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The J ournal of I nformation in Bu siness


THE JOURNAL OF INFORMATION IN BUSINESS


INFORMATION MATTERS

ISSUE

02

WE C A NNOT NOT C OMMUN IC ATE This was the first axiom of communication postulated by psychologist Paul Watzlawick. Resting on the core idea that all behavior functions as communication. That even the decision to remain silent has meaning and inaction sends a message as much as action does. Indeed, inaction, or ignoring something as if it does not exist is a very powerful message, one that Watzlawick called ‘Disconfirmation’. This axiom is not very difficult to expand to companies too. As an organization, we send signals by our actions as well as by our inactions. To people who work with us and people whose lives touch that of our company. A great intranet says something, the absence of one also says something. Perhaps more loudly than we think. How we tell our story to potential employees will be noted as carefully as how we tell our story to potential customers. As an organization, we cannot choose to not communicate. Which is why every person in business who takes decisions that impact the company beyond his own work, needs to understand and leverage the power of communication. A mission that this journal is devoted to. I look forward to receiving your thoughts on Information Matters at Sifar@InformationMatters.in

Gourav Jaswal President, SYNAPSE


CONTENTS 58

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360 DEGREE FEEDBACK

THINK INDIA. THINK KOTAK Kotak International uses Indian metaphors to establish its position as the ‘Indian India Expert’

The HR Department at Godfrey Phillips India implements a unique feedback system

16 GLOBAL METTLE Identity Design and Event design for a heavy equipment manufacturer with Global aspirations

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30 RAISING THE STANDARD Microsoft India’s ‘Value of Original’ campaign positions Original Software as an International Standard for businesses

CRY TAKES A RIGHTS TURN CRY changes its communication focus to reflect the need to fight for child rights

POWER PRESENTATIONS A low cost lead generation tool with the effectiveness of PowerPoint

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6ft x 6ft FOR SEVENTYmm Kiosk design for a movierental company

WELCOME ABOARD New Recruits at Kotak Wealth Management read a ‘Newscaper’ to know more about their company

z FROM IDEA TO LAUNCH IN UNDER SIX WEEKS The sales team at Godfrey Phillips India, gets a business application to monitor its brand launchs across India

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67 SALES LEAD ON DEMAND Internet Marketing as a preferred option to generate sales leads

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46 KNOW LOGO ScientiďŹ c apporach to logo design; three case studies

42 WHY DASHBOARDS? Installing Business Intelligence Dashboards at a securities trading business house

12 NATURAL APPROACH TO MARKETING We brand, develop, price and market our range of personal care products

MIX N MATCH How does Primacy Industries arrive at the right product for the Indian Market

IMPROVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE READY FOR SOME CUPSHUP? A mascot for Employee communication for Tata Capital

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Redesign and Content Restructuring of Consumer-facing collateral for Kotak Group

ONE FOR THE ROAD

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Website Prototype for Bajaj Auto

28 STARTING WITH AN MT PAGE Using MovableType for newsletter creation

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STRATEGY 16 MARKETING 38 INFORMATION 46 BRANDING 54 ARCHITECTURE

67 LEAD HUMAN BUSINESS 62 GENERATION RESOURCES APPLICATION


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A photograb of the existing campaign TVC. Picture Courtesy: CRY

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STRATEGY | BRAND POSITIONING

TS RIGH CHILD RELIEF AND YOU

CRYRIGHTS TAKES A

TURN

You’ve been around a long time, everyone knows you, respects you, lauds you. Just one problem… nobody knows exactly what you do.

FOR

nearly thirty years now, CRY has been working in India to change children’s lives for the better. Collecting funds from donors, they work in partnership with NGOs by funding them, monitoring their programs and by helping them use their resources efficiently and effectively.

CRY’s ideology is concerned with getting children what is rightfully theirs as opposed to a benevolent act of charity (CRY, in fact, changed its name from ‘Child Relief and You’ to ‘Child Rights and You’ in 2006 to reflect this stance). Theirs is an approach that seeks permanent change—not a quick fix. This involves spreading wider, strengthening networks, building awareness at the grassroots, but most importantly this also means that CRY does not work ‘directly’ for children by running orphanages, building schools, supporting educational programs, etc.

CRY’s approach demands accountability from the State. It works to ensure that the State recognizes and fulfills all its duties towards the children of India, as enshrined in our Constitution.

So, What’s the Problem The key issue is that the audience doesn’t know how CRY achieves this agenda. Audience Research threw up perceptions like “They do something with children” or “Aren’t they an international aid organization?” This confusion was further compounded by wellintentioned donors landing up at the CRY office, chips and cola in hand, asking “Where are the children, I want to feed them.” What was needed was a consolidated, comprehensive big picture that would uniformly dispel all myths, present CRY’s work and ideology in the correct light, and motivate more people into action.

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5


Developing the Communication Approach

’S AT

CRY has always held the ‘Rights’ view on children’s welfare, i.e, the issues facing the underprivileged children result from some form of rights violation rather than a series of unfortunate circumstances like poverty or natural calamity. However, in the years preceding the name change (from ‘Relief’ to ‘Rights’), CRY’s on-ground action, their local development partners and their communication, pointed to a ‘relief’ or a ‘charity’ function.

WH T DO GH RI

Audience research data and interviews with key stakeholders of CRY and the local development agencies helped us understand their expectations better.

This change in mindset had already been set rolling with the change of name and a series of re-evaluation exercises within CRY. Now the communication approach for CRY had to be built around this.

This resulted in the audience seeing CRY as a ‘charitable organization’ that works for the welfare of children. Believing that the underprivileged state of children is a result of ‘luck’ or ‘fate’, people come forward to ‘help’ or provide ‘charity’.

The Challenge: Charity vs Rights

Hence, it was clear from the outset that the most important objective of the communication will be to achieve a switch in audience perception and behavior—by educating them about Child Rights and getting them to realize the need for permanent solutions— and not focus on short-term interventions.

The biggest challenge lay in the conventional. The more we analyzed audience perception; the clearer it was that the act of ‘giving’ was driven by a desire to be charitable—‘to donate’ or to do one’s bit for the ‘unfortunate’. However, this ‘Help the unfortunate’ stance was also the biggest culprit resulting in the entire NGO sector’s communication looking exactly the same, except for perhaps the cause.

The Communication Directives Synapse created a set of communication directives that best manifest CRY’s brand personality. The three most important directives for the campaign are: • Use a sensible and sensitive tone that rings true • Leave behind a feeling of being inclusive • Language should be simple, set in the ethos of popular Indian society

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The directives also outlined strict ‘no–no’s • No social development jargon • No dramatic, exaggerated representation • No use of indigent children in close-up (unless relevant and in an identifiable real-life context) Next, we identified areas of information gap, such as ‘What is Child Rights?’ and ‘How does CRY fight for it?’ and developed tools to address them in a simple manner.

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1) A mnemonic of ‘Child Rights’ stamp that depicts the UN Child Rights Charter


While over the years, the Government has bought in a slew of measures and amendments to the Constitution (like mandatory Free and Equal education for children, banning sex determination tests, employment schemes, etc), the successful implementation of these at the grassroots has been a stumbling block. Hence the challenge lay in ‘recognizing’ the obvious and correct it rather than inventing and maintaining a bottomless ‘charity bowl’.

The Right Turn in Communication The ‘Rights’ approach was perceived to be difficult to understand by the target audience, which was willing to give motivated by a desire to do good. The ‘rights’ based approach confused the audience—Do I still need to donate or should I spend time correcting the situation? The new approach also lent a hint of aggression to the message. It was imperative, therefore, to create an approach that truly described the way CRY works and in the areas it does, without alienating the core audience.

Synapse proposed the ‘Root cause’ approach. The root cause of most problems faced by children— child labor (to substantiate household income), illiteracy (girls sit at home to take care of their siblings), malnutrition (poor income levels, lack of employment opportunities), feticide (girls are an expense, boys will earn)—is rampant unemployment, caste and gender issues, social inequality, etc. Therefore, it is important to tackle the issues at the root—like ensuring the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or ensuring that the 3000 schools built by the Government have adequate teachers, and basic facilities like toilets for the girls. Tackling these issues at the root would help address the visible symptoms like child labor, malnutrition, feticide etc. Considering CRY’s spirit of ‘change from ground up’ and an inclusive nature of operations, Synapse proposed that CRY adopts a communication platform that says:

‘CRY works with you to transform the lives of India’s underprivileged children’.

2) ‘How CRY works’ was presented as a comic strip

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The Campaign: ‘Ek Din Aayega...’

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The peg for the central campaign to reposition CRY was based on two premises. One, in India emotion overrides content and so the way to an Indian’s head is through the heart. Two, India lives in its villages (and the villages are where CRY mostly works). And so was born a simple, scalable, campaign ‘Ek Din Aayega… aayega zaroor’. This message encompasses lasting hope and optimism that is so central to Indians as well as to CRY’s work.

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More importantly, this campaign does not use ‘guilt’ to prod the audience to action. Rather than present the grim, grave view of ‘what is’, it highlights ‘what it can be, with your help’. It also gives CRY the opportunity to showcase its work, case studies and results to the audience with a great sense of pride. Set to roll out in the coming months, the question that remains is—will this campaign see that day when everyone understands, appreciates and joins in to help CRY in its movement. We are confident that ‘woh din aayega... aayega zaroor.

4 - K. Ravishankar, Anurashi Shetty Fatema Barot, Amit Vengurlekar

8 THE FOUR CAMPAIGN IDEAS PRESENTED TO THE CLIENT 1 Ek Din Aayega with ‘ugta suraj’ to symbolize hope 2 ‘Do What’s Right’ with focus on donors 3 Campaign highlighting the work done and what still remains to be done 4 How ‘One you’ can make a difference to a child’s life

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Various extensions of the Rights Awareness Campaign This prototype of ‘Growing up Right’ Cube echoes the UN Child Rights Charter using the Stamp mnemonic

The ‘Growing up Right’ Game involves putting together a picture puzzle. Each picture tells an interesting lesson about Child Rights

The campaign idea, translated into a DM

9 A web banner for the campaign

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STRATEGY | PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

mix’n’ match How do you arrive at the right product mix, when you have more than 200 fragrances, 60 shapes, and millions of color combinations to play with?

Primacy Industries is one of the world’s largest manufacturer of designer candles, catering to leading retail stores in Europe and the US such as Walmart, Dollar Store, etc. Primacy partnered with Synapse when they decided to brand and retail their products in India. Till then, Primacy’s business process had been relatively simple: as a large-scale exporter, it received orders with detailed specifications (fragrance, form, color, and numbers) from retailers. It manufactured the products to the specified guidelines and shipped them. But entry into the Indian market was going to be a challenge—starting with arriving at a product mix suited to the relatively ‘unexposed’ Indian consumer.

Form, before Fragrance First, we looked at the form factor. As we were new to the market, we decided to limit experimentation to as little as possible. We took advantage of Primacy’s experience in the international market to see what works. Rather than flooding an immature market with candles in a vast variety of shapes and sizes, we decided to go with the shapes Primacy was manufacturing for its international clients. We short-listed four basic forms: Pillars (4 types), Jars (4 types), Shot glasses, Etched cups and a Primacy special—‘Lampshade’.

Woody, Spicy or Floral As color and fragrance of the candles are related to each other, we looked at the fragrances first. We collated over 200 fragrances that Primacy produced for its export orders. To categorize the candles, we looked for parallels in industries faced with marketing an array of product blends. A short search later we hit upon the music industry. Like musical genres, all of Primacy’s fragrances could be classified on the basis of a set of finite base fragrances. Subsequently, these base fragrances could be combined to give a seemingly infinite number of fragrances. For example: 10 base fragrances can actually yield 1,014 mixes (not all combinations might smell great though!).

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We replaced Rock, Trance and Jazz with Beverages, Fruit, Nuts, Botanicals, Flora, Spices, Wood and Confectionery. For the more capricious scents, we added the category ‘Organics’. Having organized the fragrances thus, we had considerably more clarity. On the strategic side of things, it was decided that we would enter the market with limited fragrances (chosen with Indian sensibilities in mind). The fragrances would change slightly each season. To provide a good mix, we’d simply pick a few from each category.

FRAGRANCE LIST: TEA STRAWBERRY INFORMATION MATTERS | ISSUE 2

MUSK

MINT

EARTH

CINNAMON

THYME

WHISKY

ORANGE

PEACH

COFFEE

TULSI


Factoring in the Price

PRODUCT MIX CHART Microsoft Visio was used to create a product mix chart. This chart let us present the market with a varied offering, even with a limited product line-up

We now tackled the second part of the problem: How to market a limited product mix and still make it look like a large offering? Here again, we took a cue from the music industry, more specifically the ‘Classical’ genre. While the number of ragas and singers is limited, classical music companies frequently put out new classical albums in the market. The compilations are sold under categories like singer, time of day (e.g. morning ragas), moods (e.g. romance), function (e.g. music for expectant mothers), etc. thus adding up to a tidy number. Similarly, we categorized candles as single pieces and sets (similar fragrances bundled together). In addition to selling solo units of basic fragrances, each of these categories could also be sold classified under—Fragrance mix, Occasion, Time, Emotion/mood, Function and Collection.

The basic process in place, we realized the product mix wouldn’t be of much use unless we factor in pricing. After all, what good would it be for the Marketing team to come up with a SKU that Production would reject outright based on cost. We decided to make a DSS (Decision Support System) that would tell the Marketing team what prices the SKU or solo units could be sold for. Thus, a simple Excelbased system was devised to: 1. Show the cost break-up of each item right from production to retail (including profits at source, transportation, taxes, distributor margins and retailer margins). 2. Allow the user to create his own SKUs and see the costs involved at all levels, thus enabling him to instantly check feasibility. 3. Facilitate the process of placing orders for various products by easing calculation of unit quantities. As we progressed into working on a Business Plan and communications design, we realized, more and more, the value of having organized the data well. The trick, we believe, lies in taking the right leaf from the right industry.

At this stage we also coined names for each fragrance mix (e.g. Rainy Evening). This method let us present the market with a varied offering, despite having a limited product line-up.

- Anish Dasgupta, Maneesha Singh Umesh Chavan, Amit Vengurlekar

DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM A simple Excel-based DSS was designed to: 1. Show the cost break-up of each item 2. Allow the user to create his own SKUs and see the costs involved at all levels, 3. Ease the process of placing orders

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[This visual has been blurred to protect client confidentiality]

ALMOND

JASMINE

LOTUS

WINE

HAZELNUT

PINE

BASIL

SUGAR

ALOE

VANILLA

CASHEW ROSE ANISE GINGER INFORMATION MATTERS | ISSUE 2

SAFFRON


STRATEGY | PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Natural approach to

Marketing Work on end-to-end branding and marketing of Gulnar, a brand that stands for chemical free, personal care products

BRANDING for most communication agencies or design firms is synonymous with the design of a ‘brand identity’, which in the best of cases starts with choosing a brand name and ends with the design of a logo and some collateral. Very rarely does an agency get an opportunity to engage in product development, pricing and placement of the product, in addition to branding and marketing it. ‘Gulnar’ is a business owned by a Junoon Ventures (a new venture started by Synapse) and the concept for a brand of natural products had been taking shape for a long time. Most of us at Synapse are passionate about using chemical-free products and often stumbled upon little-known brands of natural products. The obvious question was why these products were not available more widely and in a more sophisticated packaging. ‘Gulnar’ brand started as an answer to this.

Phase 1: Research In a focussed research of about 8 months, we discovered and tried products marketed by over 30 units from all over India. Most of the products we tried were exceptionally good. However, without exception, all of them suffered from some common deficiencies like: a Lack of Quality Control a Unattractive Packaging a Branding efforts limited to naming the products a Inconsistent Pricing a Very Poor Labeling This resulted in the products being positioned, somewhere between premium chemical soaps like Dove and the ‘messy ubtans’. This research spelled for us the ‘Do-Not-do’s for our brand!

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Phase 2: Positioning NOT Sanskrit One look at the Natural Products shelf of any store and you can spot half a dozen Sanskrit names: Jivah, Pranah, Nyasa, Vedah, etc. As a first differentiator we wanted to steer clear of a ‘Sanskrit’ brand name. At the same time, we wanted the brand to have a story. A true story that would add to the experience of the user. We decided to call the brand ‘Gulnar’ as she was one of the people whose passion for using chemical-free products seeded the idea of a brand of natural cosmetics. On other branding parameters, the name fared well too: a Evocative of the products: ‘Gulnar’ is a Persian word for a type of flower and also means ‘Woman of the Garden’ a Easy to pronounce: For a customer base comprising largely of foreigners, we needed a name that was easy to pronounce a Memorable: It is a fairly unusual name in a market with many Sanskrit names

NOT too Feminine Our brief for the ‘look’ was simple. Our brand had to stand apart from the ‘uberfeminine’ look favored by competition, but not look unnatural on a handmade soap. We first worked on the look of the brand at the end of 2006. Since we were starting out, we had several limitations: a The product range was far from final. We were constantly adding new products and removing the ones that weren’t well received. a Since our volumes were small (about 200 units of each product every quarter), we were not taken seriously by vendors of packaging materials. This limited our choice of containers like bottles and jars. a Since we were constantly changing the product the range, we couldn’t do an offset print-run for the labels. We would constantly have to keep printing new labels.

The labels educate as well as attract our, mainly international, audience

The tone of the label text reflects our refreshingly different positioning

Premium but NOT Prohibitive We positioned and priced ‘Gulnar’ as a premium brand. But we were very careful not to price any products prohibitively. So while a Rs 75 soap sounds expensive compared to a Rs 18 bar, it is actually a few rungs below similar soaps priced between Rs 120 and Rs 175. And as we discovered after we started selling, for our customers, price is probably the third or fourth factor in their buying decision.

Source of the products is important to our customers and we respect that by clearly mentioning it on our labels

13 The positioning also defined the look of the packaging: 1) The labels should look ‘handmade’. But they should be able to stand up against mainstream brands in terms of sophistication of design and also be distinct from other ‘natural’ brands like Forest Essentials or Khadi 2) Every product should center around the main ingredients i.e. the label for a Neem Holy Basil Soap should focus equally on ‘Neem’ and ‘Holy Basil’ INFORMATION MATTERS

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Phase 3: Marketing Selling at a Flea Market Most Brand Managers would flinch at the thought of their brand selling at a Flea Market. But Gulnar started by selling at the ‘Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar’ in Goa. This Market attracts foreign tourists, our main audience for the brand. With innovation in layout and design of our stall (temporary store) and our selling techniques, we were able to overcome the limitations (poor brand association, cheapening of the brand, etc) of selling in a flea market. One lesson we learnt was that even in a flea market if your products have a price printed on the label, customers rarely bargain. They see it as the ‘official’ price, not open to bargaining. Our presence at the Saturday Night Bazaar introduced us to some of our best customers, and opened opportunities for export and institutional sales. Most importantly, selling our products ourselves gives us very valuable insights into shopping behavior of customers and their reactions to the brand. No third-party Brand Survey could have delivered such insights. For instance, while most people would say that they choose a soap based on its qualities and ingredients, the truth is that more than 90% of our soap sales are because of the captivating aroma of the essential oils used in our soaps.

14 Saturday Night Market also introduced us to Hotels and resorts that requested our products to be placed as in-room complimentary packs for their guests

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Small things that make a BIG difference: 1) We use all our products ourselves. This allows us to choose the best products and learn about the characteristics of each product

Phase 4: Brand Extension

first-hand [does an oil cause an allergic reaction or does a balm work better if applied overnight]. Knowing that they actually work,

Gulnar Spa

also adds conviction to our ‘sales pitch’.

After the first few months of selling Gulnar products, we had an opportunity to open a Spa in a resort. We decide to extend the ‘Gulnar’ brand and create a small Spa store that would give us a permanent presence in the tourist areas. The spa was housed in boutique resort called ‘Laguna Anjuna’. It had the ambience and surroundings that fit perfectly with our promise of ‘natural’.

2) ‘Advise’ not ‘Sell’. Our sales team has in-depth knowledge about the products and the ingredients that go in to them. We want the customers to feel that they are being ‘advised’ by experts rather than being ‘sold to’ by indifferent salespeople. This also means that we dissuade customers from buying a product if it doesn’t suit their body. But the little business we lose this way is more than compensated for by the trust this approach inspires in us. 3) “Where are the products made?” And dozens of other questions are thrown at us by customers. And we make it a point to know the answer to all of these. For product categories like ours (handmade, natural…) facts add to the romance of the product and are also important for the discerning customers. 4) We Care About Nature: We make a conscious effort to cut down on the use of plastics wherever possible by using paper or cloth bags, encouraging customers to put small purchases in their handbags, and using natural materials for packaging.

In-room collateral and restaurant leaflets placed on location in Laguna Anjuna

While we wouldn’t say that we’ve built a cult among our customers, we have certainly been able to build lasting relationships through simple and personal stay-in-touch communication. So when a Russian couple or a German Film Actress (our Celebrity Face :-) return to Goa, they do so with orders for ‘Gulnar’ products from friends back home. - Abhisek Sarda

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MARKETING | IDENTITY/EVENT DESIGN

The Client: An entrepreneur who started small, but by constantly challenging himself had become a respected name in his business.

Our challenge : To communicate the client’s personality and his Global aspirations while retaining the slightly unusual company name

GLOBAL METTLE What’s in a name

BY

no means did the name ‘MBA’ (Model Buckets and Attachments) seem suitable for a company in the business of manufacturing construction equipment or for a client who was a ‘Super OE’ to some of the most respected names in his business. But, when the client approached us, his firm had already established equity in the niche market they catered to. MBA caters to an extremely small universe of customers (less than 50 worldwide), and each potential customer has a scale which presents MBA with an opportunity manifold their current size. Hence, changing the name was not an option.

16 We decided to retain the name ‘MBA’ in the shortened form and build a suitable visual branding to support it. The Founder and Directors of MBA were then interviewed to understand the reasons behind their success. The Founder, Sukhraj Singh, an aggressive go-getter told us an inspirational story of how he started with an order for a single bucket and built up the company with his ‘never-say-no’ attitude and by constantly challenging himself.

This gave us the essence of the brand: The entrepreneur who is ready to challenge the world. INFORMATION MATTERS

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The Visual Identity We took notes from the Founder’s passion to frame design guidelines. The elements of the identity would be: Functionality: A hard, gritty, metallic corecompetence; Flexibility: Self driven, customer-centric, with speed & flexibility as key differentiators Emotion: Attitude, passion, the ‘can do’ spirit Easy Recall: Clean, graphic form & fashion Memorability: MBA is about being niche. So the logo must be niche and not “bazaari” which meant it had to be simple. Since there was no getting away from the ‘Master of Business Administration’ acronym that just about everyone associated with MBA, we decided to draw attention away from this by adding a tagline that encapsulated both their capabilities as well as aspirations, at the same time being a clever take on the core of their industry—Global Mettle. Based on this, we developed a theme for brand communication. Again, we drew from the strong character of the company and blended it with their core competence to arrive at ‘Challengineering’. Some logo options presented to the client

These concepts were then extended to all the communication collateral.

The final etched-look identity and tagline the client liked

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The Corporate Brochure We decided to highlight the attitude and core competence of MBA. The most effective way to do this was through ‘metal’. The entire brochure, therefore, was envisioned as a Laser-cut brochure, from cover to inside, crafted in metal. However, when the price of this seemed to be beyond what the client was willing spend we settled on a “metallic” look for the entire brochure—as tough as the products.

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The layout of the brochure kept the content to a minimum, large visuals were the focus INFORMATION MATTERS

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Exhibition Design Exhibitions and Conferences are key marketing platforms for companies like MBA and, at times, a single deal can be worth millions of dollars. The first platform to showcase the new identity was the 4th Construction Equipment and Construction Technology Trade Fair—ExCon 2007, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry in November 2007 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre. To create an impact on potential buyers we decided to extend the “metallic” look of the brochure to the exhibition area. The key objectives of the exhibition space design were: - Announce the arrival of a global company - Showcase products in an engaging fashion - Business transactions also take place at the convention, so it had to have meeting rooms - The space had to communicate the core of MBA in an aesthetic and entertaining manner

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The company had taken a very large space (the display area increased from 30 sq. meters in 2006 to about 400 sq. meters in 2007) at this trade fair to announce their global ambitions to their existing and prospective customers as well as competitors. This large exhibition space, in itself, took care of the first objective. Ample space also allowed us to display some of MBA’s biggest products like the Boom and Chassis of an earth-mover. Two comfortable meeting rooms were created to enable the directors of the company to interact with customers and conduct business.


The Metallic Installation, specially created for the exhibition, captured the MBA shopfloor experience

The element which distinguished the MBA display area from that of competitors was the 3D visualization of the exhibition space

inclusion of a ‘Live Sculpture’ by artist, Subodh Kerkar. Synapse worked with Subodh, who is based in Goa to conceptualize a metallic sculpture in the form of a walk-in kaleidoscope. The large dimensions (16 ft. long, 8 ft high and a base of 12ft) allowed visitors to walk into the kaleidoscope. At one end of the kaleidoscope, moving images were projected to illustrate different processes on the MBA shopfloor. The

21 idea was to “surround” the visitors with the visuals of production process and giving them a feel of being at the core of an engineering company.

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Extension of the ‘Metallic’ theme

Cover on cover for ‘Infrastructure’ Today magazine

Prototype of the uniform designed for MBA shopfloor workers

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T-shirt giveaways for the exhibition visitors

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Carry bags with an optical illusion of excavator arm


Advertisements designed for print media

Advertising B2B magazines ‘Construction World’ and ‘Infrastructure Today’ were identified as suitable media vehicles to advertise in. The print ads extended the ‘entrepreneurship’ and ‘metal’ theme explored in the corporate identity. Stark and dark visuals made the brand stand amongst the clutter of competitor ads. The lack of product shots was deliberate to intrigue the target audience and interest them in reading a message which sold no products, but the dreams, aspirations and capabilities of a fledgling entrepreneurial organization which was on its way to acquiring a global recognition.

The website done entirely in Flash

In addition to the design of the corporate identity and the exhibition, Synapse also extended this design framework onto the web. A combination of rich graphics and 3D effects was used to translate the vision of ‘Global Mettle’ into a web space.

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A journey that began with the design of an identity for a company, has ended with it being placed in the most ubiquitous of all media—the world wide web. - Sirish Nimmagadda, Kumar Chiplunkar, Shyam Bandekar

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MARKETING | BRAND POSITIONING

THINK INDIA.THINK KOTAK Kotak International uses Indian metaphors in its collateral to strengthen its position as the ‘Indian India expert’ THE International division of Kotak Mahindra offers foreign institutions and non-resident high net-worth individuals opportunities to access the asset management capabilities of international subsidiaries through a range of offshore funds. They are a relatively new player in a game long dominated by the likes of Franklin Templeton and other international financial institutions. Since inception in 2004, their fund collateral had been developed in-house and new documents were being added at random. As a result, their portfolio of documents lacked the coordinated look and finesse expected of a well-established institution. From a marketing perspective, the problem was one of differentiation—everyone was selling the ‘India Story’. After studying the market, Kotak International decided to position themselves as the ‘Indian India Expert’. They wanted this ‘position’ to come out strongly in all their collateral. The second part of the problem was that collateral related to their various funds had to be distinctly different. This was the brief with which they approached Synapse.

The Indian Metaphors Instead of using the cliched images of India (Taj Mahal, elephant, etc) we decided that the India we wanted to project was the one personified by the Group’s MD, Uday Kotak.

with others and reading his interviews. The picture which emerged was that of a confident, soft-spoken, modern Indian—rich in heritage and without pretensions. This, now, had to be translated into elements of design. We looked at three design elements: Color, Ornamental aesthetics and Icons. Colors from the India tricolor, clashed with the Kotak brand colors (red and blue) and could not be used. Unobtrusive ornamental line graphics that tied in with theme India, we decided, could be used to enliven text-heavy pages. Icons, we figured, had to be flexible enough to represent and differentiate between various funds. Indian Icon The key requisite for the icon was that it had to be completely customizable. After knocking off several possibilities, we settled on the ‘postage stamp’ as an icon. It is small enough to be unobtrusive; can be as visually representative as we like, and carries the name of the country—India, in keeping with our theme. We settled on ‘animals’ as the visual theme for the stamps—larger animals would be used to denote largecap offerings, mid-sized animals for mid-cap funds and smaller animals for small-cap products. Based on this, stamps were designed for 14 existing funds.

The first stage of the project consisted of research—watching videos of Uday Kotak speaking, observing the way he engaged

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The postage stamp was chosen as an icon to represent India. The animals corresponded to the fund strategy, while the backgrounds exemplified the sectors


“We believe that the new collateral will positively predispose the stakeholders towards Kotak and strengthen our position as the lead India player. We also hope our classy, world class and easy-to-read collateral will bring in more money :)” Jaimit Doshi, Vice President, Marketing - Kotak Mahindra Bank

Ornamental aesthetics While searching for Indian ornamental aesthetics, we (along with the client) decided upon the sari as something unique to India. To reiterate the ‘Indian Expert’ stance, it was decided that on certain collateral, a representation of sari borders from different regions of India would be featured along with a description of the sari, and the economic possibilities that region offered to investors. We recreated eight sari borders specific to different regions of India and also researched the investment opportunities those areas represented.

Sari borders from different regions of India were used as ornamentation

Information Design of the Collateral The Fact Sheet: We started with the collateral that seemed to be the most data-intensive. We compared similar sheets offered by the competitors and collated the elements. While most of the information heads were the same, some companies offered extras. The Fact Sheet from the Kotak Group was, in fact, one of the most comprehensive. We took the comparison chart to the client and together, we decided to leave out certain data heads. But there was still a considerable amount of information to be arranged. We then divided the data into static (data that does not change often) and dynamic elements. The static data was pushed to the bottom of the page. The dynamic data, which would be of chief interest to the investor, was moved to the top.

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The user-friendly fact sheet with dynamic elements at the top making it easy to take in the details at a glance INFORMATION MATTERS

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The next step was to set a design style for each of the individual elements like graphs, text boxes and tables. Instead of just beautifying graphs, we looked at the type of information that was being communicated and then identified the best way to visually represent the same. This was a fairly involving process as we experimented with individual graphs and compared them to color-coded graphs representing multiple information sets. Other text heavy pages Some of the bigger (longer) documents, like the Private Placement Memorandum, were extremely text heavy. To make them easier on the eyes, we developed small icons and different styles for Heads, Sub-heads and Body Copy. We also provided the client with ‘style guides’ for each document type to allow their DTP staff to replicate the designs suggested. Last, we turned our attention to presentation, word processing and spreadsheet templates. As far as possible, here too we incorporated, the ‘Indian’ design styles and elements used in other fund collateral. In a few cases, we had to go back and make small adjustments to the previously designed collateral in order to match the designs across the board. Two months after we first got the brief, the collateral went into print and the International Division established themselves as the ‘Indian India expert’. - Sirish Nimmagadda, Anish Dasgupta, Kumar Chiplunkar, Shyam Bandekar

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Templates and detailed style sheets were prepared for all collateral

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MARKETING | WEBSITE PROTOTYPE

Creating push-you-back-in-your-seat driving exhilaration for passionate bikers on the Net SOME products and services lend themselves quite well to being showcased, and sold online—but some high-value product classes require a secondary layer of services be crafted around them when marketing from the web. So when Bajaj Auto got in touch with Synapse for developing their online presence, we were quite excited. Scooters and motorbikes evoke great passion among prospective buyers, but tapping into this passion to market 2-wheeler brands from the Internet was new in the Indian scenario. At the time that we were called in, the Bajaj Auto website consisted of a central corporate site with a second level of sub-sites for the various product classes like motorbikes, scooters and 3-wheelers, and a level deeper, were the microsites which showcased individual product brands.

Bajaj Auto home page The primary purpose of the central home page was to serve disseminate corporate information and also function as a gateway to the various product categories. Since Bajaj Auto has been associated with bikes in India for decades, we chose to go with an image of the great outdoors in the background and a bike in the foreground. This would have bordered on being too ‘vintage’, so we added a dynamic Flash element which played out in the rear view mirror of the bike. A simple vertical line up of links aided navigation.

Motorcycles home page The first challenge here was to find an innovative way to present the wide range of motorcycles that Bajaj offers. For this we created a ‘speedometer’ element, with controls to toggle it up or down … and of course, we had an escalating engine sound as you increased the speed. Beginning with the 100 cc Bajaj CT, and going all the way up to the 180 cc Bajaj Pulsar—depending on the cc you revved up to, the motorcycle model displayed in the dynamic right hand side frame would change. The Speedometer was the central element for the motorcycle home page. Also on the page was a simple vertical line up of the various motorcycle models. Clicking through the model, one would reach the product section specific to that motorcycle.

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We also suggested a suite of content ideas—an email newsletter with articles on biking, biking trips, biographies and anecdotes about famous bikers, or a forum that allows bikers to connect with each other. New media applications for SMS and email reminders of top-ups and check reminders were also shared with the client. And while we were not expecting the site to be flooded with converted sales—we did want to have an option where one would be able to configure various elements of a dream bike and order it at a premium price.

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1) As you revved up, the motorcycle displayed in the frame would change 2) Rearview mirror was the key element in the Bajaj Auto Home page 3) Product page for Kristal bikes emphasized ‘fun’

FunQ for Kristal Finally, we approached the most challenging task of all—a product section for Bajaj Kristal, the only Bajaj bike aimed at young women. Out went all the blue, grey, blacks and in came the pink, orange and fuchsia. The language and phraseology also took a distinctly different tone. Since the bike had a lot of ‘intelligent’ features built in, while essentially being a fun bike, we combined ‘Fun’ and ‘IQ’ to come up with the term ‘FunQ’ to position the brand. Taking a cue from the women’s site of a leading shampoo brand that aggregated women around the theme of ‘beauty’, we wanted ‘freedom’ to be the central element on this site. So apart from the basic product information, the community building ideas in this section included ‘fun’ elements like: funny videos, fun careers, etc.

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After putting in a lot of thought and effort, it was disappointing when the company did not buy into our ideas—but what the heck … it was a fun ride. - Navin Boricha INFORMATION MATTERS

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MARKETING | CONSUMER AWARENESS

RAISING the STANDARD When you want customers to pay for what they are already using, 30

what works? Microsoft tells its users to be Future Ready by adopting international standards

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THE problem faced by the software industry is similar to the one faced by entertainment (film, music), publishing or other industries which have intellectual property (IP) as the main value—piracy. And it’s not like companies haven’t tried to change this perception. Almost all anti-piracy efforts, from the entertainment industry or from bodies such as BSA and NASSCOM, have focused on the “risk” aspect—if you use pirated software, you will be punished—but given the legal framework and more importantly the socio-cultural background of our country, these efforts continue to be unproductive. The operative being—what everyone is doing cannot be wrong. Try telling someone you know, that copying a music CD and sharing it is a offence punishable by law and tell me if you didn’t get laughed at!


For most consumers, the cost of software doesn’t go beyond its packaging—so why should they pay Rs 5,000 for something that seems worth only Rs 50!

For Microsoft India, the challenge then was how to get people to pay for pirated software they were already using and have been loyal to for years now. Looking back, Microsoft realized that they had been building awareness of the Microsoft brand and products, but weren’t telling customers that they needed to buy the original product. This had resulted in a software piracy rate of 95% among retail consumers, and 72% overall. For most consumers, the cost of software doesn’t go beyond the cost of its CD/DVD packaging—so why should they pay Rs 5,000 for something that seems worth only Rs 50! Which was when Microsoft realized that they needed to study the real reasons behind why people ‘pirate’. Microsoft India decided to examine the social, economic, cultural codes that made people behave the way they do, and how one could change or align with that.

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Standards Meter has 10 simple questions to help a business know its future readiness

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The Research Drivers Microsoft India commissioned a research study to find out the socio-cultural-economic drivers behind piracy. Consisting of 28 focus groups (involving 250+ people in 3 cities) and 24 in-depth interviews, conducted by McCann Erickson and Quantum across various segments of the market, this was the first such research undertaken by any subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation. Instead of painting all software pirates in a broad stroke, the new research approach sought to understand each segment distinctly and determine what the triggers for piracy are and what the barriers are to buying original software. The home segment and the business segments were analyzed separately. The research revealed that the real issues in case of software were that the mental pricing model doesn’t account for ground realities. Most of us cannot understand why a product that doesn’t have a basic intrinsic cost (beyond the DVD/CD media it is delivered on) is priced so high. The research also revealed that ‘Licensing’ as a concept isn’t understood by most except for maybe business users. “Consumers presume that the PC box is an all inclusive price and that they have already paid for the software along with their computer. And hence not paying for it is not seen as stealing,” adds Arvind Mohan, consultant, and earlier at McCann Erickson. But, what they do believe in is building quality products or services. They believe in standards.

“It was this insight that led to the Value of Original Software marketing campaign and the development of the ‘Future Ready’ concept with the central message—With Original Microsoft Software your business meets the professional standards and best practices needed to thrive in today’s dynamic business environment,” informs Vineet Durani, Marketing Lead, Original Software Initiative, Microsoft India.

The Marketing Campaign PILOT The communication initiative was launched using a strategic development process that involved researching the Small and Medium Business segment, developing the positioning and the message, testing concepts, final campaign and post-campaign testing. The pilot phase of the Value of Original Software campaign was launched in September 2006, targeting the SME segment. “The Value of Original Software campaign was the first in Microsoft India’s initiatives to look at a totally different approach towards changing the cultural landscape towards piracy among business users,” mentions Vineet. The marketing mix included ATL and BTL activities. The campaign was pilot-tested in two cities—Ludhiana and Coimbatore—in September 2006, and based on the success of the pilot expanded to eight other cities in January 2007 for a period of four months.

This brochure for the Pilot showed ‘Microsoft Man’ explaining the different licensing options and ways to buy original Microsoft software

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A simple chart was created to explain how to buy original Microsoft software

This cinema slide highlights the dangers of using pirated software

THE CAMPAIGN Following the successful pilot, a full-fledged campaign was launched in October 2007, first in cinema theatres, then on TV and print and finally, online. Using the basic communication message and creative themes developed by McCann Erickson in its television and print campaign, Synapse worked on other web and direct marketing initiatives.

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“Software is a phantasm that no one can actually touch or grasp, but only sense the presence. For many, software is like the ‘ghost in the machine’ .” Vineet Durani, Marketing Lead, Original Software Initiative, Microsoft India

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www. Awareness mailer aimed at consumers

Create Awareness Announcement Mailers: These were created to announce the launch of the Value of Original Software Campaign

AskforOriginal.com: A website that supports the national television and print campaigns

Cinema Slides: Cinema slides were created for display along with the television campaign at theatres. These highlighted the fact that using pirated software increases chances of viruses and malware

ReadyfortheBigGame.com Blog: Along with the AskforOriginal.com, a blog was created to put up articles, videos and other content related to the campaign. This blog highlights different initiatives related to moving to the right standards

Articles: A Microsoft-commissioned research article on the differences between original and pirated software, and customer testimonials were some of the other initiatives to create awareness

ONE of the primary activities to support the national television and print campaign for the Value of Original Software campaign was the creation of a website— AskforOriginal.com.

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This Website had to serve a dual purpose—inform people of the different ways to buy original Microsoft software, and create awareness on original Microsoft software.

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. askfororiginal.com The Website helped users understand how they can move to the right standard in three steps: 1: How Standards Help Businesses: This tells businesses the importance of Standards in their business and how Original Microsoft software is one such standard 2: What’s your Standard: Here businesses can check if they are following the right Standards for business and technology practices 3: Move to the Right Standard: Business are told how they can move to the right standard Also prominent on the site is a unit that highlights the five ways to buy original Microsoft software. These were done in an innovative way such that if a user clicks on any option in the ‘How to buy’ box, the central unit shifts to show the details on the same page. Apart from these main elements, a number of interactive elements were created for the Website. These included decision-making tools leading to purchase of original Microsoft Windows, original Microsoft Office or Windows Server. An interactive Standards Meter (shown on page 31) which measures the standards of businesses was also created—users answer 10 questions and based on the responses, they are provided feedback on how they can improve their standards. The site also showcased original Microsoft software users. Also included are testimonials from businesses using original software, and an interactive game game tests the user understanding of various real-life situations where he can be sold a pirated version of any Microsoft software. Users who answer the questions correctly can enter the Originals Gallery and upload their photograph. These gets displayed in a mosaic of the AskforOriginal logo. Users can zoom into the logo to view their photos, and can also share the link with friends and colleagues.

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Lead Generation Activities for lead generation included:

Banners and other Display Units A number of Web banners and other display units were created for different websites

Volume License eDMs: A series of nine electronic direct mailers were sent to businesses, highlighting the value of original Microsoft software, purchase options and the beneďŹ ts with volume licensing Volume License eDMs were created to send out to businesses

Partner Resource Centre To keep its channel partners informed about all the Value of Original Software campaign, and provide them access to all the campaign collateral, Synapse worked towards the following:

Partner Resource Website and DVD This website was a compilation of all the marketing communication collateral including television and print campaigns created as part of the Value of Original Software campaign. The site also included tests to gauge the learning of the partners. The same content was also included in a DVD that was distributed to partners

Partner Resource DVD

Partner Resource Center campaign A print campaign was created to inform the partners about the Website and the DVD

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Advertisements created to promote the Partner Resource Center INFORMATION MATTERS

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The Partner Website provides access to campaign resources and collateral


Web banners, store promotions were part of lead generation activities

Sales Tools To support the sales team at Microsoft and for partners, sales tools were created that included:

Customer Testimonials Videos of customer testimonials were created which highlighted how original Microsoft software helps businesses

ET Cover-on-Cover story A cover on cover was created for Economic Times which informed in an editorial fashion the importance of original Microsoft software

Flip-charts and Customer presentations Video of Customer Testimonial

To enable the sales team to explain the value of original software proposition, a ip-chart was created, along with customer-ready presentations - Mohan Krishnan, Umesh Chavan, Arun Mota, Veer Kothari

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A Cover-on-cover appeared in the Delhi edition of The Economic Times

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The cover is bright, and looks like an advertisement. The customer realizes right from the cover that this form is different

AWARDED ‘BEST BROKER IN INDIA’ - FINANCE ASIA ‘BEST EQUITIES HOUSE IN INDIA’ - EUROMONEY IN 2005

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A solid red band enhances the Kotak branding

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The form/booklet title is made more legible. The client category is written below the form title


INFORMATION DESIGN | FORMS

Improving

Customer Experience one form at a time RESTRUCTURING AND REDESIGN OF ACCOUNT OPENING FORMS FOR KOTAK MAHINDRA GROUP

Kotak Mahindra Group is one of India’s most preferred financial organizations. With a wide array of services, ranging from Banking to Securities to Insurance, capturing client information is not just a part of the process—it is the core of the process. As part of an exercise to align and integrate the brand, Kotak Group decided to redesign their external communications material, including forms. Synapse worked on a prototype design for the forms, and started with two broad aspects of information design: Branding and Content Design.

Red instead of white background enhances branding

Space allotted for photograph of the writer to add a more personal touch

CONSISTENT BRANDING We noticed that the only thing common to all forms, was the Kotak logo. This apart, nothing identified them as offerings from the same group. Based on this we decided: 1. All the documents from Kotak Group would have a visible organic connection. To achieve this, we planned to standardize elements like fonts, colors, icons and form templates. 2. All the documents would be redesigned to inspire confidence in the user that they are part of a modern, well-established firm.

CONTENT DESIGN

The content is placed in black on light grey to enhance legibility

The typeface was altered to a more legible italics

The basic subject of the letter is mentioned here

Content design focussed on the following: 1. Legibility: Reduced clutter and increased writing space for the user 2. Increased Comprehension: Especially for those not comfortable with financial procedures 3. Enhanced Navigation: Users should be able to locate information easily 4. Effective Organization: The document should be easy to store and file 5. Defined Hierarchy of Information: Key points that need more emphasis will be defined 6. Low Production Costs: While it was imperative to spread out the content, we had to make better use of paper to keep production costs in check.

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The Group and company logo give a proper sign-off to the letter INFORMATION MATTERS

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1 Different sections are mentioned with page numbers to make it easy for the client to find them

EXECUTION Keeping the content design factors in mind, a project execution plan was formulated: STEP 1. Identify brand elements that recur throughout the communication STEP 2. Identify the purpose of each communication STEP 3. Identify the rules associated with restructuring content—this included all legal mandatory elements in connection with the financial services space that Kotak is involved in STEP 4. Identify key elements in each document, i.e. information to be captured or communicated STEP 5. Develop templates that optimize information dissemination for each document, keeping in mind purpose and usability, as well as elements of service and corporate branding STEP 6. Design suitable cover pages wherever required

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Following the above process, we identified and froze on the following elements: a. Cover Design Template: A design for the booklet cover which would be standard across all collateral. b. Typography: The information would be reviewed and assigned appropriate typographic importance. This would involve highlighting certain information while improving legibility of the overall document. c. Language: Where possible, we simplified and rephrased the existing content. d. Help Bubbles: Where required, we have put in Help Bubbles [inspired by the ‘Dummies’ series of books] that told users what to fill in. This was especially useful for areas where we could not change the language. e. Caution Notes: We identified areas where (i) the information to be captured was of special importance, and, (ii) the chances of misunderstanding the requirements were high. Caution Notes would emphasize the import of these areas.

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A Notice Box announces which pages need signs and the total number of signatures required

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The ‘Education’ and ‘Occupation’ sections have been made into check boxes, making them neater and easier to fill

The currency abbreviation ‘INR’ has been put to ensure the client fills out keeping Indian currencies in mind, especially for NRIs who earn in other currencies


A grey box gives general instructions and informs the client about the various icons used in the form

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A stylized icon (the hand) is used to denote places with signatures. The ‘7’ denotes the total number of signatures required

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Mandatory legal elements remain the same

Signing across the photo is important and hence has been highlighted. The ‘Pen’ icon denotes signature on the form

The instructions have been simplified and placed in a box to call attention

The table has been split into two. This makes it easier for the client to understand.

A Hint Box give customers tips and highlights important points in the form

‘Proof ’ check boxes have been integrated into the form rather than kept separate, as in the existing form

Special instruction boxes on the side prevent confusion

Abbreviations used in the form are given in a box at the bottom

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Check boxes have been moved to the left and made more noticeable

The redesigned Kotak Securities Account Opening Form (For Individuals and Non-Individuals) with key changes

1 The existing form does not have a table of contents, and one was added to facilitate ease of navigation

The requirement of a signature has been marked boldly with the designated icon. The number ‘1’ denotes that it is the first signature

2 This page contains instructions only for Individuals.

NOTE: In the existing document, the instructions are given after the document list. This was changed so that the instructions come before the list. This would be more helpful to the client.

3 4 5 Form for Individuals

For clients who are quickly flipping through the form, the black box at the bottom tells them that a signature is required on this page

While the information presented and its order are unchanged, the new formatting makes better use of the space available. Special instructions in the boxes to the right make it easier for the client to fill the form.

- Maneesha Singh, Anish Dasgupta, Tristha Wadhwa

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why Business Intelligence (n) An interactive process for exploring and analyzing structured, domain-speciďŹ c information to discern business trends or patterns, thereby deriving insights and drawing conclusionsâ€? Gartner Report 2006

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INFORMATION DESIGN | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

dashboards? ‘‘SKILLED pilots are able to process information from a large number of indicators to navigate their aircraft. Yet navigating today’s organizations through complex competitive environments is at least as complicated as flying a jet. Why should we believe that executives need anything less than a full battery of instrumentation for guiding their companies? Managers, like pilots, need instrumentation about many aspects of their environment and performance to monitor the journey toward excellent future outcomes.” Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action” (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996)

Why Dashboards? When we undertook the task of installing BI dashboards at one of India’s largest securities trading business house, we were acutely aware of the difficulties of setting up systems to generate Business Intelligence. Fresh from a related project, where an organization had spent costly resources on shrink-wrapped BI infrastructure, only to discover that senior decision makers fell back on hand-generated trusty Spreadsheets for monitoring and planning, we were naturally circumspect. Most Business Intelligence initiatives are challenged by the following: 1 Predictability: There is not one single, predictable fixed place or process that decision makers can turn to, at any time, time after time, and be assured of finding every critical business metric. 2. Accuracy: The process of calculating metrics is inconvenient and errorprone. Key numbers are buried deep inside tables in multiple applications generating different files at different times, baselines, units and scales. 3. Promote comparison of different perspectives: The discovery process does not lend itself to laying out related business metrics for easy comparison. Discovering relationships and trends between different numbers and uncovering patterns is a challenge, wherever possible at all. 4. Process centered, not Person centered: The system breeds an unhealthy dependence on one or two key individuals who are the only ones who can generate reports for your use. 5. Compelling and Direct Business Information: Reports are not BI Reports. The former are usually guided more by regulatory requirements and mandatory fields and formats and are designed to emphasize detail not summary. Having one, does not mean that you have the other. INFORMATION MATTERS

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DISCOVER The key feature of any data dashboard is that it delivers the information that decision makers use in a form that requires no further processing. Traditional solutions live between two extremes—At one end are shrink-wrapped products that give executives complete access to the data, with the tools to slice, dice and generate their own metrics. At the other extreme are dashboards that display standard text-book KPIs—usually domain-independent aggregates like gross revenue, sales that are key to any business. While there is merit in both, we have long believed that intelligent decision makers with a clear vision for their organization and an intuition born out of experience, use their own indicators and correlations to get a sense about where their business is and where it is headed. A successful dashboard translates this “sense” into a tangible visual. Our belief was borne out quickly as we spoke with senior decision makers; While standard KPIs (revenues, sales, transactions etc.) did tell a story, what every one wanted to see on a daily basis was an answer to four key questions: Where is my money coming from today? (not revenue, but funding, borrowings and dues to customers) Where is it deployed? (lendings, regulatory deposits and trade deployments), How well are my customers using my money? (yield on lendings) and finally, What is the risk factor on my deployed money? Not your standard balance sheet! These interviews, helped us understand that a committed insider with vision and intuition views his business and its health through unique indicators. Sales and Marketing too had numbers that they would like to track: effectiveness through conversion ratios and costs, performance through incentives. In two weeks we had completed the discovery and were ready to look for places where this information may be found.

CONNECT

Dashboards showing different types of business intelligence data

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Our goals for our new project were simple: 1. Discover key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the health of the business and make them available at a single location as compelling visuals 2. Connect the indicators with data sources from which these KPIs can be accurately generated 3. Build a system that would generate these KPIs from the underlying data sources, and finally 4. Analyze usage patterns and fix problems and shortcomings that prevented widespread and regular adoption and use INFORMATION MATTERS

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This project gained significantly from the technology that was already in place. Technology was the bedrock for operations and the single most important component of this organization’s product and services suite. This meant that data systems were either in place or could be very quickly provisioned. Deployment of the servers and allied software was rapid and took under 3 days. Once the correct data sources were identified, we addressed the vexing issue of pulling data from production servers to get the most current numbers. The servers that managed customer transactions were extremely busy and any additional load on these was not desirable. To work around this, we looked at the standard reports that a manager in the organization was either generating or receiving from regulatory bodies and developed additional scripts. These scripts re-processed already available reports on a separate server far removed from the


production and delivery environment. Using existing data reports but spending additional CPU cycles gave us what we wanted: We had the numbers we wanted and the production servers weren’t working any harder than they always were.

BUILD The system now works as shown in the graphic. Function heads own a tab each and have formed a one or two person teams to upload reports that they have been generating to a fixed location. An automated script checks the location at regular intervals and notifies owners and others of any missed scheduled uploads. Once all required reports are in, they are processed and sent in a platform neutral format (XML) to a web server that uses a proprietary flash library to build the interactive dashboard. Admittedly, the system has one weak link: It still depends on human intervention to make the raw basic data available. While we have an elaborate monitor-remindescalate cycle of notifications for this schedule, missed upload deadlines result in a stale dashboard. The risk is significant. In the first six days data was delayed by a day almost everyday. We expect that once the upload routine is built into the person’s work schedule, no member needs to spend more than 3-4 minutes (the time it takes to upload 2/3 files on their local machines to an FTP server) more than what they were doing anyway and the automated email reminders make it easy to keep this on top of a person’s task list.

ANALYZE So what has been achieved? First we have predictability. All key summary data is available at a single URL. Second, all information is displayed in a form that is directly usable by decision makers. All data is laid out for easy comparison on a common scale across all graphs. On the other hand, we have yet to overcome two limitations: First, the data collection process is still person-centric and not robust. If data from a team has not been uploaded for a day, integrity of the results suffer. We hope to address this issue in the medium time frame. There are several options we are considering: Access production servers directly and securely, but at a time when the load of transactions is low. Second, build a intermediate buffer where production servers would dump data periodically but do no additional processing other than passive transfers. The second limitation is that this system currently lacks the ability that a commercial BI platform provides– answering “whatif” questions–the dashboard is not interactive enough.

[The visuals have been blurred to protect client confidentiality]

We have no plans at the moment to address this in the short or medium term. We are very keenly watching this project, monitoring adoption and use. In an organization that values direct, timely and immediately useful information, we have no doubt that our dashboards will make an important contribution. - Gurunandan Bhat INFORMATION MATTERS

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BRANDING | IDENTITY DESIGN

* Check your LOGO Q Know logos? We have compiled an alphabet of logos—or parts of logos—from some wellknown brands and companies. See if you can identify them.

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(Answers at the end of this article)

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KNOW LOGO Scientific Approach to Logo Design Name, Symbol, Function A logo is an icon or symbol that represents a company, organization, product or service and forms the foundation of its corporate identity. It can be a name, symbol, emblem, trademark, or some other kind of graphic device that is designed to be distinctive for easy recognition. A good logo has certain attributes that have very practical implications for the company or brand that it represents. 1. It should be Unique and Distinct and should not be confused with any other logo by the viewer 2. It should be Functional and Usable in different situations while retaining its integrity 3. It should be Flexible and Effective whether reproduced in small or large sizes 4. It should display basic design principles (space, color, form, consistency and clarity) 5. It should be Legible and Effective in full-color, two-color presentation, black & white printing 6. It should reflect the key characteristics of the brand/company that it is intended for There are basically 3 types of Logo Designs:

Icons and symbols are emblematic of a particular company or product. They use imagery that conveys a literal or abstract representation of the organization. Symbols are less direct than straight text, leaving room for a broader interpretation of what the organization represents. In order for a symbol to be a truly effective logo, it should conform to these maxims: 1. Instantaneously recognizable 2. Memorable 3. Clear when reproduced in small sizes 4. Illustrative in nature, either concrete or abstract

Literal Iconic Logo type

Abstract Iconic Logo type

Iconic Type (literal symbols not related to name)

A Logotype, also known as a “Word Mark”, incorporates the company or brand name into a uniquely styled type font treatment. Type fonts come in many possible variations, shapes, sizes and styles, each conveying a slightly different impression upon the intended audience. 1. Script Fonts imply a sense of formality and refinement 2. Thick Fonts proclaim strength and power 3. Slanted Type Fonts impart a sense of motion or movement

Example of Word Mark Logo type

Examples of Word Mark Logo type with Type Font treatments

Combination Marks are graphics with both text and a Symbol/Icon that signifies the brand image that you wish to project for your company or organization. Concise text can complement an icon or symbol, providing supplemental clarity as to what the enterprise is all about. There are integrated and stand alone combination marks.

Examples of Combination Mark Logo type

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5-STEP LOGO DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Build the characteristics a. What are the key characteristics of the organization? b. What are the key characteristics of our audience? c. What do we want the logo to communicate to the audience?

Decide on the logotype a. What elements would you like to have? This will be decided by what you want to convey. For example, The Shiv Sena would like to convey strength and fearlessness—which are symbolized by the tiger b. Is there a metaphor that we’d like to communicate visually? How can we best express this metaphor? Example, the Gulnar logo uses the butterfly as a metaphor for its philosophy of healthy living

Selecting the typeface a. Choose a set of typefaces with the characteristics that we are trying to convey

Select the colors a. The characteristics we wish to portray determine the colors b. Avoid competitor’s colors where possible c. Colors should be added last to avoid clouding our decisions by preferences. This is also the easiest to change.

Test the logo a. Test for legibility by experimenting with sizes as low as 5 mm b. Also try adaptations of the logo in different situations that can be anticipated—signage, stationery and so on. c. Test the logo using the following checklists Corporate Checklist: The first part of the process is to drill down the corporate checklist. The key components of the checklist includes: Corporate Characteristics Innovation Design Relevance Flexibility Consumer Checklist Does it convey rational benefit? Does it show functional benefit? Does it show the emotional benefit? Is it sensitized cross-culturally? Is it easy to understand? Legal Checklist Mark registration: The logo should be unique and available for a mark registration (Trademark, Service Mark and/or a Community Trade Mark).

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CASE STUDY :

INDIA MART

Refining the reference shown by the Client to create a unique logo

Indiamart had a preference for logo options that show the meeting of two individuals, to symbolize ‘reach’ and partnership. The client shared a reference image of what they had in mind. Synapse refined the thought such that the visual showing ‘partnership’ was moulded to indicate an ‘M’. Three distinct design styles were shared with the client and a preference emerged from this. Once the form was finalized, we focussed on the typeface for the Logo. At the last stage we experimented with the colors and gradients to add a 3-Dimensional effect to the logo.

CASE STUDY :

digiGO

Name and logo design for a digital printing brand

NAME: The parameters included pronunciation, recall, latent association and concept fit. At the same time, since the name would be trademarked, a dictionary word couldn’t be considered. For example, an initial suggestion was the name Velocity, and a quick search revealed that there are over 58 companies having the name ‘velocity’.

Some of the brand name alternatives suggested to the client

SYMBOL: Since this was a brand associated with digital printing, and key characteristics of digital printing relate to speed, the name had to communicate this essence. Given this, the options under considerations were DigiGO! and DigitalGO!, and to convey the short cycle, DigiGO! was chosen.

49 A tagline Design | Print | Deliver was developed to drive home the association of speed and simplicity. VISIBILITY: DigiGO! was intended as a retail chain, and the logo had to be one that’s prominent in a retail shop-front environment. We tested various color options in the retail environment before finalizing ‘Yellow’as the color for the brand.

We tested color options for the logo in a retail set up

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CASE STUDY :

TECHNOLOGY SENATE

Distinct logos for an event and awards to be presented there

Creating logos for the Indian Express sponsored event ‘Technology Senate’ and the awards given out during the event—Intelligent Enterprise, Security Strategist and Uptime Champion—was challenging given the fact that the logos had to look part of the same event when placed next to each other. We started by selecting a modern, technologically advanced and stylish typeface—Accidental Presidency. This versatile Sans Serif typeface has crisp, clean and methodical lines, is relatively straight and has less line-width variation. Then unique motifs were created for each of the logos. The central event, Technology Senate, was depicted by three rings to symbolize the act of bringing together people at the event where they share ideas, discuss technology trends and exchange ideas. Logos for the sub-brands—Intelligent Enterprise Awards, Security Strategist Awards, and Uptime Champion Awards—were designed in two colors in keeping with the dual-colored logo of Indian Express. Each logo used one bright color paired with black. - Ravishankar, Mohan Krishnan, Shaalini Srinivasan

after before

Some Logo Redesign Examples

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ANSWERS

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Adobe. BBC. CocaCola. Disney. Ericsson. Fila General Electric. Hallmark. IBM. Fujitsu. Kellogs. DHL. McDonalds. Nintendo. Rotring. Parker. Compaq. TOYSrUS. Subway. TATA. Unilever. VolksWagen. XBox. Synapse. Zee Network

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MADE YOU THINK?

You Cannot NOT Communicate?


BRANDING | KIOSK DESIGN

6 x 6 for ft

ft

A kiosk need not just be a selling space— it can also be a warm inviting area where prospects relax and experience your product

A kiosk, as used in Indian retail spaces, provides a human face to customers, apart from enabling shoppers to experience and buy the products or sign up for any service. Kiosks are also effective as a means of extending the brand experience in a day-to-day scenario. Seventymm is one of India’s leading movie rental service, with branches in various metros and a strong online presence. The tone that the brand chooses to take for its communication activities is that of ‘Passion for Movies’. As their communication agency, Synapse was required to create a kiosk for a 6x6 feet space inside a newly launched, large-format bookstore in Delhi. A service that provides you the luxury of ordering movies online and getting them delivered at your doorstep is basically all about the viewing experience you can enjoy at home. And since prospects would not allow us to enter their homes to make a sales pitch, we stepped back and evaluated the kiosk as a place to indulge one’s passion for movies.

The cushions mirrored Bollywood kitsch

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Audery Hepburn lamp

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Mere paas Cinema hai We decided to create the semblance of a home-viewing experience, right in the middle of a bustling retail outlet. We envisioned the kiosk as a glass-enclosed space, with a hall-like setting. A visitor could walk in, relax and take a seat on the sofa and watch the movie playing on the LCD screen. Movies would play non-stop all day, like in a cinema hall. To ensure that the sound does not disturb the visitors interested in browsing the books, we suggested a TV set with headphones.

The Bollywood coffee mugs provided a contemporary touch

The Seventymm executive was expected to join the prospect in this relaxed atmosphere, and take him through information about their services. This ‘home setting’ was expected to ensure that the conversation is not a typical over-the counter kind but warm and personal. To reiterate the brand’s tone of ‘Passion for Movies’—everything that a prospect would see or touch at the kiosk was exclusively fashioned. The coffee table featured famous dialogues from Hollywood and Bollywood, cushions and coasters mirrored Bollywood kitsch, an Audrey Hepburn lamp warmed the ambience, the ‘Kkkkk’ mugs provided a contemporary touch—all-in-all the space was designed as an inviting island for movie buffs to spend time in. -Maneesha Singh, Meghana Dubashi Blueprint of the Kiosk layout

53 Bright coasters matched the interiors

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BUSINESS APPLICATION

FROM IDEA TO LAUNCH IN UNDER 2 WEEKS

A Recurring Problem

“Measuring the effectiveness of any brand launch was a formidable task for the sales team at GPI—till LaunchPAD

FOR the sales department at Godfrey Phillips India, a brand launch in any market meant many sleepless nights for people at various levels of the sales hierarchy. The task of measuring the effectiveness of the launch constituted huge amounts of sales data in MS Excel sheets, which tended to become unwieldy after a point. It also required numerous daily phone calls to various territory managers to ensure that the emails trickled in with data for updation.

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was developed in 2007

An Impossible Deadline It was end-Jan 2007 and a new brand was being launched at many top outlets in Mumbai. Since the market was crucial, it was critical that GPI monitored the acceptance of the brand every day. This called for an IT application that not only simplified data collection, but also complied with available infrastructure and support systems to allow data to be collected at the lowest point in the chain. In early January, a couple of days after the application being conceptualized, the IT department at GPI decided to bring in Synapse as an executing partner.

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[The visuals have been blurred to protect client confidentiality]

At Synapse a three-person team was assembled to crack the problem with such a crunched deadline.

DAY 1-2: Understanding the System Godfrey Phillips had a distributor driven sales model—the sales for entire region of Mumbai were managed through multiple wholesale distributors (WDs). Each WD was assigned a geographical region within which he had exclusive rights to supply GPI products to the retail outlets. GPI- appointed Sales Executives (SEs) worked under each WD and visited all the retail outlets under their assigned WD daily to sell the stock. This was the point where the data was being generated. The Executives would capture the sales data in a predesigned physical sheet. This data was digitized at WD offices which accessed GPI corporate WAN via secure VPN connections. This was the most feasible point where the data could be captured. The challenge is the quality of connectivity provisioned at these WD points. Since the dependability of connection is suspect, the new application will have to accommodate for connection being sparse. Long forms that take over a few minutes to populate will not work as the probability of the connection snapping is high.

The Data Upload interface allows sales executives to continue recording information in Excel sheets and upload it directly to the software

DAY 3: MS Excel Excels It is decided that the SE’s will be asked to fill in the data into an MS Excel sheet template generated through the application. These would then be uploaded into the system and processed to extract the data. During the data entry, user does not need to worry about the connection—once the data is entered, the user connects and uploads the data into the application.

When uploading data to the system, the executives can double-check all the information to ensure correctness

55 DAY 4: Prototype is Ready

Day 4 to Day 9: Developing LaunchPad

The HTML prototype is ready and the application is now branded as LaunchPad. The prototype gets morphed in a face-to-face meeting with the actual users of the system. “It is important to share prototypes with users early on since non-technical users understand the picture if they have something they actually see. That also triggers more ideas”, says Sudeep Dey, Manager IT, GPI.

The features taken up for development focus at saving the huge coordination effort required for collating this data from various sources. In parallel, the IT team in GPI led by S P Girdhar, Sr. Manager IT. initiates the process of arranging for some basic connectivity and installing of VPN clients on the computers at WD points. [By the time the application was ready, secure VPN connections were provisioned at all WD points which had access rights to only LaunchPad as a resource.] INFORMATION MATTERS

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[The visual has been blurred to protect client confidentiality]

Managers can keep track of which executives are yet to upload their data

One week after the launch: The brand was successfully placed at all the outlets. About 50% of the outlets asked for repeat purchases, which was evidence for the acceptance of the brand by the customers. This crucial information could be viewed by anyone with adequate rights by logging into LaunchPad through eLive (GPI’s corporate intranet portal).

Day 10: First Release is Deployed The administrator from the Mumbai branch is trained to use the application effectively. The interface of the application was documented well enough to reduce the need for more and more training. The next day, the administrator trained the actual users.

Day 11: Users Test the System

Fortnight after the launch: The markets had reacted favorably. Even the outlets that had not been targeted in the initial set started requesting for the brand. To facilitate this, more features were added in LaunchPad to manage new retailers being added to the system.

Day 12-13: Changes and Updates

Three weeks after the launch: Synapse made 5 more releases with changes and additions in different sections of the application. All these releases were deployed without any major outages. A key factor in this success was also effective and smooth collaboration between the various drivers of this project at GPI (from the HO in Delhi and the Mumbai Branch) and Synapse.

Based on the feedback, the Report format is changed considerably to allow users to carry out their analysis. The report now downloaded on the users machine as a typical Excel sheet which he/she could use for further analysis. This change was seamlessly deployed and made available to the users without any outage in the application. This induced confidence in the team and more changes in the reports were attempted. “At this point we attempted to have the report generate an Excel workbook which had multiple work sheets. The exciting part was that the system was running in PHP on a Linux server, and it was writing out a file which MS Excel understood and rendered.” adds Gurpreet.

Four months after the launch: LaunchPad was overhauled. The new version named LaunchPad 2.0 had built-in administration interface allowing super users to create new brand launches. Communication tools like self-playing demos, presentations were developed to support the adoption of the product by various teams. Since then LaunchPad 2.0 has been used for launch Champ and iGen brands in markets in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Users from the Mumbai branch start using the application. This is followed by ‘change’ requests and ‘feature’ requests. At this stage, we realize it is important to live-up to the expectations of the users. They are seeing something that solves some of their problems and believe the application can solve many more problems.

- Gurpreet Singh, Dileepan Ramanan

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“Using an Excel sheet for data entry was a good decision, users are comfortable with Excel. This reduced the training effort required and controlled the data entry errors” Sudeep Dey, Manager - IT, GPI.

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BUSINESS APPLICATION

36M

FEEDBACK

In its continued efforts to automate processes across the organization and to facilitate communication and reliability, Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) pioneered a new application for its HR department

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HR-Old Economy Style

As part of its HR initiatives, GPI introduced the idea of 360degree feedback for all its managers—everyone that the person comes in contact with, peers as well as subordinates, gets an opportunity to give objective feedback on his or her working style, leadership style and overall behavior.

around him or her. The information was strictly confidential and the report was handed over only to the person who was analyzed in the report. He could, at his will, share it with the HR department and discuss it with them if he needed help in certain areas.

The HR team contracted an external agency that specializes in this field. The questionnaire was a standard one that they would use across all employees. Forms were handed out to the employees and once everyone filled in the forms, the agency then took them back, digitized and analyzed the information and came back with reports. Each report was categorized into a different aspect of the person—the management style, leadership qualities, behavior patterns, delegation skills and strengths and weaknesses—and gave a crisp view of the person’s positive and negative traits, as viewed by the people

This first round went off quite well, but very quickly the HR department realized that the entire feedback cycle was tied to an external agency that would have to be called in every year, at a significant cost, to run the exercise. Also, while all assurances are made about the confidentiality of the report, someone at the agency would have to go through each feedback report to compile the scores, so objectivity was suspect. Other issues included the time lapse between filling up of the forms and computation of the reports, etc.

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HR-Economy 2.0 Style

The answer to all these problems was quite obvious—digitize the process.

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The HR team approached Synapse and ran us through the process in great detail. After a clear understanding of the systems, its limitations and problems, we got down to detailing how a web-based application would address each one of them, simultaneously identifying potential problems that the automated system might introduce. As part of the brief, the system was also to include all the branch offices and, at a later stage, also the vendors and partners. The project posed a good challenge in terms of balancing its security aspects versus its flexibility. The HR department should be able to administer the

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system, monitor usage, add and remove questions, but not be able to view any of the feedback reports unless users specifically made the request. Another challenge the system posed was in the scoring patterns— the various ways in which the feedback forms translated into analyzed reports. The statistical analysis was based on different types of the questions themselves. It included a simple 1 to 5 score for different attributes, a Yes or No response, ratings that weighed which side of a scale a person tends towards (say, Long-Term Planning versus Short-Term Goals) and other such algorithms.


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Executing and re-Executing

We wrote out the System Requirement Study (SRS) document for the application and designed the screens required. We went on to build a complete prototype that the users could ‘play’ with. It gave both, the client as well as us a great clarity on what the application would do. After some minor variations to the prototype, we got down to putting it all together and building the final system. In two months the application was ready on PHP and MySQL. It was tested and deployed at the head office and several initial users (beta testers) started using it. However, just at this time the company was deciding on a policy to move all their systems to Oracle. This

M

was a very lucky break for all of us, since a live application was deployed and several people were using it (more than the number of people who had seen the prototype), so we started getting feedback. Since we were to redo the application for Oracle, it was extremely easy to incorporate all the suggested changes. Another two months and this was also deployed. We ported all the data from the MySQL database and replaced it with the Oracle-based system. Additionally, we also made a training presentation to introduce users to the system. Since the application was designed for simplicity, so a two-hour session was enough to train users and address their concerns.

Advantage 2.0

The new system brought about immediate changes to the entire process. The process that had taken about a month and a half to complete one cycle (for less than 50 managers) was now over in a few minutes.

Feedback System 1.0 Recurring Cost

T

With the increasing computing culture in the company, more and more users are getting comfortable with applications, it was not too much of an uphill task to get them to start using the new system. Assurance of confidentiality is also very real now. - Veer Kothari

Feedback System 2.0 One time cost

Feedback reports took a long time

Feedback reports can be generated at will

Confidentiality existed, but was suspect as someone was going through each feedback report

Complete confidentiality is assured by the system

Accuracy was questionable—little could be done if a form was lost, or someone made an error in digitizing the reports

100% accuracy is guaranteed

Difficult to run in multiple locations. This would also have a direct impact on costs

Runs seamlessly across locations. Slightly slow at branches, but accessible to all.

No organization-wide reports

Individual scores are confidential, but it’s possible to see which areas the organization is weak/strong at, also possible to see patterns across different levels of seniority.

Needs to be run as a concentrated effort, with HR taking the initiative to contract the agency and make time to organize the exercise

Runs completely independently and users can log on any time for their feedback

Only two touch-points with the agency—when they hand out feedback forms and when they hand out feedback reports

Possible to track progress during the feedback cycles, regular, automated notifications and reminders possible

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BUSINESS APPLICATION

Starting with an MT page When a luxury hotel chain asked us to make their newsletter generation and management more robust, we made the process simpler and faster

E

mail has, over the years, become the channel of choice for “pushed” communication. Bits cost a fraction of the printed word, travel fast, are delivered reliably (though must be added, not with the same fidelity), and have a better chance of being seen or read than fatigue inducing brochure-ware. The production and delivery of “Electronic Newsletters” or “Electronic Direct Mailers” (EDMs) is now poised to become as stable and durable an industry, as its much older and significantly more experienced cousin—web design. Unlike web development, there are still many aspects of EDMs that remain more aligned with a cottage industry: There is no concerted attempt or product to automate their generation from content stores, designing an EDM that will look the same in all email clients is an order of magnitude harder than making a web page look the same in all browsers and getting past increasingly aggressive spam and image filters still remains a black art.

The Problem When a world-wide luxury hotel chain got in touch with us to see if we could make their newsletter generation and management more robust, we were naturally skeptical. Their current process of generating newsletters was one followed by many large businesses:

The existing system of creating newsletters

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3

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PROPERTY MANAGERS

1

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MASS MAILING APPLICATION

MANAGER

MANAGER

1) A senior manager in the Customer Relations Department contacts property managers for offers, deals and news items

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2) Property managers respond at unpredictable intervals not synchronized with the delivery schedule

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3) This chain of communication is by email and organizing or archiving incoming content is manual

DESIGNER

4) The manager takes about a week to select relevant content and related images and sends them to the HTML designer who lays out the newsletter

MANAGER

5) The laid-out newsletter goes back to the manager

6) The manager uses a mass-mailing application that read a list from a database and send out the newsletter


The proposed system of creating newsletters

We saw two opportunities to improve the process: First we could make content aggregation and archiving significantly more robust and predictable, and second: We could shorten the time to generate a newsletter. Not wanting to build a content aggregation and management system from ground up, we looked for open source products that could be customized to carry out this function. To achieve the second goal, we had to write a small application that would allow a person with no knowledge or familiarity with HTML, to “drag-and-drop” content from our archive into a set of pre-defined HTML templates that would then generate the newsletter as a single page and store it for future reference. With these two pieces, we could put together a “Newsletter management system” that promised to be effective in cutting down the production time as well as one that could, in time, make tracking, archiving and overall management significantly less problematic than the current manual process.

1

POST OFFER CONTENT THROUGH WEB

CENTRAL SERVER

Property Managers post ‘offers’ through the web into the central server

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PUBLISH CONTENT TO WEBSITE

Solution: Make it as easy as blogging For the first piece we used an open-source application, Movable Type (MT), that powers ‘blogs’ . Individual property managers could then “blog” about offers and write small news items abut their properties on these MT powered blogs. The second application would then “read” these blogs and allow the Customer Relations manager to drag and drop blog items from the property managers blog into a second blog which we called the “newsletter blog”. Our choice of using a “blogging engine” like Movable Type to automate aggregation and archiving was based on two facts: Ever since “blogging” had become wildly popular among the technologically lay, the interfaces for adding and managing content had matched step to become simpler so that any property manager without any exposure to creating and organizing electronic content did not find the task daunting. Second, since these content engines were lightweight designed to suit individuals rather than organizations, they had a very small technology footprint. Since the property managers “blog” was to function as an archive from which content could be picked, we did not spend any time beautifying them more than what the default MT blog design allowed—a huge time saver. All we had to do was feed out design templates in the “newsletter blog” and the blogging engine would layout the selected content in the form of a newsletter. For almost all archiving and content management tasks we relied on features native to Movable Type. Different authors could be tracked, content ranked by category of offer, date, property where the offer was available using the default blog-engine’s out-of-the-box functionality.

The Senior Manager in the Customer Relations Department, does a quality check on the content and then publishes it onto the web on the click of a button

3

CONFIGURE CONTENT

At the Head Office the content is configured in to the newsletter using the pre-existing items from the website

4

MANAGER SENDS THE NEWSLETTER

An additional program—our proprietary layer that transferred content from the property managers blog to the newsletter blog in a visually simple way—had to be developed and integrated with MT’s engine, a task that required modern web technologies like AJAX to give it the “drag-and-drop” functionality for the CR manager in building the newsletter. Admittedly, this newsletter management system solves only half the puzzle— newsletter delivery continues to be handled by another piece. Also, since we use default MT entry forms for entering content, we were severely limited by the functionality that these forms afforded. In keeping things simple, why make them simpler?

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Once the newsletter is configured the manager tests it by sending to a few email ids, makes changes if required, and sends to all desired ids

- Gurunandan Bhat INFORMATION MATTERS

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LEAD GENERATION | ONLINE MARKETING

4 4 4 4 z

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1 <Click Here> 2 5 3 7

SALES LEAD ON DEMAND

Internet marketing allows businesses to measure the effectiveness of ad spend and precisely point out what is working and what is not.

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of the key indicators of successful marketing is the growth in customer acquisition and sales. To illustrate the business efficacy of web marketing we are sharing an experience of a company that has capitalized upon the power of internet to increase its sales, revenue and profits.

Sharekhan’s client base tripled as a result of successful Internet marketing 62

Sharekhan, one of India’s leading stock broking companies has nationwide presence with over 750 share shops and offers online investment services on www.sharekhan.com. Their client acquisition team is spread across the country and is equipped with powerful product and sales tools. What they need on a regular basis is a consistent flow of ‘sales leads’— people who have expressed a desire to know more about investing with Sharekhan and have provided details like their name, phone number, email id and city in which they reside. Till early 2004, leads were generated through advertising in print, television, outdoor or activities like events and direct marketing. From mid-2004, Sharekhan and Synapse started a focused effort to generate sales leads using internet marketing. The results have been a reason to cheer. Sharekhan’s client base tripled within a period of three years with the use of Internet marketing strategies. While one positive business environmental factor was the stock market’s great bull-run, Rajiv Prabhakar, Head of Marketing at Sharekhan believes that “generating large volume of leads from internet marketing in a consistent and cost-effective manner was the key driver in helping us acquire new clients. As a result of our internet marketing efforts, in 3 years time (2005-2007) we have acquired over 300% more clients than what we had acquired in the previous 5 years (2000-2004) put together!”

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6,000 valid leads from 40+ cities within less than 48 hours of going live

BENEFITS OF INTERNET MARKETING 1

Fast Results: The turnaround time from thought to implementation is significantly shorter when compared to other media. Here’s an example: When the Sensex fell twice by more than 600 points in August 2007, the Sharekhan research team was optimistic on the long-term prospects and created 2 exclusive reports with suggested trading strategies and list of stocks to invest in the current markets. We created an eDM, Web Banners, Google AdTexts and a Landing Page communicating the stockpicking opportunities and offered the 2 exclusive reports as downloadable PDF files. The communication was created and made live on targeted websites in just 1 day and we had 6,000 valid leads from 40+ cities within less than 48 hours of going live.

2

Measurability: Every rupee spent on internet marketing and advertising can be measured. While there are many readymade software products available for measuring the banner impressions and click-through-ratios of advertisements, Sharekhan has an in-house Lead Management System in place which answers business questions like “How many sales leads have I got this month in each city where my business operates” or “What is the break-up of these leads across various products” and “How many of those leads have converted into clients and what is the revenue generated from them”.

The message here is clear and loud, no business today can ignore the power of internet. And those who are wary of this medium because they have had a contrary experience during the dotcom bust in early 2000, here’s a simple rule: Start small, measure the business effectiveness of every rupee spent and scale-up as you start experiencing visible results. If you play the game right, we are sure you will end up clicking all the way to your bank. - Deven Shah

A special lead-generation focussed microsite with information structured according to user profile

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Adaptability: There are times when we realize that a particular creative is not working or some specific section of a website is more effective than the others. At the click of a few buttons, it is possible to stop or reduce spending on average-performers and allocate more advertising budget to the better-performing campaign. The ability to switch-on and switch-off campaigns in a matter of seconds and the flexibility to evolve your advertising strategy based on real-time analysis is an advantage that traditional media like Print and TV cannot match.

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Cost- efficiency: Because we have been measuring the effectiveness of internet marketing, we can confidently say that lead generation on internet has delivered highest number of sales leads as compared to other media and at a much lower cost-per lead. And this statement is not based on just one or two instances, but a collective experience of measuring the cost-effectiveness for over three and a half years.

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Animated web banner offered a topical research report as an incentive

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LEAD GENERATION | SALES TOOLS

Loremipsum dolorsitamet, consectetur adipisicing elit, seddoeiusmod tempor

Flip chart is Each page of ll informed we 00 10 rth wo rs me sto cu

blah blah blah blah b l a h blah

Loremipsum dolorsitamet, consectetur adipisicingelit, sed do eiusmod tempor

yakity yakity yakityyak yak yak yak

blah BLAH BLAH blah blah

A presentation solution that marries the ease of PowerPoint to the cost-effectiveness and reliability of the conventional flipchart

POWER PRESENTATIONS

ON-THE-GO

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When you have a product offering that requires customers to make informed decisions, and a sales team that spans the length and breadth of the country, it makes sense to arm your sales force with a low-cost, easy to replicate sales tool that tells your message exactly the way you want to, time after time…Three case studies on the usage of spiral bound and hardboard backed ‘PowerFlip Charts’ as Sales tools to inform and educate customers INFORMATION MATTERS

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of a PowerPoint presentation, without the expense or hassle of their electronic counterparts. Based on the complexity and the benefits of the product, the number of pages varied. The chart for the mass market product was engineered as a walkthrough of what the customer could expect; while the high-end product presentation provided operational details, performance indices and client testimonials.

Case Study1: SHAREKHAN If the client does not understand what is being offered, he can lose his money and his trust in the company As with many other companies which have a sales team that sells directly to end consumers, Sharekhan was also keen to ensure that the story being told by its entire sales people across the country, was consistent. To close a sale, it was important that the main benefits of their various products were systematically explained to the prospects. While training had ensured this consistency in the past, the sales team at Sharekhan had grown almost five fold in the last few years and training could no longer ensure that the same story was being sold. To overcome this business challenge, Synapse prepared a suite of ‘Power Flip Charts’ for the Sharekhan sales team. These were essentially a physical form

These were offset printed in a size that could easily fit into the bag of every sales person and the paper quality was such that it would not look worn out even after extensive usage. While presenting to the customer, the sales person too would see the similar page and be cued into the sequence of presentation. And, on the rare chance that the sales person was having a bad day, the client would at least be able to get the basic information for himself. This was followed by a Sales Training seminar to ensure that each and every person of the sales team understood how to use the flip chart. Using the flip chart not only helped improve sales figures, it also resulted in clients who knew how best to use the product. On an individual level, many converted clients also gave the sales person references of interested friends and family members.

Case Study 2: MICROSOFT When your sales message is complex, you need to ensure that the clients have a chance to clear their doubts As part of its Value of Original Software (VOO) Campaign, Microsoft India initiated a ‘Feet on Street’ program wherein a sales team would visit small and medium entrepreneurs (SME) in new geographies. Given that this message ‘To be ready for the big game, you need the right standards’ does not directly relate to the Microsoft products, the sales team was expected to have an enhanced understanding of Indian companies’ growing global aspirations. To ensure that the message is clearly understood by the sales team, Synapse designed a Flip chart divided into two parts—the first part explained the VOO messaging and the second explained original Microsoft products and how it linked to the VOO messaging.

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Realizing that the business managers and the SME audience may have a number of doubts or questions relating to the VOO messaging, the flip-chart used real-life questions and followed with the answers. Testimonials were also used to ensure that the messaging wasn’t perceived as just theoretical, but could be reflected in real-life business situations as well.

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Case Study 3 : INFOMEDIA BUSINESS DIRECTORIES Helps even new sales executives to explain the varied product offering to the prospects The Business Directories Division of Infomedia India has a 650+ strong sales team, which services over 50,000 advertisers across the country. A large part of the team is involved in selling media solutions to B2B and B2C advertisers. Infomedia is the largest publisher of business and consumer directories in India. Their key publications include Infomedia Yellow Pages, Indian Exporters’ Guide, Industries State Directory, Office Guide, Construction & Interior Design Directory, Home Guide and City Guide.

Understanding the Challenges As newer directories were introduced and published to cater to the needs of advertisers and end customers, Infomedia’s sales division began facing the following challenges: a Each directory/product offers a unique set of benefits to advertisers and different teams within Infomedia handle sales for different products. Generic selling messages were ineffective. a Absence of a sales aide, which clearly distinguished the product features from the customer benefits. This led to freshly recruited sales executives using the product features and benefits interchangeably. a Inability to centrally create and distribute PowerPoint Presentation to each of the sales executives as purchasing notebooks for a large team was not feasible. a As in any other organization, while training and induction provided necessary information to fresh sales recruits, the onus was clearly on the trainee to absorb all the information.

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How Infomedia Benefited After understanding the requirements, Synapse proposed “Power Flip Charts” as the solution. The Flip charts we created helped Infomedia achieve the following: a Boost the confidence level of new sales executives as they can rely on the flip chart to refer each point even if they do not know the product features or benefits by heart. a Helps the sales executive take the prospect through the points in a structured, systematic way. a Sitting across the table, the prospect finds the information flow easy and participates more actively by asking questions in case he does not understand a certain term clearly. a In case of attrition, which is common for any sales job, training new recruits is much easier and faster. a Helps the sales executive who moved in from another product team to speed up soon without requiring much hand-holding from senior executives. a Enables one to quickly jump to a specific section and explain key benefits in case the prospect seems distracted or has little time to sit through the call. - Navin Boricha, Mohan Krishnan, Shaalini Srinivasan

once again, one more wellinformed, happy customer!


HR | INDUCTION

WELCOME

ABOARD

The Wealth Management team of Kotak Mahindra Bank recruits about 50 new employees every year. Induction process becomes tricky when employees are spread in over 6 cities and are expected to know the details of 14 Group companies…. WHEN the Wealth Management team at Kotak Bank first approached us, their brief was simple: Design our induction kit. Simple enough, we thought at first, and asked them for a copy of all the documents and forms a new employee was expected to fill in. We were given about 100-odd sheets and two small booklets, which included a presentation on the Kotak Group, a Welcome Note, Dress Code instructions, Important Contact numbers, etc. To start with, we divided the forms into 3 distinct elements: Internal Forms— specific to the Wealth Management team registration, Tax-related forms, and Salary-related forms.These were further divided into two broad categories: Stuff We Can Change (SWCC) and Stuff We Cannot Touch (SWCT). Basically, anything that was external to the Team (like the Tax and Salary Forms) went into the latter; everything else went into the former.

Cover for the Induction Kit A tag fashioned after the airplane luggage tags was tied around the handle of every Induction Kit

We then listed out the requirements of the induction kit. These were : -Introduce the Kotak Group and it Companies to the recruit -Get the recruit to learn team-specific guidelines (regarding dress codes etc.) -Familiarize the employee with Immediate colleagues and Key departments -Reduce the process of induction to about two days -Make the induction process enjoyable

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HOW CAN ONE ENJOY FILLING OUT ENDLESS FORMS? ... We decided to take the last requirement as a guide and decided that we could make form filling easier by putting in helpful hints and tips (like ‘Submit a copy of your PAN card as proof for this’). It didn’t necessarily make the task enjoyable, but it did make the task ‘easier’. So, we did just that, and before we knew it, the forms had been redesigned (especially since there was only one set of forms in the SWCC pile). This, of course, was the easy part. We now had to apply the ‘guide’ to the other components.

KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS To familiarize the employee with his team, we figured that since one can’t really be ‘ordered’ to go talk to one’s neighbours, we would create a device to make them want to do it. Taking a cue from the retail boom, we decided to give them activity coupons. For instance, a ‘free drink’ coupon which was valid for one drink with a colleague. To this, we added the line ‘valid for 48 hours only’. That provided an excuse to make them start reaching out to others in the office. This idea was then applied to everything from ‘watch a movie with a colleague’ to ‘have a meal with your boss’. Soon, we had a small stack of cards. Someone said ‘These are like Monopoly cards, except there’s no Get out of Jail Free card.’ We liked the idea and quickly made up a reason to include it: what does an employee do in the first few days? - make mistakes. This card would let them get away with any one blunder. In 48 hours, of course.

KNOW KEY DEPARTMENTS Next on the list was ‘familiarize employee with key departments’ within the Group. Employees had to go to different department for various signatures on the forms, we reasoned. So we threw in a coupon that different departments would sign on to enable the employee for some more freebies. Since we had earlier split up the forms into 3 categories, we made envelopes for each category and put a coupon on each of them, promising rewards for submission… and bumper prizes for early submission (within 48 hours). Hopefully, we’d have them rushing through their forms. We then moved on to the ‘team-specific guidelines’. We changed the tone of the welcome letter to a more informal and friendly one, reflecting the work culture. The dress code was made into a fashion design illustration. But we were still left with a lot of content that could not be made engaging. Like the contact details of various offices. The same problem lay with the first set of requirements, i.e. familiarizing the Employee with the Kotak Group.

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We almost settled on making a regular booklet of the remaining information. At the same time, we were tackling two problems: how would the coupons be presented and what would connect all these elements as one over-riding theme? A box with instructions on ‘using the Induction Kit’ was placed in the “Newscaper”

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HOW ABOUT A NEWSCAPER? Like offices everywhere, when one has nothing to do at work, we leaf through newspapers. We do crosswords, read the daily horoscope and scavenge for bits of information. That is when we hit upon putting it all on a newspaper… or as we called it, the NewsCaper. At once, everything fell into place. The coupons were distributed across the pages. The Welcome Letter made the front page. Cartoons reinforced the team culture and attitude. Actual Kotak ads showed what the Group was involved in. Page 3 covered the senior management. There was a Kotak based crossword, a funny horoscope, and the editorial covered the Group and its Companies. To connect the forms, we wrote 3 articles, one for each set of forms. Since there can be no real connection between an article and a form, we made them engaging by giving it a funny spin. The form envelopes were designed in line with the articles they referred to. The clients loved it, and a couple of weeks later, it went into production.

69 Looking back on it now, we feel that while a corporate induction kit should encourage the new employees to finish formalities at the earliest, it should also ensure that they start their tenure with a smile. - Anish Dasgupta, Umesh Chavan All the information new recruits require was re-written and placed in the format of a “Newscaper”

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HR | INTERNAL COMMUNICATION

READY FOR SOME CUPSHUP ? THE corporate communication team at Tata Capital wanted to build an internal communication program to help break the ice between the brand, the management and the employees, and create an easy and friendly atmosphere. Various tools like a newsletter, blog etc were discussed as a means to open channels of interaction, but clearly, a spokesperson was missing. This led to the idea of creating a mascot, one who will represent the corporate voice speaking to colleagues and friends, i.e. other employees of Tata Capital. First, we identified the attributes of the mascot: Character: Must exude warmth, have an associatable quality, a sticky name and an ability to provide a break from the mundane. Should provide relief, should not be a CA, engineer or MBA. Language: Must be professional, warm, generally light, invented situations, witty. The mascot will be attributed with the ability to discover and share information. Tools: For use in internal communication tools like newsletters, corporate missives etc. Based on the brief, Synapse proposed a coffee mug as a mascot.

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Extensions of the mascot: A photoframe, greeting cards for anniversaries and birthdays

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Meet Cupshup ‘Cupshup’ is a lively, expressive coffee mug; one who is chatty, engaging and will always be there to listen to the employees, give them a ‘break’ from the busy schedule and freshen them up for the rest of the day. Mascots usually reflect the brand attributes of an organization, but in this case, the HR team at Tata Capital was very clear that the objective was not to sell the Tata Capital brand to the employees. The mascot was to be just a kind of ‘stress ball’— an ice breaker. Cupshup fits the bills perfectly. After all who minds a little cupshup now and then ;) – Ravishankar, Fatema Barot

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HAS CHARACTER aLiVe chatty denotes a BREAK can be aNimateD is extendable


CONTRIBUTORS

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ABHISEK SARDA L Abhisek has been working with Junoon Ventures since 2005 before which he was a Project Manager at Synapse. His work involves managing the product range, supplier panelling, development of a sales channel and marketing.

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ARUN REMY MOTA

The prospect of getting back to his home-Goa made Arun chuck his job as a concept artist, animator and compositor at Prime Focus. At Synapse, Arun has been working on video editing and New Media assignments. He is interested in photography, nature and bikes.

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AMIT VENGURLEKAR

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Anish, a graduate of MICA, has worked for clients like Express Group, CA, Sybase, Microsoft and Kotak Group during his two years at Synapse. Before MICA, he has worked with a brand consultancy company. On weekends, he explores Goa on his Royal Enfield to scout elusive bars and pubs.

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DEVEN SHAH

Deven’s work experience is an interesting mix of financial services, technology, internet marketing & communications. At Synapse, he is working on MoneyMentor—a start-up that partners with financial companies and institutions to guide investors and financial advisors.

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ANISH DASGUPTA

Amit is a natural artist, he has a BFA, but is largely selftaught and has an experience that spans print design, 3D animation, training and web design. At Synapse, Amit stands out with his bulging biceps, adventurous sartorial style, a smiling face and an inability to say ‘no’ to any type of ‘design work’.

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DILEEPAN RAMANAN

Dileepan is a rare designer with strong capabilities in authoring tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash as well as in web programming technologies. He creates interfaces for web applications and is also working on the Synapse website. He manages a blog on travel.

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ANURASHI SHETTY

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A Content Specialist at Synapse, Anurashi has significant communication experience with agencies like O&M, Leo Burnett, Mudra and Bates Pan Gulf. Anurashi is the life of Synapse parties and her dance repertoire extends from Bollywood to Latin and Disco.

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FATEMA BAROT Fatema is a lead designer with Synapse. A Silver medallist from Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts and a Masters in Visual Communication from IDC- IIT Mumbai, Fatema is a multitalented person—she sings well, she dances well; and she draws and sketches exceptionally well.


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GURPREET SINGH

GURUNANDAN BHAT

KUMAR CHIPLUNKAR

MANEESHA SINGH

A usability engineering enthusiast, Gurpreet is an IT Masters from Symbiosis. At Synapse he has worked on system requirements and process mapping for various clients. He is a great cook and no one goes hungry from parties organized by him.

A PhD from IIT Kanpur, ‘Guru’ has for over two decades used technology to solve organizational problems. He was instrumental in the setting up one of India’s first fiber-based Campus-wide Computing Networks as well as a video-based, satellite broadcast, distance education network.

A Fine Arts graduate, Kumar has worked extensively on many showcase Web and Print projects in his long stint at Synapse. Kumar has a keen interest in art and music; if you hear strains of Sufi/ Indian Classical music at Synapse, the source is most definitely Kumar’s computer.

A post-graduate from MICA, Maneesha specializes in Brand Management. At Synapse, she leads a team that works on Sharekhan, CRY, CA, Seventymm and Amar Chitra Katha. Maneesha is the only serious gourmet in Synapse.

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SIRISH NIMMAGADDA A graduate of MICA, Sirish has worked for over 5 years in the print media (Mid Day and ABP) in functions that span strategic planning and development. He also has experience in marketing communication and web design. His interests include quizzing, travel books, and movies.

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At Synapse, Navin was instrumental in initiating and building relationships with a number of clients including RBI, Sharekhan, CRY, Infomedia, Computer Associates, USAID, IDBI Bank, and Transworks. An inveterate movie buff, Navin is currently pursuing his dream of setting up his video venture ‘merimaacinema’ in Mumbai.

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RAVISHANKAR

NAVIN BORICHA

Mohan is constantly on lookout for obscure projects like compiling a book on data analytics, writing a whitepaper on enterprise technology, memorising Traffic and Vehicles Act, etc. His core job though, involves managing marketing communication for technology and financial clients and overseeing the finance system at Synapse.

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SHYAM BANDEKAR Shyam is our Flash and 3D specialist. He has a background in Applied Arts and a diploma in Advanced Computer Arts. Prior to joining Synapse, Shyam worked with Tata Interactive Systems and Learningmate where he honed his skills on Flash creating e-Learning projects, CBTs and demos. He has a keen interest in football and movies.

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SHAALINI SRINIVASAN

Ravi worked with Zee Network (helped in launching ZeeNEXT brand) and Bharti Airtel before he stepped out of the corporate world to launch his own company and a restaurant (his weekend cook-outs are very popular). At Synapse, Ravi heads a team that manages marcomm and branding for key clients.

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A graduate from BITS Pilani, Shaalini has been working with Synapse for the past six years. She has managed Marketing Communication Projects for Hewlett-Packard, Computer Associates, Kotak Mahindra Bank, CRY, Infomedia, Sharekhan and Indian Express Group.

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UMESH CHAVAN

Umesh has been with Synapse since the very start and is the design inspiration behind many of our campaigns and projects. In his 12 years as a graphic designer, Umesh has worked on leading names in hospitality, publishing and technology. He also designs shape-agnostic clothes and has a label called umé.

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VEER KOTHARI A passion for technology, strong skills in Web programming, excellence in all MSOffice applications, and a new found love for Flash and Action scripting make Veer a versatile programmer, adept at both Microsoft as well as open source platforms.If you are in mood for a game of snooker, visit him at his house.


Information Matters Volume 1 | Issue 2

Publisher Gourav Jaswal

Editorial Gulnar Joshi

Design Amruta Parande

Synapse Synapse is an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Information Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that partners with clients to help overcome their business challenges through information based initiatives. Synapse conducts original research on many areas related to the science of information. This journal is among a few of our publications. For details visit www.informationmatters.in

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Information matters - Vol 2