Change.org Petition – Welcome in Regional Language when plane lands in an Indian City

Every time I land in Chennai I get greeted in English (Welcome to Chennai) / or if I end up traveling within the country and use Air-India (get greeted in Hindi) – which is great. However, it makes a lot of sense to greet first in Tamil (or) whatever the local language of the region is: landing in Hyderabad, (greet in Telugu), Karnataka (Kannada), Gujarat (Gujarati) and more. 

This will help in preserving the culture of our State. This will also assist in creating more local jobs.  This is nothing new in the rest of the world. You travel to China, Middle East/ anywhere in the world, you get greeted in their local language.

If you agree and support, you can read more here and  please sign the petition in change.org.

GCT Coimbatore – First Global Alumni Re-Union Feb 15-16, 2015

Much has been written about the greatness of Government College of Technology, Coimbatore. One thing that has changed over the last decade or so is that the Alumni network and Alumni association has gotten stronger. Dr. Raghav Menon , fellow Alumni of GCT Coimbatore and batch-mate notified me about the first of its kind Global Alumni Re-Union meet in GCT Coimbatore.  Thank you Raghav!

Ambassador R. Swaminathan, IFS Officer (Special Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India GCT Alumnus of 1977) was the Chief Guest of the event. One could see his excitement in the event and he cherished every moment on campus with his smiles. He was very modest and there was a 1977 gang of friends to cheer him.

GCT Global Alumni Reunion (6)-compressed

He reminisced his old memories at the college and was very kind to mention about each of his batch-mates (with names), his seniors and juniors and how his student tenure @ GCT  shaped his life at the Foreign Services. He also offered a Tech. Salute to one of his seniors (GCT Alum) on stage S. Meganathan, (now the Chairman of Rajalakshmi Group of Institutions).

It was great to meet B.Shantha, first girl to graduate out of GCT, Coimbatore (1970)

First Woman Graduate of GCT

First Lady Graduate of GCT – 1970 Batch

Things that have changed in the last decade:

Rudra Block:  There was a new campus block which operates the Production Engineering. GCT’s first ever Principal was Dr. J.J Rudra (1945-1946) and a well constructed block to commemorate Dr. Rudra’s Contribution to GCT.

Alumni Association: During our times at the college, we have seen Alumni conduct events. However, it has never been this strong. There are generous donors and an Alumni Association building was constructed at a cost of over Rs. 2,00,00,000. Numerous Scholarships are available and provided to deserving students.

Student Research Foundation (SRF):This is a new initiative by the incumbent Principal Dr. V. Lakshmi Prabha. This initiative is being funded and supported by the World Bank and the Alumni Association. The students displayed some of their work at an exhibition inaugurated in the college auditorium.

GCT Global Alumni Reunion (3)

A Medical Devices Research Project (Respiratory Pattern Monitoring System),  Rail Platform Project (walk path on the rail-track), an Android App for the blind, energy conserving Solar Panel and more were at display.

The Senior Alumni of the college(over 75 years) were honored at the event. Names of notable alumni were mentioned during the event. V.K Jeyakodi (IAS), current Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai (Indian Space Scientist) and more. The evening on the 15th ended with Cultural programs (2nd and 3rd year students) and it was great to see the old students(1960’s and 1970’s) join in.

GCT Global Alumni Reunion (1)-compressed

This was a different kind of Global Re-Union. Though I expected to see familiar faces at the re-union (who graduated around the same time), most of the folks who attended graduated in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.  Thanks to the organizers (great food) , tea was provided through the event (including dinner).

Thanks to A.K. Anwar Batcha (Alumni Association President). It takes immense effort and time to organize such events. Thank you Sir. You and your team make all of us proud.

I want to make a special mention about the current Principal Dr. V. Lakshmi Prabha (also the first woman Principal) who is very passionate about the college (fellow Alumnus, 1980).  She also highlighted some on the challenges (keeping the campus clean) and various initiatives that are being carried out.  The college has done extremely well under her leadership (and her predecessors) in the last several years. The work by her is evident (re-kindling the Alumni network, to tap its unlimited potential), Research Initiatives, Scholarships, Green and Clean Initiatives.

Congratulations and this is a great start to building a strong GCT Alumni Network.

Google Adwords – Is it like playing a casino slot machine game?

DCKAP has been an early adopter and user of Google Adwords. We have got great customers using adwords. Thanks Google. However, it looks like distant past today. Our spending with google has doubled(or even tripled), however the lead inflow has reduced by half. I see a few problems.

Competition: Most of your competition is on Ad-words. Around mid 2007,there were not a lot of companies bidding for key-words. It was fun as the return on investment was great. It is concerning today as the response rate is bad.
Expensive bid rates: The bid rates are expensive. A few targeted keywords which used to cost $3 is costing $30 or more now.
Evil Clicks: Considering the high spending and low lead flow, this cannot be ruled out. Your competition clicking on your ads and you pay for it.
Extraneous Clicks: A fine example. You advertise for game developers, a school kid uses his mobile device (ipad) searches for one of your advertised keywords and clicks on your ad.

Is Google Adwords now like playing a slot machine in a casino? You keep throwing quarters, wait for the winning combination. You keep paying for clicks, and pray a qualified lead will react to your ad and does your preferred action. (Call / Click Request Quote button)

Slot Machine

Few Adwords tips
Negative Keywords: Make sure you use negative keywords. Track the clicks on a daily/ weekly basis and make sure you add the negative keywords to each campaign. You can do this globally and apply to all campaigns under the shared library tab.
Keyword Match: Differentiate between Broad, Phrase and Exact match, use them efficiently. If you are getting high extraneous clicks, try using Phrase / Exact match and watch the campaign.
Location: Set your locations on where you want your campaigns to run. If you are targeting customers in US, you do not want folks from Indonesia to click on your ad. You can do this under the Settings tab.
Search Terms: Find out what search terms triggered your ad . This will help in analytics and also choosing your keywords. You can do this by choosing Details – Search Terms (All) under the keywords tab.
Conversion Tracking: This is basic, however often times people miss it. Make sure you have the google conversion tracking code in the page the customers see after they complete a conversion (e.g Thank you page) to track the lead conversions.

With the advent of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN) and low response to adwords, you also have to explore new avenues for advertising/marketing all the time. Spread your marketing budget, experiment and invest more on areas you have maximum returns. Always remember, content is king.