Monday, 12 November 2012

The Legend Returns #NokiaAppTasting with Rajiv Makhni & Vikas Khanna

After being invited for the #NokiaAppTasting event, I was excited. I am the one who believes strongly that the experienced guys are stronger than the new coming intellects. Nokia has been the harbinger of mobile revolution in India. However, in the recent times, it has been losing the battle to Samsung, Sony and Apple that have ran over to the next track. We have these discussions at our workplace often and we realized that Nokia missed one point that other companies explored. While Nokia continued to innovate and produce wonderful products at lower prices, it did not recognize that the appetite of Indian consumers is growing and people are looking for the next level of mobile technology. Their pockets had a larger allocation towards mobile phones. Nokia's N8 did hold on the market strongly for quite some time. However, in a few months, the whole scenario of the mobile phone industry in India changed and Android became the buzzword. The speed of switch over was unimaginable and in moments, Nokia's phones were losing out to the new world of smartphones. Many a times in history, the big boys have been beaten by the newcomers. Some vanished while some came back in a bigger way. Microsoft came back with a wonderful Windows XP to fight Linux. Bajaj came back with the mighty Pulsar. On the verge of bankruptcy, Apple partnered with Microsoft to survive and today, Apple has ~$120 billion of cash reserves. Nokia, it seems, is on its way.

I had no big expectations as I walked in to the Mysore Hall 3 at The ITC Royal Gardenia, Bangalore as I knew that we would be introduced to the Nokia phones. Nokia, obviously, has a huge justification to do before it places its products back on to our minds. Even today, if we were to buy a budget phone, we blindly click Nokia. However, when it comes to a smartphone, Nokia doesn't seem to be on the list. With the launch of Nokia Lumia series, Nokia has announced to the world that it is in the battle of the smartphones and it is going to play it aggressively. A couple of my friends use these phones and claim that they are fantastic. I honestly did not believe them as my loyalty to Google's Android didn't permit me. Read more reviews on the phone on different websites, most giving it 4 or 5 star rating, it had been on my mind that the giant is making a comeback. I did not have the conviction yet. But then, as I left after the #NokiaAppTasting event, on my way back home, I did feel that Lumia can create the impact.

Technology Journalist, Rajiv Makhni
Gadget Guru, Cell Guru, NewsNet 3.0
Managing Editor, Technology, NDTV
After registering for the event, we were served some mouth watering starters. Yeah, we had to believe Rajiv Makhni who claimed that Vikas Khanna had cooked them for us. Delicious, yes, they were both at this event organized by Nokia and wonderful people at IndiBlogger. This was my second meet and I could catch up with some familiar faces. With hoardings all over telling us about the 'Nokia India - Your Wish is My App' contest that aims to fill the app kitty of the desperate lack of apps in the store, I was stunned with the strategy being used. Of the people, by the people, for the people. Its going to take a lot of time, but its going to be worth every effort and makes an impact in the long run. We all sat down to think over our ideas but nothing seemed to come up. Ideas don't generally come when we sit and think. They just populate at vague times. Some people already had ideas. Soon, we were told that some amazing red wine and white wine is ready at the bar. Perhaps, the ideas that came further were inspired by the untagged freedom that the minds entered after gulping one, two, three and in some cases, five glasses of wine. Dwindling faces, shaking hands, flickering eyes. Finally, all the app suggestions reached where they had to.

Rajiv & Vikas bowled us all over with their wacky skills and great sense of humor. The way Rajiv said things about Vikas which he did not even know and the way Vikas had an expression of 'What?' on his face were the most interesting moments for me. I have been watching the NDTV Gadget Guru from quite some time and also have read about Vikas in many articles, specially the ones that cover Junoon, New York cooking food for President Barack Obama. They were absolutely dazzling on the stage and did everything with fine perfection. Considering that there were 300+ people and the time we had was less, not all bloggers got a chance to introduce themselves and their blogs to all of us. The funny competitions as well as the serious ones kept going and the gifts kept coming. I could see people thoroughly enjoying every moment, and that includes me.

Microsoft is making a superb entry (or should I call it a comeback considering that the original idea of the tablet was introduced by Microsoft and Apple mastered it over time) in the tablet space with the Surface. Entering a space that is head logged by Apple and Samsung, Microsoft has a lot of explaining to do and it has done it fantastically well. Perhaps, Nokia could have structured a deal with Microsoft in the tablet space as well. Windows 8 seems to be making a serious attempt to grab significant market share in the mobile and tablet space. Nokia seems to be just in time.

Michelin starred Indian chef, Vikas Khanna
"Sexiest Man Alive" - People magazine
Host, MasterChef India (Season 2)
In the meanwhile, Vikas Khanna called up some bloggers to chop onions. He demonstrated the technique. The one who chopped them as required, oh my God, she won a Nokia Lumia 920. Spellbound. He called up people to taste a soup and recognize the ingredients. The 2 who did it, what did I hear, won a Nokia Lumia 510 for themselves. Its was amazing. One girl was in tears and said, 'I did not know something like this could come without hard work' and a witty Rajiv claimed that chopping onions can win you a Lumia. One of the most interesting part of the event was the Gangnam style dance competition. 2 teams, Techies led by Rajiv and Foodies led by Vikas, used the Gangnam app from the app store to learn the dance and performed the steps, wonderfully, in a couple of minutes ( Nokia's city lens, the ovi maps, video recording apps, camera apps, etc. were displayed in the process. I loved it all. Perhaps, I am now giving thought of switching back to Nokia a stronger thought.

Towards the end, the most important part of the event was to check out who suggested the best app idea for the day. 5 out of all the 300+ ideas were picked up by the judges from Nokia & Microsoft. All the 5 bloggers were given a chance to present their ideas. One suggested an app which would give us information of the content in every product that you scan, one suggested an app for shooting all the potholes in the city and create a social web of potholes and further take required action to close them, one suggested an app to shoot an item and know the nearest store where this could be bought from (of course, this has to be a lady), one suggested an app for hiring, firing and appraising employees in order to avoid the human interface during these tougher times and the other suggested an app, which when activated, kills running game application after 5/10 minutes so that the kids can enjoy the game, stay non addicted and the phone goes back to parents. Of all these, the lady and the pothole app were declared the winners. And guess what, again, they had won themselves a Nokia Lumia 920. The greatest astonishment across the hall was that it was the same girl winning her 2nd Nokia Lumia for the day. God, luck plays such a big way in life.

To wrap up, it would have been interesting if Nokia could have placed some devices to play around for the bloggers to experiment. Windows 8 interface is a little difficult to get started but will definitely catch up soon. The effort to build up apps is perfectly on track. Definitely, a higher speed would be required to fill the gap before somebody else grabs off the the market. A stitch in time saves nine. IndiBlogger team was, as always, lovely and helpful. The few moments that we could spend with the celebrity tech guru and the celebrity chef were our own moments of the day. Luck does so much to our lives at times. When it does not do anything, we ought to get back to work hard and earn whatever we want. Its time for me to get working and earn my Nokia Lumia 920.

This post appears on the IndiVine at

1 comment:

  1. yuppy yeah :) Luck really plays an important role :D.
    full recording of the event with your views in it nice to read and remember the event :D