The Punjabi invasion of the Bombay palate began, if memory serves, just after independence. I recall going with my father and mother on a Saturday evening in 1949 for the opening of a small hotel behind Regal Cinema. It happened to be owned by one of his Irani clients. That was the first time I remember eating Tandoori Chicken and wondering aloud at the red colour sticking to the fingers. That was Punjab pandering to the local palate.
The Chinese wave came later probably closer to the end of the fifties, if again memory serves, when eateries started springing up and non-Chinese restaurants began offering a few Chinese dishes as well. What brought about this trip down the gastronomic memory lane, I haven’t a clue. The city’s freeloading foodies too were much later in coming. I was recently told a story about one of the more enterprising members of this pioneering breed. The narrator claims to have shared his table and paid for his nips and quarters at an aunt’s joint in the bad old days.
His gift of the gab and survival instinct were so extraordinary, says his fellow-tippler who’s my informer, that he could cajole a drink and a meal from the most tight-fisted of his companions as well as the stoniest-hearted among the aunties. All of which reminds me of Jeffrey Bernard (Low Life & More Low Life, Pan Books). Of course, Bernard was a far superior writer than the Indian journalist I was told about although far less successful in worldly terms. A nutshell JB biography is here: wikipedia.org. Also, do check out the book review at eclectica.org.
MANAGEMENT CONSULTING. The UK splurges on it.
Outsourcing, banking compliance work and big government projects have made the UK the biggest spender on consultants in Europe. In fact, the UK accounts for as much as 29.3 per cent of the market and grew by 7.2 per cent last year, according to a report by Feaco, the European Federation of Management Consultancies Associations.
Now that people have witnessed the first generation of outsourcing contracts delivering results, off shoring is gaining popularity. Consultants are needed when the original outsourcing contractor is replaced or when an outsourced service is taken back in house. Public sector contracts will continue to contribute more than 20 per cent of revenue. With the 2012 Olympics as an important driver, this growth is expected to continue, said Feaco.
The report also found that banks have substantially increased their use of consultants by 62 per cent from £249m in 2003 to £404m in 2004 with regulatory topics such as Basel II creating work for consultants. Management consultants' turnover in the UK rose by 35 per cent in 2003 and 2004 while in Europe, revenues for management consultancy grew by 3.7 per cent last year to €48.5bn last. This means spending on consultants has almost tripled in size in the last eight years. silicon.com. This column last covered outsourcing here: hindustantimes.com (‘HOW TO BREAK INTO OFFSHORING. France as an example.’)
PODCASTS ON CELLPHONES? So what else is new, folks?
Are you the cellphone freak who finds podcasting too geeky? Well, dude. Check this out: "Apple is expected to announce today a partnership with Motorola, the handset company, and Cingular Wireless, the mobile service provider, to market a mobile telephone that doubles as a digital music player," reported Times Online (UK) on August 31. timesonline.co.uk. I’m not promising it’s coming to India the day after tomorrow, mind you. “Personally, I'm not expecting this Apple product to be the be-all and end-all ofpodcast-enabled cell phones. But it is a start. I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of capability starts to become standard for cell phones over the next few years,” writes Amy Gahran (30 August). poynter.org. Podcasting was last covered in this column (‘ET TU, BIG BLUE? Podcasting’s latest convert.’) here: hindustantimes.com
DODGE THE CENSORS. Use blogs.
Did you know that, in Iran, after English, French and Portuguese, Farsi is the next most spoken language? And, that Spanish is used even less than Farsi, Polish, and German? Me, neither. I also learned something new knowledge I read in the 2005 annual report of Fundacion Auna that "weblogs became the best way of trying to avoid the censorship" in that beleaguered land. The report moreover highlights the increase of the influence of weblogs during this year as one of the most important phenomena in the Information Society.
fundacionauna.com. Read the immediately preceding QuiteATake.com coverage of blogs (‘NO MORE ‘NICHE’. Blog readership gains respectability.’):
NEW JOB TITLE. And, a job description to match.
The Blog Studio theblogstudio.com defines the blog manager as “a contractor or an in-house employee who uses his or her skills in traffic building, search-engine optimisation, advertising and affiliate management to improve a blog's overall performance and revenue. In an ideal setting, the blog manager handles all business and technical issues, thereby allowing loggers to do what they do best: create content,” explains Mac Slocum (August 30).
Particularly for business blogs which are in a completely different league from self-published personal blogs, although many major media outlets have already adopted blogging as a concept, he points out, “yet little attention has beenpaid to the traffic and revenue opportunities blogs can create. For anominal contractor's rate, a blog manager could help large publishers optimise their blog operations and open up new traffic and revenue streams.” poynter.org.
FREEDOM FIGHTERS. Aka as Flickr Freaks.
“On Monday, Wired News reported on a group of Flickr users who refuse to create Yahoo! accounts in order to continue using the free photo display and community service, now that the publishing powerhouse has purchased Flickr. In essence, they see Yahoo! as a Web behemoth that's swallowed up their friendly neighbourhood meeting place. The fact that Yahoo!, and by extension, Flickr, want to profit from their personal images flies in the face of this small but vocal collective's belief that the Web should be a free and open place. Sure, in exchange for establishing a free Yahoo! account, they'll continue to get the cool photo album and social networking service they appreciate; but, this evidently is an intrusion they're not willing to allow,” writes Kate Kaye (‘Web Radicals Might Mean Business. The Industry Should, Too’). mediapost.com.
That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.
Copyright (c) 2001- 2005 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles at http://www.asiaondemand.com/. Website: http://www.addgandhi.com/original/. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.