An Indian emotion

Friday, January 28, 2011

Some events in life causes emotion, the feeling depends on individual personality. Being an Indian the emotional bondings are much more.

Hmm... do you think why say so?, otherwise, Indian film industry like Bollywood, Tollywood, Kolliwood would not have survived, there has always been a song sequence linked to emotion, whether its Love/Hate or Elation/Sadness or Anger/Sympathy? .

Leave alone film, looks at India social environment not a single day passes without these emotions being expressed or played by politicians or cricket match featuring India, you will find all the ingredients of the emotion expressed. India is a land with a bundle of contradictions and each one are bound to ignite strongly opposite emotions at times. Its not just one moment, I had many such mixed and opposite emotions in just as a flash.

Till about late 90's India was considered as poor and developing country, the western world was ever green and it for the land of opportunities, not any more now. In the last few year, there was so much talks about India, across the world India is considered as 'economic power house', 'India arrived', 'India and China are the future" and further term such as 'BRIC' (referring to Brazil, Russia, India and China) were coined to refer higher future growth countries and India is considered as land of opportunities, I get elated, when ever I hear these comments.

In early 90's India's economy was at doldrums, there was much talk about 'balance of payment crisis' with IMF on which India had to pledge gold to bail out, in less than a decade the situation changed and Iam quite happy for the economic policy maker who had vision, to bring in the desired changes and the results. However, as I get elated, some events happens the very next moment used to bring sadness,

* When at home or office, a sudden power cut. No clean drinking water on tap, hmm.. when we get into a developed country we just drink directly from tap.
* When driving or walking, road rage by auto wallah and two wheeler driving as those they do not have tomorrow without following road rules. There is really no empathy to others while driving, with each one think road is his own.
* The amount of scam, corruption, un-accounted money stacked outside India as reported in news paper.
* uncleared garbage on the road.
* Road accidents, pot holed road, road being dug the very next day by some agency after relaying.
* On one side you have few Indians featuring as top riches in the world having expensive home on the other side of the road you have poorest almost living on the platforms.

Hmm... the list is endless, as we keep counting and celebrating our independence and republic days.

Oh yea... when I wrote last sentence about independence day or republic day, a flash came to my mind.

A short one about anger and sympathy fight I had few days before during the republic day. I was driving toward beach, being a holiday could see lot of traffic near the signal beach I saw a little girl not more that 10 years selling Indian flag in the signal, she was tapping the glass of each car and showing the flag, and indicating that it cost Rs 20/-

As the time passed by, as I was about to get my signal clearance and bang.. she was right in front of my car, I was quite angry, that if she did not move I would loose the signal and have to wait another 5 minutes at the signal, I kept honking as my mind was desperate to get past the signal. But, as I got past the signal her weeping face flashed in my mind, as no one was purchasing .... What a pity ? she had to sell Indian flag in a signal for her livelihood, my anger turned into sympathy. Should I go back and provide some money my mind asked again.... My second thought said are you crazy?... can you ever think of doing it in this mad traffic crowd?

India is a country which teaches family values, love and affection. Interestingly, a casual kiss or a hug to show love to loved one is offensive at a public place , while even attending to a nature's call or spitting at public place is not offensive, hmmm.. I hate this, again as I said India is a land of contradictions.

Watch this video of Dr Abdul Kalam at European union, I sure you would be proud and happy to be Indian.

Lee Kuan Yew wan changed Singapore from an underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resource to an Asian tiger and a paradise in less than 25 years, where is our Lee Kuan Yew?

This post is submitted to indiblogger's Close up "Fire-Freeze" contest, the link take you the face book page. One can post their own stories there and happy to receive your comments here.

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Into my third year of blogging.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I just completed my second anniversary in blogging. My first post was on 20th Jan 2009 and thought of an introspection as what I have achieved out of blogging.

My total posting crossed more than 100, page view of approx 10,000. The page view in the last one month was in the range of 3000. Hmm, that was a sudden spurt, well this was mainly due to some articles such as "GDP Vs inflation" and "Petrol price increase" and interestingly within two weeks both the post became top visited post.

I started blogging just out of passion with a thought, that I should do some kind of interpretation and analysis of information available on business, entreprenuership, IT, Economy,reviews and I believe, I kept up to my own initial expectation. Recently had added product/ book reviews & social cause to avoid monotony and the acceptance from readers was good.

I had made good blogging friends and had an opportunity to appear on a TV talk show organized indiblogger, my family was thrilled to see me on TV. Hmmm, I appeared on TV, had telephone calls flying across to my family member and friends (contribution by my wife) and atleast she started believing in my blogging passion.

Some of my articles got posted on and and after putting effort in SEO, I now have google page rank of 2.

In all was quite happy with my performance as a blogger in the last two years, considering the time constraint any one has for blogging and can proudly say, it was my passion which took me to this stage. Look forward to continue by passion.

Finally, thanks to readers and please do keep visiting

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'Apnacomplex' - Apartment living made easy - Part2

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Last week had written about the excerpts of my discussion with Mr Rajshekar, the chief promoter of Apnacomplex venture in part 1. Now, for the rest of our discussion:

iv. In the last couple of years, we are able to see few other similar web based application towards apartment management. How different is your application OR what is your unique selling proposition as compared to other's offerings in similar such product.

Resident Welfare Associations have existed for over decades and there have been software(including web-based software) addressing the needs since many years. There are few players who entered the market after us and few are in the process of entering. This shows that there is market and it is in nascent stage. We believe that there is enough market for quite a few players to co-exist easily at this stage - especially considering that entry barriers into this field are not high. Over a period time in future, like with any industry, the area will see consolidation.
Differentiating ourselves from many other solutions out there in the market is a continuous process. We respect our competitors and are always in the process of innovating to attract and retain customers. The core differentiation is our approach of providing a value for money solution which addresses the needs of the complex with a great customer service.

While one can get flavor of all the features we offer at, some of the other differentiating features are:

  1. Integrated Solution – We probably have the most integrated solution offering among all the players. ApnaComplex addresses end to end needs of the scenarios that we address. For example, the system can take the input of meter reading for piped-gas (or water or DG) for all flats, raise consolidated invoices for flats (utility charges + maintenance charges), and notify the user of the charges via SMS and email. It allows the administrator to track the payments against these charges which are then available on financial reports such as income/expense statement and the balance sheet of the complex.
  2. Anywhere / anytime access to the application - Most of RWAs are managed by folks on voluntary basis. The folks managing the complex have access to the system whenever they can devote time for doing the management activities. They don’t have to be in the association office to be doing this work. The residents have access to the application for viewing information related to their flats and the matters related to the complex. This brings in a large degree of transparency in the complex.
  3. Free from infrastructure needs and IT expertise - The application is run by the us in the cloud. The complex is able to get started within no time, needs no investment in special hardware such as server(s) etc. They also get a peace of mind as we backup the system and data at regular frequency.
  4. User Friendly – The application is designed for use by novices. Even the accounting features are available as ‘scenario based’ interface rather than accounting terms based. This greatly reduces the learning curve for the users. There are advanced interfaces, for the professionals, which provide greater power and control over the application too. The bottom line is that one need not be a professional accountant to use this application successfully.

v. Whats the absorption rate (user /customer licence) since inception?
While we are unable to disclose the exact numbers at this time, the product has been very well received by the market with in a very short span of time. Our customers have been steadily increasing with presence all over India. There has been tremendous interest in our application for all corners of the country.

vi. Apart from apnacomplex is there any other product offering from your company?
Currently, we have a single focus on innovating on ApnaComplex. We are focusing on taking this product to markets outside India.

... as you have rightly pointed out, using of the application towards apartment maintenance is still at a very nascent stage. For that matter community living of 1000+ families is a very recent phenomenon, may be less than 5 years. The residents in these communities is yet to get the real feel of the challenges they are bound to get when community living happens. So I believe as the time progresses the absorption rate will become quite high.

Signing off with an anecdote, no body would have thought, 10 years before that matrimonial website will become a reality and popular in India, but in less than a decade many Indian marriage are settled through matrimonial website and hence I believe in less than 10 years time facility management through SAas can become really popular due to the sheer size of community type lying happening in the last few years!.

Good luck Mr Rajshekar for the future of your venture!

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'Apnacomplex' - Apartment living made easy - Part1

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In the last few year, apartment complex with more than 100 apartments in same complex is quite common and been accepted way of living particularly in Metro's. However, post handover woes are quite common and so is the maintenance being overlooked. Maintenance management, communication management, issue tracking is challenge for the owner's association. With penetration of Internet, in the last few years, they have been some web based application, which are making the post handover easy through portals.

With each residents having their own priorities and work routine, they hardly find time to meet each other to discuss common issue and work towards resolution of issues, this is where web based application facility management application can be beneficial .

One among such web based application towards facility management is Appnacomplex ( I had an opportunity to interview Mr Raja Sekhar, the promoter of this innovative venture, presenting below are the excerpts from the interview.

i. Can you please provide a brief about the venture (

ApnaComplex is a web-based Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) solution for residential and commercial complexes. The solution helps in efficient management of Gated Communities and Commercial Complexes by Resident Welfare Associations, Commercial Complex Owners and Facility Management Firms.

Residential and commercial complexes today lack integrated tool which integrates accounting and finances, maintaining facilities including assets, communication between members, tracking and managing residents/tenants and staff. They use a set of disparate manual and computer aided processes for meeting these needs.

For residential complexes, the existing models are not able to scale up resulting in poor management of complexes, escalation of costs, discontent due to lack of transparency, inability to roll out enhanced processes like staff verification and act as blockers in adoption of new technologies.

Commercial complexes have additional requirements around frequently changing tenants which require on-boarding and separation processes. They have unique requirements around monitoring and maintaining SLA, tracking issues, and billing for services provided.

Our offering provides an integrated solution to meet the needs of commercial and residential complexes. It is provided as a hosted solution with zero setup and maintenance cost for the client. It also allows for easy upgrade of functionality and anywhere access to all these functionalities. This comes as pay as you use model without the huge upfront cost associated with traditional approaches.

Our target customers are - Resident Welfare Associations, Commercial complex Owners.
We believe ApnaComplex is ideally positioned to take advantage of the increase in penetration of Internet and mobile, continued addition of new complexes, and shift towards professionally managed complexes to become a credible player in this segment.

ii. Since how long is is online now?.
Apnacomplex has been online since May, 2010. As this is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering running on the cloud, we have been able to push out new features on a regular cadence since the launch to bring more value and features to our customers.

iii. How are you funding your venture and have you taken the venture capital route?

It is a self-funded venture by the co-founders.

Well.. will continue part 2 shortly, till then if you are an apartment owner, its time to think about the benefits such application would provide or if you plan to buy apartment, think about what is in store after handover by the builder to the association.

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Another round of Petrol price increase...Jan2011 ?!!#$

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hmm... Another round of petrol price increase and it will now be around Rs 63/lit at Chennai, but I fail to understand why?.

Since Jan 2010, I lost count number of time fuel price was increased, if today increase if taken into account, it most likely to be the 5th since Jan 2010. I am wondering what could be the reason, well people linked with this industry might say "petroleum price in the world market has increased ". Oh really....., my mind is refusing to accept it.

Let's quickly look as how petroleum price movement was in the last couple of year. It peaked to 132 USD per barrel in June 2008, the average petrol price in Indian market was around Rs 50 INR /lit. Then came a huge drop, in Dec 2008, it dropped to a whopping 45 USD per barrel, the retail petrol price in the Indian market was reduced to about Rs 45 INR/lit ( a drop of just 10%, whereas comparatively it should have become Rs 15~20 INR/lit in Dec 2008 when compared to international price).
When gold prices movement in India is based on international price, why not then the petroleum prices?

Now, in Jan 2011, it is still at 90 USD per barrel and never at all time high of 132 USD as in 2008, but still in retail market petroleum price to common man is at all time high in India.....My mind was refusing to get reason or logic for such petroleum price increase...

Its bound to "fuel" another round of inflation...

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GDP Vs Inflation.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Whenever, one talks about country's economy, the two parameters GDP and inflation plays important role in determining country's economy. Before getting into the details, lets look at brief definition of GDP and Inflation.

GDP: The gross domestic product (GDP) is the amount of goods and services produced in a year, in a country. It is the market value of all final goods and services made within the borders of a country in a year. It is often positively correlated with the standard of living, alternative measures to GDP for that purpose.

Inflation: The consumer price index (CPI) calculates the change in consumer price of a set of goods and services such as food, clothing, fuel, housing, medical, transport, education etc.

I believe, any country is considered to be in growth path, if year on year GDP% growth is greater than inflation % otherwise inflation is bound to eat up into the growth. Towards, comparison of GDP & inflation parameter, I have taken 3 countries. US which was most affected by economic downturn and China & India, which is claimed to be least affected economic downturn.


US GDP annual rate for 2010 is 2.6%

US inflation rate :

US inflation rate for 2010 is 1.1%

This means, GDP growth is much higher than inflation which is a positive sign for US towards growth. As per the graph, it was only for few months in the year 2009, growth was around -6% and inflation around -2%, which mean inflation was higher than GDP, this period could well be termed at the worst period in US economy due to recession.

Now let's look at China's GDP and Inflation

China's GDP:

China's GDP growth percentage is around 10% for year 2010.

China's Inflation:

China inflation rate was in range of 3 to 5%. However, comparatively GDP rate of 9% is higher when compared to inflation, which I believe is a positive sign.

Moving on, let compare India's GDP Vs inflation.

India's GDP:

India's GDP rate is for 2010 is around 9%.

India's Inflation
India's inflation rate is 9.7% around October 2010. As per an article in a leading daily, the food inflation has said gone beyond 14% in the later part of 2010. Interestingly, all through 2008 to 2010, the inflation has always scored higher percentage when compared to GDP percentage. If this is true, I do not understand on what basis, India is claiming to have withered recession with minimum impact ?

Again, with inflation galloping in India, are we moving towards hyper inflation ?, on which I had written an article earlier.

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