Consulting series part V – The Water Theme Park Case

Wave pool of Boulder Beach
Image via Wikipedia

The client in this instance was an India based conglomerate who among other things also ran a water theme park in South India. It was one of the more prestigious ones, attracting strong crowds throughout the year. Their internal audits uncovered a peculiar problem one year, and it gave the upper management sleepless nights for weeks on end.

The problem was a rather embarrassing one. During an annual water consistency audit, some newly instituted chemical tests revealed heightened presence of certain chemicals which were not detected in earlier studies. Upon re-examination, it was confirmed that these chemicals included urea, chloride, potassium and creatinine in substantial quantities. In short, what you would expect to find in good, old fashioned human urine.

The park management was understandably concerned, and launched investigations of their own, all of which came to naught. The water lines for the park were not being contaminated in any way by the municipality sewage lines. Then the washrooms of the park itself were investigated, and all the internal sewage lines checked for their consistency. There appeared to be no leakage anywhere. Sabotage was also considered briefly, but that idea was rejected primarily because the water theme park industry is a virtual duopoly in India and the principle of mutually assured destruction guarantees that any adventurous initiatives will result in bigger problems for the perpetrator.

At the end of their tether, the management turned to a famous consulting firm to conduct a root cause analysis. The consulting firm started off by running through all the steps which the management had taken, and redoing the investigations in order to confirm for themselves. The fact that they were being paid by the hour didn’t hurt, either.

Finally, the firm and the park management came to the conclusion that the problem could not be tied to either plumbing or sabotage.

The matter continued to vex all those involved for some more weeks until the most junior member on the team, a rookie straight out of an MBA school, had a brainwave. He was watching a Nat Geo show on African elephants, where the gregarious rugged anchor, clad in jungle camo and spouting random facts and figures, told him that African elephants often did a peculiar thing when they came to watering holes after travelling through the jungle for hours on end. They peed in the water. Apparently, the temperature difference encountered when moving from the sweltering heat of the jungle into the relative cold of the water triggers a physiological response in the pachyderm’s body, which affects bladder motion. The host went on to add that the elephants then went ahead and drank this water to quench their thirst, but the rookie was too excited to listen. He was on the phone.

Two more weeks of feverish observations and data analysis revealed four insights.

  1. The temperature difference between the hot Indian weather and the water in the park was about 8 degrees Celsius on average, enough to trigger the same sort of bladder response as experienced by the African pachyderms.
  2. The subliminal messages sent out by the pictures of calming blue waves and the hypnotic effect produced by undulating waves of water sent out a two pronged stimulus that broke down social barriers and encouraged certain patrons to achieve nirvana underwater.
  3. Timed water sample studies revealed that the concentration levels of urine in the water was lowest in the morning session and progressively increased afterwards, with peak levels being attained around 4 pm.  Patrons usually took their lunch in the cafeterias situated within the park and then went ahead to enjoy the rides again, choosing the less adventurous ones for the afternoon session. After three hours of the artificial comfort produced by the water, a lot of people found it difficult to maintain control or to take the extra effort to visit washrooms.
  4. The geographical sample data for the individual rides showed that urine levels were the highest in two out of a total of 15 rides. The two infamous rides were the “wave pool” and the “water safari”.  Both essentially required no effort from the patrons, and they did not generate the levels of adrenalin rush the other rides did. This meant that the patrons felt nice, relaxed, and wonderfully warm and cold at the same time, resulting in you know what.

So the firm recommended a subdued three point marketing campaign, urging the patrons to use the washrooms more often.

  1. “Window dress” the bathrooms to make them appear more inviting and fun
  2. Strategically locate mobile bathrooms near the “wave pool” and the “water safari” rides
  3.  Close down both “wave pool” and “water safari rides” for three hours each day from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for cleaning

The recommendations were gratefully accepted.

Consulting series part V – The Water Theme Park Case

Wave pool of Boulder Beach
Image via Wikipedia

The client in this instance was an India based conglomerate who among other things also ran a water theme park in South India. It was one of the more prestigious ones, attracting strong crowds throughout the year. Their internal audits uncovered a peculiar problem one year, and it gave the upper management sleepless nights for weeks on end.

The problem was a rather embarrassing one. During an annual water consistency audit, some newly instituted chemical tests revealed heightened presence of certain chemicals which were not detected in earlier studies. Upon re-examination, it was confirmed that these chemicals included urea, chloride, potassium and creatinine in substantial quantities. In short, what you would expect to find in good, old fashioned human urine.

The park management was understandably concerned, and launched investigations of their own, all of which came to naught. The water lines for the park were not being contaminated in any way by the municipality sewage lines. Then the washrooms of the park itself were investigated, and all the internal sewage lines checked for their consistency. There appeared to be no leakage anywhere. Sabotage was also considered briefly, but that idea was rejected primarily because the water theme park industry is a virtual duopoly in India and the principle of mutually assured destruction guarantees that any adventurous initiatives will result in bigger problems for the perpetrator.

At the end of their tether, the management turned to a famous consulting firm to conduct a root cause analysis. The consulting firm started off by running through all the steps which the management had taken, and redoing the investigations in order to confirm for themselves. The fact that they were being paid by the hour didn’t hurt, either.

Finally, the firm and the park management came to the conclusion that the problem could not be tied to either plumbing or sabotage.

The matter continued to vex all those involved for some more weeks until the most junior member on the team, a rookie straight out of an MBA school, had a brainwave. He was watching a Nat Geo show on African elephants, where the gregarious rugged anchor, clad in jungle camo and spouting random facts and figures, told him that African elephants often did a peculiar thing when they came to watering holes after travelling through the jungle for hours on end. They peed in the water. Apparently, the temperature difference encountered when moving from the sweltering heat of the jungle into the relative cold of the water triggers a physiological response in the pachyderm’s body, which affects bladder motion. The host went on to add that the elephants then went ahead and drank this water to quench their thirst, but the rookie was too excited to listen. He was on the phone.

Two more weeks of feverish observations and data analysis revealed four insights.

  1. The temperature difference between the hot Indian weather and the water in the park was about 8 degrees Celsius on average, enough to trigger the same sort of bladder response as experienced by the African pachyderms.
  2. The subliminal messages sent out by the pictures of calming blue waves and the hypnotic effect produced by undulating waves of water sent out a two pronged stimulus that broke down social barriers and encouraged certain patrons to achieve nirvana underwater.
  3. Timed water sample studies revealed that the concentration levels of urine in the water was lowest in the morning session and progressively increased afterwards, with peak levels being attained around 4 pm.  Patrons usually took their lunch in the cafeterias situated within the park and then went ahead to enjoy the rides again, choosing the less adventurous ones for the afternoon session. After three hours of the artificial comfort produced by the water, a lot of people found it difficult to maintain control or to take the extra effort to visit washrooms.
  4. The geographical sample data for the individual rides showed that urine levels were the highest in two out of a total of 15 rides. The two infamous rides were the “wave pool” and the “water safari”.  Both essentially required no effort from the patrons, and they did not generate the levels of adrenalin rush the other rides did. This meant that the patrons felt nice, relaxed, and wonderfully warm and cold at the same time, resulting in you know what.

So the firm recommended a subdued three point marketing campaign, urging the patrons to use the washrooms more often.

  1. “Window dress” the bathrooms to make them appear more inviting and fun
  2. Strategically locate mobile bathrooms near the “wave pool” and the “water safari” rides
  3.  Close down both “wave pool” and “water safari rides” for three hours each day from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for cleaning

The recommendations were gratefully accepted.

Domesticated Kid in Singapore – Man v/s Child

What’s that? What did you ask ? Where have I been for the past two weeks? Singapore. Remember my Everest, Outer Mongolia? Well, this is the first leg of the journey.  I have accepted a marketing job that will see me working out of Singapore for the foreseeable future.  So, Majulah Singapura.

The flight to Singapore was not without incident. This was my first overseas journey, and the immigration officer at Trivandrum international airport and I were both understandably concerned. We were both worried about our jobs, you see. I was worried that I would lose mine if he didn’t let me through and he was worried that he would lose his if he did let me through. But he eventually relented, and I found myself seated onboard Silk air flight MI497 bound towards Singapore. I was ready, prepped and excited to be finally airborne. I had heard that Silk air served good beer. Majulah Singapura indeed.

Until the kid came along. The seat next to me was occupied by a harried mother of two, who had managed to book only two seats for her menagerie.  One was about six years old and the other, barely one, was cradled in her hands. She managed to stow her baggage and plop down onto the seat next to me. The six year old, who was busy killing ogres on his PSP, climbed onto the other seat. The mother then turned to me and asked in the sweetest voice possible, “Can you hold onto my baby for a while? I have been carrying him for a long time now and my arms are hurting.” Now, the United Guys of Trivandrum chivalry code dictates that there is only one course of action under such circumstances. Besides, it was just a small kid. What harm could it do?

Ha.

The kid came into my arms easily enough. He was about as long as my forearm and had abundant black hair framing a perfectly round, small baby head. Rounding off the impression of the helpless bundle of joy was a cute dimple on his left cheek. I let my guard down so far as to offer a friendly smile. The kid sized me up through big, watery black eyes. Not being very impressed by what he saw, he cleared his throat, looked at his mom and started wailing.

This is where most moms take their kids back with an apologetic smile and a sigh. But this little devil’s mom was enjoying her brief respite from hell and was understandably reluctant to go back. So she gave me precise instructions on how to hold him so that the sound became as muffled as possible, and went back to her in-flight magazine. I was flummoxed.

After about half an hour into the flight, manna came in the form of a tray of drinks carried by a cute air hostess. She had orange juice and beer, and was freely distributing them to the passengers. I licked my lips and tried to contain my anticipation. A mug of beer would go a long way towards calming my frayed nerves. Meanwhile, the kid was taking a brief nap, to get rested and ready for round two. The air hostess reached my seat, looked at me and smiled questioningly. “B.E.E.R”, I mouthed. Her hand slowly inched towards the beer. I licked my lips again. At this poignant moment, the kid woke up, and smiled at the airhostess. Her face broke into a “coochi-coo” smile in return, and she mouthed back “B.A.B.Y” to me, as she handed me my regulation orange juice. I swear the kid chuckled.

He waited for me to finish my juice, as if to savor his victory. Then he launched into round two, with even more vigor than his first appearance.  I tried rocking him back and forth, whispering sweet nothings to him, and cursing my luck, but to no avail. Finally the mother rose to the occasion and declared that he probably needed to relieve himself. Just as well. I was about to relieve him myself.

While she was gone with the baby, I noticed that the airhostesses were generally pointing in my direction and whispering excitedly. Normally I would have felt on top of the world, but by now I was too tired to care. The mom came back with a now silent kid, smiled at the world in general and triumphantly handed the trophy back to me. The air hostesses were whispering furiously now. I was defeated. I took the kid in my arms, closed my eyes, and shut myself off while the kid, with nothing to keep him from his goal, launched into his third round.

By the time the flight landed, the mom and the kid were fast asleep. The kid’s brother, having wasted all the ogres, was now furiously jumping about tall buildings. I was a nervous wreck. As the flight rolled to a stop, the captain made his usual welcome announcements, and signed off by warning us to immediately report any suspicious persons to the concerned personnel. The kid woke up on hearing the announcement. We viewed each other suspiciously.

As if all this wasn’t trial enough, I forgot my jacket onboard my flight as I came off. Truth be told, I was so exhausted that I briefly considered leaving it behind. But it was an IIM Bangalore memento jacket. There is a certain code to these things. So I rushed back, and bumped into the team of airhostesses from my flight. They were going into town to take their day off. The one who had served me juice immediately asked me what the problem was, and I told her. She replied that she had handed over my jacket to the security, which by now would have dropped it off at the lost and found section. She offered to show me the way.

I and my jacket were reunited at the Singapore airport lost and found section. As I turned to thank my savior, she brushed off my gratitude. “We saw the way you were taking care of your baby”, she said. “You did a great job, even though you are so young. I wish more fathers were like you.”

 

Majulah Singapura, indeed.

Domesticated Kid in Singapore – Man v/s Child

What’s that? What did you ask ? Where have I been for the past two weeks? Singapore. Remember my Everest, Outer Mongolia? Well, this is the first leg of the journey.  I have accepted a marketing job that will see me working out of Singapore for the foreseeable future.  So, Majulah Singapura.

The flight to Singapore was not without incident. This was my first overseas journey, and the immigration officer at Trivandrum international airport and I were both understandably concerned. We were both worried about our jobs, you see. I was worried that I would lose mine if he didn’t let me through and he was worried that he would lose his if he did let me through. But he eventually relented, and I found myself seated onboard Silk air flight MI497 bound towards Singapore. I was ready, prepped and excited to be finally airborne. I had heard that Silk air served good beer. Majulah Singapura indeed.

Until the kid came along. The seat next to me was occupied by a harried mother of two, who had managed to book only two seats for her menagerie.  One was about six years old and the other, barely one, was cradled in her hands. She managed to stow her baggage and plop down onto the seat next to me. The six year old, who was busy killing ogres on his PSP, climbed onto the other seat. The mother then turned to me and asked in the sweetest voice possible, “Can you hold onto my baby for a while? I have been carrying him for a long time now and my arms are hurting.” Now, the United Guys of Trivandrum chivalry code dictates that there is only one course of action under such circumstances. Besides, it was just a small kid. What harm could it do?

Ha.

The kid came into my arms easily enough. He was about as long as my forearm and had abundant black hair framing a perfectly round, small baby head. Rounding off the impression of the helpless bundle of joy was a cute dimple on his left cheek. I let my guard down so far as to offer a friendly smile. The kid sized me up through big, watery black eyes. Not being very impressed by what he saw, he cleared his throat, looked at his mom and started wailing.

This is where most moms take their kids back with an apologetic smile and a sigh. But this little devil’s mom was enjoying her brief respite from hell and was understandably reluctant to go back. So she gave me precise instructions on how to hold him so that the sound became as muffled as possible, and went back to her in-flight magazine. I was flummoxed.

After about half an hour into the flight, manna came in the form of a tray of drinks carried by a cute air hostess. She had orange juice and beer, and was freely distributing them to the passengers. I licked my lips and tried to contain my anticipation. A mug of beer would go a long way towards calming my frayed nerves. Meanwhile, the kid was taking a brief nap, to get rested and ready for round two. The air hostess reached my seat, looked at me and smiled questioningly. “B.E.E.R”, I mouthed. Her hand slowly inched towards the beer. I licked my lips again. At this poignant moment, the kid woke up, and smiled at the airhostess. Her face broke into a “coochi-coo” smile in return, and she mouthed back “B.A.B.Y” to me, as she handed me my regulation orange juice. I swear the kid chuckled.

He waited for me to finish my juice, as if to savor his victory. Then he launched into round two, with even more vigor than his first appearance.  I tried rocking him back and forth, whispering sweet nothings to him, and cursing my luck, but to no avail. Finally the mother rose to the occasion and declared that he probably needed to relieve himself. Just as well. I was about to relieve him myself.

While she was gone with the baby, I noticed that the airhostesses were generally pointing in my direction and whispering excitedly. Normally I would have felt on top of the world, but by now I was too tired to care. The mom came back with a now silent kid, smiled at the world in general and triumphantly handed the trophy back to me. The air hostesses were whispering furiously now. I was defeated. I took the kid in my arms, closed my eyes, and shut myself off while the kid, with nothing to keep him from his goal, launched into his third round.

By the time the flight landed, the mom and the kid were fast asleep. The kid’s brother, having wasted all the ogres, was now furiously jumping about tall buildings. I was a nervous wreck. As the flight rolled to a stop, the captain made his usual welcome announcements, and signed off by warning us to immediately report any suspicious persons to the concerned personnel. The kid woke up on hearing the announcement. We viewed each other suspiciously.

As if all this wasn’t trial enough, I forgot my jacket onboard my flight as I came off. Truth be told, I was so exhausted that I briefly considered leaving it behind. But it was an IIM Bangalore memento jacket. There is a certain code to these things. So I rushed back, and bumped into the team of airhostesses from my flight. They were going into town to take their day off. The one who had served me juice immediately asked me what the problem was, and I told her. She replied that she had handed over my jacket to the security, which by now would have dropped it off at the lost and found section. She offered to show me the way.

I and my jacket were reunited at the Singapore airport lost and found section. As I turned to thank my savior, she brushed off my gratitude. “We saw the way you were taking care of your baby”, she said. “You did a great job, even though you are so young. I wish more fathers were like you.”

 

Majulah Singapura, indeed.

The Three Month Itch

The first couple of weeks after joining any new job is traditionally called the honeymoon period. It is because apparently the work life in this period is exactly similar (see what I did there, ‘exactly similar’?) to your honeymoon. Everything that is, except for the gratuitous sex. (Perhaps even that. Hope springs eternal). By this logic, the couple of weeks before joining the above mentioned new job must be the bachelor (or bachelorette) paradise, when the specter of a settled life is looming large before you, but there is still time left on earth to enjoy. People spend this time in different ways. Some go to Goa, get drunk and pee into the ocean. Others buy a DSLR and head off into dirty alleys, only to click pictures of a stray cat and post it on Facebook under the heading ‘Glimpses of Life’. Like the pussy cares.

I, being the lazy sort I am, decided to stay put at home. I reckoned that since I was soon to become an expatriate, any ‘home-time’ I could grab would be welcome. This, however, created certain complications. Relatives have a bad tendency to visit, and an even worse tendency to ask uncomfortable questions under the aegis of assumed knowledge. Especially when they cotton onto the fact that you are a bona-fide MBA who works at a FMCG company.

(Setting: Living Room. Dad sitting on sofa, reading ‘The Hindu’. Yours truly sitting on the bean bag, immersed in the latest copy of Playboy (I can sense your disbelief. But you don’t have any way of disproving what I say here, do you? Ha, thought so.) Enter relative from front main entrance)

Relative:  “Mone, So, MBA completed, eh? Good Good. When’s your joining?”

Me: “Three months later”

Relative: “Three months, eh?? Such a long time…All because of this recession only.”

Me: “…”

Relative: “Which company was it again? Your mother did tell me the name, but I forgot”

Me: “XYZ”

Relative: “Ahh. Yes. Never heard of it. How is the company?”

Me: “Not bad. It is the largest FMCG company in the world”

Relative: “FM eh? Ohh like this Radio Mirchi and all… Is there any money in it?”

Me: “Err no. Fast Moving Consumer Goods. FMCG”

(Dad snickers in the background)

Relative: “Ohh, Goods Company. Will you be working at the docks or with the Railway?”

Me: “Erm not exactly. These goods are more like those you see in supermarkets.”

Relative: “Ohh, groceries. So you will be working in Andhra Pradesh.”

Me: “No, this company handles a lot of things. I will be working in the marketing department.”

Relative: “Ohh, sales. So will you have to go door to door or will they set you up in a shop?”

(More snickering from dad)

Me: “No. I will be in charge of brand development”

Relative: “Ahh, Brand. Does it sell well?”

 

Me: “……..yes, brand sells well. We buy it from Andhra Pradesh in bulk, transport it by rail to Coimbatore and then by road to Cochin. Then we ‘market’ it over the radio and finally sell it through small stalls spread all over Kerala”

Relative: (turning to Dad, who by now is choking back his laughter) “See? Today’s technology is so advanced. It’s a good thing I keep track of all these by reading the paper, else I would have been so out of touch.”

I am tired of being a bachelor. I want to get married and have sex.

The Three Month Itch

The first couple of weeks after joining any new job is traditionally called the honeymoon period. It is because apparently the work life in this period is exactly similar (see what I did there, ‘exactly similar’?) to your honeymoon. Everything that is, except for the gratuitous sex. (Perhaps even that. Hope springs eternal). By this logic, the couple of weeks before joining the above mentioned new job must be the bachelor (or bachelorette) paradise, when the specter of a settled life is looming large before you, but there is still time left on earth to enjoy. People spend this time in different ways. Some go to Goa, get drunk and pee into the ocean. Others buy a DSLR and head off into dirty alleys, only to click pictures of a stray cat and post it on Facebook under the heading ‘Glimpses of Life’. Like the pussy cares.

I, being the lazy sort I am, decided to stay put at home. I reckoned that since I was soon to become an expatriate, any ‘home-time’ I could grab would be welcome. This, however, created certain complications. Relatives have a bad tendency to visit, and an even worse tendency to ask uncomfortable questions under the aegis of assumed knowledge. Especially when they cotton onto the fact that you are a bona-fide MBA who works at a FMCG company.

(Setting: Living Room. Dad sitting on sofa, reading ‘The Hindu’. Yours truly sitting on the bean bag, immersed in the latest copy of Playboy (I can sense your disbelief. But you don’t have any way of disproving what I say here, do you? Ha, thought so.) Enter relative from front main entrance)

Relative:  “Mone, So, MBA completed, eh? Good Good. When’s your joining?”

Me: “Three months later”

Relative: “Three months, eh?? Such a long time…All because of this recession only.”

Me: “…”

Relative: “Which company was it again? Your mother did tell me the name, but I forgot”

Me: “XYZ”

Relative: “Ahh. Yes. Never heard of it. How is the company?”

Me: “Not bad. It is the largest FMCG company in the world”

Relative: “FM eh? Ohh like this Radio Mirchi and all… Is there any money in it?”

Me: “Err no. Fast Moving Consumer Goods. FMCG”

(Dad snickers in the background)

Relative: “Ohh, Goods Company. Will you be working at the docks or with the Railway?”

Me: “Erm not exactly. These goods are more like those you see in supermarkets.”

Relative: “Ohh, groceries. So you will be working in Andhra Pradesh.”

Me: “No, this company handles a lot of things. I will be working in the marketing department.”

Relative: “Ohh, sales. So will you have to go door to door or will they set you up in a shop?”

(More snickering from dad)

Me: “No. I will be in charge of brand development”

Relative: “Ahh, Brand. Does it sell well?”

 

Me: “……..yes, brand sells well. We buy it from Andhra Pradesh in bulk, transport it by rail to Coimbatore and then by road to Cochin. Then we ‘market’ it over the radio and finally sell it through small stalls spread all over Kerala”

Relative: (turning to Dad, who by now is choking back his laughter) “See? Today’s technology is so advanced. It’s a good thing I keep track of all these by reading the paper, else I would have been so out of touch.”

I am tired of being a bachelor. I want to get married and have sex.

The infamous Diaper Case

Consulting companies coming for recruitment to B schools ask the candidates to solve cases, much like the one described below. Successful candidates display a methodical thought process, familiarity with numerical analysis, and some degree of confidence while solving cases. However, even the best of us have certain “OOPS” moments, when a wrong initial thought can get everything FUBAR’d. Reproduced below is one such case interview.. The candidate in question is well known to me, and is an extremely intelligent guy. But…..

Interviewer (Henceforth referred to as Y): So, ‘X’, (the interviewee, henceforth referred to as, well, X) good morning…

X: Good morning, Y

Y: Let me present the case details to you. Our client is a diaper manufacturer catering only to the South Indian market. He wants to estimate demand for the coming year, in order to decide whether to set up a new plant or not. You are assigned the task of determining the annual demand for diapers in South India. Start when you are ready.

X: Restating the case: So, I need to determine the annual demand for diapers in South India. Am I right?

Y: Yes you are.

X: Does that include used diapers or fresh ones?

Y:Does it make any difference? Both are essentially diapers, right?

X: If you say so. But back when I was a kid, the used ones could hardly be counted as diapers.

Y:Err…. well. Just estimate the demand, taking all diapers into consideration.

X:Fine. Can I take 2 min to think ?

Y: Sure. Go ahead

 

Fast Forward 2 min….

 

X: So Y, I shall assume that the population of India is 1.2 billion. Am I correct in assuming that?

Y:Yes, well ,that is fairly well known.Tell you what, make all your assumptions at one go and then tell me.

X: Sure?

Y:Sure.

X: Ok. So here goes. Out of those 1.2 billion roughly 0.7 billion live in South India. 2/3 are less than 35 years old. Taking this ratio and using it to calculate the proportional figure of kids who are less than 5 years old, I get the figure of 20%. Now I shall proceed by assuming that 90% of the kids of age less than or equal to 5 years would use diapers and the rest would use “langotis”; and assigning that value as “p”. That being said, the GDP growth of India is currently 6.1 % and retail contributes 8-10 % of this growth. Taking that into consideration, we get a partial demand for diapers as “q”, if we assume that diaper sales account for 35% of the retail sales in India. Again, South India experiences cold, rainy monsoons during June-September, when couples generally tend to stay indoors. This leads to an increased frenzy in procreation, translating into an acceleration in demand during the April-June season. If we assume the population of married couples of child bearing age to be 1/3 of the population under 35 years of age and further assume that the sex ratio in India is 933:1000, we get a figure of “r” as the number of children who would presumably be born ( assuming that each couple bears only one child). Now 90% of “r” would be “0.9r”. Again, if we factor in the percentage of population who drink, party and generally commit stupid acts of amorous nature under intoxication, (leading to further bursts of child births) and subtract from it that percentage of people who take suitable precaution, we get a partial demand figure of “s”. Now, just add p+q+0.9r+s to get the annual demand.

Y: (Completely confused)…. Err…. very interesting. Hmm, but, ….. hmm. Ok, so you have got these figures. Very interesting. Err…. may I see the calculations?

X: Sure.

Fast forward 1 min of furious calculation on both parts…

 

Y: So, X, very impressive. According to these figures, there seems to be an annual demand of 36,000 crores of diapers in South India.

X: (Beaming) ..My recommendation is that the client should go in for aggressive expansion.

Y: Chuck the client. I’m resigning tomorrow and going into the diaper business myself. Oh and by the way, you are hired.

X: (Smiling broadly).. Thank you Y.

Disclaimer: All the people involved in this case as well as the incident described are real. The “Diaper Case” may have several solutions depending on the assumptions made, but the solution described above has been proven to be optimal. I am intentionally not disclosing the names of the company or the candidate. But intelligent guesses are welcome, and upon friendly persuasion accompanied by material benefits, I am ready to divulge further details.