Digital Marketing

Kind Traveller


When every one is focused on loyalty, discounts and coupons, innovation is hard to find. Kind Traveler is an ambitious foray and differentiated. Travel for a cause!

This is how it works. The platform makes the hotel’s charitable cause or sustainability initiative connect with the prospective traveler. The prospective guest can pay as small amount as USD10 and book directly from the hotel to be part of this cause.

Digital Marketing


Jumeirah is one of the few sites which loads fast on mobile. The design is clean and minimalist. Large image with a single pointed focus. The website mentions in collaboration with Google, which made me believe that this is what AMP could deliver (I realised later only the 360 feature was Google). Irrespective I was impressed with the page download speed and aesthetics of Jumeirah. Though there are other sites such as sites of Premier Inn , which boasts of 60% web direct bookings and Hilton, where is the site is an extension of the booking form. In both these sites, the experience is missing.

Google is trying to make the content consumption on mobile devices faster, the reason for AMP project genesis. (The video is highly recommended). The long page load time is definitely a bad experience. Therefore in order to speed up things, Google has made the page as simple as possible; it has its own JS library, HTML script & cache. At the same time Google acts as a CDN, to speed up the distribution. A number of interesting case studies can be found here. WordPress plug in creates the pages in AMP automatically, which loads fast on the mobile. These pages are definitely faster compared to regular mobile responsive pages.

AMP has been primarily made for the content networks such as Washington Post. However recent updates new updates have been made for video & ecommerce.

AMP could be a worthy trail for the Hotels websites, since now images through carousel and soon enough, the video will be enabled (Q4 according to Google). Content along focused call to action may give a good result. Though while researching, I couldn’t find many examples in the region, I feel since the technology is new the adoption is slow.

Mobile rules the impression space and the discovery at this point in time. The mobile experience therefore does deserve focus. AMP along with PWA should be worthy effort in this direction. Both these technologies are not expensive and at the same time deliver rich experience.

What do you feel about “Can we make the web great again?”


Digital Marketing


From a world of cross device comparability, Web is increasingly needs to become devise focused to deliver experience. Myntras app only strategy may have failed, but was a step in the right direction. Logically The device which is most of the time with the user should command maximum focus.

Mobile should deliver it own unique experience. Mobile first.

Responsive don’t solve the problem. Increases the download time reminding of the old days when speed was the issue with internet. 

Apps are provide great experience however is limited to the number one can have in the phone and also limited is the discovery. One would find only through an app store or a friend.

Though Progressive Web Application don’t solve 100% of the problem, the step is in the right direction. The sites with PWA such as flipboard and flipkart that I have used are faster and interactive. The big plus is that it doesn’t have a different CMS and can be created as a part of existing site. For those like us,who can only dream of having an in-house tech team, it is a convenient solution. Lighter site increase the page load and therefore conversion.

While Chrome, Opera and Mozilla have full support, Microsoft will be onboard by 2016 year end. Safari should be far behind, even though it threatens the app store concept. Browser support is the only limitation.

Cheers to a new beginning!

Digital Marketing


After a gap of some good years. I’m restarting my digital journey. The start is in a coffee shop Caribou Coffee, close to the place I live in Dubai. 

The new journey start with a daunting challenge, of creating a lion share of direct business for a hotel chain. The beginning is modest with 7% and a long way to go. Hope this experience benefits the others in the same field.

Direct hotel business is the space with some action in Travel e-commerce. And I hope it continues…

Fooled by Randomness, Michael Gladwell, Nicholas Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan

"Taking Knowledge Less Seriously"

Malcolm Gladwell in his book “What the dog ate” has a chapter on a very different kind of stock trader, a risk averse trader. This is where I first read about Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who is now the Dean’s Professor in the Sciences of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts.

I was so intrigued by Mr Gladwell’s description, that immediately ordered for both of Taleb’s books- Fooled by  Randomness (The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in Markets) and The Black Swan. I don’t invest in stock market actively and the intention of reading the book was not to gain tips and trick to make a quick killing. I found these books to change some of the my notions and stereotypes. The book “Fooled by Randomness” was selected by Fortune as one of the smartest books of all times

In the preface to his book, Fooled by Randomness, Mr Taleb writes- “The principal asset that I need to protect and cultivate is my deep-seated intellectual insecurity. My motto is “my principal activity is to tease those who take themselves and the quality of their knowledge too seriously”. He points out- “We underestimate the share of randomness in about everything and applied probability is almost nonexistent.” The  book is idiosyncratic and will compel you to think and see life from a different perspective. 

“Black Swan” is the second book and continues to stir the thoughts and an extension to “Fooled by Randomness” philosophy. Mr Taleb defines “Black Swan” as an unexpected large impact random event. Till very long the swans were white because almost on all observation (statistical) one would spot swans which were white, hence swans were white. However, this changed with just one observation of ‘Black Swans” in Australia. Mr Taleb urges us to be vary of such randomness and events.

Only word of caution, you need to read this book with an open mind, this is not one of the self help books which will give you 10 mantra’s for success. His writing style is very conversational and full of mentions of  philosophers, mathematical concepts and theories.

Apple, Apple TV, Samsung SMART TV, Television

Apple TV, Smart TV

It was a great big shift was us in 2011.

1. We moved into our new premises in Gurgaon
2. Dhriti started day care
3. I bought a Samsung Series 8 TV (The TV had a number of applications)
4. I bought Apple V, ( First Apple device)
5. I bought the first HDMI Cable (and loving it)

I was quite excited to buy the TV, as all this while I had a small LG 21 inch TV, which wasn’t bad. What impressed me was that with the Samsung TV, the applications that came in-built (at least at the showroom it did). Internet@TV had YouTube, Picassa, Facebook, among other application. The Samsung app world is small as of now, but the company is building it’s base. However, the demonstration at the time of installation was a complete let down. Typing the password through remote was very crappy. In addition I had to buy a dongle to enable wifi in the TV. I decided not to do so. We were ok watching TV. Till sometime.

All this while, including October, my Apple TV that I had bought from the Australia trip for $125 was kept packed in my media console. People would ask question and I would give them half baked answers. Finally, on Diwali, I got it out and plugged it to TV with the HDMI cable. I was fed up of showing Youtube videos to Dhriti on iPhone. Apple TV is not bad at all, We watch Youtube videos, for a considerable time on Apple TV. Not just that, the other day during a get together, I streamed music from one of the internet radio channels and was amazed with the quality and library of music.

I’m not putting the pictures for the Movies section, as we can’t access movies yet from the section (Apple doesn’t have the movie distribution rights in India). It has a large library of HD movies ( I was amazed to see all Stanley Kubrick collection and latest TV series). I can access the previews and they are excellent. Additionally, with the new iOS5 you can stream your pictures, iTune Videos and Movies through Apple TV.

These maybe just small snippets of the innovations that is happening at this point in time and of the future . Did hear the news that the next big thing that apple is working on is a television device ? I’m already waiting for it.


communication, effective communication

Communication Workshop 26-27th October 2010

This was the most interesting communication sessions that I had attended.

– No handouts
– No theory
– No powerpoint
– No movie clips
– Only discussion and interactive sessions

I didn’t come out of the workshop “Empowered” with a new theory but with self-realisation of my potential strengths.

In the age of digital technology and flashy powerpoints, this was a new discovery…

– 93% of the communication is personality driven. People make decisions (within first 30 secs) about you

– 7% is the content, which needs to be meaningful. The listener shouldn’t decide whether he/she wants to listen to you or no. The communication should be compelling enough.

– Silence has immense power. Helps to elicit response and exercise control over delivery. The use of effective silence was another great discovery.

– Use of notes, though maybe old fashioned, but is always recommended. It is a great way to gather content and self confidence.

I didn’t know it was all that easy! All you have to do is not to use powerpoint as the communication medium 🙂