Ringing the bell at Toronto

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

A dream I never knew I had came true today. I happened to be part of a team that opened the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) few days back (Nov 28).. was a different experience..

Future Mining Leaders opening TSX!!

And the video – 🙂

 What a way to start a day!


Brand: Gandhi- Part 2

November 29, 2009 § 1 Comment

Ok, this is not about the Gandhi Pen again. But, its related to marketing, so using the same title. It’s a mere observation on a train from Hyd to Chennai. A guy distributed sweets to everyone to celebrate his sister’s wedding. First, thought if it could have some sort of drug mixed in it, to get everyone unconscious and then loot. 😦

Then unable to control my desire to taste, I succumbed. That’s when it struck; this could be used as a marketing strategy for some, actually few FMCG products, like tea/coffee powders or Mint or even new Milk packets. Sounds funny?

Let’s take only AC coaches, say 500 passengers with 3-tier and 2-tier? Instead of the regular tea/coffee there are offered, deal with irctc for permission to use your brand’s product for a few days. Get a few well dressed guys (to make sure they are not taken for ordinary sales men), ask for their preference, say lemon flavoured tea or black tea or whatever. Make sure the passengers realise that, they are being offered a new variety today. Get coffee cups or flasks with company logo in it, for brand recall.

At the end, ask for feedback & if possible also sell some packets. The challenge for marketers, would be

  1. Not to look like cheap sales-men who normally come home to sell products – Well dressed people with courteous manners could take care of it. Also packaging the product attractively would make a lot of difference.
  2. Make sure passengers see the product as a premium one in the market. In fact, I guess, the strategy could work only for premium brands

If you are wondering, how this is different from home delivered trial sachets,

  1. Travelling is basically a memorable thing, unlike being at home which the normal state is. So, a cleverly crafted, well executed marketing would tend to stick to their memory
  2. At the end of some percentage of the journeys, we are meeting someone or staying at a place (could be a relative’s place), in which case the passengers would act as ambassadors for the brand or give the free sachet to the relative for trying out provided he is satisfied with the brand.

Probably, it’s an already tried out strategy? Anyone knows of it? Hmm. And the sweet was not drugged, FYI! 🙂

Arun Vallappan

Life on an express track

September 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Last Friday, I was traveling from Hyderabad to Madurai (my hometown) in train and had the best possible time in the last 1 year. So, quiet and calm..did n’t have much to do, no commitments, decent food, snacks, fruits, awesome sleep with no alarm.. hmm..

Over the last few months, there has been a good amount of work in my application. Added to that, the meetings, calls, deadlines..does n’t leave you with enough time to enjoy the little things in life. I even had a dream about my on-site manager once! It’s a guy by the way 😦


Though i like my job and working late nights, taking responsibilities, etc etc, over a period of time we crave for things to stop and stand still..I would like to spend a day with just a book, food and sound sleep. Sometimes tend to think our patience has become so thin, that we can’t wait till the end of a novel to know the climax let alone have the patience to read till the last page!

That’s when a full day for you with the laptop battery down becomes a rare thing to cherish. Even better, I was down to paper and pen. Awesome!

But let’s face it, I almost can’t live with a slow net connection. Its like living in the early 90’s. Why would I want to do that? I love my laptop when it hits 1 mbps. Though we would enjoy all these pleasures of stand still life we can’t do that every day.

That’s OK. Whenever i get a chance will make sure, i don’t miss that..

Arun Vallappan

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