Outsmarting me and you…

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to go on BBC Radio Nottingham…

I was there to talk about my British Indian Award I won last year and also, all things Digital & Tech.

It was a great interview, Kaval (the presenter) is a good friend. Asking me some great questions – for example, what i’ve being doing with organisations & companies, what I want to do with the local community and where do I see the future of tech going.

We spoke about the cloud… mobile and a number of other great subjects.

One interesting item we touched on was Artifical Intelligence. It’s a very interesting subject because that’s one area that is really expanding… especially, as the Government has recently announced that they’ll be invested some serious money into it. And damn right. It’s been too long. We need some serious investment into our technology sector, in this country.

Where do I see AI going?

Well, we’re seeing examples of it now, in bots that answer questions for us. We’ll see more of that, but also these bots picking up on emotions and being sensitive to how words are used and sentences are constructed. On top of that, i see AI learning more and more about us. Using data from various sources, to work with us and provide us with what we want and, i suppose, in general, make life easier.

One concern is… what happens when robots and machines become more clever than us? Let’s think about this… they’re continuously learning. When something is continuously learning, they become clever. When something becomes clever, they then have the ability to outsmart others….

Digital Table Football


Recently at the ISE in Amsterdam, I came across this…


It’s a Table Football. With a TV screen. And some electrics attached to the handles.

Being the amazing Table Footballer that I am, I decided to have a go.

Oh boy.. it was slow, i turned the handle, and it had no feeling.. there was a slight delay… not impressed.

But this got me thinking… okay, this could be the first one made. It could be a prototype. It could be that they sat down and thought, how can we make Table Football more interactive… Imagine playing Table Football with a friend on the other side of the world!

The question remains, will it be as good as the real thing? – the original? – where you can feel the players… the ball being hit against one of your players… tactically passing the ball around… for the moment, i’m not sure. A bit more development, and you never know….

It’s a bit like the early electric cars. They needed charging every 20 mins and Jeremy Clarkson made a big joke out of them on a Top Gear episode once upon a time. But he did say, hybrid would be more sensible – which they are, and we now have more hybrid options available to us, not just the Toyota Prius.

Then again.. you could argue, and mention Tesla. Everything gets better, with a bit of investment and development.

FMCG – Connectivity (IoT)

So, I was recently asked to write an article around how FMCG organisations are handling the latest advancements in technology, and what could the future hold.

My thoughts were broken into 2 categories, first one was Connectivity – everything around IoT (Internet of Things), and second one was Health and Wellbeing.

I thought i’d share the Connectivity one with you…

Connectivity – The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming more ingrained into our day to day lives. Technology enabling appliances to talk to each other, from washing machines to cookers, they’ll all have the ability to communicate to reduce time spent waiting and/or optimise processing time.

We’ll see more of this in the next few years, not only with appliances talking to each other, and our calendars and diaries letting the local supermarket know we’re having a party on the weekend and to add 2 extra bottles of Coca-Cola to the shopping basket and have it all delivered on Saturday at 5.30pm as I’ll be home from the football match at the City Ground, oh for which Coca-Cola sent me a coupon to get a Coke Zero at the stadium.

Business to Businesses are already talking to each other. Using something similar to the Amazon Dash, press a button and the signal is sent – I need more. This reduces and eliminates a number of process steps. Imagine, you’re the owner of a store, you notice an increase in sales and need more Coke Zero. What do you do? You press the button – then (depending who’s it connected to) they are alerted and you receive more Coke Zero. It’s all about staying connected. Staying alert. Staying ahead of the game. Even if at the game you are losing 21-3 at half time, there’s always an opportunity to win.

Hello… I just called, to say… 

Today, I learnt something…that got me thinking.

Someone asked, who were the last people that called you?

A little baffled at first, I looked at my phone. My business phone, I had a phone call from a member of my team and a supplier.

Should I have more calls?

Why haven’t more people called me?

Am I too relient on emails and messages?

So I started thinking, it’s true… i don’t call people that often. I do send alot of emails. And emails can get lost. There’s only so much you can write in an email. I try to keep my emails short.. a bit like twitter messages. Maybe I should start calling people more often. Especially those i’m working with, those whom i’m doing business with.. those who I need to stay in touch with, my stakeholders.

It’s a busy world. And emails help us to stay in touch with each other becuase we can pick up emails when we are free, go through them, think about the reply, and then type a message and send back.

But what happens if we pick up the phone and call that person? If they’re busy, call back later… if they’re out the country, learn when they’ll be back and put it in the diary. Call a few times, and they know you want to speak to them. They’ll call you back. And when on the phone, you can not only ask them about the main topic you want to discuss, but also other things that are on your mind. You can get their first reaction. But most importantly, hold that conversation. Ask about the family. Ask about their football team. Ask about their weekend plans.

Which then made me think…  are losing the art of conversation?

Are we becoming more ‘140 character’ type of people?

What will you be talking about Bal?

That’s a great question!

Well, in the description… it’s all about Digital, Customers, Listening, etc.. So, i’ll be talking about Customers and are we listening to them.

I don’t like to use the word ‘digital’ that much. I feel, everything is digital.

We don’t pick up the camera now, and say.. i’m going to use the ‘digital camera’. Because the majority of cameras are digital and not the old 35mm film, we just take it for granted.

And in this day and age we live in, everything is fast becoming digital. I suppose, digital could be broken down. We are now becoming more ‘e’. For example, e-commerce. We’re now more ‘online’, for example online services. We’re now becoming more connected. which then leads onto the Internet of Things – the connected world we live in.

I spoke a few months ago, at the IoT Conference in London.


Yep, that’s me – representing Coca-Cola.

I spoke about how the IoT (Internet of Things) is connecting everyone and what the future holds for IoT. It will only become more advanced and more integrated with our normal day to day lives. We won’t even know we are ‘connected’. Just that things will happen and it’ll be like.. oh, okay… that’s good. For example, your washing machine being connected to your phone, which is connected to your calendar and diary, and knows what time you will be home, so can have the washing all done and ready to take out when you come home.

Sales Innovation Expo 2017… Keynote Speaker

So, in a few weeks, one will be speaking at the Sales Innovation Expo 2017.

Yep, that’s right, i’ll be a keynote speaker – talking about the customer. And in my blog, in the run up to the event, i’ll share some insights and data i’ll be using in my talk.

The key thing, above all, is the customer is always right. They might not always understand what you are selling, and they might not fully be clear on what benefits it’ll provide them… but remember one thing, as the old saying goes… the customer is always right in what they believe. 

If you haven’t got tickets for the event, i’m sure there’s some available…. 

Switching Platforms…

Hi folks,

So many of you may know, I used to use the Tumblr site for my blogs.

Recently, i’ve decided to up the ante and change things. Hence you may now notice WordPress in the url. I’m trying this out, because I feel this has more flexibility.

Does it Bal? – hold on my friend, just exploring! But so far, yes!

What’s going to happen to Tumblr? – i’ll keep it there, archive it maybe. I also have a few followers on there, so might keep it going. But this will be my primary ‘thinking’ account.

So, this was a first post to get things started… and more to follow!