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Thanksgiving : KARVY-ng the Customer – the new Turkey?


Today, the Fourth Thursday of November, will be celebrated in the world’s largest economy, the U.S.A., as Thanksgiving Day. One of the key traditions is Carving of the Turkey and dinner with family. Back home in India, among the fastest growing large economies, KARVY-ng of a different kind has been reported by SEBI.

Unfortunately, one of the leading Stock Brokerage and Security firms is suspected to have raised money by pledging Customers’ stocks placed in their custody. This, by misusing the Power of Attorney the clients would have shared with the firm for other purposes.

Customer, the New Turkey

This development comes close on the heels a recent discovery of gaps in Security of Customer Data…… Of customers being taken for a ride or rather, their data going places, without their knowledge or approval. Technology Service Providers and Marketers getting enriched while rendering the Customer Privacy values poorer. KARVY seems to have taken Customer Care to more s(ub)lime levels. Customer Car(v)e may be the new function. Why Celebrate or Thank customers. More profitable, may be to leverage Customers and tank them.


Those not familiar with SEBI and those open minded enough to believe that intelligent life could exist beyond earth may think of SETI . Speaking of intelligence, one is surprised how the banks allowed the said Customer stocks to be pledged with them. Maybe the MoF, GoI could engage some SETI – like search. The Search for Economic Transgressors in India may well be a worthwhile pursuit, even if the search for intelligence or Corporate Governance in our financial institutions may disappoint.

Strengthen Whistle Blower Policies (as needed) and Communicate the same

Human minds and endeavours being what they are, no amount of Law may completely eliminate wrong doing. One way to minimise this is to make it mandatory for each establishment to prominently display whistle blower policy/ process/ rights to all employees and stakeholders.

Do you feel it is easy to be a whistle blower? What more should the government or society do to ensure whistle blowers are not left high and dry, just because they answer to the Call of their Conscience?,_2011


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Secure Data or SeeUR Data – Privacy under Cloud?


An IT Security expert, Vinny Troia of Night Lion Security has revealed that personal information of almost 1.2 Billion users has been compromised by exposure. This data has been left unprotected
on a Google Cloud server. These data may have originated from two different ‘Data Enrichment’
Companies. People Data Labs (PDL) and OxyData.Io (OXY). Innocent consumers may part with just their e-mail ids to a Marketer. But marketers may leverage Data Enrichment to know much more about the consumer than he or she may like to share. Now personal data left without protection on a cloud server means it is potentially available for anyone to exploit, not just Marketers who may pay for it. In the wrong hands it can injure the well-being of individuals and communities. An individual’s basic Right to Privacy is anyway compromised.

Servers may not necessarily Save Ours (Data)

We assume our data (including surfing patterns) is our own and it is safe. We may have some knowledge that our data is being used by Technology Service Providers (for genuine software related purposes as claimed by them). A few of us may even be aware of other entities whose business models is to ‘scrap’ and garner more detailed information about users online. Those agitated by this may even get more bellicose when these entities call themselves ‘Data Enrichment Companies'(DECs).

Terabyte Trove – Data, the new Treasure

Searching for hidden or lost treasures of gold and precious gems is passe. Data is the new wealth. The Indian concept of Anna-dhatha takes a new connotation. Annam (food) is no longer analog. It is increasingly digital. And the Dhatha (Provider), is increasingly Data. Thus it is no surprise that DECs desire Data Dumps. The average person may baulk at these mountains (even if not in machine language). But the DEC’s raison d’être is mining these treasure troves, sorry terabyte troves.

Communication/ Adherence to Users’ Data Rights – Businesses’ Responsibilty?

Today, not all businesses may feel the need to be pro-actively transparent about their stand on Consumers’/ Customers’/ Users’. But laws will gradually ensure the rights of users are not violated. We already see the European Union authorities piling on the pressure on technology giants on some issue or the other.

What are your thoughts on DECs/ Data Mining? Do you feel the current Laws are sufficient to meet the needs of an increasingly tech-driven economy? Do you feel Businesses leverage DECs and (grey areas in) the law to know more about customers without their knowledge? Do you feel Customers will trust those Brands/ Service Providers better which are pro-actively transparent (in the absence of clear laws) and have a clear policy which is communicated to all stakeholders? We would love to know….

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High fLiar


Mr Rxxxx Mxxxxxxxx hoped to be seen as a High Flier. To that end he conned Airport and Airline officials about 15 times, posing as a consultant & instructor with German Airliner, Lufthansa. Using this fake identity he used to fly on the sly, even getting upgrades to premium sections. Thus giving a new twist to the marketing buzz-word ‘FreeMium’.

Worms, Holes & Loopholes

Astrophysicists may marvel at the possibility to travel through Time via a wormhole (Einstein-Rosen bridge). But Rxxxx’s fellow flyers can only fret and fume at the danger that worms cause by exploiting loopholes in Security. Worms make holes if they can’t find them, but that should not stop us from bridging/ plugging gaps as possible.

Not All the People, All the Time

From a Corporate Governance point of view, this is as good a time as any, to remember Abraham Lincoln’s words. “You can fool all the people some of the time…….”. The Vijay Mallyas and Nirav Modis have been grounded from their High Flying ways for some time atleast. But whether the PNBs and the SBIs/ IDBIs/ IOBs have learnt their lessons one is not sure.

The Mallyas and Nirav Modis have long been communicating what values they stand for, by their ostentatious lifestyles. That itself could have triggered some ‘dekko’ by authorities. But some ‘Mandarins’ have chosen to play ball with them. Corporate Governance is evolving but some way to go.

……this is as good a time as any, to remember Abraham Lincoln’s words. “You can fool all the people some of the time, some of …….”.

Communicate your Values, Vision, Mission. And Live by it

At VioorA, we believe India cannot grow without its people and businesses growing….and its businesses cannot grow without being clear about their Values/ Vision/ Mission or communicating these clearly to their S.P.I.C.E. (TM) stakeholders. Very importantly living up to these and instituting checks and balances to ensure better Governance. Else, as Mr Rxxxx Mxxxxxxxx found out, even High Fliers could get grounded…. and as Viru (Dharmendra) threatened Basanti’s (Hema Malani’s) aunt in Sholay, it could be (chakki peesing and peesinggrounding flour as the State’s guest.

What are your views? We would love to hear from you..

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The President Rules! The Sena rues??


The Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari had earlier invited the BJP, the Shiv Sena
and the NCP in turns to form the next Government in Maharashtra. But BJP declined the offer. 
Neither the Sena nor the NCP were able to provide the confirmation (number of legislators) needed in the time granted. 
The Governor had no option but to declare President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

There is speculation meanwhile that the BJP and the NCP may be looking at a possible joint 
government. If so, the Sena can only regret its greed in asking BJP for more pieces of the pie

Controlling (Moderating) and flavouring our Communications to the occasion/ target audience often helps us in unseen ways. Had the Sena not been very strong/ adamant in its posturing/ Communications with the BJP, this situation may never have risen. Also it could have more easily managed to bounce back to the BJP. It is one thing to be firm about Communicating policies strongly. But when it comes to partnerships, being open/ accommodating helps us in the long run even when we need not be!

We would love to know What You Think….. about how the key players could have played their cards and how it will eventually pan out ?

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Got a ‘bhay’ (fear)? Get Gotabaya!

Srilanka has voted in former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa (credited with eliminating terror 
outfit LTTE, amidst charges too of Human Rights violations) as its new President. Srilankans have been
perturbed by the Easter terror attacks a few months ago and the current government’s perceived ‘inaction’.

The current administration (for various reasons) has not been able to ride on the wave that brought it to power. We need to be judicious in ‘what, when,why, where and how’ we Communicate – and also to ‘which’ of the stakeholders in the S.P.I.C.E.(TM) framework.

Not all voyages may end with sighting the Promised Land. But Leveraging professional guidance helps navigate troublesome waters and ensures the ship is back safely to shore. Also very importantly the Captain doesn’t return empty-handed.