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BW Businessworld

Writing About Business Is Also A Key Fragment Of Literature

With Donald Trump and Dollar it’s time to look at the last cluster that had some more amazing sessions. The tempo of the festival is only improving even while we are approaching at the end of the day and we heard Dr. Anil Lamba, Mr. Ninad Karpe, Prakash Iyer, and Dr. Deepak Shikarpur

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Having been always fond of books Dr. Lamba said he always wanted to be a part of a Literature Festival and after being a Business author, he always felt like an outsider in any literature festival. He always thought a business author may be doesn’t qualify to be in a literature festival. He was immensely appreciative about the IBLF saying how apt the platform is for all Business Authors. Dr. Lamba more known for his financial literacy activist, and an international corporate trainer, having written two books namely - Romancing with Balance Sheet and the most recent one being Flirting with Stocks ; Stock Market Investing for beginners. 

Why flirting with the stocks as a title of the book – he says ‘Flirting; that’s because it is for the beginners and not for the seasoned investors. It is for them to explore who is just starting or never invested before.’ 

We are assuming the new investor will certainly enjoy flirting with the right stocks!

Going into his talks – He said investing in stock market is a Nation duty?? One would wonder how come buying stocks be a National Duty? His explanation- Stock market gives you the flexibility of investing when you have the money and withdraw when you want it back. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but most of your money back. When a large number of people invest in shares – the market steams with activity with a fat number of buyers’ and sellers which makes them easy to find each other and more people get inclined to invest. When, more people are willing to invest – more ideas get invested, more entrepreneurs are born, more employment is added all this adds to our GDP – so in the national interest – one must invest in the stock market.

However a word of caution – one would rather not invest then invest foolishly and burn the money – therefore knowledge is a must! Talking about foolish investor and the adverse impact on others decision to buy is very dangerous. He advised – never to jump into it without understanding, one will end up blaming the Stock Exchange the market which will result the investor not to invest again – and dissuade others too not to invest – which is a criminal activity as per Dr. Lamba.

What and When – coming to his strategy of how to be a successful investor? Illustrated by few real-life interactions. Ideally, choose a good share – choose the right timing –don’t jump into it. All these basics are quite well described in his book. He says ‘When you choose shares on grounds of safety, you don’t guarantee safety, but you guarantee mediocrity of returns’

Dr. Lamba – ‘If you want to be safe from the investment – don’t choose shares. Phenomenal returns can be made from the stock market as we all know there is a direct co-relation between the risk and return. High risk high return – if you want it safe – Stock market is not the place for you.’

Stretching the safety angle in the Shares he gave the example of Enron’s share of October 2001 – without exception that was the best buy – December 2001 the company did not exist anymore – so if you choose on the grounds of safety – how sure are we that it is safe – how qualified are we to say it is safe when best brains in the world could not figure out that the company will collapse in three months’ time. What an incredible example of Safety vs. Risk!

“If you want phenomenal returns you should be willing to stick your neck out.

Giving another old example of Mazda Leasing stock – that continued to rise from Rs.6 to Rs.42 when most of the investors sold – Mazda kept rising and reached up to Rs.1600 shares over the period of time. Accidentally an investor who had forgotten that he had good shares made phenomenal gain as against someone who monitors the growth every day –ended up selling at a mediocre price! 

Personal Disclaimer – ‘I am not a stock broker, I am not a trader – I don’t make money by providing stock market services, I have no vested interest in propagating stock market except a desire in National Interest.’

Mr. Ninad Karpe, our next speaker who is a marketing and business strategy consultant, working across different corporates and mentoring Indian companies to make a mark on the global stage. Mr. Karpe chooses his topic -Comfort is for WIMPS!

He made his talk and presentation very interesting by adding characters to his marketing & business strategies examples. It was interesting how one can relate and associate an example to each strategy- quite imaginable and comprehendible –His book is titled – ‘Bond to Baba’, which he says took him 6 years to complete.

He took us through various strategies starting with how ‘Reinvention’ makes a huge difference in any business that is doing well and to the one facing challenges. He related ‘James Bond’s character that originated in 1962 becoming the most successful film franchise of the world, facing competition- from Mission Impossible, Fast & Furious etc. - They had to focus on Reinvention as a strategy – and changes were witnessed in the movie – SKYFALL in the year 2012, the entire character of the Bond was reinvented, that became a big success.

We usually forget our history but here Mr. Karpe –took us back 331 BCtoAlexander the Great, who became the empire of the most known world at the age of 32! Mr. Karpe – described his winning strategy in the battle of Gaugamela, Alexander’s decisive and skillful movement that led to the final victory attack against the oversized army of the Persian King Darius III He won the battle by using better strategy with a smaller army! Relating to modern days instances to say – any small company can actually win against a giant company by using a better strategy – local example was washing detergent powder- Nirma using better strategy against a big multinational company Surf. Nirma sold at Rs.3 as against the brand Surf detergent selling at Rs13. Nirma found a gap in the market of detergent -soon becoming a household name and a huge success!

Talking about – Kabbadi which became Pro Kabbadi – old sport with a new look and how suddenly becoming the most watched sports -a great example of how you can revive an old brand. Formula One racing, he focused on teamwork agility – giving the strategy used at pit stop where 20 people around the car change tires and clean – in a span of between 2 to 2.5 second - extreme engineering skill, immense teamwork, a lot of practice and team agility.

Being a huge fan of a regional market-he said while brands focus on the international market – a lot of time they ignore the potential of the regional market- he urged -be a regional player! One of the most popular example – a Marathi movie called ‘Sairat’ that exceeded 100 crores of revenue of a total Marathi movie business of 250 crores. Wagh Bakri tea a great example of Gujarat! The regional market products are fantastic it connects with the local minds, local needs! 

His final take on - Baba and their brand of extension – it sounds witty but here we go the New Godman/men in India – it’s true they created a huge revolution. ‘India is and will remain the biggest laboratory in the world where godmen are in commerce’ – Baba Ramdev, more known for his Yoga suddenly started selling products - today it is 10,000 crores turn over company, next we have Sri ‘s products and SadGuru – all of them have huge followers who buy their products and the followers keep increasing in numbers. Each godman has a separate strategy – baba Ramdev – uses his face as a brand on Patanjali products – Sri used a strategy of not putting his face - Satguru – more mysterious and Ram Rahim -MSG Bollywood strategy! However, while the products are closely associated with the person - anything happens to the individual -products will go down the drain. Example – Ram Rahim – who took a very modern way to connect to the followers – followed the Bollywood route – did 100 rock shows but eventually got arrested for rape! Result – his entire strategy went for a toss and he failed!

Mr. Karpe fondly says – ‘baba and their art of brand extension, Compete with them – we will have some god man selling – product or service in that market – they are smart business people. Whichever business you are in – you will have to compete with Godmen’s business – they are here to stay!

Finally  –Comfort is for WIMPS –‘You have a successful business, a business that is doing well, you have to apply some of these strategies, you cannot sit comfortably, saying I have done great business here and I am going to increase it next year things are just going to fall , you have to resurrect some brands and you have to be in agile  – you cannot take time to respond- you have to remember there are very strong regional players in the regional market, go after them, there are godman in the serious business, they will come to whichever business you are in.

Mr. Prakash A Iyer, motivational speaker, and leadership coach, speaks and writes extensively on motivation, leadership, teamwork and winning. His first book – titled The Habit of Winning – was published in 2011 which was shortlisted for The Economist Crossword Popular Book Award, and has been translated into seven languages. His second book – The Secret of Leadership and the other is -You Too Can.

It was quite fascinating as his style was different than we have seen anyone talking about leadership lessons - taking examples of sportsmen over corporate leaders. He mesmerized the audience by sharing great leadership lessons he learned from the world of cricket and sportsmen. It was like watching a live match and noting lessons.

He himself apparently was fascinated by the idea of leadership –‘what is it about some people that they manage to get people around to win them, it is not about their talent to deliver results which are super. At the same time we all know there are people who look very promising, have all the talent but don’t actually make it big. One common trait of the leader is their ability to stick through tough times - their ability to stay with it and not quit! They don’t get up and go when they could have left.’

To him what was also surprising while we spent 14/15 years in educational institutes, we never get a single class on leadership. However- lessons for him is all around, all we need to do is LOOK. There are lessons at home, sports, animal kingdom, the lady who sells vegetables down the road maids who work for us etc.

He shared six leadership lessons he learned from cricket - their winning and losing, their qualities as a sportsman. 

Giving the example of the 2010 India vs. Australia test match in-Mohali – India at 120/ 8 and Ishant Sharma came to join VVS Laxman to complete the target of 216. What happened in the partnership – was a huge amount of trust put by VVS Laxman that Ishant can do it and letting him hit most the remaining balls and India won. What was remarkable was not the win but the manner India won – the trust displayed by a leader into his team member that gave India a huge victory! The lesson here is – most companies complain about their team not doing well- but then the hallmark of a true leader is getting his people around him to do well. Trust your team, believe in them, make them feel good and see what they can do for you and your organization.

Another, greatest game of One Day cricket match 2006 – Australia vs. South Africa where Aussies scored huge target 434/4, which was a history of scoring more than 400 in a one day match- an impossible target that people thought and to be chased by SA then lead by Jack Kallis. It was Jack Kallis who saw his team haggard, hammered and beaten already – to which he said ‘Guys –I think they are 15 runs short’ – magic happened on the field and SA scored – 438 and won the game. One will wonder – what made the team win when they were down the dumps – The quality of a leader is to stand up and say that we can do it – the HOPE and Optimism of Jack Kallis made his team’s spirit to get up ‘Say if they can score 434 we can do it too ‘. Hope always stays!

From players to Umpire? How will you get a leadership lesson from an Umpire the Umpire Swarop Kisan’s autograph where he wrote ‘Pause And Decide’. As umpires they learned the worst mistake they make is take a decision in a hurry – when they wait and pause – they take the right decision. As leaders, it holds true that we need to pause before we respond!!! The moment of Silence is the most powerful lesson.

Great lesson from Navjot Singh Siddhu who debuted in 1983 and played first two test matches having his highest score at 20 only. His lack of performance made a headline ‘The Stroke less wonder’ and was dropped soon after. Saddened by the news he decided to turn things around and practiced for 4 years and finally got picked to play World Cup 87 – hit the top score – and changed his headline from ‘From Stroke less wonder to palm tree hitter’ As a leader, there are times when you feel down the dumps – feeling not good enough- a great leader don’t get faced by critics – a critic is someone who is trying to get you better. That’s a great trait of a leader!

Hokaito Zhimomi from Kolkata Knight Rider –never played for KKR – never played for India – didn’t get a single game – but was a Hero, the first man from Nagaland to win an IPL contract.  Every kid in Nagaland wanted to be Hokaito. Although he never played but what do we learn from Hakaito is to understand the difference – between a success and a failure – he celebrated what he had rather than crying over what he didn’t and was a hero! Great leaders say that -– I am going to be as good as it’s going to be.

Interesting research of Olympics winners is that the winners of bronze medals are happier than the Silver because the Silver winner is sad that they missed the gold – the bronze winner is happy that they at least got Bronze. So leadership is truly about finding happiness in what you get and in what you do. !

What was missing in the leadership lesson which Mr. Iyer pointed in the end was, he gave great examples of leadership in players, but we did not talk about any captains or any heads – because leadership is not about that one person on the top – leadership is for all of us – it’s about how can we as person lead the best life.

 Truly inspiring session by the second last man in the last cluster - Mr. Iyer!

Coming to the end of IBFL, we had last but not the least Dr. Deepak Shikarpur who touched upon the subject that most authors did not talk about in the IBFL – The Digital /Cyber World-although we spoke of Innovation and Technology -Dr. Shikarpur – member, National Board of Information Technology, someone who has authored 38 books in IT in English and Marathi. An awardee of “Veer Savarkar Award” and Wrangler Paranjpe awards constituted by the Maharashtra State Government for Best Marathi literature. He applauded and compared IBFL to the iconic event of Pune city named Sawai Gandharva, which truly is the exceptional praise for IBLF for bringing all Business Literature people together like a Music Festival. Dr. Shikarpur decided to speak on – Digital Future.


If you want to remain in IT leadership you have to learn about IT on a daily basis

The proud Punekar, Dr. Shikarpur said IT was the subject he chose to write about 20 years back and will still be a topic which remains to be written 20 years from now, for we live in a world where technology changes every day. Interestingly, he equated with a simple formula for IT to IT=Indian Talent, IT=Innovation Technology which means- ‘If every Indian Talent becomes Innovative then the IT= India Tomorrow that will lead India as a developed Nation!’


Our smartphones being our first digital device has replaced many old gadgets. It was surprising when he said – ‘We may soon discard even devises like – Laptop, TV, Camera, LCD etc., none of these is going to exist after 20 years and also the new devices will keep on upgrading- multiple things will get embedded in our smartphone that will start projecting. The computing power will grow multi-folds – the internet will be free like a sunlight. If you think you are naturally intelligent- machine learning will give you the competition – talking about Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.’


Talking about Predictive analysis, he said -We live in an era where chips (not potato chips laughing) will be embedded in our body either through surgery or by medicine capsules and they will start transmitting on Bluetooth - your gastric juice analysis –your body will be an online pathology. More advanced would be if you are a Heart or BP Patient the embedded chip will send you a message in your brain of an expected heart attack in 30 minutes. This is called Predictive analysis. Soon the hardware and communication technology will innovate, and this explosion will create multiple careers and destroy multiple careers. The young Indian will have to skill themselves according to the job or there will be no future.

He also made us understand the Impact of Cyber generations, Cyber Kids and e-learning in a witty way, giving information on Cyber-crime how 2 % of the IT professionals are into Cybercrime with an intention to cheat and how through AI our machine will tell us how unfit we are to use the machine. He also made us aware of the challenges that Cyber world has - e-waste management – will be a huge challenge, Cyber addiction, Digital divide due to infrastructure, lack of censorship!

Conclusion;- The festival sure can be said each author carried their own savours of their striking yet hearty writings/examples of their own personal life-changing experiences and familiarities, their several interactions with their clients, strangers, families, and friends. The blunders they made through their own actions and learnings from others. Some spoke on the business of history as Business Historian and some on great Family owned business that made a humble beginning and is a giant calling them - HEROES. some spoke on human angle and organisation angel on needs as Foundation of CARE for growth– also not to ignore - the huge gaps in Business literature cautions and measure– how it needs it to be bridged, passion of working 8 days a week- loving what you do and doing what you love - applying ancient Chakanya’s philosophy to run an organisation and Arjuna's method of reflection on actions in management/leadership/ entrepreneurship life – applying innovation and studying how with lack of resources one can still create a huge brand as a start-ups, least to mention – how to differentiate between business books and business literature comparing it to management studies, not to mention about developing and eradicating poverty , employment for youths from a social development angle- REMAKING INDIA ! The effect of an American economy – hitting the Global slow- down with knowing - the history of the Dollar and American behaviour. Mostly leadership – learning from the world of movies, cricket, sportsmen –also from our ancient warrior ruler - back 331 BCtoAlexander the Great! learning about Godmen being our competitors and being a SPONGE – learning from great Industry leaders; last but not the least – the great introduction to the world of Digital and how our life will change with machine learning …a bravo end to the one-day BizLitFiz – Pune!

We concluded by having the three organizing team on the stage - Mr. Sameer Dua , Mrs. Aruna Katara and Ms. Sheetal Kharka (representing  Dr. Annurag Batra).– for the closing remarks – and appreciate the sponsors – especially our – The ICFAI Group for being the presenting sponsor, Sai Estate Consultants and Symantec Group to be the associate partners and most importantly BW Businessworld and exchange4media for supporting IBFL.  The next one up was already in the minds of the organizers – the awe-inspiring responses from such great authors made this IBFL a Disneyland for us all for sure!

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