Saturday, November 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The foot-bridge that collapsed was also being built by an A list contractor...
Today the Times (website) is screaming the headline "Roof Collapses", when you read the story it turns out a small part of a false ceiling came down due to heavy cables...
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Here is a tip: when arriving at Bombay Airport, looking for a sign that says "Fleet Taxis" near the "Pre-Paid Taxi" counter, both at international and domestic arrivals. Under Fleet Taxis sign there will be a few black phones, just pick up any of your choice, my preference is Meru Cabs, and get yourself a smooth ride to your destination.
This is such a relief, because though Bombay's 1960 "Fiat" taxis are charming, they are rickety and way past retirement. Modern taxi services like Meru, Mega, Dot Cabs, Forshe (only for women) bring the much need high quality service and comfort missing from Bombay till a year back.
If you want to book these taxis for hopping around the city, you can do that do, just Google their names to get their phone numbers.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Most people at the meet agreed that Angel Investments are chiefly in businesses that VCs are likely to fund once the model is proven. This is logical because Angels cannot write large enough cheques to carry a business all the way to sale or IPO, thus will need VCs to step in with big cheques after 4 - 8 quarters. Thus one limitation as to what businesses are being funded by Angels is the kind of sectors VC find hot.
Another agreement seemed to be that, since Angels need to spend lots of time on with their investee startup, they like the business to be local; thus Angel activity in India is chiefly restricted to business HQ in Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore.
Surprisingly some Angels differed on the fact that only business that have an exit potential need to be funded by Angel Capital. Some Angels at the meet said they fund businesses that can give them healthy dividends ! I found that quite strange and didn't make sense to me.
From my own experience, Angel investing is growing by leaps and bounds in India, at over 300% a year, with more and more projects Angel invested each year. At Indian Angel Network, since 2006 we have done 19 investments, with 10 of those coming in 2009! At this rate in about 8 years we should see Angel investments reach a very sizeable number, possibly equaling VC investments.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
But atleast I am informed and while I can fret about the lack of a suitable candidate, unlike the 2004 elections, I can now understand my candidates better, get details of their public records and also upcoming promises. I can even dive into their part manifestos.
All this thanks to MumbaiVotes.com a non profit project dedicated to providing indepth information on each candidate. If you live in Mumbai, and are voting on the 13th of October, please 1st visit MumbaiVotes.com to get a detailed synopsis and video interviews on each candidate.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
What makes the strike worse is that global aviation, Indian included, is going through an extremely rough patch, with each airline racking up millions of Dollars in losses. Jet Airways to has been losing money all of last year. Instead of working shoulder to shoulder with the airline management, these pilots can only think of their own agenda. Selfish.
Management books have pages full talking about the need of management to communicate their position to employees. But how many employees make an effort to understand the management position? There has always been way too much focus on management trying to communicate its position to employees, but very little on employees trying to understand management.
And what is the use of unions in India? The newspapers are full of stories of corrupt union leaders who lead unions as a way to gain personally. A recent story on Pervez Pestonji Saher, a senior laundry operator, showed how he is amongst the Taj Hotels highest paid employees, at Rs. 1.5 cr a year ($300,000/year), just because he is the leader of the hotel's union. In the past there have been stories on how famous union leader Datta Samant amassed a huge amount of wealth and power due to his position.
Instead of forming unions, people should try and better understand the company they are a part off. The reaslisation that there is no master and no workers, just a team, trying to make ends meet for everyone, is the key.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
On our site Remindo, FF 3.1 does not render pages fast, when all other browsers including IE, Safari and Chrome do so. The problem appears to be that because our site is fully HTTPs, it 1st loads the entire page and then outputs it! Instead of outputting the page in small chunks. Users thus are left staring at a blank screen for a few seconds before the page appears.
Not just Remindo, every site is negatively affected by FF 3.5, 3.5.1 and 3.5.2, when you open a page and its downloading, while you can see it page, the page scroll locks, so one has to wait for the whole page to load before one can scroll though the page.
These are shocking usability issues, but Mozilla Corporation is bent on stonewalling the issue. They refuse to acknowledge these as bugs, and keep asking users to disable add ons. Well I have disabled all my addons and there is no improvement!
For a browser that has as much as 30% marketshare, this is pathetic! Mozilla Corporation in the hurry to outdo Chrome and other browsers seem to have slipped up on the basics!
Update: Techcruch also blogs the issue: Earlier in the week Techcruch reported that FF 3.5 was not playing well with Twitter and other sites. Many comments chipped in with similar woes http://tcrn.ch/6RWd
Sunday, July 26, 2009
When this classified US map leaked last year, showing Baluchistan as a separate country, it created an uproar in Pakistan. Rightly so, because no nation would want see a large part of itself carved out into a separate country.
Yet, it is the consistent foreign policy of superpowers to carve up countries in smaller multiple countries, so as to keep them under control and weak.
Under the Clinton administration, Yugoslavia was carved up into 3 countries: Coratia, Serbia and Montenegro.
Under the next Presidency, the Bush administration, Iraq was carved up into 3 autonomous regions, Basra, Kurdistan and Central Iraq
Now under the Obama administration we are likely to see Pakistan carved up into 2 countries, or at the very least 2 autonomous regions: Baluchistan and Pakistan.
But wait, isn't the US Pakistan's ally, giving it millions of dollars of aid every year? Yes it is.
But Pakistan's sin appears to be its growing proximity to China:
- Hu Jintao has described relations with Pakistan as "higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans"
- Lately, military cooperation has deepened with joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to guided missile frigates. The MBT 2000 tank and JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft are some of the recent products of this deep co-operation.
- Since 1986, China and Pakistan have been co-operating on Nuclear Technology, having setup a 300MW power plant in Punjab in 1999, building another to go live next year; and widely suspected to have supplied critical knowledge and components for Pakistan's military nuclear program.
The US would thus like to move very quickly to carve up Pakistan, so that it always has atleast one part under its control and Baluchistan, by the sea is just perfect.
So why does the US need yet another base in Central Asia? After all it has Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, is landlocked, making it a fairly poor US base, thus a fairly ineffective staging area against Iran or China.
Baluchistan, with one edge sitting on the Arabian sea and its borders nicely touching Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is the perfect base in Central Asia both for Military purposes and as a vital transportation link of the vast oil and natural gas reserves of Central Asia. An added bonus: Baluchistan itself is rich in gas and oil!
And who is helping Obama goto Baluchistan? None other than that lovely excuse to take over any country: Osama bin Laden. He's in Afghanistan, take it over. Oh, now he's escaped to North West Pakistan, bomb the place; now he's escaped into Baluchistan, enter Baluchistan. Love it, what a simple and wonderful excuse - and people called the Bush Administration stupid!
Ofcourse the Indian perspective in the matter is that it will be all the more happy with a carved up Pakistan, the smaller the better, easier to dominate and control.
Oh, but please note, China is not letting go so easily. It's helping build a deep sea port in Baluchistan at Gwadar at this very moment, so it has already established its direct presence in the region.
So folks, with Pakistan, US, China and India jostling over Baluchistan, and Iran probably entering the fray soon, the great game continues, get set for a bloody 7 years to see it through!
Friday, July 24, 2009
On the exact opposite end, another one of my investments, this time a web media business, which was not going anywhere in the 1st place, the founder copied all the data and users of the original website to start a parallel website! How sad! I guess some people just don't have it in them when it comes to building something.
More to come in later posts on the business that is attracting VC investments...
Monday, July 13, 2009
How do they do these thing? How does boring Udaipur win ahead of New York (which came in at no. 8).
I was in Udaipur for friend's wedding a few years back. We landed at a tacky airport and drove for 1.5 hrs through dusty roads to get to our "Palace" hotel: A brand new hotel designed like Palace.
We had a great time because the whole hotel was taken over by our gang and 2 days we didn't venture out. There was a man made island in Udaipur lake (yes Dubai, the maharajas beat you to it by a 1000 years), where there is a pleasure palace(no other word for it), which took centerstage. We rocked 48 hrs non stop and loved it.
But I saw the place on my way in and out, not worth a 2nd visit and not worth a visit unless your'e going with a big group and staying in one of the Palace hotels.
Not sure how a place like Udaipur comes in at No. 1, read the link and find out !
Monday, June 22, 2009
1. Choice for users: Bing is the 1st real competitor to Google. For 10 years Google has dominated the search scene with its fabulous search engine. But I felt the last 5 years, the search engine has stangnated. It didn't add any new interesting functionality, it didn't improve its image search and its video search is quite basic. Now the choice exists. I now prefer Bing's Video search (remarkably better) and have also started checking search results on both Google and Bing.
2. Choice for advertisers: Rates on Google for many spots were getting quite absurd (thus the superhigh profits earned by Google!). Because Bing is bound to get good market share over the years, advertisers will have a choice, which will drive down ad rates.
3. Choice for websites: People tend to forget that search engines are nothing but a collection of data from all websites. The problem with Google has been is that websites, such as my Flora2000.com have had to remain pretty stagnant from a content perspective because the search engine with 70% of the market, did not adopt any new ranking methods for the last 5 years! Now with Bing, hopefully things will change and each Search Engine is sure to outdo the others and release new features. Websites can now choose to release features keeping in mind that it will show up on one search engine but may not on the other, which is ok, if both have decent market share.
I really admire Microsoft for coming from behind once again with a strong product. I'd watchout if I were Google, because MS beat the leader in the Spreadsheet (Lotus), the wordprocessor (Wordperfect), the Browser (Netscape), the Gaming Machine (Nintendo, Sega), to dominate the space.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In Delhi on each occasions when we went out for dinner our friends would be typically attired in a Cartier watch, Versace jeans (with belt strategically under the label), Gucci shoes, Louis Vutton bag and carrying a Vertu phone. The conversation would be about how much they spent on renovating their new farmhouse (with ear & eye popping numbers) and how they took their 3 maids with them on holiday to Monaco (Miami, London, etc). If they bumped into someone at the restaurant, their friends would be similarly turned out. The dinner was inevitably in a 5 star restaurant where there would be lots of fuss with the staff on the meal and the chef would inveitably visit our table. Later they would leave in Range Rover piolted by a chauffer in white uniform with a cap to match. We would always feel underdressed attired in rolled up sleeves with no watch and having arrived in lowly rental car.
In Bombay, out for dinner our friends would turn up for dinner similarly attired as us, usually with no watch and non descript outfits. The place we'd meet would normally be a club, or a low profile resteraunt with excellent food, where we'd be going for years and where the owner is well known to us. If the conversation ever moved to material things, then it would always be about how much they saved in doing the deal, if they bought a house for Rs. 10 cr ($2Million), you could never hear that from them, you'd hear something like "oh I got it for Rs. 2.5cr, because I knew the developer really well and he gave me a special discount", which would leave everybody at the table fuming and jealous on the bargin struck. If they went on holiday to Dubai or New York, it would be about all the art galleries visited or how they got an amazing deal at the place they stayed. They would leave in their self drive Honda or Toyota cars, or a vintage Mercedes.
In Delhi one always overstates to show how successful one is; in Bombay one always understates to show how smart one is!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2 days back, noted RTI activist Krishna Raj Rao, along with 10 other activits went to meet the Maharashtra Chief Information commissioner, Suresh Joshi, when he did not listen, they started singing the National Anthem. The government immediately silenced them and arrested them, on grounds of "tresspass" and sent them to jail for 2 days! Truly shocking.
Is this anyway to treat the frustrated and protesting citizens of our country? This is government gone all wrong. Is India turning into a Police State where no one can raise their voice against the government?
On the other hand you have politicians who incite violence which even gets people killed and they walk around free.
I was in Amsterdam a few years back when there were street protests against the government and I was happy to see that despite citizens shouting abusives at the government, the police stood by and simply maintained order. This is how our governernment needs to behave, respecting frustration and and venting of anger by our people.
May these protesters never silence due to the intimidating acts of our government. May those in power respect our people and act on the frustrations expressed.
The message the government is sending out "Don't protest, don't express frustration, don't oppose, only live in fear"
STOP THIS SHAMELESS BEHAVIOUR.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Once again the BJP has lost, and their numbers are even worse than they were 5 years back in 2004. Once again the BJP fought this election with a strategic emphasis on communal divide. They then went all out to promote this, with aggressive campaigning across India, running newspaper advertisements, making TV appearances, running large scale online banner campaigns; and they even gave social media marketing a go via Facebook and Orkut groups; and their leader LK Advani even aggressively promoted his blog, the 1st of a major Indian politician. So interms of marketing execution they were A++.
It is their product that was faulty that cost they yet another election. They are trying to push a communal strategy where they hold one religion superior over others, to a youthful India (60% of India is under 25) who has grown up on a live TV & Internet diet of MTV, Reality Shows, Soap Operas, Travel Shows, Discover Channel, Fashion TV, Tabloids, Social Networking, Blogging, Wikis, Gaming and 20/20 cricket; who have been indulging more and more in cross community marriages; and work in corporate cultures where all are welcome, where skill is the only thing that counts! Are the youth of India interested in one community greater than the other? Ofcourse not! They are interested in buying house, nightclubbing, playing tennis, travelling and running up the corporate ladder. This is now no longer a theory, it has been proven at great cost of 2 national election losses for the BJP.
I am however sad that the BJP product is faulty. It takes away from the people a credible 2nd alternative to the Congress, who have scored a homerun once again, up 41% from the last election! With no credible 2nd alternative, we have no choice but to vote for the Congress; there is no alternative party that presents a merit based agenda of development that we can choose from. Its sad for the country.
I would love it that India has 2 strong political parties which present an option of development agendas, so that we may choose amongst them.
The BJP may have lost, but its far from a spent force, it has the national presence and millions of party workers. It needs to shed the communal divide plank and solidly base itself on development. It should do this as soon as possible, so that in 5 years it provides India with a choice. Ofcourse it has other ills such as lack of youth in their party, but that is not as large an issue as their core positioning as a communal party. Lets hope someone in there wakes up!
Ps. its interesting to see that independents went up from 5 last election to 9 this time, possibly showing that people are looking for alternatives.
PPs. The CPI+CPM's anti development policies of the last 5 years gave them a thumping defeat, down 62% from the 2004 elections! This again shows that India wants a pro development government.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I also saw a very unfriendly attitude in the air by Air Austria staff and extremely rough behaviour at Vinenna Airport where flights were delayed due to winter weather, but there was inadequate information to passengers.
Personally, I have experienced lousy service by Lufthansa's Miles & More program, where due to errors they had missed 14 of my flight! Even after writing to their program director, he refused to give me credit while accepting that I had indeed flown those flights, but because in their computer my name (there was a mistake in the way they had entered my name) did not exactly match the name on my tickets he would not give me the credit! Disgusting!
I really don't know what Indian passengers choose to fly these rude European airlines and I can imagine its obviously due to price. I guess that is why every advertisement by Lufthansa and all these other airlines is about cheap tickets! Not exactly the best way for them to stay in the black.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
| What Raju is singing|
by cool bloke on Jan 12, 2009 08:59 PM
my name is Ramalinga Raju
main Satyam ka founder hoon
khaate hai khaali, balance sheets jaali
satyam employees ki hai lagne waali
jisne bhi yaad aaye, ga**d marne chale aaye
jisne bhi yaad aaye, ga**d marne chale aaye
Hyderabad ki police chowki, jholi(ssorry...kholi) number 420
Arrrrrest me please!!!!!!
abhi abhi jail ke andar ek company kholi hai
investors ne bhi lagayi bad chad kar boli hai
jailor bhi raazi, qaidi bhi raazi
kab tak chalegi yeh jaalsaazi
jisne bhi yaad aaye, ga**d marne chale aaye
jisne bhi yaad aaye, ga**d marne chale aaye
Hyderabad ki police chowki, jholi(ssorry...kholi) number 420
Friday, January 09, 2009
Here are some of HIS pics. Enjoy.
Here is his full post http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2009/01/pictures-from-m.html
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
For this amount , today one can buy.......
1. Citibank $22.5bn
2. Morgan Stanley $10.5bn
3. Goldman Sachs $21bn
4. Merrill Lynch $12.3bn
5. Deutsche Bank $13bn
6. Barclays $12.7bn
Sunday, January 04, 2009
When in Dubai it's very rare that one gets a chance to interact with a UAE national, also known as Emirati's or "Locals" to the Expat community. Probably because they are extremely few in number, just 2%, when compared to the total population.
So, it was with much delight that I read the comments on Dubai by an Emirati with a PHD, who identified himself as Fairplayer1 in comments on CBSNEWS.com. I am reproducing in Full his (or is it Her?) comments dated 3rd Jan 2009:
"As a UAE national with PhD in law I have to admit that Sheikh Mohamed has failed to put in place a transparent judiciary and has concentrated more on self PR by anouncing unrealistic project"
" As someone who lives and breathes real estate since its first days here in Dubai, I feel it is necessary to see the cause of the boom and only then we may be able to make some calculated estimates of the future market condition.
2. Government of dubai removed the residence permit guarantee by buying a property. So automatically no tax free status, coz if you are not a resident of Dubai you can not open bank account & you are still liable for taxes in your country.
3.Nakheel/emaar/dubai holding factor: All these companies hate each other and therefore fight for the attention of sheikh mohammed, which means the greed and ego overtake logic and feasibility!!! result: Excessive lands/properties/ mega projects without proper planning & infrastructure in place.
4. Universal law supply Vs. Demand: nobody realises that the already anounced projects in dubai will need about an extra 6 million people to live in it!!!! (From Lagoons, meydan, dubailand, tatweer, mizin, industrial projects, emaar, bawadi, the world, the universe, palm deira, port rashid, waterfront, arabian canal, dubai world central….)Excuse me thats almost double the UAE population.
5. Loose the Confidence You loose everything: The investors/buyers are wakening up to the reality & there is absolutely no confidence in the market not only because of the global financial crisis but mainly because of the over supply & fear of the crash.
6. Genius Government policies: dubai government is its own worst enemy, at times like this what does dubai do? They launch new mega projects & new development companies like meraas with ambitious projects that will only further dampen market confidence.
7. Investor’s security: Dubai’s judicial system is as good as any underdeveloped country with selective rights depending who the complaint is against.
8. No human rights when it comes to dubai police. infact torture and enforced disappearance has become common in dubai under the umberella of the state security they can attach anything to anyone to reach their commercial targets.
9. Everybody owns 20% of several properties: Paying a few installments does not make you theowner so when the next installments come due and there is no quick sales like the good old days, what happens? Sell below the price or lose your deposit with the developers…. results in what we call “distress sell”
10. Oil prices & Inflation: ofcourse oil prices doubled so did the cost of steel & cement & food & labor accomodation… result abnormaly increase in construction prices on a weekly basis!!!… so an increase in property prices due to rising cost….
12. There are too many chefs in the tiny real estate kitchen of dubai, have you noticed there aren’t any happy faces in the media anymore!!! what happened to the so called international anouncements about their acquisitions…
13.The Sheikh factor: when the ruling family is desperately getting into everythng from real estate, to owning or managing coffeshops and bakeries, landries…. then the opportunities for the public is becoming less and less which means a lot of unhappy UAE nationals and residents…. which everyone know will not help the already unstable state of dubai.
14. Big brother factor: let there be no doubt Abu Dhabi will eventually overtake dubai for the right reasons. money is not an issue thanks to oil & there is no rush to sell everything just to raise funds for the previously anounced project like in dubai. Dubai’s power in UAE will be reduced due to lack of funds, money talks!!!
16. Public Prosecution & Corruption: Everything in public prosecution is relative & variable…. there are cases of misrepresentation by nakheel, for example selling thousands of villas and after 2 years just cancelling the project…. nobody can make a complaint. Likewise several private developers & real estae agents operating in a fraudulent manner are let go off the hook.
"The laws broken by sheikh maktoum hasher (winner of world scam award 2008) to elevate himself from a poor sheikh to be recognised as a real sheikh:
1. Misrepresentation/ False promotional campaign (showing photos of construction of JBC1,2,3,4,5 for the sales of Ebony Ivory project) while there is no contractoron site, no building permit…. this is a criminal offense under uae law. (But RERA & SHEIKH MOHAMMED HIS UNCLE R SLEEPING!!!)
2. dynasty zarooni who is a real estate broker has been collecting money into their own account this is 100% illegal… infact in some cases they have even sold properties with 100% down payment, imagine the poor buyers when they realise te photos shown in gulfnews were lies!!!
3. ofcourse no escrow/trust account… No construction…
4. Threatening investors and staff of al fajer properties. Investors in JBC1 are forced to move to another building s that sheikh maktoum hasher the wanna be poor sheikh can make a few millions through his friends who will sell the property to new buyers.
5. There is no immunity for sheikh maktoum hasher or his father sheikh hasher maktoum, sheikh mohammed is just too busy counting the money he has lost so he is a bit distracted now. he pretends as if he is above the law, but in reality he is a coward who can only threaten drivers and junior staff in al fajer"
As a matter of interest here is Dubai's strategic vision as laid down by it's Ruler Sheikh Mohammed AL Makthoum. It's interesting to see page 20 where he identifies Trade & Transportation as the main drivers of Dubai's growth.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Till 1996, we called this city what we wanted, we called it Bombay in English, Mumbai in Marathi, Mambai in Gujrati and Bambai in Hindi. Then divisive politics happened and the one and only exclusive name became Mumbai. Bombayites and Bambaiyas became Mumbaikars. If after that you dared call this city anything but Mumbai you risked the wraith of political goons assualting you, or attacking your house.
Why this divisive politics? What is the need for a divisive strategy? Does it win more votes? Is it the only way? What about an inclusive strategy? Why not have added the names Mumbai, Mambai and Bambai to the then official name Bombay? After all isn't dosen't our own country have 3 names: India, Hindustan, Bharat ? Germany has 2 names: Deutschland and Germany; Holland is called both Netherlands and Holland; and there are many more examples.
The names Bombay and Mumbai both have historic origins. Bombay comes from the Portuguese term Bombaim, which means Good Bay, which probably refers to the fantastic natural bay and shipping harbour, that lead to the establishment of the Bombay port, which was instrumental in giving birth to this essentially trading and shipping city. The word Mumbai, originates from the patron goddess, Mumba Devi, of the Kolis (the original inhabitants of this land before it became a city) where the word Devi translates into the word Ai, which means mother in Marathi.
So why can't we have 2 names or 4 names? Why can't we allow people to use whatever they are comfortable in using? Whatever suits them. Surely our heart is large enough, because we have an Indian heart, which is known to be especially large.
Now that the follies of our divisive methods, which pits man against man, are coming haunt us through terrible events, where the lives of innocents is being lost, let us roll back these silly divisive actions and thinking, because more than adding 3 names, it is a roll back in our divisive thinking to a purer thinking, where we are once again inclusive in our thinking.
Lets campaign for Inclusive thinking, starting with adding 3 names to the existing solitary name of this beautiful city with beautiful people.
The National Security Guard was established in 1985 after Operation Blue Thunder when the need for a dedicated anti-terrorism squad was felt. The NSG is a highly skilled, highly equipped and highly trained outfit of 14,500 commandos on deputation from the army, navy and air force.
The NSG has a dedicated counter terrorism and counter hostage wing known as the Special Action Group, SAG, which is tightly focused on rescue and counter attack in situations of terrorist and hostage situations.
The other wing of the NSG is known as the Special Rangers Group, SRG, whose job is to defend VVIPs (VV Important People/Places) from terrorism and other attacks and they can be seen guarding people such as the Prime Minister and important locations.
What struck me most about the terror attacks on Bombay that started 2 days back is that the Bombay Police where highly ill-equipped to handle terrorism. And ofcourse that is normal. A city's police force is raised to deal with crime and protection from anti-social elements, not high trained terrorists. One cannot expect a city's police force to have the budget, training and politics to be able to handle enemies who have been obviously trained to the standards of special forces.
The other thing that struck me was that the SAG had to be flown in from New Delhi to deal with the terrorists in Mumbai. By the time they left it was 1:30am (the crisis began at 9:30pm) and by the time they reached the airport and then onward onto the specific locations, it was already 6:00am. All the killing and hostage taking happened between 9:30pm and 6:00am! Infact as soon as SAG got in they started freeing the hostasges with the 1st batch being released at 6:30am.
So why does an important and venerable city like Bombay, the commercial capital, not have a SAG battalion based locally? why do they have to be flown in from Delhi?
Is it something to with politics? Yesterday the Chief Minister of Maharastra was quoted in the papers as saying that "we need to raise a force like SAG in Maharashtra" !!! Why???
I think it's the fault of disgusting politics and sheer Indian incompetence that there is no SAG unit in Bombay. In addition to the benefits of rapid response time, the team will be familiar with local establishments and terrain, making them that much more effective.
For the sake of nearly a 1000 people that lost their lives in Bombay and so that their sacrifices do not go in vain, let us be sensible and setup a SAG permanent unit in this great city.
Friday, November 28, 2008
I hope you are safe and your resilience not too shaken by these shocking and distasteful events that are now ongoing for 48hrs in Mumbai.
These attacks by cowards on unarmed civilians at the leisure centers of our city, in the evenings when people were relaxing after working hard, and on those places which Indian & International company executives frequent, have been designed to disrupt Indian business activities and demoralize teams. They are meant to cast fear into the minds of foreign visitors and parents/families of our cities' workers. And they are meant to breed mistrust. They want us to abandon our work so that we as teams fail, so that investments into India stop, so that our growth fails, so that we descend into chaos.
Our response to these cowards will be that we will not fall for the fear that they are attempting to create. They do not realise that while we Indians may be an easy going, jovial people, we are not weaklings that will scare and run away. Our response will be that we will get back at these people by growing our country to great heights and making our country stronger. We will leave our opponents frustrated, not by attacking them in return, but by becoming successful and secure.
With several 100 dead and many more deeply wounded, this is also a time for deep reflection on the India that we are building and why we have been repeatedly subject to attacks, both from within and from external forces. For too long we have built a lawless India where the legal system is in shambles and people cannot get justice, breeding deep frustration; for too long we have built a corrupt India that robs efficiency, leading to unemployment and poverty; for too long we have built a greedy India with a great gap between the haves and have nots; for too long we have built a divisive India where we have divided up each other on the basis of caste, colour, state, wealth and religion; for too long we have built a disrespectful India where we do not value other people's opinions, always asserting ourselves; and for too long we have built an India befrit of teamwork, so that it becomes virtually impossible to get good results in anything, including basic security.
Some things thus that we must henceforth pledge:
- we will never ever hinder or criticize any security measure or officer that is undertaken on the roads, malls, airports or offices. We will coorporate fully
- we will not attack each other, verbally or physically, over any issue, big or small.
- we will treat each others' point of view with immense respect and listen to it carefully
- we will work hard, sincerely and with 200% honestly
- we will strive to become more productive and increase our growth beyond even our own expectations
- we will be united and work tightly as a team
- we will spread the message of sincerity and teamwork wherever we go
- we will never complain when we have to stand up for the national anthem, because the reason we stand is in respect for those who lost their lives defending India.
- we will work hard to build the legal system
- we will work hard to remove corruption from it's root
- we will not divide people or get divided
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Now that Oil has gone over the top and the world economy is on the rocks, it's time to release some important strategic name reserves and make some important name related changes to shore up India's economy and ensure we do not miss our 10% target this year:
Orissa changes to Odisha
from now in Mumbai all nameboards have to be in both English and Marathi.
Both these important changes were passed by the respective state governments after debates in governing houses. I am so glad our politicians are doing the right thing and ensuring that the people live well and the economy keeps running.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
What is even worse when Indians attack themselves. Everyday the media is filled with news of how some political or semi political outfit went violent and attacked people. Just today the story is about the Gujjar community in Rajasthan attacked people, police stations, blocked highways and dug up railways tracks. Lots of people lost their lives as a result, 1000s were injured, lots of economic damage was done and people are generally in a state of fear.
Another story today is about political parties in Mumbai, namely the Shiv Sena & the MNS are attacking North Indians and destroying property. They beat up so called North Indian taxi drivers for immigrating to Mumbai and destroyed these poor people's taxis and even killed a few. Then they went around destroying museums and commercial establishments because they had the word "Bombay" in their name.
This is happening with total and complete disregard for the law. My view is that if you are unhappy with something, goto the court and complain, but don't resort to destruction and violence. When the very political parties that are supposed to govern do this, it speaks volumes of the state of affairs of our judicial system and the liberties of the common man: there is virtually no justice in India !
India, please stop attacking yourself.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Which is a shame, because it fabulous infrastructure, highly qualified workforce, huge capital markets and large domestic market the US is one of the best places to set up a global head quarter. A company could base it global HQ in the US and cut short by many years the time it takes to grow.
But these high taxes come in the way, so instead companies want to locate the corporate head quarters in Dubai, London, Gibraltar, or are agnostic about where they locate their headquarters.
With the diminished role of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency, the US has seen since June 2007 reduction in monthly Government Bond purchases by foreign nations from $300B a month $80B a month. This has sucked a lot of low cost liquidity out of US capital markets.
To compensate for this reduced liquidity, the US needs to go all out to woo foreign companies to shift their global headquarters to the US. And the best way to do this is to cut taxes drastically and even go as far as giving 20 year tax holidays to any businesses over $5M turnover that relocate headquarters to the US.
With businesses relocating to the US, investments will follow and the US should easily be able to compensate for the low cost $220B it is losing out every month.
Friday, May 02, 2008
How is this possible ?
The price of petrol is being artificially maintained. India's 3 large petrol and diesel retailing companies, all state owned, are deep in the red, their combined debt has mounted to over $2000 Billion !
This is being done to keep people happy, to keep prices from going crazy. To ensure that people can go on living and there are no major disturbances in towns & cities.
But this is not sustainable. How long can the oil companies go on borrowing? This is madness.
The price will have to correct and when it corrects by doubling, cost of food, transport and electricity will go sky high. A majority of people's incomes will go towards simply meeting these costs and people will be forced to reduce spending on new homes, new cars, new tvs, holidays, clothes, etc. The economy will come to a screeching halt.
This is not just an Indian problem, this will be a world problem. The cost of the basics is likely to go so high that people are just not going to be able to afford anything else.
Unless, the world once again gets a new source of cheap energy, quickly.
What can that be? It can only be Nuclear & Coal. I think the planet should start going Nuclear on the double. There is no more time to waste deliberating if it is good or not, it is necessary. Coal fired power has already started, all recent power plants coming up seem to be coal based.
But can all this happen fast enough, or is the planet going to be caught napping and we will end up with 7 to 10 very hard years. Well, we'll find out in early 2009 by which time oil should have crossed $200.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I read all their reasons for the LOCKDOWN and I was in violation of none of them. I am using no 3rd party software, not using 2 machines for the same account, not sending spam, nothing. Yet it happens.
Google is so sure of their technology that they believe they are 100% right when it comes to taking severe & damaging action against a user.
The best part is their support form does not even contain support for Google Apps email. You have to fill in your gmail id in "what if your email id", so I am not even sure if their customer service centre guys will understand what is to be done.
Google, I can tell you that you are sure to lose me as a customer and my whole company if this issue is not resolved quickly and keeps re-occurring.
Update: Google resolved the issue within 30 mins of the lockdown; not sure if this was due to the complaint I filed, or if it is auto-programmed into their system.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Here is a long but great presentation on how to get your brand right.
Here is another on how to get Luxury Branding right
Monday, March 10, 2008
There is an interesting post doing the rounds on the blogsphere which talks about 17 tips for startups.
Most of these tips apply to the US, but some are universal, and the one I like the most: fire employees who are not workaholics. I totally agree with this one and strongly recommend that every startup apply it. You don’t need a big team, you need 2 to 3 people working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week with no vacations. Find them and keep them.
Anyway, that post was followed by a Techcrunch post, which was a startup not too long ago and the founder had his own advice.
If you have any additional advise then do share here in the comments section.
Here are some of my tips:
1. Try and outsource as much as possible. You may not be able to recruit great people because you are a startup, but you will find fantastic entrepreneurs who are available to work on your project in an outsourced capacity.
2. Cash is a very scarce in a startup. Try and do equity deals with outsourced companies, this will bring down your costs. You will be surprised how many are willing to take equity if they like your idea
3. Don’t recruit employees. Recruit co-founders. The best people no longer want to work for companies, they want to own them, so recruit co-founders. You will be amazed at the quality of people you get, far better than if you advertsied for employees. You will need to give them some stock, but that can come from the ESOP pool. Goto www.salary.com to see how much you should set aside for ESPOS
4. Drive the costs down of everything. Don’t be shy of bargaining.
5. Work like crazy, don’t relax, get everything done at 5 times speed. You will run out of money faster than you think. You customers will come later than expected. The only chance you have of beating the system is keeping costs low and working faster than money runs out.
Friday, October 26, 2007
A US recession appears on the way.
Each time there has been a housing crises, the US has slipped into recession, except 2 times: 1951 and 1967: Korea War and Vietnam War. Defense expenditure triggers the money multiplier which pulls an economy out of recession.
Will the US goto war in Q2 of 2008 with Iran to pull out of recession?