Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Interesting article on business 2.0

about Immigration. Read the full article here

My Fav. part

As most everyone who pays into Social Security knows, this country (and all others in the developed world) is facing a retirement crisis. It starts this year, as the oldest Baby Boomers - also dubbed the "pig-in-a-python" demographic - hit 60 and decide that playing a round of golf every day beats sitting in a 6 ft. by 6 ft. cube.

Faced with far more retirees than workers, we have two options: up the retirement age to keep workers slogging away until their 80th birthdays; or, let the world's youth do the work while paying our Social Security along the way. In return, we get to spend our golden years drinking Pina Coladas in Palm Beach. Which do you think we'll pick?

Friday, September 22, 2006

My fav. portion from the Premji interview in NYT

I think when you combine the line below with the fact that the need for engineers is bound to grow both from product development as well as from technical support due to technology's prevalence in our day to day life and the expansion of the market across the globe, the shortfall then sinks in.

Of course, I still feel what we have to improve is the quality of engineers in India as that is still way below that of those being produced in the United States.


The important thing about outsourcing or global sourcing is that it becomes a very powerful tool to leverage talent, improve productivity and reduce work cycles. The West is not producing enough engineers. The United States will produce 75,000 engineers this year; they will produce more sports therapists than engineers. Germany, the great engineering power of Europe, will produce 35,000 engineers this year; they will produce more architects than engineers. Western companies want access to Indian talent, that is why they outsource, that is why they come to India to set up base.

Good Day it is

Two good articles out today

A Nice Interview of Azim Premji by the NYT

A good Article by Guy Kawasaki on the new 'Art of Distribution'

Both must-reads

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stock Picks and Results

Stocks I hold

ORG Informatics - Telecom SI - average buy price 78
Geometric Software - CAD CAM Specialist - average buy price 81
AStra Microwave - Telecom and Defense products - Average buy 166

any opinions out there?

An important lesson learnt late - but learnt after all

Dell has been in the news for reducing their Indian call center ops and customer satisfaction woes. From my own days in the call center world I learnt one lesson well - Call center managers focus on statistics. what they miss out on in the midst of AHT, AWT, CPC and other quality parameters is the fundamentals of business- ensuring the customers problem is solved. Dell has summed it up well in his interview to Fortune

From Michael Dell
We were doing some things that were just plain wrong. Last year we had parts of our company where we would say, "Hey, let's handle the calls faster." The problem is that if you handle the call faster, you solve 90% of the problem instead of 100%. So the guy calls back. And you've just pissed him off more, and you haven't accomplished a damn thing.

This year we said we're not going to measure how long we're on the phone, we're going to measure how well we did solving the problem. What happened in the second quarter was we had two million fewer calls than we had planned. The average hold time before we answered the call was cut by more than 50%, and the satisfaction rate went up quite dramatically--like seven or eight points--in just a couple of weeks.

The team was managing cost instead of managing service and quality. It's totally the wrong answer. Stop managing for cost. Manage for a great experience.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher - Nissim Ezekiel

To force the pace and never to be still
Is not the way of those who study birds
Or women. The best poets wait for words.
The hunt is not an exercise of will
But patient love relaxing on a hill
To note the movement of a timid wing;
Until the one who knows that she is loved
No longer waits but risks surrendering -
In this the poet finds his moral proved
Who never spoke before his spirit moved.

Poetry - Pablo Neruda - Part 1

And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

to buy or not to buy?

Apple Computers annouced a refresh of their iPod lineup yesterday.. of course right in time for the holiday season and yet before people have decided on their present lists. I've been one of the last people to buy an ipod and now it's time to bite the dust.

What will I buy?

hmm... Will It be the really cool video iPOD ? or then maybe the really sexy shuffle?

or hmm..maybe the voice of reason and the 8GB killer nano. Stay tuned and do give me your suggestions.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

indian mobile subscriber base

touches 116mn. It will be sometime before we reach the chinese levels - 400mn. Significant achievement and yet a long way to go.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Red herring Asia 100 finalist

For those who don't know yet - Myzus was shortlisted as one of the finalists for the Red Herring Asia 100 which means we have been recognized by Red Herring Magazine as one of 200 coolest companies in Asia. Congrats to the team and promise there's a lot more coming.


I was just going through Rakesh Mathur's new start-up - webaroo. I've got great respect for Rakesh and his fundamental qualities as an entrepreneur. Went to their website and downloaded the free software.

My initial reaction - who would need this?

My mid-term reaction - well, very interesting thesis and interesting idea for a product. I see the utility and I see how it should be quickly sold to someone like google.

The final verdict - will i use it. I guess I have to wait for when I dont have internet access to see if I use it to search and how usable the system is.

Very interesting indeed.

I also saw a online video of a talk by Brad Husick - one of the co founders. Now he was speaking a lot about the killer technology they've used to archive the web and etc. etc.

From my look at the system. The feature I anticipate using most - the Web Packs - Its' great to have the CIA world factbook archived for instance. How much better the experience is because of their technology - time will tell. Keep tuned for my review post six months with this stuff. It shows great promise.

Some stuff I read

Satish's blog -

Rajesh Jain's blog

Venturewoods - a sort of online exchange for indian entrepreneurs

Dhruti's blog - good writing

informative casual writing on bombay roads and things you see on them

mid-day.com - this is crap yet addictive

Singapore most progressive country to run a business

According to the World Bank, Singapore's been ranked as the easiest place to do business. Followed closely by New Zealand and the United States, Canada. This is really a great achievement for the Americans where they have been able to match a really huge economy with reasonable ease of doing business.
New Indian Funds

Lots of people seem to be raising India specific funds. Not surprisingly, all the fund managers seem to be Indian or of Indian origin. Are we going to see another spate of cheecoo.com, chaitime.com, baazee.com, zipahead.coms?

What do people want to use the mobile internet for?

Interesting question and something that definitely all the VCs in India are searching to answers for. What is going to be the next money spinner ? Most importantly, what are consumers going to use? Time will tell and I'm personally working on some stuff.

Yesterday read a VC interview which reinforced my belief that yes - the bust is imminent. The quote went something like this " We want our companies to create services that people will use and find useful. If it is useful, people will pay for it. Yeah right. He's obviously fresh out of MBA school or else spent 1999 to 2001 in a cushy job somewhere without ever reading the newspapers."


If not debt, then equity?

Given that my last post discourages entrepreneurs from raising debt apart from a few specific cases namely:- 1. Very high ROCE low risk bus...