Honey Singh & The Blockbuster Strategy

Anita Elberse’s Blockbusters is one of the must read books in the entertainment world today. It makes a refreshing and a strong argument for the cause of Blockbusters.

Anita Elberse is an award-winning scholar at Harvard Business School. She teaches a course on Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, covering the businesses of entertainment, media, and sports. Her book ‘Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment’ is awarded Amazon’s “Best Books of 2013” in the Business and Investing category.


According to Anita, the blockbuster strategy ensures higher success rate at box office and reduce risk. Blockbuster strategy of investing in big potential winners reaps rich rewards across industry segments – movies, sports, video games, music bands, hotels, restaurants, electronics. She uses examples of Warner Brothers, Beyonce, Argentinian Soccer Clubs, Jay-Z etc to drive home the point. For example, Warner Bros. earned more than 40% of revenues from the top 10% of films produced from 2007 to 2011. In 2011, 102 music tracks, 0.001% of the eight million tracks on offer that year, sold more than a million units, representing 15% of total music sales. That’s up from 36 tracks with more than a million units sold in 2007, representing 7% of sales. At the other end of the curve, 94% of all tracks in 2011 sold fewer than 100 units, and 32% sold only one copy.

Blockbuster Strategy is exploiting the “winner-takes-it-all” strategy. Studios should focus on more Blockbuster movies and produce less movies.

If you think more about, the strategy is clearing shaping the world around us. The energies that are behind launching mobile phones are example of Blockbuster strategies. See how Samsung launches its new phones.

In Indian context, the same phenomena are clearly visible. The biggest Indian movie of recent time was Dhoom 3. It was the first movie to reach near INR 5 Billion (85 Million USD). Incidentally, Indian movies first reached the 1 Billion INR mark only in 2010 onwards. India’s biggest sporting league is Indian Premiere League (cricket). It mimics NFL. India’s top singer is Honey Singh today. He has taken over the imagination of India. He is our equivalent of Beyonce and Jay-Z strategies.

Honey Singh in Studio Latest Pics

Infact, India is under the election fever. And the front runner for PM Post has emerged as his party favorite using the Blockbuster strategy. What he did in his party, he is doing at the national level.

Finally, Blockbuster Strategy is carpet bombing the masses. It is mass strategy. The world is also moving towards more customized experiences. The world is moving towards niches. Toward slow movement. It could be the big challenger to Blockbuster strategy.



National Film Awards – Ship Of Theseus Wins Top Honor

The 61st National Film Awards were announced. It shows a worthy list of well-deserved winners.

Ship Of Theseus indeed is a great choice of the best feature film. I had written about it earlier in the two blogs as well:
Ship Of Theseus – The Finest Indian Movie !
Bollywood’s Top Movies 2013

Shahid got the well deserved awards for Rajkumar Rao and Hansal Mehta. So happy for Hansal !

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was indeed a popular entertainer across the stream.

Another highlight was the sheer number of awards for Marathi films. The golden days of Marathi cinema continue !

Please find the complete list of award winners:

Best Feature Film: Ship of Theseus

Best Direction: Hansal Mehta for Shahid (Hindi)

Best Film (Hindi): Jolly LLB
Best Popular Film providing wholesome Entertainment: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Hindi)

Best Actor: Raj Kumar (Shahid, Hindi) & Suraj Venjaramoodu (Terariyathavar, Malyalam)
Best Actress: Geetanjali Thapa (Liar’s Dice, Hindi)

Supporting Actor (Female) – Aida Elkashef, Ship of Theseus and Amruta Subash, Astu
Supporting Actor (Male) – Saurabh Shukla, Jolly LLB

Special Jury Award: Yellow (Marathi) & Miss Lovely (Hindi)

Special Mention Gauri Gadgil and Sanjana Rai for ‘Yellow’ (Marathi)
Direction (Non Feature): Chidiya Udh
Special Effects: Jal
Short Fiction (Non Feature): Mandrake! Mandrake! (Hindi)
Non Feature Film on Social Issues: Gulabi Gang (Hindi, Bundelkhandi)
Environmental Film including Agriculture: Foresting Life (Hindi,Assamese)

Non Feature Film: Rangbhoomi (Hindi)

Best Book on Cinema: Cinema Ga Cinema (Telgu) by Nandagopal
Sound Design: Bishwadeep Chatterjee, Madras Cafe
Choreography: Ganesh Aacharya, Havan Karenge (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)

Best Children’s Film: Kaphal (Hindi)
Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation: Perariyathavar (Malyalam)
Best Film on Social Issues: Tuhya Dharma Koncha (Marathi)

Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration: Thalaimuraigal (Tamil)
Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director: Fandry (Marathi)

Playback Singer: Bela Shinde Khura Khura


Collaboration Is Nothing Without a Shared Purpose

I Recently Came Across Wonderful Note From Vineet Nayar In HBR Called – A Shared Purpose Drives Collaboration

In an effort to improve collaboration, and to make it seem less forced and unnatural, companies spend a lot of money on new technology and training. But this approach doesn’t get at the heart of great team work: a shared purpose. Collaboration can’t be “processed” into being. It only works when leaders articulate the problem — along with the challenges and the goals. This is why the team at NASA worked so well together after the Apollo 13 crisis. Ditto on the Federal Aviation Authority during 9/11. When leaders express the problem, the challenges, and the goal in clear, direct, and motivational language, great collaboration will result.

Very true !

Indeed, I have always believed and quoted – Purpose Is Bigger Than Processes. Share Values Are Bigger Than Strategies.

I recollected the movie screening and discussion around Apollo 13. The central point was that crisis brought everyone together – everyone was working for the same goal. So whether it is crisis or a football match, collaboration is automatic when there is a shared purpose. And then everyone trusts each other, there is openness and communication is clearer. Leaders have to drive the vision and create the purpose for the organization.

Apollo 13


MoMo Ahd: Smart Skills That Every Mobile Developer Needs To Master

Mobile Monday Ahmedabad Event Announcement:

Over recent years, mobile applications have become key in providing solid experiences for both consumer and business smartphone users, increasing the rate of mobile application development. The mobile technology landscape keeps on evolving, the business needs keep on changing. So how do you cope with the ever dynamic landscape? How do you emerge as a top developer? Mobile Monday provides you a platform to master the skills that every mobile developer needs to have. For our upcoming event we have invited an industry expert specially for the developer community to discuss the current and future state of mobile applications, including smart skills that every developer need to master in order to continue innovating and what consumers can expect from mobile applications in the future.

Not to miss session for Mobile developers willing to master Mobile Development. We will also have a developer contest where we will ask 10 smart questions to the developers during the event. The winners will get exiting gift vouchers for the smart answers !!!

How can we forget The MWC 2014 !! You didn’t go to MWC….no worries, we have a person specially for you at this MoMo….who has been there and witnessed it all…Come and take your pick..!!

Speaker Profile:

Mr. Avinash Birnale | VP – Technology, Quality @ Endeavour Software Technologies

Avinash is working with Endeavour Software Technologies as Vice President Technology and Quality for Endeavour Software. He has wide range of experience in mobile software, web application and desktop application development. He is the technology evangelist and a thought leader. In his current role at Endeavour he leads the technology and quality control & assurance teams. He is mentor to enterprise architects and technologists at Endeavour. He has hands on experience in developing large scale enterprise solutions with deep mobility focus in Healthcare, Retail, BFSI and digital content. He has been architecting enterprise solutions for almost every mobile platform and form factors, ranging from market facing consumer application and team mobility alike. He provides important insights into industry trends, mobility adoption advice and strategic consulting to Endeavour’s premier customers in Retail, Healthcare and BFSI. He leads Endeavour’s Mobile Opportunity Assessments (MOA™) initiative to build Enterprise Mobile Strategy (EMS) and Roadmaps for our customers that have resulted into ambitious mobility implementations.

Avinash is science graduate with specialization in mathematics and holds masters degree in computer applications. Avinash is an active PMI-PMP. He is the passionate technology reader and blogger with immense love for automobiles and photography. He speaks at various developer conferences and shows about mobility and provides guidance to developers. Avinash has 12+ years of experience in Mobility alone.

Date & Time: 22nd March, Saturday | 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Venue: CIIE, IIMA New Campus, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad

Register Here!


Mobile World Congress 2014 – Highlights

The Mobile World Congress is an important pilgrimage for mobile enthusiasts. The Mobile World Congress 2014 was a hit show with more than 85,000 attendees from 200+ countries. Clearly Mobility was important for everyone ! Though I did not see any earth-shattering innovation, it was a good glimpse of the dominant themes in the mobility industry. It was a good investment of 3.5 days spent on networking, meetings, discussions and walking 70,000+ steps!


Quick Highlights:

1. Wearable Gear: Wearable Devices emerged as the highlight of the show. The Wearable Tech is now live and mainstream – bands, glasses, watches. Samsung Gear2 , Sony Smartband were the new launches. Interesting use cases for healthcare, fitness and other industries.

2. Connected World: Connected Cars, Smart Homes, Smart Cities & Internet Of Things were the clear new trends to look forward to. Connected Cars were on show everywhere. All major car brands showcased the future of cars. Beyond accessing apps, it would be nice to see diagnostics go to the next level.


3. More & More Devices: New devices keep coming from biggies – Samsung S5, Sony Xperia Z2 etc. Lot of new companies debuted with new devices. Dozens of Chinese-Asian companies are going direct and selling pretty sexy devices. I was impressed by Yoto, Jello and Fairphone. My Pick – Yota Phone

Yota Phone is a cool innovative concept. It provides a second screen on the back of the device that provides always-on access to important, real-time information without draining the battery. It saves battery by 5 times! Russian Device


4. OS Wars: OS Wars may get hotter with the push of Firefox. Tizen is getting stronger – it is on the new Samsung Gear. Even Ubuntu, Sailfish are getting steam in Europe. I liked Sailfish – built on Meego.

5. The Zuckerberg Show: Mark Zuckberg was the man to watch out for. His Whatsapp acquisition was timely and he was in news. At MWC, he became an Internet Evangelist & defended Whatsapp purchase.


6. $25 Smartphone Push May Become A Reality.

7. App Development Skills Are Given. In Enterprise Mobility, Cool Solutions and Real Platforms matters. Plain vanilla development services do not matter – think Mobile App Program. Basic App Development is equal to Website Development. No Respect.

8. Basics Still Matter: Nokia Launched Android Phone – X. Continued Focus on Asha Series. Blackberry Again Focused on Enterprise Services.

9. Beyond Mobile Devices: Lot of interesting accessories.
Slimport – Powerful for direct display to large screens.
Looq – Extended Arm for The Perfect Selfie ! Yes – Accessory for Selfie!
Woodero – Perfect Wooden Case for iPhone / iPad
Eye Tracker – Play Fruit Ninja With Eye Movement!
Oral B SmartBrush – Using Bluetooth technology, the interactive electric toothbrush connects to the Oral-B App that provides real-time guidance while you brush, and records brushing activity as data that you can chart on your own and share with dental professionals, helping to create smarter and more personalized brushing routines.



Mobile World Congress was one of the best organized conferences – I have been there earlier in 2010 and 2012 – but this was the best. The event was well coordinated with Barcelona City Council and Government Authorities.

As we arrived at the airport, there were nearly 30+ counters to issue MWC Badges. Wow ! The efficient shuttle services, event management at ground, cab movement etc was very well coordinated. Cheers !


FaceBook’s Purchase Of Whatsapp – Its About Mobile Leadership !

Facebook Buys WhatsApp for USD 19 Billion ! This has been one of ‘the’ topics to discuss in the last week. Even at the Mobile World Congress, it is a big topic. Two customers called me saying that let us work on billion dollar ideas. Social media, startup communities, VC board rooms, office conversations are all talking about this big deal.



It is an important event. I had the following thoughts on the deal:

1. Mobile is the gateway to human interaction and life – we already know that. The deal re-affirms that.
2. WhatsApp had overtaken Facebook as the most addictive mobile app. Whether I am in London, Barcelona, Bombay or any village in India, WhatsApp is the app people are hooked to – the first morning ritual, the last evening habit, the multiple updates throughout the day. The first people check after a flight lands is WhatsApp! The CEO’s executive assistant shares important files through WhatsApp. Domestic help reviews the stationery/vegetable choices. Taxi Driver at an airport pickup can identify his customer. In short, WhatsApp was the app that mattered a lot to people in their daily lives. Hence it mattered a lot to FaceBook to claim its mobile leadership. “No one in the history of the world has ever done something like this,” Facebook Chief Executive rightly Mark Zuckerberg said that.
3. WhatsApp is a hit with youth. And youth are at the centre of mobile revolution.
4. WhatsApp is big in many emerging markets and it helps to grow and consolidate Facebook in these markets. WhatsApp is adding 1 million users a day.
5. The acquisition is a costly one. USD 19 Billion. Facebook is paying through ample amount of stock and that hurts less as anyone who knows the stock maths. Also, compare price versus importance of WhatsApp as seen in Point 2. Also, the per user price is reasonable as compared to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram or Google’s purchase of Youtube.
6. Facebook may have also feared that WhatsApp could have been sold to another giant – Google, Yahoo, Microsoft. Competitor fears are real !
7. People may also feel that Facebook is running out of ideas and is desperate. I think Facebook is being bold and courageous. I am sure they may have lot of ideas being cooked but they have not shied away from open market purchases to defend the mobile leadership.
8. The challenge for Facebook is to ensure returns on the deal within next 12-18 months. Consumer taste is fickle. WhatsApp may give way to something more exciting. Hence Facebook will have to use the users and the time to continue to excite the consumers with new offerings.
9. WhatsApp, Instagram show the power of simple ideas executed well. It shows the power of focus. It shows that small teams can win big! The valuation of WhatsApp is bigger than outsourcing giants like InfoSys, Wipro etc.
10. Funnily, Blackberry had WhatsApp in it with BBM ! Had it been agile and moved it to cross platform and added features – it would have been different story. Today Blackberry’s worth is less than WhatsApp sales price.
11. The deal is great news for entrepreneurs and idea bulbs. It shows that sky is the limit for the right idea. It will encourages thousands of people to create the next big WhatsApp. That is wonderful !

Facebook Purchase of WhatsApp is definitely an important milestone !

Ideas Win! Simplicity Wins! Entrepreneurship Wins!


Welcome Aangi Karania !

Welcome My Princess !


The New Gateway Of India

The Mumbai’s T2 Terminal Will Soon Open For General Public. It Is One Of The Most Beautifully Designed Airports.

The Airport Is Inspired By India’s Warmness And Open Heart And Diverse Art. Western Airports Are Cold And Steel And Glass – But This Airport Is Different.

The Best Example Of Differential Thinking Is The 3Km Art Wall With More Than 7000 Pieces Of Art ! It Is One The Biggest Art Museum In India – But You Will Need A Boarding Pass !

The Jai He Is Another Innovation. The Airport Is Inspired By Dancing Peacock – Peacock Is India’s National Bird !

I Admire The Management And Project Execution Skills Displayed On The Project. The Entire Airport Came Up With Minimal Disruption To The City. Most People Never Saw The Airport Being Built. The Most Common Question Is That How Did They Do It? We Never Knew Such An Important Airport Was Being Built Without Disturbing Anyone?

The Stories Of Negotation And Cajoling With Different Stake-Holders Is Worth Of A Business Case Study !

The City Of Dreams Deserves Such A Wonderful Airport ! It Is Indeed The New Gateway Of India !

See It !





Culture Trumps Strategy

Culture Trumps Strategy

For a company to succeed, strategy is important, but a great culture is paramount. It’s the one distinguishing feature that a competitor can’t duplicate. So how does one go about planting the seeds of a great culture? First, leaders must surround themselves with the best and the brightest — people with extensive experience and high emotional intelligence. Second, leaders must be compassionate. People are the most engaged, the most passionate, and the most productive when they’re listened to, and when they’re encouraged to grow and learn new skills.

SOURCE: Creating a Culture of Unconditional Love by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz via Harvard Business Review


Gujarati Literature Festival – A Wonderful Debut !

The Vodafone Gujarati Literature Festival had a great debut in Ahmedabad. It was wonderful to see the galaxy of Gujarati intellectuals, writers, artists and lovers of language. The most heartening fact was to see more young enthusiasts.

The sessions saw a heady mix of literature, art, music, drama, film and folk art. More than 100 creative people interacted with the discerning audience.

Ahmedabad got itself one more annual event worth waiting for ! It also put the city on Literary Festival circuit.

Cheers to the organizing team of Gujarati Literature Festival!