibited her strong commitment when she resumed work within few days of losing her biggest strength, her father.

7) Be playful

PeeCee comes across as that beautiful, young, naughty woman who captivates your attention not only with her charm but also with her brain. She is intelligent, playful, desirable, seductive and smart.

8) Communicate wholesomely

PeeCee is articulate. She communicates very well. Along with commendable linguistic skills, she also uses a lot of body language to express herself. It is always a delight to see or listen to her speak.

Many beautiful actresses will come and go, but Priyanka Chopra has created a unique space which will be very difficult even to match. PeeCee is one of the best things that has happened to Indian entertainment industry.

Unique, playful, persistent, expressive, smart and desirable – Brand Priyanka Chopra has all the attributes of a successful personal brand.

What makes Manhar Udhas a veteran?

In an age where new singers come in hordes from nowhere and rapidly scale the pinnacles of fame through a variety of reality shows and other similar events, and then get lost into the dark recesses of oblivion equally quickly, Manhar Udhas has maintained a formidable reputation of a veteran singer of Gujarati and Hindi ghazals and songs through his four decades of singing. I recently attended his live concert and realized why he has been successful in creating a very niche and discerning, loyal fan base.

Consistency

  • He has been singing since more than 40 years.
  • He has created his signature tune base which are predictable yet refreshingly hummable.
  • All his album names are of one word, all beginning with ‘A’.

Emotional connect

  • Careful selection of songs and ghazals reflecting various colors of life and having emotionally touching lyrics.
  • During his concert, he shares stories from his personal life experiences. This time too, among many other things, he also shared with us how accidentally he entered into the world of Hindi film playback singing.
  • He went to the audience and shook hands with many or hugged them while singing one of his famous Hindi film songs,  “Har kisi ko nahin milta yahan pyaar zindagi mein… Khush naseeb hain woh jinko hai mili yeh bahar zindagi mein…”

Really, Manhar Udhas has not won but has truly earned the love of his fans.

Why do we all need regular training?

There are groups of businessmen, professionals, managers, executives, housewives and individuals who regularly go and learn many new things. They attend various courses at universities, institutes, workshops, seminars, lectures, conferences etc. On the other hand, there is a much larger group of similarly occupied people who don’t believe in getting any training. Their argument is : “Now at this age and stage what is the use of training? Our days of learning and education are over when we finished our school/college. Now we have passed that age of learning. Now is the time of working, working, working. No learning.”

Should people in business, profession or job go and try to learn something new? Is training while working useful Does it add any value to a person’s abilities or performance?

Based on my own personal experiences and those of many others, I firmly believe it does. Regular training shapes and reshapes a person’s individuality like nothing else can. On-going learning process brushes us up and enhances our knowledge, skills and attitude, preparing us to take on bigger responsibilities and challenges.

Here is my argument why we all should keep learning. Always.

A typical year in a school or college has around 200 days of education. Let us assume that a graduate spends 15 years in school and college. This results in about 3,000 days of education and training. These are the formative years of our life and they build the foundation of our future. But, for most of us, real, hard, practical life does not start until we complete our studies, as we are safe inside protective shell provided by a family that takes care of all our needs.

Once the education gets over, a person enters the phase of work life. Along with the freedom to make own decisions, the responsibility to take charge of one’s own life also arrives. Real challenges of dealing with people of different types, circumstances, emotions, deadlines, stress start at this stage. In addition to the work life, a person also gets married in next few years, which brings its own demands on time, adjustment and adaptation due to changed roles and increased responsibilities. Eventually, their family expands and challenges multiply even more.

But during this expectable and natural process of changing life stages, a person generally does not have any formal or structured training to guide him/her. Whether it is a challenge at work, a problem about self-esteem or confidence, handling failures or issues in relationships, there is no obvious source where one can approach for help, forcing them to fend for themselves. Due to all this, one makes a few mistakes along the way. And hence, a lot of problems, frustrations, disappointments and confusions happen, deteriorating quality of life and mental peace. It may also result in sometimes irreversible physical health problems.

Of course, we do learn from these mistakes also, but learning from only our own mistakes limits our pace of learning to a great extent. Moreover, this limitation was earlier posed because of limitation of exposure and interaction. Now, the world has become a smaller place and there is a lot of sharing possible among people of the world. Training lets us learn from others’ mistakes also. That is a faster and smarter way of doing things in the new world order.

So, what is the solution? There are no fixed, ready made solutions to all the problems that our personal or work life poses. But, in order to equip ourselves for handling these problems, we must learn new things on a regular basis. In today’s time of rapid technology changes and fast moving trends, there is no alternative to equipping ourselves of relevant knowledge and skills. Also, the routine of life and its peculiarities, may take a toll on one’s attitude, motivation and enthusiasm also. To overcome this drain, we all must get involved with others and attend various training programmes to improve our knowledge, skills and attitude.

If we are ignorant, we may bask in the feeling of bliss, but we will have to depend on others for knowledge and skills to solve all our own problems. Outsourcing is a good management practice, but there is always a context. Nothing can be applied blindly without understanding the context. And for making sense of context, we need to go and learn. It makes a small but very important difference.