iD Trusts by ID Fresh Food – Lessons in Trust

iD Trust

This is a phenomenal move by “I D Fresh Food” the ready–to–eat food company founded by P. C. Musthafa.

The company has installed visi-coolers at various places in Bangalore to allow consumers to buy products like idli-dosa batter, wheat parathas. The twist is – Pay the price by dropping it in the box placed there or pay it when you have. There is neither a salesman nor a camera.

These are trust shops and they want to install the same in other cities.

Not only this, they don’t want to patent the idea. Rather, they want other companies to follow suit to start a TRUST MOVEMENT.

Trust is one of the most valuable characteristics traits of a human being. It is very reassuring to know people who trust you. It is very empowering to have people whom we can trust. Our capacity to trust gets challenged often in times of today.

I remember reading a  Readers Digest survey a few years ago which highlighted different trust rates in different Indian Cities.

A step to reinforce with a hope to transform it into a movement is certainly welcome.

Results of this initiative will be enriching to witness.

P & L Lessons from Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal.jpgIndian superstar shuttler Saina Nehwal inspires so many of us through her consistent hard work and unflinching persistence.

With world number one position, an Olympics Bronze Medal, and titles like Indonesia Open and Australia Open under her belt, Saina has been one of the world top seeds in the last few years.

Still, she has lost six consecutive matches to a player, lower in achievement and ranking to her. Twenty one year old Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan defeated twenty six year old Saina for the Sixth time in three years.

Many leaders and parents fall prey to the same mistake as they fail to recognise its presence or fail to correct it.

Super achiever parents expect their children to be super achievers. They treat all their children to perform, competing with the best in their domain area. These children keep working incessantly to make their parents happy but such parents often overdo it as grandparents too when their skyrocketing expectations can play havoc with their grandchildren.

Parents refuse to agree that their burdensome expectations have always been traumatic. I meet so many parents who excel at justifying their actions without taking the psyche of their children into consideration. Parents need to revamp their parentability with each child and grandchild just as Saina need to change her strategy against Tai and refrain from making same old mistakes.

Phaneesh Murthy, a brilliant leader, was known for his business acumen and growth oriented vision. He was caught twice in sexual harassment cases at the height of his careers at Infosys (2003) and iGate (2012).

It is important for us to understand the recklessness involved in not paying attention to a mistake. We need to admit the mistake, apologise for the same, assure that it won’t happen again and then categorically abstain from repeating it.

Make a new mistake please!


Menstrual Health Start-ups – Anchoring a social revolution

Menstrual HealthMenstrual Health Startups look at solving much ignored problems that all women face, especially among the rural and socioeconomically backward populace.

During my sessions with startup enthusiasts across the country, I try to inspire them to look for a worthy problem to solve rather than copy a profitable but hackneyed venture.

Problem solving endeavors in spaces of waste management, solar energy, education in rural areas, emergency health services, etc., are breaking new grounds and giving new meaning to social innovation.

Menstrual Health Startups are creating a much needed but ignored innovation space. They are extremely welcomed because:

Only 12% Indian women have access to menstrual products

According to a 2011 survey by A.C. Nielsen, only 12% of women in India use menstrual products. Use of sanitary napkins is unimaginable by a majority of Indian women due to its cost. There are certain startups like Sarala Designs, co-founded by Suhani Mohan which manufacture economically priced sanitary napkins as well as vending machines.

Menstrual man of India, an amazing social innovator, Arunachalam Muruganantham made a sanitary pad machine patented under his name.

He has been using these machines to spread the use of sanitary napkins in the interior most rural areas of poor states in India.

I wonder why no Government initiative or a startup scales it up. Can’t the disruptive work done by likes of Suhani and Muruganantham be quickly scaled up to reach the 88% of Indian women population suffering every month

Poor menstrual hygiene leads to most reproductive diseases

Around 70% of all reproductive diseases in India are caused by poor menstrual hygiene. Awareness about reasons behind menstruation is very low and it is considered a big taboo to talk about it. A long list of cultural don’ts are faced by girls during this period. It not only causes physiological problems but also psychological trauma for girls and women.

They are considered impure and outcastes during these days and the sources to give right information and purposeful awareness are negligible.

Aditi Gupta and her husband Tuhin founded Menstrupedia, a portal with a comic book to cover everything around menstruation. Their path breaking work through has helped thousands of girls and women to be aware about this natural process which has nothing to be ashamed about.

Products like sanitary pad incinerator have demand and can go a long way in managing waste properly.

Tracking periods can help in preventing/planning a pregnancy

For better management of time and health, LoveCycles, founded by John Paul, is an easy period tracker which predicts symptoms, moods and can also guide about days most likely to lead to pregnancy. It helps busy women to get reminders about pills or any medication related to the premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Not only this, it allows women to keep a history of each monthly cycle which helps them to gauge any change indicative of any disease.

Such innovations will be landmarks in influencing health of women and giving them a sense of owning their own bodies, its natural processes with confidence and ease.

These are not just innovations but steps towards a social revolution.


Girl, Let’s Talk About It! With Sinu Joseph [Video]Give Him A ‘Pad’ma Already! Lessons to Learn from the ‘Menstrual Man’Leading Indian Women Who Are Changing The Face Of India Inc. With Their InvestmentsWhat Are The Sanitary Options You Can Offer Your Daughter About To Reach Puberty?

Image source: rural Indian woman by Shutterstock.

This article was first published by on 07th Apri, 2016

Thank You Elena Ferrante

The Man Booker Prize.jpgI don’t know Elena Ferrante. I read about her being a best selling author (Her books have sold nearly two million copies worldwide). I have not read any of the four books written by her forming a “Neopolitan Series”. The last of the four novels – The Story of the Lost Child – figures in the long list of The Man Booker International Prize.

This could be life story of many promising authors. Not really.

Whats sets this writer apart from most of us is her hidden identity. No body knows who she/he is. Those who know are not telling yet.

Petracco, the British Publisher of Ferrante’s work said, “She is happy to be successful but as far as I can tell, it is not that important to her. She’s a writer who needs to write in order to live. Having her books read is the most important thing.” (Petracco has only communicated to her via email)

We don’t know about tomorrow – her identity might be revealed. I might not like what she writes. People will have different opinions ranging from marketing gimmicks to identity issues about her reasons to stay mysteriously hidden.

As of today, there are three loud and clear lessons etched in the three sentences of her works’ Publisher.

  1. I am happy to be successful but it is not that important:  Success is merely a byproduct of actions that I take to live. Success is a bonus which gives happiness but not meaning to my life. The general symptoms of success – fame and riches are deeply desired by all of us. Money that her books make must be reaching her surely but not giving importance to live the moments of glory is defining success beautifully. It is important because it gives deep respect to success by keeping it personal. My success is personal. I don’t allow others to decide whether I am successful or not. I give importance to what i consider as successful and public opinion, public approval, public applause, celebrity rankings are not a part of it. Success is incidental, I am not.
  2.  I am a writer who needs to write in order to live: This could be the most passionate sentence from an author. I write, therefore I am. A young man went to Socrates and asked him, “What is the secret sauce to succeed?” Socrates told him to go and take a dip at the river nearby. When he came back, Socrates told him to come the next day. Next day, Socrates told him to do the same. It continued for a week. Finally, the young man lost it. Socrates told him to go to the river bank and wait for him. They both entered the water together. “Take a dip”. As soon as the young man went in, Socrates pushed his head in water with all his might, not allowing him to come out. The young man kept trying and struggled very hard to overpower Socrates. He was stunned by Socrates’ behavior. “This is the secret sauce “Be ready to give your everything with full intensity, the way you did right now”  The deepest urge to create, the most painful longing to do something resembles the acute pain felt while naturally delivering a child. Be a passionate parent, be a passionate professional doer – do anything but do it as if you can’t live without it.
  3. Having my books read is the most important thing: Books are meant to be read. If the number of readers is big, it is great but the number of readers do not define my book writing. I don’t write based on the number of readers reading it. We all live, work, perform our duties on the size of life stage provided to us. We make our journeys from the stations we are handed over by a stroke of chance and competence. Scope of our work, reach of what we do is a result of many controllable and uncontrollable factors. My work should have purpose for some. If not for others, at least for me. The number of people I can influence doesn’t decide the quality and quantity of my work. Also, my work is my identity for professional purposes. My face is not.

Thank You Elena Ferrante.

These lessons are brilliant.

We might recognize you tomorrow . Your disguise might not last but the lessons will.

‘No Balls’ and ‘Rally Catches’ of Life

Team India.jpg

Life is so full of surprises like the match between India and West Indies.

1. When the beginning is good, we start believing that well begun is half done. This is good in theory but it might teach you to not be so sure of yourself till the end.

2. Anyone can go wrong: The very dependable Indian off Spinner R. Ashwin has a remarkable track record that he has not been penalised for a ‘no ball’ in Test Cricket, something only 19 other players have done in Test Cricket.

But he overstepped in a T20 match and his ‘no ball’ changed the course of the match.

3. Success is incidental: The talented and young Jasprit Bumrah must have learnt the lesson well today. He taught us that earning a catch is not enough. Our success depends upon many factors. Which are not in our control. Should we take ourselves that seriously then?

4. Repeating a mistake is a crime: Ashwin oversteps and delivers a ‘no ball’. After few minutes, Hardik Pandya does the same. Repeating the same mistake is not acceptable and the sooner we learn this lesson, the better it is.

5. Some things are not meant to be: ‘Positive Acceptance’ is a deep learning out of the incidents that happened during the match.

It is rare to miss two ‘catch out’ players on ‘no balls.’ As if this was not enough, Jadeja and Virat tried their level best to catch the ball but Jadeja foot touched the boundary.

A would be catch transformed into a six, we need to read between the lines.

We must factor in the divine will. No matter how much we push, some things are just not meant to be.