Test Testy

Monday, January 29, 2007

Couple of quick thoughts about China

I was reading an article in ET and a questions suddenly occurred to me. What kind of government does China has? Isn't it supposed to be communist and pro-labor, then how come Chinese companies are exploiting the worker category and US, supposed to be a free economy propagator, is imposing restrictions on China in order to promote better working conditions for workers.

It's really sad to see that whatever form of government you have, economic factors take precedence over human factors.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Grihapravesham - House Warming Ceremony

As planned I went to Habsiguda for the Grihapravesham. Mr.Jagannadham is a very good leader and lots of his colleagues turned. I met few of my Bakelite colleagues including RVS and SVSS. SVSS was President at Bakelite Hylam when I interacted with him. He was vrey happy to hear about the ISB admission thing and congratulated me. His expressions changed the moment he heard this news and he became far more pleasant than earlier. I was one of the few who left despite his advice, from Bakelite Hylam.

P.G. was not at home and I couldn't meet him. But he advised me to call his Bank colleague.

I have recently won a Sony Digital camera - entry level model. I had to pay 30% of the value as tax. These are some of the pictures I clicked with that camera today:

Mr and Mrs Jagannadham

Saaga of long weekends

The saga of long weekends ends for this year at least for me. Since the good news of getting admission into ISB broke on Dec 15th, I had been having a series of long weekends,first it was Christmas, then New year, then Sankranthi and the latest Republic Day. All these long weekends definitely made me more lazy. Earlier when I used to work for 6 days, I used to enjoy my Sunday much more than now. Anyways 2007 till now has been a different year than the last five years and I'm sure it will be different in every other sense too in the coming days.

Anyways I'm now waiting for ISB adcom to announce the loan packages from different banks and nothing much is happening.

Today one of my evaluators - Mr. Nanduri Jagannadham, VP, GTN Industries is moving into his new house and I am going for the gruhapravesham in an hour from now. From there I will go to one of my friend, P.G.Venkateswaran's house. He was neighbour during the early years of my career, during 1995-96. He is at least 10 years older than me but we shared a very good understanding and developed a very good friendship. He works for a bank and he has promised to help me in getting the educational loan. He is one of the few friends who had seen me from Bakelite days. I was always a part of his family though we had no common things like age, language, type of job, thought process and so on. In fact we are so dissimilar and we used to fight on many things but we enjoyed each other's company greatly.

Day before on 26th I visited my village. It is about 70 km from Waranagal town. My grandfather and most of my relatives reside there. I mentioned to few of them that I would be leaving my current job and would be going to college. Couple of them gave a weird look and started thinking that I am doing another foolish thing, one of them laughed it off saying till when will you study. Not many of them know even about IIT's and IIM's, which have been existing from long. My village now can boast that some of the current generation has gone to places such as USA, UK, Ireland etc, but few years ago no one would have even dreamt of anything like this happening. The globalization is making an impact on rural life may be in an indirect way as of now.

There are some family issues going on currently and yesterday I was reflecting on what has happened in life till now and was wondering if there is a single family that had no problems. Every family, every person has had some or the other kind of issues, may be that makes us human, otherwise we would be fictionary. I may go again next weekend to discuss what is to be done and my resolve is to bring the truth to the table - truth in terms of facts, emotions, our underlying motives, our mistakes, our idiosyncrasies and only then discuss the current issue. If people are not ready to face truth nothing can ever be achieved. My next few blog posts would focus more and more on my observations and my experiences.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

If all human decisions are economic decisions, what about voluntary blood donation?

Today I donated blood at a camp organized in our office. Though I never came across a critical-for-blood scenario, I just walked in and and quickly went through the process. I also found that there were amny others like me. I was wondering what are the forces that drove these people including me. Though I have strong feelings about help and support to those in need, I never encountered a scenario where blood was life-saving. Few points that motivated me and my colleagues could be:
1. It was facilitated. None of us had to make any extra effort to do the blood donation. If we had to go to a Blood bank even if it is a kilometre away, I doubt anyone of us would have made the effort to go there.
2. The emotion attached to the act. After donating the blood I suddenly recalled some of the moments I experienced as a kid at my native place. Crow was the common bird that used to co-exist peacefully (not at all times though) with humans. If a crow, whatever reason gets injured, immediately I used to see that atleast a hundred gathered around and used to shout continuously until the injured crow recovered. On all other occassions it is very common to see one crow snatching food from another crow. Somewhere we all have that unity factor running through our blood and we feel very happy when we help someone and I feel this is of basic nature to all of us

In one of the recent training sessions, the facilitator, Air Cmde Parvateesam, mentioned that all our decisions are economically motivated. Though I could fully agree with that statement, I kept silent at the point but promising myself to examine it in different situations. The above blood donation situation provided me an apt situation. Initially I felt that there is nothing economical to this decision but slowly realised that there were many economic aspects intertwined to the situation not only from my side but also from the future beneficiaries of the donated blood.

After this analysis I realized that economic factors are so intertwined with human life that whether I agree or not, all my conscious decisions are indeed economic decisions.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Guru - A film that I liked after a long time

After long time I dared to watch a movie in the release week. I stopped watching any movie in the release week from almost last 10 years. But after a long time I could overcome my inertia and made effort to get tickets and watch the movie. I think I had a similar urge to go and watch the movie way back, when I saw the trailers of Roja and again only for Guru.

To be honest I am an avid movie watcher since childhood. But slowly as I grew up, I become very choosy and settled down to watch only movies that hit the 100 day mark and seem to make some sense.

From last 5-6 years I had been wondering why movies are made around only few subjects - love, action, hero-oriented or some simple nonsense remakes. I was wondering, how come there are no topics/subjects that can show the success stories through the so powerful medium called cinema. I was very happy to see movies like Munnabhai and Lage raho. It's not that I don't enjoy the romantic and action types but once in a while you need to get in touch with reality.

By making Guru, Maniratnam had fulfilled my long drawn wish - to see a success story, not just of love but of life in totality, on screen. I have lots of appreciation for the movie - the screen play, editing, music, casting and so on, but my biggest praise is for the subject. Though Mani denied that the movie is made based on the life of a successful businessman, it definitely has too many resemblances.

I felt the key part of the movie is when Guru bhai states his reply to the enquiry commission. That 3 minutes, I feel, is the most impactful part of the movie. The dialogues were excellent and exactly depicted what happened from Independence till Dr. Manmohan as the finance minister, initiated the reforms. You have to watch the movie to feel what so many entreprenuers of that period might have gone through.

For Aishwarya, it was a fantastic opportunity and she did very well, all credit goes to the director. For Abhishek, Guru will make everyone accept that he has arrived. I don't know if Abhishek will ever get another role like Guru once again.

Today each one of us are enjoying the fruits of the entrprenuerial ventures of a few handful visionaries. We have to salute those few who dared against all the odds and the fingers pointing at them.

One of the very good points in this movie is the aspect of marriage - Guru marries Sujatha only to get capital for his business, but keeps his promise that he will take care of her. When she realises this she leaves him but quickly realises the truth. No great sacrificial love story and no over-emotional-dialogues, a simple truth about marriage is revealed so subtly - in marriage you take care of each other, love and romance just happens.

Last point that I liked very much is the go-getter and never-say-die attitude that is displayed by Guru. When you want things to happen really, they do happen, even the most tough situation changes into the most favourable one.

A must watch for all B-school aspirants, current students and even Alums

Friday, January 12, 2007

Freakonomics - A Timely read

Over the last one month I was mulling over how to learn more about Taxation. I even request couple of CA's but didn't get any response. May be they are very busy now.

Why do I want to learn more about taxation just before I get into a one year rigorous MBA program at ISB? My reason a slightly unconventional one, in fact, it is not even related to my job or my career. Let me explain:

I am currently working in HR department and specifically in the area of Learning and Development. L&D is closely associated with another function of HR that is Performance Management. To Manage and improve performance one of the methods is to incentivize desired behavior and punish undesired behavior. I started wondering that why can't government do the same and then I realised that it is already doing so using different types of taxes. If the government is already doing this then why is it unable to make everyone do what it wants them to do ideally? This could be due to the fact fact that like the KRA's - Key Result Areas, in organizations, government uses policies and laws and both suffer from the same problem. The policy makers cannot accurately predict all the outcomes and in a bi country it becomes further more difficult. Another challenge the government faces is that it even can't do piloting.

Now let me come back to the title. While I was thinking about how should I proceed about learning more about taxes, I happened to see the "Freakonomics, written by Stephen D. Levitt, book at our library. Our librarian was earlier working at ISB and he mentioned that this book is a part of the curriculum at ISB. Though little sceptical about the readability of the book initially, I liked the cover and the introduction and decided to borrow the book.

After going through about 50 pages I realized what a timing it is to read Freakonomics. This book was talking exactly the same things I was thinking about. It was talking about the economic and social incentives and how they drive behavior of people. I have finished reading about one third and in particularly liked the research done by Sudhir Venkatesh about the Drug world in US.

I have a hobby which is similar to what Venkatesh did, observe different kinds of people. Some of my observations include - How children of beggars entertain themselves, the Business model of a boiled peanut seller, life of a widow living with son and daughter in law, and many more. I even studied many of my close friends closely but will not be able share anything on this blog, I need to take their permission before I do so. I shall try and put down my observations one after another.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

One Week of adventure, learning and celebration

Last week has been a great eventful week - I had been to Pegasus Institute for a training program along with 14 other colleagues.

Today the 4th ISB Hyderabad applicants Yahoo group meet at Barista happened. There were 11 of us - 5 ISB R1 admits, 3 R2 applicants, 2 2008 applicants, and one Queen's Canada admit. It was diverse group and we had lot of fun, discussions and tried to help each other. Before I got the admit one of the group member asked me for some guidance and I replied to her saying that I cannot guide unless I do something, go through the experience and then go through failure and success. Now after I have gone through one failure and success I have qualified myself to guide anyone in need on GMAT, B-School application, Essays, Interview preparation, dress code for interview etc. As I freely provided my mobile number I had lots of queries. Last week I met one Marine Engineer with 12 years experience, today one guy from Satyam called reg GMAT and few others are in touch through mail. Being an expressive and analytical guy I can't really control myself from giving a structure advice to all those who request for it. I hope they get benefited and later help others who need it.

The 3-day training program at Pegasus at Gauribidanur was really fantastic. I think I have made at least three/four very good friends. The trip was full of surprises right from the time I started from office, immediately after boarding the train and then throughout the three days. But as it turned out all the surprises were pleasant. Three days actually went off in three minutes. Fantastic environment, very good company, excellent food and exciting experience is what I can summarize these three days as.

We had actually built a raft and 6 of us paddled it without sinking successfully. Though all parts of my body are aching I enjoyed it so much. We also did rappelling, dynamic obstacle course and few other complex exercises and each one of them was very good.

I leaned some good points about myself. I could revisit some of my beliefs about self and could identify the areas I need to reinforce, change and continue doing. Experiential learning is definitely one of the very powerful methodology and can anchor development initiatives very well.

I have to figure out how to post pictures and videos so that I can post some.

Overall it was a great start to the New Year 2007

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Thanks to all those who helped in my journey on the Road to ISB

It's about three weeks now that I got to know that I have been offered admission to ISB Hyderabad, PGPM program, but the exuberance has not died down yet. There were also certain moments when I felt am I doing the right thing - Taking a break from a well took off career, taking a loan of 15 lakhs not for buying a house but for education that too at the age of 31 when everyone around seems to be buying a house and settling down, but I crossed the rubicon long back, so there is no looking back.

I want to thank many people who directly and indirectly helped me in this journey, without their help I would not have been able to pull it off.

I went through many ups and downs in this journey that stated from seeing an advertisement about IIM - A's PGPX program in 2005. In fact I get amused the way my thoughts took a 90 degree turn. At the beginning I didn't even consider ISB thinking that it is highly expensive. I felt PGPX, which costed 8 lakhs in 2005, is more economical and within reach for me. I even thought ISB is for younger lot and I may not fit there. But with detailed analysis, personal visits and meetings, based on suggestions and points shared by alums of both schools, I finally zeroed in on ISB and I am pretty happy the way things shaped up.

Let me put down the names of those who helped me in a chronological sequence:

1. Mr. Nitin Sanker, Principal Consultant, Middle Earth Consultants, IIM- C alum
2. Mr. Ranjan Jain, Director HR, Ivy Comptech, XIM Alum
3. Mr. N. Jagannadham, VP, GTL
4. Mr. Aveena Gudapati, Senior Vice President, Visions System Group, Columbia Business School Alum
5. Mr. Devarajan Iyer, HSBC bank, ISB Alum
6. Dr. Sravan Kumar Dasoju, Associate Director HR, Sierra Atlantic Inc, Ex- IPE and ASCI
7. Mr. Ravi Vadapalli, Global Head - Learning and Development, Virtusa, ISb alum
8. Mr. Narayanan K, Current batch - ISB
9. Mr. Ajay Kumar, Current batch - ISB
10.Mr. Rohan Kashyap - Executive HR, Infosys
11.Mr. Govind, IAS aspirant
12.Mr. Chandrasekhar - Princeton Review Verbal Faculty
13. Ms. Ritu Raj, Sr. Executive HR, Sapient Bangalore
14. Mr. Rummy Sharma, Writer and Trainer on Global Business Etiquette

I hope I haven't forgot anyone who helped me. Apart from help there were many others who blessed me and wished for my success about whom I will post next.

Each one of them have helped me in different ways though they didn't have any stake in my success. This highlights that even today in the busy world there are so many great people who willingly support you. I gain immense confidence and happiness when I think about this aspect and inspires to take up bigger challenges and dream big.

Monday, January 1, 2007

The Beginning and You

In the beginning there was nothing. Then I was born in Year 1975, still there was nothing much

But with time, environment, and You, a lot happened. 31 years have passed and it's getting more and more interesting. For the first time in my life I have achieved my first Summit. Now I have sometime before I move on my journey to the next one. I felt it's time that I give myself sometime and do things that I enjoy the most - talk, talk, talk. My daily horoscope from Astrology.com is as below:

Dear Kiran,
Here is your horoscope
for Monday, January 1, 2007:

Talk, talk, talk. The chatter may be uproarious, but with all this electricity in the air connections are bound to happen. So keep flapping your gums. Something you say will strike a chord with just the right person.

I have therefore decided to start flapping not only my gums but also my fingers.

I'm very happy that "You" have been selected by Time Magazine as Person of the Year for 2006. I'm so happy because I've always seen and experienced that "You" are the one who makes a difference, in fact You have already made a difference to me.

Through this blog I want bring all about "You" and present it from my view so that it makes - "me, you and we," the name that I managed to register after about half an hour search.

Let me Wish "You" a very Happy and Prosperous New Year and then move on to flapping my gums.