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To Err Is....... - Valarppom Thannambikkai - 14

Discussion in 'Sundays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    To Err is…
    An Article By Varalotti Rengasamy
    (Published in Dinamalar-Varamalar – Issue Dated <st1:date year="2007" day="3" month="6">3<sup>rd</sup> June, 2007</st1:date>)

    CA Exams had just started. The very first exam was Accountancy. And that year it was extraordinarily tough. My friend, a person who always managed to stay in the top 5 percent in the class, had committed many mistakes in that exam.

    He could not finish it in time. ‘I am sure to fail’ so he thought and did not even care to attend the subsequent exams. He had the shock of his life when the results came. He had scored 60% in the first exam. Had he chosen to write the remaining exams, who knows he would have passed in that attempt.

    As the question paper was so very tough the CA Institute had decided to give marks for the approach adopted by the student, for the steps towards the solution, even though the answer was technically wrong.

    This friend’s fate is shared by many people. These people will work enthusiastically towards their chosen goals; but the moment they find out that they had gone wrong, they will be disheartened and they will quit. Poor people! They do not know that almost all the successful people had gone through the same route – that is an error, a learning from that, renewed attempt and finally a sure success.

    Ford Company introduced a model called Edsel, dubbed as one of the grandest failures in the car industry. They had chosen the name of the founder’s son –Edsel, which itself was strategically wrong. They did not pay heed to what the people expected from their products.

    Instead they spent millions on advertisement and promotion. They had planned to sell 200000 cars and could not even sell a tenth of that figure.

    They were shocked; but did not lose hope. Before coming out with the next model they did an extensive market survey to find out what the people wanted.

    In 1964 they developed and marketed the famous Mustang which was a runaway success. They had optimistically projected a sales of one and a half lakhs of cars but ended up selling 500,000 cars.

    We need not go as far as the <st1:country-region><st1:place>US</st1:place></st1:country-region> to learn this lesson. Back home our own dear <st1:place><st1:City>Maruti Udyog</st1:City>, <st1:country-region>India</st1:country-region></st1:place>’s largest car-maker learnt this lesson and also taught us a lesson in life.

    After the great success of Maruti 800, the company went for a bigger car and named it Maruti 1000 as it had a 1000cc engine. It was in the late eighties, early ninties. Maruti 1000 was priced at Rs.300,000 a highly affordable price. But the car did not sell.

    A crucial factor in the success of any car is the ratio between its body-weight and the engine power. Maruti’s calculations went wrong on this front. The body weight was too much for the fragile 1000cc engine. And the car could not climb up hill, especially with the airconditioning on.


    This mistake would have killed any other car maker, but not Maruti. They went back to the drawing room and found out so many things, which I would love to present to you in the form of an imaginary conversation between the Engineers and Salesmen of the company.:

    Engineers: Now you people are saying that the weight of the car is too much for this engine? Right?

    Sales: Yes… but…

    E: Wait, but you have not talked about even a single defect in the engine, Right?

    S: Right, you see…

    E: Please listen. Look at the positive side

    S: But the customers…

    E: Don’t jump to conclusions. Now we have a good, powerful 1000cc engine. And we have a good car-body. The problem is that these two do not go together. Right?

    S: Right… but we can’t

    E: Don’t be in a hurry. You just say that the man is good inidividually and the woman is good in her own way. Only the marriage did not work.

    S: Yes but…

    E: No but… We’ll arrange for an immediate divorce, of course, by mutual consent. And find a man for this woman and a woman for this man. So in the place of one unhappy couple, we will now have two great marriages.

    S: Are we stopping car production and shifting to something like matrimony.com?

    E: Hey, it’s not that, moron. We will produce a small car body and put this powerful engine in it. And for this wonderful car body we will produce a more powerful engine, let’s say, whose cc is 30% more than this.

    S: Then…

    E: Then we will have two good cars. Let’s call the small car with this engine Zen. This large car with the new 1300cc engine, Maruti Esteem. Both will sell. Do you agree?

    Not only the sales team but the whole country gave a standing ovation to the idea and lopped up the entire production of both these models.

    You see, an error has paved the way for two successes.

    If we develop the capacity to look deep into our mistakes then we can find the seeds of our success hidden in them.

    As the hackneyed proverb goes, ‘To err is human….; but to learn from one’s mistakes and then gain from it is the hallmark of success.

    I wish you all great success in whatever you do.

    With Warm Regards,
     
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  2. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Varalotti,

    A nice one, as usual. To err is human and if we do not learn from our errors, it is indeed a great loss for our personal growth. There are some who Never learn and I pray and hope that I do not belong to that clan. Because, it is easy to sit back and talk about others, but more difficult to be objective with oneself!

    BTW, I know you are a man of many talents. All this study about cars and their companies, so much so, an imaginary conversation within the board room ( must say it was very interesting!)...Ford, Maruti and last week it was Volkswagen...Are you venturing into automobile industry??:)) Well, you have a suitable Italian sounding name alright, Varalotti...like Maserati, Bucati etc etc!!! You must soon patent your name:)

    L, Kamla
     
  3. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Nice one as usual. You seem to have a nice set of anecdotes to go with all your topics. And yes i did notice like Kamla that a lot of them are about Cars. What is it with Men and Cars. DH was telling me yesterday , when men approach 40, they go through a mid life crisis and are ready to change either their wife or their car, and he said he would settle for the Car ( whew what a relief!!:mrgreen: )

    Kamla, that was too good, about the Maseretti, Ferrari etc.... I agree, lets patent Varalotti too:goodidea:

    Vandhana
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  4. kswati

    kswati New IL'ite

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    Hi !

    Really true. Each time I read your articles on Valarppom Thannambikkai, I cannot but stop myself writing to you thanx for taking the efforts for transalating for the benefit of we non tamilians in English. Or else I would have missed such simple but effective messages. Just yesterday i was explaining this erring thing to my daughter, but could not find any humorous or such effective anecdotes to make her understand, today i got them. Thanx once again and do give us more.

    Swati:2thumbsup:
     
  5. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Jr. Sri,

    Refreshing is the word which comes to mind when I read your articles in the above series. I use each and one of your articles to motivate myself and hope to tell you that I am a better person than what I was before very soon.

    You give such simple examples that stays in the mind long after I have finished reading the article making it easy for me to explain to my sons.

    I pray that Meena Madam constantly showers you with her blessings.
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,
    I have experienced in life that the only real learning comes from our errors. Thanks for the really kind words, words which motivate me to do more and more, and at times even frustrates me that I am not able to do something better.

    Patenting the name is a good idea. We can say with Shakespeare philosophicaly, "What is in the name by which we call a rose a rose
    Which by any other name will smell as sweet."
    (Incidentally when I toured South Western England as a member of a cultural team, and when they could not pronounce my name properly, I quoted the words of the Bard. Believe me, Kamla, for those people Shakespeare is almost God. They gave a standing ovation for the quote)
    But the reality is that name matters. I started writing in 1997-98. I first used my own name R.Sridharan, then sridhar then I used Priyamlatha Sridhar and then Indhu Priyamvada. None of them worked. I was lost in thought for months on end. From March 1997 to Jan 98 I did not write. Then it hit me like a lightning. The name of our own village. Varalotti (Of course you would have seen the thread Varalotti On Varalotti) and my adoptive father's name, Rengasamy, who had his childhood there in that village.
    The very first story I sent in that name (love letter, published in IL as part of a contest) was accepted.
    So if patenting comes, and as you suggest, if you ladies patent my name, I will enter Guinness Book of Records, for nowhere in the world was a writer's pen name patented by so many beautiful ladies. I will happily share my royalties with you all (I dont make much in writing and hence this grand statement)

    Love,
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vandhana,

    There are those who collect stamps; a lady I know collects sarees, many collect money. I for one collect anecdotes. Whatever anecdote I read or hear I store up in my laptop. All my stories and articles are woven around anecdotes.

    I dont' know about what men change when they approach 40. Just wait for 12 years Vandhana, I will speak from the authority of my own experience. (What/Who is DH?)

    Changing cars is hassle-free compared to chaning wives. You actually get money (though little) for your old car. Whereas one needs to spend money for changing your wife. (alimony, maintenance et al). When you buy a new car you need not have to hold a large function invite all your friends, and feed them. And when something goes wrong in the car the neighbourhood garage can set it right within hours; no such guarantee is available for wife, old or new.

    Happy that you also like the idea of patenting Varalotti. Since I belong to you all you can very well patent my name.
    regards,
     
    4 people like this.
  8. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi,
    I am elated to know that I came in handy to explain come concepts to your little daughter. I have the greatest fulfilment when a young person about to start his or her life, tells me that he found happiness in my words. There's this boy doing his Engineering in Chennai. He got my book Vetriyin Vidhaikal (a book which contains 65 anecdotes like these) and has been reading it again and again. Says, he has the book with him all the time and goes on reading. The real fulfilment in writing comes at that time.

    Swathi, this Sunday I am travelling out of town and will be back only on monday morning. So I will be posting the episode by Tuesday, at the latest.

    regards,
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chitra,
    Thanks for those kind words. I learnt a lot from these anecdotes and I am just sharing my learning with you all.
    I am really happy that my words come handy to explain concepts to your children. To be listened to by a poet in the making is a great honour, right?
    Thanks once again for the nice words, Chitra.
    regards,
     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Most Gracious ILites,

    I could not post the Motivational Article last week as I was travelling out of Madurai.

    I have a doubt that we always tend to see the bad in others; though we preach that we should see only the good and leave out the rest.

    This week's article was born out of this thought. I am posting it now. Let me have your views.

    regards,
     

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