Recipe: Chicken or Paneer Tacos

Ingredients:

  • Taco shells
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Chopped capsicum, olives, onions
  • Baked beans
  • Salsa dip
  • Chicken/Paneer
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt, pepper, oregano

Preparation:

  • Warm taco shells for about 30 sec (for 3 shells)
  • Lay lettuce at the bottom, and layer it with baked beans and salsa
    • To save time, I premix baked beans, salsa, Tabasco (if you like it spicy)
  • Add chopped veggies, and chicken/paneer
  • Sprinkle some salt, pepper and oregano
  • Grate cheese on the top, and microwave another 30 sec for the cheese to melt

8 priorities that shape your career decision

My decision to leave L&T was reactive. While I evaluated the opportunity using some criteria, the move itself wasn’t planned. As overwhelming as career planning is, it is important get started. Start with a long-term vision, break it down to define short-term milestones, and then come up with an action plan. I did this exercise with my entire team and it was all worth the effort – everyone had found enough challenges and was working towards a personal goal. It also lead to 0 attrition. Action items will usually be along the lines of enhancing your toolkit, business acumen and people skills. It could also mean updating your resume. And it could well demand getting out of your comfort zone to meet those goals.

I feel associating ranks to one’s priorities and analyzing quantitatively really helps trade-off between opportunity cost and risk. I’ve used it not only with job offers, but also when looking at houses, and funny enough, my life partner. Remember, everyone has different needs and priorities. The list below is how I look at choices – not necessarily in that order. You might need to tweak it for yourself – download or view the spreadsheet online.

1. Opportunity & Toolkit

  • Enhances your toolkit?
  • Offers challenges, opportunities to learn?
  • Novelty*? A new domain / technology / vertical / market
  • Gives access to good mentors & a network?
  • Opens new avenues in the future**?
  • Offers better title***? Consider position in the organization hierarchy, competition
  • Offers a better role? Influence v/s Authority, Leadership
    * Novelty alone shouldn’t be a driver
    ** Don’t overrate future prospects when starting your career
    *** Opt for a rationalized, industry-wide title

2. Goals & PassionSource: runnersgoal.com

  • Makes best use of your passion?
  • Gets you a step closer to a future goal?
  • Aligns with personal interests – wealth, network, travel?
  • Gives a meaning, purpose to your life?

3. Risks

  • Leaving your comfort zone?
  • Chances of failing in the new role?
  • Relocating to a new country/city?
  • Could this be short-term? Changing jobs too often?
  • Employment contract? Notice period?
  • Is your gut sounding an alarm?
    * Answering No means low risk, high score
    ** Taking no action also has its own risk

Continue reading 8 priorities that shape your career decision

Goodbye Zycus

Unfortunately, it is only through some discomfort that we learn and grow. After 5.5 supercalifragilisticexpialidocious years at Zycus, I’ve decided to move on to explore the B2C side of the product world.

I am thankful to Satish & Nirav for sensing my product acumen, and on-boarding me to product management. A big thanks to Sachin & Bikash for being the fantastic managers they’ve been. They entrusted me to lead one of Zycus’ prodigious product line – in terms of challenge, breadth, depth, team, revenue – from concept-to-revenue, and offered exposure and opportunities like never before.

Some of the best memories with the smartest folks...
Some of the best memories with the smartest folks…

All along, I’ve had the privilege to work with nimble & energetic Zycats – all possessing the right attitude. In 2011, Zycus ushered me to lead product owners; I see them all as my career accelerators. Together with them, my 60-member development team (of teams), lead by Shekhar, has been the top-most reason for my all my success and accolades. I wish to thank all of you, You rock! I am convinced that I’m leaving the product with virtuosos, and wish to see the product line – so dear to my heart – continue to delight users.

My professional toolkit would’ve been soporific without the cross-functional interactions I’ve had with the sharpest minds Continue reading Goodbye Zycus

#RELOOKUP – Rationalizing Housing’s emotional appeal

Ever since I’ve had a wifemy only one – from the advertising arena, I’ve developed a keen eye for commercials & hoardings. If you’ve been in Mumbai in the last month or so, there is no way you have missed the myriad of Housing.com banners extending for miles. Touching emotions is the magic bullet to successful campaigns in the Indian market. Housing did just that, and I feel it succeeded. But when I visited the portal, I felt it lacked the means to realize the dreams the hoardings had shown me, albeit a slick user interface.

Here is what I thought would’ve helped kick-start the #LOOKUP journey and rationalize the emotional appeal.

See nothing? View the presentation on SlideShare
Header image: Sharad Madiman / Gaurav Prakash

 

3 reasons for e-commerce to go mobile-only

A couple of weeks back, Myntra announced it was closing its web-shop to focus on a mobile-only strategy. With Myntra’s app-based sales already at 60%, it is now aiming at 90%. Soon after, its parent and India’s largest e-commerce site, Flipkart, confirmed similar plans for the next year. Why are  eCommerce giants moving from a mobile-first to mobile-only strategy? Here are the top reasons for having users on the mobile platform – all of which directly impact the bottom line.

1. Customer acquisition & retention

With penetration in India expected to reach 45% by 2020, mobile-only is a flawless strategy to tap into the next generation of eShoppers. A single page m-site is enough to redirect (or force) users to move the existing user base to an app. Comparing products across individual apps is painful. Unless someone comes up with a comparison app, that can launch individual apps for detail, users are likely to stick to a single app. Achieving such a mindshare and stickiness is much harder to do on the web.

2. Insight for direct marketing

Once an app is installed, keeping track of consumer behaviour – usage, shopping times, interests, conversion, etc – is very easy. With registered users, additional demographic information is available which together with predictive analysis can be used to generate personalized suggestions. Push notifications allow strong, direct interaction with the user. In addition to suggestions, it can be used to communicate offers and remind inactive users of abandoned carts, without the fear of getting stuck in spam folders. With direct access to the user, spend on ads & affiliate marketing can be reduced, which otherwise shrinks margins by 8-20%.

3. Cost savings & increased sales

Once developed, apps are cheaper to maintain and can scale faster than the web front and avoid  scaling issues like with the Big Flipkart sale. It also helps deliver better user experiences, optimized to generate sales. With users connected 24×7 via mobile, apps allow users to shop on-the-go. It also makes bundling, up-selling, cross-selling, and generating repeat business much easier. Direct access to users saves 8-20% of margins otherwise lost on ads & affiliate marketing, driving the customer retention cost to a minimum.

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