Saturday, April 9, 2011

Guna-2011-Management Students Festival

Guru Nanak Institutions Group’s MBA colleges and Departments are organizing a management students’ festival entitled “Guna-2011” on 15th-16th April, 2011.
About 500 MBA students from all around Andhra Pradesh are expected to participate in this event. This event is a platform for all MBA students to display their managerial skills and business management knowledge.
As part of this event, Guna-2011, competitions are held for the students in:

Business Inquisitive(Business Quiz),
Fin Quiz (Financial Management Quiz),
Business Plan (Business Plan Preparation),
ADZAP (Ad Copy Making),
Poster Presentation(Presentation of a Business Idea),
JAM (Extempore Talk),
Paper Presentation (Research Paper Presentation), and
Young Manager (Prerequisite Skills for a Young Manager).

Handsome cash prizes will be given to winning students; elaborate hospitality arrangements (free lunch) for two days are being made for participating students.

The inaugural session of the event runs between 10.00 a.m. and 12.00;
students will be addressed:

by the chief guest Dr. Y. Manohar, Former Director (HR) Vizag Steel Plant;

and the key note speaker, Mr. Sandeep Goel, CEO, Acuvate Software, Madhapur.

Contact: Venu: 8099944344
Karthik: 9908815427
Harinadh: 9966642829


Monday, November 1, 2010

Where is ‘marketing’ headed from ‘social marketing concept’? ‘Customer Life Growth Monitoring Concept’ seems to offer promise!

Where is ‘marketing’ headed from ‘social marketing concept’? ‘Customer Life Growth Monitoring Concept’ seems to offer promise!

A marketer who is interested in keeping with him his customer quite longer or for ever have till now traversed many stages- from production-orientation to sales-orientation to product-orientation to marketing-orientation to social marketing orientation. The evolution of marketer’s love and protective inclination for the customer extended further to the creation of life-time customer value and co-creation. These apart, the Porter’s value chain analysis has set out to explore all possibilities of giving the best service to the customer. What is the next marketing philosophy that can guide the marketer’s efforts? Is there any space left for further exploration by the marketing scholars?

What all the previous concepts fail to capture and can do further is: can the marketer monitor the growth ladder of the customer’s life and the corresponding upgrading of the customer to the next life stage in terms of what the marketer’s next product category can offer a customer. For example, an automobile company has sold its customer a scooter, which has later been replaced with a bike, which, in turn, later by an entry-level car, and later a medium-range car, and later, a luxury car.
The marketer’s main function of this philosophy is : take back the product first sold at its salvage value and give the upgraded version of product that new life stage of the customer requires, and later next cycle starts with a new product category as required by the growing customer. In the process, alongside of it, the customer’s network and their references are also brought into the marketer’s fold.

The main planks of the this concept are:

The customer is under eternal protective cover of the customer, which is an aggressive pursuit of customer’s life time value.

A customer’s life success growth graph is monitored for a very long period by the marketer by giving the customer’s product upgrades for ever.

His ramshackle clunkers are taken care of the marketer.

His network of relations are also tracked to bring them into the marketer’s fold.
Research scholars are challenged to take this further and establish its value for the marketer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reaching AICTE helpdesk- It is a pie in the sky!

Dr. Kapil Sibal wants to make his presence felt. He appears to be seriously engaged in revamping the higher education system, and as part of it, he has set out to streamline the AICTE approval process. Accordingly, he has made it mandatory for every institution to upload their details on AICTE website.

But alas! The website is not at all accessible and is hardly open to feed the details into. Realizing the reality, AICTE has extended the time of uploading from 28-2-10 to 15-3-10. Now the accessibility is a little better. But problems that are staring in the face are those related to payments and helpdesk services.

1. Payments are not acknowledged although about 15 are completed after payment; payments are supposed to be acknowledged within 3 or 4 days, but they are not. It is difficult to know when they will be acknowledged. That apart, the worst inconvenience that every institution faces is that further details cannot be uploaded until the first payment is acknowledged. AICTE is sitting on the payments like a dog in the manger. To get some reply, one can call the helpdesk.

2. But helpdesk is the worst ever disorganized system known to mankind. None of the four numbers they have given are reachable; they are either engaged or don’t answer till doom! It is the height of disorganization. Quite strangely, one number they gave is an invalid number.

That is the level of service that Ministry of Higher Education/ Government Of India is prepared to give to their stakeholders!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Transport Commissioner ( Andhra Pradesh ) Should Stand in the Queue Like an Ordinary Citizen to Obtain a Driving License!

Transport Commissioner ( Andhra Pradesh ) Should Stand in the Queue Like an Ordinary Citizen to Obtain a Driving License!

Road Transport Authority seemed to have made a slight yet good makeover. Driver’s Learning License which was once a ritual is now determined by one’s traffic and driving knowledge. In the earlier era, the staff of driving school used to take the signature of a person requiring a license on a prescribed form, and fix an appointment with the transport officer. The practical test was just a ritual. After that, in a week or so, one could get Driving License. It is not so now.

Today, I attended a learner’s driving test. It was not a practical driving test; it was a computer-based one to test an aspirant’s knowledge but not skill. I, who has been driving for the last twenty years, failed in the test! The test examines a person’s knowledge about road signs, and also about what one does in certain critical driving situations.

When I was on a trip to my home village and on the way to railway station, a small truck which came in on reverse gear and hit my car on its bonnet no matter how loudly I cried saying he (one coming in the reverse direction) was wrong ; he was unable to apply brakes. I realized that the driver, probably new to driving, was not adequately familiar with use of gears and brakes. His mistake cost me Rs.20000. This driver must be an employee, and must have been engaged without his driving skills verified. Effective driving tests are a must to avoid loss of this kind to the innocent citizens and their families.

The Road Transport Office was in an utter mess when the server was down and the waiting lines were quite long. They have no alternative. Any Transport Commissioner should visit the transport offices, come like a ordinary citizen and find for himself what happens in the grueling queues. This is what the illustrious TTD Executive Officer, Mr. IYR Krishna Rao did; he stood in line like an ordinary citizen to get to know of the service given to devotees.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Non-responsive and Disconnected Governance : The Choice of Masses?

Non-responsive and Disconnected Governance : The Choice of Masses?

“We haven’t got Indiramma Houses although we are unquestionably eligible; only the henchmen of the local Congress leaders have scooped up all of them regardless of their eligibility. Same is the case with old age pension benefits or any other welfare schemes launched by the Congress government.” This is the opinion expressed by the public when TV9, a popular Telugu News TV Channel has organized “ Auto Yatra”, which is an oral survey of the common people conducted in April, 2009; it is an attempt to find out the public perceptions about the how the government have performed so far. This corresponds to what some villagers have repeatedly told me: welfare schemes are the monopoly of Congress supporters only. This confirms what Columnist Gurucharan Das comments: though every political party promises more rice, more schools, more hospitals and so on but 80% of the rice will not reach the poor, 25% of teachers will be absent from the schools, and 40% of the doctors will not show up at the primary health centers.

Simply stated, welfare scheme don’t reach the eligible; nobody knows what procedures are followed; it is an easy guess that there is no accountability in the functionaries. Given this, it is quite likely that citizen’s requests or their grievances are considered Cinderella and so they are either pushed under carpet or forgot. As far as my experience goes, there is neither the grievance handling mechanism nor a semblance of interest on the part of the Congress governments to make existing mechanism successful.

Congress governments, if what I see in the A.P. is any indication, have apparently adopted a non-responsive, non-transparent governance as a strategy; by pursuing it, it is possible that only the handpicked beneficiaries are identified and favored; they are expected to form a strong vote bank which the party can fall back on with aplomb for future elections as well; it is also possible that certain government officials are encouraged to favor only the handpicked beneficiaries, for which government functionaries are either suitably rewarded or let off with no accountability or encouraged to be corrupt and low performers. But I don’t ever harbor even the faintest feeling that all this is done frivolously or purposelessly; nor is it the output of the inefficiency of the Congress government. It surely is a well-conceived and carefully pursued strategy, which is corroborated by the facts I recount in following parts of this article. Non-responsive governance systems help the party functionaries amass more wealth and muscle power; such resources can again be used for the next elections. It is needless to say that such corrupt systems have no place for either inputs from the public, or transparent and responsive governance. This can generate money and muscle power to fund the elections, besides loyal employee groups; these resources are assumed to help Congress win the upcoming elections; back to power, the party would ladle the same non-responsive, non-transparent and corrupt governance to generate money, and create or maintain loyal employee groups. This kind of cycle which is expected to repeat over many future elections is apparently made the centerpiece of the strategy of the party in power in A.P.

Before putting any stock in this theory of non-responsive, non-transparent and corrupt governance being pursued as a strategy, let us find out if, by any chance, the chief functionaries of Congress are prepared to create transparent governance systems, and interested in properly handling the grievances of the general public. As a citizen and as a victim of governance systems, I happened to send many representations to many government functionaries including Chief Minister and Vigilance Commission and principal secretaries, and down to mandal revenue officers. No letter is ever acknowledged, leave alone taking of action on them, no matter how many years I, the aggrieved, waited! Andhra Pradesh state deserves the label ‘Action-less (ignored) Papers State. Similarly, Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy cannot be reached on email, which contrasts sharply with the Chandrababu who invites representations and acknowledges them; besides, he adopted a well-conceived method of disposing of them as well. Further, look to see how the Congress party deals with the inputs from the public. Deplorably, even in the votecong website of the local Congress too, there in no provision for feedback or grievances or suggestions. Similarly, the Congress party website, aicc websit does not have a button for recording the opinions of the public. What about the top brass? Are they any different? About four years ago, I happened to write letters to Sonia Gandhi, Sushil Kumar Shinde, and YS Rajasekhar Reddy about the problems I was facing from the government systems; none of my letters was acknowledged, leave alone action taken on them. My experience with the government portal, pgportal website too says that its operational responsiveness is just lackadaisical.

Congress governments typically turn a deaf ear to public grievances and a blind eye to responsive governance. But it shows an assuring hand (their election symbol). By and large, one is left to believe that Congress party does not want inputs from public; nor is it willing to effectively deal with the public grievances.

There is a clear disconnect between the public and the governance in the Congress regime. At the most, it cares for the opinions of the local leaders, their henchmen, who obviously have their own interests, definitely not those of the public in general whose opinions might often change; the interests of the local leaders and governance offenders are stealthily safeguarded; this generates money, muscle power and loyal employee groups to ensure success in the future elections. ‘Will this strategy work?’ is question the Congress leaders have to reflect on quite seriously. This may mean doom to the Congress since the voters are increasingly becoming aware of how governments are performing. The voters who voted for Congress last time (26.54% in 2004) may not all prefer Congress again due to subsequent realization of how non-responsive the Congress governments are. The efforts of the local Congress supporters and loyal employee groups, who are just a minority, may fail to bring victory. Congress people may reason that other parties like Telugu Desam too did the same. But Telugu Desam was relatively more transparent and tilted towards better governance.

But, it is unfortunate that the voters don’t want good governance, clean governance and efficiency! I think this is a trade-off for stability and populist schemes. 2009 elections pushed India 10 more years behind!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why should government make citizens jump through hoops to obtain a certificate?

Why should government make citizens jump through hoops to obtain a certificate?
To get a caste certificate for son, I went to the office of the Mandal Revenue Officer. It is a story that happened in 2002. I portrayed myself to the officer as a cog in the wheel of the government! The officer wore a welcome look and spoke very courteously giving me an impression that for a person of my stature, issue of a certificate is just a walk in the park. He said, “ Send somebody, sir, it would be ready by tomorrow and it would be given to your person”. It was very assuring so I did not have a fleck of doubt about what I had to get.

The next day, I got off work a couple of hours earlier and headed for the caste-certificate issue office. An old man, appearing to be a low-rung employee, stared at me for a few seconds and ignored me. I went straight to the officer I spoke to yesterday. The officer was not there since he was on tour. A clerk who was shuffling papers and files in the officer’s cabin volunteered to advise me that I should come the next day. I was puzzled and disappointed.

To ascertain if my application was receiving the attention of the right person, or, luckily, action was already taken, I went to the relevant clerk to enquire. He dug through the papers and files to find mine, and the answer I was anxious to get came out of his lips, and I was shocked. ‘Your paper did not reach us’. This is the language particular to Indian public offices.

I went home and made another set of applications. I went to the office and searched for the low-rung employee for his help; he said he was observing me since the first time I went to that office. He took the application and told me to come a couple of days later. Dealing with him was not very expensive. He took the responsibility to file the application and get the certificate issued. I went two days later and collected the certificate from the clerk who made it ready. Things have to be got done through the agents!

This is the story of a privileged member of the society who has to pursue or bribe the staff in the public offices! Imagine the situation a poor farmer or crafts person has to encounter in these offices to get a certificate for his son. It is horrendous! He has to make a few overnight stays and bribe many!

Can’t governments spend money on database and its updating? Why should an officer issue a certificate! Certificates can be issued within minutes by the front office manager or a receptionist in a public officer if only the database about the citizens is kept and updated! Which Government Can Do This? I will vote for such political party.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It is difficult to reach public servants in Andhra Pradesh

It is i to reach public servants!
In this era of information/computer technology and internet, governments like those of Andhra Pradesh should be seamlessly wired/ connected to receive inputs from the public or sort out their problems; still, the people at helm in Andhra Pradesh appear to have the mindset that a member of the public should visit their offices and submit their complaints and queries! How much wastage does such personal visits entail –expenditure, hassles and inconvenience to the visitor, and attention that has to be paid by the officer. To illustrate, one has to spend money on transport, spend time to visit and encounter the hassles of passing through security or elicit cooperation from the unwilling employees.

I visited ‘’. When I tried to contact the officers on email - for example, those of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation or Vigilance Commission, the email messages either rebounded or remained unacknowledged; most of the email ids given in the portal are either non-extant or dead (long unopened). A citizen cannot reach a government servant; during Chandrababunaidu’s time, email system was good, whereas in current regime, no such focus is seen. No government officer responds to the emails from the public. Earlier, even Chandrababunaidu used to personally respond to the emails, which contrasts sharply with the present situation in which YSR has no such discipline to respond; for one, all the representations to CM of our colleagues who were unfairly discharged from services during Chandrababu’s rule appear to have been pushed under carpet, although five years have elapsed after the first submission of their representations. I am sure you cannot now reach the CM in any manner; he does not have a system to look at the correspondence or meet the public and has no system to monitor what happens to such correspondence or visits.

He does not want us to reach him. He appears to believe that system takes care of what has to be done to the public; but what puzzles me is that he does not know that there is no system. Or, he seemingly assumes that he can figure out our needs himself without our inputs; YSR either has no understanding of concept of good governance; or, such pretence of ignorance benefits him as well as supporters. Same is the mindset of either Sonia Gandhi or Sushil Kumar Shinde! In fact, Congress government appears to thrive on bad governance. ‘Don’t be transparent and don’t let people reach you’ is the lodestar and centerpiece of their strategy! May God Bless This Country!

AP People Cannot Understand Social Justice

Dr. Chiranjeevi held a ‘Social Justice Conference’ yesterday in Rajamundry. The centerpiece of his manifesto or political strategy is social justice and corruption-free government. Do such promises appeal to the plebian people? The people, unfortunately, cannot distinguish slavery from decent living; they cannot distinguish bad governance from a good one; they cannot tell between corruption and rule of law. They don’t mind the way they are treated in a police station or an MRO office. They don’t mind paying bribes, and experience insults in the public offices; they don’t bother if their children are unable to get into public employment; they have no ability to understand that their brethren of lesser gods are either marginalized or disadvantaged. This is the backdrop created, or canvass laid by the successive Congress and Telugu Desam governments. Congress, Chandrababu and Corruption all, belong to the same Caste!

How To Finalize Party Manifesto: A Scientific Method

When the political parties formulate their strategies basing on different agendas/promises, they should take care to identify and finalize the combination of agendas (Portfolio of Promises). This Agenda Portfolio will either make or mar a party’s chances of success greatly. This is something like a product offer; a company identifies carefully the features of their product to be launched: features, material quality, style and design, price and so on. Each product is a unique combination of offers. Is there a statistical or scientific method to find out the best mix of product features or, for that matter, party agenda? Yes. It is ‘Conjoint Analysis’.