Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Unreasonable Man

'The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: The unreasonable persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all the progress depends on the unreasonable man'

Source: George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Where the richest Indians in 2025 will be?

Quick clustering of industries of Top 50 wealthy Indians according to the Forbes Dec 2013 article give following observations. Big Moguls Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Godrejs, Ruias clearly lead the pack and work across different industries. Neglecting the outliers, my analysis focuses on other Indians.(Purely based on my understanding)

1. IT (8)
2. Pharmaceutical (9)
3. FMCG - Dabur, Marico, Parle, Pepsi
4. Real Estate (3) - DLF, Lodha, Raheja.
5. Steel (2) - Jindal and Lakshmi Mittal
6. Media (2) - Sun and Bennett Coleman

If any college pass-out or a wishy-washy b-school graduate picks any of these industries without applying his brain, he's certainly be doomed for idiocy.  

Success is achieved definitely by people who tread the road less traveled, look at every opportunity that comes their own and challenge themselves to grow stronger,taller, sharper. In the next 10 years, they are far more challenges and opportunities ahead of India and its people.

Key focus areas in the coming years to invest and work on:
  1. Clean and alternate energies - power generation, public transport, etc.
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Pharma, Health, food, textile - Evergreen
  4. Agro based industry - Even brand retail.
  5. IT/Service products (Mobile/Web) - break through ideas and consolidation needed

PS: Exhaustive list, prone to edits.

Friday, December 6, 2013

International Volunteer Day

A small write up i wrote for the occasion of International Volunteer Day. Why volunteering is more than giving? 

Three years with Bhumi has changed the way i look at society and people.

PS: The author(yours truly) is a youth leader, in charge of bhumi Operations at different centers in Chennai and 'Changemaker of the Year' award winner.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Wipro Chennai Marathon 2013

Dec 1st 2013. Completed my second half marathon after I'd Auroville Marathon in Feb'13.

Marathon is not just about running. Every time you set a targets for yourself, execute them, encounter adversity, re-strategize and achieve your goals. So much to learn and grow from running a marathon.

Fun Part: 

One uncle running a marathon with his helmet on. (to protect him from the rain)
One uncle playing Kandhar Shashti Kavacham for inspiration at 5.15am. Boss this is chennai. Vishnu Sahasranamam and KSK are a part of our daily routine.

What was heartening to see was the no of senior citizens, Blade runners, differently-abled and young kids participating. So many inspiring stories all round that you feel you can raise your game and push your limits. Nice feel :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind

Source : Louis Pasteur.

Chance presents unexpected results. Unexpected results are most likely to offer true new discoveries. 

The researcher whose mind is unprepared often simply sees unexpected results as failed experiments and throws them away. The researcher whose mind is prepared sees an opportunity for what might be a whole new field of research and discovery.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vision without execution is hallucination

“Vision without execution is hallucination."  ― Thomas A. Edison

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lessons from the Srini Mama

There are always different facets to srini mama in life. He’s a perfect example of a man who fits this ‘If you think, you can’ adage.  In a life span, a person can be lucky and encounter coincidences a few times. Mama’s life was not about coincidence; he has worked his way through the ladder. They were so many crooks, corrupt sports administrators, political leaders, and Government officials. He has networked, befriended the crooks, bribed the greedy and used the loopholes within the system to emerge as a badass Billi Gunn.  Let me take a cue from his rise and fall story.

  1. Don't create Enemies

The arrogant, decisive and forthright nature of Srini mama has ended up creating more enemies for him. The mighty and powerful enemies Pawars, Bindras, Muthiahs were waiting for this fall. And media (rational fools) perfectly provided them fodder to hit back at Srini. A Life without enemies/distracters is like a Hindi film without songs. Impossible. But at least don’t leave a trail for people to catch you. (Nadharithanam panna Kooda Naasuka pannanum)

   2. Empower your beneficiaries

The biggest mistake on Mama’s side was all his beneficiaries were tight lipped. Be it the current players or commentators. The players contract system and rise of BCCI as financial powerhouse was during this period. The current and former players who enjoyed during his tenure didn’t speak out on the pretext of contract. His beneficiaries lived in his shadow and in BCCI contract; hence no one could support his claim. In life, there’s a need to create your support base outside your structures, so that people can unequivocally support you.

Only difference between Srini and Pawar was their active role n politics. Pawar thrived on his control in State, central government and Sugar industry mafias. End of the day, as long as the system is screwed up, many more Pawars and Srinis will crop up. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Targets for 2013

New year resolutions and targets needn't be posted in January. I kick started the year with a few actionable items and hope to follow them in the rest of my life.

1. 15 mins exercise
Being a sportsman, fitness and exercise was never a issue. But I did reasonably well in 2013, so far. Auroville Marathon ensured i prepare myself and remain injury free.

2. Be on time; Punctual
Be it office meetings or meeting friends, i desperately want to be on time and avoid those stern looks. Also the fact that i'm using someone else's time.

3. Stop Watching Tv
Too much noise and glitz, nothing informative, thought provoking or inspiring comes on Tv. And most of the interesting interviews or news items are online in Youtube channels. A 3 hr film is played for 4.5 hrs with news and ads. Highlights of a cricket match or ESPN Sportscenter is a good way to keep myself updated.

4. Write a Small note at the EOD
I wanted to log certain actions i do this year, milestones achieved and interesting characters i met. I've never had the habit of writing diaries. Just wanted to keep track of where i was at the year beginning, and how much I've changed by year end.

5. More Thank You and Congrats; Less Sorry.
What is there in saying Sorry and Thank you, you don't lose anything. (Frankly i don't have anything; that's a different issue). It takes some courage to ask sorry or even to appreciate people.

6. Read Books
As a matter of fact, i've read more books in these 5 months of 2013 than in my entire life span. I'm finding it interesting. Nevertheless good.

7. Meet Deadlines; Not fall in my own eyes
This year I plan to set realistic deadlines and improve my productivity. Not meeting a deadline or your commitment is like falling in your own eyes and i hate it.

List is exhaustive. I'll keep adding as and when i follow something. What's wrong in writing about good things :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Opportunity in difficulties

Story of Aisha Chaudhary, a 15-year-old girl who was diagnosed with an incurable immune deficiency disorder at the age of six months, following which she underwent bone marrow transplant. 

In her incredibly simple and touching way, Aisha took us through her early days when she was wheelchair ridden and destined to inhale oxygen with the help of a tube clipped to her nose. Her story drew thunderous applause and a standing ovation as she told us about the 5 lessons she has learnt during this phase; 

1. 'Believe in miracles'
2. 'Live in the moment'
3. 'Opportunity in difficulties'
4. 'Dare to dream'
5. 'Pets are the best medicines'

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Crocodile Tears

The outcry over the US resolution on SriLanka in Tamil Nadu is a typical example of the famous Prisoner’s dilemma in Game theory. Every stakeholder in the game tries to make the best use of the situation and maximize his points.

Reduced to a mere 20+ seats in TN and stung by the ghosts of 2G Scam, DMK and Mu.ka thatha (grand father) found this as a perfect opportunity to keep themselves in the limelight. Mu.Ka wanted to position himself as the Don Corleone of the Tamils around the world, but he's just a Karunas in Endhiran (Robot). When the war was in full swing in 2009, ironically, DMK was busy fire fighting the 2G scam and was preparing for TN assembly elections. Its leaders including T.R.Balu, Kani went to Srilanka, met Rajapaksa and appreciated him for finding a solution to the never ending saga. On the other end of spectrum, poor JJ has been playing this game because all her enemies are playing it. If someone finds Vijaykant in some Tasmac shop, tell him he’s the leader of opposition.

Then there’s this huge political clout of Vaiko, Nedumaran and others who openly support LTTE, a terrorist organization. They praise Prabhakaran who in the past has used innocent Tamils as human shield against the SL army. The atrocities done by LTTE to SL Tamils are conveniently forgotten by the pro-LTTE outfits in TN.

This resolution and the inclusion of words like ‘Genocide’ and other euphemisms are farce and mere eyewash. The resolution was passed in UNHRC, but nothing has happened since then. These resolutions are big brother's way of bullying smaller nations. Weren't there any war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan? But no one dares big brother.

The Students protest has made the political parties to plunge into action. I’m worried none of the students protested against absence of basic Civic amenities or for koodankulam issues. Student protests should not be fixed on one particular resolution, but on overall development of Tamilnadu and its people. People need to understand that Anti-LTTE doesn't necessarily mean Anti-Tamil (not mutually exclusive) and think before blindly following their leader. Leaders are trying to make the best use of your zeal and energy for their political agenda. Wake up.

While I say all this, tears trickle down when I watch the Channel 4 documentary (No fire zone). That sickening visuals of merciless killing of 12 year old Balachandran pricked my heart. That 12 year old boy didn't kill people, instigate violence. He was killed just he was a son of someone who did that. Bloody hell!! Anti Tamil or Anti LTTE, I don’t give a damn. I believe war itself is a crime against humanity, and then comes issues pertaining to war crime. (Anbe Sivam)

Moving forward, what Sri Lankan Tamils need is a place to live with dignity and not the crocodile tears from the political parties. Rehabilitation of the Tamils, development work, jobs for the poor can help turn around things in Sri Lanka. A free and fair election and restoration of democracy can bring peace not just to the country, but also to the minds of the people.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills --Chinese saying

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: India after Gandhi

Boy o boy whaddabook!! Take a bow Mr.Guha and his team :)

There are two reasons why i wanted to read this book:

1. Big Fan of History: I've always believed that history should be studied for the attitude, mental strength of the people involved and for the causes that lead to extraordinary events in world history. Unfortunately our textbooks preach only events and when things happened than why they happened.

2. The need to know what happened after 1947 (where our school textbooks stop) till say 1998 when i starting knowing things myself (Vevaram therinja vayasu)

Ram Guha gives a balanced view on most of the mercurial events pertaining to Independent India. He covers almost all regions of the country including Kashmir Issue, Kerala/Bengal Communist story, Naxalite problem, Language based Dravidian politics, Emergency, Riots, Nagas Issue, Indo-Pak, Sino-India ties and the inevitable Nehru Gandhi family.

Living in a generation of constant outrage against the Gandhi family and peevish Modituva politics, it was important for us to know why the Nehru-Gandhi family took center stage in the first place. Moving from a Kashmiri Brahmin Pandit, erudite scholar, freedom fighter, consensus builder, Mass leader, face of the nation, beleaguered and withered leader, Nehru has seen it all. Ram Guha covers most of these crucial later half of Nehru’s life. April/May 1964 events provide a peculiarly poignant coda to the life of nehru’s illustrious career. With so many administrators but not leaders around, Kamraj found a sense of elegance and charisma with Indira, which powered her way to the top job.

As you read, you find a lot of similarities between Modi and Indira. Both are authoritative people who keep servile leaders at their positions of responsibilities and play the card of growth and governance. Both have their share of baggage with Gujarat Riots and Emergency. Despite having efficient leaders, these two leaders possess unparalleled charisma and populist opinion among their party members. Decision making gets centralized and is thrust upon individuals rather than them voting for a custodian of people's rights.

I feel sorry for Lal Bahadur Shastri and Rajiv Gandhi. Both visionaries in their own league, but couldn’t extend their prowess due to their untimely deaths. Also for J.P.Narayan and Rajaji for their experience and wisdom, but couldn’t take up active roles due to old age. Sheik Abdullah, a man who wanted to uphold the interests of the people of Kashmir, has succumbed to the political leadership of India and Pakistan and the mantle is now carried forward by his son Farooq and grandson Omar. We've moved away from a nation which casts its vote to a nation which votes its caste.

It is exhilarating to read the story of a nation with religious fanaticism, language barriers, regional feuds, population explosion, food shortages, inflation and still managed to progress due to some bold and practical decisions.

Overall, this book is an enriching experience for those who want to know the India story and its slow crawl to become what it is today.