Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Request to Votes | For Panel Picker session at SXSW Interactive 2016..

Happy and proud to share my entry to the SXSW 2016 Interactive Panel Picker on the topic "Did You Say "Content"? That's Passé. It’s Cont-Art" [Theme: Content and Distribution, Format: Solo] 

My CMO (Naveen Rajdev) submission is "Transforming 150K people into marketers in 90 days" [Theme: Branding and Marketing, Format: Solo]

As Naveen said "This is an event where noise becomes music, flailing movements become dance & magically your environment turns into a unicorn-haven". We look forward to your support to help us be part of the magic!  The voting process is open. Please register and vote for us, so we find a spot on the podium.

For those who don't know | About SXSW - The South by Southwest®(SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery. Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Published on EconomicTimes | Relation between mobile payments and habit formation

So happy and proud to share that my post "Mobile Payments Game - Is the winning move about habit formation?" has been published on Economic Times.. This is my 2nd byline on ET. The 1st article is here

What do you think? Is the mobile payments game about habit formation? Leave a comment to let me know..

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

This "Chaltha-Hain" Attitude..

This "Chaltha-Hain" Attitude.. is good because
It makes you accepting of limitations, circumstances
It makes you accepting of things beyond your control
It makes you aware of the problem space
It makes you look at short-term solutions
It makes you focus on the here and now
It teaches you "This too shall pass"
It compels you to innovate, or think 'out-of-the-box'
It makes you complacent
It puts boundaries in reality- which exist for very many different reasons..

This "Chaltha-Hain" Attitude..is not so good because
It makes you OK with everything
It makes you lose focus on where you really want to go
It makes you mellow down on your dreams, desires and passions
It makes you too accepting of status-quo; with little motivation to change
It makes you too comfortable in your 'comfort-zone'
It makes you lose focus of long term
It makes you focus on just getting through
It makes you somewhat closed in your approach to solving problem
It puts boundaries in the mind - which don't always exist

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

All the things you miss about pregnancy – once it is behind you!

A few days ago, I was at a mall when I happened to observe several pregnant women. I have this hypothesis that these happen in cycles. Like there are times when I see so many expectant mothers, and times when I don’t seem to know any one on the journey to motherhood. As a mother today, that phase of life is behind me. However, I thought why not go back on memory lane and list down what any woman misses about pregnancy when it is behind her.
  • That one thought which all women go through “Am I ready to be a mother” or “Will I be a good mother!” – Almost every pregnant woman goes through phases, feelings and thoughts of self-doubt. Well, let me tell you once you are a mother, you just are a mother. There is no time to think, prepare or judge. You just got to do the job – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year! Sigh! So, well you are a mother. Period.
  • Eat what you want, when you want and how you want without a care in the world. You can do it at any time in life – but let me tell you it feels 200% right when you do it during pregnancy!
  • People checking on you randomly – friends, family, neighbors, etc. – to ask if you are feeling OK! After that, all calls / messages are usually for the kids!
  • Random stories, unsolicited advice and feedback – The number of pregnancy stories, tales, myths is countless. But now, I miss them as they would always make you really wonder if there was any truth in them at all
  • A view of the aspiring-astrologers (future / fortune tellers) in your network – Every one wants to predict if it is a boy or a girl. Come on! There’s a 50% chance that you are right. Then, those whose predictions came true will claim credit for the rest of your life Ya! Like they played a part in the pregnancy!
  • Natural glow on your skin – There is something about what pregnancy does to you as a woman that brings out a beautiful natural glow – I don’t know if it is the hormones, happiness or something else. But it shows!
  • Sharing notes with pregnant mothers – Again, what you can share / talk and express is best left for behind closed doors! But I think women open up and lose a lot of inhibitions at this phase of life
  • Never ending photography sessions – when people fuss on you to take your pictures
  • Getting assistance even when you may not need it. Who does not like a little extra help and attention. Anyways with chivalry / sympathy / empathy in the list of dying virtues – So this does feel good
  • Saying what you want to say – and getting away with it – without an explanation or care in the world. Hormones speak more than they should – Many times!
  • Doing what you want to do – and getting away with it – without an explanation or care in the world. Again, Hormones (mis)behave more than they should – Many times!
  • Getting your spouse to fulfill any (and every) whim and fancy – After that, you have to wait till your kids start talking and route in the requests to Papa / Daddy 
  • Tell yourself “It’s OK! I’m doing this for my child” when actually the only reason you are doing it is to satiate yourself
  • Indulging in ‘retail therapy’ – with the pretext that you’ll never really be the same again! From experience, I can say that neither you nor life will ever be the same again!
  • Baby shopping – The joy in buying the first baby clothes or baby stuff. I still remember the very first attire I bought for my baby, and I know I will keep it with me for a long long time!
  • Doctor Visits / Scans – As much as many of us don’t like visits to the hospitals, this is one time when you look forward to meeting your doctor so she says “All is well“; not to mention – the rendezvous with your baby through the scans!
  • Genuine attempts to make positive changes in life / lifestyle – Again, almost all mothers I know promised / swore to make positive changes in their life / lifestyle for their kids and future. I don’t think anyone kept it beyond pregnancy.. But whatever! It is the hope and intent which counts
  • Playing a part in co(-creating) life – There is some unexplainable magic! While you may understand the physics, chemistry and biology in creating human life – The divine element of creation is beyond human comprehension
As I sign-off, I can say this – It is possibly one of the most memorable phases of life.. The ending of one chapter.. And beginning of a new one.. With the birth of your child, you are a new YOU!

What do you miss the most from those bygone pregnancy days? Leave a comment to let me know

A version of this post was first published on WomensWeb

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Being a startup mentor at StartUpPulse - An Inc42 event

Last week, I was an invited mentor to the Startup Pulse event, organized by Inc42 . It was an interesting experience for me personally. 

Here's why?
1) From the start of 2015, I've been keenly following the India start-up ecosystem, and keen to play a part. This was my first opportunity to do that!
2) I was the only woman mentor to be part of the 16 mentors! :)
3) Looking back, this opportunity landed at my door-step purely by the power of my writing and networks. So there is power in words and the power in networks.

Some lessons I took away from the event:

1) Dream Big, The Vision Matters | Key to taking the start-up route is to dream big, and think of how your idea can solve a problem, change the world and make a difference. Others might not agree / support, and that is probably the best indication that you are on the right path

2) Understanding the overall "business/ financials" is important | You need to know how to make money, and how to make money work for you. Some comes from learning and some from experience. But key is to stay on top of numbers

3) The idea matters, But execution even more | So you need to have a great team to take your idea to reality. Invest in the right founding team. That can be the only reason for you to have a fair shot at success

4) Women Entrepreneurs rock | I'm also totally amazed to see a new breed of no-nonsense women entrepreneurs who know what they want and how to get there.. Totally kick-ass women, and first time I am seeing many of them - who are surely but steadily growing their businesses...

5) Embrace Technology | I'm always happy to see how so many solutions are based purely on the power of technology . Some of them have used it in ways that will really blow your mind. I love how so many innovative mobile apps are coming up every single day! I also love how there are so many "marketplace" apps.. Like neither do they own the consumers / suppliers - They just build platforms to bring everyone together - from art, to education, to legal help.. range / diversity is awesome...

6) Age Matters | Average age of founders is between 24 to 30 years. Mostly single / newly married. I think your risk taking appetite reduces with age, unless you have nothing really to lose

7) Personal Finances should be planned | Don't get into loans, EMI's, etc. / buy things you don't need / can't afford. 3 years don't expect to take home too much, Have a fund to take care of regular expenses.. That way, you are not worrying about how to pay the bills..

Just my thoughts. Comments welcome..