Twitter now launches ‘Twitter Offers’ in USA

We have seen both Twitter and Facebook emulate each other’s features. This time its Twitter who has introduced ‘Twitter Offers’ much similar to what Facebook had launched it much earlier – ‘Facebook Offers’. As of now it is introduced only in USA for selected brands, but as we have seen in the past in no time such features get rolled over across the world. The intention of Twitter Offers is same as that of Facebook Offers, i.e. to facilitate brands in sales. So, Twitter would become yet another channel through which brands could boost their sales with attractive offers.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

But, how does Twitter Offer differ from Facebook Offer?

1. Basic Mechanism / Process:  I found it much simpler in case of Twitter Offer than Facebook Offer. In Twitter Offer user has to just register one’s credit / debit card as first step, go ahead and purchase from that seller and automatically the offer cashback is transferred to the user’s registered credit / debit card. However, it was bit complex in case of Facebook Offer, where an email was sent to the user on subscribing to the offer. The user had to either take print out of the email or produce the email at point of purchase, which meant that user had to make an additional step. In case of Twitter it is very simple, as every user would be carrying some or other card and its hassle free.

Twitter Offer

Source: Twitter

2. Encrypted data of user’s card will be stored: Users do not have to worry about their card to be misused as all card details would be stored in an encrypted manner. Also, users can have regular track of their spends and cashback as they would get all details on their card statement. Moreover, users have an option to delete all account details in future whenever the need arises.

3. No overhead costs for brands: As the redemption process is so simple brands need not invest time in training their resources or make any other special arrangements. While in case of Facebook, there was always a need for brands to inform their stores about the offer, make them aware that some users with email printouts / soft copy would be coming for purchase.

Twitter has always tried to increase engagement on the platform and thereby create some additional revenue streams for it to have a respectable figure on stock markets. This new offering by Twitter on the face value looks to be promising, however it would be too early to comment on its effectiveness. Though, not explicitly mentioned in the Twitter Offer launch blogpost, it definitely seems to be yet another paid option for the brands. Hence, it needs to be seen what are the commercials attached to this offering and how effective are the RoIs resulting from them.

Want to know more about Twitter Offers? Read this.

Raymond_homepaeg

Digital Campaign Review: Raymond #MenInJackets

LinkedIn, the professional networking platform has made news on various fronts both at India and global level. Like any other social networking platform, LinkedIn too has various revenue generation streams from business marketing and recruitment marketing perspectives. Some advertisement opportunities are very specific to B2B businesses while some properties are very relevant for organizations to build their employer brand. Apart from these two broad types of paid opportunities, there is a display banner property on the home page of LinkedIn (you would have seen a small square on right hand side panel). Generally, every time you refresh the home page of LinkedIn you will end up seeing a different ad. Most of these ads when run by B2B organizations, they carry a call to action where the user is redirected to some internal page of LinkedIn – be it company page or careers section etc. However, these ads if you would have noticed some B2C brands that tend to target ‘professionals’ have tried to leverage this property and have primarily taken the user out of LinkedIn ecosystem to their own website for various purposes.

Yesterday, while browsing LinkedIn one such ad of Raymond caught my attention and I clicked on it (I missed taking snapshot of that ad). Not to my surprise, I landed up on the Raymond Select website. The website had amazing welcome page with a clear and crisp copy explaining users why and what he/she is supposed to do on this website.

Raymond_homepaeg

I could enter this website only after logging in through my LinkedIn account, which I believe was a very simple call to action and an intelligent one, as brand would be capturing all user data in the back-end to analyze if they ended up having the right target audience go through this experience. Raymond could use all those intelligence for their future campaigns.

Once I entered the website (after log in) I was subjected to posed five questions.These questions were presented in a very visually appealing manner and I had to just select one correct answer and move ahead to answer the next one.

Raymond_Question1

Raymond_Question3

Raymond_Question4

Raymond_Question5

The best part of this question repository was that the set of questions changed every time you tried to attempt this game. I tried playing it thrice with the intuition that set of questions will change in the next iteration and they did! Here are few questions that I came across over my three attempts.

Once I completed the game, the application provided my score and it gave me an opportunity to share about my experience on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with the campaign hashtag – #MenInJackets.

Raymond_Question6

Also, the correct answers for all five questions were revealed to me.

Raymond_Correct Answers

Major attractions of the campaign:

  • Targeting the right audience (professionals who can afford to buy Raymond range of clothes), on right platform (LinkedIn), with the right proposition (get your professional image clicked for free from a professional photographer)
  • Clutter free website with crisp copy on each page
  • Questions presented in a visually appealing manner
  • Raymond

Where Raymond could have done better:

  • I couldn’t find remarketing tags on the website. I think after driving huge traffic from LinkedIn at a premium rate (CPCs and CTRs are very premium on LinkedIn) it would have been efficient for Raymond to create a remarketing list and chase those users with next piece of content to engage with them.
  • Raymond has a decent presence on Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest. However, I think they could have leveraged a lot on this campaign by creating a presence on Twitter, specially as there are many conversations on the platform around the hashtag – #MenInJackets
  • This was an awesome opportunity for brand to conduct in depth listening exercise and get into engagement mode with the target audience, which I see is completely missing
  • Raymond succeeded well in creating an engaging proposition, but I fail to understand how they missed the bus of engaging their audience in real time

Raymond_Message Sharing

Overall, I loved this simple concept which was very well executed and rightly targeted on the relevant platform.

Slideshare create your presentation on Slideshare

Now ‘create’ presentations directly on Slideshare!

Slideshare has been quite extensively leveraged by B2B firms, academicians and people at large for descriptive information sharing. Slideshare facilitates information sharing in four different types of content – 1) document, 2) presentation, 3) infographics and 4) videos. Users could upload their content in any of these forms and share it across the stakeholders for information dissemination.

Recently, Slideshare came up with a new feature along with Haiku Deck , where users could now create a presentation directly on Slideshare.  This blogpost is intended to take users through the features available through this new update.

How do you visit this feature?

As soon as one visits the Slideshare website on the top right hand corner just besides the ‘Upload’ tab you would find a spark type symbol, on which if hovered it reads ‘Create Beautiful Presentations’. Alternatively you could access this new feature directly with this url – www.slideshare.net/create

Welcome Message 

Once you take either of above action to reach the feature, you will see a beautiful page with a simple messaging that highlights this new feature. Slideshare create your presentation on Slideshare

 

Accept the disclaimers to enter feature

Slideshare will prompt you with few simple disclaimers that you will have to accept while accessing this feature for the first time.

Slideshare Haiku Deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Going!

You will reach the following screen where you could just begin creating presentation. As of now, primarily three features are available for you to create a presentation – 1) Slide type, 2) Background 3) Layout of text on the slide.

Slideshare click to edit

 

Choose Slide Type

The default option shows what different types of slides you can choose – a) Title slide, b) content with bullets, c) content with serial numbers and d) plain content

Slideshare Haiku Deck Slide type

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose slide background

The next option on toolbox is where you can choose the text background – five default colors are shown in the menu.

Slideshare Haiku Deck Theme Color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose chart type

In case you would like to add few charts in the presentation, few options are available for the same too.

Slideshare Haiku Deck Chart Type

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insert images as text background

If you would like to have a customized background on your slides, you could upload your image. Slideshare provides extensive list of sources from where you can fetch the image you would want.

 

Slideshare Haiku upload image

 

Choose layout

You could also choose the layout of text content on each slide with this option. This is same as right/left/centre alignment feature on a word document, however with few more options depending on the slide type you chose in the first step.

Slideshare Haiku Deck Choose  a Layout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preview and Publish

That’s it! Your presentation is ready for preview and publishing.

My Comments

I did try to create one presentation with this feature. It is indeed a simple user experience and very facilitating for the people to create quick presentations. However, I feel following changes would further enable users to create much better presentations:

1) Font type and size – I couldn’t find any feature that could help me change the font type or size. Though, the text boxes are responsive and they adjust the size of font based on the content added, an added feature will always be handy for the user.

2) Flexibility in content layout: The default layout options provided are very limited and if a user wants to place the content at a different place, it can’t be done in present settings.

3) Insert Image:  Images are prime component of any presentation. Though, there is an option to upload slide background, I couldn’t find any option to insert an image to my slide. I feel this option is very important from user perspective so that they could customize the presentation and make it more engaging.

Overall, a great initiative by Slideshare to empower users! I am sure they would keep working on this initiative and make it more powerful.

 

 

Conundrum of Tu (you), Tum (you) & Aap (you)

If you have ever faced confusion on usage of Tu / Tum / Aap (English equivalent being ‘you’) while communicating with fellow people in Hindi, this blogpost will interest you. Wish it was as simple as ‘you’ in English which doesn’t factor the age / relation. Being well-versed with three regional languages (Tamil, Gujarati & Malayalam) and our national language (Hindi), I can safely claim regional languages are extremely comprehensive and create cognizance amongst communicators on usage of pronouns. One would realize this easily while using pronouns to address people. For the sake of wide comprehensibility, I would base this blogpost on Hindi vs English and share my real life encounter. Here is what I witnessed live with a close friend of mine being the protagonist in all situations.

Situation 1: He often uses ‘tu’ to address his friends. None of them take it as disrespect and are pretty fine with him.

Situation 2: He once uses ‘tu’ to address his colleague at office in front his colleague’s manager and quickly he is pointed out about this inappropriate usage.

Situation 3: He addressed the tea vendor by ‘tu’ where he ‘frequented daily’ and yet the vendor got offended which resulted in an argument.

As I witnessed all three situations, this strange animal ‘tu’ went deep into my mind and various questions started erupting. Personally, I do understand the difference of using tu/tum/aap and their equivalent in Tamil (Nee/Neenga) and Gujarati (tu/tame). But, researcher in me went ahead to understand the linguistics. Luckily, I came across this beautiful blogpost that differentiates all three in a very comprehensive manner. I started thinking, is it all about linguistics? Few of my past experiences forced me to deny this hypothesis. I later pondered if the usage of words or to be precise the pronouns depends on factors like – education, culture, societal surroundings of upbringing, etc. Though my friend is a well-educated one, I wondered why he used this pronoun across all three situations, which also landed him in trouble. Wasn’t it aware of it? Or Was he assuming everyone to be ‘close enough’ as mentioned in the blogpost referred by me? Or Was it just a carelessness? Many questions bothered me.

I am not criticizing or supporting any religion / culture here. However, I have often observed that Muslims, Rajasthanis, Sindhis make sure they use ‘aap’ even while addressing a one year old kid. Let’s talk about cultural differences. Same applies to people from Uttar Pradesh. I have noticed they are very particular in usage of ‘aap’. I have stayed for five years in Gurgaon and have rarely have seen the local people (Haryanwis) use ‘aap’. When I shifted from Ahmedabad to Gurgaon, it was a shocking surprise for me when even shopkeepers addressed their customers as ‘tu’. So, does culture play a role in how you address people?

Finally, does societal surrounding really affect the way you communicate? If it was true, then people who relocated from other parts of the country to Haryana, should start addressing people as ‘tu’. However, its not true either. I haven’t been ‘influenced’ by it and likewise haven’t seen any of my other colleagues who migrated to Haryana, getting influenced.

I know if I discuss this further, it would be an endless debate. I would conclude by just saying that respecting fellow human beings should be our priority. Need not bother whether we are meeting them for first time or they are our best pals, its always best to address with respect. You never know, when trouble might land you at crossroads!

The digital vein in me scratched my soul to check Google what does it translate ‘you’ to. It was indeed a relief to see the result.

Source: Google Translate

Source: Google Translate

Cashkaro.com Launches Funny TVCs Yet Driving Strong Social Message

Cashkaro.com has been one of my favourite online business model brands that has impressed me in recent times. They recently came up with two TVCs which has been going viral for quite sometime now. Though the pitch that brand made while launching these TVCs was that they are funny and highlighting their value proposition. However, I could also sense that these TVCs drive strong social message in a subliminal manner. In this blogpost, I will talk what’s so unique about their TVCs.

But, before that let me set the context by asking you all readers to think for a minute on brands that you remember have been successful to drive social message through their TVCs. I am sure many of you would recollect Tata Tea (Jaago Re campaign) or Idea (Latest campaign being ‘India ko no ullu banaowing’) or Titan (Remarriage campaign) and some of you would also relate to Amul’s billboards that try to cover the contemporary news. It has been a successful strategy for brands to leverage social message and build strong brand recall.

Let’s talk about how Cashkaro.com has tried to do the same. These are the two TVCs so far by the brand:

1) Hindu temple priest

2) Marriage event

Were you able to realize the social messages? If not, here is my take:

1) Hindu temple priest: Hindu is the predominant religion in India and people of this country have enormous faith in God. They consider the temple priests to be direct messengers of the God and blindly conduct whatever the priests ask them to do. One of the most common behavior of people visiting temples is to donate some cash on the puja plate. Some do it with the noble thought that this money would be utilized for temple’s development or the money would be used for a noble cause like feeding poor etc. However, many of them have a blind belief and enter into a cognitive deal with God that in case their wish gets fulfilled, they will donate X amount of money to the temple. Many prominent temples in this country earn crores of rupees in this manner. Some are well managed but, I am sure most of them have become a business model for so called wealthiest people around in the city / village.

I feel that this TVC highlights this area of corruption that is highly prevalent in this country and may be urges people to have a second thought before they blindly donate money to the temples.

2) Marriage event: Now, this is my favourite. Dowry, the hottest debate topic in India and also the most cruelest as it has led to many deaths. It is very well known that many women are tortured and even in worst case hacked to death in case her parents fail to provide the dowry that groom’s parents demand for. The situation depicted in this TVC is also one of the most emotional scenes in many Bollywood flicks. I feel this version tries to create an awareness amongst youth to avoid demanding dowry.

I feel these two TVCs have been a great output with best blend of highlighting social message and yet being funny for people to maintain interest. I won’t be surprised to see following themes in the future episodes of Cashkaro.com’s TVCs:

1) Kid and parent going to school / college for admission and the kid taking back few bucks as ‘cashback’ from the donation that parent pays to seek admission

2) A couple riding a bike being stopped by traffic policemen, husband paying bribe to get away fast and wife snatching back few notes as ‘cashback’

3) Jailor sneaking in few currency notes inside jail and taking ‘cashback’ from convicts

4) Youth being caught at airport by customs officer and the officer ‘earning cashback’ and allowing youth to sneak few products without paying custom duties

5) Election campaigner ‘taking cashback’ from the money that is given to voters (mostly a day before the election).

PS: This is not a sponsored blogpost. The promoters of Cashkaro.com do not have any clue about this blogpost, until they see it live.

 

Should brands engage with social media (Twitter) Influencers or Brand Advocates?

‘Blogger Outreach’ or ‘Influencer program’ are two common terms that are buzzing these days amongst social media agencies and brand managers. Whatever is the objective – new product launch, store inauguration or sports association, every brand manager these days expects the campaign hashtag to trend, as (yes) it has been accepted in corporate environment as one of the key performance indicators (KPI) of a social media campaign. The code has been cracked by almost every social media agency, get in touch with few 10-15 active Twitter users (read ‘influencers’), and yes they should have certain thousand followers. Many a times these so called influencers have to be fed with predefined tweets (as they are so qualified that they cant write proper English!). What do these influencers get in return? Some cool gadgets to take home, lavish lunch/dinner at some five star hotel, free booze, an opportunity to meet some personalities and yes not to forget an opportunity to network (for future events!). The worst situation is when social media agencies / brand managers get in touch with one or two such influencers and ask them to bring along with them a couple more. This has led to a cartel of such influencers in every metro city of the country. These guys could be found tweeting about chips tonight, mobile phones tomorrow and an automobile day after. A serious question that brand managers need to ask themselves is do they really think these kind of influencers would do any justice to the brand?

If you are wondering why I am sarcastic over this existing scheme of things then here are three reasons: 1) These Twiteratti with large follower base have no brand / product category loyalty, 2) They might be promoting one product everyday and in worst case you won’t be surprised to find them promoting your competitor’s products tomorrow, 3) They are flawed influencers in the market & there are high chances your end customers might get misguided by them.

So, what is the solution? Brands should look forward to identify, nurture relationship and then leverage brand advocates. No doubt, it’s a long term process, but this would be a worthwhile effort. As exhibited below, it would be lethal for brands to assume that influencers with huge follower base are super advocates of their brands. A true influencer should be expert / well-verse with the product category, have sound understanding in the field, should be conversing about it regularly on his/her Twitter, should be creating emotional connect with his/her followers and hence earn loyal followers.

Twitter Influencers

I as a brand manager would any day prefer to work on this mode, build my own group of brand advocates over the period of time and leverage them with reference to various situations. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

What we brewed in #SMDelMeetup!

Thanks to the initiative by Prateek, Harmanjit & Kalpana  #SMDelMeetup was organized on 7th June at Connaught Place. This meetup finally gave me an opportunity to meet Prateek, which was pending for last three years or so. The meetup was attended by few other social media champs – Anadi, Ankur and  Ayushi. I felt the small group led to more discussions rather than get a huge crowd and not getting a chance to meet everyone. As it happens in every meetup, it all started with introduction and ofcourse grabbing a chilled coffee to beat the summer heat. Gradually everyone started sharing their experiences of working on various brands / campaigns etc. and it was was fun.

#SMDelMeetup

I could sieve some learning out of this meetup which are listed below:

  1. Wide gap in the retainers charged by various social media agencies: It was discussed that how could some agencies charge so exorbitantly just in the name of being from a large international group. The question was how can small businesses afford so much? My two cents on this was that be it any industry, products/services are available across a wide price range. The target audience differs with reference to the quality of services provided, overhead costs, positioning etc. Instead of considering that big agencies are squeezing cash out of brands, it should be seen that how this industry has provided an entrepreneurial opportunity to many professionals who could serve brands at lower rung with smaller budgets and still make a difference to the industry / society.
  2. Funny blunders that brand managers ask agencies to commit on social media platforms: This was funniest topic and left each one of us giggling for minutes. Blunders ranged from client asking agencies to delete a post (though it attracted good engagement) just because the image ‘doesn’t look’, crazy revisions that clients ask agencies to do on copy and images, complaints of offline goofups not addressed on social media, organizing social media contests without any logic etc. No matter how much social media agencies push back the client and suggest them the ideal method, there are always some ‘smart brand managers’ who think they know everything in social media.
  3. Unethical practices by some social media agencies: This was a shocker for me. I heard that some agencies edit the CSV file of Facebook ad reports and bill clients more though the actual spend on ad campaigns was far less. Some agencies charged few thousand rupees for changing the Facebook cover page and icing on cake is, the image was provided by client (beat that!)! Agencies provide some affiliate services to clients and charge exorbitant markup on the actual cost. The agencies could be doing these with a business reason, but the link of ethics should not be crossed!
  4. Increasing focus on blogger outreach campaigns: ‘Blogger Outreach’ is the latest jazz on social media circuits for brand managers. Every brand wants to do a blogger outreach campaign, irrespective of whether it is relevant or not. On the other hand, social media agencies too include this campaign as part of pitch or deliverables to mint some more money. I have a strong opinion here that most agencies and brand managers are missing the point that just having thousands of followers doesn’t make a person influencer of a product category. Just organizing some offline event, inviting people who have thousands of followers, asking them to tweet continuously and gifting (Read ‘bribing’) them with expensive gifts, doesn’t mean you have earned ‘influencers’. Park this thought for a while till I pen down my follow-up blogpost with more details on this.
  5. B2B relationship building through social media channels: Ayushi, the young champ raised this question of how could B2B brands build relationship. My take was that businesses are done by human beings, doesn’t matter if its B2B or B2C. What matters is if vendor’s people are active on social media channels and building relationship with the prospective client side people. It does take months to strike the chord, but there is no shortcut! This reminded us the concept of ‘Social Selling’.
  6. More brands trying to build in-house social media team: This trend was observed by many meetup attendees. The reasons for this trend could be multifold – a) brands want to save retainer cost and have a better financial equation if its done in-house, b) brands think that this is something they can manage on their own (though the risks aren’t accounted for), c) agencies have fooled brands enough with all unethical practices etc.

I rarely attend meetups, however this was a great learning experience. As Prateek said, we should do this regularly may be once in 2/3 months to share our experiences and learn from each other. No matter, how strongly we guys are connected on social media, its always a different experience to meet those people behind the fancy Twitter handles, in real life and spend some time with them. I look forward to the next edition of #SMDelMeetup.

Key Takeaways from ‘State of Community Management’2014’ report

Community Management continues to be the buzzword in the Digital era. Every brand, irrespective of their domain are geared towards one common objective of building a community around their brand. Social media has empowered brands to a great extent to attain this objective. In the race to build the largest community some brands take the vanilla paid approach and hence boost the topline of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. While others, put sincere efforts and formalize a strategy that will help them build a valuable community.

CMM

Image Credit: The Community Roundtable

The Community Roundtable has been publishing reports since 2010 on ‘State of Community Management’, which is prepared after surveying a large number of community managers across the World. This year’s survey included 164 communities across industries. The Community Roundtable developed a Community Maturity Model (CMM) that could help organizations understand, plan and assess the performance of their social community and relevant social business initiatives.

Some of the key takeaways from the report, that could be of interest to business owners, CMOs and digital marketers are as follows:

  • 85% of respondents from the top 20% who managed mature communities, could measure the value of their communities and 48% of respondents from average communities could do so. So, gone are days when community building exercise was just looked upon as a branding activity. Now, its absolutely possible to measure value.
  • 58% of communities that are able to measure value include CMO / CIO / CEO participation. This clearly indicates that participation of top management is required in the community management activities.
  • 75% of community managers were empowered to promote, encourage and reward productive behaviors. Let’s accept that community managers are the first touchpoint of an organization and who else can be a better person to judge the efforts of community members. His/her empowerment can ensure quick decision making and better engagement.
  • Best-in-class communities are managed by twice the number of community managers of an average community. So, as an organization don’t put all pressure on one community manager. But, hire a couple more so that they effectiveness could be reached.
  • The most common activities of a community manager include – a) creating content, b) curating and sharing content, c) welcoming new members, d) new member recruitment, e) facilitating introductions and/or connections.
  • 91% of best-in-class communities have well-crafted community policies to promote ideal behavior, while 67% of average communities have the same. A policy in place provides a transparency of expectations from the community manager and the community members. It also leaves less scope for crisis situations.
  • Communities with CXO level participation have seen 74% usage of microblogging, 71% mobile usage, 74% video sharing and 79% image sharing. While for average communities, the numbers were 59%, 62%, 62% & 69% respectively. This clearly indicates that participation of CXO level executives leads to rich content sharing and hence better engagement between the community members.
  • The key metrics of community measurement are – volume of new content, volume of comments, questions answered, new member activity, resolution time, behavior flows and conversation.

As a community manager what efforts do you put in to ensure the engagement on community keeps flourishing?

My Parting Words for the Awesome ZenithOptimedia-Resultrix Gang!

The short journey that commenced with ZenithOptimedia on 1st August’2013 will end today (6th May’2014). Every organization we work with makes us a better human being and a better professional. Without any doubt, I would agree that ZenithOptimedia has made a substantial value addition to my career and to me as a person. The ecosystem of the organization was truly professional. Any work environment becomes more enjoyable if your colleagues around are good at heart and make the environment lively. I was blessed to be in one such environment and soon I would miss every moment invested here. While I am bidding adieu to this organization and the amazing people whom I shared time, here is a token of love for each one of them:

Mahauli alias NehaNeha Gupta

This ever smiling lady is always in search of a ‘masala story’ that she can amplify and create a ‘mahaul’ on the floor and hence she is called as ‘mahauli’. Most unforgettable part about her was when she chooses a cabin to make a client call and talks in such low pitch that we all sitting outside could clearly hear the entire conversation! Will miss all your favourite dialogues –  ‘yeyyy’, ‘anyone, anyone, noone’, ‘paapa’, ‘Sammetle’ and ‘Aanandan Sir’!

 

Bhola alias NikitaNikita Bansal

What to say about this splendid lady. Though being youngest of the lot, she truly has a charming personality and garners all attention with her witty (& naughty) comments during conversations. In initial days of my joining, I thought this girl to be very innocent, however was exposed to her true colours once I started interacting. A true show-stopper be it lunch/tea breaks or on the dance floor. My only wish for her would be to keep smiling and entertaining people around you. May you be blessed with best of the professional and personal life.

 

Bua alias Ashish20140223_083416

The charming guy with chubby cheeks is famous on the floor as ‘Bua’ and don’t ask why so! Few things are better unsaid! He is the one guy who is responsible for all the chaos and noise on the floor. Also, he is known for his tour planning skills. Every alternate day he would come up with a plan to visit Manali / Shimla / Goa / Bangkok. The famous duel over all tea and lunch breaks was his PJs in Hindi and the naughty conversations he engages everyone with! Hey dude, be cheerful and keep spreading smiles around. You have got a rare gift from God!

 

Manager alias PraveenPraveen Sammetla

Ever busy guy who remains engrossed in work was called as ‘manager’ to me. Truly appreciate the commitment he showed in every task and the manner in which he took ownership of situation. I would call him as a silent bomber, who would make a silent but high impact comment during our breaks. The soon to-be bridegroom is all excited these days either shopping or booking accommodation for his honeymoon. Hey dude, you have been a superb colleague to work with and I definitely look forward to work with you  again in future. Wish you a splendid married life :)

 

Mote alias NakulNakul Khanna

We shared the same alma-mater, i.e. MDI, Gurgaon however hardly interacted with each other about the institute! Isn’t it strange? All I have seen this guy doing is either gulping down some favourite food from the snack boxes his mom prepared or attending phone calls to convince / thrash a publisher about the campaign. Though he is a gem of a person by heart, I always wondered why his hands were ever ready to break a pen, tear a sheet of paper or stamp the desk with a rubber stamp around! The one irritating thing about him was his loud ringtone, irrespective of what it was, it sucked specially because of the frequency at which it used to ring. But, that should tell you how busy and responsibly this guy worked. Would definitely miss the ‘logical PJs’ he threw at us.

 

Preggy alias SaurabhSaurabh Srivastava

He earned this nickname thanks to the bulging tummy he owns! A die-hard  fan of atta maggi, chicken and ‘neat whiskey’. We got closer towards the end, but his daily tantrums of checking my lunch box would be missed. Hey champ, I understand ‘neat’ has a connotation of cleanliness, but dude, many a times, a ‘mixed’ one is less harmful. Do care of your health, it’s the precious property you own!

 

Guru Sir alias GurpreetGurpreet Singh

The loud greeting Sardar when walks on the floor would sound to be a rigid and tough nut to crack but when starts to speak, turns out to be an equally soft from heart. A true taskmaster who knows his business in and out, impressed me a lot right from the first day. His kiddish facial expressions, mischief of snatching money (but returning it later) from anyone’s hand and immaculate sense of humor are tough to forget. Sir, somehow we both share the same style of managing the team, which I have rarely encountered. Definitely have learnt few soft skills from you and would implement in future.

Sanky alias Sankalp

Wohoo! Meet the most eligible Sankalp Kaushik bachelor on the floor and the topic of fun for us for almost every other day. He was the first person whom I met and interacted after joining ZO and was flattered by his skills. He is a damn good ‘convincer’ with good sense of business and not to ignore his impeccable Hindi poetry skills. Every moment spent with him in office, at his home or on cricket ground will be ever cherished for all the fun we had. We have had many beautiful and nasty moments, but in short I would say, I have found another better human being in my life, whom I can talk to in any time of need. The one thing I learnt from him was the extent of patience one could develop in oneself, inspite of being crucified daily (almost every hour) by any and everyone on the floor!

I couldn’t share much time with the newbies of the gang – Ashish Singh, Taranjeet, Arpana & Disha. I am sure you guys would have best memories being part of this b*****d team ;)

Here’s the roadies salute to each and everyone of you. Every moment with you would be cherished forever!

You all have asked innumerable times whether I would miss you all or not. I suppose this blogpost answers it and loud enough!