It might have been just few hours of landing on the land of beaches, the royal treatment had made us forget about the real purpose of the event that was the launch of the world’s slimmest mobile phone. Trust me from hospitality to dinner\ lunches\ breakfasts to raw energy to the aura, we had seen nothing in slim format till that moment. Everything was that fat and royal.
We had already taken breakfasts so it was time to join the hall for the launch event.
As the invited guests were in two categories, media and retailers, so we were given the badges accordingly and also given pedometers to signify the health conscious slim model. The sitting arrangements also placed the bloggers and media guys in the front seats while retailers were given a backseat.
We played around the pedometer a little as well and @Kalpik came out as a winner who was able to reset the pedometer successfully while most of us been struggling with that part.
The atmosphere inside the hall was blue-ish due to the kind of lighting there and as usual the event begins in a little late. Credit goes to other guests in other hotels who happened to get ready in late and then transport took its own time.
We had no complaints to make, as none of us happened to have any other work than enjoying the luxury hospitalities there and then the event began with the dance performances with the dancers whose glimpses we had seen on day one itself.
Trust me watching it from the front was even more mesmerizing than it seems by the video itself which was taken by me somehow from a distance.
Once the dance performance got finished, we were shown AVs by company leaders and some of the bloggers among us. Some of impressions about the brand was really inspiring for me being a first timer for the brand. I know the usual PR drill yet the words spoken on screen felt convincing due to kind of things we been noticing around.
Possibly this was only brand talking this much about CSR activities or retailers interest or bonding between the company employees in this way, but on the other hand, possibly it was the first event by any company inviting we bloggers along with retailers at the same platform, so it wasn’t something unexpected either. The impact however on both kind of audience was definitely positive in whatever way we look at it.
The anchors for the day were ever ravishing Mandira Bedi and Cyrus. After all, who else would have suited the launch of the slimmest mobile in the world other than Karina or Mandira. But trust me, for me, it was more energetic and informative to hear from the product leadership team.
It actually looked convincing when the head himself wished to be called as Chief Product Officer than Chief Operating officer or something that sort of. The commitment and involvement into the entire product theme was evident at least from what was being presented to us.
Emphasis was given that how it was never about numbers when it comes to product launches from Gionee side but the breakthrough in technology and milestones challenging even biggest player in the arena. Lee, in fact made the tall claim of operating into the market with maximum of 15 different handsets and yet to reach top segment of Indian market in coming time.
Such claims really look convincing when you mix it with numbers as well though many of us weren’t sure about the agency whom Lee was quoting but again when it comes to presentation, it makes an impact.
After intelligently explaining milestones achieved by Gionee S5.5 (many a firsts in the world), it was the time to move towards hardware configuration, which many of we bloggers might have been aware in advance.
Not only Hardware configuration went through some changes to incorporate slimmer profile, but also the skin of the software underwent a revamp to suit the profile. Amigo 2.0 was a slimmer looking version of earlier skin.
A price of Rs. 22, 999/- looks definitely insane for a product hitting first on many accounts. Would it succeed?
Then it was the time to launch the phone with a bang and obviously who could have done it better than carefully selected some of very slim models.
Once the launch concluded, it was time to run for the lunch and unlike the other gatherings, this time organizers made separate arrangements for lunch and hands on which was on first floor of the hotel. Were we hungry?? Of Course, we were.. Despite of participating in slimmest phone launch, not many of us been planning to get slimmer that way or may be some…
In next post, I would be coming up with hands on pictures and short video with my own impressions about the phone, so be tuned in. Hope this time it won’t take days to write..
After a tiring first day which was spent mostly in journey and then in a charged evening\ night, majority of us couldn’t think of anything else than our cozy decorated beds in Five Star AC rooms of Grand Hyatt with magical dim lighting, but same wasn’t case for some “night walkers”, which I came to know at next day. So some of us had a better time than me while I rather chosen to enjoy sleep :(
In the morning, when alarms started buzzing by 0600 hrs, I tried to give up the sleep and after a while contacted @NikhilPai, @Kalpik and @gauravshukla if they awake and ready to run to beach. Apparently @Gauravh1 and @NikhilPai happened to be early than me.
Beach being on west of the hotel and sun rays coming from the hotel end to sea mixed with foggy weather of the morning, this wasn’t the best of the view that beach could have offered but still it was enough for a great morning.
Everything looked fresh, calm and pure. Watching things from a distance was like forgetting whatever tensions we might have left in Delhi or Mumbai, from wherever we came. One couldn’t have asked for a better hospitality than a state like Goa.
Then it was the time to move towards the pool, which was comparatively calm and empty till the moment, me, @DhruvBhutani and two others stepped in.
@DhruvBhutani and others were probably more equipped with swimming costume etc and I could spend only half an hour due to absence of that but even those moments were enough for freshening me :D
I joined them after a while to proceed for a royal breakfast as was scheduled by Gionee though not as a crowd but as individual at own convenience of time. Oh! How was the place? Something like this..
So this was pretty much about the beautiful first morning at Goa after which I spent some more time around the garden and then headed back to room for getting ready for the launch event about which I would write more in the next post.
Time to resume from where I left in last post….
First of all, I was needed to dress up with the traditional Goa style shirts as was written in the instructions card which given to us at the reception. Obviously it was for all to unify all 1000 guests into one and turn it into some theme party. Later I come to know about the context behind the party which wasn’t related to slimmest Smartphone in the world at all, yet possibly most important of entire trip for some of us who been first timer with the brand.
Let’s talk of some pretext… this event wasn’t planned for bloggers and media alone, it wasn’t about the launch of World’s slimmest phone alone but it was about the celebration for the company reaching to a 500 cr mark (unable to verify the claim from authentic sources though) and also to announce the plans for the next big milestone. Gionee had been spending big time for their brand positioning since a while and this event along with unmatched energy of the product leadership team was sure enough for inspiring huge confidence in team of retailers from all across India.
It wasn’t easy for the guests to gather in time for the event after a tiring journey, then beach visit and a well feasting lunch and I am sure even organizers would have guessed so, after all some of them also came by flights by the same time. So, obviously there were empty chairs when I reached at the garden by 1945 hrs.
But within next five mins, things got changed when people started pouring in and started putting on those flowers and Goa style hats on their head.
The color theme with too much red and blue wasn’t suiting to cameras but may be that was the purpose to make guests enjoy the sparks in air rather than indulging into tweeting and snapping only.
After a few moments with fellow bloggers, it was time to look towards the stage where it was time for Gionee’s president William Lu and India operations head Arvind Vohra to take the stage. Must say, they left me impressed being a first timer in front of company heads of this new company to me.
Before they walked over to stage, I couldn’t have guessed that they are President and Indian operations head respectively for the company which is worth in billions US dollars, stands second largest company in China and 10th in world. Such was the simplicity of these two gentlemen. While unmatched energy and confidence of Arvind Vohra was inspiring for any entrepreneur, the cuteness and familiarity of William was unlike the beast he riding upon.
Can you guess that this company entered into Indian market by End of February 2013 only? They intentionally kept themselves restricted into tier 2 and tier 3 cities before expanding and willfully kept themselves away from online retailers and in fact away from any large format retail store too. Interestingly they aren’t slow either considering the kind of volumes they been selling and the pace with which they grew within months. Such a unique way of looking over the things and such smart focus on the retailers than big media houses and large campaigns. IMPRESSIVE!!
The performances by magician Jay Jay and stand up artist kept people glued to stage for a while when we started splitting up for a big dinner under open sky. It was an open bar for those who drink and people like me had to go for cold drinks and Goa style dinner only…. but who is complaining?
While I moved for sleep into my room, many of us stayed to party or to spend quality time with each other. @NikhilPai even invited me but I was too tired to buzz that time and planned to begin the day at beach…..
Hi friends, its been a while since I wrote the last blog post, well aware that how much you missed me, but hopefully would be posting at least two three posts in the context of above title and would try to make you live the moments with me.
It was middle of the month, a busy and hard time at office, kind of election season for we working professionals as well, considering the appraisal time around the corner, when a DM hit me from @Honeytech asking for contact info to invite for World’s Slimmest Phone Launch in Goa.
Surprised? Not really as it wasn’t first invite to me for phone launches, but all those launches happened to be of Nokia ones and specially not in Goa, so it was definitely special. There been plans many a times, but I never happened to be in Goa and when this was coming as an opportunity then I was to check if dates free or not. Fortunately, I was able to manage the dates so replied back in positive.
After receiving the official invite on mail, second ray of thoughts hit me.
Gionee?? Yeah, heard of it when they released their E6 and later on knew a little about their 16/8 MP camera phone E7, but not really that familiar of the brand. Never happened to read the reviews in details or knew much about the company itself. Honestly put, never had hands on over any single of their product.
So, is Gionee really inviting me? Not only me, but number of other bloggers as well. Almost all important names I knew about been approached. I was really thinking now that what they are up to. Before even reaching to the venue, I was much more curious about the product than I would have been about any other product in recent past. Not really bad for a company to get someone curious even before looking at the product itself.
This was unprecedented to me. Last I can recall of any event of such size would have been the campaign in which Nokia had painted some of the flights in Lumia colors, but still that didn’t involved people close to these numbers. Man! it was roughly 35-50k INR expense per head by the company. Definitely a BANG!!!
I would come to product itself later on in some other post and also my thoughts about the company prospects for future, but rest of the post would continue in monologue mode with a lot of pictures covering the experience of Delhi to Goa and my critic comments on the same.
It took a little longer but there been too many requests to be ignored and here I am back with Layman’s Take on another Nokia Lumia. Its been some time since Nokia Lumia 520 been into the market enjoying the cheapest Windows Phone tag and it’s the time when I would be looking that how does it fare against its price. We have already talked about Windows Phone 8 in the last post on Nokia Lumia 820, so here I would be jumping to unboxing part straight away.
I remember the day when I was invited in one of the Nokia workshop in Delhi to sneak through a glimpse about the new generation of their Phone OS, which was about to unveil at the same day. I was also given glimpses of the upcoming marvels Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920 at the same day even though wasn’t allowed to operate it myself. Even though Nokia Lumia 920 was a show stopper, Lumia 820 found many a people staring over it more (including myself) considering the size and build quality. It took a little long to come to me, but finally its here and finally its time to write Layman’s Take after a real real long while (Being a Daddy at home and a manager at office taking big time toll over me).
Windows Phone 8: The background
First Generation of Nokia Lumia Series had entered into the already crowded phone market as a fresh breath of air due to the fact that they took many of the basics right. But due to changed dynamics of the market, when this all moved to the second generation of Lumia Series, then there was a lot on stake and huge expectations coming from users spoiled with changed smartphone habits.
Windows Phone has gone through something game changing beneath the surface, so that Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 may share a lot of code and even kernel with each other. Its game changing because Microsoft would be the first one to have their phones, tablets and workstations all sharing same code base & hence less trouble for developers and users as well. Helps in mobilizing developers and also in making a coherent ecosystem as well.
In all, I did appreciated what Microsoft did or what they intend to do and actually can vouch that they doing a brave and right thing but at the same time being an active user/ analyst about other platforms, I also see that how hard it is to lure the users from other platforms if you ask users to do things differently. Let’s see where it leads to.