In Business Standard

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that forces you to be concise. Unlike blogging where you are free to write however long you want, Twitter only allows 140 characters. That’s around 25 words. Two sentences.

Many say that this could be the secret of its success. Because messages have to be short, it makes it that much more easier for people to write. Short messages means you don’t have to worry about crafting long posts. Helps you post your message instantly with more frequency. It has gained good traction and the corporate world has been quick at leveraging the tool for business benefits.

Twitter is a nice tool that helps you keep your ears to the ground, hearing what your customers say about your brand. It’s a great brand monitoring tool. You get some of the most honest feedback and opinions and those can be very valuable.

Yesterday, I tweeted expressing my displeasure with PBWiki, a wiki site. My tweet said, “PBWiki used to be my favorite wiki. Its ease of use was its biggest strength. Now, it’s gotten complex and that’s putting me off.” Within a few hours, I get a reply from PBkrissy, one of PBWiki’s staff asking me, “I’m interested to hear about the PBWiki complexities, can you tell me more?” It’s a real person who wants to hear my problem. I’m impressed because PBWiki wants to listen, which is the first sign of good customer service. Today, I hear that they are testing out a publicly editable wiki without any passwords, which is the solution that I’m looking for.

Zoho, a Chennai based company, uses Twitter effectively to reach out to customers. Raju Vagnesa, a senior Zoho executive based in its California office, updates the blog and responds to feedback and suggestions. I like corporate Twitter accounts to have a real person’s photo because it makes it that much more human.

Many start-up founders use Twitter as a beta testing medium, letting their Twitter followers take a sneak peak about their product and collect feedback.

CEOs make for the best brand ambassadors for a company. And microblogs can be one such tool to help in image building. It gives a personal, human touch to the company.

As research for this article, I requested my blog readers to suggest CEOs and founders who use Twitter. Out of the 25 recommendations that I received, I saw a strong pattern emerging. Only three of the 25 people were in established medium sized companies. The remaining 22 were young start-up founders. I’m yet to see a single CEO of a big corporation. It could be a generational issue and younger folks tend to be better early adopters of new technology. Sun Microsystems’ CEO explains it with a nice analogy, “When is the last time you learned a new language? It’s a lot easier for a three-year-old to learn a new language than a 30-year-old.”

Here are my picks of the Top 10 Indian CXOs and founders who Twitter.

Sukumar Rajagopal, CIO/former chief knowledge officer, Cognizant Technology Solutions,

Pranav Bhasin, CEO, Lifeblob,

Vijay Anand, founder,,

Rajiv Poddar, founder,,

Shantanu Ghosh, VP, India head, Symantec Corp,

Allwin Agnel, CEO,,

Aloke Bajpai, CEO,,

Rajiv Dingra, CEO, WATMedia,

Rajesh Lalwani, Founder,

Kris Nair, founder, Opdrage Venture Partners,