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Letters to Editor
Monday, November 17, 2008

Mihir Parekh's article, “Swallow Live Eels…If You Have To!” (siliconindia, April 2001, p. 70) on how to do business in different parts of the world was rather intriguing. Reading about his quixotic travel experiences reminds me of the erroneous doctrines contrived in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” While there is no doubt that there is a business case for adapting to new cultures, it is not necessary to hide or disregard your own culture. One of the biggest problems with Indian entrepreneurs is their inability to tactfully say 'No' when it is okay to say 'No'. There is absolutely no need to reluctantly swallow live eels just to make friends with the Japanese. Mr. Parikh would have created a better impression for himself and India by doing the exact opposite of what he did. How can you show respect for some other culture while totally disregarding your own culture? And remember, they too, want to do business with you. Why would the Japanese have made me happy by being so unpresentable and not knowing anything about my culture? siliconindia is a popular magazine and there are a lot of readers who take the printed word for truth. There are severe socio-political ramifications. Needless to say, you have a great responsibility to ensure that messages delivered through your magazine are helping Indians share and value their culture while helping them achieve their dreams and goals.
- Atul V Mehta
What a refreshingly honest perspective on marketing from Palm in the interview of Palm's Chief Marketing Officer Satjiv Chahil by Yogesh Sharma (siliconindia, April 2001, p.38). Chahil's attitude towards even the gaps in segmentation, is a lesson to other companies to be willing to adapt fast and build a strategy around unexpected opportunities (such as Claudia Schiffer). This is probably the first instance of a user-turned 'channel' becoming a remarketer of the brand. Now I want my Anthony Hopkins Palm!
- Angelo Fernando

I totally agree with the points made in the article, “Get out of the ghettos,” by Vijay Vashee (siliconindia February 2001, p. 88). I see the “disconnect” existing within the American Indians and between the American Indians and the rest of the world. The article has very clearly perceived us Indians as a global force to be reckoned with, owing to our intellectual strengths... But, as in geek parlance, a few bugs remain to be fixed. I think the author has very nicely pointed them out in the list at the beginning ... All in all , a short article, on a very important issue.
- Krishna Kumar

The interview with former Vodafone CTO Craig Farill (siliconindia, April 2001, p.48) raises an important point. We have such huge expectations of wireless network builders and carriers that we forget that building these sorts of networks is expensive and difficult (Mr. Farrill gives the figure of $15 billion spent by Sprint for its national network). The wireless Web, as it has been portrayed by the press and the wireless industry, is no easy thing to pull off. Granted, in the US, legacy infrastructure and cheap Internet access has stunted the growth of the wireless web, but in all honesty, if 3G technology will be so difficult to implement in the US, then people may be getting somewhat ahead of themselves when they bring up wireless as an immediate solution to networking and connectivity problems in countries like India. The success of DoCoMo in Japan is an indication that the Wireless web can work, but the mobile Internet as a quick fix where there is no infrastructure may be a few years away. - Justin Parekh

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