Lord of the Links

My sojourn into the Spider's Web

Monday, April 25, 2005

Man behind Rs 100-cr Husain art deal is accused of forgery

Guru Swarup Srivastava, the man recently in news for having struck a deal with MF Hussain for 100 paintings for Rs. 100 cr, is back in the news but for all the wrong reasons. He supposedly forged the signatures of his CAs in order to obtain a Rs. 60 lakh loan from HDFC. Something really is amiss, otherwise why will a person who is one day in a 100 cr deal take a 60 lakh loan.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 8:10 PM || link || (0) comments |

First savings survey shows majority have no retirement nest egg

The first survey on saving patterns in India clearly show that India greatly needs pension reforms. Most Indians haven't even started thinking about saving, and this includes a lot of nuclear families which do not have the comfort of consanguinity in their old age.
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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogs Will Change Your Business

BusinessWeek claims that Blogs are going to change the way the world does business. But didnt we all know it from before?

Anyway, the report says that blogs are going to overhaul the way corporations communicate with their clients. GM is already doing it at gmblogs.com. Perhaps the greatest affected would be the media companies. The mass media is going to turn into the media by the masses. BusinessWeek itself has started a blog on business called Blogspotting.net.
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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Tata Motors to pursue Rover guarantee

Tata Motors have ended their contract with MG Rover wherein Rover would sell a hundred thousand Indicas in Europe under the brandname 'City Rover', and also resell Tata Safari and other cars. They have several guarantee clauses in the agreement, which Tata Motors now plan to pursue with PwC, Rover's accountants.
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Our Father in Heaven

Read this on Hemanth's blog. Damned hilarious !

Our Father in Heaven...

Holy be thy name,
Sexy be my dame,
Lots of money and fame
Be unto my name.

Time, I be able to tame,
May enemies mine all go lame,
Others' requests though be same,
Me be the priority in your game.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 11:19 PM || link || (1) comments |

Broadband kills the TV star

The column by Devangshu Datta pretty much sums up why Broadband is the way forward, and paints a bleak picture of the cable television industry in future.
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Street Smarts: Learning From JetBlue

A wonderful article which describes how Dave Neeleman, the founder-CEO of JetBlue actually serves as an attendant on many flights, interacts with customers and wins their hearts. The article pretty well summarizes what it takes to build a company which keeps the customers first.
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Many disappointed with new pope

The new Pope Benedict is seen as an ultra-conservative by many people, mostly people working at the forefront of reproductive sciences, AIDS control and women's rights activists. The Pope is expected to toe the line of his predecessor, Pope John Paul and it might estrange many non-Catholics.
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Taking the long view on eBay

The author analyses eBay's performance in the last few months. For the last 9 months, eBay's traffic has declined y-o-y. This is obviously a cause of concern for the 10 year company which redefined business over the internet.

I got the link from Paul Allen's blog. He has done an interesting analysis of the reasons for the decline here.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sardesai - Manchanda float new venture

They are launching a new news channel. Just hope it keeps up the same journalistic ethos we have come to love Rajdeep Sardesai for.
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Saturday, April 16, 2005

PaGaLGuY.com Forums - B Schooling – Hype and Hard Facts !

B Schooling – Hype and Hard Facts !
A hard-hitting article by Suhas Anand a.k.a. Snan separating facts from hype. Taken from PagalGuy.

Before starting to write anything whatsoever about B School I would ask you to rent your ears to a truth which a lot of us forget in the big bang of salaries and entrance test preparations.

What might that be?

B Schools are a place where, at the end of the day you are going to do a post graduation in a chosen field. Doesn’t sound as romantic as those Swiss holidays and 6 figure dollar salary quotes? But yea that’s about it. All hype and hoopla must be put in the right perspective. I do not expect that all you young enthusiastic folks are going to take a post graduation for the love of learning and wisdom of words emanating from the Porters and the Kotlers of the world. But believe me when I say that it sure helps if you walk into the hallowed portals of a B School having a rough idea as to how you want to use two very important years of your life in an appropriate manner. It is entirely up to you as individuals to define and redefine what appropriateness means to you.

I don’t like your preaching. I’m in it for the dough!

Fine. But the catch is the media exemplifies everything that is wrong with projecting salary as the key driver of educational decision making. One Ravi Singhvi at IIMA getting 150000 + USD as starting salary must not be the driver for your decision for more than one reason. For starters, he has relevant and wide ranging experience spanning firms like Anderson and Citibank. Then again he was chosen as associate, a post not many graduates even from IIM A, can aspire as freshers. But the more critical aspect that a lot of folks tend to forget is that it is the highest salary offered. And by the very definition of highest, it follows logically (yea a no brainer!!) that it was offered to only one person! Logically it also follows that half of the batches in any B School gets less than or equal to the average salary projected (at around 7-8 lakhs) by most top schools. And the definition of average remains same whether it is A or B or Z! (Yea yea, I know. A no brainer again, but sad is the fact that a lot of people tend to forget this basic truth!).

Ok. Accepting that half of the class gets only around 8 lakhs, which in itself is some good money. 66666.666 rupees a month is good enough for me and my girlfriend to lead a happy life!

But unfortunately for you and your girlfriend, that is obviously not what you get in hand. That, in jobstreet parlance, is what is called the CTC (Cost to Company). At the end of the day if one gets around 35000 post the tax pie eaten by the government, one can consider oneself lucky.

Oops, I get more than that in my ABC Tech firm taking in underwear billing orders outsourced from Texas based retailing big wig !Why the hell should I then even heed this rigmarole of B schooling gibberish? Especially when I have been frightened by seniors regarding the sleepless nights and extreme workloads. Add on to that the unhealthy competition within batch mates and suddenly B school for me looks as appealing as Britney Spears and the boy bands!

Ok. Academic rigour exists. For the sole reason that there is so much to be taught, and only so much that can be learnt in a given period of time. At least the faculty thinks there is so much to be learnt before one can get out with the PG Diploma. If you are literally scared of studying, then it could be a tough time. But then one hopes you haven’t decided to do a PG for partying, pubbing and watching movies as prime motives .At the same time u shall get to sleep 4-6 hours depending on the match (or mismatch) between your aspirational levels (read positioning in the grade point scale) and smart study habits. I for one do not think intelligence has a lot to do with getting great grades in B Schools as much as smartness in writing exams and hard work has. It does help if you are a 9 pointer from IITs because you have been there and done that. The first thing one needs to do in the initial weeks of B Schooling is to understand that it is best to compete with yourself than with the entire batch. Set benchmarks for yourself and try to beat the bar. This in turn helps in relation building too! I reckon lot of people think that due to Relative grading (RG) relationships are tough to be built up at a B school. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The students understand the importance of networking. So whether with sincerity or otherwise folks here do build up relations and makes sure embarrassing fights are avoided. (The beer bottle swinging, drunk, rowdy brawls of engineering days are over for ever!!) The idea is simple. Most of the smart dudes surmise that tomorrow in the corporate world, a lot of their classmates are going to be head honchos in some XYZ corporation. They would rather not be in the bad books of anyone around, for you never know who’s going to be in need of whom! I for one have made some real fruitful friendships (which I hope stands for life) without such thoughts in mind. It again is incumbent on your own attitude to competition and how well you manage your relationships.

Ok. So what else can one practically gain out of 2 years other than building bosom buddies?

First up is a good first job!!!(Yea I come back to that!!) Hopefully in terms of profile as much as in terms of money! But there is definitely more to B schooling than placements. Remember that one gets out of any institution how much ever you want it to give you. If you spend more time with Sylvia Saint or J Lo than with something more productive (Ok, no pun!) you might not get too much of learning out of the system. But then you do not have a right to crib that there is no value-add in an MBA! You come across some amazing professors who are eager to teach and help you in any sphere, a great infrastructure setup, and a bunch of folks who generally are more ambitious and probably more intelligent than the majority. Their insights and drive might inspire you or at the very least help you appreciate different perspectives. You work a lot in groups (You are expected to work!!).Whether you end up doing it or not at least you get a feel of group dynamics. This is further bolstered by the innumerable chances you get to manage events and teams. If you want, you can go on exchange to international schools (in most of the top rung schools there are large number of options to choose from). You develop confidence by speaking/presenting your ideas in front of some of the best brains and getting it dissected by them threadbare. (This does help you in real corporate life especially in stormy meetings with subcontractors and clients).The course content also provides you some knowledge on theories which can come in handy in corporate life or even if you start something on your own. (Things like the accounting and financial management fundae, apart from the more critical aspects of Organisational Behaviour and Human resource management).

But can none of this be learnt or acquired out of a B School?

You can. B School helps you in being a single window providing these various services! If you individually start acquiring these, it might take you more time, energy and much much more motivation to be successful. But in the long run it wouldn’t make much difference. But again in the long run we are all dead!!

The author is a current student @ WIMWI, better known as the Indian Institute of
Management-Ahmedabad. He is presently doing his summer internship at a leading consulting firm. Prior to his joining IIMA, Suhas was working in East Africa in the Oil & Gas vertical of a construction major.

edit:an older interview with suhas can be found here
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mumbai's media Mahabharat

Mumbai sure seems to be facing very exciting days for news reporting. Loads of publications are coming up with a Bombay edition. ToI itself is bringing out Bombay Mirror. Dainik Bhaskar-Zee is launching a new English daily DNA. Even the Indian Express and Hindustan Times are preparing for a new onslaught. The fight is hotting up !
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

World's top 10 securities firms

This article enlists the top 10 securities firms in the world, lead by Morgan Stanley. Goldman Sachs is at number 2 and Merrill Lynch at number 3(it was at the top for the last 6 years). The interesting thing about this ranking by Institutional Investor magazine is that BoA Sec, which is at #10, is has a capital base of less than 10% of the #1.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 3:14 AM || link || (0) comments |

Sunday, April 10, 2005

What, Exactly, Is a Brand?

The author rails against those who try to define the Brand in lofty terms. He believes that the brand is much of the company's equity and a marketer who does not understand what a "brand" is is surely not worth his salt.
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Saying It with Passion

The article describes how passion and zeal are absolutely essential for making fiery speeches. John Chambers of Cisco, Steve Jobs of Apple and Howard Schulz of Starbucks are all great orators in their own right, and the author feel that it is their passion and vision that keeps them ticking.
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K V Kamath on how to manage change

A wonderful article describing Kamath's managerial perspective. Also tells how he completely rebuild ICICI when he returned from ADB in '96.
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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Rs 3-cr Rolls-Royce in India soon!

Rolls Royce drives the Phantom to India. At Rs. 3 cr it promises to be top-of-the-line. Rolls Royce is returning after 50 years in a tie-up with Navnit Motors of Bombay.
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Who owns Satya Paul label?

Genesis Colors. Promoted by Sanjay Kapoor and Jyoti Narula, who bought it in 2001. Genesis Colors is trying to corporatize the fashion industry in India. Their supporters such as Deepika Gehani claim that it helps younger designers to get a foodhold in the industry, while at the same time maintaining their creative standards, which would have suffered had they been designing for a retailer. At the same time, established veterans such as Raghavendra Rathore would prefer their own in-house labels, because they want more of an artistic independance. It remains to be seen where the industry goes.
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Sham Chougule: The wine maker

The article profiles Sham Chougule, the father of vintery in India. It describes his various companies such as Champagne Indage, and their products. It also tells how his family is promiting wine lounges in India.
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How Yogi Deveshwar changed ITC

A very well written article about how Yogi Deveshwar has by clearing ITC's past dues to the government left his mark on the company. Apart from that the writer compliments Deveshwar on imparting a distinct Indian flavour to ITC, with e-choupal, Welcomgroup hotels, and the paperboard business. He also praises both the government and ITC for being pragmatic and having buried their differences.
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Greenpeace opposes India shipyard

Greenpeace activists protest against the building of a shipyard across the Andhra coast near Vizag. They say that it will greatly affect marine life and kill the fishing industry affecting an estimated 2 lakh fishermen. They also claim that the shallow waters will anyway prevent larger ships to be marooned in that shipyard.
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Friday, April 08, 2005

Wen might take IIT to China

When Wen comes to India, he would be specifically visiting IIT Delhi, a location not on the itinery of most diplomats. China is so impressed by the "Brand IIT" that it wants to replicate its success. The article also talks of the success of NIIT in China and how it has become a major player in the IT Education business in China.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Interesting optical illusion

A really interesting illusion where a static kaliedoscope pattern seems to move.
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How LG became No 1

The article describes in very good details LG's policies ever since it set shop in India in 1995 in its new avatar [The earlier foray in the name of Lucky Goldstar foundered]. LG is currently the number 1 manufacturer of white goods in India.
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Chinese ogre has giant appetite!

The article talks of the bulimia of the Chinese ogre, and how the collaterals to the Chinese breakneck growth are holding the world's natural resources to hostage. It illustrates the insatiable appetite by talking about the worldwide shipping industry, oil industry, contraband ivory and fur trade, and even use of toilet paper and wood import.
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Just what is a Patent?

The Rediff.com article explains what we mean by a patent. It also talks about product and process patents, in view of the WTO.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 3:18 AM || link || (1) comments |

Friday, April 01, 2005

Brown haze: Kashmir part of US?

Authors sure get ideas. This ones by Dan Brown, the author of Da Vinci Code. Says that Hari Singh signed the accession agreement with the US, being apprehensive of both India and Pakistan. Proofs: Invert the map of Kashmir, and it looks like Kentucky. Divide the longitude of Kentucky's capital by the latitute of Srinagar and you get 370, the special article in the Indian constitution relating to Kashmir.

Authors do get wierd ideas !
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