Sunday, August 21, 2011

Arbit.

I know I'm joblessly importing the posts I'd put up on a website when I was interning with them to the blog here, and quite a few of you might be frustrated by the fact that you've already read those posts before, on the other site. Sorry for that, I'm just putting together everything under one roof, don't ask me why.

The routineness of the job kicked in this week, and me being the type who cannot and will not be bogged down by a routine life, have taken up some interesting- though offbeat- threads, which I hope to convert into something big. *Fingers crossed*

Also, though N and I work for the same company and get to talk to her on the intranet, I haven't seen her in ages. Imagine that.

There are loads of things running on my mind,
Looking back I see what I've left behind;
Judge not this post, do be kind,
Come back tomorrow, you'll see a post- refined!


McDonalds: The True Story. ( Again porting my writing from elsewhere to the blog)

What does the most famous malls and shopping complexes have in common apart from the fact that they’re the most flocked places in India?

You go shopping-for clothes, footwear, accessories, household items, gifts, you’re inevitably hungry at the end of it. Hell, you go window shopping with friends, you see a place where you can relax and down some fast food which also happens to be light on the pocket. What am I driving at?

McDonalds. Yes.

You (and I) are more likely to walk in, than not. Which is what McDonalds is really all about.

McDonalds founder, Ray Kroc once walked into a class of students at Harvard and asked them what they thought McDonalds was about.

Burgers, they said.

And he asked the million dollar question: “ How many of you can prepare better burgers than the ones made at McDonalds?” Several hands shot up in the air.

He then told the class that burgers weren’t the deal, because obviously, there were so many people better at that. Infact, food itself didn’t qualify as the topmost priority. And then he shared his million dollar idea.

That McDonalds wasn’t really about burgers, it was about ‘Real Estate’. Did I hear that right? Well yeah, you did.

McDonalds is about real estate.

It’s just about places. How amazing is that, right? You just put up outlets of McDonalds at places where your target market is, and Bingo!, you’re on your way to get those million dollars. The talent was in choosing those magical ‘places’.

Real estate isn’t the only factor which made McDonalds what it is today, but that was the core factor. Add to that a list of 4 to 5 ingrediants, you have the cake ready.

  1. Vision: A vision with clarity, is a vision to reality. Ray Kroc saw it in the form of his brother’s hamburger drive-in in San Bernardino. He wanted to own a standardized chain of fast-food eateries right across the world. 25,000 is a number, isn’t it?
  2. Agreeable to differences: Ray Kroc knew that you need a manager, who’ll hold it stable for you; and a frontrunner, who’ll go all out doing the front man job. His boldest move in this area was his hiring of Harry Sonneborn as his finance manager in 1956. As different as night and day, Kroc and Sonneborn formed a remarkable team. Where Sonneborn was taciturn and detail-driven, Kroc was outgoing and visionary. But without Sonneborn, McDonald’s would never have survived.
  3. Flexibility: An entrepreneur who invested everything he had at 52, Ray Kroc was a flexible man. New products like Big Mac and Egg McMuffin emerged from operators; Kroc’s attempts at new products—the Hula Burger and a strawberry dessert, to name two—were abject failures. Kroc didn’t discriminate the origin of those ideas.That’s leadership.
  4. Mentoring: The salesman that he was, Ray Kroc had a hawk’s eye for talent. He found Fred Turner, the organizational mind behind the McDonald’s operating system, from the ranks of potential operators. Kroc nurtured Turner as he did others; and in the process, built his business by selecting the right people at the right time.

It is said that he would arbitrarily fire staff who erred in minor ways sometimes, and the executives wouldn’t carry it out. Knowing him all too well. The incident would be forgotten in a few days.

Charity begins at home: After becoming a millionaire, he established a foundation to support his charitable efforts. The Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing for relatives of children undergoing lengthy hospital stays, is one such example.

Optimism and excellent mentorship no doubt proved to be the key, in addition to everything mentioned above. And the rest, as they say, is history. The tagline has another story in itself, but let’s reserve that for some other time! I’m lovin’ it! Bade se bada business paise se nahi — ek bade idea se bada hota hai. True, that!

References: http://www.lc21.com/directions/thoughts1.html andhttp://businessleadershipadvice.com/archives/2008_10_01_archive.html

Everything Comes At A Price. Even Happiness... ( Porting from a website where I'd published it a few months ago, to the blog)

The weather was warm, the coffee exactly the way he wanted it, but this was not what Nick had expected. He had not expected someone of that age to come and meet him in person. And he certainly hadn’t had the slightest idea why the man wouldn’t just speak out the terms. He had insisted on Jason reading the letter, and walked away, not even staying long enough to finish the coffee. When Nick opened the letter, the contents of the letter and the handwriting had no connection, it seemed, because only an angelic hand could’ve scripted the words in the way they were, but the content, the content! He had to make a decision. And, he made one.

Walking away was not a choice he could make, simply because this was about his daughter. When somebody was offering what he could not afford, he wasn’t going to turn it down, even after knowing the price he had to pay. He knew that everything comes at a cost.

Kendra, a devout Catholic, had her hands joined in prayer. The old man in the last row watched her silently. He’d been a witness to her grief, and he knew what had to be done. For him, it was a simple transaction- he had a problem, and so did she, and now, they were going to be each other’s solution. But of course, she wouldn’t know that. A frail and emotional mother would not understand that everything comes at a cost.

Coffee mug in hand, lost in thought, Jason didn’t look anything like the responsible elder brother that he actually was. The nice part was, he didn’t take life too seriously, which was just as well. The doorbell rang, and he went to answer the door. He was surprised to find his father standing there, his shoulders weary. He couldn’t remember the last time his father had done that. Not one day in those twenty years of his work.

Nick walked in, and pulled his son by the shoulders. Looked long into his eyes, and then gave him that letter. Jason didn’t understand why, but he didn’t speak a word, because he knew his father wouldn’t listen. He looked like a man on a mission, and nobody could stop him. Jason tried hard not to show the tears as he bid goodbye to his father. It seems, he’d just learned, everything comes at a cost.

Sandra slowly opened her eyes… Now, she could feel the light hitting her eye, and it hurt. But they’d promised her that this would be her last visit. They’d told her that they’d found a match and she’d be getting a bone marrow transplant.

Sandra was 12 years old, a thin, frail-looking girl, and hardly knew her father. The only people in her life were Kendra and Jason. Nick would come home to find Sandra sleeping, and his work demanded that he leave before Sandra woke up. She hated the fact that she had to visit the hospital every fifteen days, hated it that her blood had to be transfused every 15 days, hated the pain it would put her through. She knew it was because of her bone marrow-or the absence of it, but she hoped one day she too would be cured just like her brother. But despite her ill health, she mingled well with classmates, had a positive outlook to life and believed in God. Many students in class didn’t even know of her condition, they thought she was frail because she hardly ate anything. But those who knew her held deep respect for her in their hearts. On the outside, she was just another 6th standard kid, who had trouble with her weight.

And today, her wish of having a successful bone marrow transplant was fulfilled.

The time had come.

One- Jason broke the news to his mother, and she broke down. Not that she was very young, but that she had an untouched innocence about her, which was shattered today. It would be months before she smiled again.

Two- Nick walked towards the sacred palace-Pope’s residence. He’d travelled a long way from Rome to arrive at the holy city- yes, Jerusalem. He could not stop if he wanted to, so he marched right on, with only one thought-God loves the sinners. He didn’t have to do nothing, except be physically present anywhere around 100 yards of the Papal residence. His belt of course contained the timed bomb. 2 minutes left. He sat there with a calm composure, knowing his daughter would be well. He’d seen that the bone marrow was a perfect match. The results were all there in that letter he’d first received. 30 seconds… Peace.

And the explosion took everything in and around 500 yards.

Sandra, oblivious to everything, was just happy. She thanked the Jesus that her mother had taught her to believe in and drifted back to sleep. She of course, had a lot of time before she learnt that everything comes at a cost.

PS: All you guys might have already read this post, but I'm just getting all posts under one roof. So, bear with me!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Of Phoenix Tears and Unicorn Blood..

8th std, 1st hour, Math class: I forget to take my Math notes to class. A very senior,quite strict teacher handling Math. She walks in, and I'm almost ready to walk out.(Read as get thrown out).
Before she begins the routine of asking students without notes to walk out, I go up and tell her I don't have my notes, and that I'm extremely sorry. She says it's ok! Get it tomorrow.I'm thinking, "Did I hear that right?".. I go back to my seat, and I'm not happy that she hasn't punished me.. I feel downright miserable.

8th std, Chemistry, 1st test results day: Tr.Alfonsa, calls my name, and says, Sandhya, 17/17. I'm not in the least amused by her announcement, I'm infact beduffled. I know she's given me marks by mistake, coz I already know my mistakes in that paper. I take my paper silently and walk back. After she has finished distributing all the papers,I go back to her, and tell her in the most pathetic of tones, that she's given me one and a half marks where I don't deserve it. I've made a mistake, she has't noticed it.She smiles at me and says, "It's ok. Keep it". I'm thinking Why!, but I surely can't argue with her, so I go back, a little happy, obviously to the bemusement of many classmates.

Fast forward, 2nd year engineering: The Master Profiler, two others- one of them who is really good, and me. CCD, Ashoka Pillar. Tropical Iceberg, only offered
to me. I wonder if I deserve it, because I sure don't think I do. An interesting discussion, which only the four know, and will remember. Atleast I remember, till date. A promise made, which would soon be broken.(Not explained at length, coz all you need to know here is that a promise was made, which wouldn't be lived upto).

These instances aren't randomly picked. They're chosen very carefully like pieces of art for a personal museum.Wish I could explain better. Sigh.

As the discerning reader might have already guessed, I wasn't(yes, wasn't-in the past tense) the most forgiving person, and the last person I would forgive was myself.

This realisation came about solely because of the best friend, and it was a very striking realisation at that.Ever since I realised that,it was a daily battle to forgive myself for all the mistakes that had happened, be it tiny ones like not taking a book to class,or big ones like not
accepting the fact that others could forgive me.

The Phoenix had been reduced to ashes, only to realize it would be reborn again.. coz yes, a Phoenix never dies, it is simply reborn.. And Phoenix tears heal the most fatal of wounds, and unicorn blood makes you immortal.

4th year engineering: The Master Profiler, The Best Friend and I. Freedom Park. Breezy weather. A discussion. A day when I was offered help to win the
battle, to ensure that the Phoenix rises faster. But some battles have to be fought alone, coz if you don't live through the storm, you'll never find
the afterward calm.So I remained impassive, having only a will to battle the storm, and to see if I make it to the calm!

A whole semester later, the battle was won;
But without the friend, it wouldn't have been done;
Not with the moon, not even the sun;
Coz sometimes all you need, is just that one!

Sounds cryptic to the common eye? Well that's the intention, my friend! *A wicked grin*

As I stand at another crossroad today,
to anyone who asks who I am..

I'm as shallow as a stream,and as deep as an ocean..
As sane as the sage and as mad as the poet,
As calm as the sea, as raged as the storm;
I'm as black as Lucifer, as white as Gabriel..

The question my friend, is not who I am..
The question,is who you think I am.

Hope and despair,
Day and Night,
Silence and Words,
Virtues and Sins,
The Saint and the Sinner;
Death and Life,
Fire and Ice;
Everything becomes me,
Coz I'm everything, and yet I'm nothing,
for what you see in me,
shows me who you are..

But what happens when a Novice Profiler meets a Master Profiler??
The answer, I believe, is nothing short of Magic!!

Whether you believe in Magic-or not, doesn't really matter, because a Phoenix is still a Phoenix, and you-and I, are a notch above that.