August 2014


Why JUGAAD Innovation Is Smart but Not Sustainable

By Somali K Chakrabarti   The use of ‘Jugaad Innovation’, as a management philosophy, has received much attention from business and academic community all over the world, particularly the west. Essentially an Indian phenomenon, Jugaad is seen as an approach through which people devise indigenous work-around methods to overcome constraints. To the western world, Jugaad Innovation is projected as the use of frugal and flexible approach to innovation, used in emerging countries to bring about breakthrough growth. This concept as elucidated in the book ‘Jugaad Innovation’ by [Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja, Kevin Roberts] found huge popularity in many developed nations of the west and in Japan, where companies have incurred huge investments in R&D, with limited returns in the past few years.   The use of low cost innovative solutions finds universal appeal, particularly when businesses worldwide are reeling under the pressure of resource constraints.

Travel and Culture

Mumbai in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

By Somali K Chakrabarti History has its own charm! Vintage pictures of Mumbai, from the 19th century evoke a sense of nostalgia. These pictures, with their old world charm and enticing simplicity tell the story of how life would have been in those times. The images, though may not be of practical significance, have an expressive value and a cultural significance. These broaden our horizons beyond what we have seen since our childhood, as we get transported back in time, away from the hustle and bustle of the day to day life, to a quaint world that is hard to imagine today.   Panoramic view of Thana Creek painted by James 1791   Paintings by James Wales, a Scottish artist who arrived in Bombay in July 1791.  Back then, Bombay was a smaller and less affluent market than Calcutta or Madras for a British painter. James Wales made portraits and captured the glimpses of old Bombay in his drawings and paintings. .

Personal Effectiveness

Why People Criticize Others and the Downsides

By Somali K Chakrabarti ‘The purpose of opposition is to oppose everything and propose nothing’,  tweeted Dr Debroy. Indeed, I thought, how easy it is to notice the frailties, foibles, and follies of others while ignoring those of your own! We all indulge in criticizing others sometime or the other. It comes almost as easily as breathing to most of us. There have been times when I have felt the urge to criticize surging in my heart and given a piece of mind to someone or expressed my displeasure of a person behind his back. An odd question popped up in my mind. Why do we like to criticize others? I tossed this question to my buddies, sought their views, organized my thoughts around it, and jotted them down. Here is what it shaped up like. It is a matter of fact that to be critical of others is built into the human nature. All human beings are prone to form their judgment and opinion about what is ‘desirable’ or ‘undesirable’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘proper’ or ‘improper’ behavior. Any action of others’ that does not match the expectations, values or judgment of another becomes a potent subject for criticism. Someone rightly said Criticism is the disapproval of people not for having faults,…

Social Initiatives

Putting Kabaddi Back on Track – an Innovative CSR Intiative

By Somali K Chakrabarti Kabbaddi is in vogue now!    The rustic Indian game that nobody thought much about has suddenly become fashionable. With the Television channels broadcasting the live game in its slick 45 minute format, men, women and kids alike have taken a liking to the game. Spectators are enthralled by the combination of skill, tactics, footwork, agility and the reflexes of the players. Four or five defenders coiling around a raider to bring him down, or the raider extricating himself from his opponents to retreat to his home court, make an exciting watch. Earlier what was seen as a semi – urban or a rural game is now being viewed as strategic and even glamorous.  It is exhilarating to see the raider as he tries to discern the strategy of the defenders, and withholds his breath during the entire course of the raid in his opponents’ court, while continuously and audibly chanting the word ‘Kabaddi’. Media coverage of the Kabaddi matches played in stadiums all over the country, cutting edge graphics and presence of celebrities have upped the glamour quotient the game and created the right buzz.   Role of India Inc in resurrecting Kabaddi    Admittedly, the credit…


10 Inspirational Quotes for Managing Change

By Somali K Chakrabarti Change is inevitable and one must learn to adapt to it. In a world that is changing continuously, one must learn how to deal with change. Change is not always easy and transitions are not always smooth. The most successful are the ones who perceive the changes quickly and adapt themselves to those changes. Here are 10  inspirational quotes for ‘Managing Change’, which serve as a reminder that the best way to adapt to change is by changing your own outlook. There are three constants in life: Change, Choice and Principles . ~ Steven Covey It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change. ~ Charles Darwin

Personal Effectiveness

7 Steps to develop Creative Leadership skills

By Somali K Chakrabarti   Creativity is a Leadership trait   ‘Creative people are difficult to deal with!’ More often than not, this is the general perception about people with a creative bend of mind. They are seen as complicated people, as non conformists who prefer to remain in their world of imagination, who tend to avoid normal routine, and are hence perceived as difficult to deal with. Eccentricity, ego and unconventional behavior are the traits that are often associated with creative people. Yet, today when leaders are expected to initiate and affect changes across non hierarchical, geographically distributed teams, creativity is increasingly being considered as an essential leadership trait. The concept of blending creativity with leadership is gaining relevance as new technologies are emerging swiftly, markets are growing at a dynamic pace and the customer needs are evolving continuously. Organizations need to watch out for white space and innovate continuously to remain competitive and survive in the long run. If you are working in a technology based organization, chances are that you would probably be looking at ways to redesign a product in order to bring out a new version every 6 months. Creativity is the catalyst for Innovation


Blog Engage – A Helpful community to promote your blog

  Business has only two functions – Marketing and innovation. This quote by Peter Drucker applies just as much to blogging (both personal and business), as it applies to any other business. The rapid evolution of social media has given a tremendous boost to blogging.  With over 197 million blogs on Tumblr  and users creating 41 million new posts on WordPress each month, it is apparent that the blogosphere is expanding at an amazing pace. More and more people are taking to blogging and using it as a platform to express their opinion, to create awareness, to provide useful information, or to promote their business. Established businesses are also using blogs to engage with social communities.   Needless to say, it takes effort, planning and perseverance to make your blog a repository of good content that people would want to read, among the huge number of blogs that are available on the web. First essential characteristic of a good blog is to publish quality content on a regular basis.     It requires creative thinking to continuously come up with new ideas for posts and structure those ideas in a manner that catches and holds the attention of the readers; But…

Personal Effectiveness

Why it helps to write your own Eulogy

By Somali K Chakrabarti The year is 2060. Occasion is your funeral. Your friend is preparing an eulogy for you. What would you want him/ her to say?   As odd or morbid as the question may sound, you’ll be surprised to know that this is one of the assignments given in the Leadership program at the London Business School. Not as easy as it seems, it takes a lot of introspection to come up with the eulogy, in the process making one reflect on different aspects of life ranging from career, to family, friends and society in general. Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.  [Tweet this] Going ahead in time, and planning life backwards can help us to understand what really matter to us, how we would want people to remember us. Several thoughts had crossed my mind as I sat to attempt the assignment. Life is a finite resource First, it served as a strong reminder that our life has an expiry date, post which we live through the memory of our family and friends.

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