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Food for Thought

Netflixing!


One of my recent obsession is a wide variety of TV series available on Netflix. My friend quipped, so many content to consume and we have only one life wherein we have some finite free time for TV consumption. Yes, we have been bombarded with lot of content these days, and what stands out is quality content. Netflix has a great following because of his rich content, TV series depicting whole range of stories from different genres, cultures, languages etc. Also, one notable fact is Netflix produces original content which possess great production values, book adaptations, other compelling stories etc. Some of the content comes by buying television and licensing rights from other service providers and streaming it on Netflix. Also, Netflix comes up with binge-watching shows wherein multiple episodes from a season are released at one-go. This creates lot of anticipation among fans and encourages audiences to watch season at one sitting.

Now, Netflix is eyeing Indian market in a big way and why not? As internet adaptation in India is happening in a big way and Netflix sees India to produce next million consumers. However, like in every market there is competition and Netflix has to compete with the likes of Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Voot, AltBalaji and even Shemaroo which has a huge repository of Indian movies. The approach Netflix is adopting is to produce more Indian content as other existing players like Hotstar generates great amount of local and multilingual content.

As a Original based out of India, Netflix started with a series called Sacred Games, based on a book by Vikram Chandra. It received rave reviews because of its performances, brilliant direction by ace directors like Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane, the setting where Mumbai city is one of the key characters and more so because of its riveting writing. Given that it is a TV series, it gives a liberty to directors like Anurag who doesn’t have to withheld his storytelling style because of censor or the so called Indian sensibilities, so in that sense gives great amount of creative freedom. With Sacred Games, Netflix India has got a great start and looking good for more India based original content.

Recently, Netflix India announced a series on Baahubali, a prequel based on the novel The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan which according to me is a masterstroke. Baahubali, a Telugu movie initially produced mainly for regional audience, capturing the imagination of pan India,was quite a story in itself. Given the grandeur, vivid imaginary of a visionary director like S.S.Rajamouli and backing of leading Bollywood production company like Dharma Productions for its sequel, it created a record of sorts by being expensive Indian movie to be ever made followed by record collections. Now that Netflix has joined the bandwagon, with it’s great production values, it will surely receive new wings of encouragement to fly high and soar new heights.

Exciting times for Netflix India ahead..


Need a Quick Ride?


If we were to list major problems any Indian metro city is grappling with, traffic would be an foremost choice. The amount of time one spends waiting at a traffic signal is enormous. Simply put, Traffic is a menace for most of us. So if we know the problem, why aren’t we able to solve this problem convincingly? We know that we are staring at a complex problem here and many factors/variables come into play.

For a city like Bengaluru, over 70 lakh vehicles ply daily for a population of around 1.2 crores. This number of 70 lakh has more than doubled with more than 40 lakh new vehicles for the past 10 years. Staggering, isn’t it? Its a pain to see most of the commuters dealing with traffic woes on a daily basis adding to more frustration,stress etc.

Bengaluru Metro Rail are a great blessing for many ever since its inception as one can cover distance in less time and more importantly can be doubly sure of reaching a place at a specific time. But there is still a long way, until whole of Bengaluru is blessed with seamless metro rail connectivity.

For people traveling by road, public transport helps a great deal in terms of reducing the vehicles on road but may have to spend considerable amount of time dealing with the traffic head on. Commuters availing services of cab aggregators are ever increasing, their USP being point to point travel with all the convenience it offers. With growing population and ever increasing number of vehicles plying on the road on a daily vehicles, it’s a pain to see people traveling on their own car alone as big as SUV/MUV, isn’t a sheer waste of resource?

Pooling seems to answer this and helps a great deal to reduce the number of vehicles plying on road and these aggregators have solved the problem if not convincingly. They have their own set of problems like there are many detours one has to take for a different pickup, one may lose time considerably in pickup/drop of co passengers, not to mention some co passengers may be tough to deal with.

Quite recently, I got introduced to a car pooling mobile app called Quick Ride and ever since I have had a great experience. Compared to cab aggregators there are many benefits one can get from this car pooling exclusive app. First of all, one registers through corporate mail id after which one can get/offer a ride. Quite recently, they have added registration through Facebook account as well.

 

It provides an opportunity for a person owning a car and commuting to office daily to offer a ride to co rider who is traveling to same IT park. Rightly so, it takes riders convenience into account and offers ride through the route which he normally takes, without a point to point pickup/drop facility. So if you need a ride, you need to ensure that you on-board somewhere on the route taken by the rider. This helps in saving precious time for pickup.

Rides are very economical charging 50-80 for a 25 km ride. One can suggest a ride price too, if one thinks it is expensive. Based on the source and destination of your commute, one can select matching riders, check their profile, coordinate through messages/calls, GPS tracking etc. Some of the features are great like it gives a voice command for a rider for updates regarding upcoming pickup etc knowing that he will be busy riding the car. That’s really sweet, isn’t it?

Ride safety which is paramount is assured as the rider one is dealing with is a professional  himself and may be a colleague working in same firms as yours. A rider also knows that his co passengers are professionals too and are of no nuisance. I have seen more women availing this service as they are convinced of the ride safety. Moreover, it gives a great company to spend your time commuting with healthy and lively discussions and build your connections. In a way, you’re reducing your expenses(both for rider and ride taker), having a good company during your commute, building your network,  and more importantly by pooling, you’re reducing carbon footprint by efficiently utilizing the resources. One can see their Eco-Meter which provides stats like amount of CO2 reduced, number of kms shared etc. By quantifying , making you feel good and encouraging to share analytics among your network is a master stroke. Also, one more feature which is of great use is if you follow a fixed schedule, one can set a recurring ride so that you are notified and assured a ride every time. Also, all the transactions are done through wallet only and no cash is involved, one can redeem the points won at a fuel station too.

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By traveling alone in your car with 3-4 seats empty and complaining about traffic, one doesn’t realize they are also the traffic. So, if possible its great to carpool and Quick Ride has been solving this problem quite convincingly. If only they could market this product better, as I see people are getting to know and availing the benefits mainly through word of mouth.

This post is not a promotional post but my bit to promote the benefits of a really good app which is solving a problem which was waiting to be solved.