Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quote Blast

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. 
                                                                                   - Martin Luther King Jr.

-> SJ

Quote Blast

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.
                                                                                                                                             - Stuart Chase

-> SJ

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quote Blast

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it can not be conquered by it.
- Ayn Rand

-> SJ

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guns, Guns & More Guns...

Extra! Extra! "Every minute someone is killed by a gun!"

This really great infographic came out in today's Economic Times claiming the above.
I'm not disputing the claim infact i'm surprised it isn't worse.

We have come to believe that we live in the most peaceful of times in the last 200-300 years... Do we really??

Think again. For the last 11 years majority of the superpowers have been fighting terror in Afghanistan and then in Iran. The Ghaza Belt is also active and keep shelling each others. India and Pakistan have set times to fire their Bofors Guns at each other across the border and aim to miss (what they want to achieve by missing is beyond me!). Pakistan's ISI plots against Indians by using USA's tactics of breeding terrorists, which by the way is what led to the rise of Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda. Btw the Taliban is making a come back in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Not to forget the random killings in the USA itself. The citizens go around schools and colleges randomly and mindlessly killing other innocent children. Iraq is still under oppression and looks prime to become another failed state like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

With so much violence everywhere the statistics should have been worse! 

With 1 gun per 7 people worldwide how long is it before we get shot?

-> SJ

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Indian E-Commerce Space: Discounts & Drugs!

Being at the forefront of the Indian e-commerce space and working with e-commerce start-ups has given me a unique perspective. As of this month I'm not new to this industry but I'm not old to it either, which gives me a view from a halfway point. I see this space as an insider and also as an outsider.

In my short journey, I'm seeing the long term & the short term bets that companies make and how it can effect their life. For example: offering too many discounts. This may seem like a great way to increase traffic and sales, but its like cocaine. Long term use of the same will make your customers addicted and when the discounts are cut off the traffic to your website will drop as the erstwhile customers are all pouting due to the effects of detox. Before you know it the brand would have disappeared.

Take the example of Jabong.Com. When they launched they came with a bang. Screaming televisions ads (Mainly responsible for traffic), SEO and SEM. They Offered the lowest prices and great discounts. Everything on their website seemed to be on sale. Once they burnt through their investor money; the discounts decreased, the TV ads disappeared and the traffic they developed in the short term has started to fall.

Traffic Trend for Jabong.Com
From Google Trends: Jabong Traffic in the last 12 months

They came with a bang and curiosity caught the better of people, but now that the curiosity has died down the marketplace corrects itself as Jabong's traffic falls and the whole buzz related to it is digested.

On the other hand we have e-commerce companies which do not resort to such discounts. One may think that its foolish, in a market full of discounts it would be important to match the competitors in order to survive... but discounts just erode the bottom line and delay breaking even. Ultimately the companies which offer less number of discounts but better quality goods and service are the ones that will survive. Discounts will  become common place and customers would rather pay a little extra for quality thereby shifting the business from being price sensitive to quality sensitive.

Companies in the baby care & baby shopping space like and in the online grocery shopping space like are going to perform exceptionally well over time as they offer relatively less discounts but superior quality of service.

Why I say overtime is because, as with Jabong, in the initial stage the crowd will go with discounts but after a few months as people adjust to the numerous discounts and as the discounts per site lessens, the market will shift towards being quality centric.

The crazy number of discounts also distorts the market for everyone, the customers and the competitors. It lowers profit, increases expectations and delays break even points making it difficult for companies to survive.

Lets face it, discounts while attractive are more of a drug which eats up the system from within.
Go for quality and not price.

-> SJ