Category Archives: Life

I want a ‘lello’ Power Ranger

All through B school and frivolous marketing banter, I have heard the phrase Pester Power and used it loosely to depict an opportunity for any marketer. That I would finally fall victim to the same was a far away thought. I was unmarried and without children then.  😉

My 3 year old wept and whined, sulked and sniffed for a whole day because we got his friend a Power ranger toy for his birthday. We completely overlooked the ‘ identical purchase to avoid conflict’ rule. For most part of the day, I stood my ground with a strong ‘NO’. By the end I started laying conditions. ‘Well, if you behave like a good boy and stop sulking….’  by the time we were through dinner it was a commitment – ‘I’ll get it for you  in the morning if you stop asking’.

He somewhat obeyed and I had to keep my word.I was probably the first to walk into OG’s toy section on Monday morning, after patiently waiting for 20 mins. for the shutters to open.

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Behind the Wheel

The taxi driver who drove me to work today, was a lady and a muslim. In some countries, such social freedom to work without gender bias and religious restrictions is still an improbable dream.

Singapore truly shines through as a progressive nation. Thumbs Up

Mustafa Shopping Center Singapore – The Story

I just happened to be at Mustafa yesterday and then ‘coinkindingly’ when I got home I watched a Soapumentry – Life Stories II on Channel 5 Singapore. This episode was a light bio on the genesis of the Mustafa Shopping Center enterprise in Little India. So here are some things I learnt along the way –

  • Mohamed Mustafa arrived in Singapore in the early 1950’s from India.
  • He started a tea and snacks push cart stall, to cater to the locals with the help of a close friend Samsuddin.
  • Mushtaq Ahmad, the son of Mohamed Mustafa came to Singapore in 1954 after the untimely death of his mother. He came from Uttar Pradesh. (one would think Tamil Nadu since most immigrants to Singapore were from the South of India )
  • He was instrumental in taking the Mustafa business from food to textiles and much more.
  • The business that started off on 4 wheels moved into a 500 sq foot shop house and today covers 150,000 sq feet of shopping area selling more that 150,000 items with an annual turnover of S$ 302 Million.
  • Mushtaq Ahmad is one of the richest men in Singapore with an estimated worth of USD 165 Million.
  • Mushtaq Ahmad stuck to sound business principles like volume driven business at cheaper fixed prices. Owning rather than renting the location and most importantly, listening and responding to customer needs.

Today, Mohamed Mustafa & Samsuddin Co Pte Ltd Shopping center is a landmark and a ‘must go’ place on any tourist list. Its literally bursting at the seams and continuously changing. Truly Inspiring!

More on Mustafa in my next post…

Check out www.mobtv.sg for broadband television playback of Life Stories II.

Rain – Bring it on!

umbrella.jpgI hate carrying an Umbrella .

Its a bad habit. One that I got from life in my hometown – Bangalore , India. People don’t carry umbrellas there. It doesn’t rain as often as the tropical climes of Singapore,  but it does rain. However, unlike other city dwellers in Mumbai and Delhi, the umbrella to the Bangalorean is So, to put it mildly ‘uncool’. It OK to get drenched to the bone but its NOT OK to carry a damn umbrella. Use of alternatives like important documents, plastic bags, other human beings, trees and so on for protection is acceptable, but don’t use the  ‘ U ‘ thing. Its an unspoken rule.(IMHO)

Personally, I think its easier to quit smoking than to carry an umbrella around. There’s also the part about finding the right umbrella! A man’s umbrella – the right colour personality, span and feel. A search, I have been avoiding for long.

Not any more.

Its the third time in 2 weeks , that I am getting drenched, just crossing the street  and on my way to office. Impatience is my virtue and I’d rather make a run for it and risk it all than wait in the comfort of a shaded building or pathway. Much to the amusement of onlookers who wonder, why I am so hell bent on getting wet. They have a ‘ Why can’t he just get an umbrella?’ look on their faces.

With Miss Rihanna going -ella ella ella hey hey hey on the radio almost 24/7 , I am pretty convinced its all part of a larger conspiracy. 

I give up! I am gonna get myself a ‘partial body rain protection device today’, so ‘Indra’ -Bring it ON!