Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The elephant that didn't know its strength

Today I read a NEWS article from BusinessLine which says that India showed its strength during this global financial meltdown. Interestingly the writer noted a few points which attracted my interest. The author argues that the government supported its poor farmers by waiving farm loans and consumers by paving the way for low interest regime. Indeed the first package is very good. We still say that India is a country whose heart lies in villages. Its majority of population depends on farming. The country is blessed with mother nature for its natural resources.

Hence, I can confidently say that the country's core competence lies in farming. Its long term sustainability depends on how well the country encourages its public to take part in agriculture. Mr. Gandhi noted this point in his views. The same is now being reiterated by Mr. Abdul Kalaam by saying that we need to bring in more value added services in agro based products. The famous rocket scientist is of the view that the country can grow by improving agriculture and diversifying horizontally in a concentric circle without affecting the growth of other industries.

Interestingly in my previous blogs I had mentioned that the liberalisation policy of IMF and World Bank forces one country to reduce subsidies to farmers and health care there by reducing the governmental expenditure. If India is following this then the country is spoiling the growth of its core competence. Consider western powers they do not have abundant natural resourses where everything grows and delivers productive outputs. They can reduce governmental expenditure by reducing spending in agricultural subsidies. But a country like India which is proud of its nature cannot afford to deviate from its core competence. This can spoil its competitive advantage among global nations.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Journey towards South

As the world is ready to embarrass west in many senses such as language, culture, management, etc. I made a turn towards South from western country. During the start of 2008 I was not aware of the fact that the year has lots of turnarounds. Collectively the Santa Clause’s gift of year for me turned out to be excellent. Nevertheless, forget not that I am looking at it from a realistic point of view.

So what is all about my journey? I travelled from Chennai to Glasgow in the beginning of the year. Hey wait! Looking at the map I found that Scotland is not at south. I am not sharing my trip to UK instead I am sharing the Meta cognitive journey towards cultural orthodoxy. So how is it possible for me to learn orthodoxy from a dominant west?

Well, the answer is very simple and lies within the history. Everybody knows that by 18th century India was invaded by British. So what is the speciality of this event? History tells that the invasion was mainly due to the abundance in wealth which attracted these traders. However, I ask the question what sort of abundant wealth that attracted these people into the country? Is it the natural wealth? Or is it the precious materials? Or is it the ancient civilization? The answer is all the three and the list is exhaustive. Nobody can loot nature. Hence, the natural resource available to India is still present in the present moment. But the other two are man made. Hence there is a possibility to either lose or gain. Though I agree with the erosion of wealth I am concerned about the erosion of civilization.

We Indians are proud of the fact that our civilization is very ancient and has a long lasting history. Considering civilization as paddy crop we forget to grow the tree by managing it properly. However, the Britons took it to their country and managed to cultivate it properly. When I removed the weeds from the crop I found similarity between what is found in India before British invasion. Not to forget that US was improved by those EU people who had the entrepreneurial vigour in their blood.

So when I ask myself what I have transformed into, I get an answer which says I have travelled more than 400 centuries back in Indian tradition. Nevertheless, I have to accept that I have not left behind the scientific improvements in this current world. Hence, I claim that I have successfully adopted the ancient beliefs and values with the right mix of modernisation processes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Should Indian companies bailout foreign counter parts?

It is a known fact now that the global auto manufacturing industry is struggling. Once identified as a pride of an industrial nation, the automobile industry is now facing financial liquidity problem. The bailout package put forward by President Bush of US gave a breather for the Detroit based auto manufacturers. However, there are more market players who are still struggling to find liquid cash to run its business. Needless to forget Toyota is making history by filing its first ever loss in its balance sheet. The situation with the “first industrialised nation” is not a shining star. UK’s car manufacturing industry too is struggling due to the liquidity crisis.

It has became a history now that Indian conglomerate Tata group purchased the Jaguar Land Rower from Ford during first quarter 2008. The current situation with JLR is very bleek. The JLR union has mentioned that the company need funds from the government within days and not weeks. It can be speculated that the compan might file bankruptcy provided it get financial aid either from the owners or from the government. However, the business secretary, UK has mentioned the owners that the government is not having “an open cheque book” policy. This might mean that the government is not very keen to spend the tax payers’ money in a business whose future is still unpredicted. This behaviour is in stark contrast to what US government has done to safeguard its automobile industry. Neither UK government has asked the industry players to submit an action plan similar to Bush’s government nor did they give any confident boost.

Do the Brown’s government want to save its automobile industry? Do they think JLR’s problem is now TATA’s headache and not UK’s? Is JLR now branded as an Indian company just because some nine months ago the company was purchased by an Indian family? Is the government expect bailout from a poor nation (as stated by them) to save its pride? If Tata fails to provide liquidity then what is the situation of the thousands of employees working with JLR? Is automobile industry a core business for UK now?

Needless to say that the government is also keenly looking at the TATA group and its move in the current scenario and is asking them to act before anything done from their side. However, if TATA group has successfully managed the current situation through providing a bailout and work closely with the government in solving the issue it has the potential to act as a major boost for the group's business. Tata group is currently a well recognised Indian conglomerate business in EU. Has the group successfully solved the issue this might bring in more business from EU region. TCS, the software arm of the group can utilise the situation to seal contracts in the region. It is already clear that the group is trying to build its hold in EU with its two major acquisition one through Tata Steel (Corus bidding) and other through Tata Motors (JLR). Hence, in a long term the company can aim to seal more acquisitions in EU region with minimizing the resistance from unions.

Nevertheless, only the politics and the future can answer the questions with respect to the bailout and automobile industry. Let us wait and watch the melodrama of bailing out automobile industry now in UK.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Female CEO (Chanda Kochhar); the implications to India’s No.2 bank

Mr. Kamnath has found a female successor for ICICI who incidentally became the first young female CEO of Indian banking industry. However, the time is not so easy for Ms. Kochhar due to the global economic slowdown. She needs to do lots of home work before starting the career as CEO. Congrats to Ms. Kochhar and I am eager to look forward in how she manages the shark of Indian private banking industry.

Nevertheless, ICICI Bank is not the only one who appointed female to manage business in recent time. Why is management suddenly falling towards female to manage them? What is the reason for big industry to appoint female at top position? Why there is sudden shout from top management to bring more female in top management?

Hofstede’s study on five major cultural dilemmas identified each and every country to have its own cultural traits. Based on that west was identified to be Egalitarian and Assertive. What does these terms mean? The western business allowed individual to take responsibility. This is termed as Egalitarian. The opposite term for this is collectivism. Generally countries from Asia can fell in this category. The other term can relate to the strategies a business manager follows. Assertiveness is often related with short term aggressive strategy. As it is known the other term is long term conservative strategy. In general Anglo-Saxon model follows short term strategy. I have to accept that there are exceptions to this generalisation. Again countries from Asia can be termed to have long term strategy to business with exceptions.

Now consider the metaphor of mother to female; Mother is one who cares the family and children, takes care of all the members of family, shares common values and beliefs to have a closed knit family. Kinship is a term that can fit very well with mother.

Coming back to Ms. Kochhar, considering her gender, the general of properties of mother can be expected out of her. If she brings in these values to business then this has the potential to neutralise the western culture of ICICI’s business model. This again has the potential to bring in a flavour of Indian culture to the business which is widely expected by the customers in this part of the world.

However, is all the women bring these traits to business? Look at the management style of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Margaret Tatcher. Are they influenced by the style of male who dominated the management or they lost their feminine style? Why did they fail to show their feminine management style? Is it fear of failure that resisted them from showing them? Will the same affect Ms. Kochhar too? Well, the answer to the last question can be answered by the future.

Has India got independence?

India attained its independence on 15 August 1947. This is what everybody is saying. However, my claim is that India is still being ruled not by Indians but by some other citizens.

Now let me take you through a series of global economic melodrama to prove my statement. Going back in history we can find that India claimed its independence from Britain in 1947. What is the actual reason for Britons to leave India? We all know that it is because of the quit India movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Alternatively, looking at the economical and management point of view we can see that the world war came to an end in 1940s and Briton lost majority of its wealth due to the war. US became the economic super power and saw a rapid growth in power and market. Hence it can be said that the fall of global administration led Briton to slowdown in growth and forced them to follow focus strategy thereby reducing global market exposure. Hence, India becoming the biggest nation under control got its independence.

But again during same period in 1947 another big event happened was Britton Woods which gave rise to IMF and World Bank. By 1968, IMF and World Bank started lending financial to the so called poor countries. The question to ask is what is the cause and effect of this lending? The countries which received the monetary benefits were forced to follow certain reforms mentioned by the lendor that are mainly focused towards free market liberalisation.

India too suffered in the hands of these so called global institutions. India was forced to liberalise its policies towards free market economy and thereby under the leadership of Mr. P. V. Naramashima Rao, in 1991 became free market economy. The reforms forced India to reduce government spending in healthcare and providing subsidies to agriculture. Nevertheless, the power behind these global institutions is US. Look at US they provide unnecessary subsidies to cotton growers of California. I say it as unnecessary because California is a desert and is not suitable for growing cotton. In such a condition spending in growing cotton is like spending surplus money. But US is considered world’s major debt economy. When a person is in debt why should spend unnecessarily. This is actually a major contradiction to what the global institutions preaches other countries by the way of free market liberalisation.

Thus it is needless to say that whatever party rule India the actual ruler is somewhere in US in the form of World Bank or IMF who dictates India what to do, when to do and how to do. Now again I am asking the question Has India attained Independence?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is “Matrix” the American version of writer Sujatha’s novel “En eniya iandira”?

This blog analyses critically the similarities between the movie Matrix and the novel En eniya iandira. Writer Sujatha published his novel “En Eniya Iandira” in late 1980’s. This novel published in Anantha Vikatan is a success during that period. Statistics shows that the release of Matrix during early 21st century is a grand success across the world.

The story plot follows Science fiction in both the cases. In both the scenarios machine has taken over the administration and manage human race with the help of technology. In one case, the story happens in the future while in other case the world has become virtual reality. In both the cases, technology controlled human beings. Virtual realty gave them a happy lifestyle. Databases managed everything including Maslow’s basic needs. It is clearly possible to link this style of management with principles of protective style of management.

In one case, Agents rule the human power while in other it is the hologram image (Jeeva). However, in Sujatha’s novel Ravi and Mano twin human beings were behind the scenes. Morpheus with the help of Neo fight against technology in matrix while Nila with the help of Jeero fight against the government. Like Oracle in Matrix who knows about the architecture of the system in Sujath’s novel it is Doctor Raa. The pace with which Agents or Ravi & Mano trace the other team is exhilarating. The usage of spying machines, scanning techniques are having more similarity in either case.

Considering the differences in Sujatha’s novel Juno is heuristic robotic dog that improved its knowledge through reading and self-programming. The concept of self-programming or automated programming is a reality in current scenario. I had a chance to work on a project where we used the technique of automated programming using xDoclet. However, in Matrix Agents are human like with state of art technology. Matrix is famous for its scintillating fighting sequences while the novel had crisis. The movie clearly follows American culture. Nevertheless, the novel is truly South Indian.

Last but not the least similarity before I finish this blog both the versions had II part “Matrix Reloaded” in case of American version and “Meendum Jeero” in case of Indian version. The comparison based purely on my perception of both versions. There can be disagreement in my views and thoughts from others. I welcome constructive criticisms.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why TATA is branded as an Indian company?

It is interesting to note that the biggest Indian conglomerate TATA is seen as a strong Indian brand that a global company. What could be the reason for this?

A close look at the theory gives some thoughts about the concept of international business strategy. Hill (2008) identifies four types of strategies: International Strategy, Global strategy, Multi-domestic strategy and Transnational strategy. Different companies across different sectors follow different types of globalization model and business strategy. ABB is given as a strong example for a company which follows Transnational strategy as it has a diversified personality in its board.

Now looking at the business model of TATA, it is fairly simple to say that they have regionocentric approach. Though off-late TATA went on a purchasing spree across globe does they integrated their purchases into the core business? Also looking at the purchases made by them it make sense that they are interested in diversification market development for selling their existing products.

If Tata Coffee is purchasing a company in kenya, is it a globalization strategy? Kenya is a leading manufacturer of Coffee. From this perspective it becomes a strategic move for long term sustainability as the company now gets access to the raw material for its business. Similar is the reason if Tata Tea signing a JV with Malaysian firm.

Looking at the purchase of Corus made by Tata Steel some years before, it can be identified that a strategic purchase such as Corus is important for the manufacturing of Tata Steel as this gives access for raw materials, technology and EU market for its marketing. But this acquisition does not make any change to the over all mission of the company and the strategy adopted by the company still remains focused in regional than global. But with multi-domestic strategy the firm is able to satisfy the customer need.

According to Adam Smith's absolute advantage in any trade that involves more than one country, it can be seen that one country gains and the other lose. Thus the countries which exports raw materials and basic services and imports high tech service which are costlier than then exports the country does. Thus the company holds the brand identity of India to the world thus acting as a gateway to the country. From my point of view this is the main reason for the company to branded as an Indian company.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind!!!

1. Do Not Interfere In Others' Business Unless Asked.
Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others'
affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our
way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not
conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right
direction, our direction. This thinking denies the existence of
individuality and consequently the existence of God. God has created each
one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly
the same way. All men or women act the way they do because God within them
prompts them that way. There is God to look after everything. Why are you
bothered? Mind your own business and you will keep Your peace.

2. Forgive And Forget.
This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We often develop ill
feelings inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us. We
nurture grievances. This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of
stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. This insult or injury was done
once, but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly
remembering it. Get over this bad habit. Believe in the justice of God
and the doctrine of Karma. Let Him judge the act of the one who insulted
you. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forgive, Forget, and
march on. Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.

3. Do Not Crave For Recognition.
This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without
selfish motives. They may praise you today because you are in power, but
no sooner than you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and
will start finding faults in you. Why do you wish to kill yourself in
striving for their recognition? Their recognition is not worth the
aggravation. Do your duties ethically and sincerely and leave the rest to

4. Do Not Be Jealous.
We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You
know that you work harder than your colleagues in the office, but
sometimes they get promotions; you do not. You started a business several
years ago, but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business
is only one year old. There are several examples like these in everyday
life. Should you be jealous? No. Remember everybody's life is shaped by
his or her previous Karma, which has now become his destiny. If you are
destined to be rich, nothing in the world can stop you. If you are not so
destined, no one can help you either. Nothing will be gained by blaming
others for your misfortune. Jealousy will not get you anywhere; it will
only take away your peace of mind.

5. Change Yourself According To The Environment.
If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you
will fail. Instead, change yourself to suit your environment. As you do
this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will
mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.

6. Endure What Cannot Be Cured.
This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day
we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents
that are beyond our control. If we cannot control them or change them, we
must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them
cheerfully thinking, "God wills it so, so be it." God's plan is beyond
our comprehension. Believe in it and you will gain in terms of patience,
inner strength and will power.

7. Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew.
This maxim needs to be remembered constantly. We often tend to take more
responsibilities than we are capable of carrying out. This is done to
satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. Why take on additional loads that
may create more worries? You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your
external activities. Reduce your material engagements and spend time in
prayer, introspection and meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in
your mind that make you restless. Uncluttered mind will produce greater
peace of mind.

8. Meditate Regularly.
Meditation calms the mind and gets rid of disturbing thoughts. This is the
highest state of peace of mind. Try and experience it yourself. If you
meditate earnestly for half an hour everyday, your mind will tend to
become peaceful during the remaining twenty-three and half-hours. Your
mind will not be easily disturbed as it was before. You would benefit by
gradually increasing the period of daily mediation. You may think that
this will interfere with your daily work. On the contrary, this will
increase your efficiency and you will be able to produce better results
in less time.

9. Never Leave The Mind Vacant.
An empty mind is the devil's workshop. All evil actions start in the
vacant mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something
worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. Do something that holds your
interest. You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind.
Your hobby, like social work or temple work, may not always earn you more
money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even
when you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or
mental chanting of God's name.

10. Do Not Procrastinate And Never Regret.
Do not waste time in protracted wondering "Should I or shouldn't I?"
Days, weeks, months, and years may be wasted in that futile mental
debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all
future happenings. Always remember, God has His own plan, too for you.
Value your time and do the things that need to be done. It does not
matter if you fail the first time. You can learn from your mistakes and
succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing.
Learn from your mistakes, but do not brood over the past. DO NOT REGRET.
Whatever happened was destined to happen only that way. Take it as the
Will of God. You do not have the power to alter the course of God's Will.
Why cry over spilt milk?

Thoughts I liked from what I read

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.
Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a 'We Deserve It Dividend'.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.
Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..
So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.
My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a 'We Deserve It Dividend'.
Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.
Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.
That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.
But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife have $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college - it'll be there
Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car - create jobs
Invest in the market - capital drives growth
Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back, and of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.
If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.
If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!
As for AIG - liquidate it.
Sell off its parts.

Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate.
Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.
Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."
But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!
How do you spell Economic Boom?
I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion 'We Deserve It Dividend' more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.
And remember, The Family plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Talk about a stimulus package!

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.
Kindest personal regards,
A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as its either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ASEAN and Common currency

The visit of Indian PM to Japan is a strategic move from country's point of view. With this visit the relationship between India and Japan is growing in terms of safety. The PM has already noted down the advantages of this visit and the need for a strategic partnership between ASEAN and East Asia.

We already know that the partnership between Japan and China are very good and they are dependent on each other. With the technical and economical influence of Japan and the human capital of China the two countries are growing supporting each other. With the slowdown in Western countries the developing countries specifically the ASEAN counterparts are now looking at the domestic continent for growth apart from west. This is a good opportunity for India to build strategic relationship with East and Middle East. With the support from these ASEAN countries the ASEAN tigers can perfrom exceptionally good.

This relationship if grown successfully then we can dream of a common currency in ASEAN countries like in EU or US as mentioned by Abegglen (2006). The implications of the common currency have both positive aspects and negative aspects. If we look at positive aspects are that this stabilizes the forex trading across globe. The effect of speculation will get reduced. This provide a balanced play field for all the players. It becomes easy to manage the global economy. A stronger relationship will be achieved across ASEAN players. Trade will grow in the third world. The dependency towards West will be reduced. On the other it is difficult to bring all the ASEAN players who are responsible for the growth together due to the political factors. This common currency will remove the effect of low cost strategy. This might act as a negative factor for some countries.

But overall if we see the effect of new common currency in ASEAN region will improve the state of global economy and will reduce the dependency of Dollar across geography.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cycle reversal - Nationalisation VS Liberalisation

Post the collapse of Berlin wall and the fall of communism, the western world started following the capitalistic path of America. Many countries started to open their market for trade. Those countries which are closed for international trade are treated to be conservative in its behaviour. Majority of developed nations started preaching that capitalism is the only way to improve national status and for business growth. The term Neo Liberalism started to be seen in the news articles.

Along with the neo liberalism the introduction of internet enabled the companies to go global with less issues and problems. Thus the companies started to become global and started diversifying themselves across borders. This raised new terms like Globalization, Internationalization, Transnational business, Americanisation, Regionalization. The companies across world wanted to follow any one of these terms.

When the globalization path was seen as the safe bet to get good profit across globe, the financial downturn forced by credit crunch made top management of many companies to rethink on this aspect. Even the government bodies started to nationalize its banks. We saw the bailout action first in US and slowly as a precautionary measure in UK. The public and management in India suddenly started praising Y.V. Reddy(former reserve bank of India) chairman who maintained conservative approach in liberalizing banking sector which somehow got insulated due to the financial legistalions that the country follow. But this does not mean that India is not affected by the financial crisis. The financial crisis entered into Indian market through Indian stock market. For long period the Indian stock markets are relying on foreign institutional investors to inject capital into Indian markets. Thus when there came the real need for money by the institutions in their respective countries the FIIs started taking money away from our markets. This led to sudden fall in BSE which reached a life time high of around 21K mark.

The thought to take away is that should RBI need to think about liberalizing Indian financial sector when western countries are trying to nationalize its banking sectors? Is the financial regulations and rules safe enough to safeguard out Indian public? Are out government having strong hold in our business methodology which follows western system of management?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dreaming about big dreams of life

Its quite unfortunate for me as I was not able to write a blog for some times now. The main reason was terrorism in its varied form. The terrorism of drug addicts and robery made me lose my precious laptop which acted as my wife since I bought it with my second month salary drawn in Dubai. Leaving apart the sympathy I want to shout about the dreams about the big dreams I have in life and how I move towards it.

Leaders of modern world such as Dr. Abdul Kalam, and Mr. Ratan Tata asks people to start dreaming about future. In management we used to say every company is having a purpose to exist. The words of these leaders reiterates the point that organizations can be termed as organisms as mentioned by Morgan. They have life on its own like human beings. So taking lessons from organizations an individual can have a purpose to survive. This brings us to a conclusion of having a long term aim and a path to follow to achieve it.

My aim is to improve my society in intellectual capacity. When I say my society it greatly means my land of interest where I want to settle after say 40 years. The path I want to follow is to start a business. By starting business I can generate job opportunities for many people and can generate revenue to the country. By generating job opportunities I become responsible for the financial growth in those families. When a family gets financial freedom, it helps in improving the standard of living. As the living standard improves it triggers the quality of life and education. This generates a strong knowledge base within those families. This inturn become responsible to improve the intellectual capacity of the society.

Monday, October 6, 2008

surge in oil price a reality or hype?

Oil an essential commodity treated as precious as Gold has made its peak this year. After the attainment of the peak there is a sudden fall in the oil prices. The OPEC were forced once to inc the trease its production are now thinking of reversing the trend. What can be the real behind this?

Looking back at history now it can be said that there was economic bubble due to the subprime crisis in US. Countries were worried about the consumption of oil by China due to the development activities prior to Olympics. Hence according to me the people started to manipulate the scarcity for oil. This gave rise to the increased level of short selling in the market. This not only affected the oil industry but industries which are related to oil such as automobile industry were affected. The sales volume started falling down and yoy sales and profit fell down.

Unfortunately by the end of Olympics the economic downturn started with full force which affected not only the west (US/EU) but also the East(Japan/Singapore) which entered recession. When the economies which attributed for 40% of global economy is in recession again people started thinking of less demand for oil. Thus started the downturn and now it is even predicted that oil might even go as low as $30-$40 a barrel. Now due to the financial failure in US, banks are not confident enough to approve loans which is affecting the sales of automobile industry.

Thus according to me the real for this unrealistic movement of oil price is the investor sentiments due to improper prediction and not the subprime or credit crunch or anything else. But these terms are related in one way or other with the investor sentiments based on the glass through which they see the world.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scientific Inventions and Change in lifestyle

I have signed a new contract for broadband service. The service provider requested me to wait for a fortnight to get connected with the digital world. I found it very tough to live without internet connection. As I have mentioned in my orkut profile I understood that I got addicted to the digital virus (discomgoogolated). While I understood the effect of digital invention in my lifestyle I am now trying to turn the clock back by 20 years and trying to go back in time clock by adjusting my thought process.

Year - 1988; Place - a small village in Tamilnadu, India; Scene - a typical middle class family

This was the time television started to get popularity among the public with Doordarshan the only service provider. There was no television in that village. People used to gather in some house and used to have chit-chat. This helped them to build strong public relations among the neighbourhood. This also helped in analyse an issue from diferent perspectives as we tend to discuss it among people. It helped children to feel secured as they gather with more adult people and children of their age. More specifically children are allowed to mingle with other kids of their age and used to play. This helped in building skills necessary to become a team player. The atmosphere slowly changed and television entered that small lovely village. The public slowly started to get involved in wathching television. The analog media attracted them very quickly with the colours and variety.

Year - 1995; Place - a small village in Tamilnadu, India; Scene - a typical middle class family

Years passed on quickly. The analog media slowly transformed to digital. The number of channels started to increase. The radical change from digital to analog made radio a redundant for some time before radio emerged with variety. Digital media during initial days made use of the public's lust for film stars and made huge profit. This even outplayed the government's doordarshan. The public startedlacking sense in thinking what is good and what is not. The programs were not intend to enlighten public. They made use of the weakness among them. This reduced the productivity among public. The telephone made its entry into the house.

Year - 2001; Place - a small village in Tamilnadu, India; Scene - a typical middle class family

As time goes on new inventions hit the market with more force and strength. The entry of digital media transformed the world to come in hands through a single click. Public started using mobile phones. The digital revolution enabled people to connect with each other irrespective of the location. This increased the spending power of public. The physical distance between individual start to increase. Nolonger public spend time with neighbours as it happened a decade back. Nolonger children are allowed more time to spend with fellow kids. They were stressed to spend more time in preparing for competitive exams. The education for children enlightened their interest towards many things and made them competitive. But this had a negative impact. The children started to lack in self confidence, team building, coordination etc. The technical skills were improved among public with the loss of transferable skills. This even had a negative impact in business. The business world started to blame the education system for producing non-employable resource.

Year - 2008; Place - a small village in Tamilnadu, India; Scene - a typical middle class family

Each and every middle class family is now having a colour TV, telephone, mobile phone, DVD/CD player, fridge, washing machine, grinder, mixie, personal vehicle. The list is not limited with this. These can be found widely in a typical middle class family now. But what is lacking in a family is that the parents are not having time to spend with their children. The public is not having time to spend time with the neighbours, society, community. The children were given access to digital play field. This increases the frustration and anger among them. This reduced the reading habit among children and adult. The people started to get connected in the virtual digital world.

As I forcast the future, it is likely that the public will lack self confidence even more. They are likely to become slaves but this time to the digital virus. They might feel sorry for an unknown friend in the virtual world leaving behind the real human being who are living in front of them. Lack of trust will go high. The non-employability will go even higher. The education system will be blamed for not teaching how to live. Thus the parental community will start to drift from their primary focus of growing a good citizen who will be productive in future. They will start to look for an agency which can grow their children for themselves.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Elephant Story and Management

When I was a kid my grand parents used to entertain me by telling stories. I feel this is more natural in Indian family system. The family system is not my topic of concern but the stories that I was told is my interest of the date. I remember a particular story of an Elephant and 6 blind men. Let me try my best to narrate the story to the readers.

Long ago there were 6 blind friends lived in a town. Though they are physically challenged, they imagined the world we live by sensing it through touching the things. Then they used to discuss about their perception among themselves to imagine better. One day they heard that there is an elephant show in the town. They have not had a chance to imagine this animal before. As others the enthusiasm got carried on to these 6 friends also. The news heard from others about how the animal looks increased the eagerness among these friends. So they decided to visit the town center to get a feel of the animal.

Thinking about the animal the 6 friends reached the town center. They requested the trainer to help them in getting the feel of this animal that stands in front of them. Seeing the interest and enthusiasm in these physically challenged friends the trainer agreed to help them in touching the animal.

The First approached the Elephant, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to brawl: "God bless me but the Elephant Is very like a wall." The Second, feeling of the tusk, Cried, "Ho! What have we here So very round and smooth and sharp? To me 'tis mighty clear This wonder of an Elephant Is very like a spear!" The Third approached the animal, And happening to take The squirming trunk within his hands, Thus boldly up and spake: "I see," quoth he, "The Elephant Is very like a snake!" The Fourth reached out an eager hand, And felt around the knee, "What most this wondrous beast is like Is mighty plain," quoth he; " 'Tis clear enough the Elephant Is very like a tree!" The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said: "E'en the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can, This marvel of an Elephant Is very like a fan!" The Sixth no sooner had begun About the beast to grope, Than, seizing on the swinging tail That fell within his scope, "I see," quoth he, "the Elephant is very like a rope!"

The management lesson that we get out of this story is that each and every individual in this world has their own perception about each and every thing. The reason for perception can range from many things like their studies, believes, standard of living, family background, surroundings, society, interests, exposure etc. The list is endless. In order to be a good person we need to accept and appreciate this individuality.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence & Management

Artificial intelligence (2001) a Steven Spielberg film is a thought provoking movie. When I had a chance to watch this movie it triggered an important question related to management. Before I proceed further with my thought let me give a small overview of the film.

The movie was directed, produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg. The film is about a mechanical boy manufactured by one of the scientist. The boy becomes the first of the kind who simulates almost all the feelings as that of human being. The boy even tries chasing his dream at one point of time. This movie touches the human feelings and it tries to question about whether it is possible to create a mankind simulation without affecting the real human kind. The story line is very simple yet very strong with close knitted sentiments and emotions. Who told western movies are not sentimental. They are far more sentimental than Indian movies. The only difference is that the sentimental sequences in those movies are like real so they are not displayed separately from the story line.

I hope with this short description about the movie let me dwell into the management thought that I obtained from this movie. Many people have a notion that management is to do with managing people. Yes the argument of leadership is right. But it is just one face to management. By this I mean that management is far more than leadership. But the important thing to note from my perspective is that there is a strong co-relation between neuroscience and leadership. Consider for example world’s 2nd largest economy Japan, there is very limited management theory emerged from this country. When we look at US, we say that the country was built upon strong expatriate community that came out of the parent country. This expatriate crowd is the one which became the base for the strong growth of US economy. The other countries either followed them are trying to imitate them. The exception can be seen from EU region. It is said that there occurred a brain drain in EU when many good brains went out of EU to settle in US. Along with them they took away the strong management brain to US from where majority of management theory emerged and is emerging. Does that mean the countries which acted as colonies or which was part of bigger nation cannot become leader? Does this mean leadership should come from the genes of a particular family?

But I feel that there is some sort of relationship between leadership and DNA. But this does not mean that leaders can emerge only from western countries or developed countries. As we practice management in developing countries, leaders emerge from these countries also. But the style of leadership differs based on the region from which they belong to. This can be found by researching different countries and the type of leadership they follow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stirling Castle - Management system

Nature has given very good mix of resources to Scotland. The country has both the mix of highlands and low lands. Stirling acts as a connecting point between the highland and lowland of Scotland. Stirling is a beautiful city of Scotland, situated 30 miles away from Glasgow. The city can be reached from both Edinburgh and Glasgow in less than an hour journey. The place got significant interest because of its natural setup. The main visitor's attraction of Stirling is its castle. The Castle has a long historic background which extends beyond 11th century. This castle acted as the capital for many years in Scottish history. The castle was located in a naturally beautiful hill area. On a clear day people can have a vision of around 50 miles radius from this castle. The castle attracts a total visitor’s count of around 200,000 per year. Tourism and development is one of major industry in Scotland. This industry contributes significantly to the GDP of the country. There are many themes in promoting tourism in the country. To name a few Golf play, Adventure, Historic, and Scenic view etc. Nature has given a lot of resources which acts as the base for the country.

The management issues that are associated with Stirling castle in particular are related with climate. The castle is located in a small mountainous region. We can experience significant variation in temperature between lowland area and this region. As Scottish climate is expected to be wet, people might feel uncomfortable in having a good view of natural scenery of this place and to get the actual feel of tour. Even the management might face problem in promoting this place with its wet climate. Though the place has got long traditional Scottish history associated with itself, the display available in the castle is very limited. The architecture design is an important point to note in this castle. On the other hand this particular castle lack in displaying the old tradition of Scottish rule. The whole castle can be covered in less than an hour and half with guided tour. The facilities are excellent. The castle has provision to arrange for audio tour if so required. The refractory has excellent food with good friendly people serving them. We cannot blame the management in the service it provide to the visitors. It can be assured that all the visitors are received with pleasing staffs to have a good stay at this place.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Useful plugins for Firefox

Microsoft has released ie 8, Google released Chrome. The 2nd most popular browser with 20% market share Firefox is working on its way to release new version of its browser. Recently I came across a few plugins for firefox that might be of helpful for others. I am sharing them along with its usage.

1. Athens login toolbar
Athens is an online academic database in UK. This plugin enables user to login to Athens there by the user gets access to wide variety of articles, journals, ebooks, statistics data etc. I am using it for more than 2 months and it comes handy without affecting the normal performance of the browser. This plugin reduces the user mouse click and keyboard access.

2. Wizz
This is a RSS feed reader. This collects all the rss url and saves it in a structured manner. Whenever user wants to read or update him/herself with his/her interest he/she can click on this Wizz window to open and can start reading the updated news. This has option to import and export feeds. The performance of the browser takes a toll when we use this plugin.

3. Scribefire
This plugin is useful for those who often write blogs. This enables user to drag and drop formatted text into blog. A handy tool to write blogs with rich format text.

4. Twitterfox
The extension adds a tiny icon on the status bar that notifies user when user's friends update their statuses. Also it has a small text input field to update user's status. Interested people can see more information on my site:

5. Zotero
This plugin is particularly useful for students/researchers who often needs to cite their works. This plugin helps in building reference automatically without manual typing. Thus this plugin reduces user time in creating a reference in accordance with different format. For more info please visit

6. Flashblack
This is a handy tool to suppress unwanted flash movie ads. getting loaded when people are interested in doing serious stuffs. This tool can suppress those flash movies and gives option to user to view by selecting particular movie file to load.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weird fact about me

The sky is pouring down water in the form of rain to neutralize global warming in its natural form. Cold breeze flow through air. Its late night in Glasgow. As we move away 4.5 hours from GMT we see that India woke up from sleep. It has started another week. I am listening to Aahaa fm online. As I listen to fm my thoughts wander around many issues. Late night I read lots of news paper articles particularly related to two main issues. The first was about the terrorist attack in the capital city of India. The second regarding Lehman brothers. As I was reading I got a few ideas that could be implemented in future.

During this period suddenly a weird fact about my past struck my mind. I found that there is a strong co-relation between my life and emerging things. I selected an emerging subject during that period (Information Technology). Post my undergraduate studies I joined an emerging company of that time (Mindtree Consulting). During my career I started working with an emerging technology (Content Management-Documentum). I joined a foreign university to do my MBA. Again this university is emerging university. I think this is merely a co-incidence. But this fact is interesting.

I feel that emerging industry, country and area is a place to study. I feel that I have utilized this gifted opportunity to learn in emerging areas. Now I feel that I am ready to reflect upon my learning and to do some productive work. I get many good ideas irrespective of industry. I think this is the gift I have with me. I should utilize this properly to bring many constructive changes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Business in Tamilnadu Strengths and weakness - An article in Business Today

The nondescript office in Chennai's Egmore area that houses the Guidance Bureau, the single-window investment facilitation office of the Tamil Nadu government, has never seen as much activity since its inception in the early 1990s as it has over the last 26 months. During this period, foreign direct investment worth Rs 25,683 crore has found its way into Tamil Nadu (mostly in and around Chennai). That apart, projects worth Rs 16,000 crore have been finalised and are awaiting official announcements.

For M. Velmurugan, Director, Guidance Bureau, and his staff, it has been a period of extended office hours and lost weekends. We close a minimum of one project worth at least Rs 400 crore every week, says Velmurugan, who is also the point-person for hard-selling Tamil Nadu as an investment destination.

Among the big-ticket investments his department has bagged are the Rs 4,500-crore Renault-Nissan car project, the Rs 3,000-crore Daimler-Hero commercial vehicle facility, Hyundai's Rs 4,000-crore second-phase expansion, Moser Baer's Rs 2,000-crore photo voltaic manufacturing plant, Apollo Tyres' Rs 500-crore radial tyre plant and Nokia-Siemens' Rs 300-crore telecommunications equipment manufacturing facility.But Velmurugan prefers to showcase the state of existing investments to highlight Chennai's competitive edge. Nokia's India operations, he says, began in January 2006 with just over 500 employees.

Fact file

Area: 1,189 sq. km

Population: 7.5 million

Main industries: Information Technology, ITES, Auto, Telecom Hardware

Per capita income: Rs 21,885 per annum

Rents (commercial): RS 60-90 per sq. ft

Peak power demand: 9,267 MW

Peak power supply: 8,800 MW

Power deficit: 467 MW

Power tariffs domestic: Rs 1.85-2.90 per unit

Power tariffs commercial: Rs 5.05-6.00 per unit

Power tariffs industrial: Rs 3.30-4.05 per unit

Total water supply: 950 million litres per day

Per capita water supply (City): 147 litres per day

Public transport: Buses, Suburban Trains, Taxis and AutorickshawsToday, its staff strength is 8,000 (its vendors in the Nokia SEZ employ another 15,000 people). In fact, Nokia's Chennai facility has overtaken the one in China and is now its largest manufacturing facility in the world in terms of volume.

Similarly, Hyundai, which started with a capacity of 100,000 cars in 1996, has expanded its output to 630,000 cars and has designated its Chennai plant its global small car hub. These expansions are a clear indicator of the extent of competitiveness Chennai offers to investors, he says with more than a hint of pride.

Inherent strengthsA strong educational system has been one of Tamil Nadu's traditional strengths. There are, according to Velmurugan, 333 engineering colleges, 230 polytechnics and over 1,200 industrial training institutes churning out close to 300,000 technically qualified students every year. Tamil Nadu produces 25 per cent of the country's engineering graduates.

Moreover, the work culture is very attractive. People here are eager to learn and have a higher sense of loyalty, says R. Chandrasekaran, Managing Director & President, Cognizant Technology Solutions, which houses about 35 per cent of its 59,000-strong workforce in Chennai.

Chennai's other strength is its connectivity to all parts of the country not just by rail, road and air but also through two major ports, Chennai and Ennore. The former, in fact, is India's secondbusiest container terminal. Also, undersea cables to Singapore (13.2 terabits capacity) connect us to our mainframes and servers around the world, says Michael Boneham, President & Managing Director, Ford India.Ford, which recently announced a $500-million (Rs 2,150 crore) programme to double its capacity and set up an engine manufacturing facility, was one of the first global automobile majors to zero in on Chennai.The city's other advantage is its low rentals. Though nearly 16 million square feet (sq. ft) of office space has been absorbed in the city over the last three years, Grade A office rentals in the central business district is just Rs 60-90 per sq. ft compared to Rs 350-600 per sq. ft in Mumbai,'' points out Ramesh Nair, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a real estate consulting firm.Chennai scores on the softer side as well. Our culture is more welcoming and people face fewer barriers when making friends, says Ranjani Manian, Founder CEO, Global Adjustments, a relocation and cross-cultural training firm. The city has excellent schools and medical facilities, the crime rate is low and there are no communal tensions, she adds.

Chennai's strengths are its ports and connectivity to all parts of the country by rail, road and air - Michael Boneham, MD, Ford IndiaTamil Nadu's work culture is very attractive and people here are eager to learn - R. Chandrasekaran, MD & President, Cognizant TechnologiesOur culture is more welcoming and people face fewer barriers when making friends - Ranjani Manian, Founder CEO, Global AdjustmentsMost importantly, the state government is seen as investor-friendly and has been courting investments armed with a huge land bank in close proximity to Chennai.

The flip side of success

The massive inflow of investments and people has, however, begun to take a toll on Chennai's infrastructure. Power consumption grew 16 per cent in 2007-08. This was accompanied by a fall in hydro-power generated by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). Result: a shortfall of about 467 MW. In 2008, for the first time in many years, the government announced power cuts for both residents and industries.This regulated loadshedding and industrial holidays have taken the sheen off Tamil Nadu's claim of being a power-surplus state. The shortfall in power supply is a temporary phenomenon. Inconsistent rains in recent weeks have hit hydro-power generation. We are rapidly augmenting capacity and will add about 4,500 MW by 2011, making Chennai power-surplus once again, says S. Kathiresan, Member, Accounts, TNEB.

The rain gods may have played truant in recent times, but they have been bountiful over the last couple of years. This has allowed the authorities to charge the reservoirs that currently supply 645 million litres of water a day. But experts warn that the situation could deteriorate rapidly if the monsoons fail. No long-term solution to the city's water problem has been found. A desalination plant is coming up, but that is a bad remedy. Interlinking rivers is a good option but it is far from being accepted conceptually. In a way, we are going in a blind alley and there are no plans to stop this march, warns C.S. Kuppuraj, former Chief Engineer, Tamil Nadu Public Works Department.Chennai's infrastructure is also wilting. Traffic snarls are becoming more common despite the government investing heavily in widening roads and on building flyovers and bypass roads. Infrastructure will always be a challenge though it is not as bad as in other cities. It will always be in catch-up mode, points out Cognizant's Chandrasekaran.

Also, residential rentals have steadily increased at 25 to 30 per cent per annum over the last three years blowing a gaping hole in the monthly budgets of middle class residents and forcing many to relocate to the suburbs.Time for optimism

Adds S. Muthiah, noted journalist and historian: The city's population has grown three times over the last 10 years but we have failed to move the population out of the city. Attempts to build townships closer to industrial clusters such as Gummidipoondi and Maraimalainagar, near Chennai, have failed. The ever-increasing population puts enormous stress on roads, schools and the water and power infrastructure. In fact, he has a rather radical solution to decongest the city: move the political capital out of Chennai and turn the city into a business hub.

The government, for its part, is now promoting Tier II cities such as Coimbatore and Madurai as investment destinations for IT and ITES projects in order to ease the pressure on the state capital and has even been partially successful in its endeavour.

But despite this, it is clear that Chennai's infrastructure is starting to feel the pressure. Is there any danger, then, of the city going the Bangalore way? This is a genuine concern in the minds of many in Tamil Nadu. But people like Muthiah feel otherwise. We are clearly heading that (Bangalore's) way, but we may not actually get there as the state government is aware of the impending crisis. It has already initiated road, public transport and power projects to ensure that Chennai's infrastructure at least keeps pace with requirements, he says. Given the projects on the ground and the stated aims of both the major political parties in the state, some of his optimism is, indeed, warranted.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gen-X opting out of EPF, What is the alternative option to initiate savings?

The article in economic times reveal the move towards western trend by Gen X (I accept this Gen X includes me). It also discusses the effects of following the new trend.

I thought of discussing it. I hope this blog would be a good option to throw our ideas. As an initiative let me give my ideas.

As the article points out people want good return from their money. The trend seen among people shows that the risk taking capability has increased among Gen X. We all know that high return comes with high risk. Now coming to the actual issue, do we still need PF? If the government needs PF money from the employees why not we try to implement Fixed & Floating interest to PF like the housing loans? By introducing this people whose risk taking capability is low can go in for fixed interest schemes. In turn people having greater risk taking capability can opt for floating interest scheme. The government can think of setting up the wealth management to improve the earnings of people. This will be a win-win situation for both our Indian government and the public. The earning by government will also go up without affecting the growing Indian economy.
I would be happy to debate about this issue.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Change in climate

Its been around 10 days since I wrote my last blog. I became a bit busy with the research project that I currently work with. The project is taking its real shape. I had a good learning regarding the way to do research, usage of appropriate research method, analysis of data using software tools. Another major change is with my attitude in drafting the report. I am currently in the transition process of moving from a descriptive writer to a critical analyst. Thanks to the mentor who helps me in improving myself.
Another notable improvement is the use of RSS feeds. I have got a bit of hands on in using rss feeds. I have firstly used them to get updated with the news particularly with a few selected news sites. The technology is interesting to learn. The google reader makes use of AJAX to implement the reader. The feeds are updated using this technology. RSS feeds are very powerful provided used rightly.
As I change over time the climate in Glasgow also started changing. The day light starts to fade away around 9 pm in the evening. Also the air became chiller compared with the summer. In another 25 days the day light saving will come to an end. Along with the end of summer the vacation will also come to end. The academic institutions will start to function. The next big occasion expected is Christmas in the month of December. It will continue till the new year celebration.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Proactive method of Continuous Adult Learning

Looking at my past performance I always wonder because of the learning pattern formed in my life. The pattern used to have continuous crests and troughs. Ideally people used to think the learning curve to grow exponentially with a steep growth in the young age. As age progresses the line tend to grow flat. This means that general expectation is that people learn a lot of things during the childhood. It is not to deny that people are not learning at old age. People do learn even in adult age but due to the gathered knowledge, theoretically speaking the learning seems to be slow.

Coming back to my own case I mentioned that I have seen crests and troughs time and again in my performance graph. Does this mean I am not learning continuously? No it was not the message I meant. What I meant is that my assimilation of subject knowledge tend to deviate from what I indent to do in my classroom studies. I always look for action oriented studies than reading theories of past. This is evident even from my child age. I love the subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Computers. But I used to hate subjects like History, Geography, Civics. My feeling was that those subjects were of less importance when compared with the former. Honey & Mumford (1992) explains this act as a Pragmatist approach.

If this is the case then how did I prosper during my peak times? The answer has been given by again Honey & Mumford (1992) simply by mapping my secondary character to a reflector. Being reflector I gained the advantage of being cautious, thoughtful and listen attentively. So this explains what I do in peak times. I used to listen very attentively to what others say and my inner brain works on the thoughts that it assimilate due to the unconscious learning. So I have been dependent on the person who delivers the speech to learn. If the person is good at capturing the attention of listener I would have gained a lot of knowledge. This explains that why I was excelling in some of the subject maters and lagging in others.

What should I do now to show a steady performance? The answer becomes simple. I have to be proactive in learning. This is possible provided I understand the nature of reflector and try to utilize the secondary characters such as cautiousness, thoughtfulness and listening. The thoughtfulness needs to link what i study with the real time action for me to understand the real essence of the theme. This comes from my primary role of pragmatist. Thus combining these two will help me in excelling myself in coming up with a better performance.

Just a thought had I been taught this way I might have performed even better. What our education system could do to help young students is not to change the basic structure. But they have to focus towards the teachers. They have to illuminate teachers regarding the behaviour of students and people in generic. It is time to focus towards the psychological factors and make teachers understand the student psychology. Teachers cannot follow the same style of teaching to all students. They have to be aware of different methodologies that they can make use of in teaching a particular student based on his behaviour and learning style. If we are successful in implement this in school level itself we will be able to produce competitive young brains of future who will be performing good in both the academics and in their profession. It will reduce the effort and cost being put in an individual at a later part of life mostly after undergraduation. This will reduce our % of population who remain non-employable due to the lack of basic skills.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Indian Retail Chain

With the entrance of UK's largest and economical retail chain Tesco entering Indian market; the competition is set to raise in the Indian retail chain. This is the third foreign retail chain entering the Indian market. Previously Wal-mart, US & Carrefour, France entered India with the partnership with Bharti & Wadia Group respectively.
Currently there is government restriction for these groups to operate only at the wholesale level. This is an attempt to maintain the traditional 'kirana stores' of India. What is the future of Indian retail chain? There is a possibility that the government might liberalize the policy to give access to the foreign players in the direct consumer market. There are already a few consumer dealers like Reliance & Subhiksha who operate regionally.
With the competition from these foreign players, the Indian retail sector is growing organically. What should the Indian counterparts do to neutralize the competition from the foreign players? The Indian players might be interested in improving the supply chain management to reduce cost and improve efficiency. This could be done easily by parterning with the Kirana stores instead of setting up new outlet. Thus, with the traditional way of business i.e through 'Kirana stores' the big players can reach the customers easily and cheaply.
Apart from this, the Indian companies should improve the quality of its product to international level. The adulterant should be brought to zero level. With cheap labor power in India, the operating cost can be minimized with focus given to quality.
Let us wait for the maturity of Indian retail chain in near future with organic competition between Indian & foreign companies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ugly aur Pagli

The most awaited Mallika Sherawat's movie Ugly aur Pagli has got released. The movie's plot revolves around the two Kuhu (Mallika Sherawat) and Kabir (Ranvir Shorey). Director Sachin Kamlakar Khot has majorly underplayed the role of Kabir in his story. To make it worst the character of Kuhu has been made to look like a sadistic girl. The girl who tortures her boy friend without any reason. The background reason for such an act has been mentioned as the sudden demise of her boy friend.
Like in the traditional Indian movies that preached a person in trouble should consume alcohol, this movie took another step of showing the heroin who is an alcoholist just because her life is in sad moments. This raises a question about our Indian tradition. Should we have to follow the corrupted western culture? What about our traditional Indian culture? Why are we not taking the positives of western culture?
Two things that are visible in the movie are the slappings received by Kabir from Kuhu without any reasons. The madness of Kuhu & Kabir who does everything without giving second thought just to make her happy. But does it work? There is no answer as Kuhu suddenly break apart from Kabir without any reason. While going away Kuhu sends a message to Kabir saying that she will come back if she is able to forget the loss of previous boy friend. But during re-entry the girl goes to meet another guy arranged by her parents. She remembers about Kabir only after the new guy takes his name. Why is she not going directly to meet Kabir?
The Director should conduct a quiz to findout the story line. Even after writing this blog I am still wondering what would be the one line story that director might have had in his mind. Overall this is an entertainer to be for those who are mad about Mallika Sherawat. For others it is better to avoid such a third grade comedy movie.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Slovenia - An overview

Towards the end of 20th century, Eastern Europe has undergone major change both politically and economically (Bateman, 1997). The historic events start with the collapse of Berlin Wall in 1989. This was followed by series of events such as the abandonment of communism, the end of the Cold War, the re-unification of Germany and the end of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. When the government shifted from communist rule to the democratic elections, the now post-communist economies was restructured based on the principles of the market economy, which focus on the private ownership, entrepreneurship and liberalization, simply called ‘transition economy’ (Bateman, 1997).
The change brought in individual freedom for people to start their own business, change their life style and bring economic improvements. Privatisation has brought in sense of responsibility and greater motivation under new owners. New opportunities and businesses emerged with a sense of ownership. The early hopes of rapid economic growth and improvement in lifestyle appear not to have been fulfilled during the early part of transition (Bateman, 1997). But the current scenario is better as the people have relatively good lifestyle with the healthier lifestyle. The countries that flourished post the economic or political changes in central and eastern Europe, have a common culture that is better described as ‘entrepreneurial’ in terms of surrounding institutional, legal, financial and technical environments along with changing demands, innovations, products, opportunities and technologies (Bateman, 1997).
Slovenia, an independent country since 1991, is one of the six republics of Yugoslavia. The country gains geographical advantage for development for trade with its northern border sharing with Austria and southern with Croatia, Panomian plain in the east. Port of Koper on the Adriatic coast links the country with many countries (Industry, 1997).
Starting middle ages, Slovenia extend its relationship with Austria rather than Hungary apart from the periods of Turkish invasion and intervention by France under Napolean. This is a contrasting feature when compared with its neighbouring Croatia. Slovenia shares its history not only with Austria, but also with Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli, the Czech lands and southern Poland. The country’s aristocracy and cities were largely German-speaking until this century, but culture has flourished in the Slovene language for a relatively long time, for instance during the enlightenment.
Slovenia acts as an excellent alternative route for goods to and from other countries to neighbouring countries and European region (Industry, 1997). The people are predominantly Roman Catholic and speak Slovene. Since its peaceful secession from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia has moved rapidly into the European mainstream, joining NATO in March 2004 and the EU in May 2004.

Anonymous. (2007). Structural Changes in Network Industries - Effects of Liberalisation. Slovenian Economic Mirror , 13 (4), 26,27.
Bateman, M. (1997). Business cultures in Central & Eastern Europe. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Bojnec, S. (1999). Privatisation, restructuring and management in Slovene enterprises. Comparative Economic Studies. , 41 (4), 71, 32pgs.
Industry, D. o. (1997). Open for Business Central Europe - Slovenia. London: DTI Export Publications Orderline.
Pahor et al, M. (01 September 2004). Building a corporate network in a transition economy:the case of Slovenia. Post-Communist Economies , 16 (3), 27.