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Showing posts from July, 2014

Customer Satisfaction - It is easy sometimes...

Being in the services industry for over a decade and then into consumer focused business for last few years, I have learnt how difficult it is to satisfy the customers on many occasions. Services IndustrySoftware services, as it emerged as a major growth sector, the competition also grew exponentially. The software companies started mushrooming everywhere and each one trying to get a piece of same pie - i.e. US market. It also changed over a period of time and people started focusing on EU and Asian markets as well. But the bottom line remained the same - competition. The Outsourcing companies initially had tough time in outsourcing for several reasons (unproven capabilities, lack of confidence as well as lesser number of options to outsource). As the services companies grew and as it became evident that outsourcing is the way to move forward, all these companies also started hunting for better deals - essentially it started with fishing for lower prices instead of demanding quality. L…

Alleppey - The Backwater Beauty

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The trip was coming to end, but the scenery was getting better and better. After unsuccessful venture into Periyar Reserve, we started for Alleppey, also known as Alapuzha, which is famous for backwaters

We left these green carpets behind ...
 and entered into the land of backwaters...




Our driver took us to a place where we could hire a boat - similar to houseboat (shikara) - for couple of hours and take a ride through the backwaters. We were about to get duped here, but thanks to Meghana's persistence, we successfully escaped. 


What happened was like this. There seems to be a single contractor who dishes out the boats to the tourists. We enquired about timing and what all things would be covered etc but didn't realize that there would be different types of boats available that too at the same rent! When we were asked to ride a boat, it looked okay. Two chairs and two reclining chairs. As we settled and the boat started, we got to see another boat which was beautifully decorated…

Thekkady - Periyar National Park

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Road to Thekkady from Munnar was amazing. Apparently lot of movie shootings have happened in this area e.g. Chennai Express, Life Of Pi. The view was very scenic and we (read - Meghana) were tempted to stop every now and then. 

Thanks to our driver, he took us to a tea garden area, where we could get in and do some photo shooting. Shedding all the inhibitions to express the love in the tea gardens, we managed to capture some of the poses too.




Not wanting to be left behind, Mrunmay also mimicked us showing the love signs that he knew and then posing like a movie star!!


While we were lost in each other, nature's beauty was still calling us and Meghana managed to capture this snap, way better than Windows XP wallpaper for ages!

In the initial parts we could see the green carpet on both sides of the roads, which slowly changed as we went away from Munnar. The Tea gardens were replaced with tall trees interspersed with various spice trees. 

We started early - relatively - considering it was…

Munnar - The Green Carpet

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It was almost 12 noon by the time we came out of the SVNP. We took the Munnar road. The road was pretty scenic and we enjoyed this long drive and reached Munnar by 7 PM or so. All the sight seeing was planned for the next day. The hotel where we were put up - Abad Copper Castle - is built right on a cliff with a direct view of the valley. But unfortunately it was all dry and barren. Tea gardens were nowhere in the sight!!

There was campfire arranged in the hotel and we decided to joined. Dance was the obvious thing that happens at a camp fire with some dance numbers being played. Meghana, Mrunmay and I indulged in some "ganapati" dance and some common steps. Mrunmay was finding it very amusing to see both of us dancing!!


Munnar outing started with a visit to Tea Museum where a small machinery is setup to showcase how Tea mixture and dust is prepared from the Tea leaves. The museum also held some other archaic / antique items such as typewriters, radios etc, which Mrunmay was l…

Palakkad - Silent Memoir...

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Silent Valley National Park was the only Jungle we're planning to visit in this trip and that had got Mrunmay and Meghana excited. Although this Jungle is not particularly known for any carnivorous animals (although it hosts variety of carnivorous animals, this place is not really famous for good sightings as compared to Bandipur, Tadoba, Bandhavgad etc), it was like "kuchh to dekhane ko milega!!".

By this time, we had got our new driver and he knew the way around the place. He also was diligent enough to find out the route in advance to ensure we do not get lost again. Travel to Palakkad was uneventful until we were about 5 KM away from our hotel - Tree Top Resort. Yeah, that was one more reason for the excitement. We had booked a tree house and were hoping to be a fun experience. 

The road to the resort - last 3 KM - were pathetic from a sedan perspective. The road was typical Jungle road and was not at all meant for a sedan to drive on. There were many moments when we f…

Wayanad - Entering The Land Of God's Own Country

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Wythiri resorts at Waynad have been elluding us for quite some. We didn't get the booking during our last trip. We had tried to get it a while back with a condition that we'd go to Kerala only if we get Wythiri resort. It looks like we need to wait a little more.

Not deterred by this bad luck, Meghana had found a very good resort - banasura island retreat. The pictures were so beautiful that we weighed it more against the other resort - upavan resort.
Photo Credit: iExperience.in
The water till the horizon with green islands in between were calling us and we got ready to reach Wayanad on our third day of the trip. 

And our fellow driver did it again...
Once again he got onto a wrong road costing us good 30 odd KM. This was the tipping point. Meghana called up the tour operator and literally blasted them. And in few minutes, we were getting calls from South Tourism - the company which provided us with the car and the driver. In the meanwhile, I had turned on the GPS on my mobile and…