Corporate Life, Personal Life

November TiTBiTs

I wrapped up November, having gained a few experiences and learnings.

Commercial Front:

The month began on a promising note, with 2 clients agreeing to work with me. One was in the medical-tourism domain, who wanted me to undergo a test. Having succeeded, I was assigned for a start, 2 articles. I enquired what would be the benchmark for evaluation and was informed the task was to attract viewers to the site. On further inquiry, I learnt that the article would feature in the blog section of the company website! And how would traffic be generated to the site? The company was still working on that! Anyways I decided to work on just one topic.  As anticipated, the expectations were very different. So requested the client to give the same inputs to another writer, and then share the write-up with me, which would also be a learning for me. Client now does not respond to my emails.

Learning:  At times, one needs to stand up to the courage of one’s convictions.

The second client was a Bangalore based startup providing news and information to other startups. I must admit, they were much more professional and ethical. Defined their reader aged between 20 to 35, 75% males. The agreement was for me to provide 2 rewritten news articles per day. The client drew a line between news and trends, defining the latter as write-ups which covered interviews, research etc which were the rights/property of the respective media, hence were out of bounds to be published by me. 2/3 of my articles were thus rejected as they were classified as trends, a line that I must confess I have yet to properly identify.

Learning: There is a fine line of difference between “News” and “Trends”, the latter I yet need to identify.

Personal Life:

3 years ago, a common friend had recommended to me, a third party for medical insurance, whom I signed up with. After a month of chasing him for renewal of my premium, he lands up at my home, wanting me to change my service provider since the provider had discontinued the product. He suggested a few others where I could get insurance portability – similar to mobile number changes – I did not know it existed in insurance too, so a new learning again. And guess what? To avail of this portability, I was asked to provide the cheque within 4 days, since the scheme ended in 30 days and the agent had let 26 days lapse. On investigation, I learnt that the person was not an authorised agent but part of a brokerage network.

Learnings:

  • Do not go by recommendations alone. Do your own homework.
  • Check which industries offer portability schemes for the future.

With just a few days in hand for portability, did a thorough online and offline search, and shortlisted CignaTTK online. After disclosing my medical history to the sales team and verifier, I was told to submit my cheque. Then I received a call from a doctor so repeated exactly the same history (can history change?), who was very cooperative.  I suddenly received an email, rejecting my proposal. On intensive follow-up for the reason, was given a reason that the underwriter’s decision was final. My point was, the same history was disclosed to the sales team, etc and I was informed that this was a company policy. So I responded that instead of disclosing their company employees to an external audience, why don’t you educate your own internal teams. I received no proper responses so resorted to tweets. (One will be surprised at the power of tweets). Also escalated the matter to the highest levels where more light got thrown, but not to my entire satisfaction. However, decided not to pursue it and now still looking for a medical insurance provider.

Lesson:

  • Insurance is a highly complicated maze. 
  • Pick your battles – don’t sweat the small stuff.

Welcome December, Hello Santa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Personal Life

Are you indispensable?

 

Personal and Business Life.

” No man is indispensable” a statement heard very often.

To me, life can be categoried as:  Personal and Corporate/Business Life.

Let’s look at personal life first. Am I indispensable to my family – mother, father, siblings, wife, children? Hypothetical question undoubtedly. Little wonder then, that insurance companies play a big role here. Of course, they cannot compensate for the loss of a life in emotional terms, but at least, they soften the blow in financial terms.

Focussing on corporate life, I personally do not contribute to the thinking that “No man is indispensable”. In corporate or business life, there is no individual, whether an M.D./Chairman or an executive, who can be a lone player. Today it’s all about team work, and team spirit.

Strengths and Weaknesses.

Every individual, has strengths and weakenesses. And in a team, the entire team depends on his strengths and tries to compensate or cover his weaknesses. Thus on the sports field, you have each player supporting the other. The support transcends physical capabilities and goes into an understanding – a mental frequency. Anticipating the individual player’s next move, his speed, his agility etc to get that goal! It is this spirit, besides physical talent, that helps the team come from right behind and surge ahead. The team spirit that fuels the fire in the individual belly to touch that net. Group chemistry at play. If such a team loses even one such member, the entire equilibrum needs to shift to balance out the physical and mental energies, which is not always easy. It’s the right combination that matters, which means the right balancing of every individual’s strengths and weaknesses to make that team successful. Thus, the whole is greater that the sum of its parts. And the sum of the parts, is each individual, indispensable.

 

The Winning Team!

Closer home we have the example of one of India’s leading software companies, whose performance plummeted, post the  resignation of its founder and CEO.  Given the poor performance, there was disruption in the team, so when the founder rejoined, he was unable to bring back that same magic to the company. The right balance which each individual player brought to the table was lost. Hence it was no longer a winning team!

 

 

 

 

 

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Personal Life

Mass media and one-on-one communications

From nest to the skies

The door to my college life was like opening of the cage, or flying off the nest. Suddenly I was exposed to a whole new world. From a sheltered, protected home, I was thrown out to the open skies. Kept searching  to find myself. And then discovered Neil Diamond who became one of my favourite singers. Remember purchasing his “Hot August Night” album and blasting the home. And his lyrics like:

“I am”,  I said
To no one there
An no one heard at all
Not even the chair
“I am,” I cried
“I am,” said I
And I am lost, and I can’t even say why

struck a deep chord in me. And I kept searching for myself. For ” I am”.

 

From mass media to one-on-one communications

Took upto advertising and spent my entire career in it, jumping from agency to agency. (Luckily, it did not apply to personal life too –  at least not much, lol!)  Of course, today the industry has changed. From mass media to one-on-one communications. There was no term, as blog. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter did not exist, or were not invented.

So since I think I have acquired  communication skills from mass media, would love to apply it to one-on-one communications, through the digital medium. Call it Social Media if you wish! Learning the ropes some times, pulling one end, other times, pushing the other. Let me see where that gets me.

 

Right blend of messaging with technology

Social Media I believe is not just communications but a right blend of messaging with technology. Technology by itself cannot achieve the objective of direct communications. Little wonder then that most digital organisations are struggling to find the right balance.  Hopefully I too will find that balance. Till then, let me keep searching for myself.

 

 

 

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