You are who you associate yourself with, O Marketer!


War strategies for marketing!

Pic Pravin Shekar | Models: Viji and Anu at the Bekal Fort, Kerala


(Ninth in the series called “The Martial Marketer”. War strategies for work!)

“Oh, there you are. The Coward Prince!”

The words stung Rajarajan’s ears though the voice sounded familiar.

Rajarajan was walking through the forest, seemingly in circles. Battered, bruised, and almost broken, Rajarajan hardly resembled the strapping angry young man before the battle he lost to Sundara Pandyan. He was lost in thought, re-analyzing his loss to Sundara Pandyan’s minions.

Solitary after a long time, for a long time, made him think about his purpose in life. A solo walk in the woods does make one wonder about “Why”!

He knew that he had to seize what was his. He needed to rebuild, and for that, he needed assistance. He decided to seek it.

One day, he was awakened rudely from his beauty sleep under a mango tree. Two burly men held his arms. Another big mustachioed man stood some distance away, hands on his hips, and a stern look on his face. He was analyzing Rajarajan.

“Who are you? What are you doing in this Kingdom?” Asked Kirathagan.

“I am Rajarajan, heir to the Chozha Kingdom.” Came the reply.

Rajarajan was shocked at what happened next! All three men started laughing their guts out.

“Yeah,you are the next Chozha King, and I Yama’s messenger!” Said Kirathagan.

(Yama: God of Death)

No amount of convincing worked. Rajarajan was tied up and marched through to a fort adjoining the forest. He was dragged through the main hall and presented before a royal person on a throne.

“Who are you, and why do you claim to be someone you aren’t?” asked the regent.

That voice was familiar. Rajarajan raised his head and eyes slowly focused on the person asking the question. He was silent for some time before his voice croaked out:

“Sire, it is me. Rajarajan. We met but a few months ago at your palace.”

The regent got down from the throne and walked up to Rajarajan. The wizened face came closer and lifted Rajarajan’s head towards the light so he could see better. A few moments of silence before recognition arrived! Rajarajan had come to his palace seeking support against the Pandyas.

The regent was Narasimhan III, the King of the Hoysala Kingdom, north of the region now ruled by the Pandyas. Narasimhan placed both his hands on Rajarajan’s shoulders.

“Indeed, it is you, young prince. What a changeover in the last few months? I heard about what happened. Tell me about it.”

The next couple of hours, Rajarajan narrated all that had transpired since his last visit to Narasimhan’s region. He mentioned that it was fated they had to meet again. He said that just before the men had captured him, he was planning on meeting Narasimhan to seek his assistance.

“Assistance for what, young man?” asked Narasimhan.

“To avenge my father’s death and seize my Kingdom back,” said Rajarajan.

Narasimhan was silent for a while. The old King knew that these reasons were superficial and not something to rush into. He mentioned Rajarajan to rest and recoup his strength for a few days. Rajarajan was accommodated in the royal quarters. Shaved, bathed, and well-rested, Rajarajan decided to walk around the fort the following morning.

“Oh, there you are. The Coward Prince!”

The words stung Rajarajan’s ears though the voice sounded familiar.

He looked around to find no-one. The voice teased again.

“Look at him run with his tail between his legs.” The sound of running anklets lead him to her.

Suganthi. The royal princess. She looked at Rajarajan from behind a pillar and continued the taunts. Instead of getting angry, Rajarajan started smiling. He chased Suganthi down and held her hostage with her hands behind her back.

“Yes, that’s how a coward will behave. Raju the coward.” she shrieked and tried to free herself.

Both looked at each other and started laughing. The childhood friends met after a long time. They had been close when young, attending classes and games together. The kind of friendship which can be taken for granted! Rajan and Suganthi spent all their time together. She was always smart and inquisitive and continued in the same vein.

“You bloody fool. Why did you rush into battle? You know that’s why you lost.”

“Yes, I do. What would you have done, Suganthi?”

“I would have waited. I would have planned. I would have teased Sundara Pandyan out somehow. I would have ensured Victory, my coward prince!”

“It’s easy to say, girl. The reality is quite different.”

“You attacked with 100 soldiers and allowed yourself to be surrounded. Didn’t we learn to watch our back? Didn’t we learn to look before we leap? Don’t be a male chauvinist now! You are the future of the Chozhas.”

She then went on to draw out her plan and how she would have analyzed and attacked. Rajan was flabbergasted. His little Suganthi had grown to be a warrior strategist now. Rajan kept thinking. This is what I am missing. A partner with a cooler head than mine! Somebody who knows how to keep me in check. And someone who has my best interests at heart!

It was a week before Narasimhan called for Rajan. Why did the King take a whole week, Rajan thought but knew the answer. Why would Narasimhan support him? What’s there to gain from an exiled prince on the run? When Rajan was presented before Narasimhan, he took the elder’s blessings. Rajan paused for a bit and then asked permission to speak.

“Sire, let me paint a picture. A picture where you are the purveyor of all regions south of the Vindhyas.The Hoysalas, Chozhas, Pandyas, and some parts of the Pallava regions, all yours.

The length and breadth of this great region, paying obeisance to your progeny. A grand empire with vassals, chieftains, and a vast army.”

“You are a great storyteller, young man. What’s the purpose of this dream mapping?”

“Sire, I came here asking for your army. I am standing here now, asking for the hand of your daughter Suganthi. You know we are good friends. In the last week, I have also realized what a great queen and commander she will make. With your blessings and her consent, I would like to marry her. We shall strengthen the bonds between the Hoysalas and the Chozhas. Together, we will weed out our common enemy, the Pandyas.

Imagine Sire, your grandson will be the regent of this colossal empire. He will rule the world.”

Rajan with a cool head was a lot better than the angry young man. He knew the ultimate objective and also that he had to appeal to emotion.

What better way to seal an alliance than cementing one through marriage!

Rajan returned with a strong strategic companion, blessings from Hoysala, and a large army!


  • We need to know the desires and aspirations of those we seek to have an alliance with.
  • What’s in it for them? This needs to be answered clearly, as vividly as painting a picture.
  • Sometimes, solitary thinking will help reach clarity in objectives and actions.
  • Wisdom comes in many shapes and forms. Listen and take it in.

Lessons from Sun Tzu.

- — — — — — — — — — -
Research Source:

This is the ninth in the series called “The Martial Marketer”. War strategies for work!
Marketing Camouflage! Success is sweet.
A Trojan variation to defend and attack.
Victory at all costs.
Size does matter.
Fight the fight within, first.
The (marketing) warrior without vanity.
Playing with Perception.
Fools rush in.

Pravin Shekar is an outlier marketer, parallel entrepreneur and a raconteur.

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Pravin is the author of seven books: Devil Does Care, Marketing lessons from Mythology, Getting paid to speak, a Virtual Summit Playbook, Climb your way out of hell & a collection of travel pics/romantic poems, and stories from the heart!

#Marketing #Entrepreneur #Awareness #Strategy #Outlier #Outliermarketing #micromarketer #idea #tribe #Books #krux108 #PravinShekar #OutlierPravin



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