I was under the impression that education has become extremely unaffordable in India. I have been hearing stories about astronomical fees for professional degrees. So I was in for surprise yesterday.
I was on a client visit and while returning the chartered account of the client also joined me. He hails from a small town near Hyderabad. It was a long journey back home and the CA got talking to me. He said his CA education cost him Rs Ten thousand only. He said there are 10 papers for CA and each cost about Rs 1000 to appear. Please note – In mumbai the price is Rs Ten thousand per paper, but to save money he appeared for his papers from small towns like Chennai and Hyderabad where the paper costs only Rupees One thousand.
He said his monthly pocket money was Rs 100 and he couldn’t afford to live and give exam in Mumbai city so he travelled to Chennai lived with his relatives and gave his paper. He is about 30/35 year old. So circumstances might be a bit different today. But again Education policies don’t change all of a sudden.
## His Education catapults him to the upward moving Salaried Class
He said, immediately after graduation he got a job in an investment banking firm where he has privileges like air travel, which was a dream come true. He was then at Infosys where the living arrangement was like a 5 star place. He then moved to Dubai for 6 years and even got a US degree in CFA while working.
This is a story of India from 2002 to 2018. His story is the story of India. I will be following his career story from 2019 onwards.
Do you know that you can purchase thousands of followers on Instagram?
Do you know you can also purchase like and comments too?
Do you know of existence of Whatsapp groups, which encourages its members to like and comment or face expulsion from the group?
Yes, these are the facts of “Fake it, Till you make it” which basically means fool the client till the money is in the bank. Brands work on numbers, numbers look good on Graphs and charts. Also a marketing manager job is easy if he has corresponding data to show his VP to justify the campaign costs.
BUT THE BIG QUESTION IS, DOES IT SELL?
The influencer eco-system is corrupted and in 2018/2019, all social media networks did a purge. But guess what, social media companies also need to show numbers to their stock holders.
Fake it you make it a universal law. But choose your influencer with caution. Do some background checks, for eg
1. Does the influencer you are hiring have real followers or are they all BOTS?
2. See the historical growth of the followers of the influencers you are trying to hire. Use tools like socialblade.com for the same. If you see sudden spike in the number of followers, it is a “fake it till you make it” account.
3. Reward genuine handwork. Many influencers like us are working hard to nurture our community. These fake influencers are jumping the Q. They have to fool the brand till the money is in the bank. They are what we call ‘Fly by night ” businesses.
So everyone and their uncle is analysing why BJP won. I thought Rahul had picked himself well and certainly didn’t think he would be falling so short. So did many of you including Ruchir Sharma (Morgan Stanley, i think) who just wrote a book on the Indian Democracy. He has been covering elections on the road for last 30 years. I also recently attended a talk by him at NCPA where he said, NDA will get either less than 200 votes or around 236 votes. He missed the mark inspite of having his ears to the ground.
Populism or Majoritarianism
Populism ( it would be called Majoritarianism in India) is basically a strategy used by the politicians by instilling the fear of scarcity. It is a race to the bottom. The narrative is – We will snatch it from the minorities and will give it to you, or the minorities have been appeased and now we will undo it.
Ruchir Sharma mentioned in his talk with Shobha De that, Indians who were harmed due to demonetisation were still happy that the other people who hoarded cash were more harmed. This help them sustain their love for Modi. Instead of accusing Modi for the harm, they justified it by saying a little pain for the good of the country can be borne.
Again, this time. Modi seems like the only capable politician who can give moo-thod (fitting reply) to the enemy i.e Pakistan, terrorism. Jobs be damned, economy can go to bollocks.
What is the alternative ?
Grass root level work as mentioned in this wonderful twitter thread by Ananya Chakravati.
Moving towards a philosophy of abundance instead of fear of scarcity
This would be most difficult thing. But some how we need to convince people that there is enough for all of us. This could counteract the strategy of fear scarcity among the minds of Indians.
I have been planning to buy a Shampoo Bottle for 3 months. It is not available on Amazon, and local stores don’t have it in stock. They have recommended I go to a bigger shop down the block, but I have been busy.
Now, Should I buy another brand of Shampoo and risk losing what is left of my crowning glory. These are the small decision which bog me down. These small decisions are the toughest. Another area where I have severe decision fatigue is what goes inside my stomach.
Some meal gives me acidity, some meal makes me feel bloated. As a consequence, I eat a shawarma dinner twice a week, twice a week I skip dinner and snack it out.
I have decided to keep a decision journal from today.
After 10 years of doing direct selling, I have woken up to the fact that I was doing sales all wrong. Being a Founder cum Marketing Head cum Peon it is very difficult to get focus on a singular business process. Maybe I sucked at all these business processes as my attention got divided. But there are many small business owners like me who are smart sellers.
The Biggest Mistake I do when selling
I know what I am selling, this makes me extremely cocky. Also, due to scarcity of time, my talk is to cut out of the bull shit. But what if the prospect was not a bull shit person? The prospect is again a human like me with expectation and is looking for a near perfect solution for his requirement.
It would have been a relationship building exercise If I had the patience to ask the prospect what he is looking for? Instead I usually end up trying to hard sell what I have.
In addition to my lack to time, there are other factors which make me hardshell. The prospect wants the sky and is unreasonable. I think my lesson is too not judge the prospect too soon. Give him a leeway and maybe the prospect could end up giving me an idea for a product for which there is a decent market.
Sorry for blabbering.
Sales Rule – Ask what are the expectations of the prospective customer before giving him your rate card. See how much of the expectations can you manage by up-selling to him.
To avoid this kind of bias, let me call it the “Founder/Peon Bias”. I am working on a sales process checklist, here is the link – https://listables.com/public/checklist/GmO45DCbsmSaODuT4twpM2caObIhK5HjzPGZatANpHMDRemcgGRe0nB9h3l+OQB7