RADIO - A MURPHY OF 1948
The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.
Saturday, 30 April 2016
RADIO - A MURPHY OF 1948
Friday, 29 April 2016
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook, while presenting the figures, reiterated his concerns about saturation in the smartphone market.
And indeed it is happening. The latest report by the market research firm IDC, on April 27, a day after Apple came out with its earnings, shows that the global smartphone market remained almost flat with just 0.2% growth in shipments in the last quarter.
While it concerns every smartphone maker, it should be more worrying for Apple.
Its main market, the US, is near saturation. It growth driver, the China region, saw a whopping 26% decline. And Apple is not even 2% of the market size in the world’s third largest smartphone market, India, despite being in the country for years. Apple has ignored India in a questionable pursuit to establish itself as a premium, upmarket brand, thus missing out on the opportunity to create a solid base in the country.
India is projected to overtake the US next year to become the second largest smartphone market as Morgan Stanley concludes. And the distinction the Indian market has now is while China’s economy is slowing down, India is now the world’s fastest growing market.
Add to it the demographic dividend - according to the Morgan Stanley report, smartphone market in India is still just 18% of its population with 225 million subscribers.
So, there is a huge potential to tap – with the right kind of mix – like an ever increasing base of Middle Class, a fastest growing economy with over 80% tele-density and a young population base. India has already the world’s largest youth population of some 360 million people in 10-24 age-group and the country will be the youngest nation demographically by 2020.
So, all you have to do is to remain there, as a sincere, responsive brand when the growth takes off. And it is happening in the Indian smartphone market now.
Apple is now pushing for its presence in volume segments in India with the recent launch of iPhone SE but it is too little too late, and again, is coupled with a poor insight. In a price conscious market like India, that is projected to be the world’s largest middle class by 2030, no one would go for obsolete versions of iPhones or an exorbitantly priced substandard product, iPhone SE at over $500, when other vendors including Samsung and Chinese entrants are offering world class products at much cheaper price points.
Samsung is present with a flagship product in every pricing segment in the Indian smartphone market while the top-end models of Xiaomi, Gionee, Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo and Micromax, all are priced at around $400.
Apple needs to follow the basics of branding here. Apple needs to earn people’s respect in India. The astronomically priced iPhone is certainly not an exciting prospect for an Indian smartphone user, especially when those with access to the US and other markets can have the gadget for a much lower price.
Samsung, the South Korean behemoth, sits here at the top, with a comfortable margin from its nearest rival, a home grown Indian company, Micromax.
While Apple has failed with its strategy in the Indian market, Samsung has adeptly captured it.
And the fact that Samsung’s top-end smartphones are priced at around $800, near iPnone’s around $900-1000 tag, and that in spite of that they sell well, makes Apple’s marketing strategy in India even more a pathetic case study. Samsung has 24% market share in the smartphone segment in India while Apple is not even 2% and it tells a lot.
India is the market now the world is looking at, for smartphone, or for every other segment the market consumes. Analysts say the Indian smartphone market today is what China was five years ago – with immense potential of growth.
Apple seems to have missed this growth story. And its current marketing strategy in India says the company have learnt nothing from that.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Why it is so significant to write volumes about it?
After all, it happens with every brand, especially when it is about a tool of technology - as every pioneering technology is bound to become obsolete with time.
But Apple is different – for the way it has created a visible brand perception around the world – something that we can sum up as ‘beauty with a brain’ concept – something unheard of before Apple brings its products – yes that has been the unique hallmark of Apple making its products since Macintosh in 1984 stand out in the market – creating a cult following – that reached to phenomenal levels since the iPhone launch in 2007.
But the ebb is coming now.
Because of its over-reliant on iPhone only!
The first quarter slump in iPhone sales is here and it is massive – 10 million units – from 61 to 51 million units a year ago.
The Apple story since 2007 is the iPhone story – the smartphone that took the world by storm – registering stupendous growth year-over-year – from 3.7 million units in 2007 to 231 million units in 2015 – that is staggering over 600%.
In fact the world’s biggest listed company is solely dependent on iPhone for two thirds of its revenue. iPhone has made Apple the biggest corporation on Earth.
But that cannot last forever.
Unless Apple comes with another blockbuster product or some blockbuster enhancement to the existing line of iPhones!
Because, it’s largest market in the US is nearing saturation.
Because, it’s second most important market in China is the chief culprit in bringing down its revenue – 26% down in Hong Kong and Taiwan and 11% in mainland China.
Chinese companies are fast emerging as Apple’s alterative for ‘beauty with a brain’ smartphones with much cheaper prices and can replace Apple easily in a market that has been Apple’s growth engine. And we should always remember that China is a protectionist regime and would see interests of its home grown companies first.
Because, Apple has failed to capture the third largest smartphone market in the world, i.e., India. Apple's market share in India is still less than 2%. Moreover, according to a Morgan Stanley report, India is projected to become the second largest smartphone market by 2017 overtaking the US.
Though, after faltering for years, Apple is now trying to tweak its strategy in India, offering older versions of iPhones for lower prices or launching the cheaper iPhone SE. But that is not working. The impression goes that Apple sees India as a dumping ground for old versions of iPhones. At $500, iPhone SE, a low priced version with a smaller screen size, and resembling much older iPhone 4S, was again a failure. People can have a much better smartphone than iPhone SE at a much lower price in the Indian market.
For most Indian consumers, they may still see beauty in the iPhone range but they fail to find any brain there.
Though for different reasons, the trend is spreading across the world - in other markets. Apple has been able to maintain the beauty quotient of iPhone but cosmetic measures like enhancing screen size or upgrading camera or operation system or introducing a personal virtual manager or even a biometric identification system with touch ID fingerprint sensor are now proving inefficient in keeping the 'brainy' tag of iPhone intact. These technologies are good but can't act as differentiators for your brand identity because everyone else is also coming with them.
So, where is the new market for Apple – that can sustain its astonishingly high market capitalization and revenue figures?
So, unless Apple comes with something new, an innovation sort of offering a gadget that we see in Sci-Fi flicks, means it is ahead of the competition and thus creates new markets for its products in not so ‘price conscious’ markets like India, the trouble is going to grow.
A crude way to say that is, people have become sceptical of Apple’s motives, after just marginal enhancements in every subsequent generation iPhone, without offering any breakthrough.
iPhone is fast losing its ‘beauty with a brain’ tag. The law of average is catching up with it.
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/
Monday, 25 April 2016
WHY AMITABH BACHCHAN SHOULD NOT BE INCREDIBLE INDIA BRAND AMBASSADOR. WHY SALMAN KHAN SHOULD NOT BE RIO OLYMPICS BRAND AMBASSADOR.
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Saturday, 23 April 2016
Friday, 22 April 2016
Thursday, 21 April 2016
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Death is an event in life that though sums up everything for a life, leaves a lifetime of thoughts and afterthoughts for others who are associated with the departed. It leaves a void that remains there, throughout. The pain, that is unbearable initially, becomes a way of life with time.
That is what happens with death in every normal human life – even for people of this eternal city – one of the oldest living places – a living mix of spirituality, religion and a living weaved around them.
But for people from this eternal city who care to go beyond their routines to know what Varanasi stands for, what Kashi means and why it pulls everyone from across the globe who look for ‘questions into life and death’, death brings more meanings about it than they already know.
For many, death is a way of life in Varanasi. It supports many families. The business of death sustains lives here. And it has continued for generations.
For many, it is the spiritual realization that shows them the way ahead – clearing the clouds of ambiguities and dichotomies. For all Banarasis and many outside the city, dying here, in this city of Lord Shiva, is the ultimate nirvana, a freedom from the cycle of rebirth, the Moksha, the core of Hinduism/Vedanta philosophy.
For Banarasi folks and visitors/tourists/pilgrims, the Lord Shiva, Ganga and death association (The Holy Trinity of Hinduism) with the city and its addresses, especially the Varanasi ghats, including the two eternal cremation ghats, Manikarnika and Harishchandra, are a must visit. Many visitors of the city, in fact, make it a point to spend quality time at these two places while the ordinary Banarasi has countless strolls of them in his lifetime.
For thinking folks, it leaves an indelible impression.
And that imprints an equally indelible reality of death – the only certain event of life.
Sitting at these two ghats makes you feel ‘not low’ but poignant about a life’s uncertainty and its only defined fate – death. One can see through layers of illusions. The introspection and retrospection here, in those moments, are most objective that one can have.
And it all happens wrapped in the fundamental tenet of living – what lies beyond and what goes with you. One doesn’t need to be a sage to ponder over these aspects. The atmosphere there begins the thought process in you.
Visiting Varanasi looking for questions of life or spending time at its round the clock working crematoria doesn’t change the way you live but its changes fundamentally the way you think – that how to sift reality from countless illusions your soul is trapped into.
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
And the problem is only exacerbating with the intensifying heat wave as mercury is soaring up. Heat wave has already claimed many lives in the affected regions.
A case study from Beed in Maharashtra came today where a Class 5th student died while fetching water from hand-pump. According to her family members, she was helping her family to get water and had repeated trips to the hand-pump where she collapsed. Beed in Maharashtra is one of the worst drought affected districts in Maharashtra (and India). In fact, we can say it is another Latur of Maharashtra.
Rather, we should say there are many Laturs in Maharashtra that need comprehensive government intervention to win over this tide of nature’s fury.
But how can we take the government seriously to the extent that all will be set right henceforth – because this nature’s fury is man-made as well?
And to add to the drought of political trust that we have towards our political fraternity, there are continued acts of insensitivity by some of our senior-most politicians – chief-ministers and ministers.
Now, it may be true that these ministers and chief ministers may not be aware that thousands of litres of water was wasted making helipads for them or in makings roads dust-free for them but when it comes to political branding based on symbolism, no one goes into the nitty-gritty of what lies beneath. It’s all about what looks on surface.
And on surface, the message that went was that the political class was not acting proactively to end people’s misery but was rather forced to act because of electoral compulsions – after Eknath Khadse (senior Maharashtra minister), Siddaramaiah (Karnataka chief minister), Akhilesh Yadav (Uttar Pradesh chief minister) and Pankaja Munde (again a senior minister from Maharashtra) were seen wasting water or exploiting their visits to drought hit areas as ‘drought tourism’.
Much has been written about drought in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region with consecutive years of drought. The crisis is also deepening in Karnataka with drought now spread to as many as 19 districts of the state. The politicians should take a cue from Pankaja Munde selfie incident that was otherwise a perfectly normal human response but for a human crisis perpetrated by drought. Pankaja Munde would never have imagined the incident would be painted like this.
But here it is. And so are the helipad incidents related to Eknath Khadse and Akhilesh Yadav or a dust-free road for Siddaramaiah!
In the season of India’s worst drought, it may also lead to a drought of political trust among common men and it should be a clear and present danger for our political class – as every coming year this or that state assembly election or some bye-election or some local body election is due.
Monday, 18 April 2016
Sunday, 17 April 2016
Saturday, 16 April 2016
Friday, 15 April 2016
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/