Finally, its Compaq CQ61-312TU

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


After working for more then 4 years, when my personal Laptop (Dell inspiron 600 series) gave up in Oct 2009, I knew I had a difficult task in my hand to identify and purchase a Laptop at Chennai. I had purchased my previous Dell laptop when I was in the US about 4.5 years back, more importantly, I did not face much problem with Dell laptop in its 4 years of operation. I did have a virus attack once to my Dell Laptop and I did not want to take it to 'so called' Laptop service people as it would finally end up in formating it, I had struggled for about 2 weekend and finally had the virus removed through a free online virus removal software, which worked in simple DOS mode.

Which brand to choose?

This time, I was looking for a brand which I some service centre at my metro - Chennai. I believe, this being the case only Compaq and HP, really qualified to me. Well, Laptop are always a challenge to get serviced and on top of it might get pretty expensive to get it serviced.

Features and OS :
To my surprise now, I found most of the Laptop had only DOS version and if I had to go for Windows Vista (heard window XP OS is not being released these days) and windows 7, it had to be purchased at extra price. Very few came with pre-installed OS of Windows Vista or Windows 7.

This made the most of the deal pretty expensive and I was looking for a possible printer add on. Added to this, Core 2 duo processors are expensive and hence decided for Intel dual core processor. One more imformation, I received is that LED displays have become quite common in the last six months.

Retailer: The next major challenge is to find a good retailer, I did visit few computer brand dealer /retailers and when I did allow them to talk of the product I found them wanting in their knowledge and also they were trying to sell the Laptop, which was available in stock.

Finally, I narrowed down on CQ61-312TU, the attractive feature was that it came with pre-installed Windows 7 Home premium along with large 15.9 inch LED display with Intel dual core processor along with Carry case at an attractive net price of 34K-INR.

Added to this, I also got basic inkjet printer free along with Laptop as offer and deal was through Modern Computers, to me they looked reliable. The LED display looks bright compared to LCD display and clarity of the image is also good and finally I felt the mission accomplished.

Now, it time to look at its performance as it is put to operation by me and by my family......

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Towards end of this decade ... 2010

Monday, December 28, 2009

A new year has blossomed .... and as we progress towards end of this decade, I was wondering how different the world had become technologically now when compared to previous decade, the years prior to 2000.

Year 2000, was supposed to have major issues around the year format in the computer system used across the globe - the Y2K problem, no one is sure whether there was any major breakdown or disaster due to Y2K problem. Indian IT services provider and Indian were looked upon to fix this problem and I believe this was the starting point for the Indian IT services industry.

Mainframe & client server technology was proven and almost all fortune companies where using the technology and by year 2000, corporates started feeling impact of internet. Fax messages where replaced by email messages in the corporate, and people who were innovative started thinking as how internet can be put to effective use."Google" was a baby and totally unheard, and nobody would have ever dreamt that Google would become a house hold name in less than a decade. Search engine and Google has almost become a synonym in about 2 to 3 years time.

The way people perceived internet in year 2000 is totally different now. Internet has totally changed the world of doing business and I don't think a business can survive without usage of internet today. From a centralized model of operating businesss, now the business model is moving towards a distributed or a virtual office model, the next decade might see virtual offices, meaning one might not be really present physically in office but still the task assigned or scheduled to him needs to be completed on the specified time. One may not see big swanky office complex as seen today.

Any device or tools which assists in distributed model of business might see good results, lets wait & wait how these prediction goes and how 2020 blossom ............................................

Wishing all a very happy and prosperous New year.

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Inflation & real estate.....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I read article in Shyam column about the current state of indian real estate & inflation and I thought its worth reading it.

Click here to read from shyam column about real estate

Before investing in apartment, one needs to consider the below mentioned points.
a)Amount of tax saving p/a vs principal+interest outflow p/a vs if apartment is rented.
b) Total cash outflow for the entire tenure of the loan.
c) Depreciation of apartment and hence worth of it after 20 year period.

About inflation, shyam thought of considering CPI looks logical as compared to WPI. Happy reading

Click here to read from shyam column about inflation

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Oh....there it goes....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

As early as in Jan 2009. I wrote in my blog as why account fudging is easier in an IT services environment.

Click here to read more about my post on account fudging

Today, I read on article on rediff and it almost endorsed by post

Click here to read from Rediff post

This would make one to thing as how safe are the investor with other IT services company !!!!????!!!

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International Project Management day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Till, Nov 5th I was not aware of this. However, on Nov 5th I received few mails congratulating the project management community. At last I felt, there is some recognition for PM and also I believe the project management has evolved more in the last few years.

Success and failure of the project is associated with PM. I always call PM as "Virual Entreprenuer', just like an entreprenuer he has to have a bird eye view on project and also make sure he control activities within the defined project boundaries. In case of project acheiving desirable results in term of profits you might find few congratulatory emails/awards, but if it results in negative margin, he would be called into many meetings for explanation and he has to fight to have the project going.

Keeping project in control is always dicey and at times lot of fire fighting needs to be performed which the project team is unaware. Lot of times, he has to take quick decision, when decision goes right he might not be questioned but on the other hand, he may have a answer the stake holders if the decision goes wrong, this has the similarity with the entreprenuer, in case of wrong decision, he would be questioned by 'shareholder' who are offcourse the stake holders in the company.

Anyways, I enjoy being a project manager, provided if I am given a free hand to run the project on my own like an entreprenuer.

My Best wishes to fellow project managers!!!!

Found this article on Project managment interesting to read (click on the link)

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ERP as SaaS

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Today, I came across an article in Bloomberg about ERP as Saas.

Though I have not completely understood offering made by OpenERP, but to still found to be quite impressive. Probably, I think OpenERP is little ahead of time, it might take some more time for market to become really mature.

Maybe, its at a stage, what yahoo was in late 1990's.

Click here to read more about Open ERP

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Mutual fund mutually beneficial for people with Marketing skills??!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Last couple of years, if you happen to visit any of the private bank and you will find bankers promoting the mutual funds more agressively than bank products like FD.

You are sure to hear the following " This is the right time to enter the market, and these funds ..... have consistantly performing return of % , which is few times more than bank interest" .

Intestingly, I have small amount invested in mutual funds about 3 years back when the sensex was about 11 K, though there has been appreciation but I did not find appreciation to be greater cummulative bank deposit I would have earned in 3 years time, had I invested in FDs. No doubt had the sensex being in the range of 21K, I would have earned handsome return, but there is no gaurantee sensex will increase on the expected lines and there are so many external factors.
Offcourse, the benefit you might have is on the taxation part, even FD offer that benefit is investement is made for a period of 5 years.

But, then why are the bankers interested in pushing mutual funds instead of their own Bank deposit?

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Entrepreneur Journeys by Sramana mitra - A Review

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I happen to read the book named Entreprenuer Journeys - Vol 1 by Sramana mitra , it was a real voyage into the Entreprenuer life of 12 resourceful people, as how they had operated their business to achieve their goals & objective. They were resourceful, not because, they had capital with them at the start, but due to their passion, intuition and looked upon alternatives through their entreprenuership.

Sramana Mitra is a technology entreprenuer and a strategy consultant in Silicon Valley and also a columnist in Forbes.
On 12 interview presentation with enterprenuers, her indepth understanding of today's technology world & the future foresight make it very interesting. In between the interview chapters, her analysis on the future related web 1.0, 2 & 3, SAas,respective business verticals makes you vistualize and what the future could look like.

The fact is that all these entreprenuer are still building their enterprises in some form or other and most of them are from SME sector and hence one might not have heard about them.

Age does not deter entreprenuer effort, this is clealy brought about in her interview with Philippe Courtot, Qualys aged about 63, Philippe had been a serial entreprenuer and his effort span across industry vertical of Mini Computer, Medical Image, Email Software & Security. On contrast to this, Hande had been an energy entrepreneur for for last 15 year, he fist job after his Phd from the University of Massachusetts had been in Solar energy lighting in rural Karnataka and he feel may be his last job as well. Hande's interview with Sraman had made a distinct mark in his passion for entreprenuership.

For those of us, who thought that India does not have software product company, would find interview with Sridhar Vembu of Adventnet a pleasant surprise.

One can observe all the entreprenuer had some kind of education & base in US and almost all had the venture capital backing, expect Hande. So does that mean venture capital is neccessary for a startup entrepreuer. I think, its an 'Yes' and a 'No'. VC contribute to the equity of the company, which mean during the formative years of your entreprise might be quite useful hence a 'YES, but after all your hard work of years, once you start making profit you need to share your revenue hence a "NO" and these VC are going to be behind your back all the times. According to words of Energy recovery Executive Chairman Hans Peter Michelet "Venture Capitalists are coming from Money Managment side, and, of course, they have obligation to cut their losses". The other options could be debt financing or bootstrapping. Bootstrapping your start up at the time recession this could be a better option. Further more, if you are an Indian based entreprenuer finding a VC might be a difficult proposition.

In Sramana words " Entreprenuer is not a career, its way of life", which is very much true, if you have passion you can always find your best way to reach your objective in life. I look forward for her newer volumes and particularly with future growth being predicted from BRIC economies, I would suggest her to write more about entreprenuers from these economies.

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T20 - Business Acumen

Saturday, June 13, 2009

If there is going to best business venture in sport for the decade?

Then, I believe without doubt it would be T20 format of cricket.

The game has undergone changes to suit viewer(customer) needs, it had become a shorter version and results known in matter of about 3 hours. This now similar to watching a Football or a hocket match.

  • From a slow cricket after being played for days together, which finally ends in draw it now produce a results in matter of 3 hours.
  • Overwhelming sponsorship from corporates across world.
  • Unlike football for which world cup is held once is 4 years, here we have world cup every alternative year.
  • The Indian venture(IPL) is more interesting, unlike earlier, instead of Indian cricketers going to other countries for seeking opportunity, BCCI - business acumen made other country players to come over to IPL, as there is a hugh money involved. What's even more interesting is that BCCI was able to sell the concept of player bidding to coporates and high profile person in India. Even when Indian Govt did not permit IPL - season 2 to be hosted within country citing security reason, that did not stop BCCI, they looked at an alternative and am sure they came out successfully in revenue collection & conducting it in perfection.

Make hay while the sunshines!! .... its very true with T20 and more particularly IPL since this is now being played every year. It might also become true, since now the game is more towards power play instead of technique and quite soon you would find other countries being attracted towards this format of cricket.

Its might be good learning for Indian Business man in various business verticals to innovate at this time of recession and come out with products, where in not only Indians are benifited but also talented people from across world getting attracted. I hope if we can get into this league, then we may not need to worry about our talented people going else where across the globe looking for opportunities.

The bottom line, India with 100 billion population has a huge market, can prove to be a successful market, if one taps it at rightly.

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Fundamentals of Effective leadership.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I read about Effective leadership in Forbes Magazine by John Ryan. A very nice one to read and I believe for any leader or an entrepreneur should have this skills to succeed.

Click here to read from forbes

As pointed out by Ryan - Vision, Communication, Judgment along with Timing are the sure factors for success.

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Capitalism Vs Socialism - Part2

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This is in continuation of my earlier write up on the same topic on 23rd April,

Subprime crisis had been one of the factor economic recession. Banks, financial product companies were directly involved in subprime and hence there capital got eroded. Free slow of money stopped there by triggering a recession. Since people lost jobs, spending decrease and the revenue got hit, which led companies to move into a protective mode.

Since unemployment peaked up, there are talk at Govenment level as well, to look at ways to stop outsourcing to low cost destination, so that adequate employment are available locally. Offcourse this is a right thinking, there is no point in providing opportunities to outsider and displacing the local.

Now, on a different spectrum, none can deny that US has been one of the main innovators in Technology or Product. IT has been one of the major one, Right from CPU, Laptop, servers, Operating systems, open source software, package entreprise software, databases, the US corporates has been leaders in this sector. Its not only IT, US had dominated in many sectors as well.

Over the decades, all the US corporates have grown exponentially and for US corporates, US alone is not the market, world is the market. Truly so, the expectation of capitalist approach is to have a free market so that fittest one survive.

Having considered the above point, if one think of a sitution of restricting outsourcing, what could happen is corporate could think of having a plant or task allocated in US location for US and western market and plant in China or India for Asian Market. The implication could be since of cost of living is different, it might end up product manufactured out of US location is higher priced compared to a product manufactured in China or India location. Such approach will fail and can lead to other problems like the black marketing or illegal trade or even business getting closed or acquired.

So, I believe only approach for the world countries is a collobrative approach and
continue to have free market regime and thereby have competition, which allows consumer to get the best. Ultimately one has to look at root cause to get solved, there could many option, some of them might look like,

* Revaluation or devalution US currency against world currencies.

* Options of having salary cut instead of providing pink slips OR making salary parity based on skill level, attitude and experience instead of location based.

* Further,I really fail to understand, as what the benefit US economy get by trading or bench marking Oil in USD. I believe it creates artificial demand for US currency which in turn make USD to appreciate. But in long term, I do not see a no real benefit to US economy.

I still believe capitalist and free market are the best for world economy & for further growth as well, so that consumer have the best product at a best price at the right point of time.

I welcome readers comments ......

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Should You Move to India for a Job?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recently, I read an interesting article in the "Business week".

But, I don't think the author has explored the facts. No doubt, there might more jobs available in India.

Click to read Business week article

I don't think the author has gone to the root cause of the problem, which I believe is the root cause of the problem.

No doubt, there is corruption, bad infrastructure etc. But, still most of the world famous MNC has set up the shops in India and the have recruited only Indian for the job, the reason being we Indians salary is low(when you apply exchange rate). The author is giving example of LIC and some banks, the salary of these employees will not be more than 700 USD per month. Will any western citizen willing to work for that Salary? , even though cost of living is much less in India.

Higher exchange rate of US currency is the main culprit. When US economy in downturn, there is no point in boasting higher exchange rate for USD. If US exchange rate is at 25Rs ( which was the exchange rate in early 90's) per dollar, then there is bound to be growth in US economy otherwise I believe US business will always opt for low cost centre from where they can get higher value for money.

Had earlier written about the same in my blog as well in the month of march. If interested to read more then,

click on the link

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Cloud computing - Will it really blossom?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

There is so much talk these days in the IT field about cloud computing, SaaS (Software-as-Service), will it really blossom and change the way of IT operation in the future?

Today, I read an article in THE HINDU, I liked the way of presentation as it was quite simple in explaining the concept behind cloud computing.

Click here to read THE HINDU article on cloud computing

However, cloud computing will not be without challenges and I also not too sure how cost effective it would be for the following reasons.

i) Most of the business, whether SME or big has quite a large customization of application to suit their business needs. Hence, if a company needs these customization to be in tact when moving to cloud computing, they would have to pay a price for it.

ii) The Hardware cost of servers required for hosting various applications, database may not be that much highly priced when compared to the application maintenance cost in the long run. Hence, customer has to perform cost vs benifit analysis of opting for cloud computing or to have server located within its boundary.

iii) Some of the countries legal frame work does not allow a companies legal transaction data to reside some where outside a country.

iv) Trust on the service provider to have your application up and running at all critical point of time. You definetely need to have an SLA with the service provider.

Further, On-Demand services is nothing new, as some of the leading IT companies are already providing it. As for as Saas(Software as a service) goes, I feel it might be cost effective when business start using the standard product with minimum customization or SaaS service provider has to have its product built with easier option to customize the same with minimum effort. In any case, I still believe it to be early days and it might take few year to really mature out.

I welcome reader's thoughts and feedback.

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Thinking of 'Start Up' !!!###????

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In the last few months, I find quite of few people trying to take up entreprenuership, This might be due to various factors, recession? might be one, if you read this article in Business Today
or it might be purely out of passion to be on one's own.

If you are trying to find out as how to legalize a start up and then read on.

In Indian scenario, Indian business entity can primarily take four different forms

  1. Sole Proprietor.
  2. Partnership firm.
  3. Private Limited.
  4. Public Limited.

If you are are a new startup, I feel its better to concentrate on the product and getting it into the market so that your capital can be churned out into revenue . Hence sole proprietor or Partnership firm would better suit for a small start up who is particularly focusing on running the business legal entity on a small budget.

On Partnership & Proprietory I found an interesting article in this link which provides an

VC & Debt Financing : If lucky enough and if you are able to entirely finance your start up from concept to till the stage of self sustenance, then I think you have achieved the objective of being totally on your own. If you are looking for financing you dream, then you need to look at the options through debt financing or venture capital funding.

Debt financing is the 'loan' from financial institution or any third party. Financial institution like bank do offer loan but getting a loan for a business might not be as easy as a home loan for a salaried person. In case of home loan, it much more easier for the bank to arrive at the loan amount, which is naturally based on your salary and on top of it property is also morgaged to them. However, in case of business loan, banks need to be sure of your repayment capacity and hence would ask for 'project proposal' in case of a start up and on top of it, in most of the case, they would naturally insist on a 'collalateral security' in the form of morgage.

Venture capital is much more attractive. But unfortunately, venture capital funding org should trust your concept/project and have confidence that your start would provide adequate returns in the near future. Venture capital is an 'equity' participation in your legal entity, which mean there is no interest or principal repayment involved and only agreed upon profit sharing at later stage. The venture capitalist would be a shareholder in your business entity and hence most likely they would look for a Pvt Limited or a Public limited company.

Which is best venture capital or Debt financing?, each one has its own advantage, venture capital is much more advantageous, since unlike 'loan' there is no interest outflow during early days of your venture where business returns are very less.

Well, world over, I believe its passion which drove the inviduduals to take up entreprenuership and I am sure you can find so many real life examples who had started in a small room and went on to realize their big dreams!!!

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ILO report on Employment trends 2009.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I found International Labour Org report on Employment trends 2009. It provide good insight in the world employment market for 2009. clicking the link would take you to ILO site (, so as to directly read the report

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Capitalism Vs Socialism - Part1

Thursday, April 23, 2009

With so much talk about recession, job loss these days, I was wondering about Capitalism Vs Socialism and where is the world heading for in the future?.

Whats Socialism / Capitalism mean ?

More than a decade now, capitalism has been the world’s dominant economic system. Which means production and distribution are owned by individuals, private ownership and free enterprise and competition between enterprises are believed to lead to more efficiency, lower prices, better products and rising prosperity. On the other hand, Socialism advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and industry by the community as a whole: the community is believed to be both more just and more efficient through central planning.

Indian move towards capitalism....
India's freedom struggle was more towards non violence and more democratic in nature. Hence, after independence India was oriented towards socialism, many public sector were created as democracy was related to 'for people by the people'. India's previous generation leaders thought more towards socialism, which is definetly a boon if it work effeciently. However, due to various factors many public sector turned into loss making ones.

In late 80's, Indian economy was in bad shape and hence no new public sector undertaking were promoted and around the same time USSR started crumbling, at the same time western countries was more towards capitalism and were on lookout to sell its products & services and India had a huge market potential; India was also looking at IMF for its financial needs.

Indian market liberalization started in late 1980's, which paved the way for capitalism which was practised in west, around same time collapse of USSR started and it collapsed completely in 1991 after which not much was talked about socialism and it was thought to be a failed model.

Is Western economy moving towards socialism?....
Capitalism gained ground and it was working effectively until the financial 'tsunami ' took over recently, and I believe this recession was created more out of greed. In most cases, capitalism lead to greediness, they innovated techniques and more importantly they were able to sell these techniques and thereby started creating a bubble in commodities and real estate markets.
When the bubble burst most of the industry started getting affected slowly and eventually lead to liquidity crunch. Most of the western companies revenue went southwards and they were on look out for finance, but unfortunately US banks and financial sectors were equally hit badly due to toxic asset which were mortgaged to it at a higher value during boom times.

Eventually, not only the US industries but also the US banks are now looking at the US Govt to bail them out from the mess. In the last few months US Tax payer money is being used bail out banks. What is interesting is after failure of Enron, Sarbanes Oxley compliance brought into play and in spite of this companies had failed. US is now in process of putting more control in place since Tax payer money is being used for bail out.

So the question is US moving towards Socialism, which was once thought to be the captain of capitalism? and would eventually world economy move towards socialism?

Will continue on this later and welcome reader's thoughts and feedback....

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'IT' Happenings...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Early part of this weeks, there are important happening in IT sector, which had been reported in News channels.

i) Tech Mahindra showing faith in Satyam and acquiring the same.

ii) Infosys losing faith on about 2000+ employees and were given 'pink' Slip, citing performance factor

I believe both are significant development in the IT sector.

Now, coming to Tech Mahindra its in interesting proposition,

Financial Prespective: Its expected to invest are approx Rs 2900 crores in Satyam, except Rs 700 crores the rest 3/4th of money for this investment is going to raised as debt.

So the next question would be if its going to raise these fund as debt then its have to payback interest and principal or atleast the interest. Ideally, in business or accounting sense there need have a ROI (return of investment) which can service the interest part. More importantly

* Satyam should be a profit making company (We were aware that company's account books are in the process of being re-stated).

* Apart from being a profit making company, it has to declare dividend, These dividend should have to be more than 10% (considering bank interest is going to be above 10%). But, then the 10% dividend is only on face value of the share and hence might not be a huge amount to service the debt.

The other alternative options could be that, sell the stocks acquired by Mahindra's once it reached higher maket value , I believe Mahindra's have quoted Rs 58 per share OR look at some other internal source of money to service the Debt. Nevertheless, its going to be an interesting proposition of using debt to finance the equity.

Product / IT services prespective: As far as I am aware of, Satyam does not have any software product to its credit, its more of IT service provider company.

Well, I am not sure whether it really makes sense to acquire a IT service provinding company. Offcourse, when you acquire IT service providing company, you do get the clients as well. But then these days, the MNC client are dependent on product rather then service.

What this means is if company 'A' (customer) uses an ERP for example SAP, then its dependent on this product software. Going for a different product software year-on-year basis does not make sense. However if company 'A' has a very good controlled implementation environment, meaning all customization are tracked and have the documentation for these customization then support services can be shifted between the vendors based on the support pricing they offer year on year basis. Hence, these days all fortune companies chooses their vendor on periodic basis based on pricing and other value add they provide. Same is the case, with new implementation as well.

Finally, with current economic recession, if revenue are going to be hit, Satyam should not end up being over capitalized.

Any ways, its not my money and I am sure Mahindra would have done it own analysis and should also be having a strategy in place to become a top player in the IT services sector.

All the best Mahindra & Satyam, was wondering what would be the new name of this business entity ?!!?.

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Mythology & Business

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I read an article in outlook business, found it quite interesting and hence thought of sharing with readers of the blog

Click to read related article in Outlook Business

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G20 leaders agree to allocate $5 Trillion....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Well, as I mentioned earlier in one of my blog that I am not an economist. In yestarday news paper I saw that the leaders who met in London on Thursday agreed to allocate $5 trillion by the end of 2010 to resolve the global economic crisis, with one-fifth of the funds going to the International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions.

Will it bring back "boom time"?

I am still not sure, how just pumping money would bring prosperity to the world. No doubt when you pump in money into the financial system, as more money is available at disposal, credit availability become easier, the bank would start lending it to business, there is going to be employment, when there is employment the purchasing power increases. But will this, not once again rise inflation? Not only inflation happen, this would start creating a 'bubble' to be burst again at some point of time.

So as long as the 'new' printed money is available its 'boom' times and once it is spread out to various corners of the world or probably stacked at 'Swiss' bank over the period of time, the recession set it...

Ideally, why not G20 or G7 ask the Swiss bank to disclose the names of the account holders along with the amount held in these accounts, I am sure this itself would be a substantial undisclosed amount which is parked safely.

Any different thoughts?

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Picking companies to investment...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Today, I read an article in a leading new paper which is also published / backup by the author (Mr Shyam) in his blog. Its a good article and look forward for the rest of his series.

Based on his article my thought are as follows.

  • Its never an easy task to identify a good company to invest. The audited Balance sheet / fund flow statement might not always give you the correct picture. Look at what had happened with Satyam / Enron. So in this case, how do you arrive at return-on-capital based on the figures given by the company. One arguement could be not all companies would be like Satyam, but then Satyam could still have been a financially strong company to invest, had Raju not disclosed the financial 'dressing' of the balance sheet.
  • I believe generally a small investor compares FD Vs Stock market. He is unlikely to think of running a business on his own(icecream or restaurant) try to calculate the ROC. If you are running your own business, even 10% to 15% ROC could be a good investment, if you are deriving other benefits out of the business in the form of salary and other perks, benefits etc

I do agree with his point that blindly buying the stock for that matter making any investment based on recommendation on newpaper, magazine ,web or 'expert' advice might not be a wise decision.

Also, I believe, for any investment, foresight and timing is important and hence, if you are not sure and do not see the value for the investment at this point due to reason such as overpriced, people preference etc, it better to keep money in FD and wait until time is ripe.

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Positive view of life

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I found a below quote about life by Srini Rao (Thanks Srini!!) in one of the web online business news, it was a nice one and we should feel really blessed about what we are having,

The life has come down in the few words given below:

  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
  • If you can attend a religious meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you can read this message you are more blessed than the over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
  • As you read this and are reminded how life is in the rest of the world, remember just how blessed you really are!

Thank God for what we have, and spare a thought for our less blessed brethren. Just think how we feel or behave when we are deprived of even 5% of what we have.

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Innovation of the decade .... Part 2

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In my blog post on March 22nd, I was wondering as what would be the future innovation. I received two links from my friends, these are truly mind blowing and really amazed by the spead in which growth happens..

i) The first one is more toward analysis of the past (Courtesy : Youtube) on the technology front.

Did you know

ii) The second one below is the amazing technolgy innovation, might well be a future product similar to mobile phone we have today (Courtesy : TED)

Sixth Sense Innovation

Don't go into the dream world after watching both the clipping....

Read more!

Innovation of the decade........Part1

Sunday, March 22, 2009

There is a definite difference the way business is conducted now and the earlier decade, I asked this question to myself as what was the major impact the way the business is done today and to later part of 1990's. I am sure these innovative products had made the difference, I am sure business cannot survive without these.....

One is i) Internet and ii) Mobile phone, this is what I considered as important innovation, though these innovation might be more the decade old, its availability to common people's reach is less than a decade. Can you imagine any business without these products??

I was just wondering today, as what would be the similar kind of product which can make a major different in the next decade... I welcome readers innovative mind comments.....

Read more!

Global economy crisis

Monday, March 16, 2009

I am not an economist, what ever I had written is just out my own thoughts.

As per a recent article in the a leading new paper, "Global imbalance" are the cause for economic crisis. The US is running a huge deficits and countries such as Japan & China needed an outlet to deploy their surpluses. These surplus money had found its way into US and since the interest rate was low it inflated the real estate prices, shares and asset and finally the bubble burst. This rather, I would say as one dimension of economic problem.

There are accusation that China is undervaluing its currency to increase it export and remain competitive, on other hand US,UK, Japanese currency are getting stronger(against Indian currency) but unfortunately the job losses seems to be maximum at these countries as well as the economy is in bad shape in those countries. Ideally, if countries economy is in bad shape then, I believe the currency should depreciate.

Also, I feel for 1$, one could get much higher value commodity/service in countries like India , China compared to what the money can buy in US,UK or Japan, naturally any business man would like a source his goods or service from that part of the world.

Even in your very house, if you look around you would only see international brand electronic products, hence in this era faster information exchange , easier airtravel , GATT/WTO agreement any commodity particularly consumer electronics, which has price tag above $100 and less than 10 kgs in weight (call it 100/10 rule) has to mass produced (there could be very few expection) and entire world is the market and if the manufacturer concentrate a particular region then the manufacturer could become extinct or acquired due to competition. Hence, product manufacturer has to optimize all categories of cost, this would naturally lead to locating manufacturing plants and jobs in low cost countries.

In my opinion, when there job losses and the economy is showing shunted growth, and if the country currency gets stronger it might end up in creating multiple problems.

I welcome reader's comments.

Read more!

All the Best Satyam!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Had written earlier in the month of January 2009 about Satyam. It's good to note, that few of the companies has shown interest in acquiring Satyam. But, expression of interest is just one part of it. In the current economic condition acquiring/merging and keep it alive is the most important part.

Most of the companies which had shown interest in acquiring are public limited companies and having share listed in stocke exchanges and naturally would expect the financial position of the Satyam known to its Stake holder.

Satyam had announced that it would be providing the details of it financial position to the bidding companies. Its important that, being a public listed company Satyam has to not only provide financial position to bidding companies but to public as well, so that acquisition or merger happen in a transparent manner.

Good Luck! let the truth (Satyam!!!) win.

Read more!

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

During my career in IT, apart from Project Management, I had worked on technical/functional side of ERP, Datawarehousing and also on EDI. 'EDI' was quite challenging, primarily because I underwent training and put on a client facing production support project the very next day.

Since I have now moved away from EDI, I made an attempt to recollect what EDI is all about, which might be useful for a layman to know whatEDI mean.

So Whats EDI?.
It stands for Electronic Data Interchange.

Ok....What does it mean?.
Computer to computer exchange of standard format business documents like PO, Customer invoice, Vendor invoice exchanged automatically between systems of legal company (called 'trading partner' in EDI terms).

How does this happen or What are the components involved?
Please refer the below pic representation

What are the Benefits of having EDI?

EDI is the paper less exchange of business documents, such as invoices and purchase orders.
  • EDI documents contain the same information as paper documents, but they are formatted in an EDI Standard format.
  • With EDI translation \ router software you can transmit a document from an application on your computer to an application on another company’s computer with little or 'Nil' manual intervention unless there is a some form of failure at the touch points.
  • You send and receive EDI documents over a communications line like VAN. You can also use a tape, diskette or e-mail to exchange EDI documents with your trading partners.
  • Are there any EDI standards:
    X12 and EDIFACT are the two most commonly used document Standards in the US and Europe today.The ANSI and ISO committees release new versions of X12 and EDIFACT Standards about once a year, thus there are multiple versions of most Standards in use.

    Though EDI is quite old, still many companies in many sectors (manufacturng, retail, banking etc) are still using them for their benefits listed. In the last few years, they has been in increased usable of XML instead of EDI but still a long way to go before EDI geting replaced by XML.

    Further extension from XML is SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) which uses BPEL (Business Process Execution Language).

    Read more!

    Nearshore versus offshore outsourcing

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    In one of the online forum, I found an interesting discussion about growth of nearshore outsourcing Vs offshore outsouring. For those of you, who would like to know what nearshore and offshore means.

    If a client is US provides oursourcing contract to Indian IT company then its considered as "Offshoring" and if the same client provided a outsourcing contract to a company in Argentina or any LATAM country then it is considered as "nearshoring". There are additional benefits in "nearshore" outsourcing , they are, mostly in same time zone, there is lesser cultural difference and quicker travel to client location when required.

    Most of the prominent IT service provider has already set or in the process of setting near shore centre, so the question is that whether there would be higher growth to these "nearshore" centre compared to "offshore" centre in future?. If the growth happens in "nearshore" centre then it could impact Indian IT industry in the future.

    Regionwise, for US market Latin American countries are considered for nearshore centres, for Europe - eastern Europe\ Ukraine are consider near shore and for countries like Japan, Hong kong - China is considered as near shore centre.

    As these "near shore" centre become more mature there would be an increased competition to "Offshore" (Indian) centres.

    Its a) Price and b) Quality of deliverables within the defined scope & schedule of the projects are the driving factors for offshoring. If the nearshore center can provide their business in comparable terms (cost & quality) then , the client would definetely prefer nearshore center (for project deliverables) because of the added facility the customer can enjoy like same timezone, culture and in some case even language to an extent.

    Hence, apart from the general slow down in IT sector now, this is going to be an additional challenge in the near future for Indian software consultants and Indian IT companies, particularly the companies which does not have presence in these "near shore" countries.

    Read more!

    U.S. Economy: Unemployment in U.S. Surged to 8.1% in February 2009

    Friday, March 6, 2009

    " The U.S. unemployment rate jumped in February to 8.1 percent, the highest level in more than a quarter century, a surge likely to send more Americans into bankruptcy and force further cutbacks in consumer spending.
    Employers eliminated 651,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Losses have now exceeded 600,000 for three straight months, the first time that’s happened since the data began in 1939. Revisions to the previous two months lopped off an additional 161,000 positions. ".

    (information courtesy bloomberg)

    So, what happened to economic stimulus funding of 700+ Billion USD??? Has it not gone into the "Vehicle" called economy to take it forward?

    What has been working well for US about a decade back is not working anymore?!!? .... I believe with the internet age, location is not a constrain and hence I feel, US has to look out for cost effective solution instead of going into a protection mode.

    Read more!

    India going to Polls in April - May..

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to held in 5 phases between April 16-May 13. It going to be held at a challenging time when the world economy.

    Let hope and pray that the Indian people elect a new dynamic PM who can lead India from front.

    Every Indian new dream PM

    • Eradicate Corruption.
    • Concentrate on providing good infrastructure to its people.
    • Do not depend on vote bank politics or money power
    • Dynamic personality who is respected not only in India but also in countries world over.
    • Protect her, lets not have any more of 26/11

    Let India unite and select the best person for this job.

    Read more!

    Investment in equity market ........

    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    How wise is it to invest in Equity Market for an small investor, is it worth?

    This is the question in every one mind... If you look at any Indian money magazines, it would always advice you to invest you in equity market considering your age and risk taking abilities. It would say, if you are young your equity exposure(share) should be more compared to debt (bank deposits). But then consider this before investing..

    • Share market now adays not just depend on home economic alone. Global economy drives the market. Something bad happens in the western or eastern market, the very next day, India market feels the heat, the reason being panic sets into the market as there are now large number of foriegn players in the Indian stock market. How do you predict world economy is good at any point of time? or how do you predict how the market would be in 3 years down the line.
    • The general advice is that a small investor should be wise enough to read the financial statement of the company before investing in the company. How do you know the financial statment produced are true (even if it is an audited report for example Satyam case)?. Audit is an activity, which generally verifies document produced by the company, it doess not validate whether the transaction really happened. For example, a bank FD may not be validated with the corresponding bank.
    • FII, had invested and took the sensex to range of 21,000 in Jan 2008, before sucking out their money(your money too??) from the market.
    • It is generally said, considering inflation, FD would not even satisfy the inflation factor. But, at the same time I would say for small investor would be sure that on such a day next year he would get 'X' amount if he had put in FD. The same thing cannot be said with equity market.

    If you are young, have time, money and risk taking ability , then I believe the best bet would be to have your own entreprise otherwise bank FD might be much safer bet, though interest earned has to be taxed....

    Read more!

    Postive thinking.......

    Some of the positive quotes which I came across....

    * Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others

    * Any fact facing us is not important, as our attitude towards it, for that determines our success or failure.

    * A smooth Sea never made a skillful mariner.

    * The common man seeks security, whereas the uncommon man seeks opportunity.

    * Whatever the mind of man can concieve and believe, the mind can achieve.

    Read more!

    Recession News

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    To read more about recession news click here
    Courtesy Bloomberg website
    Request you to predict and participate in my recession end poll - down right.

    Read more!

    Evolution & Challenges in Outsourcing....Part 2

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Fresh on a Saturday morning, I was wondering the Growth TOP IT services companies in India, and will it be able to continue to Grow the same way?. Considering the current economic scenario it going to be an "uphill" task. IT services and Outsourcing were quite innovative concept for a decade, now there is strong feeling instead of just totally depending on IT services they need to diversify and be more innovative .

    • The top 10 revenue earning IT services companies are sitting on a huge pile of cash (why am I bothered, its not public tax payer money nor am I share holder in this company, but then, was wondering as what could be the likely plan of IT services companies and how they are going to use it?, keeping just as deposit might not be great idea for an enterprise) Hence probably, utilize it to multiply it many times.
    • Set up "Venture Capital" fund and look of for a viable investment options
    • They need to look at product space, companies like Infosys have Banking product to their credit but the revenue earning percentage against IT services, might be pretty less.
    • Ramalinga Raju did it right, to diversify into Infra structure development, unfortunately he commited the grave mistake of fudging the account and cheating the shareholder. This is where he went wrong.
    • The IT services company invest on quality ascepts like CMMi, ISO etc. But, at same time there is not much of investment in R&D or product space. Also look at the Value add the CMMi and ISO provides.

    These just my opinion, each one might have their own. Time to introspect......not only the companies, but even those who are involved in IT sectors like employees, contractors and vendors whether the business outsource model is going to be same or is it going to change ?

    Read more!

    Dearth of Indian Technology Product Companies.....

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    While scanning through a Sramanamitra's blog, I found an interesting discussion about dearth of product manager from India,

    I am re-posting the comments, I had posted in the Blog.

    More than Product Managers, generally India does not have any major technology product in the world market and that may be the reason for dearth of Product Manager.

    This might lead to a slightly different question, as why does India do not have Technology products? well, following could be some of the reasons......

    i) Society : As Kids(till we finished our college) we grew up in a protective environment with all our needs taken care by our parents /elders. We rarely experimented as kids and we were never allowed to be failed. Failure is a disgrace in our society. If you ask final year student, Entreprenuership will be his/her last option. Hence, it depends on the family influence as well

    ii) Attitude : Generally, we are also not agressive or assertive in nature to market products. We are more than happy, if we get a well paid Job. When campared to 1980's & 90's , in the last 6 to 8 years salary increase has been phenomenal in MNC, so people are quite happy to get into MNC job.

    iii)Environment : There is lot of bureaucracy invoved in setting up a basic entreprise in India. For example, before the advent of MNC bank, opening a bank account with Public sector bank was a tedious process.

    iv) Cost of capital : If you are a startup, if you are not able to get venture capital funding and if you are opting to fund you project through Debt financing then the rate of interest is killing, the interest rate are around 15 to 18% with Banks. Its diffucult to survive even for an established small scale company survive.

    But, again its passion to achieve which drive an entreprenuer....Sometimes Opportunity cost equation is not in favourable of the indian Technology entrepenuer,hence the end up taking some kind of assignment in an MNC....

    Read more!

    Evolution & Challenges in Outsourcing....Part1

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Would anybody thought or predicted in 1990 that in less than 2 decade, Indian IT service sector will rule the world? The evolution of Indian IT sector was mind blowing.

    In 1990's, software service sector was at nascent stage in India, if you had asked any engineering graduate about software companies then, he would have mentioned CMC (A govt sector company taken over by Tata's), TCS and Wipro alone. It was only cream of engineers who made it into these companies and yearly intake was about few hundereds. Then came Clinton's Era around mid 90's, as US corporate were looking for cost effective computing solution and hence flood gates where opened for H1 Visa . The concept of 'body shopping' was born, Indian American and the American influenced by cost effective solution started poaching young Indian brains with American dream and processed their H1 to be taken into US as "programmer". Internet usage become aggressive in later /end of 90's even basic graduate with some knowledge of HTML were brought into US to create/maintain website. This was followed mild recession which led to 'Dot Com' burst which rendered many of these programmers job less. Again cost effective solution were looked upon by American corporates, with availability of internet through which you can connect to computer across world, 'offshoring' was though as a cost effective solution. Hence, since early 2000 to till date tier 1 and tier 2 companies recruited in 1000's and quarter after quarter, year after year the offshoring companies where able to achieve 20 to 30 percent growth and even most of the time beat the expectations. Above all, consultants were offered promotions & huge salary increase, which directly fueled the inflation.

    Year 2007 gave warning signals about the subprime crisis in US and later in year 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman brothers signalled the start of recession with Job cut happening across the Globe. The Indian IT sector which was going strong till had to think about freezing new recruitment and growth. To every one surprise, came the disclosure of Ramalinga Raju, this triggered the Indian Govt to step in the avoid further fall of the booming IT sector.

    So now comes the million dollar question as whether the Indian IT sector can sustain the same amount of growth it has shown over the years or can it maintain the same resource bases?. Some of the IT services companies has expressed difficulty in this quarter.

    Some quotes from tierI & tier 2 companies

    • The IT clients have delayed allocation of budget and this is likely impact our earning in the current quarter.
    • We are putting certain precentage of our employees under "performance scanner".
    • Our IT clients are facing challenges, hence they want to reduce our billing rates.
    • We are putting certain percentage of resources on "Virtual Bench".
    • We will go in for Just-in-Time hiring.

    In certain companies, they were not able to absorb freshers who had been provided with offer letter about a year back.

    This shows all is not well in this sector .... couple of bad quarter results can be catastrophic. Rather than competing against themself on just IT services, its time for the IT services sector to be more creative and innovative to survive and overcome this recession. Will it...?

    Later, I would like to write, as what could be the options available with IT Services sectors...till then have a nice time....

    Read more!

    Will Satyam recover....

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Its recession everywhere and there are losses, job cuts, close down at most of the developed countries and most of the CEO aknowledge it is the most turbulent times in their life.

    In spite of this every one wish is that Satyam as a company recovers as company, however there are challenges.

    i) There is no point any financial investor to buy shares from the market, as these cash is highly unlikely to go into the company. Hence the option is to increase the equity of satyam and the inverstor should invest in equity of Satyam so that it goes as "Cash" in the system.

    ii) As of now, there is no clear indication about the bench strength in Satyam. This is again going to be challenge as already certain Satyam customer indicated terminating their contract. In all IT companies, I believe there was too much of optimism in 'recruitment' in 2005 through 2008. Hence, finding work for all the resource and/or clean up is going to be a challenge.

    iii) What even more suprising is that all fortune 500 companies are particular on pricing and most of them are into a 'multi vendor' concept and they do not want dependency on a single vendor and look out for cheap resource unless its mission critical. There is lot of negotiation before a contract is finalized. Its going to be great acheivement for any IT company to show growth in range of 20 to 30% Q on Q basis.

    Its going to be interesting to look how IT services company having employee base of 40,000+ come out successfully from 2009 onwards....

    Read more!

    Account Fudging...........

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Why Account fudging is difficult in a Manufacturing & Trading set up?.
    Based on the 'Satyam episode', its make one to think why it was much easier to fudge accounts in an IT industry.

    i) In Manufacturing set up you have basic raw material, Work in Progress, finished good(stocks) and sold goods. These are all verifiable / Physical goods.
    ii) At the sales stage, you are also bound to have have physical document/entries related to Sales tax,Central exercise, pick slip, pack slips or Bill of lading etc.
    In an IT services industry both the above are missing and human minds are the biggest element in cost of sales, one can easily manipulate the sales number as its not possible to relate it to number of person working or the space to the sales or the raw material consumed for building.
    I also personally feel, a few 'bogus' IT company registered as STPI can easily bring in "black money" parked in the foreign banks against IT services invoices and make this money accountable for any new investment and on top of it there is an 10 year STPI tax holiday(expected to end by 2009, which has been extended by our former FM) for IT services firm.
    Eventually, by reporting higher sales/margins the 'Share prices' are goes Sky high and promoters turn 'CASH' rich.

    Read more!

    The Satyam episode.......

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    After Ramalinga Raju resigned from Satyam computer Ltd Board. There are discussion about a Govt Bail out and even one of the Minister in the present Central govt even hinted about a possible "Bail out". But, I believe this is little immature..

    For the new board/Govt its not going to be easy task, it would be inviting more troubles for the following reasons.

    i) Apart from public shares, Satyam has ADR ( US funds) and most of the time the top management/new directors/Govt will spending the time and money in US courts to protect themself.

    ii) Good to have board, but more importantly clear & correct financial statements should be made public within few weeks. This will show whether company or 'viable' or is it in the category of 'Lehman brothers'.

    iii) India govt should decide whether it has to be capitalistic or communist. It can't be both, if the approach is to be capitalistic, then like 'enron' it should be allowed to die naturally.

    iv) Lastly but not the least, Satyam had recruited in large number of resources without any plans(THIS MIGHT BE EVEN BE APPLICABLE TO SOME OF THE OTHER INDIAN SOFTWARE COMPANIES AS WELL) and this is a a big overhead, particularly when even a single quarter is Bad. For example to keep the Satyam going requires about Rs 600 crores(53,000 employee) per month. Hence ideally assets of Satyam should sold and all the stakeholdersbe compensated including the employees.

    This list might not be exhaustive and hence ideally other 'Tax payer' money should not be used for bailing out Satyam....

    Read more!

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