Riding IPZEH and other management lessons from life

By | July 19, 2015


This is from early 80’s; I was a student in Jabalpur perusing my engineering degree. I was day scholar in a college that was some 15-17 KM away from home and the distance was covered on cycle. One did that easily with friends. I had a HERO MAJESTIC and my dear close friend has a LUNA, but the heart would always be on the real bike that was not so easily available. So a deal was cut with one of the Iranian student in college, we would help him in his subjects and in return we would get his IPZAH (YEZDI turned upside down) to ride when we wanted.

Pic en.wikipedia.com

Pic en.wikipedia.com

Now let me take you to this small unhurried town in central India; Jabalpur. A town that continues to live in past and has refused to change at the desired pace. Now in those early 80’s Sadar Bazar in the Cantonment area was where the teens – mostly college students would gather. The same evening activity in Lucknow in Hazatganj is called  ‘Ganjing” but in Jabalpur there was no name for it.

They would stand along the road thelas having chai-samosa or if the pocket permitted some would find their way to Indian coffee house. There were two at the extreme end of that simple straight stretch of road.

So, this was also the track where I would with my friends ride the borrowed Ipzeh. We would make a hell lot of noise and ride the bike like an expert.  We really rode it cautiously but to an outsider it seemed dangerous. We were at it trying to impress the girls that would have come down from cantonment area.

One of those days post I would have ridden the bike on that straight stretch of Sadar weaving between the Pedal Rickshaws and zigzagging between the numerous cyclists I reached home. My distant relative who lived near Ridge Road, Sita Pahari a cantonment area was visiting us. He was young lieutenant come for training at AOC.

‘You ride the bike really well’ the young Lieutenant uncle said to me
‘Yes’ I was smiling
‘Why do you do that ‘?
……. Truly I did not get the question. What kind of a question was that anyway
‘To impress the girls in the market I suppose’ the lieutenant helped me
…… I sheepishly grinned and checked that my mother was not around.
‘But, even if she was impressed… how would she know who the hell went by’
….. I looked up at him. Is he seriously from Army. How come I never ever thought like this. He definitely had a point there and I was caught. He  was like Krishna giving Gita Gyan to a young Arjun (me)
‘So, it would be really nice, if you drive your bike a lot slower and smartly, otherwise it is anyway not getting you to your objective’.

He stopped abruptly as Maa had entered the room but the message was driven home with precision.

The lessons learnt were many. If you want your consumer to closely know your brand, you need to demonstrate its advantages slowly at a pace the consumer is comfortable to recognise and accept them in their life. Overloading the messaging in a short window you have with your audience is like riding the fast bike in Sadar Bazar, too much seen but no message registered.…………………………………..
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I strongly believe that all Marketing and Management can be learnt through observation in life. And there are instances when people have given you lessons in the same without referring to any specific branded theory or model. After sharing some 75 episodes in advertising and marketing, here I will be sharing few of Advertising, Marketing and Management lessons delivered in real life. No, I am not finished with the episodes series. As and when I get new one and when people share with me, they will feature here.