Thanks Bhai : this Diwali lets celebrate & thank our Kochi metro workers

Kochi metro is all set to change the face of the city & all this is possible because of the 24/7 efforts of emigrant workers for whom Kochi is now their second home

Just another day with the Kitchen crew and we were working on a CSR campaign for a brand when my colleague Nitheesh Mohan came up with an idea for thanking the metro workers. He coined the idea as “thanks bhai” to thank the Kochi metro workers for their hard work and 24/7 effort in bringing the much dreamt about project of the city to Life.

And its only coincidence that all this happened just as Diwali was in the corner & ‘voila’ we had our #makesomethingnew moment just there !
Although our discussion with the particular brand is still underway, we decided to go ahead with the campaign anyway.

we are raising money & looking for partners for executing this. a website to collect the messages for workers will be live this week as well.

And so we are looking for more support in here. click on the link/image below to know more on how you get a piece of the action.

Thanks Bhai

Proof of why Kerala is a happy place to be

Recently i read two articles both by international media houses on certain aspects of Kerala & its people. Not everyday is your faith restored in your homeland as it was for me.

Even with the strikes and harthaals i’ve always considered my homeland as a place to be not just cos of my love for my city or state but a lot of reasons. My work has taken me places & shown me enough of what the world has to offer and honestly i am quite content that my believe was more than my sheer love for my homeland.

I see most of the human talent to be away from kerala, though its been doing well for the city in terms of inwards remittances it is also a sizable brain drain. Event start-up companies which have set roots from Kerala mostly move to bangalore or elsewhere citing infra or technical aspects.

I been an entrepreneur all my life ¬†& i love my city and i feel that the people of the great city/state should work together and work for taking the state to greater heights. As to lead by example i have ensured that my company( which is a part of a French group) stays in Kochi and keeps attracting talent to kochi and not the other way around. i know things are not perfect but its a fight worth the effort and wish you all do the same. To cement your thought here’s the abstract¬†from the article was referring to:

Kerala’s GDP per capita is decent by Indian standards, but not spectacular. But its superior education and health outcomes push it well up the human development ranking. It boasts the highest HDI of any Indian state. If it were a country, Kerala would rank 77th in the world – ahead of countries with much higher GDP per capita, such as Turkey, South Africa and Peru.

Productivity in some of Kerala’s smaller workshops is pre-industrial, but that’s still better than doing nothing, which is the fate of tens of millions of dispossessed workers elsewhere in India. Kerala’s government has strongly resisted the corporatization of agriculture, and this has helped it achieve the lowest rural poverty in India. Again, the contrast with the rest of the country – 200,000 desperate farmers have committed suicide in the past decade – is jarring.

Kerala’s investments in its people have, perhaps ironically, made its people one of the state’s most lucrative exports: About two million Keralans work in the Persian Gulf countries (many as doctors, nurses and engineers), sending back billions of dollars worth of remittances each year. But there is also a growing high-tech sector in Kerala itself, centred around a technology park where 25,000 people are employed in the state capital. The complex is owned by the state government but operated in partnership with global IT corporations. This funny co-existence of capitalism and socialism is called “flexible communism” by the locals.

Business owners bemoan the hassle and lost productivity resulting from the strikes and protests that are a regular feature of daily life in highly politicized Kerala. On the other hand, it’s precisely because they feel empowered to fight for their interests that Keralans have managed to win the highest standard of living in their vast, diverse country. Other parts of India lose very little work time to strikes, yet their people are demonstrably worse off.”

Read more here

2014: the year when the French fell in love with Kochi

The French fell in love with Kochi so much that they decided to fund the Kochi metro project. That though was the starting of the Indo-French connection with Kochi. You can read more here. while all this was happening there was The Links groupe who in a unique journey found about the creative hot shop based in Kochi.

Now acquisitions in this domain are pretty much a daily news but this one was special because of its location.Read more about it here. The groupe decided to set-up base & invested in starting a 2300 sq.ft office at the prime marine drive area in Kochi signalling its confidence in the creative talent of the city & the state.

I don’t know if you know but the best advertising veterans in the country are essentially ‘malayalee’ or are from kerala.Kochi or Kerala is not really known for media or communications but the state produces the country best creative or art talents out there. At saltmangotree & now with the Links India our long term strategy is to attract these guys to their roots, to settle down in a less noisy low cost hometown of theirs.

Its not just business says Tim Guillois ,in his interaction with the media about the deal. read more about it here .

I really hope that the creative talents of the state take this as message that good work & great career can be found in their home town itself now that saltmangotree goes International. Here’s a video we released that shows the making of the new saltmangotree.

The saltmangotree saga from The Links India on Vimeo.