Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pied Pizza Piper !

She is a beautiful, highly educated young girl who has grown up in the city. She has had all the comforts of urban life while growing up. She is a post liberalization young Indian - she has seen India change. She loves this change, but something bothers her all the time, “as India surges ahead, is Bharat getting left behind?”

She has is a vision and a weapon. Her vision drives her to leave the comforts behind and takes her to a small place in the hills. A weapon that she believes is potent enough to be the prime mover of the change that she wants to bring about.

What are the challenges that she is going to face and how will she overcome them....find out how she uses the Domino's Pizza Pied Piper to help her. See the film below.


video

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Wheat thin crust Pizza is here

We did it ! For quite some while we wanted to have a Pizza on our menu which is extremely tasty, yet extremely light and crunchy. The answer was obvious - Wheat thin crust Pizza. We launched it this monday (4th April) across all stores in India. Best part is - its mouthwateringly delicious, super thin (I was extremely surprised on how thin we cud finally get it to be), crunchy and you can get it with any topping combination you want. So if you wan to check it out or better still order it online just get to www.dominos.co.in and try it out right now. You can also call the number of your nearest Domino's store or our helpline 4444 8888. Enzoy !!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Domino's India Launches online ordering of Pizzas

Finally, Domino's launched online ordering in India. This is the first for a food service company in India so its an achievement in a sense. The service is currently available in NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore. More cities
will be added in the future in a phased mannaer.
The best part is, not only can you select your pizzas and sides on your own, you can also pay by cash on delivery or by credit card from your home. So no going to the ATM when you've run out of cash but need to eat dinner at home and dont feel like cooking.
What's more you can place orders for home delivery or pick up ! its quite cool, check it out. Here's the link http://www.dominos.co.in/ ENZOY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Associations

One normally thinks that the answers that we are looking for are locked inside our consumers. However, our consumers are themselves locked into a wider cultural context. This context is different for each category in each country.

I have often observed that our preferences in music are be driven strongly by associations. For e.g. if some one has grown up listening to Hindustani classical music at a home where classical music was appreciated by the, say, father, say when the father was in a good mood mostly on holiday’s. Typically, the mood at home was very relaxed on such days. Every time this music was played, this setting repeated itself. This child is likely to grow up liking Hindustani classical music, you would agree. There is a good chance that his father was a normal adult father, with varying moods including anger, irritation, disappointment and given to stress on some days. There’s a good chance that in these not so good moods and occasions, the father did not listen to Hindustani classical music. Over a period of years, the association of classical music with “something good, something serene, something warm and secure and happy” got built for this child. Many years later when this child grows up, it can be argued that listening to classical music evokes the same feeling that it did like when he was a child – “good, serene, warm, secure & happy”. A child from another country with a similar father but listening to Mozart is likely to have similar types of associations when ever he listens to Mozart, but its unlikely that Bheemsen Joshi (or another well known Hindustani Classical Artist) will work for him in the same manner.

This means that we like a particular type of music because of the association we have with it – finally appreciation of music is an acquired taste, and that taste is acquired due to associations with very fundamental human emotions.

The same argument can be made for food. While in music this case can be argued very easily, in case of food, also I believe that this association theory is extremely strong. Why is every mother’s cooking the best in the world? Its definitely not because every mother uses the same recipes or the same quality of ingredients, but more because most mothers while feeding their children are at their loving best. For the child the whole experience is enhanced in the company of her mother. Watching her make the roti’s puff up magically, adding that pinch of salt in her characteristic style, wiping her sweat from her brow, tucking her pallu into the folds of her sari – all these things are amazing for the child to watch. More than the food the mother makes, it is these memories, symbols and the love and care for which the grown up child yearns for the most.

What is the implication of this for our brands? We spend a lot of time, understanding reactions of consumers to stimulus that we throw at them. Also we focus a lot on drivers of category choice and brand choice. However, if we can truly understand what the compelling set of associations and symbols and cultural codes for our categories are, immense opportunities can be unlocked. How we can leverage this understanding is another question altogether.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Domino's Pasta Launched !

The Domino's Pizza brand in India has grown into a network of more than 270 stores by August 2009 with a fairly large base of loyal consumers. Our reserach with consumers suggests that they would love it if we add something more to our product range other than Pizzas and the sides that we currently sell. Pasta was the obvious choice and we had been working on a pasta launch for the last 6 months. Well, we finally launched pasta. Its a hit. Literally flying off the ovens as we like to say:-)

The ad went on air last weekend and in case u missed it or if u do not live in India or do not watch TV - here is the link to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lzzKetiDqI

You can find out more about our product and pricing here http://www.dominos.co.in/

Do let me know what u think. And yes, if u want to order dominos pasta and get happiness home delivered, just call 4444 8888. Enjoy !

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

I am a fan of Indian writing in English and have read most of the commercially successful work publsihed in the last ten/fifteen years. There are some very good writers in this trade namely Rushdie, Vikram Seth, etc. but in my view Amitav Ghosh is the master of this fast growing community. Those who have meandered with him on the Irawaddy in the Hungry Tide or traveled from the forests of Burma to the western ghats of India in the Glass Palace will often share the view that his writings have a certain unputdownable quality in them. But the manner in which a he has told the story in his latest historical and literary fictional work the “Sea of Poppies” has taken his craft to a new level altogether. Very rarely does it happen to me that I do not want a novel to end due to the void that finishing it will cause. All through the reading I was mildly concerned that once I finish the book I will miss the characters and the story. That was the extent to which the writing made me engage with the story, the characters and the settings. Almost as if it was part of me. The statement “Getting lost in the story” characterized what I went through, I think.
However, Sea of Poppies is not just about the story, the age in which the book has been set and the granularity with which the historical aspects of that time have been crafted have an equal if not greater role in making it a compelling read.

Set in the early nineteenth century Bihar and Bengal, Ghosh brings alive the implications of the forced cultivation of Opium as a cash crop in the region and its implications on the lives of every one around it. The other important part of history that the book reflects on is the movement of Bihari indentured workers (girmitiyas) to work in British islands like Mauritius and the West Indies. The latter subject has been a great source of curiosity for me and names like Ramnares Sarwan, Chandrapaul and Ramagoolam have fed that curiosity over the years. The treatment of this era, the lingo that was used, the culture, the rites, rituals, fears, hopes, events and happenings have been expressed in a manner that you get the feeling that Ghosh has actually traveled in a time machine and been able to observe the people from a vantage position. This treatment of the time and age coupled with fascinating events that unfold create a truly magnificent read.

I am glad that this is the first of a triology and am very eagerly waiting for the next one to come out. Just to make sure that I do not feel the void for too long, I have immediately started reading one of Ghosh’s much earlier novels, “The Shadow Lines”. Reading this one is making it clear to me how much Amitav Ghosh has evolved as a writer in the last ten years or so. If I project the same slope of progress in the future and assume that the trend will continue for another ten, then there is a very good chance that we may look back at him as the best ever.
I am now very curious about the “White Tiger” by Arvind Adiga which won this years booker ahead of the “Sea of Poppies”, if that was seen as better, then it better be mind-blowing. I hope the expectation of greatness does not come in the way of judging a very good piece of work. More on that later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rub of the Green

The pleasure of getting to do something that you are really passionate about is absolutely uplifting. These days I am experiencing that pleasure.

About five months back, fate and my boss took me to the driving range of the Noida Golf Club for a lesson and introduction into golf. Well, I used to tell all the usual golf jokes and up until then regarded it like an old man’s game and something that people do so that they can be networked and make contacts etc, so I had to be cajoled and pushed a bit to go and try out the game. I did not know then, that this day would have such a massive impact on me.

All through my teenage years and early adult life, I was a sportsman. I used to play Badminton very well till a combination of injury; studies, commonsense and the need to become “something in life” took over completely. The results was that the last fifteen years or so were more or less devoted to work and family only, regrettably in that order. I realize only now that a huge hole existed in me for all these years because I was totally detached from sports. Because I have always strived very hard to improve and equip myself to do my work better and better and also found the journey challenging and enjoyable (I love my job you see), I could never understand or articulate this hole. I kept dismissing this as something “that must be happening to every one else” and kept pushing it away but it just kept getting bigger and bigger.

I now realize what that hole was, I am able to articulate it to myself and I am able to fill it…with Golf!

I am not a morning person and I find it very difficult to wake up early in the morning. Anything earlier than 7 am for me has been impossible. However, since starting golf I get up every day at 5 am and by 6 I am on the range or the course and action has already started. If I find myself alone and not engaged in work or fun, I quite often find myself visualizing my swing. The temptation is too strong sometimes to shadow practice the swing and I can be quite a sight in queue or while waiting for an elevator. I am trying very hard to improve my game and practicing by taking out time from sleep and a few other things to get better and better at the game.

I realize that I need to do this. I need to play a sport. I need to engage my mind and my body (the system) in and against an environment where I can plot play and win. I need the intoxication of victory and pain of defeat. I need that to keep myself going and I need that to fill my hole. Golf, helps firstly because you play the game more with yourself and the conditions more than anything else and secondly because it has a strange magnetism that is difficult to explain.

One of the things that I took time out from in order to play Golf is writing and the other is reading. This partially explains why I have not posted anything in a while. But I do not regret it at all, I know that something has to give way…after all it was the rub of the green that got me here, now I need to make every shot count.