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Gaurav Sharma
Design Thinker, Problem Solver, Market Shaper
Interests: Consulting, Strategic Marketing and Sales
Recent Activity
Last Thursday, we presented our findings to the client. Prof. Drew was also present. We arrived 30mins before the scheduled meeting time. We utilized the extra time to setup the projector and test the presentation. Bam! The clicker did not work; tried client's clicker, did not work either. Technology blinks when you need it the most. We decided to use the keyboard to advance through the presentation. We started on time. After the initial few nervous moments, we were on a roll. The client was attentively listening and asking questions. Oops!, the projector blanked and the laptop automatically went in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
When it is about communicating an important message, just facts are not sufficient. No body wants to sit through a presentation listening to facts and numbers. Reports suggest that we remember only 30% of what we hear, 15% of what we see but 80% of an interactive story. Perhaps, that is the reason that we could remember the nuances from movies but found it difficult to remember the coursework. At least I did! Humans have long used the art of story telling. In ancient days, pictures and signs were used to convey the story and today, motion pictures are used.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
It is that time of the semester when the work load is the maximum. With all course work coming to an end, an extra push/boost/energy is required to cross the finish line. We cannot be complacent now. Just a couple of weeks before we present our recommendations to our client. It is time to consolidate. For us, this week was all about report preparation - filling the blanks, writing conclusions, framing recommendations and designing an execution plan, etc. Key points for this stage: 1. To avoid repeat work, decide the various templates beforehand 2. Do the report first, followed by... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
With only 2-3 weeks remaining before we submit our capstone report, spring semester break was no leisure time. During this week, we carried out qualitative and quantitative research, worked on global market analysis and started work on the final report. It is now time to start analyzing the information. The next week will be the most critical for our capstone project. We have to formulate a story line comprised of all the individual modules to convey our recommendations to the client in order for them to achieve the project goals. It is like a Hollywood movie that has already been... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
With just over a month to the deadline and with no clear pattern emerging, there is a sense of urgency. Will we be able to finish the capstone in time? We have already finished more than 7 modules out of a selected list of ~12 deliverable from the field book but, we still do not recognize a pattern. Our hopes are tied to the marketing research that we intend to start and finish in the coming week. Based on the research, we would be able to create the customer perception matrix, do segmentation analysis, decide the value proposition and complete... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
When we set out to gather information, there is always a temptation to capture as much information as possible. Sometimes, this temptation leads to spending more time and effort on information that may be good to know, but does not actually add much value to the goal. Also, if you are doing primary research, then it will unnecessarily lengthen your questionnaire which would mean that the respondents will have to spend more time in completing the survey. Therefore, it is necessary that before you start doing the actual primary research, you identify the precise need and requirement of doing the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
Step 1 - Does the data already exist? Recently our client had done a "strategic repositioning study" and we were hoping to use the raw data from the same source for our project. Time saver! But, unfortunately that study did not capture the information that we need for our project. Hence we need to perform primary research of our own. Step 2 - Quantitative or Qualitative study? Depending upon the data that you need, you must decide whether you want to do quantitative or qualitative research. Given the fact that our client does not want us to directly interact with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
Attribute Value Mapping, Core Competency Analysis, White Space Analysis and Competitive Matrix have been completed by now. We are progressing. But are we heading in the right direction? One benefit of working in a team is division of work so you are not over-loaded. Also, the produced work may be critically reviewed within the team and subsequently improved, if required. However, sometimes the work dynamic in a team is not positive. Agreements and disagreements on the work done by an individual on his/her project module start getting reciprocated on face value alone - you agree to my work, I agree... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
One of the key steps of the project is Secondary Research, this is where you study the existing research data and other relevant information about your client, competition and industry etc. It is a time consuming process. There is no single resource where you will find all relevant/required information. Depending upon the industry of your client and the project requirements, you may have to refer several different databases to capture the required information. Some key industry database include: 1. Business Monitor Online 2. Biz Miner 3. Business Insights: Global 4. Business Source Complete 5. Datamonitor 360 6. eMarketer 7. Gale... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
So the first project review has been completed. Key feedback received - Do not wait, act and move forward i.e. Time is of the essence. Our approach - Divide and Achieve. How NOT to divide work and deliverable? - Prepare a task list on your own and email it to everyone and then expect them to understand your view point and just follow the instructions - Put the document on Google drive and give edit rights to all members without having a local copy or defining a version control - Assign tasks to each member first and then ask them... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
This week was about documenting the Project Charter, i.e. the document that highlights the project's goal, expectations, deliverables, budget, plan etc. In our initial client meeting, we had recorded most of this information and hence, the preparation of the Charter document was not a difficult task. For us, it was the problem of having too much information. The Dilemma - Solving all problems versus Solving a few that can help achieve the goal The client will convey a thousand problems. It is up to the consultant to decide whether to work on all problems or to make a fair assessment... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
The best part of being a consultant is the opportunity to solve problems. I am glad that I am back in the business of solving real life business problems. Like any other client meeting, we were before the scheduled time at the venue, met with our client representatives Steve and Greg and discussed about the goals, problems, initiatives, expectations and follow-up actions. The meeting with our client went well, although I think we were a bit under-prepared. There was long silence between questions and it almost felt like we were out of question/comment at times. It is a learning curve... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at CAPSTONE!
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Dec 23, 2014