Keep in touch

We are ever so consumed with communicating through technology that a simple meeting is rather an inconvenient option. There exists an invisible barrier between all of us. This phenomenon has a direct relation to your Organization’s culture.

In the corporate environment, we rely to interact with our colleagues via emails, with our clients and suppliers via telephones and text messages. Creating groups on chat platforms are more prevalent than regular team meetings. Imagine living in an environment, where our listening and speaking skills are not being utilized. This in fact is not a mere imagination; this is a reality to most of us.

Communicating has become a common verb signifying sending emails, speaking on the phones or text messaging. We assume our messages are delivered and seen.

However we are missing the essence of effective communication.

Effective communication means to fully understand the content and the meaning of the message through verbal and nonverbal cues.

Since people are connected like never before, working with various personalities and different cultures are common. It is essential for Organizations to have a good communication strategy to understand individual differences and cultural diversity within and outside the Organization. Building and maintaining relations is crucial to a successful communication approach. Networking and “being in touch” has become a norm.

Let’s bring back the most authentic form of communication i.e. having a one to one conversation. Where one can express feelings and ideas more accurately, causing less misunderstanding. Where, gestures, facial expressions and body language can provide reliable feedback.

We can in-sync ‘smart’ internal and external communication by implementing a well-crafted training strategy. Communication channels drive organizations, societies and institutes. – The question remains how should we sign out of our social network platform and log in to come together to rebuild our network.

Embracing our forgotten reality

We humans are blessed with a gift of choice. And we chose to design our personal and professional journeys around technology. No doubt, this choice is a ‘smart’ one, making our lives convenient, faster and smarter.
Nevertheless what if we chose a simple cycle of experiencing our world in another fashion? Reality in its authentic form. This reality includes all five senses and embraces the feeling of touch. A simple guide to reach this forgotten reality, in a few steps is as follows.
1. The practice of being in the present is a beautiful process. It is similar to meditation; however we can exercise this method while we perform our regular tasks as well. It is all about being aware of our thoughts and behaviour at a given moment. Complete focus and concentration on an action. The act of being present can become an oasis that could lead to drawing positivity in our lives.
2. 5 am is a period where the birds and bees rise. Perfect time to be one with nature, waking up along with the other creations. As the sunlight spreads and brightens our planet, we can embrace the opportunity of this period to inspire our mind and soul. A new day to fill ourselves with pure and progressive energy.
3. Notice, the quantity of information every being absorbs through social media, advertisements, news and many other sources. It is natural for our body and mind to attract stress and anxiety. Thus the necessity to take a step back and pause becomes essential. Taking a 5 minute break, 4 times a day revives our spirit. Meditation, a prayer or simply sitting back relaxing, invites strength, peace and gratitude to overpower our thought-processes.
We can enhance the quality of our lives by adding these simple and practical practices in our daily routine. This leads to an assured increase in emotional intelligence. As the process trains our mind to acquire skills to smoothly carry out activities in our personal endeavours and work environment. Guiding our behaviour to plan our tasks efficiently, to make better decisions and develop ourselves.

Success is after all a child’s play

Back to the Basics

What traits can we acquire from children that adults have forgotten? Would you believe that the basic building blocks of success are present naturally in us as children? Children seem more content, innovative, curious and confident.  Let’s examine fewskills that we can re-learn from our younger days.

Children are naturally inquisitive about people and things around them. They like to grab on to the closet object. They practice a perfect example of the experimental approach that is observation, analyse through touch and feel, finally they indicate the results whether it is positive by holding on to or leaving the object if it’s a negative one.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” – Walt Disney

Children understand every day as a new beginning. Past mistakes and grudges are forgotten quickly. They forgive easily and live life fully in the present moment.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”- Mahatma Gandhi

There exists a beautiful inbuilt quality in children. Children have a capacity to discover happiness all around them.  They have the ability to make the simple things interesting.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

Children are fond of creative projects. They spend hours producing something they love. Passionately working, using their imagination to craft unusual inventions.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Scars symbolize strength and survival.  Back in school, when a child had a fall, he got all the attention. He was thought to be brave and adventurous.  The child felt delighted and proud.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi

Capture an opportunity to observe children and notice them demonstrate these magical qualities. Let us go back to our roots and decode what we have forgotten. Introspect our thoughts and re-examine our behaviour. Re-learn the basic skills that we used every stage in the beginning of our developmental years. By breaking from the ordinary, let’s discover the child in us.After all a skilled person gives rise to a successful individual.

Emerging Consumer Trends

Emerging Consumer Trends

It’s a brave new world with shorter attention spans and information overload thanks to social media and the emerging technology. As consumers move ahead, retailers and marketers have started working on new frameworks to understand the consumer’s mindset. Marketing your products in this climate requires a change of focus from who is buying your products to why and how they are buying.

There are various kinds of consumers; there will be some consumers who are interested only in getting the lowest price on what they need. Many of these low-price shoppers will go out of their way to get a lower price, shopping at stores that are not convenient or waiting to buy their favourite brands until they go on sale. There are also a group of people who love their brands do extensive research before buying at the best price they can find. The Internet makes price comparison easier than ever. This group can be attracted by promises of better quality, meaning products last longer and so cost less over the long term, even when the initial outlay is higher. Messages that show brand comparisons and provide clear product data will catch their interest.

IBIS World research forecasts an 8.6% per year increase in online revenues over the next five years. The shift is now to visual vocabulary that relies on photos, vlogs, which is largely replacing the need for text. This the age of impatience, consumers want products that are on-demand and want it quickly, the retailers/marketers need to focus on making the products available and delivered more quickly. Today’s consumers are impulsive shoppers.

You cannot ignore the mobile boom, this industry is moving forward and the retailers need to tap this market as quickly as they can. It’s an age where privacy on the internet is next to impossible, so it has become easier to predict the mood of the consumers and consumer trends. Everybody is ready to embrace quirkiness and creativity, today the consumers are far more independent and don’t need any in store assistance as they are well versed with the current trends.

So all the marketers and retailers out there…keep up with the change, you don’t want to be left behind!!

Absorb & Radiate : Add Value

Absorb & Radiate : Add Value

When was the last time you were kind to someone? When was the last time you smiled at a stranger? When was the last time you approached to help someone in need? When was the last time you came up with an idea and spoke about it? When was the last time you improved something about your self?

Have any of these questions ever crossed your mind at any point in time? NO? Either you have achieved whatever you wanted in life or you are stagnant in life! YOU are stagnant in life if you don’t wish to learn something new or the bug of curiosity hasn’t bitten you.

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

Learning helps you evolve as a person. Knowledge can never go waste. Pick up your newspaper and read each article, I am sure you will come across something new everyday be it a new word or a new place,etc. Even in your everyday routine try a new way of doing things…. While walking on the road look around, you might just see something that makes your thought process running … be it just an advertisement on a billboard or a street play. If you come across something that your friend is doing and has put up that picture on Instagram or put up a status about it on Facebook try searching about it, you never know it might just interest you too!..Look around and capture your environment something will catch your attention and make you inquisitive.  .

If you see an old man climbing down the stairs in a movie theatre would you give a hand for support? Try doing that today and see the reaction….Try doing something nice…try acquiring a new skill….try being new somebody…BE THE NEW YOU.

Add value to yourself!!

What they don’t teach you in college

The stress of getting a job or passing the entrance test for a higher education program is paramount in the mind of the student in their graduation year. However, if they start early and start planning for their career or higher education  in the 1st year of their graduation then the stress in the final years would be much less.

As per 2013 report issued by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), there are more than 3524 diploma and post-diploma offering institutions in the country with an annual intake capacity of over 1.2 million.

They also reported 3495 degree-granting engineering colleges in India with an annual student intake capacity of over 1.76 million with actual enrollment crossing 1.2 million. Total annual intake capacity for technical diplomas and degrees exceeded 3.4 million in 2012.

The report, titled ‘Aspiring Minds’ National Employability Report’, is a national audit of employability of three-year Bachelor’s Degree graduates. The survey included 60,000 students from colleges across India, slated to graduate this year.

According to the report, the employability of graduates varies from as low as 2.2 per cent in roles such as corporate communications/ content development and 2.59 per cent in accounting to 15.88 per cent in sales-related jobs and 21.37 per cent for roles in the business process outsourcing (BPO/ITeS) sector.

Most of the graduates (35.95 per cent) were found suitable for clerical/secretarial roles.For an analyst’s role, close to 84 per cent graduates were found to lack the right levels in cognitive ability. Ninety per cent graduates did not have required proficiency in English communication.

Another area of concern is that many graduates from accounting and information technology backgrounds remain ‘invisible’ to potential recruiters since they do not belong to the top colleges usually preferred by companies. Forty-one per cent of graduates employable in accounting roles hail from colleges beyond the top 30 per cent colleges, whereas for the IT services sector this percentage is 36 per cent.

This system, apart from creating economic inefficiency, also breeds unfairness for the students. An effective means to tackle it, the report says, is to employ a scale able certification to ‘discover’ the employability of students across the nation.

India has the highest student population of over 300 Mio as per the last census. With Millions graduating every year from colleges in India, how many of them really are able to build a promising career? Planning Commission says that only 17.5 per cent of graduates are employable? Nasscom says that only a fifth of the graduates of engineering colleges are employable? 

Final year is very crucial year for any student. This is the time the student needs to spend time planning what next?  They have to decide how to manage the transition to either the corporate world or to move to a Masters degree.

If students plan carefully, supplement their efforts and work hard with dedication, they will definitely achieve their career goals.

Our company Infinite Myriaads, has conducted seminars with over a few thousand students from engineering, commerce, science stream across large, small, rural towns in India and we realised there is a huge gap between what the students think they have as skills and what the corporate wants from them as employees.

No wonder both the planning commission and Nasscom say majority of the graduates are unemployable. Many say that instead of increasing the enrollments in colleges and adding more universities and colleges the government should focus on providing quality education and the right inputs so that graduates end up with jobs that contribute to the economy.

Our student seminar tries to share with the students the realities of the outside world. It is a reality check for them to reflect on and realise that all the time they spent learning and gaining knowledge to get their graduation is only part of the task to get a job

In the seminar we impress upon them how the hard skills they achieved with their college degree needs to be equally supplemented with soft skills for a holistic development of themselves and to be wanted by the corporate as an employee

What is soft skills?

Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

They are related to feelings, emotions, insights and (some would say) an ‘inner knowing’: i.e. they provide an important complement to ‘hard skills’ and IQ.

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills relate to a person’s ability to interact effectively with co-workers and customers and are broadly applicable both in and outside the workplace.

Our formal education is now looking at integrating the soft skills into the curriculum but what we realise it the subjects are taught like any other theory paper with no experiential learning. Does it really impact the students soft skills side of development, from the various seminars we have conducted it does not look like at all

 When we talk about soft skills we are talking about a whole host of topics such as :

–  Language proficiency

–  Personal grooming & Hygiene

–  Career planning & goal setting

–  Communication & Listening skills

–  First impressions

–  Corporate dressing

–  Customer service

–  Business communication

–  Workplace etiquette

–  Interpersonal skills

–  Team building

–  Leadership

–  Time management

–  Goal setting

–  Negotiation skills

–  Selling skills

In addition to soft skills the student has to be fully prepared with how to write their resume, how to conduct themselves in group discussion and personal interviews and how to manage their own social media profile. The transition to the corporate starts with the interview process and they need to be trained to be ready to face it

Is anything going right for the graduating students, probably not! As they do not think about how to transition to the corporate world.

The basics of grooming, communication, presentation, working in teams etc is not taught at colleges. The college curriculum is so demanding especially in the engineering side that the students have limited time to think of anything beyond academics, projects, exams. The academic inputs are limited to just test books with no or limited contact with what the industry wants, latest trends/developments. For a holistic understanding students must be encouraged to read economic papers to stay abreast of what’s happening in their field, understand the functioning of the biggest employers in their segment and how they are performing etc.

And on the other side what do employers look for from employees, they are looking at grooming and communication skills, as you know it only takes 30 seconds to make a lasting impression. Corporates look for strong work ethics, Integrity, ability to take on responsibility, working in teams, Interpersonal skills. Corporates are looking for well rounded individuals who know not just their technical skills but have good communications skills, good personality etc

What student feels they are achieving is a mismatch to what the corporates are looking for hence it is not surprising when we read about what Planning commission and Nasscom have to say

What next?

To make the graduates employable the hard skills imparted have to be relevant to industry, hence the syllabus creating bodies need to have interactions with industry and keep reviewing the curriculum on an ongoing basis so that it is what the industry wants as technical skills. If the curriculum is not up to date the students should invest their time and money in gaining additional specific certifications that are relevant like SAP, Six Sigma etc

The element of soft skills is missing from most curriculum’s in the education sector and to get that integration many colleges appoint external agencies to assist in bridging the gap

                             HARD SKILLS  + SOFT SKILLS = Employability

So the combination of hard skills and soft skills will make the student more employable. The challenge for all institutes is to get the student employed post his/her qualification. In order to address this statistical measurement which defines the success of the institute the institutions have started engaging with professional agencies to impart soft skills training so as to provide ready to employ students who hit the ground running.

To make a successful individual the hard skills at colleges need to be supplemented with industry specific certifications and soft skills, this could well be the success mantra for the student and the college


Raj Mahadev, Jt Managing Director, Infinite Myriaads Pvt Ltd







Can Customer Experience Be Managed?By Gregory Yankelovich

MottoMost Customer Experience professionals would find this question to be ludicrous, but in the article “Is Customer Experience Manageable? An Industry Pundit Says No” Esteban Kolsky lists 5 arguments to convince them otherwise.

It is critical to start any discussion with definitions of what is being discussed in order to prevent this discussion to become as pointless as debate about the gender of angels – as engaging as it may be, there are very few practical implications.

There are a few definitions for Customer Experience, but this one is sufficiently appropriate for the discussion:

Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. This can include awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy.”

There are many more definitions for “management,” such as

management in business and organizations means to coordinate the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal.”

Any definition of organizational management that includes the word “control” supports Esteban’s position – Customer Experience cannot be controlled by a company. However, if we agree that management means coordination, planning, etc., then Customer Experience is absolutely manageable.

A Twitter exchange with @billholland inspired me to think about it a little deeper than usual, where he pointed out that



The objective of Customer Experience Management is very similar, if not identical, to original objective of Customer Relationship Management efforts – to allow an organization scale fast without losing its focus on customers. CRM has promised a 360-degree visibility of a customer and failed miserably to deliver it, sidetracked by inability to break organizational silos beyond Sales, Customer Service and Marketing. Specialization helps organizations to scale very fast and very efficiently, but the price it pays is a loss of effectiveness as every department is focused on their domain, while the goal of business gets out of focus completely.

Today, Customer Experience Management faces the same challenges and experience of CRM veterans, like Esteban, is very valuable. This is what he has to say (in bold):

  1. Customers are not listening to what you have to say. This is because Social Media gives them more authentic, informative and relevant information about your company and your product.
  2. Customers know more about your business than you do. In this chapter Esteban specifically questions value of “Customer Journey.” I agree with him that too many customer experience professionals focused on customer journey too much – often to the detriment of the overall objective, like many CRM professionals before them, who proudly delivered glorified contact management to celebrate a “mission accomplished” moment. Personally, I think that customer journey charting is a valuable exercise, for some businesses more than others, to get better empathy and understanding. Just remember that customer journey is a relatively small subset (interaction management) of overall effort.
  3. Customers create their own experience. Customers can create their own experience just as successfully as companies can control it – it is not possible. The experience is created mutually by all parties to this relationship. The more flexible and better informed the parties are, the better likelihood of the great experience for all parties involved. Today, customers seem to be better informed than manufacturers and retailers participating in the process of delivery.
  4. Customer interactions are complex and unpredictable.
  5. Customer (and user) communities are where the knowledge is at.

I am not convinced that the last two chapters gave good reasons to throw a towel on attempts to manage efforts for improvement of customer experiences. One thing to remember is – don’t stop trying just because you cannot provide the best experience for your customers. That is not the goal. The goal is to provide better experience to your customers than your competitors provide to theirs, and live to fight another day.