Have you received something gift-wrapped from Amazon?


The option of gift-wrapping is useful when you’re shopping online – it’s a nice thought and can make things special. But on Amazon India, there’s a good chance that you will see gift wrapping paper like the two samples featured in this story.

The logo pattern treatment is a clear overdose of design intent. The quality of paper is good, so why am I making such a fuss about it?

When Zomato uses sticky tape (with their logo) on home delivery orders, I don’t have a problem with that – it’s not meant to be a gift. But when it’s meant to be one, I expect some creative thinking to go into the process. After all it’s meant to be “person to person” without commercial overtones.

< More on this story at this link >


Looking beyond life on four wheels

Insurance+Cabbie If you take a look at the cab aggregator market in India, drivers could have a challenging road ahead – with increased competition, narrowing margins, and work days that go into the wee hours of the night. (That’s if you only see yourself as a cabbie behind the wheel.)

The need to survive can sometimes lead to new ways of looking at the dashboard. Cabbies who are proactive and innovative manage to stay ahead of the race – the others fall by the wayside.

Not too long ago, I found a genuinely friendly person behind the wheel. He was armed with a flask of hot coffee, and the day’s newspapers which were tucked into a neat pouch behind the front seats.

In between sips of coffee and me catching up on the headlines, this chap managed to get through to me in an almost non-intrusive kind of way. And during the course of our conversation, he got to know everything about me. What I did for a living, what investments I had made over the years, and what I did with any surplus (if there was any.)

< More on this story at this link >


Bangalore businessman wants to make the city litter-free


Is the young generation concerned about litter-free environments? Is it willing to do something about raising awareness? Is it looking at innovative ways to get the message across?

You will find answers to these questions in this interview with Sandeep Tibrewal of Bengaluru.

In this #citizenconnect interview, we talk to Sandeep Tibrewal about his new awareness drive for Bengaluru – the first segment of which has just been launched with his enthusiastic team of supporters.

Sandeep Tibrewal is an experienced real estate professional, based in Bangalore. He specializes in Purchase and Contract related legalities and negotiations. Outside the portals of business and work, Sandeep is the President of an active wing of the Marwari Yuva Manch from Central Bangalore (MYMCB).

This interview is about that attractive car bin that’s being handed out free by his team, at popular traffic intersections in the city.

Read the complete article on Linkedin >

Thinking inside the box – quality assurance for online shopping


How often have your received a shipment from your “favourite” online store, that you want to return in a hurry?

And how often does this happen to me? At least four times, out of ten.

And these are leading online portals that I’m talking about. I’ve been sent shoes with their tongues sticking out and hanging by a thread, brand new books that arrived dog-eared, and painting canvases that were wrapped in old newspaper.

Getting rid of products gathering dust at a brick & mortar store is a strong temptation for rogue shippers – and they will do this as often as they can get away with it. Bound to happen when a portal offers its shopping interface to other sellers, and is not directly part of the sourcing or shipping process.

So how can you weed out the worms and keep the system clean? I don’t have an insider’s perspective on this, but administrators of these portals could have stringent measures in place that filter deliveries that deviate from the norm. In a sense, you do have a rating system these days, with actually customer comments and feedback – but what about the ones not featured in the rogues’ gallery?

More on this story on my Linkedin page >
Surprise package from online seller

Storm in a teacup


There’s a video being shared on social media about teeny-weeny worms inside teabags. When you first watch the video you tend to go along with the voice-over and imagine worms creeping and crawling. Then you take a closer look and you’re not too sure.

But the damage is done.

There is a clear discomfort associated with teabags. I now hold a teabag against a bright light before I give it a skinny dip – just to make sure. That’s the mind altering power of social media. Some of these videos are so alarming, you want to share them instantly to save the world.

Apparently, the worm-in-a-teabag video was watched nearly 8 million times on facebook.

More on this story on my Linkedin page >
Viral frenzy – worms in your teabag