Kishor Cariappa

Everyday is a journey

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Unsung heroes

Blue-collar Indian workers are among first devotees to throng temples in Muscat during festivals spread across the year. Today was no different for Maha Shivaratri. I saw hundreds of them walking from Muttrah Fish Roundabout to Shiva Temple and back. A distance of 12 kilometers both ways.

At Muttrah Fish Roundabout, they get into shared taxis and travel to Ruwi before heading into their respective labour camps. I am sure most of them may have taken a day off. They offer prayers with much devotion. Everyone enters the temple with a carry bag comprising of coconut, incense sticks and camphor. The same euphoria is seen in Krishna Temple too.

They land up in Oman by taking loans to pay job agents hefty sums and settle for a salary that is just enough to keep their families back in India alive. Despite the tide against them, they keep a smile on their faces. They are the unsung heroes for me!

Don’t write off a restaurant because of one bad experience

Tried a newly opened Indian restaurant in Muscat. The food taste was awful and the presentation pathetic. Only saving grace was decent service. Thought of posting the poor experience in a local food group but decided against it as an afterthought for the simple reason – never write a restaurant review based on one experience.

Over the years I have come to understand that every restaurant can have a bad day and initial teething troubles. May be I will give them a try after a few months to get the real feel.

Ethics. What’s that?

A prospective client asks for a detailed digital marketing proposal and finally says their in-house team will take care of marketing. After a few weeks, I notice they are using the same concepts proposed by us.

They are a big business group in Oman and I really feel sorry for the cheap tactics they use to source ideas from gullible agencies. These days I am wondering whether it will be a good idea to charge a small fee for prospective clients whey they ask for proposals. This way the not-so-serious ones can be kept at bay!

Social media is for luxury brands too

Last week we did an exhaustive social media marketing presentation for a group which sells high-end consumer products in Oman. They sat through the presentation and the first thing they said was ‘we are not a mass product’ to have a presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I was quite baffled to hear their reply even though they spend quite a bit on print advertising.

Here is why high-end brands should embrace social media:

– Social media is now a priority for luxury brand marketing.

– High-end brands are turning to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to engage with loyal followers, reach new customers and launch marketing campaigns.

– With the vast number of their customers flocking to social media, the luxury brands are forced to be on social media.

– Activity on social media leads people to buy a product, sign up for emails, request a catalogue, and the like.

– Digital is beginning to touch the majority of high-end considered purchases.

– The customer is spending a lot of time on social media.

Like it or not, digital marketing is a crucial element which cannot be ignored in this social media savvy world.

Indian theme buffet at Best Western Premier Muscat

The Atrium – Best Western Premier’s all-day restaurant in Al Khuwair – kicked-off the Indian theme nights on September 18, and I was among a few bloggers invited to the event.

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Every Thursday, desi delicacies will be served at The Atrium from 6.30pm till 10.30pm. The buffet menu includes salads, appetizers, chat station, vegetarian and non-vegetarian main courses, bread and desserts. The buffet is priced at RO 8.900 nett per person and includes unlimited water and Coca Cola. Kids below 5 years eat for free, and those between 6 and 11 years are charged 50 percent of the buffet cost.

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We were treated to some exotic flavours of India by an expert team of chefs who whipped up tangy pani puri, yummy vada pav, succulent chicken tikka and other delectable desserts.

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The food tasted great and some of my fellow Omani blogger friends were seen enjoying and complimenting the way authentic Indian food was cooked and served.

The Atrium has sophisticated and chic decor with bright colours for company.

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Every dish was cooked and deliciously marinated to perfection. The chicken tikka and fish Amtrisari were juicy and tasted delightfully different. The vegetarian dishes and desserts were equally impressive.

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Overall, I should confess it was a fulfilling gastronomic experience from start to finish.

The restaurant has a special offer in place. For every three diners opting for the buffet, a fourth gets a complimentary buffet meal that could be great for groups making a booking for special occasions.

The buffet offers an unforgettable gastronomic experience where the focus is as much on flavours as on quality. Good Indian food at affordable prices. For reservations, call The Atrium restaurant at 2203 3333.