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Monday, April 17, 2017

Nonstop Us!


Microsoft’s Bill Gates was probably quite correct when he had once exclaimed that the Indians were the smartest people he had ever come across. In many ways, if I observe from the point of view of a distant and unattached watcher, I can see his statement hold much truth. From spirituality to medicine, from astrology to music, not a field remains where Indians have not shown some mind blowing awesomeness. However, I do not intend to document such accolades in various fields, but to talk about the thing I sincerely believe has not only contributed much to the success of Indians but has also made them stand tall in the domain of recycling and managing finesse with few materials. I am talking what we all commonly call ‘Jugaad’ or improvisation, for there are not many terms that can resonate closely with the exact meaning and spirit of this term that in itself has come to be associated with Indians and India. We make do with whatever is available for doing what we need to, instead of waiting for full and proper formal resources. For example, people have coupled old discarded jeep chassis with small diesel engines (used for water pumps) to convert them into improvised vehicles for movement and transportation locally in their fields and villages. One innovative man managed to make espresso coffee using a simple pressure cooker. We find countless such improvisations in our daily lives. The Indians are masters of managing everything with anything!

For this let us go back in time. Right from olden times, Indians have been fond of recycling. Sarees (a garment worn by ladies) were converted into cushion covers and table mats and old papers into useful items of papier-mâché. Later on, when India was low on prosperity and was looked down upon by Europe and America, many inventions came of out the innovative brains of Indians. There were done not just by scientists and engineers but by students and housewives. That is my very point! Reusing something with extreme effectiveness makes India unique. It is the real Indian way of thinking and indeed a unique contributor to our success. From discarded machine parts and metal flaps to a complete house made of discarded plastic bottles and from clay fridge running sans electricity to creative crafts, Indians have a peculiar way of thinking and putting any discarded item to some really good use. Nowadays, entrepreneurship is on a rise in our country and much of the credit for this innovative thinking goes to the ability of Indian to manage with fewer resources and optimally utilize every resource. We can see profitable ventures being run from one room offices with less space and few people managing new ventures. I am an entrepreneur myself and when I started this venture, I managed with local resources, day to day things instead of first setting up a huge structure and investing huge amounts of time and money.

I am fond of some creativity too as well as contributing towards recycling and reducing waste. I did some crafts from old CDs and of papers and they were well received on social media. However, that is a very trivial thing; the point is, this way of thinking has contributed to my success and like most Indians I am confident of surviving anywhere in the world with low resources or in adverse conditions. That allows me to dream big without musing over perfect conditions or expecting the same as well. The Indian values that I have imbibed give me the confidence of not losing my morals even in a substandard company and while tackling a shrewd world.


Every year, many foreign companies enter India with high hopes as this country provides an eye-popping huge market but only a few survive. One major reason is adaptation to the Indian ways that guarantees win. Unfortunately, only a handful adapt that effectively. One company that has done that surprisingly and dexterously well and has taken to Indian ways as a fish takes to water is Lufthansa Airlines of Germany. India and Germany have old ties and have been friends for long. I am also reminded of a lovely German friend who loves Indian food and clothing. Also, one of my cousins has married a German woman who is in love with interpersonal relationships and familial bonds so prominent in our culture. Lufthansa, which is the largest airline of Germany, has created a very catchy commercial. I have flown in a few other airlines but none of them was engaging or very pleasing in terms of service and comfort. Instead of employing separate English and Hindi speaking crew members, Lufthansa has bilingual crew. This step saves on company’s cost and hence some benefits are passed on to the customer. Also, this step does not make the flight look crowded. Another good example on maximum utilization!


Lufthansa's new advert shows how people are enjoying Indian influence of our traditional politeness, culinary delights and respect for elders, deeply ingrained in every Indian. In this new commercial, a man muses over the strategies to defeat Indians but when he and his team fly Lufthansa India, this thought escapes his mind and they enjoy the courtesy and grace of Lufthansa India crew! That touches the heart! Lufthansa is definitely #MoreIndianThanYouThink


Check out this amazing airline @ www.moreindianthanyouthink.com



8 comments:

  1. Lufthansa is a good airlines. I have travelled with them a number of times. The only criticism I would like to make is that they do not offer priority boarding for the premium economy passengers. Most other airlines offer that.

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    1. Hi SG

      Ya. I did not know that. Thanks!

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  2. No idea about Lufthansa airlines because never flown them yet but totally with you on the jugaad thing. So very Indian . So very enterprising we have been over the centuries. Reminds me of the tradition we have in most south indian villages of serving lunch in eco-friendly plates made of leaves strewn together .

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    1. Hi Sujatha

      Thanks a lot! yes, I love eating in leaf plates, we call that'pattal' here because they are made out of 'patte' or leaves :)

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  3. To utilize resources instead of wasting them, to reclaim and salvage, not waiting for conditions to be perfect - important lessons for all to learn from Indians. Unfortunately, many people do not want to hear this.
    Very well said, Ankita! Great post.
    (Love the commercial)

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    1. Hi Chris

      Thanks a lot! I am really glad you enjoyed the post :)

      Delete

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