Thursday, December 11, 2014

The "Indrajaal" of Online Spree
Every other day I find the city covered with large hoardings to publicize a random festival which makes us lucky enough to save a lot of money by shopping through one of the many Online Retailers. New Gen buyers are now into even more love with their Smart Phones (smarter than the owners sometimes) which has a dedicated App (software application, to be precise) which lets them break free. The app comes with some additional discounts moreover. Is it the next level? Has our nation moved to the 3G of retail? Let us try to answer.
The second generation of Indian retail was the Brick-and-Mortar shopping malls which made the people buy their needs under almost every product category from grocery to durable under one roof. Commonly known as organized retail stores. The organized retail didn't even spread its wings over a considerable part of the Indian retail pie and co meth the Click Retail. The youngsters are the soft targets. The people you are tech savvy, give lesser worth to the traditional touch-and-feel buying and have a good purchasing power are the best suited segment for the 3G retail.
The delivery person has now become the new regular visitor to almost all offices where the average age of Human capital is between 25 to 35 years. Grabbing good deals in online sale is the new tatkal ticket booking. If you do not log in on the right time the best deals get sold out. We are given a lot of choices and a lot of discounts. The benign online sellers have successfully saved our lac of rupees, if we believe what they tell us.
Beneficiaries in disguise, we the people sitting with our hands on the keypad we actually are paying for the heavy publicity costs. Traditional retailers pay a hefty proportion of their costs for storage, handling and physical showroom upkeep but the online lords are immune to these hits. With zero warehousing and physical display requirements any name can easily become a brand. Fine prints are skipped for the fear of losing the deal. And now we have a young India that has a less idea of saving and investment and more idea of saving through spending.
If we look at the online shopping from a macroeconomic point of view a major part of spending is done through Credit Cards which further invites interest and other consequent charges. So did we actually save? The virtual discount that led to notional savings gets converted in actual spending and interest liabilities which are as high as 3 percent per month in some cases. On one hand we sacrifice the opportunity to touch, look, try and feel the products and we end up paying interest on the other.
So, just be a little more careful and a little less jittery when a pretty face says something about large savings on a huge billboard on your way. Calculate and think. about the pains you have been bearing to get your Plastic Money loaded.


Monday, November 17, 2014

On Children’s Day : The Curious case of Growing up

Something we all constantly look forward and admire is growing up. Every child waits to grow up. Eventually, we become grownups and then start the confrontation with the world. A curious child becomes a sophisticated adult. As an adult we still do not know everything but we stop being curious. We stop letting others know our inability to know everything. We stop putting questions. But if look upon our growth as a human being closely, it is only the inquisitive nature of humans that made us grow. Somewhere in the journey and urge to answer the questions we grew. Our curiosity made us different from other species and our urge to find answers made us grow.

A child’s best quality is curiosity and it must be retained till we grow up. We must have courage to ask when we are not sure. We must have an urge to know when we do not know. We must have openness to answer when others ask. There are a lot of things that we can learn from a child, I would enlist a few:

1.       Accept criticism: Whenever we criticize a child and tell him that something he did is wrong, the child accepts that. The child has courage to apologize and an intention to not repeat that. We must learn to offer open hands to critics, we must be courageous enough to apologize for what we did not do in the proper way. Adulthood doesn’t mean creating walls rather, adulthood is supposed to be open. The more open we would be the more growth would come to us.

2.       Failure is not permanent: When a child falls, the first thing he does is standing up. This is the attitude we must nurture. When we face failures, we must remember that failure is not permanent. Life moves ahead and we must have strength to rise and walk once again. Giving up is the easiest and the most stupid way of living. But moving on takes courage and strength. When we stand once again it symbolizes that we have enough strength to sustain the blow of fall and we have sufficient patience to face life once again.

3.       Everyone is family: Being adults we often tend to categorize people as friends, good friends, and best friends and so on. Children know that these categories are situational and momentary, they are happy with everyone and they offer a smile to everyone. As an adult we must come forward and help others. We should not bind us in these categories. Friendship is earned; it cannot be imposed on people. When we offer smile, help and openness we earn friends; when we categorize and draw lines we are just being adults.

4.       Ask: Have courage to put questions, don’t worry. No question is a silly question. We are not supposed to know everything and no matter at what level we are; people appreciate the ones who ask. No one likes a person who shows that he knows everything. Remember curiosity and the urge to get the answers is the key to grow. Humanity has grown because of curiosity. Be a child, ask.

Children spread positivity, not because they are not grownups but because they are different from us. Children are positive for everything. However stressed you may be the moment you see a child smiling for you, you forget all hassles and smile back. That’s the spirit, key and way to live.

In the words of Pablo Picasso, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Monday, November 3, 2014



CAT 2014: A few noteworthy points
CAT is one exam which has transformed its structure every year. Moving from large number of questions to lesser, paper based to computer based or having reduced the number of sections CAT has come with a surprise every year. The idea behind these surprises is to ensure equitable opportunity to all the test takers. CAT 2014 notification also indicates a lot of new things that the B-School aspirants will have to encounter this time. CAT is coming closer and the notification has tended to shake the linear preparation of the candidates. There is a mix of surprise and fear as to what would be the exact shape of the test this year.
A few major changes are:
  • Increase in the duration of the test
  • Increase in the number of questions in each section 
  • Ability to switch across sections during the test
  • An indication that the test might have negative marking for unanswered questions. 
  • Only two dates for taking CAT

The number of questions has increased as compared to the previous years but the time allotted has not been increased in the same proportion. This signals the leveling down of questions in terms of their level of difficulty. Also, we may have more questions lined to Reading Comprehension passages, Data Interpretation problems and Logical reasoning problems. Quantitative aptitude questions might get more inclined towards calculation centric problems. The increase in the number of questions and decrease in time per question is an indicator of CAT being turned to speed test from concept based test it used to be for almost last 8 years.
The opportunity to switch across the sections actually creates an emotional barrier. The candidates who are obsessed with one of the sections may tend to spend more time in that section thereby reducing the chances of clearing sectional cut-offs. I would strongly recommend that the candidates must spend equal time in each of the sections. With the increase in number of IIMs and decrease in the number of candidates the chances of getting an IIM call are good by clearing the sectional cut offs. Don’t be afraid of any sections and at the same time do not get obsessed with any section. Keep the chances of clearing sectional cut off in addition to overall cut offs safe with you. The candidates who are not very comfortable with Verbal Ability can manage to clear the minimum sectional cut off by attempting the Logical Reasoning problems and the candidates who have a fear of Quantitative Ability can take rescue from Data Interpretation problem. The requirement is to keep calm and patient and spend equal amount of time with each of the sections.
The notification says, “If you do not understand a question on the test, you should answer the question to the best of your ability. Details on negative marking and penalty for unanswered questions will be shared closer to the test day”. This information is a clear indication of penalty being imposed on the questions that are left unanswered. There are two things that need to be kept in mind:

1.       The penalty for incorrect attempts would certainly be higher than for unanswered ones. So, we must make a prudent choice as to what decision has to be made. We should not enter into a larger loss for saving a smaller loss. So, imposing a penalty on questions not attempted doesn’t actually make a test difficult. It only poses a psychological burden of making a choice between two penalties. It is always wise to go for a penalty for unanswered question rather than a penalty for wrong one as the former will be a smaller loss as compared to the later.

2.       The system of penalty is for everyone who appears in the test and is new for everyone. So, all the candidates stand with the same threat and opportunity. Hence, competition wise all candidates are any ways equal.

In the last almost 2-weeks try to take as many mock tests as you can take. Do not go for individual topics now. Just keep on writing full length tests and analyze the scores you achieve. Keep fine tuning your skills by overcoming the mistakes you commit during these tests.

Do not go by any opinions or peer pressure. Just keep on fine tuning. Keep boosting your own confidence by building your own strengths. Just believe that you are the best and you will give your best shot to the test.

All the Best !!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014




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Know more about “Make In India”
Self-Dependence is a catalyst to development of economy. When the government vows to nurture the home born talent and gives space to the latent potential then as an economy the nations becomes all set to reach new levels. The difficult living conditions in which an average Indian grows is a gift in disguise and it results in balanced development of both creative and logical side of brain along with providing immense physical and emotional strength. Innovative business models are born every now and then and the state needs to nurture them and ensure proper nourishment, protection and coverage for them. Make In India, the brainchild of our PM  Shri Narendra Modi Ji is just the right step for the same.
There is a need to foster innovation and protect intellectual property. The program aims that at national level skill development is enhanced and best in class infrastructure is built to ensure leadership in manufacturing and services. Moreover, the design of program facilitates investment. The program is extensive and is set to boost all major sectors; automobiles, automobile components, aviation, biotechnology, chemicals, construction, defense manufacturing, electrical machinery, electronic systems, food processing, IT and BPM, leather, media and entertainment, mining, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, ports, railways, renewable energy, roads and highway, space, textiles and garments, thermal power, tourism and hospitality and wellness.
The project is featured in KPMG’s ‘100 Most Innovative Global Projects’ as one of the world’s most innovative and inspiring infrastructure projects. The Government of India is developing the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) as a global manufacturing and investment destination utilizing the 1,483 km-long, high-capacity western Dedicated Railway Freight Corridor (DFC) as the backbone. The objective is to increase the share of manufacturing in the GDP of the country and to create smart sustainable cities where manufacturing will be the key economic driver. DMIC states (Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat & Maharashtra) contribute 43% to the country’s GDP; more than half of India’s industrial production & exports; account for over 40% of workers & number of factories across India.
Doing business in India just got easier – new de-licensing and deregulation measures are reducing complexity, and significantly increasing speed and transparency.

·         Process of applying for Industrial License & Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum made online on 24×7 basis through eBiz portal.
·         Validity of Industrial license extended to three years.
·         States asked to introduce self-certification and third party certification under Boilers Act.
·         Major components of Defense products’ list excluded from industrial licensing.
·         Dual use items having military as well as civilian applications deregulated.
·         Services of all Central Govt. Departments & Ministries will be integrated with the EBiz – a single window IT platform for services by 31 Dec. 2014.
·         Process of obtaining environmental clearances made online.
·         Following advisories sent to all Departments/ State Governments to simplify and rationalize regulatory environment.
·         All returns should be filed on-line through a unified form.
·         A check-list of required compliances should be placed on Ministry’s/Department’s web portal.
·         All registers required to be maintained by the business should be replaced with a single electronic register.
·         No inspection should be undertaken without the approval of the Head of the Department.
·         For all non-risk, non-hazardous businesses a system of self-certification to be introduced.

In short, the program aims at a major transition in the attitude of government. From being a regulator and a permit issuing authority, the government is now looked upon as a friend, philosopher, guide and partner to new business ventures. Dedicated teams would be assisting first time investors from the very time of their entry. Steps are being taken to provide conducive environment and protection to intellectual property.  IP protection would be ensuring protection and nourishment to patents, designs, trademarks, geographical indications, copyrights, plant variety protection and semiconductor integrated circuits layout designs. In addition facilities like e-filing of application, incentive for e-filing and concession for small entities shall be duly provided.
The roaring lion which moves ahead is the mascot for the program and it symbolizes that we have everything within us we just need to structure it and get it nourished for the economic strength and national well-being. In the words of our PM, “This nation is yours. There is no need to leave the nation. We want our companies to shine as multinational companies”. Let us strive to make in India, for India for the worlds, it’s the right time.
Jai Hind!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014



A man is what man does. A small bunch of thoughts on the Gandhi Jayanti

Spin a wheel in your own home and wear what you manufacture. Depend on no one but yourself. Mahatma Gandhi not only led a freedom to national movement but also helped us to realize the power and importance of self dependence. He made us believe in the fact that a man is identified by what he does and the key to the success of any revolution is belief. In the same lines we are set to adopt the thoughts of "make in India" and "swachh bharat".
Mahatma Gandhi was a frontier of the national development and scientific mordernization. We need to accept Gandhi as a thought. A thought that inspires and persuades us for being self sufficient. If we look closely on the education system instituted by the British Raj, we would find that the so called western education system was actually customized to fit the British Colonies. But Mahatma Gandhi had a vision for more inclusive and vocational education which paves a way for inculcating entrepreneurial skills and equips the pupil with a thought provoking for self dependence. Ensuring such self sufficiency at micro level for every household would surely lead to social, regional and national self sufficiency in macro level.
In the current education system we find very less percentage of people who look for starting their own venture. Mahatma Gandhi strongly advocated against such a system. We should be proud and thankful to institutions like IIMs and IITs which are setting a platform for nurturing the orientation and potential for the youth looking forward at starting innovative ventures. We should also salute the institutions
Like ISRO, Wipro, flipkart and many others who ensure that the talent built and nurtured in the country remains with the country. I would be thankful to honorable PM Sri Narendra Modi if he incentivices and motivates the institutions who are pivotal in retention of the indigenous human capital.

Mahatma Gandhi has stated that a man is identified by what he does. The first question, when we meet someone is, about what he does. The work of any man or even a nation is the sole identity. We identify an economy by its core competency in some area and the export leadership it portrays. India as a economy has a huge potential which remains untapped. The refined thought process which is a result of tough conditions and uneasy atmosphere has became a blessing in disguise and now Indians are capable of providing a solution to almost everything. Think of this thought process being structured and the results thereafter.
The pinnacles we touched recently and the aura our beloved PM has created in the world economies is actually the realization of the dream which Mahatma Gandhi had. Let us from today itself start believing in ourselves and do something which makes us self sufficient. Together our small contributions would give the nation immense power and protection to the economy.

Jai Hind!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014




On November, 5th 2013 ISRO launched its first orbiter to Mars which made every Indian proud on Wednesday, the 24th of September, 2014. It took more than 10 months of hard work and continuous tracking and positioning by a team of more than 100 ISRO’s top scientists led by Shri V. KesavaRaju, Mission Director. Mr. Raju has accredited this success in such a short time and at the most cost effective way to the young team and the meticulous care at every stage from spacecraft’s conceptualization to the realization.

ISRO built first of its kind, Long distance communication with the space craft in addition to the autonomy to the aircraft for taking decisions on its own in case of any contingency. ISRO targeted a periapsis (closest approach to mars) of 423 km and an apoapsis (farthest distance) of 80,000 km and successfully achieved 427 km and 78,500 km respectively. It was required to keep reducing the speed of aircraft by 1.1 km per second to get into Martian orbit which was successfully done by the team.

In words of Project Director, Shri S. Arunan, “It is the ability to walk into a fear that makes the project a success”. He expressed his confidence in ISRO’s ability to accurately predict the possible contingencies in the deep-space travel. The success of the mission is a result of ISRO’s ability to communicate at a distance of 400 million km, while the requirement for the mission was that of 224 million km.

In practical terms the mission is set to chalk a way to conduct science experiments about the atmosphere, mineralogy, presence of methane – an indicator of possible microbial life on Mars. The data is expected to give scientists a clearer understanding of the evolution of Mars from observations of its geological and biogenic processes. The cameras, spectrometer, photometer and a radiometer would help in exploring Mars’ morphology.

Technically the target was very tough and the stakes were high. Almost 300 long days of waiting, tracking and worrying for contingencies has paid really well. Our PM Shri Narendra Modi calls the mission as true success as the technology was purely build indigenously in a record less time and in a highly cost efficient manner. It is noteworthy that India is the first Asian country to successfully accomplish mission to Mars. China’s only attempt to reach Mars in 2011 was a failure.

India launched its first space rocket in 1963 and its first satellite in 1975. Concentrating its efforts on socio-economic development of the country ISRO has shown its renewed interest, efforts and results in this mission. Mars mission is a natural progression in the quest for its deep space exploration.