Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Experience - Khublei Shillong

Cntd...Picture this...my previous post..

When we are excited, there is a danger that things might turn a little wrong. Exactly, the same way I began my journey. First we went to the bus stand and realized the bus I have got my tickets booked will go from another one, i.e. some 7 kms away. Bingo! We had to rush and we could make it on time. Then while on my way to Delhi, we got stuck into a huge traffic jam. Yeah we were at a standstill for 5 hours and I could hear my fellow passengers canceling their air tickets and some even smiling (though it was tough for them). Of course I was nervous, wondering what next? I called up Rohit to check, whether I too should cancel my tickets – Halo effect I believe! But then as always, he told me to keep some patience. I remember by then I had even asked my neighbor the procedure to cancel my tickets :-

Anyways, I reached the Delhi Bus Stand at around 8.45 am (btw my flight time was 11.20am) and I rushed to home, got ready and rushed again. Thanks to my friend who was there on time to accompany me till the airport and it was fine because I was busy talking then looking at my watch again & again. And believe me having breakfast in the auto is not that bad. Finally I was there at terminal 1 at 10.50am. Huh! I was actually going to Shillong :-). The flight was smooth and nice and we din’t faced much of air-traffic. I reached Guwahati in the afternoon and I was at Shillong at 6pm. It was a beautiful journey but by this time very-very tiring. It was a warm welcome and I was pleased to be there. I stayed in one of the guest faculty apartment. It was a nice and cozy apartment and I was really happy.

One of my students of CRM came around 8pm to take me to the IIM Shillong mess for dinner. We had some healthy discussions at the dinner table and I was escorted back to my apartment. Next morning, we had a quick meeting with Col. Biswas who had taken the initiative for SERM course from Assam Rifles. I thank him for he arranged a vehicle for sight scene in and around Shillong. Believe me, it’s a beautiful place. I am sure I know why was called ‘The Scotland of East’ few years back. One of the interesting things I learned about Shillong was about ‘quawaye’ – a Pan leaf with lime soda powder which we refer to as ‘chuna’ in common parlance, is one of the main serving with tea or a gesture of respect to your visitors. On enquiring I found that, at times when poverty ruled the households, the locals over there decided that a person, who is not economically sound to serve delicacies to the guests, can serve ‘quawaye’ with tea as a sign of respect and thankfulness. Interesting & nice concept it is, also a tradition of the common households of Shillong.

I also did some mystery shopping, as that was my plan for the session I had prepared. I had to give my audience some local & relevant examples. I knew those examples would even help them in doing right comparative study.

Now coming to the sessions, they were good and I am sure I could make them interesting as well as interactive. I can say so because my session got stretched from 2 to 3 hours and they were still ready to sit. I was overwhelmed and thankful to all of them. I hope to get even more such chances to help people understand things better.

Lastly, I learned a beautiful word – Khublei meaning, thank you. And with that I decide to wrap up this journey through the memory lane.

Khublei Shillong :-)

Friday, October 3, 2008

"Picture this: Jigyasa teaching Retail Marketing at IIM Shillong"

"Picture this: Jigyasa teaching Retail Marketing at IIM Shillong "
Difficult na ... i also thought so .. untill recently ...

People say that a keen interest and willingness to learn takes you to places. Plus, persistence and eagerness to learn is the key to keep us keep going. Also the past activities bring the effect to them in future – sooner or later.

Well, I guess God considered all the above aspects and when he decided the above mentioned role for me. Yes, I was there for taking two sessions as a part of the corporate lecture series of their Accelerated Learning Program. I was so glad and wanted to give my best shot. It took me few days to believe that I am finally going and have lots to do in terms of the requisites of a proper corporate lecture. Since, my motto was to design a very interesting & interactive session with lots of examples.

Opportunity & a U-turn

Life doesn’t offer a second chance to everyone. I hope you agree to this and eventually I too had the same thing in my mind while preparing through the opportunity after the tiring day at work. Plus, I got a sprain K , God keeps checking his children on their tolerance & persistence. I somehow managed and by the time I was done with 75%of the subject provided to me, it got a U-turn. Ah! They changed the topic!! Incidentally, it was Retail, the one I am always ready to talk & learn for. But it was no pancake; I needed a proper flow, implementation tools etc. I remember I was quite panicky but slowly I collected my positive attitude & energy to go ahead.


This was not so tough but demanding in terms of timelines, may be too tough with office and it’s ever increasing issues. I started slow and was trying to excel. I started with a blueprint of the plan, then did some data collection and in 3 days I realized, there is no stop to reading good stuff, so one fine day I decided to stick with the data I had till that day, my job was to get that in good shape & size – to make it more interesting, to bank it with more, relevant examples. I must say, it was too much of reading & observations in detail. I was excited and had to put that excitement onto my slides & hand-outs. By this time I had decided that I will be covering the “Emerging Trends” in retail industry, largely the
Retail Formats,
Visual Strategy & POP – as the face of retail,
Private Labels &
Mall Management in detail.

Now once I was on the job, slowly my concern was the time period allotted per session; I wanted to discuss too many things. That shows – I was gaining confidence. Well, I thought so!

About the entire experience at IIM, you will have to come back and read my next post…..but before I sign off….let me thank my Prof. who chose me for the reason, my friend Hemant for some critical inputs & timely help and my better half Rohit for helping me in domestic chores and then with the preparation. These two people actually made the whole thing like a project work for me. Of course a critical one ;-)