Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Management’ Category


As I read this article, I lost myself with Steve Jobs. I, still, remember when I first read about Steve Jobs in iCon. I had heard about Steve earlier but the book made me fall in live with his leadership style. I always hoped that someday I could have made to one Apple Conference and meet this iconic personality, who has so much to offer with his individual presence: management, presentation, leadership, perseverance and many more. As Steve Jobs announced his second indefinite medical leave, Apple shares were bound to take a beating and I feel it should not have surprised many other like me. This post is about analyzing few points that the article tries to address about Steve Jobs and the POWER. As I have consistently mentioned in my earlier posts, we, Indians, are little bad with powers and History has proved it again and again. Most of us have a bad notion of POWER and for us, POWER is just another way to utter sentences like ” Do you know who I am or I am your —————- (You fill in the blanks and bang you are that) and mark your presence without any personal significance. Individuals find ways to stamp their authority everytime.

But lets come back to the article, I am referring to. The first power lesson the article points to is :

“power can result from sheer drive, persistence, resilience, and the ability to tolerate conflict”

Steve Jobs is definitely an inspirational figure for the above lesson. I agree with the author when he mentions that Jobs persisted, sticking with his same focus on the user interface, his fundamental vision of ease of use and cool design, but also learned from the setbacks. People who would have seen “Pirates of Silicon Valley” would know the history that Apple was once written off the radar and so does Jobs. But he held on to his dream and vision only to come back strongly later. Remember his last turnaround, he was sick. The whole world wrote him off, media said Jobs is gone but he again came back only to introduce another killer product – iPad. So hold on and hold tight to your dreams.

The second power lesson the article points to is:

power can come through the projection of an image of strength that may not yet be the reality”

Remember, what apple store has done to various software developers. It has given a platform for enthusiastic software developers to pursue tehir passion yet not only make money but also become famous. Stanford did not think at all to introduce a course in its computer science curriculum that promotes students to develop apple software application as part of its course. Pulse, an iPad application, is the recent success and latest sensation resulting from it. Android and Nokia followed the store concept of success with their own stores. But Apple did it first. So, powerful people project an image of strength and sustainability.

The third power lesson the article points to is:

“likeability is not a prerequisite to power”

Great and the one thing that I personally love the most. It is not necessary that all powerful people are likeable but as a matter of fact, very few are. It is a very well known fact that Steve Jobs is sometimes heavily criticized for his attitude and actions. One of the example that the article cites is a prime example: “Being Steved”. Being Steved is the official term for Apple employees getting fired by Steve Jobs. In the incident mentioned in the article, when the employee was packing up his things after getting fired by Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs comes by and inquires. And says, you are re-hired. I have personally heard of stories about people who were fired by Steve Jobs only to leverage on the opportunity of getting fired by Steve Jobs to make it big in their life.

Bottom line is: Apple is a success and a lot of its credit goes to Steve Jobs. He is a visionary person, may not be liked by all but he is a successful figure who knew how to make his own ways. Not to forget, his charismatic presence only puts the tagline that we see on Apple products. Personally, I feel this time the medical leave might last a little bit longer and may be a good strategy for Apple to prepare its successor while the market accepts the change and accepts the new Apple as we love today.

Source Article: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/01/steve_jobs_a_study_in_power.html

Read Full Post »


BBC News reported World Bank’s report of slower economic growth in the year 2011. World Bank has predicted that global GDP growth will be 3.3% against 3.9% in 2010. It has also predicted a strong growth in the emerging economies with India and China leading from the front.

Well, let us try to take a closer look. Please note that I am not an expert. I am just a reader of news who have developed an interest into looking at different things and hope to share my thoughts. I have no doubt that the India and Chine are going to lead the world economic growth but at what cost. China is keeping its currency manipulated so that its exports benefits the country’s position. India, though not exactly an export-oriented country but definitely a service-providing company. Products are not generally produced here rather they are definitely serviced here.

Even though I, too bet on the Indian and Chinese economies, I have few concerns. Firstly, the population. There is no control over the population in these countries. And till date there is no solid system to measure unemployment or the population itself correctly. In such a scenario, would it safe to have its per-capita, GDP and other measures of economy to be absolutely correct. I doubt it. Secondly, I still don’t believe that the consumption power is good here. I would request someone to find out if the commodities and goods produced in China are really consumed within the country. I believe that the figures could be surprising for some. I still feel that majority of goods are consumed not here rather outside. So, I feel that the real consumer base is the developed countries. Having said that, i must say that we are improving but it is going to take quite a time to catch up. Thirdly, dependency on Oil. We all know all the emerging and developing countries rely heavily on Oil, whose price is hovering around $90. I feel that that Oil price should be around $120. One thing that China and India say in their defense in terms of their oil consumption is their per capita consumption is far less than the consumption of US. But boss, China and India has the largest and second largest population of the world. You guys take the call. Are the defensive statements justified? Lastly, Food Inflation. Inflation of food is at its peak. We have seen the effect of increase in the prices of Onion in India. People went crazy and made the hell out of the government. In the past, we have seen that the governments have lost power at the Central government in the past. Oppositions won over the ruling government just on the basis of high Onion price. Considering the current scenario, all the vegetables are at their record high. How it is going to affect the people and the economy, in general, would be interesting to watch closely but I am sure if the situation remains same as of now, India will definitely suffer.

Comparing the prevailing scenarios of developing and emerging countries’ scenarios, economies of developed countries will have to also tackle few obstacles. Among all of them, the most important and challenging thing will be “Unemployment” World Bank predicts that the unemployment scenario would remain dismal. So, I feel it is going to hurt more than anything else for them. Secondly, European scenario does look so good as of now.  I somehow feel that the European debt crisis is going to remain bad and it might not improve as quickly as we might have wanted it to. Thirdly, the government debt will continue to mount and may cause imbalances in their statements, not a good sign at all.

To conclude, I feel that the all the economies of the world will see some nice challenges and if they are tackled appropriately, I am sure that we will redefine how businesses will be done in future. Hope that the future brings more prosperity and happiness all around, equally 🙂

Read Full Post »


As some of you might have already read, Citigroup hit a major issue in India recently. Indian Banking market is dominated by HDFC, ICICI and SBI. All other players came in later and still in their process of wooing consumers but to a great extent, it is yet to break the jinx in the minds of middle class Indians. Citi has tried hard to break into the minds of young people and it has been successful to a some extent. So, the news of more than $67mn fraud is going to disturb its run, hitting hard on the brand name and the image of the Citigroup badly in India.

Relationships Manager of Gurgaon Citi branch, Shivraj Puri, has been named as the prime suspect and the fraud amount is said to be anywhere between $67 mn – $89 mn. One of the investors, Sanjeev Agarwal,  who invested in the in the alleged fraud fund, went on to file a police complaint. All the top executives of Citigroup were named in the police complaint including CEO Vikram Pandit, Senior Vice Chairman William Rhodes, COO Douglas Peterson, CFO John Gerspach and many more.

SEBI, the regulatory board has already issues showcase notices to the Citigroup in India and has started looking into the fiasco. But what does it mean for Citigroup globally and specifically, in India? Citigroup’s credibility was in question during the Financial meltdown and has been heavily criticized for its irresponsible behavior. It received one of the largest chunks in the Bailout and if I am not wrong, US government owns a significant stake in the company till now. It is unfortunate for Citigroup to get involved in scams and definitely the timing of this fraud is an unfortunate one.

WSJ, Reuters and everyone covered the news of this fraud. So, I feel that Citigroup would have to now answer some serious “responsibility” related questions. It has to look within – its management, its transparency and other factors. I am often told that as the company grows, it is very difficult to break the norms and try to do things differently, even though they might be beneficial. Sometimes the reason is the way company operates and sometimes the reason are the power-hungry insecure managers. I am not sure what is wrong with Citigroup but I feel there might be something within. Processes need to be more  transparent to the investors and consumers. I feel that Banks must not forget that they exist for one reason: they assure their customers safe returns on their money and this is primary reason for which banks started existing.

On a final note, I would love to see a more responsible Citigroup than the one in its current state. Would Citi be able to come out of these kind of major crisis situations? Would Citi be able to establish the same faith in our minds back? Would Citi be able to reinstate its position as Numero Uno? Only time would tell.

Sources: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576066861503613204.html

http://www.indiainfoline.com/Markets/News/Citigroup-India-hit-by-Rs-4bn-fraud-reports/5033266623

http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-53924220110104

Read Full Post »


We are just few days into the new year and we are already seeing some exciting news coming. I read an article today that pointed that LinkedIn might have plans to go public this year. Honestly, I was not surprised. LinkedIn has been one of my favorite and I have gained immensely by staying in the vicinity of some amazing people. LinkedIn gave a new definition of professionalism. Recruitment took a new shape with LinkedIn and I must say that I would not be surprised to find certain job openings coming first on LinkedIn than other recruiting websites like Naukri or Monster. So, what made LinkedIn click? Let us try to understand few things that LinkedIn did great:

  • Stay connected with people we meet and interact.
  • Online references and of course, authenticity can be more trusted here.
  • Great Connectivity because one could find Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to Bill Gates. It was phenomenal because I believe LinkedIn paved the way on which twitter attracted celebrities and legends.
  • Knowledge sharing platform across groups.

I am not a premium member at LinkedIn and hence, not the right person to comment on its premium services. But I cannot ignore the fact that it might be really good because LinkedIn generates a considerable amount of revenues from its premium users. Other than premium services, advertising is another source on which LinkedIn relies to generates its revenues.

LinkedIn claims to have more than 85 million members, which is a good number, I must say. So, what could be its value? LinkedIn never commented on its valuation and none close to it too. SharePost gives LinkedIn an implied value of $2.2 Bn. Now, I am not an expert but looking at the popularity of LinkedIn and the kind of platform it has provided to its members, I will not be surprised to see LinkedIn valued anywhere near to $4 – 5 Bn. I hope that I would have the technical know-how to evaluate a company’s profile but unfortunately, I dont’ have it now. Please don’t ignore the investment of Sequoia Capital in LinkedIn. Yes, it is the same company that invested in Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Apple and Oracle to name a few. And we all know what these companies went up to become.

Now, lets come to an interesting aspect. Why all of a sudden buzz of LinkedIn going for its IPO? And trust me when I say that LinkedIn might also be joined by twitter and Zyngya, in particular to go public. The reason is simple: FACEBOOK. The shark is in the sea and even though there are a lot of speculations of when facebook might go public, but all of us know if LinkedIn, Twitter and Zyngya don’t go public before Facebook, it might face the heat later. I completely agree with some of the experts that if Facebook goes public first, others might feel the pinch because it would be difficult to come out of the euphoria of the IPO of facebook. I can safely say that day and year Facebook decides to go public, it would be the FACEBOOK year. So, here was th news that kept everyone thinking:

“Facebook rocked the world when Goldman Sachs bought 1% stake in the company for whooping $500 mn. This makes Facebook valued at $50 Bn and yet to go public.”

Now, Facebook has mentioned of no intention of going public before late 2012 but here is the reason it might not take long. In USA, the definition of a private firm stands good if there are no more than 499 stakeholders and with Glodman Sachs’ investment, SEC has already initiated a thorough look-out into Facebook. Secondly, remember Google also never wanted to go public till Goldman Sachs invested in it and we know the history: with 10 months, Google went public. So, will Facebook follow the same route? Only time will answer the question.

To sum up, I am excited and I am more excited for these small firms, especially Facebook. A software application launched from a dormitory of a school in 2004 has today been estimated to be valued at $50 Bn. As we say the fall of 105-year Great Lehman Brothers, we also say the great Rising of Facebook. We will try to keep a close watch on the exciting developments of the social networking era 🙂

PS: Did you know Goldman Sachs does not allow to use Facebook in office? Now, will they remove the restriction after its investment in Facebook ;-)?

Sources: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-06/facebook-at-50-billion-valuation-is-looking-more-like-tencent-than-google.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7050DC20110106

Read Full Post »


I am going to keep this post short. This is a follow-up post to my earlier post on Elevator Pitch. I am not going to go into much details. Whatever I echoed in my last post, the articles below do the same but with more proper organization. So, I recommend all of you who would like to go through the below articles if you have interest in Elevator Pitches. For proper categorization, I am going to give the links with the ingredients of an Elevator Pitch.

  1. Personalize: http://articles.bplans.com/writing-a-business-plan/elevator-pitch-part-1-personalize/287
  2. Why you?: http://articles.bplans.com/writing-a-business-plan/elevator-pitch-part-2-why-you/289
  3. What you offer?: http://articles.bplans.com/writing-a-business-plan/elevator-pitch-part-3-what-you-offer-2/292
  4. Finish Strong: http://articles.bplans.com/writing-a-business-plan/elevator-pitch-part-4-finish-strong/294
  5. Delivery: http://articles.bplans.com/business/elevator-pitch-part-5-delivery/295

Additionally, I will recommend one more video from youtube which I followed when I was attempting my Elevator Pitch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0EWScOXFpA

Finally, if you already have a solid business plan or you are already in business and looking to expand, here is a great opportunity for you. British Airways brings to you Face of Opportunity Contest, an amazing platform to present your pitch and then fly to meet potential investors to raise funds. More Details at http://www.faceofopportunity.com/home?cid=p1core-tbx02.f.1800/ae2a9/2fd/7b265974.e731bb9db9e33a47862f912028e5a10d

So, what are you waiting for? Go and make your pitch right away.

And of course, I still miss you AC!!!

Read Full Post »


This post is in continuation to my earlier post on Winning-Take 1. Earlier, I wanted to go one chapter at a time, which I like but now, I am going to pick chapters as I feel about it. So, the chapter of the discussion will be random but at the end of this series, I feel I am going to share a lot of myths and usual working professional style in conjunction with the book.

We are going to concentrate Take 2 on “Leadership”, one of the most confused and badly defined word in today’s corporate world. Well, we will first point out the the different traits the book discusses as the defining characteristics of “Leadership” and then discuss them all putting the present scenario around and break some of the common myths that we see around. Before that, let me be very clear, all managers are not at all “leaders” but all leaders are definitely good managers. This statement makes us ask why there is a question on “managers”. Well, because in the corporate world, unfortunately managers (or sometimes, Leads such as Project Leads, Team Leads) are named as leaders. I am sure one would have encountered a statement like this too often, “we choose to decide Mr. XXX to lead the team. Again, a wrong word all in all. It should be “manage” and sometimes, it just remains to few predetermined guidelines with no power at all. At times, I have heard my friends say to me, I don’t know what’s wrong with Mr. ABC. He was a good guy till he became a manager. Now, he feels as if like he owns us. In other terms, Hitler left his hierarchy as attitude of managers.

According to Jack Welch, the following traits define a leader:

  1. Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence.
  2. Leaders make sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it.
  3. Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism.
  4. Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit.
  5. Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls.
  6. Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action.
  7. Leaders inspire risk taking and learning by setting the example.
  8. Leaders celebrate.

Let us consider point 1. Three points become prominent here: Leaders evaluate, coach and finally, build self-confidence. Evaluate what? Evaluate making sure right people are in the right jobs, supporting and advancing those who are. There is an issue here in advancing. In my short career span, I have seen a lot of highly talented people going mediocre because his/her manager does not care about him. The general statement is: one is paid for doing something in the job, no matter it is a routine job. Well, be careful when you hear these words. These are kind of “signals”, signals that convey that you are at the wrong place and with a wrong person. Once evaluated, Leaders Coach, helping people improve in every way possible. And finally but most importantly, Leaders build self-confidence poring out encouragement, caring and recognition. Why point is important is that too many managers limit the people development to annual performance review and sometimes, just in discussions rather than being open in with the comparisons. Many times I have heard that don’t compare yourself, but then I have one question for all those: when one is given 4/10 and 9/10 in performance, then it makes me hard to believe one has not been compared because for simple reason that it is not a Mathematics course test, where you multiply right to get the right answer immaterial of what.

Point 2: Vision. This is one characteristics that will differentiate the leader from usual managers. Leaders possess visions and they don’t fear to communicate it. I feel visions should be loud and loud enough that everyone hears it. But no vision in worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is communicated constantly and reinforced with rewards. Only then will it leap off the page and come to life. Please don’t confuse vision with “deadlines” or “expectations”. We will take about them sometime later. Vision is something a leader visualizes for the benefit of the whole group for a long term. Visions can make a simple manager CEO and its group as the star performing group of the organization. And of course, please don’t confuse it with number of years that one has to stay with the organization. Generally, when an organization grows to a big size, the general rule dictates one has to stay for x years to be at Y position. This is not vision. Vision is something that will break these borders, redefining the rules of the game by setting news standards and if a general rule is x years, then in x-z years, one gets the position, where z is a substantial period.

Point 3: There is an old saying, “The fish rots from the head”. It’s mainly used to refer to how politics and corruption filter down into an organization, but it could just as easily be used to describe the effect of a bad attitude at the top of any team, large or small. Eventually, everyone’s infected. An upbeat manager goes through the day with a positive outlook somehow ends uo running a team or organization filled with…well, upbeat people with positive outlooks. A pessimistic sourpuss somehow ends up with an unhappy tribe all his own. The right attitude makes a manager leader.

Point 4: With Indian attitude, becoming a manager (or so called leader) is a real power trip. Probably, more than an individual, it is our society that has imbibed this attitude but the issue is we resist to change. Such people relish the feeling of control over both people and information. And so, they keep secrets, reveal little of their thinking about people and their performance, and hoard what they know about the business and its future. With this attitude, they forget that leaders are leaders because people feel strongly about their leadership skills and not because someone is a Manager by the tag name. Trust plays a major role here but honestly, you know it when you feel it. It is that simple. Most importantly, leaders take responsibility for what’s gone wrong and generously pass around the praise. To be a good leader, never forget you weren’t give an crown, you were give a responsibility to bring out the best in others. For that, your people need to trust you. And they will, as long as you demonstrate candor, give credit and stay real.

Point 5: Leaders don’t fear to make tough calls because they don’t consider themselves to be in a popularity contest. I feel one’s gut feelings play a very important role here.

Point 6: When you are an individual contributor, you try to have all the answers. That’s your job – to be an expert, the best at what you do, maybe even the smartest person in the room. When you are a loeader, you job is to have all the questions. You have to incredibly confortable looking like the dumbest person in the room. Every conversation you have, must have “What if?” and “Why not?” and “How come?”. Questioning alone, however, is not enough. You have to make sure your questions unleash debate and raise issues that get action. At the same time, what distinguishes a leader from a manager is leaders know that saying something doesn’t mean it will happen.

Point 7: Winning companies embrace risk taking and learning. But in reality, these two concepts often get lip service – and little else. Too many managers urge their people to try new things, and then whack them in the head when they fail. And too many live in not-invented-here wordls of their own making. Leader set examples themselves if they their people to experiment and expand their minds.

Point 8: What is it about celebrating that makes managers so nervous? Maybe throwing a party doesn’t seem professional, or it makes managers worry that they won’t look serious to the powers that be, or that, if things get too happy at the office, people will stop working their tails off. One another eason is as if like they are spending fro their own pocket for the celebration. Whatever be the reason, there is just not enough celebrating going on at work – anywhere. What a lost opportunity. Celebrating makes people feel like winners and creates an atmosphere of recognition and positive energy. Imagine a cricket team winning the World Cup without champagne spraying everywhere. You just can’t! And yet companies win all the time and let it go without so much as a high five. Work is too much part of life not to recognize moments of achievement. Grab as many as you can. Make a big deal out of them. If you don’t no one will.

To summarize, the beat leaders care passionately about their people – about their growth and success. And we can find them comfortable in their own skins. They are real, filled with candor and integrity, optimism and humanity. Please don’t fall into the trap that leadership happens one day when one becomes a boss and gets the power to change the rules.

Disclaimer: In no form, the above perceptions can be related to any particular individual or organization. In case done so, I take no responsibility and the firm/individual will be doing so for its own insecurity, thus, proving the negative effects mentioned being followed by themselves.

Read Full Post »


Last Sunday, I visited to participate in “The Art of Elevator Pitch” Panel Discussion at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The discussion was very informative. Honestly speaking, I did not know what is an Elevator Pitch before I decided to participate in the contest when I received an email from my Toastmasters International District. But I knew I am going to participate. So, I immediately replied to the email and got the preliminary round of questions. I am attaching the file with the answers here. Please do feel free to comment whatever you feel like.

DeepakPanigrahy_Oracle

What did I get out of the Contest?

  1. Networking: I feel very good to network with some of the amazing people in the industry. Having entrepreneurial pursuits myself, it was just an amazing platform for meeting future business leaders (students of IIM Bangalore), Venture Capitalists such as Griffin David, Balaji and Ian Faria, Private Equity Players such as Samir Inamdar and many more. And of course, not to forget very enthusiastic Toastmasters. In fact, I got an invitation to speak over the IIM Alumni Toastmaster chapter and I plan to do so for some of my Advanced Communicator Bronze level, Speeches by Management Category.
  2. Special: The session became special in personal term also. After a very very long time, I had a crush on someone there. Let me tell you that I am not the one who can fall for anyone any time. Someone needs to be very special to match my frequency and vibrancy and I felt the same with someone there. It is a different case that I did not do anything at that moment of time, though I wanted to with all good intentions. Somehow I decided to hold back for some more time and if future will permit, I will do the necessary. No doubt, the girl is special and I could feel that. I call the girl as Miss AC. So, Miss AC, hope to meet you soon but in a different fashion
  3. Elevator Pitch: Well, this is the instant take away from the session. And I am going to discuss more in details on this with my version of the elevator pitch with the final case study.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Elevator Pitch is a short speech of about 2 minutes, generally given by entrepreneurs to the VCs or angel investors. It derives its name from the fact that it takes exactly 2 minutes to go from the lobby to the top level where the VC has his office. And one gets just two minutes to leave the VC with the curiosity and quest. In my view, an elevator pitch is successful if you can get the business card out of the VC.

What kind Elevator Pitches can be?

I feel elevator pitches can be anything. It can be about yourself, a product, a service, a group, an organization and often related to marketing campaigns, branding and public relation activities. Why is it important? Generally, we don’t know with whom am I going to sit next to in my flight. We don’t get any clue with whom I am going to go in an elevator. So, suppose I bump into a potential VC all of a sudden and what I get is just 2 minutes to generate interest into me and my idea. In my view, it generates a lot of interest in the field of consultancy also. What do you feel how much time a CEO has when you are on a consulting project with the that CEO’s firm? Talk to the management consultants and I can bet most of them will say that they get the time to pitch their ideas and solutions exactly equal to the time one takes to walk from CEO office to his car. And trust me when I say that its not only your firm’s reputation that is at stake but also your own reputation and credibility too.

What constitutes a good elevator pitch?

  1. First and foremost, you must understand that elevator pitch is not your business plan rather it is the door to getting the funding for your plan by getting the business card of the VC or scheduling a meeting with the VC.
  2. Try to connect emotionally both at the personal and professional level. What I mean here is you should be able to relate your idea with the person and at the same time, take his curiosity level to such an extent that he makes the next attempt to reach to you. One very good example that I would like to cite here is taken from the real life experience of Griffin David, discussed during the panel discussion at IIMB.  Griffin David is a Venture Capitalist and an Entrepreneur in himself, who has traveled a journey from SemiConductor Chips to Potato Chips today. He is currently the CEO of Bread Basket Pvt Ltd, having founded it. He cited an incident where his team was pitching a business plan in front of potential investors. They somehow manage to connect with them prior to the meeting and went for an excursion to SONA in Europe. SONA seem to be known for a beach but a special beach-nude beach. They all went, enjoyed, in fact went to give a television interview also with only their heads showing up. But the effect of the trip was seen when his team was given 45 minutes for the presentation while others were given only 15 minutes. Did you see the difference what an emotional connect can make? In yet another incident mentioned by one of the panelist (sorry, I don’t remember who was it exactly), he mentioned that once in an attempt to raise money from a bank, he was facing lot of issues. One of his friend’s wife discussed the problem with the wife of the banker. The banker’s wife went and told his husband that the person in question is like a son to her and you must approve his loan. Ultimately, the loan passed. The panelist came to know about the incident much later in one of the parties. Can you guys relate now? Can you guys make what I am thinking? EQ is one of the biggest weapon and i fused properly, can do wonders in your not only personal but professional life also. We are all human beings and an angel investor or a VC is no exception. Our daily lives are full of emotions and almost 90% of the time, our decisions are based on our emotions and feelings.
  3. Understand your audience. This hold true in case of any speech. Each person is different. Understanding your audience will help in pitching your idea in the most effective way. How can you do that? Thats where your networking connections are going to work for you.
  4. As like an speech, according to me, an elevator pitch also has a certain format and guidelines: Be crisp and ensure brevity because at the day, you only have 2 minutes. Your introduction is your selling point. If you cannot connect with your opening statement, forget it. It is same as the FIRST impression is the LAST impression. So be very careful how are you going to begin. Be prepared with your best 3 points to support your statement. A lot of my management consultant friends tell me that the the RULE OF THREE is an accepted norm of making your points in a business setup. So, these three points should be your best selling points and should generate curiosity in the minds of the VC. At the end, end it with a strong conclusion. I feel the conclusion should not only be persuasive but also leave the VC thinking, thus, prompting him to give away his business card and seeking to get an appointment for a detailed discussion.
  5. Of course, do look out for your body language and voice modularity. Nothing can substitute an appropriate body language with good command over the voice modulation. This is where Toastmasters is going to help you the most.

What are the other potential areas where elevator pitches can be useful?

Well, when I sat and thought about it, I never knew I could relate it to so many circumstances. Some of the areas where I feel an elevator pitch can help you are DATING, JOB INTERVIEW, PROMOTIONS in jobs and PROPOSALS (e.g an author pitching his book to the publishers or a story writer pitching his story for a movie to a producer). The most interesting among the list is DATING. Imagine you are standing alongside a beautiful girl (say Katrina Kaif) and you have got one shot at her before she disappears in the world of invisible strangers again. Your 2 min shot can give you the mobile number or a date. On the other side, a bad pitch may land you in prison, labeling you as a stalker. In other words, 2 minutes can decide whether she is going to be your life partner. Similarly, each one of knows, the way one walks and introduces himself is the 75% success of the interview. Imagine yourself in an elevator with CEO of your company and you know your skills are not well utilized by your current boss and you get only 2 minutes to showcase what you got and you can do for the organization if given the right opportunity. Finally, here is my version of the elevator pitch that I wrote for the case-study presented at IIMB for the finalists:

Case Study: ElevatorPitch_Stage2_CaseStudy

======================================================================================================

My Elevator Pitch: Would you like your girlfriend/wife to look like Katrina Kaif or Toon Toon? If given a free hand, wouldn’t you wake up early in the morning and go to gym with your wife to keep her in shape more than yourself? One will walk with broad chest and full prestige if your girlfriend/wife is good looking and smart. So, wouldn’t you like her to look good in her office too? I am sure you will.

I am Rita and I propose to bring an exclusive line of garments for women for office wear. From college to an office, from home to a boardroom, I present to you an elegant and exclusive design of apparel for Indian women. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that women spend more than men on looking good and beautiful. The most prominent proofs are endless research on spending habits of men and women and the time a woman spends on dressing up. And of course, not to ignore your own wallet and the savings you barely manage to make at the end of the month. No more sarees or executive shirts and skirts from Allen Solley or so, Rita & Co. will bring a premium line of designs exclusively designed to the taste of Indian women. Recent feedbacks from the students of IIM Bangalore, who have already taken the designs to their summer internships have felt more comfortable and confident filled with positive energy after wearing my designs.

So, what are you waiting for? Tighten your seat belts as we, together, can bring a sea wave of changes with Rita brands flaunting in offices and board rooms and change the image of a working Indian women to a more confident, elegant and stylist business women.

======================================================================================================

Hey, please feel free to comment your views on the elevator pitch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »