Photos, pin codes, Vani Kola and h2h
Issue No 33
Welcome to this week’s newsletter. You have no idea how much it means to know that you have something to say about my labor of love. So do leave a comment once you read the newsletter.
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1. Where is that photo?
As a kid, I went to see the sunrise from Tiger Hill in Darjeeling. I was keen that I take photographs. The sight was so incredible that I forgot to click pictures. I got an earful from everyone around (including strangers) about how the opportunity of a lifetime was lost forever. The sight looked something like this.
I remember standing there, awestruck at the sight before me. The bone-chilling temperature, the crowd, the warm cup of tea we made. That memory was created forever.
What was that sunrise like? Meenakshi’s photo tells you that it is a sight you will not forget.
Forget the camera
In one experiment, pairs of visitors took a tour of a historic landmark. One person in each pair was instructed to take photos and the other was told not to. A few weeks later they were given a surprise memory test about the landmark, and it turned out that the visitors who took photos remembered much less than those who didn’t.
While the photographers were preoccupied with trying to get the best shot, the non-photographers were able to think about the experience and absorb it into the structure of their memories.
That is so true. Conversations I have had with my parents, grandparents, friends and loved ones are the ones that I have no ‘recordings’ or photos. My memory recollects those moments in rich detail - the tone of voice, the setting, the smell of the food being cooked …
It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.
- Alfred Eisenstaedt
2. “Pin-code” based jobs
Since December 2021, I have been publishing a newsletter on LinkedIn about one big idea you can use to go from being a Dreamer to being a Unicorn.
The big idea I wrote about last week was the rise of Pin-Code based Jobs
More than 170,000 people have subscribed to it already. Click and subscribe
Why Pin-Code jobs?
Imagine that State Bank of India has to verify the identity of millions of customers across its 24000 branches. The cost of doing it by themselves would be prohibitive. The solution is to find people who can go to the branch of State Bank of India in the neighbourhood and verify the records physically. Therein lies the opportunity for the next billion as they go online.
The startup Awign breaks down the mandate into simpler tasks - full-time work, part-time work, internships, and makes them available on their platform. Gig workers apply on the task, get selected, get trained in the app and then go out to work in their local area (think pin-code) to complete the tasks. Any new order can be set up in three days because it is SaaS based.
Awign operates in more than 450 cities and has access to 650,000 'gig workers' (including students and housewives). These people are familiar with the business in their own pin-code. This is where the local gig-workers of that pin-code have their relationships and networks. These short assignments generate supplementary income that improves purchasing power and creates the next billion consumers.
The Vs that drive growth
Training, Talent and Tech along with the growth of 4 Vs is creating the base for Pin-code based jobs for India. It is the moment for the Next Billion. Read about the four Vs
Listen to an audio version of this idea
I am trying to make my website accessible to the visually challenged readers. You can help by reading out an article and email me the MP3 of its recording to email@example.com So pitch in and let your voice enable access to many others.
3. Vani Kola - MD of Kalaari Capital
She worked in the Silicon Valley for 22 years and has come back to start her own fund. Vani Kola has a knack of identifying Unicorns when they are Dreamers. She funded companies like Myntra, Dream11, SnapDeal etc in their early days. How does she find a white space in the market? The ability to spot 300 million gamers drove her to invest in Dream11.
Chronic Care is a problem to be solved
She believes Chronic Care is a huge unsolved market opportunity. India spends $140B on healthcare annually, of which digital solutions have only touched <5% of the market. eHealth exploded during the pandemic. In 2020, households using eHealth services have increased from 4M to 13M.
Between 2015 and 2030, chronic diseases are expected to cost India $6.2 trillion.
Chronic diseases will cause 70% of deaths in India by 2030.
When a startup comes to Kalaari for funding, how does she decide whether to invest or stay away? What does she look for in a pitch deck? What does she consider to be the greatest challenge she has overcome?
This is what she said:
Don’t miss the rest of the interview. It has notched up more than 20,000 views and counting. <watch it now>
4. Brand is a human to human (H2H) connection
We often have this artificial divide between B2B brands and B2C brands. That is an archaic concept. Brands have to connect at a human level. They have to be Human to Human or H2H.
Meet Rani Mani who heads Employee Advocacy for Adobe and works with the #AdobeInsiders for the #influencermarketing initiative.
Listen to her explain what to look for when you choose to work with an influencer - it is not their follower count that matter.
5. A 100 year old relationship is headed for a divorce
In 2020, a hundred year old relationship headed for a divorce. Here is how the plot unfolded. It was March 2020. The movie theatres were shuttered and the studios decided to be unfaithful. I wrote about it in my book Dreamers and Unicorns
A massive marketing campaign was already under way for the April 10 release of, “Trolls World Tour,” an animated sequel to the 2016 hit. The studio decided not to postpone the opening, instead making the movie available as a digital rental on platforms like Apple Inc.’s Apple TV for $19.99.
With nearly five million rentals in the U.S. and Canada, the digital release has in three weeks generated more revenue for Universal than the original “Trolls” did during its five-month domestic theatrical run. The pandemic had created a crisis because no one was going to the movie hall. But out of the crisis, there was a new opportunity that is likely to stay. The movie theatre owners feel betrayed. The film makers believe, it is a question of pivot or perish.
Is a divorce inevitable?
The weak signals have been there for a while. The butts-in-seats has been dropping for a decade. The pandemic merely sped up the decline.
ARS TECHNICA has their deathwatch list. Guess what else they predict will die in 2021 … Zoom, Nikola and more. Dig deeper
That’s all for this issue of the newsletter. See you next Monday at 9:00am IST.
Stay connected. Stay curious
When I was about 16, my Dad took us to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Our camera malfunctioned and we don't have a single photo from that trip. But I remember the awe-inspiring peaks, the speechlessness that overcame me at the first glimpse of Sonprayag, the deafening sound of Alaknanda and Mandakini at Rudraprayag, the excitement of walking on snow for the first time, and the exquisite all-body pain after the steep walk down from Kedarnath :-)
We are so caught up in capturing and sharing with our devices that we have forgotten how to capture and share with the heart.
Love reading your newsletter, I only discovered it today! Got listening to the 10: Brands are Not B2B or B2C, they are Human to Human podcast - really interesting about influencing/winfluencing, I'd never heard that term before. Look forward to your next installments ( and sketches)