Once again nature has shown what it can do in its fury. The 7.9 magnitude quake that hit the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal on April 25th has reportedly left over 8,000 dead and over 17,000 injured. The temblor, the worst to hit Nepal after 1934, has also caused widespread destruction there.
Nepal sits astride a highly active seismic region. The Himalayas are the result of the Austral-Indian tectonic plate sliding beneath the Chinese plate to the north. It is a land of extreme contrasts in land forms. It extends from the Gangetic plains a few metres above sea level, through a series of foothills to a range of mountains that include the highest in the world! Due to this extreme range of the topology in a north-south direction, Nepal has a large number of buildings constructed in differing styles, as the soil conditions, building materials, and environmental conditions vary enormously. Some 50 different building styles were identified and documented in a survey during the drafting of the National Building Code. This probably is the major reason why some buildings stood firm, escaping with minor damage, while others just collapsed. To bring about uniformity and a scientific basis to the building styles, work on the development of the national building code was undertaken. This actually started only after an earthquake in 1988 which killed some 880 people and destroyed or severely damaged a large number of buildings. Today, while no one can predict an earthquake accurately or prevent it from occurring, we can build quake resistant buildings, and definitely educate the public and prepare in advance to minimise the damage and return quickly to normalcy.
The role of first responders in the damage control exercise is unquestionable. As Nepal’s immediate neighbour, India was the first-responder to the crisis, by providing relief within six hours of the earthquake. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s quick thinking and decision making prowess directed immediate dispatch of relief and rescue teams, including medical teams, to Nepal. Operation Maitri, launched by the Indian government, has successfully addressed the evacuation and relief efforts in Nepal. Our Armed Forces have once again made us proud, with their highly professional and selfless response to minimise the misery of our neighbour.
Another thing that caught my attention this month was the advertising blitz of ‘CP Plus’ that promises to firmly move the CCTV business directly into the centre stage of the consumer market. ‘CP Plus’ now joins brands like Godrej and Zicom that have been advertising on national television for some time to create the much needed ‘pull’ to expand the market. The first ever sponsoring of an IPL cricket team (Rajasthan Royals) by a CCTV brand, ‘CP Plus’, and the brand promotion on radio and bill boards across various cities of India and especially the very creative ‘Upar wala sabh dekh raha hai’ campaign has definitely caught millions of ears and eyeballs and become the talk of the industry, with competition wondering where the ROI is going to come from, especially when you change the market economics by defining a new low price of Rs. 1999/- for a high definition 720p, megapixel cctv colour camera on national television… a question, which perhaps only the ‘Upar Wala’ can answer at the moment!
Our cover story this month is perhaps the first comprehensive insight by any industry publication on the security concerns of the pharmaceutical sector. I hope that you will find it an interesting read.
Till we meet next month…
G B Singh
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