Here's my Podcast - ContraMinds

I am launching my own Podcast - ContraMinds - Decoding People, Minds, Strategy & Culture. 

This is a podcast that explores thoughts and conversations around the DNA of purposeful minds. It tries to decode what really goes behind the minds of people with a purpose, what are their motivations and inspiration, attempts to understand the why behind what they do and how do they successfully accomplish what they set out do. It helps provide a mental framework, markers and a mind map for each one us to learn and discover from their life purpose, their cultural ecosystem and their experiences. These conversations will hopefully open your mind, help you put some these thoughts to practice both in your life and career.

In this first episode, I am going to be sharing with you my thoughts on 'Differences between a professional and an employee mindset'. I look forward to having your feedback, conversations and comments from all of you.

This Podcast is available in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune-in, Spotify and please do go ahead subscribe and share this with your friends and colleagues.


Unilever buys Dollar Shave Club - Is this the emerging era of direct mass marketing?

Last week, Unilever announced it had acquired Dollar Shave Club.  Tech Crunch carried an interesting article on the $1 billion acquisition and the challenges reputed & established FMCG brands face with the onslaught of innovative and emerging brands. 

FMCG companies have been living in an era of mass marketing for over 100 years now. They have working on the premise that if they  create a great brand and have an efficient supply chain, then the sale is done. Hence, over the last few decades, they have been working on building an efficient supply chain and ensuring the stocks are placed ahead of competition and replenished efficiently. As far as the customers were concerned, if they had a top-of-mind recall about the brands and if there was availability when they landed in a retailer's store, the sale was completed. However, digital disruption and democratization of technology is transforming the  FMCG industry. Leaders like Unilever, P&G, Nestle, L'Oreal and the like have been reeling under this disruption.

The thinking of FMCG companies has to move from managing the supply chain to building a robust demand chain. The FMCG companies' supply chain approach  is about 3P strategy- " Place, Push & Purchase". However, the demand chain approach requires a drastically different mindset which is a 3F strategy " Find, Fill & Fullfill". The customer behavior here is about "Discover & Buy" rather than "Reach & Buy". Also, it is no more about replenishing retailers'' stock but it is about replenishing customers' stock. This for FMCG companies turns their marketing thinking on its head. However, the customers are lapping it up, as they are able to get value & convenience like never before. This also throws-up new big data opportunities about customer purchase behaviour for FMCG companies as new direct-to-customer digital channels are emerging to engage with customers and they now need to understand the insights that arise out of these huge data sources.

The era of direct mass marketing is around the corner for FMCG companies and they need to serve these customers in new ways in the future.

 

 


Building a data coalition around personal data

Last week Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer - Stephen Deadman, wrote about the need to refocus the debate around personal data. It was a thought provoking article where Stephen talks about the need for a kind of a new coalition between tech companies on the use of personal data.

I had also written the week earlier on my blog on the trends that I saw - Transformation of software vendors as data vendors. As I read  his piece, some interesting thoughts, challenges & framework to use personal data came to my mind. It also needs a variety of stakeholders - policy makers, governments, tech companies and citizen groups across the world to come together.  Also, Doc Searls and Dan Mitchell who I follow, added a lot of perspectives around this topic and the initiatives that are being undertaken. 

The key issue that came to my mind was, who is more empowered today to use personal data and who is the owner of personal data. I strongly feel, the individual is highly dis-empowered today when it comes to use of his or her own personal data. Very often, I find tick boxes, check boxes, cookies that outlines all kinds of T&Cs  that we literally have no control of this data. Also, the way marketers treat this data, is purely in terms of economics and there is no strand of trust, whatsoever. It represents an unequal relationship, an accelerating decay of distrust for the individual when it comes to her personal data.

When it comes to personal data, the internet has disrupted national boundaries. The data individuals leave behind, for example in Uber or Amazon or Facebook or Google or Apple to put it mildly is subject to interpretation on ownership. When it comes to offline identity, governments have found a solution with Social Security numbers  or Citizenship or the like. But, when it comes to personal data, the rules are however archaic.

The coming of a Data Passport Era

There is a need to build a ecosystem by linking offline identities of individuals thro' what I believe will look like Data Passports. This will be fundamental to building a data coalition that Stephen talks about across companies. Data Passports are an equivalent of Data Vaults that will be owned by the individuals against their passports, mobile devices, broadband connections, banking relationships etc. etc. Data Passports will have streams of an individual's personal data. This massive repository will have links to personal data of individuals and will be classified with specific lifestyle and usage behaviour tags. Like ICANN, there is a need for a non-for-profit organization - called DCANN( Data Corporation of Assigned Names & Numbers) which will be linked to the massive Data Passport APIs across various countries & personal data passport vaults.

This data passport vault, which will be owned by the individual along with other identities, will have permissions from individuals to share specific strands of data for mutually beneficial economic and social value. This kind of a data passport platform will then be shared amongst companies & governments to derive value thro' mutual exchange of trust.

This is a long journey that needs to be taken to empower and give the control back of personal data to individuals themselves. It needs a new kind of data coalition that calls for collaboration, sharing, flexibility and mindset change across borders, governments & companies to enable this.