Saturday, November 29, 2008

Salute our Brave Heroes

This post comes at the time when the Mumbai Police has declared the city free of terrorists. Our Men in Uniform, the true heroes of our country, fought relentlessly for 58 hours against the inhuman terrorists and brought freedom to Mumbai, our country and to all our people. This post is my deepest homage to the following heroes who laid their lives in this battle against terrorism.

1. Hemant Karkare, ATS Chief
2. Vijay Salaskar, Encounter Specialist
3. Ashok Kamte, Additional Commissioner of Police
4. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, NSG Commando
5. Gajendra Singh, NSG Commando

Although all the three operations, Operation Cyclone at Taj, Operation Black Tornado at Nariman House, Operation at Trident and Oberoi are now complete, but still a sense of fear remains in the residents of Mumbai. Life will not be the same after these incidents for sure.

Monday, April 28, 2008

PSLV Successfully Launches Ten Satellites

On Monday 28 April 2008, India and ISRO created a history and entered the record books by launching ten satellites in one go with its Polar Launch vehicle carrying the heaviest payload weighing as much as 824 kg.

Earlier a Russian rocket in 2007 delivered 16 satellites in the outer space but the Russian launch vehicle carried a lesser payload of just around 300 kg.

The ten-pack launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation saw the 230-tonne Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C9) put into orbit an Indian Mini Satellite and eight foreign nano satellites besides the Cartosat-2A remote sensing satellite. This is the first time that ISRO has put ten satellites into orbit in a single launch.

Madhavan Nair, Chief of ISRO said that this is the first time a country has attempted to put multiple launches in a precise manner. Russia had attempted almost 13 satellites in a single go but was unsuccessful.

There were some last minute anxiousness which was cleared at 11 PM and the launch was scheduled.

Nair expressed happiness that all the mission objectives were achieved with precision and all systems functioned very well.

"The PSLV-C9, in its total flight of 1,151 seconds, has performed extremely well. It's much better than a text book performance. Every system functioned as per the parameters," Nair said.

The CARTOSAT-2A and with IMS-1, followed by the nano satellites were released in quick succession, he said.

"We have received information from international customers that they have received signals from the satellites at their ground stations. The mission stations at Thiruvananthapuram and Mauritius have also received information that the satellites are in good health and we hope that if everything goes right within the next two days, we would be able to switch on the imaging system," Nair said.

He said while $0.6 million was charged for the nano satellites, it cost around Rs 120crore for the CARTOSAT and Rs 22 crore for the IMS-1.

The launch comes ahead of India's plans to launch its first moon mission - Chandrayaan-I - expected later this year.

Truly a great feat by the ISRO. Hats off !!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Indian Premier League (IPL)

Indian Premier League (IPL) rocks. It really does.

Initial feeling within the masses of this form of cricket was not great. Indian Cricket League (ICL), a counterpart of the IPL, did not manage to get the attention of cricket lovers in anyway possible. The matches started and the series was finished also and no one even came to know about it. It was a euphoria which lasted only on the day when it was announced that ICL will be formed.

IPL is quite different from ICL. More than the fact that its recognized by BCCI and ICC, the entire strategy behind the formation of IPL is vastly different from ICL. IPL carries probably one of the best names within the industry beginning from DLF, Sony Max, KingFisher, Citi, Hero Honda and PEPSI as sponsors. Then the concept of team owners which is first of its kind in our country picked straight from the english premier league. The team owners are no small people and consists of the likes of Shahrukh, Mallaya, Mukesh Ambani, Preity Zinta which gives IPL a all new flavor and a richness. As we would know that most of the players in IPL have been valued at exhorbitant prices which gives the league a distinction of being one of the richest in the world. Add to all the above an advertising extravaganza which was being aired before the series began. The ads like "MANO-RANJAN" ka baap and others really caught up with the audiences. Phenomenal ad spending has been done by different segments of the industry and this has helped BCCI as well as SONY MAX equally.

Some of the cutest ads like the one of Vodafone has got consumers major attention with the introduction of the pug. Godrej has launched its new identity during this IPL League.

Some of the matches within the IPL have got probably the best of the finish we have seen in recent times. The last match between Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians saw Gilly hitting the fastest century and just concluded match between Chennai SuperKings and Royal Challengers Bangalore saw a turnaround led by Dhoni.

Overall its really a package deal for the viewers and have caught their frenzy.

Congrats Lalit Modi, you have proved what extreme execution is all about hats off !!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Hyderabad Airport @ Shamshabad Courtesy GMR

Last Monday I took the flight from the new Airport of Hyderabad located at Shamshabad. Hyderabad Airport is the first project to be completed amongst the running public private partnership projects in our country for modernization of airports. Bangalore Airport is also expected to be ready latest by second week of May.
True to the expectations, Hyderabad Airport is an absolute marvel. Its a terrific example of how successful a public private partnerships can be. Built by GMR Group, the Hyderabad airport located at Shamshabad got the clearance for commercial operations on the midnight of 23rd March 2008 with the first flight of Lufthansa arriving shortly. The new airport has led to the closure of 73 years old Begumpet Airport which was situated in the heart of city.
The new airport is close to 40 KM from any point in Hyderabad. HUDA is still in the process of building the required infrastructure in terms of expressway so as to ensure that the distance is covered in least possible time. The nearest point for the new airport is Chandryangutta X Roads from where the distance to airport is close to 15 KMs and there are clear sign boards and directions.
Infrastructure in the airport is truly world class and can be compared to the Dubai and Malaysian airports and probably the first of its kind in our country. A huge concourse each for the departure and arrival. Electronic baggage services akin to the international standards. Longest runway in the country in excess of 4.5 KM and capable of supporting the AIRBUS A380 as well. There are more tha 44 gates available for the passengers and different airlines together with LCD screens displaying the departure and arrival of flights at all times. The new airport, with world-class facilities, can initially handle 12 million passengers and 100,000 tonnes of cargo annually. The cost of the first phase of the project is Rs 2,478 crore. The Rs.25 billion airport with the longest runway in Southeast Asia has been built by GHIAL, a joint venture in which GMR Infrastructure Ltd holds 63 percent, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad 11 percent, AAI 13 percent and the Andhra Pradesh government 13 percent.
Inspite of poor connectivity to the airport currently being served only by radio cabs, coaches and taxis, people have said that the airport is in comparison to Dubai and London. Significantly higher ground handling fees and user development fees were the main reason for the Airport to be operational from 14th of March which was its scheduled date.

Built by the China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong), it is the first airport in India to have no demarcation between international and domestic terminals, making passenger movement easier. It also has a unique airport village with commercial space where passengers can meet with their friends and relatives. The airport has a 70-metre-high Air Traffic Control (ATC), equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment, a world-class cargo terminal, 42 aircraft parking stands with 12 aero-bridges and 30 remote parking bays. It incorporates the novel ‘aerotropolis’ concept on the lines of Seoul, Munich and Hong Kong international airports that houses hotels, commercial centres, hospitals and residential quarters.
All in all, the new airport at Hyderabad, truly speaks of the Infrastructure which is coming up in India inspite of ever increasing stories of slowdown. Hyderabad airport sets a superb example for other airports to follow. Soon to be commissioned Bangalore airport is also expected to be on the similar lines. Lets hope GMR is able to garner its share of profit out of this project.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A really long break

I am back after really a long break. I have been waiting to scribble something here but then either it was the constraint of the time or my acute laziness or the intranet in my new company not allowing access to the Blogger .

Lot of developments took place during this sojourn from blogging in my professional life. I moved from Polaris in October 2007 to Accenture. This change in company also forced me to move out of my comfort zone in Hyderabad to Mumbai. As I see myself today, I feel proud of my decision which was not an easy one. But definitely there is something about Mumbai which I feel every other city in our country lacks actually.

On March 08, I shall be completing my probation as well as six long months in the company where I have tried to put my best efforts in doing a lot of things some of which happened, others in the pipeline and some which took off well but are now in a state of dormancy. I continue to work in Calypso but now with much more focus and much more clarity about the application.

My tryst and experiments continue with Interest Rate Derivatives and Credit Derivatives along with certain new areas like subprime mortgages thanks to the recent credit crunch and economy meltdown in US.

The last couple of months have been extremely volatile for the Indian equity markets which were rocking and had proved the decoupling theory earlier. Markets actually came down from a high of 21000 to a low of 15400 in just about 15 trading sessions. A huge fall of close to 2200 points was witnessed during a trading session but it was then lead by a recovery fueled by buying at lower levels. Most of the stock which had jumped by close to 80-90 % have fallen close to 50-60 % in the recent meltdown. Some of the notable names are Ispat (86 to 42), JP Hydro (143 to 75), Neyveli Lignite (256 to 135). New IPOs got a major hammering like the Emaar MGF and Wockhardt Hospitals which could not even get fully leave alone the question of over subscription. In January we saw volatility ranging from a low of 2 % to a high of close to 300 %. The turnover had fell considerably from a high of 1.3 lakh crores to as low as 47000 crores. The markets are still under tremendous pressure and are moving in a rangebound fashion between 16500 till 18000. The message is clear about selling on rallies and buy on decline. But the question remains as to whether the markets have bottomed out and will we be crossing the earlier highs of 21000 on the Sensex and 6500 on Nifty.

There are lot of issues to talk about. I shall take up one by one in the coming articles.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Finally I have been able to update my personal details on the blog after close to six months of soujourn.
There is more to come. Wait and watch.