Jungle Book Movie 2016

10 Key Corporate Lessons from Jungle Book Movie

Is Jungle Book movie just kids’ movie? I thought so before entering the movie hall. But, once I walked out, I realized it had few learning for us adults as well. In fact, I could draw a lot of parallels between jungle situation and corporate environment. In each of the animal characters, I could visualize a type of person we often meet in our daily lives at work.

1) Register the tricks shared by mentors: The Jungle Book movie opens with the race between Bagheera-The Panther and Moghli, which Bagheera wins. Though Moghli is disappointed at losing the race, he ends up learning the key lesson about Dead Trees. Well, many of us would have assumed that shot being ‘just a perfect opening’, while little did we realized in the beginning that this lesson would play a crucial role in the climax of the movie. Moghli remembered the trick and leveraged it to win the battle against Sher Khan. It’s a classic learning for young professionals that they should not only learn the tricks shared by mentors, but also register them firmly in their minds. Who knows, those tricks might come to your rescue a decade later!

2) Show team spirit not only during good times but also during crisis: There were numerous instances in the Jungle Book movie where team spirit was displayed. We all enjoy our happy-go times in corporate celebrating each other’s birthdays, team accomplishments, etc. But, the key lesson the movie tries to drive is to maintain the team spirit even during crisis situations like the Water Truce instance or the final battle against Sher Khan, while all animals got together to fight the beast.

3) Look for the dependable savior around and hold on to them: Let’s admit, it’s tough to find such a mentor in today’s professional life. Yes, but its not impossible! We just have to be careful in evaluating people and not get swayed by the fancy degrees one has, or the higher numerical job experience one flaunts. More than these tangible elements, what we all look for in a dependable savior like Bagheera-The Panther, is a person whom we can trust at all times, and whom we can depend on relevant and valuable advice.

4) Beware of people who might deceive you: Oh, we all would have encountered one such person in our lives like Moghli had with Kaa-The Snake, in the Jungle Book movie. We need to be extra vigilant from such people who possess sharp skills to deceive people in their own game. Though, this is tough to have a skill, we should regularly train ourselves in evaluating people whom we interact and beware from such people.

5) Negotiate smartly: Corporate life is all about negotiations with clients / colleagues / superiors. The Jungle Book movie beautifully exhibited couple of trade-off situations – Baloo-The Bear’s negotiation with Moghli to get him honey from high rocks, King Louie’s negotiation with Moghli to get him Red Flower (fire), Sher Khan’s negotiation to get him Moghli himself. Only one of these three negotiations materialized, while the other two had to meet fatal end. Negotiation is one of the key skills that modern day professionals are expected to have, irrespective of the job profile they are in. We professionals need to gradually inculcate this art and excel at it.

 6) Avoid stereotyping: Just because few men caused fire in the jungle, Sher Khan-The Tiger assumed Moghli’s father also to destroy the jungle. Sher Khan-The Tiger, in the Jungle Book movie attacked Moghli’s father and killed him just as he had stereotype about all human beings. We often stereotype people based on their caste, religion, college etc. Its a great lesson for all of us to avoid stereotyping and judge the situation based on its merit.

7) Capitalize on limited resources: The Jungle Book beautifully showed how Moghli made the most of limited resources that were available to him. Many a times in the corporate we face situations where resources are limited and we have a steep milestone to be achieved. One should not put down the towel citing limited resources as a reason, but should work around them and achieve the end objective.

8) Don’t aspire for false pride: There is a huge difference between aspiring for false pride and working towards success relentlessly. King Louie – The Bandar King in Jungle Book movie aspired to become powerful by claiming the red flower (fire), as he thought it to be the key ingredient of being powerful. Success doesn’t come easily and it definitely doesn’t come from imitating the other’s tricks. Even if you imitate you got to understand the relevance of those tricks in your situations. We need to craft our own success path instead of trying to find shortcuts from other’s success.

9) Avoid over-confidence: Sher Khan-The Tiger in the Jungle Book movie had enormous over confidence about this strength. He thought he would easily win over the young kid. However, the battle was won by the kid. Many of us tend to be over confident once we reach the zenith of our career. This learning mostly applies to all senior leaders who think they have achieved their highest point in the career and can’t be brought down. Well, it’s a big mistake. One should never underestimate the younger generation and their capabilities to surpass us.

10) Show loyalty: In the Jungle Book movie, though Moghli realized that he didn’t belong to the wolves race, he chose to stay with them. As soon as his life was in danger, he could have easily moved to the village and saved his life. But, he chose to fight the situation and always considered himself to be one amongst the other animals in the jungle.  We professionals too need to show our loyalty towards our organizations. However, the key aspect of loyalty is that it should flow from both sides. Like, in the Jungle Book movie, even animals showed love and respect to Moghli. Similarly, in reality organizations need to respect and appreciate their employees and not treat them just as replaceable resources!

Usually in such movies (like Life of Pi), we appreciate the cinematography, while most of us ignore the message that the movie makers are trying to convey. While I was watching the movie, I could relate lot of characters to people around me in corporate and personal situations.

I hope you would find these lessons to be useful. Did you have any other lesson from the movie? Please share in the comments section below.

Key learning from Social Selling book – “You Are The Key”

‘Social Selling’ has been widely quoted in blogposts and industry reports as an emerging sales methodology in the era of social media. It has learnt to be contributed to an organization (especially B2B organizations) substantially. Recently, I had the privilege of receiving a signed copy of ‘You Are The Key’, a book focused on social selling authored by Apurva Chamaria and Gaurav Kakkar (my seniors at HCL Technologies). I found this book genuinely informative. I hereby share some of the key learning I had after reading this book.

What is Social Selling?

Before we look at the learning from the book, lets first understand the term. In the authors’ words – Social Selling is a systematic process that requires the seller to ‘reach’ out to their potential customers on social networks and spend time with them. It means to ‘discover’ and understand the customer better than the competition. This proceeds to ‘engagement’ whereby, applying the expertise from across the organisation, one is meaningfully, adding value to the customer. Finally, to ‘act’ by focusing on the opportunities that create the most profit’. 

Social Selling book

Let’ now go through some of my key learning:

1) Evolution of Sales Methodologies: The first chapter of the book introduces readers to how sales methodologies have evolved over the period of time. The chapter is very detailed with coverage from earliest sales methodologies like ‘barter’ to the latest methodology of ‘social selling’. The chapter covers details about ‘Product Selling’, ‘Persuasive Selling’, ‘Solution Selling’, ‘Value Selling’ etc. It is an informative read for any young professional who has plunged into the sales role. the detailed timeline of various sales methodologies sets a good foundation for readers to understand how sales process has changed with not only the time but also with the change in business ecosystem and technology intervention.

2) Social Selling is different from Social Media Marketing: Many still confuse or use ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’ interchangeably. In the context of social media, there is high probability for this confusion to prevail. Hence, it seems authors have been mindful and dedicated couple of pages in the first chapter to clarify the difference between ‘social selling’ and ‘social media marketing’. Quoting verbatim from the book, the differences to be:

a) Social selling is focused on sales professionals, rather than marketing professionals

b) Social selling aims to cultivate one-on-one relationships, rather than broadcast one-to-many messages

c) In traditional business terms, social media marketing efforts supplement the sales process in any organisation. When it comes to social selling, sales and marketing do not work in complimentary terms, but converge in their exercise to generate more awareness, engage with potential customer and convert them to possible leads. 

3) Six Steps of Social Selling Process: It always helps when there is a list of activities for people to understand how far have they progressed in the journey. The book clearly lists the six steps of social selling as – i) Understanding the social platforms and creating your persona, ii) Publishing content to suit your persona, iii) Identifying prospects, iv) Listening, v) Approaching prospects and customers, vi) Engaging prospects and nurturing relationships. Each of this point has been covered in detailed in each chapter of the book.

4) Importance of Personal Brand: Authors highlight that its imperative for sales professionals or for that matter any professional to build their own personal brand. Businesses don’t have between two organizations but because of the trust and respect one professional has for the counterpart. Creating a compelling social media persona, having appropriate social media etiquettes and behaving in a responsible manner on social media channels are basic requisites for a sales professional. Hence, it becomes inevitable for sales professionals to build a strong personal brand on social media channels. According to authors sellers on social media channels could be a The Storyteller or The Confidante or Advisor, depending on the tactics they employ to engage with prospects. The third chapter of the book details out all basic steps that one should consider to build a strong personal brand on key platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

5) Content Curation, Creation and Publishing is key to Social Selling: Given the fact that sales professionals are always on the go and mostly will find paucity of time, it becomes crucial for them to understand the content curation, creation and publishing tactics. Quality of content shared on one’s social media channel is what projects the personal brand. So, sales professionals should follow an effective content strategy aligned to their sales funnel, listen and respond to all conversations that come their way and more importantly should also measure effectiveness of content they share. Chapter 4 of the book talks about do’s and don’ts about content curation/creation/publishing, lists down few tools to curate content (SmartBrief, Hootsuite, Buffer, Alltop etc.) and also lists down few tips to publish content. These tips would help any sales professional for publishing content on any social media channel.

6) Engaging Prospects is crucial for Social Selling success: As it happens in an offline conversation / negotiation, it is imperative for sales professionals to be vocal and engaging on social media channels to arrive at successful end. Facebook lists, Twitter lists, LinkedIn Groups are some of the simple tricks of listening the prospects and engaging with them on regular basis. The conversations should happen on a regular basis. Chapter 7 of the book talks about all tips and details about having an engaging conversation on key social media channels.

7) Enterprise Social Selling Framework is needed for large organizations: This was the fantastic takeaway for me from the book. The framework suggested by authors is very detailed and will be helpful for any large organization who wish to roll out the Social Selling program. The framework consists highlights three key phases of this program – Pre-Launch, Execution and Post-Launch. The key aspect of framework is to have detailed governance mechanisms and adequate change management tactics to be taken care of across all stages of the program. The framework helps one understand the key responsibilities of marketing department, vendors, sales team, sales support etc. The program can’t be successful without the valuable contribution of all stakeholders.

I am sure this book would be of great help for beginners in Social Selling. Go grab your copy now!

Paul Writer Great Indian IT Marketing Summit & Awards 2016

It was once again that time of the year when I found myself attending the reputed Paul Writer Great Indian IT Marketing Summit & Awards at The Ritz Carlton, Bangalore. I had fond memories of last year’s event where we won an award too. This time too the panel discussion topics and the eminent speakers list truly motivated me to attend the event. Like always, I love summarizing the learning I had from the event in the interest of the people who couldn’t attend the event for various reasons. Let’s see what were the key points discussed, thought-provoking questions asked by the eminent speakers and how IT Marketing take a leap forward. The key attraction of this year’s event was that most of the speakers spoke candid, unlike other conferences where speakers seem to be speaking from books and not from their heart!

Panel Discussion 1: The iBuyer: How has the buyer journey transformed? – Sunder Sarangan, Lavanya Jayaram, Manideepa Dasgupta, Sumit Virmani

Straightaway this session took everyone by surprise with comments by speakers like – “buying is not always well-researched”, “we buy easily available and what is familiar to us”, “most of our buying is tactical”. Now, these are very bold statements by such senior level marketing experts, while the other marketing folks would argue that buying is a well-researched process with these 8/10 steps. Another key discussion that occurred was about relevance of Sales and how can marketing equip sales in this technology dominated era. Some of the key learning were – a) Sales definitely is relevant and they need to have more intellectual conversations with the prospects, b) Sales should be able to engage with the prospective buyer community online, c) Marketing should enables Sales regularly with right content at right place and at right time, d) Content should highlight simple business benefits, e) Employees should be encouraged and leveraged to evangelize about the organization, f) Key skills preferred in marketers include storytelling, automation tool expertise, analytics, and g) Human connect doesn’t go away. So, no matter how much technology may dominate marketing, at the end of the day, human-to-human connect is very much required for positive results.

ITSMA Research Presentation by Julie Schwartz

Julie presented the research findings from the research that ITSMA conducted amongst 426 respondents from mid to large size organizations from seven countries (US, UK, France, India, Australia etc.). 50% of respondents were IT buyers, while the rest were functional buyers. The key findings were:

  1. More than 50% of buying happens offline
  2. Top sources of information in IT Marketing are consultants, advisors, peers, subject matter experts
  3. While human interaction dominates in the initial stages of buying process, social media dominates in the later stages of buying process
  4. More number of marketing channels are referred to today in a buying process than they were a decade ago
  5. It’s an era of Omnichannel marketing
  6. Centralized marketing is needed

Panel Discussion 2: Should Sports be in Your Marketing Plan? – Apurva Chamaria, Poornima Couto, Vishal Jhunjhunwala

This was a very interesting panel discussion and very lively right from the beginning with all three speakers playing videos of their sports engagements. The panel discussion mainly hovered around the necessity, importance, pros for a brand to consider sports marketing as a key element of their marketing strategy. Some of the key learning from this session were:

  1. 70% sport engagements happens on social media
  2. TCS Marathon initiatives are mainly focused around employees in case of India. Employee engagement is the core objective
  3. Brands can leverage sports to address C-suite, engage employees, influence top funnel, create business impact
  4. It’s buyers market in sports domain, as every element of sports is available for sale – be it sports kits, apparels etc.
  5. Sports followers generally have a positive tendency for brands that endorse their favourite sports teams
  6. The focus of sports marketing should be on larger story and a brand should carefully distance itself from a particular team’s performance
  7. Sponsoring an individual players is very risky
  8. A brand could derisk by associating with a sports team that has rich cultural heritage as HCL has with Manchester United

Panel Discussion 3: Customer Communities: Creating and Engaging a Powerful Group – Jyotsna Makkar, Pratap TP, Anand Narayanan, Adarsh Pete

Building and nurturing communities has been a focus for both B2C and B2B brands. This panel discussed on the challenges of setting up a community, nurturing it and ensuring continuous engagement. All panelists agreed to the successful mantra of running a community to be Recruit, Rewards and Recognize. Some of the other key learning from the session were:

  1. Communities could be of three types. The ones build around – a) shared values, b) individual interests or c) charismatic figures
  2. Content and engagement strategy are the key aspects of a successful community
  3. Communities are fluid today because of digital platforms
  4. It is imperative that people seek recognition in the community
  5. Community managers should try to learn from one community and apply the learning to other
  6. It is helpful if brands have a full-time community manager
  7. Regular investments to promote community are required
  8. Communities don’t necessarily stay connected on digital platforms, but the members also love to stay connected in offline world
  9. Some of the key success metrics of running a community are – a) Revenues/Leads/Sales (Primary objective), b) Less number of opt-outs

Panel 4: How can Marketers increase Business Value – Indraneel Ganguli, Srihari Palangala, Sunder MadakShira

This was my favourite panel and all the panelists were really candid. Marketing is always questioned in the organization for the budgets they ask. Marketers are always under pressure to justify the ROI and to earn a face in the organization. The panelists clearly called out few issues and few areas of improvement for the marketers:

  1. Marketers should shift their focus from conversations to conversions in IT Marketing and all other sorts of marketing
  2. Marketers have to talk the language of accountability
  3. Marketers should possess an ability to build next 30% business
  4. Marketing needs to promise and deliver

Panel 5: Marketing in the Age of Digitisation – Suresh Thomas, Sarang Panchal

Each of the eminent panelists of this sessions had decades of experience in marketing research. They discussed on how technological developments are affecting the marketing research practices. They highlighted that the current young generation would not appreciate responding to lengthy questionnaires. Hence, it was essential for brands to identify engaging, fun-oriented research techniques to understand the consumer psyche. They suggested brands to go for implicit research techniques that leveraged technology.

My key three takeaways from the entire day were:

  1. Not only IT Marketing but any kind of marketing, needs to work closely with Sales and Product  Development teams. Marketing should take more ownership to build their relevance in the organization, rather than just focus on campaigns and engagement
  2. Leverage technology to understand customer psyche through implicit research techniques
  3. It’s time for brands to focus on omnichannel marketing

So, it was a great day of learning from the veterans.

It was also a great day for HCL Technologies (my organization) from two aspects:

  1. Apurva Chamaria, Global Head for Branding and Digital along with Gaurav Kakkar launched their book titled, ‘You Are The Key”. Social Selling is a key phenomenon which is emerging especially in the field of IT Marketing. The book promises to equip marketers with Social Selling skills.

You Are The Key book launch at The Great Indian IT Marketing Summit & Awards 2016

2. We won three awards at the event in these categories – Customer Acquisition (#UnitedByHCL), Digital Media (#HCLShortCutsToSuccess) and Sustainability and CSR (#AMileForHer). It was a proud moment to receive awards for the work we did throughout the year.

The Great Indian IT Marketing Summit & Awards 2016

Thank you Paul Writer team for organizing this fabulous event which was very well organized and well conducted in the end. I am already looking forward for the next edition!

Online Reputation Management Case Study: Citibank vs SBI

Online Reputation Management or commonly referred to as ORM has been a key topic of discussion for brands, digital marketing teams and digital marketing agencies. Thanks to the empowered Information age generation and easy to use websites, this Information Age generation often share their experiences with a brand on online platforms, mostly on social media platforms. Hence, it has been imperative for brands to have in place a well thought through Online Reputation Management strategy in place to leverage the positive wave and to curb the crisis situations.

Let’s understand why this area is often talked about and a crucial one for brands through this first hand experience I had last week with two banks – Citibank and SBI. One fine day I received a call from an unknown number and when I attended it, the person on the other side claimed to call from SBI, Hyderabad office. According to him, my SBI debit card had expired and was to be renewed else he would block my debit card! He was continuously asking me to share my debit card number. His voice tone, language, nothing seemed to be professional and when I asked him few cross questions he hung the phone! Who does that? I immediately traced the mobile number and found that it was from Bihar. We have often read about such incidents in newspapers, on social media, but it was my first experience. So, what did I do? I simply shared my experience and tagged SBI’s official Twitter handle in my tweet.

As if this experience wasn’t enough, on the same day I received a suspicious email from Citibank and I took screenshot of this email to tweet about it by tagging Citibank’s official Twitter handle.

Being a social media professional I always wonder what kind of online reputation management strategy did such large B2C brands have in place. In fact many a times we complain or share our experience about a brand, but hardly receive any acknowledgement or response from the brand. In this case at least both the brands replied to my tweets. Now, let’s see what did they reply to me. I will first share two replies that SBI shared with me:

Did those responses make any sense to you? Yes, No, Maybe? Before you make an impression about these replies from SBI, do also check what Citibank replied to me:

What do we learn from this Online Reputation Management case study?

  1. Brands should think aloud and set up their social listening tool with all various keyword options. Though in this case the user (i.e. I) directly mentioned the brand. In many cases people might just write ‘Citibank’ or ‘Citi bank’. The social listening tool should be configured to all such keyword variations.
  2. Brands should acknowledge and reply all positive, negative tweets / posts, queries if any that come across them. Luckily, in this case I received replies from both brands
  3. Communication should be personalized. Refer the response from Citibank which starts with ‘Thank you’, which is a clear indication that brand acknowledges your effort to inform them. On the contrary SBI’s reply had no such personal sentiments. It helps to use that kind of language for users to be comfortable
  4. Try to provide solution to the query / complaint. In this case SBI just asked to me refrain from sharing details and visit nearest branch. While Citibank acted prompt, assessed the seriousness of the situation and suggested me to share my contact details. The next day, I received call from Citibank call center and they explained me the situation. So who wins?

I hope this blogpost helped you to understand the intricacies of online reputation management. In case you have come across any other strong online reputation management case study, do share your thoughts in the comments section below.


15 Cool Christmas Creatives by brands on Facebook

Gone are days when you could just show a Christmas Tree or Santa Claus and wish your target audience ‘Merry Christmas’. These days brands try to leverage Facebook and other social media platforms during festivals. It’s the content centric era and every brand fights it hard to get it right. It has been imperative for brands to connect with their target audience through their value offerings in a customized manner on special occasions. You would have loved some special Christmas wishes from the brands you interact on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter.

Here are the few best ones that I noticed on popular Facebook pages…

Amul not only came up with full-page print ad in leading newspapers but also replicated the thought on Facebook through this creative video where the Santa Claus face is created with a flowing milk stream.


Merry Christmas from #Amul. #Amul Doodh Peeta Hai India ! 🙂

Posted by Amul on Thursday, 24 December 2015

Paytm goes with a simple GIF, but manages to connect with the services they offer on their website.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! May you be blessed with love, peace & joy!

Posted by Paytm on Thursday, 24 December 2015

This GIF by Maruti is one of my personal favourites. The thought process is very good by displaying all their car models in a single GIF and yet connecting to the occasion.

Drive towards peace, love and joy this Christmas. Wishing you all Merry Christmas.

Posted by Maruti Suzuki Swift on Friday, 25 December 2015

 Samsung Mobiles gets it right with a static image but well designed by showcasing their leading products.

May your Christmas trees be as good looking! #MerryChristmas

Posted by Samsung Mobile India on Thursday, 24 December 2015

There is no doubt that videos make the highest impact. Faasos, one of my favourite brands came up with this video where they demonstrate their skill of quality food.

Twas the night before Christmas and from all of us here, we hope your days be merry and filled with gooey chocolate cheer! #ChristmasEve with #ChocolateFantasy bit.ly/FaasosFB

Posted by Faasos on Thursday, 24 December 2015

 Flipkart wishes its target audience with a simple video but manages to connect with its value offering.

We don’t differentiate between naughty or nice. Go ahead, spread the joy. Flipkart wishes you a Merry Christmas!

Posted by Flipkart on Thursday, 24 December 2015

AirAsia India, connects the elements of Christmas – reindeer, Santa Claus and sleigh in a subtle manner and makes its point very clear.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to everyone from all of us at AirAsia! May this Christmas bring a lot of joy and cheer to your family. 🙂

Posted by AirAsiaIndia on Thursday, 24 December 2015

 Kingfisher‘s this creative is simplest of all, but the thought process deserves an appreciation.

We’re here to spread the Good Times and the Holiday Cheer! Season’s Greetings Everyone!

Posted by Kingfisher on Thursday, 24 December 2015

Housing.com too takes the video route to wish its fans.

May your days be bright, and your nights be merry. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and a happy ending to this great year!

Posted by Housing.com on Thursday, 24 December 2015

Coca-Cola shows how stockings can be used to store Coke bottles. A great connection between the product and the occasion.

This holiday season, share your small moments of joy over some Coca-Cola. #MerryChristmas

Posted by Coca-Cola on Thursday, 24 December 2015

 Many of us would be aiming to shift jobs post this mid-year appraisal time and Naukri.com connects this situation with Christmas beautifully with this static image.

#NaukriSays Merry Christmas

Posted by Naukri.com on Thursday, 24 December 2015

 Zomato uses spoons, knives, forks and a wine glass to build a Christmas tree.

Have a deliciously merry Christmas!

Posted by Zomato on Thursday, 24 December 2015

A simple video but the effort that Micromax has put in to come up with this content piece deserves an applause.

Make Christmas merrier with loads of fun, frolic and gifts! Wishing you all a very #MerryChristmas.

Posted by Micromax India on Friday, 25 December 2015

 Is the Christmas tree by Dell symbolizing cursor? This GIF creative by Dell highlights all products that they offer.

May this joyful festive season fill happiness everywhere. The Dell team wishes all a #MerryChristmas. ? ???? ????????????????????

Posted by Dell on Thursday, 24 December 2015

This beautiful video message by Hyundai looks as if it is full video shoot. Again a personal favourite of mine.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. We hope to keep steering more happiness into your lives. #Hyundai #MerryChristmas

Posted by Hyundai India on Thursday, 24 December 2015

Post Update (3rd Jan’16): Based on the suggestion from Vinay, including Tetra Pak India’s GIF creative to the list:

This Christmas spread the warmth of ‘Goodness’ with Tetra Pak India. Wishing you all a #MerryChristmas.

Posted by Tetra Pak India on Thursday, 24 December 2015

What’s your favourite from the above? Or in case you came up with some other kick-ass creative, do share it in the comment section.

Happy Holidays!