Gangs of bikes and Royal Enfield

Success creates its own enemies summarises the outlook business article on Royal Enfield. You can read it here.
The article says Enfield is selling too many bikes. They  are too common now and thereby losing its niche appeal. Soon its premium value will wear off and so will its sales and stock head south.
The article points out that Royal Enfield suffers “a one trick pony” syndrome.  The only model that outsells everything else  is the Classic 350. Both Cafe racer/Continental GT and Himalayan have turned out to be a dud.  500 cc ran for a while but sales have cooled down. There is zero waiting for 500 CC models. With the commissioning of the the third royal Enfield have zero waiting for 350 cc models as well.
Competition is also heating up. Bajaj has come up with a so called Enfield killer called Dominor. Harley Davidson and Triumph are also geting ready with affordable bikes.
In short, unless Siddarth Lal pulls another rabbit from his hat the thump is going to get feeble and feeble.
True that Enfield are getting common. You see many Boxer wearing kids driving a Royal Enfield. Old riders hate these new riders. Old riders also hate new Royal Enfield bikes. But that has not stopped the company for from selling more and more of them.
When it comes to bikes there are three Gangs
1) Commuter/Sports biker
2) Royal Enfield
3) Premium motorcycles like Harley and Triumph
A commuter biker dreams of upgrading to a Royal Enfield or KTMs/Dominor.
KTM’s and Dominors are good bikes but nothing set them apart from the stable of CBZ, Pulsar et al. And that is their main weakness. Everyone wants to have a Harley but most can’t afford them. And even when they can their families will never approve of a bike that costs as much as a decent car.
In believe that Royal Enfield is at that sweet spot of upgrade, affordability and style. Their riders look look different from the rest of the gang. Unless Triumph and Harley start selling cheaper bikes Royal Enfield will rule the roost.
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Bus ek Chatbot chahiye Whatsapp ke liye

I now receive more messages on WhatsApp than FB, gmail, post etc etc. I also receive on an average 50MB of videos, daily morning pics, inspirational quotes to name a few. The biggest malware on my phone is WhatsApp.

Honestly, I need a Chatbot. Not intelligent, just artificial will do. In fact I need the chatbot that escaped Facebook AI labs. Just one of them in my  phones and he  can do all the chatting for me and  don’t even need to understand it.

I would love if my Chatbot  can send a ” Good Morning” messages at 12.01 AM to all my WhatsApp groups . If possible use the heaviest image file. For all the mornings that you wished me ” Good morning” here is the revenge of the person whose sleep you distrubed.

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My other wish is for the chatbot to combine all the videos that I receive in a single file and send it to all those who  forward 15Mb videos to me.( on JIO or office internet off course).

I want my Chatbot to unleash ” wannacry” malware for every message that uses hashtags. Get real, your good morning and be happy type of messages are unlikely to go viral.And finally block ( plus create their profile on tinder) those send messages using emojis unless they are supported by proper subtitles.

 

And as I write this blog I have received yet another message full of wisdom which ends like this ” You have a choice to either delete this message or share it, it will take less than a minute to pass this along so that our world will be a happier place”.

I have the same advise for you regarding this blog.

P.S .Inspired by the Rock vs Siri advert I also commanded by Google Assistant to put an alarm for 5 am in the morning. Good part was that it actually worked. Bad part was that the alarm rang at 5.am

 

Three cities one question

I grew up in Shimla.For a variety of reasons our family moved to Dehradoon in late 90s. In the beginning I didn’t like Dehradoon. It was a a city in a rush to become Delhi. But slowly I started enjoying doon. And how can I not. Mussoorie was literally walking distance and Ganga  was never too far away.

But Shimla never moved out of heart. I kept my links with Shimla alive by visiting the city whenever I got a chance.

Its been 24 years since I left Shimla. Out of which the for the last 14 years I have been living in Delhi. I call Delhi (South) home. I’m home in Delhi.

Life has been kind inspite the usual ups and downs. For the first time in my life I have the luxury of choice. I can choose where to live for the remaining years of my life.

Go back to the city where I was born or keep living in the city that made me what I’m today. Or take the middle path and move to Dehradoon.

Tough call.

 

 

To Protest or not to protest #Jallikatu

The answer came to me after a long time.

I totally agree that cruelty against animals is the worst form of cruelty and a slap on the face of entire humanity. Why ? Because animals can’t speak . They have to suffer silently the whole thing. If we are the higher beings then we have to treat other animals with kindness.

I’m all against animal cruelty but hey my morning starts with a healthy animal cruelty.

How ?

My morning tea has milk that is not meant for me. It’s for the calf. Imagine a cow who is lactating after delivery. Her calf is hungry. He is brought to the her just so that she can start giving milk. The calf doesn’t get to drink much. Almost all of the milk is taken away to be sold.  Now replace calf with your newborn.  Would you like mother’s milk for your newborn to be taken away from him.

So yes protest by all means but first put down that chicken wing and leave your lattes else you are just a Facebook animal friendly hypocrite.

Some would argue let’s start change with Jallikatu. I would say lets start change with us. Let’s start with our morning tea.

 

 

 

 

Have you actually seen NaMO Demonetisation survey

Never mind fellow netizens and experts with a IQ of 200 and above. You are free to comment and make jokes about it. Buzzfeed has actually a whole list of it here.

So I thought for a change it will be nice for us to see what the survey actually is like. So I dowloaded the survey and took some screen shots.

First, I agree that that large number of poor people who don’t smart phone cannot respond to the survey. But I fail to remember when was the last time in our history we actually asked the poor about their opinion. So lets not bring the poor into the argument just to win some points. This is the first time a politician is even asking  people about their opinion on a policy. It may not be the best medium but its a start.

But back to the survey.

Some questions use a scale. It may not be a perfect Likert scale but its not that bad that you simply ostracise the survey. All the questions are easy to understand.  May be one or two questions like the one that says – anti corruption activists are now supporting corruption- Yes or No is over the top and should have been removed. In all  Yes or No questions one could have added- I don’t know as an option

And yes all those who have smart phone and want to have their opinion heard can always criticise the  demonetisation move on this app first  and then take to twitter. That way they will get to see the questions 🙂

 

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Now this is super bad question. This Should be deleted. Its a you are with us or against us kind of question
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Don’t agree click Don’t know

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For 50 days Modi Jee give us these 5 things

Okay,  Indians will give you 50 days to make things normal. Lets hope you will be able to get ATMs to start dispensing cash. Lets hope you can make sure that everyone who doesn’t have a bank account is also able to change his or her currency and get started. But all of this will be well begun half done if you don’t do the following things. Worst,some of us will also start questioning the point of this exercise.

  1. Keep a limit on cash withdrawals from banks for ever. You can only withdraw so much cash in a calendar year. If it needs a new ordinance so be it. If there are no limits on cash withdrawals from banks then we will be back to square one. If you can’t legally limit then make the process difficult.
  2. Build a national invoicing system- one single software that everyone needs to use to print invoices.  For instance Delhi government has a single system that connects all their liquor shops. No more back entries in the books. Those who are not online please connect them using digital India mission.
  3. Introduce a cash transaction tax. Any cash transaction that is done will require a 10% tax. I’m sure you have smart people who can figure out how to do this.
  4. Make political parties including BJP disclose the source of donations- both cash and cheque.  Accountability has to start from your yard and rest of us will follow
  5. Digitise all land and building records. Make sure property cannot be purchased or sold without confirming the title on the digital records and not below the circle rates.  PAN already is compulsory. No PAN, No Property .

Start with suggestions 4 and 5. We are ready to face the brunt of demonetisation. We want to see if you are ready too: 🙂

I hope these things are already planned because I believe that you and your team is quite smart and have the right intent.

Air india website please grow up

Have you ever tried doing online check in with Air India. You will go nuts. First of all they have 4 options and then each of the options they  have a long list of things that they require before you check in. In todays day and age they  want you to  give you Flight number and date with your name, PNR  etc

The four infamous options

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After you have chosen one of the above you will be presented with another screen with more information to give. All these six fields are compulsory but they don’t tell us that upfront. You will realise it after doing dance with submissions and errors.

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Now see how Indigo does web check in. PNR and name and its done. No wonder they have pipped Air India in everything.

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Indigo Web check in options

Our Indian state carrier is also not ashamed of using stock photos and that too of a foreign national.  They are just too lazy. If you have to use stock photo please choose a Indian face at least.

I don’t know when will Air India grow up to be an adult.

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 Air India customer service agents looks like her ?

Spot the difference-Cash vs the rest

Case 1: A skill building organisation is training people in skills. The participants pay nothing. Indian government foots the bills

Case 2: A new non-profit is doing unconditional cash transfers. They will give money directly to the poor and let them decide what is best for them. No strings attached.

When ever I go and speak to someone from the non-profit sector they are very quick to point out that Case 1 is a life change investment where as Case 2 is just a dole ( Implicit  argument  is that somehow Case 1 is superior).

The trouble is that really there is no  difference per se- both are doles or handouts. The only difference is that in Case 1 you have decided on the behalf of the poor that skills training is best for them.

I do  feel that there is merit in skills training and all the other kinds of poverty alleviation programs that NGOs and Governments run in India and across the world. But billions of dollars are spent in these efforts but very little if at all anything is given as cash  to the poor. May be there lies a fundamental distrust that if we give money directly to the poor then they will waste it. I have two big problems with this distrust. One, NGOs and Governments are themselves super inefficient and wasteful and two all the money is spent in the name of the poor.

May be for a change we need to rethink our prejudices and assumptions and trust that poor are as responsible as we are with money. We have tried all other approaches to lift poor out of poverty. May be its time to just give them cash and see what happens.

Still not convinced. Read what happens when you give 1000 USD to ultra poor. 

 

 

The day after

Some human scum threw a dog from a certain height and  captured it on  video. People on Facebook were shocked. The dog fortunately didn’t die and is getting good care now. Everyone is happy. Some might go and eat some mutton kebab’s and tikka’s to celebrate. Thankfully there are no videos being shared of goats being slaughtered and converted to kebabs and tikkas. Its a dog day.

In Dhaka ISIS militants stormed a bakery and killed lots of innocent people. Social media was once again carpet bombed with #terroristhavenoreligion. Its getting all too predictable now. Being politically correct is the new scum level.

A map of Iraq with all the car bombs and IED’s made it to the social media ( Source, the Guardian.  I swear I will never complain about my life in India.

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A cabinet shuffle made people comment that the biggest reform in education has happened. A tele-women is shown her place. Let her weave her sarees and stories.

Kejriwal is still in love with Modi.

Its a ground hog day for all of us

 

I quit therefore I am

Increasingly I’m meeting young people who quit from one thing to another. They never  seem to manage to stay in one job for 2-3 years.They  are forever freelancing. But maybe this how the jobs are now days. With internet and opportunities people can do what they like, when they like and how much they like.

My father retired at 58 from a Govt job. I will probably hang my boots by 50. I guess people younger than me by 10 years will probably stop working full time at 40 or even less. And people younger them will have even fewer full time work years. Call them winds of change or what ever but for sure its refreshing.

According to ” The Economists” the machines are coming to take our jobs in the next 10-20 years. But what if they find no one working : ). Ouch that will hurt.

Three cheers to the young. Free, Freelancing and Fun.