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.