Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flipkart exits price war. Is it too soon?

Recently one of my friends (chocophilix) pointed out on twitter that the prices on Flipkart had risen. I went ahead and checked the prices of books that I have bought or want to buy and this is what I found:

 Fig: Flipkart vs Infibeam

In general I could see a 5 to 15 percent price difference of Flipkart from Infibeam. However, this price difference has been observed only in the book selling business (the first segment in which Flipkart entered). The consumer electronics business still shows a congruity in prices among the online stores.

From the time it has started marketing through television advertisements, Flipkart has become a household name. Their service is unanimously considered the best among all the online stores currently functional in India. However this price rise came as a surprise as Flipkart had just started attracting eyeballs of the non-geek India.

It would be interesting to see whether the cost conscious Indian customer be ready to pay the extra 10% for a better service. The case in discussion becomes more relevant because of the unique cash on delivery model which the Indian online retail industry has been promoting. The cash on delivery model negates the perceived risk from online shopping and obviates the need for better service.

Is it too soon for Flipkart to end the price war? Time will tell whether this is a cyclic change or a clear differentiation sought by Flipkart. Looking forward to your comments.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Four Letter Word

Yesterday I saw this movie called In Time. Set in 2161, the movie talks about a world where humanity has been genetically modified such that they cannot get older than 25 physically, and their currency has been changed from money to time. There would be a clock running on each person's arm. The time shown on the arm is the amount of time left before the person dies. A person would die as soon as the time runs out (if they don’t happen to die of any other unnatural cause before that). Every transaction of goods or services is through transfer of time. A phone call costs 1 minute of life, for example. The clock starts when a man or a woman achieves the age of 25. From the point, their physical features remain that of a 25 year old for the rest of their life. Father, Mother, Grandmother, Albert Einstein, everyone is 25 years old in this world. However, their "real age" might be in centuries (reminds you of inception right?).

The plot of the movie requires the father of a pretty girl (who falls in 'love' with the protagonist of the movie) to pay some ransom for his kidnapped daughter.
Now here lies the dilemma. If this was a normal world, the father would pay anything to get his daughter freed. You cannot take anything to the grave right? However, in this world, it is theoretically possible to live for eternity. So can he waste his money (time) to save his daughter? Will he shorten his life to save his daughter? Will he do that out of 'love'?


Here is one word which has puzzled me beyond words.

Is it a state of mind? Wikipedia calls it an emotion. Dictionary defines love as “A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness”. Isn’t that a little less romantic than what one might like?

What do you mean by 'falling' in love?
Is it dependence? Was Mother Teresa looking for dependence?
Is Kasab capable of love? What do you mean by being ‘capable’?
Is it a Verb? Noun?  Interjection?
Can we really truly love someone without having an ulterior motive?
Isn't love the righteous cousin of jealousy and guilt?
Is it lame to even discuss love?

Here is the blog post by my college junior which inspired me to write my share of confusion on this topic. Comments are always welcomed and in fact demanded.
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