Monday, February 20, 2012

Yuvi: The brand ambassador of hope and courage

“Jab tak balla chal raha hai, thaat hai. Jab balla nahin chalega to…” The insurance ad definitely connects with the audience. Yuvraj’s natural self: both in terms of expressing the reality of life and his resilient spirit, makes the ad pragmatic. Who could have imagined the ad turning true for the “Philosophy Ambassador”? Certainly, not me!

Injury and sport are two sides of the same coin, a fact known to all. Therefore, injuries to sportspersons are taken for granted. But their illness is hard to be accepted. After all, they are considered to be the epitome of fitness. Yuvi’s illness has perhaps shocked the entire nation. Prayers and heartfelt wishes for his speedy recovery are pouring from all quarters. Everyone finds Yuvi mentally tough, and confident that he would emerge a winner.

Easier said than done, Yuvi is waging a battle not only with his illness, but sporadic emotional vicissitudes, erupting like a volcano, to pull him down. But the brand Yuvi is known for his fortitude. And it is this hopeful positioning, which makes us sanguine of his speedy recovery.

Soon, Yuvi would adorn the blue jersey and let his balla to do all the talking. He has many more missions to accomplish, many more new records to set and many more people to inspire. And this time around, motivating and encouraging cancer patients, especially the youth.

Yuvi’s fighting spirit, uplifts people’s morale, and the communication industry is no exception. It’s his unmatched ability to bounce back, which compels advertisers and PR agency to look at him as an ideal candidate to endorse “Hope and Courage”.  I wouldn’t be surprised, if the communication industry has started contemplating to make Yuvi their brand ambassador for generating awareness on cancer. Perhaps, he would be roped in for next year’s World Cancer Day campaign!

I’m amazed by Yuvi’s upbeat attitude even during his illness. This very attribute of Yuvi, has quelled people’s anxiety speculating his illness. They are shocked, but not shaken. They are sad, but not sulking. They exude Yuvi’s buoyancy. There’s not an iota of doubt among them. They are optimistic about Yuvi being fit and back in the team soon. This clearly indicates the impact of Yuvi’s positive ripple effect on people, and the reason for communication experts to regard him as a true promoter of optimism.

It is certain. The brand ambassador of courage is going to be back with a mission for purpose. Touching the lives of millions and transmitting the power of unflagging spirit, through his experience. Yuvi is a game changer, and this time he is going to play hopeful innings!

Shivani Venugopal
PR Professional

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Information Technology: Charting an inclusive socio-economic growth gradient

Today, we often come across jargons such as ‘knowledge economy’, ‘information explosion’, ‘world at your fingertips’. These are not alien terms, as they had become an indispensible part of our regular vocabulary. Rewind a decade ago and a totally different picture would have surfaced. The dichotomy exists even today, translated by economists as ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’. While urban India has taken IT for granted, there is a mammoth demographic segment who doesn’t know how technology touches their lives, if at all they do.

In this two words ‘Information’ and ‘technology’, the aspect to be noticed is the fact that Information always precedes technology. Information existed, technology made it accessible, thereby building a society knowledge rich, aware and discerning. With time, the fact got proven that IT is an enabler of social inclusivity, by the sheer truth that it can bring information to the masses, educate them and make them live a life of quality.

However, though technology has made inroads into areas hitherto inaccessible, still there is a major chunk of the population who cannot take advantage of the possibilities because of obvious constraints, ‘cost’ being one. Several organizations are undertaking initiatives to negate those constraints and time testifies the fact that we have come a long way in doing so. Numerous grass-root innovations are happening to bridge the glaring digital divide. For example, HP’s Lab-in-box, a unique initiative where a fully equipped mobile class room can provide secondary education content designed by NCERT, to reach students in remote areas who cannot afford school education. The biggest challenge in India undoubtedly is that of infrastructure. Setting up a school is a cumbersome process necessitating very high costs in terms of building materials, municipality permits, electricity, remuneration for teachers, and maintenance. As a corollary, this acts as a hurdle to many bright students who cannot afford that kind of money. HP’s solutions brought education at the doorstep.

Similarly, HCL Infosystems is providing end-to-end turnkey advanced education solutions to schools, institutions and universities across the country in the government and private sector. HCL DigiSchool’s key feature is that this solution offers  digital multimedia asset library, covering all major aspects in K12 category. Also, solutions such as Campus Infrastructure Solution, University Resource Planning, Online Distance Learning/e-Learning Programme and Tele Education. Many IT behemoths are also developing low cost laptops and encouraging broadband connectivity, engineered to reach masses uninitiated to the ramified opportunities that technology can provide.

Keeping in perspective the fact that today, out of approximately 200 million children in the age group of 6-14 years only 120 million ever going to school, these initiatives will pave a long way in fostering an inclusive atmosphere for socio economic growth. As part of its Vision 2020 plan, the Government is looking to increase the number of school going children to 30 per cent by 2020.

Information technology industry has already ushered in a catalytic change in the Indian society by collaborating with the government to increase accessibility, affordability and accountability of essential services. Technology has brought about effective alterations in administrative functions in terms of public services and e-governance projects, to eliminate avoidable inefficiencies, reduce corruption and guaranteeing ease of collaboration amongst diverse departments. Some case in point is the much appreciated UID project, National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), or establishing State Wide Area Networks (SWAN) scheme in 27 states and 6 union territories (UTs) on a pan India level. 

In the healthcare segment, Telemedicine, a forerunner to ‘in absentia care’, is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine, where medical information is transferred through interactive audiovisual media for the purpose of consulting. Telemedicine can also be used to conduct examinations and remote medical procedures. Thus, as a corollary, telemedicine can be extremely beneficial for people living in isolated communities and remote regions and now this is currently being applied in virtually all medical domains.

The industry itself has accelerated technology-adoption across various sectors including real-estate, BFSI, tourism and retail, thereby improving quality of life of the citizens of India. Constraints still exists in terms of cost and awareness. As these dissolve with time, technology will make its presence felt even more assertively and act as building blocks for social inclusivity.

By Soham Majumdar