Friday, December 03, 2004

Indian Sports
India finally was able to beat SA, nothing to gloat about though, but anyways a victory is sweet. The Proteas did put up an admirable resistance, and only due to the genius of Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh was India able to wrap it up. While watching the last rites as Sachin and Dravid were playing, had a fleeting thought that it would be a sort of poetic justice for Sachin if he deprived Dravid of a half-century after he was left stranded on 195 when Dravid had declarated in Pakistan. I realized how stupid that thought was, firstly a 50 is nowhere comparable to a 200, moreover how could I think of such a thing about Dravid, who is undoubtedly one of the most committed and professional player in the whole game.
Yesterday the sports page had a glamorous photo of GaganAjit singh surrounded by a few models, at a promotional event for the National hockey league. Good to see some marketing , hopefully it will be professionally managed, but considering the reputation of IHF, dont have much expectations. KPS Gill has got to go, his autocratic style and bureaucratic mindset wont lead Indian hockey anywhere. Heard that Sunil Dutt is unhappy with the state of affairs. The Sport Ministry should restructure the entire setup , get professional help from other boards, preferably Australia. In hockey this is possible as there isnt too much lucre involved as yet; in cricket despite the bungling BCCI the stakes are too high, with top-notch politicians and businessmen having interests. So any major shake-up is difficult. Maybe with a positive change in hockey, gradually the cricket scene will improve.
Similarly my heart bleeds for Indian football, it has a potential to be the most popular sport ,as well as a profitable proposition. Only a lot of dedication , hard-work and unity among the various organizations is required. The NFL is a step in the right direction, but currently the players still
play a lot of matches per season,the Calcutta Super League, Goan league ,Kerala leagues plus all the knockout tournaments like Rovers, Federation, IFA shield ,Durand and events like Santosh trophy etc. That dilutes the charm of the National league. The top clubs shouldnt field their first choice teams in the local city/state leagues, so that gradually only the Natnl League is given prominence. it should be expanded in scope and get good sponsorship and television, media coverage, basically a proper professional promotion. ESPN-Star seems the best bet, along with help from the UB group. Ask for help from FIFA , which would be glad to help considering its overflowing coffers and the vast market potential of India, but again the major stumbling block is the faction ridden AIFF.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Last weekend IIM Lucknow organized its annual marketing fair event called Index thats an acronym for 'IN'formation through 'D'isguised 'EX'perimentation; talk about reverse engineered acronyms :) . This event is a veritable mela, it attracts the lucknow public in droves, with the lure of free gifts, infromal events, and games. The main intent is to get different target audiences for particular stalls which are sponsored by companies for doing market research, the information should be gathered in such a way so that the consumer doesnt know that his views are being taken for a market survey. I was involved in the informal events , one was a KBC(kaun banega crorepati) style quiz and the other a school quiz, the KBC one involved picking people from the audience on to the stage and asking them questions with 4 choices. we had to conduct this in hindi. The night before, my partner and i had a hilarious time converting all our quiz questions into hindi. Some samples for which the translation was a pain. 1. Which psychopath is the protagonist of the book “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris. a.Jack The Ripper b. Norman Bates c. Holden Caulfield d. Hannibal Lecter
Which of the following is not one of the seven wonders of the ancient world?Pyramids of Egypt b. Colossus of Rhodes c. Lighthouse of Alexandria d. Taj Mahal
Some other words and phrases which gave us trouble were. "bone of contention" , "best-selling", "siege", "inscription", "anthology" etc. Finally we referred a website to help us out.
we also had some questions with local flavour like Which of the following songs sung by K. L. Saigal, was written by the last Nawab of Lucknow (Awadh) – Wajid Ali Shah? a.karun kya aas niraas bhayi b. jab dil hi toot gaya c. babul mora naihar chhooto jaayed. baalam aaye baso more man men 2. Who among the following singers was born in Lucknow?a.Freddie Mercury b. Mick Jagger c. Cliff Richards d. Bryan Adams
Overall it was a unique experience. The school quiz was a disappointment, the level of the teams was quite below par .