Sunday, December 10, 2006


Friday, December 01, 2006

The Producers

Last night I did something different from the routine and something which I always wanted to do rather see.

Last night we (Girish, Sreeni and Chandrika and myself) went to see a musical play here in London. The Producers, authored by Mel Brooks and directed by Susan Stroman is a comedy based on the dying career prospects of producer Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom his accountant. Both of them try to earn quick money by the way of making a theaterical flop called as "Springtime for Hitler". Unfortunately the flop turns the otherway round and becomes the most popular hit. Bialystock and Bloom decide to capitalize on a flop and then manipulate the accounting books to earn quick money.

The Oscar-winning film originally starred Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in the title roles, while the multi-award winning Broadway production starred Nathan Lane and Matthew

More than the story of the theatrical play, the characters, sets, music and lights excited me. It was just a perfect display of all the elements of the play. I have never watched a theatre before hence this was my first experience with it. It was just awesome.

Some of the notable features of the play and theatre were:

1. The display in theatre (Drury Lane, the price of the ticket £ 28, the interiors and the architecture, the lights and background sounds.

2. The full form of CPA

3. The director of Springtime and his associates stereotype gays.

4. The entry of the Hitler in the last part of the play.

5. The character of Loooooo, who was the secretary/receptionist of the Bialystock and Bloom.

6. The dialogue by Bloom "This is a dilemma", when the police catches Bialystock and the accounting books and leaves the place with million dollars.

7. The names of the accounting books: Show to IFRS, Never Show to IFRS

8. Newspaper headlines when the show becomes a hit rather than a flop

9. The depiction of Hitlers Nazi logo in the mirror.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trip to Cambridge

Last weekend was really fast and it was over well before I could realize it. The best part of the weekend was the trip to Cambridge.

Situated in east of England, Cambridge is an English university town and the administrative center of Cambridge shire county. From London it is close to 60 miles and it takes about an hour to reach the destination. Cambridge is situated near Silicon Fen, which is considered to be the heart of the high technology center. Cambridge is best known for its University, Cavendish Laboratory, King's college chapel, Cambridge University Library and Punting.

We started from London Liverpool Street on Sunday at about 8:50 AM to take the National Rail operated by ONE Network to Cambridge. Nonetheless after seeing the speeding National Rail trains in the Ilford station one of my wishes was to take this kind of train. The train started at the appointed time of 8:58 AM sharp cruising slowly and steadily towards its destination. The train was running at an average speed of 76 kms per hour and touching the peak speed of close to 120 KM per hour between certain stations.

The journey to Cambridge from London is absolutely amazing. If you are a nature lover, this is the journey one must take. Even in winter, Britain experiences rain that sometimes makes the geography of the land very beautiful. Right from the time one comes out of London; the greenery can be experienced all around which is absent in the main city. The train to Cambridge calls at Tottenham Hale, Waltham Cross, Chestnut, Broxbourne, Harlow Town, Bishops Stratford, Audley End and Cambridge town. The journey between Chestnut and Broxbourne is especially very good since the entire landscape is surrounded with plain grasslands. The surface is absolutely flat which makes the landscape extremely beautiful. Getting to see flat surfaces in India is actually a rarity. A few snaps were taken in train as well, will upload them soon on the blog.

We reached Cambridge at around 10:30 AM. The weather was good. Bright and a little sunny where the sun was trying to protrude out of the dark clouds. The temperature should be around 10-11 and not less than that. Thereafter from the station itself we took the hop on and hop off bus, which is really a good thing in Britain. This type of bus allows you to get down and see the place and then again get into the bus at a later point in time. A number of buses run throughout the day, which allows easy movement from one place to the other. As expected the bus was pretty much empty except for a few people.

Cambridge town reminds me of Manipal where I did my PGDM in TAPMI. Close to 22000 students study in the town of Cambridge in various colleges within the university. The University houses close to 31 colleges, which offer courses ranging from Arts to Science and Mathematics.

Our first destination in our journey was the Microsoft research center, which has been funded by Bill Gates for an estimated cost of close to £ 50 m. Next to the Microsoft R&D center is the Cavendish Laboratory. The Cavendish Laboratory has a major role in the Atomic Structure world. Most of the discoveries in the Atomic structure world have come from the Cavendish Laboratory. Some of the notable ones are Rutherford’s Alpha Scattering experiment, JJ Thomson discovery of electron, Niel Bohr’s calculation of radius of the atom, Bragg’s X Ray diffraction law. Cavendish Laboratory belongs to the Physics Department of the University of Cambridge. Its actually part of the Trinity College, which is one of the most well known colleges in the world. It was a dream come true for me when I looked at the place. Almost for 5 years we read continuously about Atomic Structure and all these people. Today I saw the place where they did all these experiments also.

Next destination was the American Cemetary, which consisted of a memorial for American soldiers who died in the Second World War. The area surrounding the cemetery is an awesome sight and was perhaps the true countryside feeling. Lush greenery spread all over with dried maple leaves on the ground. It was just an amazing sight and delight to the eyes. Probably only a poet can describe the nature better.

As we were coming back into the Cambridge City center we saw the express highway to London and Stansted. The cars were speeding at close to 100 mph. The next stop for us was punting on the river cam, which also provides the name to the town. It was afternoon by then we started seeing the colleges in the town like Kings College, St John’s College, Queens College and Trinity College. All of them stand tall with their historic buildings. All these colleges placed a very important role in the development of science and mathematics. Infact Trinity College boasts of close to 31 Nobel laureates including our very own Amartya Sen.

Next destination for us the Kings College backs. Kings college backs is akin to the backwaters of Kerala and reminds me of the holiday we spent there. In the Kings College backs only we had our very own Indian dish Lemon Rice prepared by Lakshmi. It was a good preparation and filled up the stomach very well.

Thereafter we just moved in the Cambridge high street and did a little bit of shopping and saw a roadside play also. I am not really sure what it is called as but on the first look it was really good and a different kind of an experience. Then we walked all along the high street seeing some T-Shirt shops and a very old church spotted by Uma Rani.

Our lunch was at a familiar space – Pizza Hut. It was quenching as well as filling for everyone. We moved on crossing the football ground to catch our bus which dropped us at the station.

We took the fast train to Kings Cross,which was a nonstop one and took just about 45 minutes to travel from Cambridge till London Kings Cross. The journey comes to an end.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Naveen Giles and myself in London

Last weekend was one of the greatest moments for me. On Saturday, I met Mr. Naveen Giles who is one of ace quizzers in the quizzing circuit and winner of some of the big names like CNBC Challenge and Brand Equity Quiz 2006.

What is exciting is the way I met him. We were introduced to each other via a common friend in his house at Liverpool street in London. Soon we were walking towards a restaurant to have dinner. While we were talking, both of us being avid quizzers ended up discussing about quizzes and other related stuff like blogging. After sometime he asked me as to what do I quiz on. Pat came the reply from my side saying that I am into punchlines and logos. Immedietely he responded saying that he is the defending champion of Brand Equity quiz. I was shocked for a moment. Shell-shocked.

I could not believe myself that I am talking with the winner of the brand equity quiz. Nation's biggest quizzing extravaganza. Winning brand equity quiz is every quizzer's ultimate aim.

Thereafter we had a long talk and he described his experience of quizzing and style of Derek o Brian which has got a mixed feedback amongst the quizzing fraternity. Both the quizzes, the Challenge on CNBC and the brand equity quiz are hosted by Derek O Brian. We also watched the recording of CNBC Challenge which was as exciting as the quiz in reality.

For people who are not from the quizzing bracket it would be tough to appreciate this news. But for me it was a delight. I always wanted to see a quizzing hero. I finally met him in London.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zune - Microsoft's Latest Innovation

Zune is the latest or rather the first digital music player to be launched by Microsoft. Ofcourse Zune is also the latest one in the market amongst the music players available. Zune was launched on 14th Nov 2006 in Atlanta with a free TI concert.

The key feature of Zune is its large LCD display screen, which is close to 40 % bigger than a video ipod. This large screen makes sure that one even figures out the expressions of the people in the movie, which is not normally the case in iPod. Some of the reviews make it equivalent to a HDTV.

Coming to the user interface, its one of the sleekest in its class. With only one large center button, which can move in four different directions together with pressing straight down, anyone who knows how to use a web browser would find using Zune very easy. The menus have a sleek animation from one screen to the other that gives the Zune a really cool feeling.

One of the most striking features of Zune is its Wi-Fi functionality, which is one of the most unique features of a digital music player till date. Users can detect if there is any other Zune player in the vicinity till 50 m so that sharing of song files, albums and photos can be done. To prevent piracy and protection of copyrights, the transferred file can only be played three times, thereafter the file gets deleted.

With a matte finish, Zune spots a slippery look but actually is not. Outer shell of Zune is scratch free which makes it really good for tough usage. The scratching of screens was one of the major problems in iPod.

The sound quality of the device is 100 % connected to the headphones under usage and not really on the player itself. Better the headphones better will be the sound quality. This is really drawback for the player since iPod boasts of a superior sound quality because of the player and not really because of the headphones.

Similar to iTunes for iPod, Zune comes with Zune marketplace. It has been launched with over 2 million songs and offers 2 options for the enthusiasts: 99 cents for a single download or unlimited downloads for just 14.99. Zune will play and even share songs from other sources. The ability of Zune to fetch and album art for ripped and illegal music is nothing short of fantastic. Infact songs, which are purchased from iTunes music store, have something called, as DRM codes which does not allow them to be played on any player other than iPod.

One of the major disadvantages of Zune, which can make this product a miss in the market, is its inability to act as a memory stick or a removable hard drive. This is one of the major drawbacks keeping in mind the existing products in market all of which support the removable hard drive feature. This makes Zune useful only for listening to music and not for transferring word documents, excel files and zip files. iPod is very widely used as a storage device since it can store up to 60 GB of data.

Regarding appearance, Zune comes in three different colours – black, brown and white. Brown is catching up a lot and has maximum demand and bookings all across Wal-Mart and But one thing is sure looks wise, its difficult to mistake Zune for some other player.

Finally Zune with all these features turns out to be a value for money at just $ 250. Its one the premier players available in the market, and will hit the competition with a bang with its wifi feature and large display. Zune is more like a range for Microsoft with products like Zunephone and Zunegamer in the pipeline.

Try it. You will love it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Life shows its colour in all forms. Sometimes the colours reflect the brighter side, other times it reflects a gloomy side of life. Never one side of the life remains constant forever. It keeps on changing which makes the people to think negative and positive about life.

People say that change takes place because we cannot control everything happening around us. It’s really tough to ensure that everything around us remains in our control or moves according to our wills and wishes. But then sometimes things turn out to be so unfortunate that they breakdown the people who are in circumference of it.

Life definitely is not a Sunday. No day remains static in life. No day even repeats in life. Now these days the work environment is so dynamic that one never knows which trouble is he going to face next moment. Sometimes over a period of time these small troubles start causing what is called as Frustration.

Frustration is a feeling wherein one starts feeling bad about everything around him. It’s a condition, which forces a person to go into a state of disliking. Frustration leads to a whole lot of problems, which starts, from hating the people around you and ends at hating yourself.

Why do we need to think so much about our life? Can the life be left to itself?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Big B

As we approach October 11, 2006, Amitabh Bachchan turns 65. At the outset let me wish the Star of the Millenium and my idol for more than one reason a Many Many Happy Returns of the day.

Already amongst all the TV channels and media the buzz has started and people have started wishing the Big B via every possible mode. The fans are wishing Big B via sms, mms, emails and internet. Some websites are running a dedicated column for his birthday because the section is attracting considerable number of hits.

Amitabh Bachchan, the name itself speaks volumes. Its a hysteria.Its a charisma. Its a cult. That is Amitabh for you. A true mega star which Indian Film industry has ever produced. I got addicted to Amitabh and became his ardent fan when the movie HUM came in the year 1991. His dialogues. His delivery and the way he used to shake his head in the movie while getting angry was just terrific. Although the movie was not a big hit but then it touched the masses and presented Amitabh in a different role altogther. A role of maturity.

But soon thereafter, the worst times for Amitabh started when the ABCL corp. a first of a kind entertainment company went into severe trouble. At one point in time, Amitabh had debts exceeding 99 lakhs on his company's name which literally made his life miserable. But true to his strength and belief, he rose like phoenix from the ashes and a few years back he was one of the highest tax payers in the country.

Life has been a roller coaster ride for AB. But the way he has been able to manage it is really commendable. It was never ever thought that AB would come back in the Indian Cinema and would dominate the scene inspite of the presence of King Khan. Today AB is the highest paid actor in the country. He has worked with every Ace director and has enacted marvellous roles in each one of his movies. In 2005 he gave five hits which is next to impossible for any star. Right from Bunty aur Babli to Black his performance has been absolutely flawless and outstanding.

I believe it is next to impossible to produce a star who is as good as Amitabh Bachchan. Even Hollywood has accepted by awarding him the Star of the Millenium.

I have read both the books written on him. One by jaya bachchan by name "TO B OR NOT TO B Amitabh Bachchan" and the other one "AB - A legend" by Pradip Sarkar gifted to me by one of my clos friend's. They describe very vividly, everything about this great gentleman.

I wish Amitabh Bachchan a very best of luck in all his future endeavors and wish him a great year ahead.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Its been long since I blogged. I was busy for a few days in the last two weeks and on other occasions, was lazy enough not to capture anything on this blog.

Anyhow after a long time, I am at home for Dussehra or Vijayadasami (whatever you call it). Perhaps this time its the best in terms of enjoyment. First of all, three days holidays courtesy IT companies. Three continuous holidays definitely sets your mood for the entire week and for the festival also. Finally, today’s family outing which was like icing on the cake. It was just too good. How the 7 hours passed away we did not even come to know about it.

Today we visited a place by name Vargal near Medchal about 50-60 KM from Hyderabad. The drive to Vargal was really good one. I enjoyed every moment of it as I drove the car from Home till a village close to Vargal. Pothholes free highway and no traffic made the drive a smooth one. Lush greenery, calm and cloudy weather added vividness to the trip ensuring that no tiredness sets in. We reached Vargal by 2:00 PM and stayed there till 3:30. Enjoyed a little bit of rock climbing and photography was as usual at its best with the Sony Cybershot. The weather really supported us as it did not rain even an inch. Although it was quite humid, it was manageable overall. Vargal is abode to Saraswathi Devi one of the alankarams of durga. One can have a scenic view of the green fields from the top of the rocks situated around the temple.

The next stop for us was the Ratnalayam temple situated close to Shamirpet lake which turned out to be our last destination before closing for the day. Ratnalayam temple is one of the very few temples constructed on the lines of Tirupati Balaji. Although it’s not a natural origin of the god nevertheless the sanctity of the place ensures a spiritual atmosphere all around the temple. The temple is pretty big and is surrounded by park with seating all around inside the park. We had evening snacks kind of stuff there and from there packed our bags to leave for Shamirpet lake.

Shamirpet lake is a place which has become famous because of word of the mouth publicity. AP tourism does not really project it as a tourist spot since it’s on a very rocky terrain and not ample facilities are available to reach till the spot. There were some Durga idol immersions going on and we did have a photo shoot out there albeit not very great.
We came back home very tired at about 8:30.

It was one of those most awaited picnic for our family. Nice one and much better than the ones we had in the past.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

AIRBUS Crisis - Delay in A380

AIRBUS A380 is considered to be the most ambitious project in the aircraft manufacturing space. The project A380 is a very well known Harvard Business Case Study and is one of the best examples of Project Finance. A380 from AIRBUS is answer to the Boeing's growing dominance in the aircraft manufacturing space. I read the case study of A380 in TAPMI. It was a very interesting one although the calculations involved were not that easy to replicate in the exam. But unfortunately AIRBUS is in deep trouble because of the considerable delay it is facing in the commercial launch of its superjumbo A380.

Recently when the superjumbo A380 took its first maiden test flight, the historical event also coincided with the replacement of the head of its delayed Airbus A380 program. Frenchman Charles Champion, once touted as a potential chief executive, is the third official to lose his post after delays in assembling the world's largest airliner forced the resignation of the company's chief executive and the co-head of parent EADS during a corporate crisis in July.

Champion paid the price for failing to inform the Airbus board on time of the superjumbo's mounting technical difficulties, and for allowing severe production bottlenecks to continue unchecked for months, rather than fix them immediately. Mario Heinen, a 50-year-old executive from Luxembourg, who until now has been in charge of the European planemaker’s chief cash engine, its single-aisle range of A320-family jets, has replaced Champion.

Heinen's first task will be to ensure that there is no further slippage in deliveries, with Airbus already facing penalty payments to airlines over previous delays. Airbus said it is on schedule to deliver the first finished A380 to Singapore Airlines Ltd. by the end of 2006 after two sets of delays totaling a year. Airbus has admitted that it will deliver only nine next year, instead of the promised 25, up to nine fewer in 2008 and five fewer in 2009.

For the first time, the A380 took to the sky with company employees for the test lasting seven to 15 hours. The A380, the world's largest passenger jet, took to the sky with 474 Airbus employees on board for the first of four test sorties known as "Early Long Flights" lasting seven to 15 hours on Monday. The plane, powered by four huge Rolls Royce engines, returned to its Toulouse base Monday evening after a fully crewed flight in which the Airbus staff was served drinks and meals. Capable of carrying 555 people in standard three-class layout, or over 800 in all economy, the A380 is billed as the industry's answer to airport congestion and rising air traffic.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Laloo to teach @ IIM Ahmedabad

Laloo Prasad Yadav one of the favorite in the Gustakhi Maaf series and also the one whom Shekhar Suman imitated very well is now having the last laugh. After making Bihar, the worst state of the country, he has just done the opposite for the Railways. Doing the impossible. Turning them profitable.

The story starts something like this. The son of a poor farmer from Phulwaria in Bihar’s district Gopalgunj is today being wooed and courted by schools of management and administration. On September 18, the Railway Minister is scheduled to lecture students at India’s top B school, IIM, Ahmedabad on the nuances of the railways ‘turnaround’. The turnaround story, in fact, has already been introduced as a case study as part of the institute’s curriculum. Very few case studies can really become part of the IIM A curriculum which is the best in the world according to all standards.

The Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy in Mussourie — training ground of India’s steely frame, the bureaucracy — is also reported to be wooing Lalu Prasad to come and deliver a lecture. He’s scheduled to speak at a Harvard University seminar in New Delhi next month. The HEC International Business School, Paris, wants to do a case study; GE boss Jeffrey Immelt has already done his salaams.

Laloo as usual believes that he will be able to make a mark even in this activity and he has full confidence on his abilities. What is making all the top B Schools and people like Jeffery Immelt doing salaaams to the man whom most of the country hates. To get the answer, one needs to go back to 2001 when an expert group headed by Rakesh Mohan ( former advisor to the finance minister at the time, Yashwant Sinha) declared: “Indian Railways is today on the verge of a financial crisis.” The report predicted that if the railways didn’t change track it was doomed to ‘fatal bankruptcy’. The same year, the railways defaulted on paying a dividend of Rs 1,823 crore; its fund balances were a mere Rs 359 crore and its operating ratio — that is, expenses divided by traffic earnings — stood at a whopping 98 per cent.

Fast forward to 2005-06: Fund balances had reached Rs 12,141 crore, operating ratio was down to 83.7 per cent and internal generation was a healthy Rs 13,612 crore — all this without hiking either passenger or freight rates.

The irony is obvious: A man who failed to make any discernible progress in Bihar in the seven years that he was chief minister (15 if you add Rabri Devi’s proxy tenure) has managed to achieve remarkable success in such a short while at Rail Bhawan.

Sudhir Kumar, his articulate officer on special duty, a Delhi School of Economics graduate who is often credited for the turnaround, has his own take: “It is the minister’s passion and integrity that is leading this change,” he says.

Monday, August 21, 2006

NR Naryana Murthy Steps down

Infosys co-founder, Narayan Murthy, who believes in leading by example, has quit the position of chairman, taking retirement at the age of 60, on 20 August 2006. He held the helms of Infosys for the last 25 years. This decision looks like is on the lines of Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, who declared that he would quit the office in 2008.

Nandan Nilekani will call the shots at Infosys as CEO and managing director, while Murthy will serve as non-executive chairman of the board and chief mentor. The Infosys board recently voted to let Murthy continue as the non-executive chairman and chief mentor, and has inducted him as an additional director on the board after his retirement. Somebody with only knowledge as his capital and somebody who holds on to values that are middle-class is able to do not only well but outstandingly well.Narayana Murthy served as CEO of Infosys for twenty years, and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani in March 2002.

This news was no surprise for most of the Infoscions and the industry as well. Moreover Narayan Murthy stepped down from the post on Sunday and not a working day. This was to ensure that the work does not get hampered in anyways. At the juncture when Infosys is setting global standards every day and is amongst the world's most sought after companies, Narayan Murthy's decision of stepping down creates yet another first for the IT industry. Infosys was the first company to come out with the title of Chief Mentor and the foremost company in India to come out with the ESOPs. When a company is at the peak of success, its promoters wish to be at the helm of affairs. On the contrary Murthy took a step in the opposite direction and paved the way for younger talent to grow. This is perhaps the best way to create multilevel leadership within an organization which is the biggest problem of IT industry now.

Hats off this gentlemen who put India on the World's IT Map and did all this very humbly.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

CORPORATE - Politics Personified

My blog features very few movies. One of the first movies to get featured here was Rang De Basanti which I felt was class apart when compared to the other movies releasing every day.

Another movie which I saw while in Chennai on one of the weekends was CORPORATE. As the title suggests the movie tries to portray the corporate world which is non IT in nature and shows two rival groups trying to counter for each other's share in the market.

Madhur Bhandarkar has done a great job, must say that. The movie was well made which each part of the movie representing the problems which the people face at the top. There were two groups in the movie by name Marwa and Sehgals. The competition between them exists in every field with one trying to outcast the other with an acquisition or new product launch.

The movie portrays many problems which probably the corporate India faces today. The resignations of senior people in the company, unethical means which end up closing the company, corruption and the most important one the effect of politics on the functioning of a business house.

One of the incidents which I liked in the second half of the movie was the episode of pesticide in cold drinks. This episode happened in reality a few days ago when people in some western states literally break tons of cold drink bottles on the roads. In the movie the FDA people determine that the drink which the company is planning to launch contains pesticides and hence informs the manufacturers to close the shop. But the launch of cold drink was connected with the IPO of the company, the company officials bribe the FDA officials and get the clearance for it. But soon the rival company who has a close link to the CM informs about the pesticides story and the CM orders to close down the shop. The manufacturers lose pride, prestige and positioning in the market. Their FIIs start leaving the company. The share prices come down heavily and it becomes an acquisition target. Soon the FII who had invested in India goes and meets the FM and tells him that he is going to leave the country on account of bad reputation to his partnership and loss of shareholder value. FM now targets the CM and asks him to get the FDA clearance threatening him that not doing so can lead his party to lose the elections. Manufacturers get the FDA clearance, both the Sehgals and Marwas club hand together. CM wins the elections and FII stay in the country. On top of it the pesticide ladden drink also sells briskly in the market. Sehgals gain their position in the market and Everything comes back to normal.

The story described above is somewhat the reality today. Most of the issues in our country and either in the hands of most corrupt individuals or they just die the natural death. For example the OBC quota bill. There was so much hue and cry over it but finally the Govt passed it and now its going to be implemented in phases. Today when I was watching the news, I heard Ram Bilas Paaswan asking for more reservations for the SC/STs in the country. The case of pesticides came in front of Govt many times but nothing happened. Most of the time the problems and issues get entangled in the politics of our country without getting resolved. Yesterday while I was watching the news I could still see some new case of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which happened close to 22 years back. In the above story Politicians have the entire say. They control the entire functioning of the business. If its in their interest, they would go to any extent and get the wrong thing done.
God knows, in which world we are actually living ?????

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Management Challenges - Compensation and Benefits

The idea of putting my thoughts on this topic came as a result of my completion of 1 year in this corporate world. I read first about Comp and Ben (as it is called in short) in the third trimester of my PGDM in the HRM subject. That was the time when I had absolutely no understanding of how it works and hence my appreciation of this topic was very minimal. Only now after a year, I am able to appreciate the importance of this subject.

This is the wage hike season for almost every sector. Normally the increase in the cost for the company due to wage inflation comes into picture only in the 2nd quarter but provision for such a hike is made in the first quarter results itself. For all the IT companies wherein there is no CAPEX, wage hikes is the major component which hits the bottom line most. One of the major question which arises here is how to balance this inflation in the interest of both the company and its associates.

For an IT organization, the biggest challenge lies in two areas. First aspect is retaining the customer and ensuring the profitability in terms of the billing rates. The second and probably more important aspect is the attrition rate. Attrition is a word which came into lot of prominence only after IT companies came into existence. This word got into fame when the people started hopping from one company to other in search of better salaries. Most of the times this is where the organization loses the most.

In the past 1 year I have seen many organization's attrition statistics and talked with a number of people who were leaving some very good organizations and joining smaller organization. One of the major things which I have seen is that the attrition at the junior management level which is something like the team lead, project lead, consultants, module leads, junior project manager is pretty high for most of the companies. Look at the attrition level at the Project Manager and above level like the kinds of AVP, VP and SVP and we are in for a change. In this category the attrition level is considerably low because of the simple fact that the incentives at this level are considerably more than the incentives at the level of PL, TLs or MLs.

Generally AVPs, VPs etc grow with the organization and reach this level only because they have been working in the organization right from a developer stage. Hence they enjoy significant benefits over their subordinates. Here is where the major gap comes into picture.

At the end of the day for any IT company, the real work or should I use the term software development ends at the level of PL only. Only in extreme cases that the PM participates in the software development and related tasks. So its a very general feeling among the people till the level of PL that they only do the entire set of tasks for the company and that their increments should be the best. But most of the time it does not happen.

For any IT company, people in the range of 1.5-5 years of experience are the most important assets. These people also constitute the set which is in very high demand in the current market and can command any amount outside their home company. Its very easy to gather people fresh from the engineering colleges and give them a paltry sum, sign a bond and retain them. But when it comes to people in the 155 group (Exp range from 1.5-5) retaining them is the key for the growth and stability of the project and thereby the company. Any amount of discrepancy in their C&B (compensation and benefit) can literally give a hit to the project. Also it could bring down their motivation levels and this would end up in cribbing about the company. Its more like a chain reaction, because if leader starts cribbing about the company, it will be followed by other team members and soon it will affect the way work happens within the organization. Freshers even if they leave the organization it does not make a difference because they can always be supplemented by if not better the same quality. People at the level of PMs, AVPs and VPs generally do not make a quick shift because of the benefits they derive, their adaptability to the workplace, the power they possess and the most important one that they are more or less stable in their career now. But what about the people in the 155 group???? Any answers.

To be continued.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Phishing Mail

Yesterday I got a mail from Bank of America Secrity service stating that I need to login for some security changes. A very good example of Phishing. Have a look at the snapshots. There is literally no difference between the two screenshots literally. One can find the difference only in the address bar wherein phishing site has some unknown address and the original site has address of Bank of America. The link sent in the mail takes you to the phishing site but once you click on any link on the phishing site it takes you to the Bank of America official website.

Phishing Snapshot

Original Snapshot of Website

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I am Back

Long time since I blogged. The days have been really tight in terms of the work. Lot of things also happened in the last 2 months since I stopped blogging completely. My last post was on Jun 09 about the FIFA World cup. It was more of a formality to capture the most happening tournament.

On the professional front also lot of things happened which kept me busy all these months. For about 2.5 weeks from 24th June till 11 July I was in London for the requirements gathering and system study phase of our new project. Keeping in mind the new engagement and the client a whole lot of things were covered in two weeks time. Trip to London was a welcome change for me. I went via Dubai in Emirates. Emirates must say is truly an international airline whether its the comfort they offer within the flight or the aircrafts they possess. Everything is out of the world. The journey to London takes somewhere close to 12 hours and the time difference is 4.5 hours in summer and 5.5 hours in winter. The difference comes because of the concept of day light saving. Daylight Saving Time (DST) as it is popularly called as allows to save energy since less artificial light would be required in the evening and makes the country more efficient in addition to the pleasant effect of lighter evenings.

In London, I visited a lot of places namely Big Ben, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Tower bridge, Madam Tussauds, Greenwich (where there is a 0 degree meridian and GMT is set here only), Hyde Park, Canary Wharf, London Eye, Bank of England, Oxford Street and host of others. Madam Tussauds was perhaps the best attraction of my London visit. It was a quick trip and we entered just in time into the wax museum. I stayed in the company guest house at Deptford Bridge and my work location was in Liverpool street. Canary Wharf is the only area in London where one can find a few sky scrappers. Otherwise entire London has only old and historical building.

After I came back from onsite, it has been terribly busy for me in terms of the amount of workload. Last but one week I had clocked close to 100 hours in the office in a rush to complete the deliverable on time. This is my first weekend I am at home after close to 2 months time. We also had an internal audit for one of our projects and it was a nightmare and complete fiasco for the team.

Some updates from blog front. My Quiz blog ( has crossed more than 9000 hits in less than a year and in the month of July the blog is clocking somewhere 900 hits. My personal blog is clocking somewhere close to 6000 hits at the moment. Unfortunately, the quizzing activity has come to a halt and I have been receiving a lot of mails to start it again. This week will also see rebirth of the quiz site.

Recently in wake of the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, Government decided to put a ban on the blogs and most of the blogs were blocked in this exercise. For close to a week, no one was able to access the blogs. Then there was a long debate over this issue and finally it was decided to lift the ban over the blogs. Must say terrorism can impact anything in this world.

When Italy won the world cup, I was in the flight traveling from Dubai to Hyderabad. More than the passengers who were least bothered about the world cup final, the head of the cabin crew was excited when Italy won. It was a well deserved victory for them together with the very infamous incident between Materrazi and Zidane which became the topic of the email forwards very soon.

Time management has become a very big problem now these days and working nights in the office is a usual affair. This sometimes is taking a toll on the health as it happened to me when I came back from Chennai last monday. Anyhow I am getting adjusted to this now and now the posts on the blog will be pretty frequent.

Monday, July 17, 2006

LONDON Trip Snaps

Ash Arun Y and AB

Big Ben

Buckingham Palace

Big Ben

Friday, June 09, 2006

FIFA World Cup 2006

FIFA World Cup 2006 kicked off today in Germany with the opening clash between Costa Rica and host Germany. At the time when this post is being written, the Germans have scored 4 goals over the Costa Rican's who are 2 goals behind. The latest news is that host Germany have won their first game against Costa Rica by a margin of 2 goals. The stars of the game being Klose for Germany and Wanchope for Costa Rica each of whom scored 2 goals each.

What a superb start to the world cup with 6 goals being scored right in the first match.

Catch the official mascot of FIFA World Cup 2006. The name of the mascot is GOLEO.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Horror called Reservations

I have been thinking about putting across my thoughts on reservations issue which goverment is planning to consider and keeping in mind the recent developments it has almost reached its final stage. Government is planning to implement 27 % reservation for the OBC in the govt. institutions starting from June 2007. The successor for this step from the government side could be to introduce the reservation in private sector as well. All of us have heard of what Azim Premji had to say in regard to introducing reservations in the private sector.

The protests for the quota regime has now gone into highest level wherein, we are hearing news about people dying because of fast which has been termed as FAST UNTIL DEATH. Numerous mails, forwards and smses are floating around. Petition forms on the internet, groups on various sites like yahoo and orkut have come into picture. People are doing the best to make government realise its wrong step.

Looking at all the reservation protests I can compare it with the protests done by Aamir Khan and co in Rang De Basanti. Well this is the first time I am seeing that people are deriving inspiration out of a movie. Must say Rang De Basanti came at the right time. But what is more important is to look at the level of protests which are happening and how they are affecting the youth of the country. It all started with the students of AIIMS starting, then many medical college students joined it, thereafter it started spreading like a forest fire and the protests started happening across the entire country. IIM and IIT students also joined the protests. But at some place's OBC people also came out to protest and they had a head to head with the "against quota regime" protestors.

This quota and reservations story also reminds of the "Aarakshan Virodhi Andolan" which took place in 1999 and because of which the schools, colleges were closed and the daily life was hampered badly. I remembered that time we were in Gwalior and it was difficult to come out of the house itself on many days. The schools were closed for a month or so continously. I do not know whether we will reach that stage or not but the government must remember that Mandal Commission took a big toll on it and It should not repeat this act again.

The worst part of the HRD ministry is Arjun Singh himself. He needs two people to get up from the seat. He needs two people to make him sit on the seat. He cannot have food properly and he cannot get in his car all alone. If he sits at one place it will take close to 15 minutes before he can get up. He needs callipers and support of two people to get up and walk. If such people are at the helm of such a serious affair, then I am sure our country is not going to go anywhere.

The issue of IIM fees took a toll on BJP and all their campaign of India Shining and all went into dustbin. It was a great mistake committed by Murli Manohar Joshi, then HRD minister. For the mistake of one person, entire party had to suffer the defeat in the elections. Probably Arjun Singh would repeat the feat for Congress too.

One of the statements made by Sitaram Yechury is the classic one " FIIs entry into India or their exit will not make an impact on the Stock Market. "

Well I believe he does not understand even the meaning of the term FII

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Acting Debut - GODAVARI

Last Friday Godavari, the movie in which I acted or should I say was fortunate enough to act in got released. We got the tickets on saturday and went for the second show. The hall was jampacked but due to the strong rapport sreenivas shares with shekar kammula we managed to get balcony tickets without any hassles.
Finally the movie for which we were waiting for 1000 eyes got released and we were all set for it. Our gang includes our entire project team like Sreenivas, Gowtham, Prasad Taki, Vinod, Girish and myself. The first shot in which a few of us appear is the one when the second song of the movie comes in. Its a pretty quick one but one can make out Sreenivas and myself with not much of difficulty. The next shot comes in when the last song which is the sad song is being picturized. It so happened that we got a call in office from Sekhar regarding the shoot of the song and he asked us to join over there. Fortunately I was sitting just in front of the heroine at the start of the song and hence I was the only one in that sequence to get featured in the movie.
The feeling is of elation altogether. It gives us a sense of achievement although we did not struggle hard really for it except for getting up at 6:00 am that too on a Sunday. The shooting lasted for about 4 hours on that day and then I realised probably how tough would have been shooting on the Godavari boat which the director had set up specially for the movie.
Afterall everyone does not get a chance to be part of the filmdom !!!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Controlling the Thought Process

Have you ever wondered whether it is possible to control our thought process or not. Can we really control our mind to just think one thing at a time or our mind is so out of control now that whenever we are at home we think of office. When we are at office we think of outing with friends. When we are with friends we think of our life partner. When we are with our life partner we think about the future. So in all and all its never possible to think only a single thing at one point in time. Why it is so?

A few weeks back I had an opportunity to attend one of the orientation session of The Art of Living foundation which is one of the biggest organization in the world working towards humanity via spirituality. The person who was taking the session said that we as individuals do not know how to live in today. We either brood at the past or think about the future at every phase of life. He says its all in controlling our mind which makes us think, think and think only. As a child we think of growing to a youth, once youth we think of a career and a good life partner. As a married individual we think of good and intelligent kids. Once kids grow into youth we start thinking about their careers and their lifes. Once that is done we start thinking about the married life of our children. Then the last stage wherein we think about the grandchildren. In all this did we ever make an effort to think about ourselves at all. How are we doing, How is our body why is it that we are moving away from all kinds of material comforts, why is it that we have become weak and cannot have or do everything. All these questions can really shock us.

Our mind is a like a database wherein our thought process runs queries and keeps on analysing the data. In all this it creates relationships and they get entangled into each other so much that for a moment we forgot the main question of our life. Why do I exist here in this World? The central question which keeps on revolving in my mind now these days is this only. Why I am here. What do I do to get peace of mind and Where does the ultimate satisfaction for an individual resides. Can anyone in this world have happiness which is totally pristine and does not have any element of falsehood.

Is there an answer to these questions

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Torture called as SBI Card

I have been using the SBI Card for now close to 3 months. It has been a pathetic experience for me right from the beginning. Here in this article I describe my experiences with SBI first and take up BSNL next which is a little better in the aspect of providing service to the customer.

SBI Card was given to me after forced attempts by its agent. In the first place the card which was issued to me was not supposed to carry any of the Insurance premium as applicable. But to my surprise the guy who filled up the form for me ticked that column of insurance without my approval. When I shouted on him, he removed it. But the story does not end here. When I receive my card to my surprise I also get an addon card together with the Insurance premium amount also. First of all with SBI Card one has to activate it by calling one number which they call as the 24 hour helpline which is busy for the whole 24 hours in a day. Then those people do not understand for what we have called.

Afterwards the real trauma begins. The application has your date of birth wrong so you will not be able to use the phone banking. The internet banking for SBI Cards is not working for the past two months and its managed by GE which is really pathetic in the outsourcing work. The website shows this all the time. Soon the pain with the emails start. Its a really great pain to deal with the people on the email system. After atleast 6-7 times one mails the people out there understand the request. One day I suddenly get a call from Chennai regarding SBI Card Balance Transfer option and it so happens that after a few days when I decide to exercise the option, there is no person to contact to. In the SBI Card division one department is not talking with the other department at all. Gurgaon people have no clue of what the people in chennai are doing and vice versa. It took me close to a month to get my balance transfer cheque courtesy the great system implemented by GE.

Even the balance transfer cheque has its own clauses. If one does any shopping within the balance transfer period it would attract finance charges right from the very first day. This is not mentioned anywhere while the scheme is availed. The SBI Card proclaims it to be the best card available.

If this is the way SBI Card is doing the business it will be soon out of the competion. HSBC is perhaps the best credit card available in the market. The transparency in their calculation is really out of the world.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Rendezvous with Training

In the last one year since I started working I had the opportunity or should I use the phrase a forced opportunity to attend a dozen training programs. The company I work in organized quite a few of them and other ones which I attended where out of my own pocket. Two weeks back I attended a two day workshop on COBIT 4.0. COBIT stands for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. It is mainly used in streamlining the IT controls within an organization and is being widely used in the industry especially in US for the Sarbanes Oxley Compliance. Well this article would definitely not get into the nitty-gritties of the COBIT but would throw some lights on the commonly seen uncommon scenes across all training programs.

Whether the participants are highly attentive and have spent a huge sum to attend the program, they shall and will yawn within the first 10-15 min of the start of the program. Coming to the classification of the participants, there are close to five types which I have come across. There may be more over which the people may have their varied opinions.
The first group “FRONT BENCHERS” represents themselves as the active, enthusiastic, intelligent and highly inquisitive group. The sole motive of this group is to
1. Raise questions every few minutes
2. Ask about the things which are going to come next in the session beforehand itself
3. Sit in the session and act as if they already know everything about the training program already and its only that they have come for some kind of time pass
4. Test the trainer’s abilities in delivering the content and
5. Ensure that they keep on discussing amongst themselves all the time

On the extreme end there is a group “DREAMWORLD” which is totally cut off from the training program itself and is in their own world altogether. This is a set of people who came to the training program because they were forced to do so. They have absolutely no interest in what is happening in the session and are busy in gossiping about the hotel, the food which was served, the HI-TEA which is going to come next and duration of every session. These people will normally sit together that too at the last seats only. Occasionally (refers to once in the entire session) one person would get up and ask a question which will not have any relevance to the topic under discussion. As Ram puts it for these people (You do not disturb me, I will not disturb you) is correctly applicable for these people.

Then we have a set of people “HARDWORKERS” who are totally new to the topic of the training and are trying hard not to doze off and learn something out of the program. They are hardworking, dedicated and question once in a while. They usually neither challenge the participants nor do they try to be too smart with the trainer. But the people in this set are really serious and once they understand the session or the training program well, they can give nightmares to the original trainers.

Afterwards, there is another set of people “QUINTESSENTIALS”. These people do not belong to any of these categories but are more oriented towards asking lot of questions which are highly relevant to the topic under discussion. These people actually take notes seriously, give presentations if required, complete the exercises given on time and religiously follow every part of the training. These people believe in getting the best out of the training. This set of people usually does not doze off and are always fresh and charged up during the entire course of the session. Usually this will be the lowest percentage set amongst the entire batch.

In the end there is this last set of people “DOCUMENTATION Group”. This is the most unique set among the above mentioned ones. These people irrespective of the session are most interested in the course material of the session, the handouts, the pamphlets, feedback forms and the courseware in the form of printouts. To be on the dot, these people are interested in what we call as the HARDCOPY part of the session. These people usually get restless if the notes are not provided or the printouts are in bad shape or the glasses kept on the table are not clean. They also are the time keepers of the session and keep on showing symbols whenever possible to ensure that schedule does not slip. All in all, this set is one who does a typical admin person’s job in a training session.

Well this was a brief description of the kind of people one can find in a training session. If you have any other option, do let me know. Hope you enjoy reading the stuff.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Infosys in SEC XBRL Project

Securities and Exchange Commission of United States has come out with a new way of financial statements reporting for the organization listed on the US stock exchanges. Now these days almost all websites have the facility of viewing the Annual Report in a very friendly format instead of downloading very large sized PDFs. Keeping in mind the latest trends in the XML, SEC has decided to do a pilot exercise which involves some of the best firms globally to submit their financial statements in what is called as the XBRL format.

There are close to 17 firms who have reportedly joined SEC in this exercise. It has big names like Microsoft and all together with an Indian name of Infosys. It is expected that these companies will help the agency in a big way to explore how new Internet based reporting technologies can improve the financial reporting process for investors, financial intermediaries, SEC, and the companies themselves.

This is another set of initiatives taken by the SEC Head Christopher Cox on the lines of ensuring a good corporate boards and governance. The firm who have been selected are leaders in the areas of this technology and hence will provide an ideal way to use this technology.

The pilot programme will simultaneously enable the companies to determine the benefits of using interactive data, provide feedback to SEC, and enable investors and analysts to assess new techniques for analyzing interactive data reports submitted to the agency in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format.

Among the corporates that have joined the programme are 3M, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Microsoft Corporation, Mobile Reach International, Pfizer, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, South Financial Group, United Technologies Corporation, Xerox Corporation and XM Satellite Radio Holdings.

Meanwhile something about SBRL. XBRL is a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data which is revolutionising business reporting around the world. It provides major benefits in the preparation, analysis and communication of business information. It offers cost savings, greater efficiency and improved accuracy and reliability to all those involved in supplying or using financial data.

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is one of a family of "XML" languages which is becoming a standard means of communicating information between businesses and on the internet.

XBRL is being developed by an international non-profit consortium of approximately 450 major companies, organisations and government agencies. It is an open standard, free of licence fees. It is already being put to practical use in a number of countries and implementations of XBRL are growing rapidly around the world.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

SBI Strike Ends

The week long and the first strike in the history of SBI has been called off just a few minutes ago. The bank union informed about the decision after sealing a pact with the government.

All India SBI Employees Federation Secretary PK Patnaik informed the press that the parties involved in the discussion have reached a cut off in terms of the demands.

According to Patnaik, SBI employees will now get pension equivalent to 50 per cent of their last drawn salary up to a ceiling of Rs 21,800. Beyond that pension would be given as 40 per cent of last drawn salary.

Previously, the cut-off point for 50 per cent of last drawn salary as pension was Rs 8,500 and above that pension was given as 40 per cent of last drawn salary. The staff will be back on their seats from Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the SBI management has informed the government that it has reached an agreement with the union representing the striking bank employees.

The talks were held in capital today and Finance Minister himself got involved him in the helms of the affair and ensured that the deadlock breaks. Appreciations for the finance minister in ensuring that the people in the country are not affected any more. After failure of talks on Saturday it was decided by the SBI Union to get together with other bank unions on Tuesday and do a massive strike.

Finance minister also said that the current payscales of the SBI employees were laid down in the year of 1992. So it is the right time to revise them.

As per the existing cut-off point, SBI employees get pension of 50 per cent of their last drawn salary up to a ceiling of Rs 8,500, which is Rs 4,250 per month. Under the new cut-off point, 50 per cent pension would paid on last drawn salary up to a ceiling of Rs 21,040, which would work out to Rs 10,520.

This is one of the land mark achievements for the Finance Minister in terms of his negotiation skills. Three state governments had withdrawn their accounts with SBI after the strike looked like never ending. Many corporate houses and the nation on a whole suffered a lot because of the strike. Definitely, if something happens for the first time in the history of 200 years of the bank, it does make an impact.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Chevron Enters India

As FDI continue to flow in Indian Markets one sector which did not see any FDI inflow was the refining sector. Finally it will.

Chevron, A US energy major is planning to pick up some stake in the 27000 crore hallmark Jamnagar Refinery to become the first FDI in India's booming refining sector. RIL Chairman Mr. Mukesh D Ambani is in US to meet the top officials of Chevron and closing in on signing a pact.

Earlier media had reported that RIL was planning to sell its 10 % stake to some of the western oil majors in a bid to expand its reach into western countries and to ensure long term supplies from these markets.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Management Challenges

This post is on some critical issues which the organizations globally majority in the IT sector are facing almost every day.

If one looks at the IT sector in India we have very high performing companies such as Infosys, TCS and Wipro who started the business from the home ground and are now the global leaders in their respective areas. On the other hand there are companies which were once considered to be the best in their class but slowly they deteriorated considerably to yield neither profitable bottom lines nor shareholder value. Infact these low performing companies were not even able to retain the best talent which hurt the productivity massively in the long term.

This article tries to answer the question as to what factors contribute to an individual's success in the organization. How an organization can make a difference in an individual and how an individual can make a difference to an organization. At the end of the day any associate as most of the IT companies call their employees as wants is the job satisfaction than any other thing in this IT industry.

Employee retention is one of the key objectives of the HR department in the IT industry. The primary objective of the HR in any company should be to ensure that the goals of the individual and the organization are always in tandem with each other. But there is a kind of change which is happening now.

It has been observed that HR plays a key role only in the beginning that is at the time of recruitment where in the candidates interview and other formalities happen. But soon the focus gets shifted towards deploying the new resource in some project without first doing a role fitment exercise. The role fitment exercise is very essential because it keeps in mind the interest of the associate, uses his skillset to the maximum extent and overall gives him a feeling of job satisfaction. At any point in time if the above requirements are not met, the resource while at job does not feel contended and a question always gets raised in his mind saying that "Can I do something better than this".

Money is one major factor in case of any job shift. It has been figured out that close to 80 % of the people move from a low performing company to a high performing company not because of the company itself but because the latter can pay almost double the package. The resource crunch in the industry is so high that it is not possible to retain a resource and pay a higher package than the industry standards. More often one has to reach a compromise in terms of the affordability of the resource and the value which can be derived out of him. This is a critical piece of analysis which can actually alter all kinds of calculations.

To be continued.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Memorable Week

This week is one of the most memorable one's when I have completed one year since I passed out of the pedastals of my alma-mater TAPMI. Last year on 26th of March 2005, I was awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management at the 21st Annual Convocation held in Hotel Valley View. It was a great feeling for all of us who got convocated on that day. The feeling of elation is absolutely out of the world. The successful completion of the course which changed us entirely from top to bottom and gave a whole new dimension to our personality is a ecstatic feeling. The joy is although short lived since we have to also leave the place where we stayed, studied and toiled ourselves for 2 years to become what we call as CORPORATE citizens.

I was discussing this today morning with Vasudha since both of us take the bus in the morning from the same stop. Even she felt the same that time has passed away very fast and it will be soon when we will be completing one year of our corporate experience.

Meanwhile on saturday, I somehow stayed at home since there was no work outside neither I had a party to go. In the evening I completed the download of Oracle 9i which I was trying to do from the last 4 years ever since I wanted to install SQL in my PC. The total size of the download came to about 1.5 GB. But then I forgot that my PC is not capable enough to take the huge installation size.

The installation of Oracle 9i Enterprise Edition took close to 3.5 hours on my machine. Although I was able to use the SQL editor successfully but the system became very slow and was booting up in close to 10 min which is very high by all standards for a PC with 192 MB RAM. Anyhow I had to uninstall it at the earliest to get back my PC to speed up again. This was a huge exercise once again.

The second interesting thing I did in this weekend was the Beta Testing of Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 2 for Win XP SP2. I downloaded the extractable exe from the Microsoft site and ran the install. Now these days Microsoft is not allowing its products to be installed on any PC. They are allowing the installs only on PC which have the logo of GENUINE WINDOWS ADVANTAGE or the original key which normally of all PCs is an invalid one. Somehow I was able to circumvent the validation procedure and installed IE 7.0.

IE 7.0 on the lines of Vista spots a very sleek look. Its pretty decent in terms of the menus and offers a large space for viewing the webpages. Again on the lines of its competitors it spots tabs which is a standard feature of Opera, Netscape and the most bitter rival of IE FireFox. Loading of IE 7.0 does not take much time as such and is definitely less than what is the time for IE 6.0. I had browsed only for a few minutes immedietely an error popped up which said IE.exe has caused an unknown error. Hence I had to uninstall IE 7.0 immedietely and come back to the current version of IE.

One more important thing which happened in this week was the comeback of Amitabh Bachchan. After close to 3 months being out of action, Amitabh was back to the sets of Kabhi Alvida na Kehna, the latest venture of Karan Johar. It was reported that he was again unwell after the shoot but there is no serious issue with respect to that. The crowd or the fan following was more happier when Big B returned on to the sets than the Man or the producers themselves. I remembered the screen presence of the star of the millenium when he made a short appearance in the filmfare awards. It was majestic.

Also on Sunday Morning, I attended a seminar on CISM by ISACA. ISACA is a global authority on IT Governance and Audit and is the central body for the development of COBIT which defines control objectives for information technology for Sarbanes Oxley compliance. It was a good break for me from the usual stuff I do at office daily. Got to know about ISACA and CISM and CISA certifications.
The coming week looks extremely hectic keeeping in mind today. Lets hope for another challenging week ahead.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Windows Vista Shipment Delays

Microsoft in its latest release with respect to the Windows Vista has said that the business availability for the product would happen by November 2006 but the broad consumer availability has been postponed to early 2007. This is a major setback to the plans of Microsoft and its associate partners in the launch of Vista. It seems that the OS would go for broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in second quarter of 2006.

Analysts say it’s a smart move, given the products' importance and longevity — but disappointing and harmful to PC manufacturers, Intel, and retailers expecting a Q4 lift in PC sales. However, Intel gets an unexpected bonus: the opportunity to make Viiv the digital home brand that matters in 2006.

Microsoft has said that VISTA needs more fine-tuning, especially on security features – a core selling point of the new OS and it said that most of its partners said that the launch should wait till 2007. Given Windows' history as buggy and unsecured, it's just plain smart to delay the release rather than ship a flawed product. However, five years and counting between operating system releases and a steadily diminishing feature list does make Microsoft look a bit foolish. Ongoing sales of Windows XP, and the fact that Microsoft's fiscal year ends in June rather than December, protect the company financially.

Most of the PC retailers and companies like Dell, HP, Intel are real losers in all this. As the consumer spending peaks around the holiday season when the initial launch of Vista was planned. It will so happen that consumers wont be able to buy Vista powered PC and this will hamper the sales considerably. It is suggested that consumers be promised to buy the PC in the holiday season with a Vista upgrade coupon attached to the purchase. But a large administrative cost could have been avoided if the release would have happened at the scheduled time.

Since the launch is delayed Intel has a big opportunity to showcase their new technology VIIV as the centerpiece of the digital home, outcasting Vista. Launch of Vista with VIIV was considered to be a dual branding strategy by the market leaders. But then Intel will have a good opportunity to leverage on an early launch and make an impressive start before Vista comes into the market.

For the unknown, VIIV is Intel's new platform designed for the enjoyment of digital entertainment—Intel® Viiv™ technology—delivers the multitasking power of a dual-core processor and enables sleek new designs that fit your lifestyle.Key components of the VIIV technology are Intel Dual Core 64 bit processor, Advanced Chipset, and Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Godavari Film Shooting

This is the second time that I was part of a movie shooting. The last time I was involved in a movie shooting was when I was in my Grandma’s house in the year 1998. It was the shooting of a Telugu movie by some name I do not even remember now. The shooting took place for about 2 weeks time but finally when I watched the movie the shooting at our place was their in picture for just about 30 sec to 1 minute. That time I realized the power of editing.

Recently one of our colleagues took us to a shoot sequence of an upcoming Telugu movie GODAVARI. Shekar Kammula one of the renowned director in the Telugu film industry and also the director of the movie Anand is directing this movie. He happens to be a good friend of my colleague so this gave us an opportunity to show our acting skills also. The first shot (If I can call it a shot) was the one, which we took near the HCU bus stand with the heroine. It was a very small still involving not much effort.

The second shot, which happened on Sunday, involved quite a few associates from our organization who participated in the shoot, which involved the Hero of the movie, Sumanth. The shoot was done in a conference room and was part of a song sequence. It was a nice break for me from the daily routine of going to the office and coming back. The shooting started at 8:30 in the morning and continued till 11:00 AM wherein we were part of close to 3 or 4 shots.

Shooting a movie is not an easy job. For a moment I felt that this is the toughest job, which one can think about since there are close to 100 things, which need to be done simultaneously. If someone wants to prove that he is a leader he should involve himself into shooting. All the leadership qualities of a person can be tested very well while shooting is in progress. The voice of the Director, the sequence of camera, action and cut, the control of the scene sequence, controlling the people out there, managing money, convincing the people, making sure the actor and actress are happy with what they are doing are some of the aspects which a director needs to take care. All in all, the director of the movie exhibits the true qualities of a leader.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Impossible is Nothing

Impossible is nothing. That’s what the South African team proved when they chased 434 against the top team of the world and three times world champion’s Australia. In a record-breaking one-day chase South Africa on Sunday chased 434 to win the series against Australia by 3-2. Australia made an impossible score of 434 way ahead of the 398 made by Srilanka against Kenya in 1996 World Cup. I remembered the star in that game was Aravinda De Silva who scored an impressive 148 to send shocks to Kenyan’s. But this contest was different

This contest was between one of the best teams in ODI. South Africa and Australia. Known for their all rounder’s these two teams always had a great contest. Some of the best memories of their contests are the World Cup Semifinal in 1999 wherein Australia won inspite of a tie because of a better run-rate.

A disbelieving crowd at the Wanderers in Johannesburg witnessed the greatest one-day international of all as South Africa hit a world record 438 for 9 with one wicket and one ball to spare to beat Australia. The fans were amazed at lunch, having seen the visitors smash 434 for 4, with Ricky Ponting making 164, they would have been pinching themselves when Mark Boucher hit the winning runs off Brett Lee after Herschelle Gibbs had led the way with 175.

This match proved it that Impossible is nothing, if one has that killer instinct to do it. No team could ever think of crossing 400 mark in one-day cricket. But then Australia did it and broke the previous record of 398 by scoring 434 and set an example. It was one of the most path breaking moments for Ricky Ponting where in he made his career best score. When South Africa started they always felt that probably they cannot reach that target but I must say that winning this match was a perfect example of team spirit where everyone in the team contributed equally to the success. Whether it was the one run of Makhaya Ntini or the winning shot by Mark Boucher everything in the match was awesome. In the past couple of months we have not seen such a finish for the match. India Pakistan series also went very dry. The feeling of elation for the team was absolutely par excellence and no one can ever expect to see that kind of stuff in one-day cricket. I believe no match will stand parallel to this match. And Then South Africa scored 438 with one wicket to go in 49.5 overs and won the match and grabbed the series. They made impossible possible with a great dedication, determination, a team effort and above all a killer instinct. But do Indian really possess it is the question?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

First Anniversary

Its exactly a year now since I started blogging. So today my blog completes one year of its existence on the world wide web. It saw close to 4200 visitors in the year which makes an average of 12 visits per day. The maximum hits were on 19th December 2005 when my blog recorded close to 49 hits which were excluding the reloads. This was the day when I had posted the article on the murder of the BPO woman.

I started blogging in the last few days of my stay at TAPMI. I was very excited about writing the things about which I felt very strongly but was lazy enough to note them down in a piece of paper. That was also the time when I shifted from the notebook or diary to the electronic medium of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Blog gave me a choice to express what I feel about the things around me. I believe that has driven me to write on the blog consistently in the last one year.

As I write this post I have posted close to 108 articles on my blog some clubbed under one heading of IT and related areas. Some on Compliance issues like Sarbanes Oxley, MiFiD and Clause 49. Others on Mergers and Acquisitions and some on my feelings and thoughts about certain issues which I feel very strongly about.

Blogging has been a great experience for me. I have been criticized several time and appreciated also many times. But more than that it has given me a lot of visibility and above all a presence on the web. Once someone types in the google, "Yashasvi Arun", immedietely he lands up on my blog homepage. Bitten by the blog bug, I went ahead and created a quiz blog for my Punchliners series. It has registered close to 4200 hits within a span of 5 months.

I believe, the quality of posts and also the time variation will improve considerably as I plan my time well enough to pursue my hobby in a better way. Thanks a lot to all those who visited my blog and if my Blog was helpful in providing some info to you I would feel the best satisfaction possible.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thoughts Emotions Feelings Sentiments

It has been quite some time since I posted some stuff on the above words in which I used to believe very little until today. There are days in our lives which are just another days. But there are days which usually make a lot of impacts on our lives and take our view points to the extremes some times and make us think. Today was one such day in my life when I felt that yes that there are emotions, feelings and sentiments even in the worst of the business scenarios also.

I always felt that if we are good everything which will happen to us in the future will be good only. But often we forget that there are forces which act opposite to what we usually do. These are invisible forces which usually operate in vacuum till the time we are in our limits. But once we try to do something out of the system, these invisible forces come out of the vacuum and attack us in all directions possible and enervate us within no time. These negative forces tend to kill the enthusiasm, the dedication and the determination to make things perfect. The path to betterment is lost and suddenly the concerned human being feels that he is doing something which is not wished by others. The worst part of all this is that these invisible forces weaken you so much or hurt you so much that you sometimes start doubting as to why did you take this burden of improving the system at all.

Well the article as it sounds is not pessimistic. Its about the reality of life when we cross the system boundaries and do something which we believe is obvious and nevertheless good for the organization. But at the end we get entangled in such a web which stretches us emotionally, mentally and pscyhologically and literally kills the passion in us.

There have been days for me which always gave me a feeling that why should I suffer always in life. I questioned my existence in the organization. I questioned my education. I questioned by behavior. Above all I questioned my pursuit of perfection and belief in High Performance probably one thing in my life which keeps going me on and on. I could not never get the answer. Perhaps I can never get also.

To be continued.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The weekend went by was one of the memorable weekends for me wherein I had to deal with some unprecedented issues. On Saturday my computer went into trouble without me having any clue of what has happened. For quite sometime the power on button of the computer was not working and it so happened due to Windows XP we need not have to restart the computer also quite often. The latter thing actually spoiled the restart button of the machine. So it does matter to use all the parts of the computer on time.

On Saturday evening it so happened that my computer got hung up and instead of restarting it from the main power, I used the spoiled restart button and then it was the end of it. My computer got hung and it did not start for the next few hours and then it so happened that even display was not coming on the monitor, CD Drive stopped working, Hard Disk was continuously blinking with the red light. I was like dead scared as to what happened to my life companion after spending close to 6 years. Somehow my dad got hold of a hardware vendor and he came and scrutinized the system for a while and concluded that it’s a chip level problem. I was like finished. Then he said RAM has gone and he won’t be able to do anything. He suggested taking the computer to Global Technologies in Secunderabad.

We reached Global Technologies somehow. The guy immediately within no time connected the required cables to the computer and was trying to figure out the error. Then when we were about to give it to him for repair, I told him the incident, which led to this problem. I must say the guy was intelligent and accordingly as per my description he removed the reset socket from the motherboard and the computer started working. I was like delighted very moment. Immediately, I saw this opportunity and somehow escaped from there without giving the computer for servicing. I believe the knowledge of the guy in repairing the thing shows the signs of High Performance, which delighted me a lot. I got the computer back home but then to my surprise, it looked like due to the deletion of restoration data the computer lost its display drivers and Windows XP started creating lot of problems. Norton got corrupted and the visual display went for a toss. All in all the computer became very slow and the Internet speed also got reduced tremendously. I decided that its time to format the hard disk. So I took the back up of the entire data on C drive and made the computer ready for the format process on Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning, I formatted the C drive of my computer loaded Win 98 and Win XP and brought the computer into its original form. It took close to 6 hours for the process to complete. By night my computer was back into original shape and I must say this time the problems I encountered were really big.

Another eventful thing, which happened on Sunday, was our trip to Yadagirigutta. Yadagirigutta is about 70 KM from our house and is a religious place having a temple of Lakhsmi Narsimha Swamy. We drove till their in our new ESTEEM, and I am sure Tej enjoyed the drive a lot. It was a good one while going we touched the speed of 70. While coming I drove it in the night continuously for about 75 KM and it was an amazing drive. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was one of the pleasing moments for me, which I will cherish for life. The speed I touched was 85 and I was pretty happy about it. It took me just about an hour to complete the 70 KM stretch. Driving on Highway gives a totally different kind of pleasure and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

WINNING by Jack Welch

Winning is my latest book which I completed close to two weeks back but then due to some preoccupations was not able to post my experience after reading the book. This is my, If I am not wrong, 7th Management Book, the last being India Unbound which is not very close to a Mangement book but it does have that kind of flavor.

Winning came into the market sometime in May 2005 and I wanted to read the book eagerly, right from the day when I read its review in India Today. I had spotted the book first in the LandMark Stores in Spencer’s Plaza in Chennai. But then it took close to 6 months for the book to come into my hand courtesy one of my friend. Albeit, the edition being partially pirated, the content being more important than the style or the design of the book, I was satisfied.

The book starts off with the favorite theme of every go-getter. Winning Does Matter. The essence of the book lies in the phrase stated above. Jack Welch using his past experiences tries to look into issues which are at the center of winning and which can make or break any game in life whether corporate or social. The book has come out when Jack Welch retired from GE and traveled across the world covering Asia, Africa, Europe, spoke at several places and conferences and had one to one meeting with several professionals on what it takes to WIN.

As with any management thought, the important part is to apply the thought in the real life rather than reading it through and have the pleasure. The real pleasure comes in when the Management idea gets into execution to give some real results. This time I had decided when I would read the book I will apply every idea in the text in my professional life and see whether it really works or not. Believe me it does work in 80 % of the cases.

The book is divided into 5 different parts altogether, which have a central theme that is – What Does it take to Win?. The first part introduction starts by talking about the various aspects of business and theories behind the business functions, the idea of Candor, which Jack Welch strongly advocates, and the issues like Differentiation. The second part of the book talks about the essential elements of Company. How a company should be structured and what are the issues to be kept in mind. It talks about the essentials of business like Leadership, Hiring, Change and Crisis Management. Next section talks about Competition in terms of strategy, budgeting, growth and M&A. The penultimate section in the book is titled “YOUR CAREER” which is one of the unique features of any management books I have seen till now. Generally we do not find a section dedicated specifically to the career. This section starts off by talking about what kind of job is a right job for an individual then the issues in performance appraisal to the issue of a bad boss and finally closing on one of the most important issues of 21st century – How to balance work and family life.

In the last section, Jack Welch talks about some of the questions, which cannot be part of any of the other four chapters mentioned above. Here in he covers issues like Threat of China, Diverity, Regulations like Sarbanes Oxley, Business response to AIDS, His successor Jeff Imelt and How he is doing together with the last question on whether Jack Welch will go to hell or heaven.

One of the topics, which Jack Welch forces the most and deals in extensively, is the issue of CANDOR. Candor is something, which we all will never wish to practice in our live's because we fear it immensely. But I did practice it in my professional life in a situation wherein I felt that the things are not going right and yes it did work it.

All in all, WINNING is a great read and is a must for every individual who looks at good career as a journey and not as a destination.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Narain Karthikeyan vs. Sania Mirza

This post is dedicated to one issue which I believe should be discussed in many forums in concern to its importance. Yesterday I was looking at Times of India where I read that Sania Mirza has been signed by Deutsche Bank as the Brand Ambassador for promoting its retail banking product since Deutsche Bank was operating in India only in the Corporate Banking space. Daily if one watches the television you can spot number of ads featuring Sania Mirza but is there a single ad which features Narain Karthikeyan. Leave alone ads. Think about other recognition.

Sania Mirza recently got the Padmashree.If we look at the statistics Rahul Dravid even after being in the Indian Cricket Team for more than 7-8 Years got the Padmashree only in the year 2004. We all know what has been the contibution of Rahul Dravid to the Indian Cricket and what he is to the Indian Cricket team.

Now look at one sport which is not very popular in India. Formula 1. This sport considered to be the hobby of only the elite class and was till a few years back not even seen widely on television is now a raging sport amongst the youth of the country. Infact Chandra Babu Naidu ex chiefminister of AP had a proposal to come out with the Formula 1 Track in Hyderabad. Our only image in Formula 1 amongst 1 billion people considering the past and the present records is Narain Karthikeyan. Till date he is the only driver from our subcontinent to break into the elite league of Formula 1 considered to be one of the costliest sport in the world. But no one not even media bothered to cover it in a very proper manner. The way hype has been created about Sania I believe not even 10 % of the hype was created for Narain. We all know how important is media for the growth of anything in this world. If media publishes wrong information about any company or some kind of news than the company's stock price will go for a toss. Similar is the case with the sports person also. Any news however small if hyped considerably can really make a person god within few hours thanks to the ever increasing influence of media in our life.

Does the fete of Narain Karthikeyan any less than the fete accomplished by Sania Mirza or is it that people do not want to recognize some sports as Cricket gets a lot more priority over any other sport in the country. Very recently Narain Karthikeyan was also signed up by William the team of stalwarts like Montoya and Ralf once upon a time as a reserve driver. This is not a small feat.

I think its high time the media recognizes the importance of every sport and does not brush away any sport which does not spot glamour in it. We also need to remember that with formula 1 we have one of the biggest corporate house's TATA's name associated.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

SENSEX Touches 10000

India's stock market benchmark Sensex on Monday pierced through the magical 10,000 points level for the first time on aggressive buying by funds.

The market barometer was at 10,002.83 points, higher by 260.25 points. Similarly, wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty spurted by 66.55 points to set a record high of 3007.15.

The Sensex finally settled with a huge gain of 2.4% (238 points) at a record high of 9,980.

The Nifty surged by 60 points to close at 3,000.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-sensitive index (Sensex) which set an intra-day high at 9993.92 points on February 1, remained sluggish thereafter and touched a low of 9,713 points before completing the last lag of its journey to the historic 10K level today.

The major support to the Sensex came from Reliance Industries, Infosys, ICICI Bank, ACC, Bajaj Auto, Housing Development Finance Corporation and Larsen and Toubro.
Any change in the share prices of Reliance Industries, Infosys Tech and ICICI Bank changes the market scenario as the trio enjoy over 30 per cent weightage on the index.

Major GainersICICI Bank rallied 6.4% to Rs 607. HDFC moved up 2.5% to Rs 1,338, and HDFC Bank added 1.7% to Rs 745. SBI was up nearly 1% at Rs 865.Ranbaxy soared over 6% to Rs 414 following the company's announcement that it has formed a JV with a South African firm to tap the African market. Dr.Reddy's and Cipla moved up 2.6% each to Rs 1,190 and Rs 496, respectively.Reliance gained 3.4% to Rs 720. ONGC ended with a gain of 2.5% at Rs 1,191. ITC surged 2.7% to Rs 157, and HLL advanced over 2% to Rs 194.TCS rallied 3% to Rs 1,680. Infosys gained over 2% at Rs 2,845 and Satyam added 1.8% to Rs 739. Wipro, however, ended a tad lower at Rs 514.The BSE Bankex zoomed over 3% (162 points) to 5164. The BSE Healthcare Index also moved up over 3% (113 points) to 3478. The BSE FMCG, Oil & Gas indices closed with gains of over 2% each today. The BSE Teck index gained 1.5% (35 points) to 2,442.
Advances were ahead of declines - out of 2,570 scrips traded, 1,443 moved up, 1,071 declined and 56 were unchanged today.While 302 scrips hit their respective upper limits, 177 hit the lower circuits today.