When Winning Ain’t Enough

When Winning Ain’t Enough

We are a people so consumed by the act of winning and losing it isn’t funny anymore. Where has the love of the game gone I wonder? To individualistic, we only embark on gossips about fixing, or a mutiny on board with the two apparent characters Misbah and Afridi leading and hogging the limelight. We as a cricketing public or public in general are accustomed to lay blame on certain outer misdemeanors rather than look at the problem itself, that we aren’t the team we used to be, I’m ok with accepting this fact. Look at it in hindsight, all the problems we face in the country are laddered on our neighbor or some ultra intelligence agency spicing up a plan on us. Face it; we are not that important enough. When we cannot unite as a nation, why are we blaming the lads in Oceania?

As I write this, I too am hurting; as it is natural and I’m not one of them arty types who just don’t care and say why bother. Of course it bothers me, to the point of a hating innuendo. But I do not appreciate to associate with people who take it as their personal insult to lose to India, as if India is of any great importance in their lives, my life, no way. Yes, this is cricket country and we do normally feel a connect to our teams fortunes too that of our own, but it’s time to let go and have pride in other things except the frailties or strengths of our cricket team. As a nation we are consumed by glories of yore, living in a state of limbo, case in point the state of hockey is for all to see. We should accept that cricket has changed, and we are still in rewind mode.

Fans have extreme moods, and that’s good, you should be passionate, but also patient, because it is still on and if Pakistan springs up a surprise and gets to where we all hope it should be heading, these guys will just look silly. Be critical, but always have some respect and admiration for the proverbial twist in the game. Probably coming up, and if doesn’t, we shall be queuing up next time.  Wait and watch, you’ll learn something about yourself.

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Media convergence in the global village

Media convergence in the global village

The world is becoming more globally accessible, and at the same time, more convergent. By convergent I mean a world where no person or touchpoint exists in isolation; everything is interconnected and every action can potentially have an effect on everything else. Convergence empowers consumers, enabling them to take control over their relationship with everything they interact with.

Media and media vehicles have genuinely become more important to businesses these days as these phenomena have gained tremendously in their ability to influence consumer’s lives. It is reshaping marketing and its capacity to translate directly into business performance. Hence, there is huge opportunity to reinvent and elevate the role that media plays in promoting businesses. This includes creating opportunities through such touchpoints which have the potential to gather consumers so that they can be more connected and receptive to messages being sent out by brands.

And that is what is changing in consumer’s lives; connected devices connecting consumers. What we as marketers need to make sure is that brands are there when the consumer needs them. We have the opportunity to create need, but the critical fact is the point of engagement, connection and transaction are all getting closer and closer together through different forms of media; and paying attention to this can really change the way business is done.

Another dynamic is that we are moving in terms of convergence from a media world that was quite controlled, with a limited supply of vehicles that was much organised. Things happened at fixed points in place and time. We could plan it easily as well as calculate how many and how often. We didn’t know what happened, but suddenly we have to calculate so that we can supply to the world over. This translates into almost infinite choices for the consumer and infinite choices for us.

The critical matter here is how much more powerful this is, how much more influence we can actually generate and the million dollar question; how much further capability does the media actually have. We can do much more; it’s just that we’ve got to make smart choices…

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The power of perspective

The power of perspective

Perspective is a funny thing.

All it takes to change it are a few vicarious words and voila! You have a whole new outlook to a situation, entity or your beloved fizzy drink.

With the entire buzz that shrouds marketers for being the only ones responsible for changing perspectives, it’s only logical to say that every other entity around is as much of a spin-doctor. From TRP-hungry TV transmissions to brain-jacking Facebook updates, mind maneuvering is but a bitter reality. Look around and you will find anyone and everyone playing to their agenda. Be it a local

broadcasting network disfiguring facts or an international media outlet snaking information to the extent of projecting state terrorism as a right to self-defense for a country like Israel – letting her bombard a country which does not have an army, an air force, any missiles or even tanks. Rather what they have to defend themselves are 10-year-old kids, throwing stones at armored military personnel sitting inside a fortified vehicle.

We live in the so-called age of information. Whoever owns or broadcasts information, holds the influence to manipulate it as well. And we all know that information is power…

This has never been truer than in recent times. With the mass media’s rise to power and the advent of social media’s unimaginable user penetration, spilling selective and suggestive information has never been easier. Leave it to the end user to perceive as per your plans. Be it renowned news channels hammering ‘Breaking News’ at its audience or a popular talk show host using religion attributed intonations to incite ratings. All that you need to do is spark a thought into the ever-receptive minds of your consumers and let them build upon it, and in turn build confusion – from an individual to the masses. We all see it; we all hear it, we all think it. The game has changed, the tools have evolved and the need to use these tools has been enforced.

This is the war of the minds and perspective is the weapon of choice.

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Mind over matter

Mind over matter

Every now and then we wonder what really constitutes a great mind. To me, the idea of a great mind is just a mere myth. It’s just a delusion made by pessimists. Your 1500 grams of mass in skull cannot make you great; it’s how you use those 1500 grams of mass. It takes effort and a mindset of a winner to achieve greatness.

 

A solution oriented mindset and an attitude of a winner would make you great. Edward de bono rightly framed this idea by saying “If you never change your mind, why have one?” The point is to ask the right questions when it is required. In most cases, whenever a heated situation arises the first question is who did it? And then it becomes the last question which can create chaos and haphazardness. We are always asking the wrong questions in almost every situation that always leads us to a never ending blame game.

There is another point I would like to highlight over here and that is the idea and hesitance to make mistakes. A learning mind is never afraid of making mistakes. Every other defeat should be celebrated because every mistake leaves behind tons of treasures of knowledge. It just requires an active mind to learn from it and move on.

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Managing Work Pressure

Managing Work Pressure

I see time as a limited resource; no matter what we do, we only have 24 hours a day. In order to cope up with these challenges, firstly one needs to realize the hard fact that we can’t sustainably work through all of them. Realizing this would enable us to make smart choices such as prioritizing and allocating our time and energy for every task. This doesn’t mean that we should restrict ourselves at any point; we should have an attitude of a learner and a striver. The idea is to make smart choices and not to be fearful of making mistakes. A true manager trusts his capabilities and tests his natural abilities so he can overcome all the barriers that helps in coming up with a stronger mindset.

One can only enjoy his work when he has an entrepreneurial mindset for work. If you have a passion, determination and love for anything you would achieve it sooner or later. Any job would definitely stress you out if you don’t have the right mindset and measures to plan and act on it. The most important thing is to accept your strengths and weaknesses and develop a can do attitude. It encompasses responsibility, perseverance, with a focus on good work ethics, initiative, positive thinking, pro activeness and a planned vision. Importance also needs to be placed on time management. If someone is really interested in improving himself he needs to identify his strengths and weaknesses. Once you have identified your weaknesses and strengths you can allocate your time appropriately where you can bridge the missing gaps and take advantage of your strengths. Again, if you are not sure what you are doing than definitely work would stress you out. Uncertainty and doubts is a killer and a true manager has the ability and insight to see the flow and sequencing of his activities, acting on that plan is secondary.
Consider your priorities and try to discard and delegate the unnecessary and unimportant ones. Use the people around you efficiently in order to maximize results and minimize the work pressure. In a true synergy all the team members should be on the same wavelength.

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Zakat & Donations for Latif Kapadia Memorial Trust

Zakat & Donations for Latif Kapadia Memorial Trust

Serving deprived families in the underdeveloped localities in Karachi and its suburbs since 2007, LKMWT operates through two fully equipped out-patient-dispensaries in Shah Faisal Colony and Khokhrapar (Malir). We also hold free medical camps for different diseases in the interior Sindh on regular basis. As a CSR wing of Synergy Group, LKMWT sponsors all the projects but tasks are gigantic and we need others’ support as well.

In this Ramadan, LKMWT has launched a fund raising campaign titled ‘The purpose of life is a life of purpose’ in national and social media so that mission continues effectively and extensively. For the visitors, the same campaign is attached herewith.

Click the visuals and enlarge the image to read the message. Visitors can also download the detailed brochure to know all about LKMWT.

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Winning the Oscar Award

Winning the Oscar Award

Talent and hard work are a winning combination that will not go unnoticed. The Oscar award given to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, in the best short subject documentary category is indeed proof of this fact. Other than being a personal achievement it has also injected positivism and confidence in a country which is generally negatively portrayed in the media. For those aspiring to enter the film industry it is inspirational and a message to the youth to look forward and not think about the obstacles in the way to success internationally. The media is rife with negative news about Pakistan, but an achievement such as this shows the world that the people of this country are resilient and have other merits attached to them than just being labelled terrorists.

One of the most prominent award ceremonies, being televised in over a hundred countries, it has also been able to show the world that the Pakistani woman is strong, intelligent and bold and not the stereotypical woman who has no voice. The documentary has been able to make a positive change in the lives of women. It has acknowledged the fact that heinous crimes like this do exist in society but there are also people who can expose them and thereby play a role in trying to eradicate them.

It has also come into the limelight of those celebrities who have a wide influence on the media and their audience and the ripple effect of this will hopefully make itself apparent.

An achievement such as this is an inspiration to the youth of this country who are enveloped by inflation, politicians who only seem to serve their self interest and are becoming less proud of being Pakistani. It proves that even in spite of these circumstances, people can still make a difference and steer the thinking of people towards a more positive way of thinking. Yes, we have crime, we have problems but we all have the ability to help solve them. Its time we started taking things in our own hands and moulding our own paths instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us.

 

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Belief and Betrayal: Where do we stand today?

Belief and Betrayal: Where do we stand today?

Today, there are a number of negative and violent associations that can be made with Pakistan. It is not just the world which sees Pakistan through a tainted lens, we Pakistanis do the same. What is the image Pakistan now portrays? A terrorist harboring state…a country being slowly destroyed by corrupt rulers… a country where daily life is marred by power cuts and price hikes…

All these images are a far cry from what Pakistan was meant to stand for – the Land of the Pure. A separate identity in which we kept on believing until someone stepped forward and gave that dream a reality. A Superman – a Superman we called Quaid-e-Azam. With his team of superheroes, he gave reality to the dream of a separate identity.

And today, we honor their efforts with betrayal. A group of people became a team of superheroes for our sake and today we answer their achievements by the carelessness of our actions or rather non-actions. The separate identity for which Pakistan was created does not exist anymore. Because we didn’t create it, we feel no need to take responsibility for it.

Since we didn’t bother to brand ourselves, everybody else did…

While Newsweek recently headlined us as the “Most Dangerous Nation in the World”, other newspapers were printing headlines about the latest political crisis and economic problems. News channels, on the other hand, conveyed breaking news about another bomb blast. At the time when the whole world watched the devastation wreaked by the floods, our mass communication was saying something else entirely. They were describing a carefree Utopia of songs and dance and discussing political non-issues with no solution on the horizon. None of our advertisements, dramas or movies reflect the reality of our country. Instead, our media messages have been shallow promoting a ‘live by the moment’ philosophy. It is high time that we stop being indifferent to our situation and break out of our vicious cycle.

In all the messages we have been putting out there for the world, not once have we tried to understand how those messages are being interpreted and misused against us. While the world has been watching the crisis and turmoil in Pakistan, we have stayed quiet and let them develop their own conclusions. Is it any wonder then that the conclusions they have drawn are so unfavorable? I don’t think the world has made a mistake when it has tried and judged us as shallow people given to the ignorance of our own best interests. We ourselves have promoted this view. Not only to the world but we have also somehow managed to convince ourselves that this is what Pakistan is. We have led ourselves into oblivion to the extent that we have stopped caring for what becomes

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of us as a nation. Now when we hear of a bomb blast we are thankful to Allah because it could have been worse. The death toll could have been higher. We live for ourselves now! In the worst possible way, we have betrayed our own belief and in the process our own existence. We have no separate identity now but anonymity. We have nothing but conflicting messages to show for ourselves. We’re back to square one. Once again, we need a superman to save us. Once again we need a superman to bring to us our ‘separate identity’.
Two choices lie in front of us today – we could wait for a messiah or we could take our destiny into our own hands as we once did before 1947. It would have to be one of us. It would have to be me or you. I believed in Pakistan. I betrayed Pakistan with my silence. And now I will be superman for Pakistan. I will stop complaining and start doing because after all, heroism begins with one person.

Great brands have great stories to tell and Pakistan is a great country. We need to start believing in our country and ourselves and narrate our story ourselves instead giving others the right to do that for us. Other countries have been proactive in branding themselves. Through tourism campaigns, through rehabilitation efforts, they have a voice that we associate with positivity. We didn’t know this voice, they told us about it.

Now we need to find our voice. We may not be able to speak against the negative voices, but we can be louder with the positive ones. There is much goodness in Pakistan to be shared with the rest of the world. We are a nation of amazing people who have turned their personal stories into brands that have been acclaimed by the world. The names Abdul Sattar Edhi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Imran Khan are synonymous with success and achievement.

We can’t change the way our cinema works but we can create better cinema like Khuda Kay Liye…cinema that is talked about because it has a message to give; something different and heart touching that has truth in it. Brands, leaders, intelligentsia, marketers, thinkers, journalists and all those who have the power to make a positive difference need to come together and think of a common message that needs to be sent out of Pakistan. The kind of message our advertisements, our dramas and our cinemas need to carry about the good side of us and our country.

I cannot control the content of our marketing but I can create more relevant content – content that has something to tell the world about everything wonderful that is Pakistan, content that needs to be marketed like it is; telling the brand story of Pakistan in a compelling way. We need to know what we stand for and what our country stands for and we need to commit ourselves to promote it.

What mustn’t t be forgotten is the reason I need to be a Superman: Pakistan needs me, but I need Pakistan more. I am an individual but my identity comes from Pakistan. That’s why it is my responsibility as well as the responsibility of 187 million Pakistanis to envision a bright future for our country and take ownership of it. We all need to ensure today that our every action will take us closer to the vision of a better tomorrow. It is time for us all to become Supermen for Pakistan, for ourselves as well as for our next generation.

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Marketing Association of Pakistan, Lahore Chapter

Marketing Association of Pakistan, Lahore Chapter

Marketing Association of Pakistan, Lahore chapter, recently organized a seminar in the city and invited Mr. Ahmed Kapadia, Chairman and Managing Director, Synergy Group of Companies to address its members. Mr. Ahmed Kapadia chose a very intriguing yet relevant topic, “Belief & Betrayal: Why Pakistan needs Supermen?” to speak on. The topic was successful in drawing in the crowds and Mr. Kapadia was welcomed by a presence of over 120 marketing professionals in Lahore at Royal Palm. His interactive presentation and commitment to bringing the change that he was talking about was enough to keep the audience hooked throughout the one hour seminar. Mr. Kapadia passionately discussed of the belief that Quaid-e-Azam and other great personalities had in Pakistan as a separate homeland for Muslims. He went on to describe the great betrayal at the hands of Pakistani people that took place in the country after its inception. But unlike others he didn’t stop there, he also gave solutions to the current problems facing Pakistan, not just as a marketer but as a patriotic citizen of a country he believed in. He called for the need of Supermen like Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal who made dreams come true for the common man. He told marketers how branding Pakistan was a natural step to take with their brands and to create relevant campaigns like Pepsi Do Good 2010 or Vodafone Egypt’s “The power of one” 2011. He ended his presentation with a simple yet powerful message for everybody sitting in the audience:

“Pakistan Needs You,

But You Need Pakistan More!”

The presentation ended with a resounding applause from the audience and was followed by one of the longest Q&A session according to the Vice President of MAP, Mr. Khaliq ur Rehman. He said that the feedback from the participants was very positive and they enjoyed not only the presentation but the engaging and eloquent way Mr. Kapadia presented such a novel topic. The event ended with a presentation of shields to the MAP members and the speaker Mr. Kapadia as well.

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2000 vs 2010

2000 vs 2010

"An Evolutionary Decade"

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