Test Testy

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is ICICI bank's service network choking?

Since I've moved to Delhi, I've been experiencing problems with ICICI bank's services, both on the internet and at the branch, leading me to feel that ICICI bank's service network is choking.

The overloading problem can be clearly seen on the faces of some ICICI employees. While some have been able to handle the constant pressure, few employees take it out on the customers. ICICI has been trying hard to keep pace with increasing customer base, their increasing demands using technology but seems like it is not being able to keep up with the pace.

I hope someone from ICICI reads this mail and takes it seriously. I am a satisfied customer of ICICI but I may not be if this continues further

Friday, July 18, 2008

Innovation in daily life: Taking advantage of Camera Phone

When I had to buy my first mobile phone in 2005 (earlier I always had a company phone), I chose not to buy a camera phone. The argument I had was that camera phone may not be allowed in a company that implements ISMS and BS7799.

But recently when I had to buy a second phone, which is a CDMA phone, I had to buy Nokia 6275 that has a camera phone along with Bluetooth. I also bought a 2GB memory card for the phone.

Having a camera phone with enough memory in sunk cost led to a innovative usage that I want to share with you all in this post. But the idea is not new as I have used it at ISB few times. I used my 6 mp Sony camera to take pictures of documents and store them. Once I used the camera to click few pages that I wanted to read later (as per my knowledge, this is not copyright violation as long as you don't copy more than 10% and not use it for commercial purposes).

After moving to Delhi, I have noticed that whenever you are sending a hard copy document to someone, it becomes necessary to keep a copy with you for filing or as a proof. Generally photocopying is done and in some cases the document is scanned and kept. While scanning is a very good, low (direct)cost, paper-saving option, it takes certain amount of time and effort, making it not-so-preferred all the time. In such cases photocopying is done. I wanted to avoid the photocopying and the wastage of paper in the process and started using my camera phone to click the document and copy it to my laptop. This may appear to be a dangerous thing to do as people may use it to copy sensitive documents but if someone wants to steal there are many other easy and powerful ways. This is one innovative usage.

The next one is outside office. Whenever you are assigning a auto guy to carry luggage without you or a lady is going alone in the auto, a simple safety measure is to click the auto regn number and the driver's photo. This should to a great extent introduce fear in the auto guy and restrain him from doing any non-sense. You can't really do much in extreme cases anyway but in most cases you can reduce the probability of problem by saving the photo and letting the guy know about it.

This can be used for handling domestic help, plumbers, electricians, other repairmen too. I am sure that if women use this, they can be little more secure at home and office.

I noticed another such innovative use yesterday. Maharastra Electricity Distribution company (Mahavitaran) is using photo bills in which the photo of the bill with reading is printed in the bill to avoid any disputes related to billing. Imagine the amount of savings achieved in this manner.

Interesting, I thought and decided to share it with you all. Cheers

Saturday, July 12, 2008

At peace with life

I don't remember any other time in my career till now when I was more peaceful with life than now. I am surprised with myself about this. Let me describe the state first. I am getting up at 6AM, going for a jog for half an hour, reaching office early and then doing some sector specific reading, attending a meeting or two, discussing specific issues with a colleague (another B-school recruit), leaving office early, catching a bus (Delhi even has air-conditioned buses and though the fare is double the normal, who would complain when it is only 5 bucks) and then spending some relaxed time, watching no TV, read old telugu chandamama (Chandamama has put up old archives on their site for free, Thank you Chandamama publishers) and going to bed by 10PM. No tension about things that I am not doing, no tension about things that are not happening in the way they ought to be, no tension about anyone, I know that you are growing jealous, but that's the truth.

I have collected some 200+ movies in one shot from a colleague and that is another addition to my collection. One of the advantages of your office being located at Nehru Place is that you can buy anything related to computers in minutes if not in seconds. I bought a 500GB seagate external hard drive for 5k and I can keep all my stuff on that.

PVR is at walkable distance except that the cost has gone up tremendously. Earlier it used to cost 30-40 bucks in Hyderabad in a normal theatre and at Imax it would be 100 bucks but here it costs you 200 bucks but there is convenience for me, no vehicle required so no parking hassles, no travel time required and I can watch a movie even on a working day. That's very good.

That's all for now.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Delhi Auto blogging

Can i Call this auto blogging.Don't jump to the conclusion that I have come up with some way to blog automatically, all I am saying is that I have started this blogpost in a Delhi auto and wouldn't know if I will be able to finish it by the time I reach Nehru Place from Saket.

It has been a mixed experience till now with Delhi. It has a lot of traffic but the density of houses is quite low compared to other cities. In the colony that I stay I get to hear and see a full grown peacock to which my initial reaction was disbelief and then that of surprise. Initially I thought it was ISB hangover, which is making me hear the sound of another bird as that of peacock's but then I couldn't disbelieve my eyes. Surprisingly Delhi has lots of parks and wide roads except that they are not well utilized. Delhi has umpteen radio stations and if you have a FM radio then you have movie music almost all the time except FIR FM radio that broadcasts different stuff.

Few things are difficult to find in Delhi that you would be able find without effort in Hyderabad. Such things include Idly rawa, groundnuts, curry leaves, sona masoori rice while it is so easy to get fruits and vegetables here. With the help of another telugu guy I have been able to find almost everything that I need.

It took me a month to find a decent house in Delhi despite the fact that there are so many real estate agents and almost all the renting happens through them. One surprising fact is that the trust levels are very low here. In Hyderabad one doesn't need anything excpet being able to pay two months rent in advance and convince the owner that you are a decent guy. But in Delhi you have to show your appointment letter, your identity card and even get your employer to lease the house on your behalf. I had two sour experiences before I met my current house owner who happened to be a very nice guy. One complaint that I have with ISB brand is not working that well with House owners in Delhi, hehehe, in fact even IIMs wouldn't matter too in this case. Due to the love of Indian employers for expats wherein an Indian gets paid lesser than an expat, which would be the opposite in US, living costs are rising in Delhi. Both house ownners and rental agents seem to be thrilled with white-skin and would serve an Indian only if he happens to belong to the elite group. I also found that there are few organized local firms in Delhi that are quite good and one that is worth mentioning is Gulshan properties. If you go to magicbricks.com you will find that most of the ads are placed by them and they have a very good model.

There are too many cars in Delhi and the cause could be anything ranging from lack of public transport, lower fuel costs, lesser taxes on automobiles, wide spread geography of Delhi etc etc. Surely the number of vehicles per person in Delhi would be the highest in the country.Urban agglomeration is not working well in case of Delhi Transport due to distortions created by the system.

Nothing great is happening at work so I am able to spend time on settling. Thanks to BRT corridor, I still have few more minutes to complete this blogpost. At ISB it seems that there are some changes happening with ELP and PAEV. Surely Sarmaji is making things happen. Quite a few ELP projects are sponsored by ISB alum entreprenuers and few have been pushed by alums working in senior positions. One big advantage of having experienced guys in a batch is that they move into senior positions, they understand the benefits of tools well and contribute to the school in a different way.

Finally I managed to finish this post 4 hours after getting down from the auto so I can't call this fully auto blogging but it is only partial-auto-blogpost. Cheers

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Life after B-School

The biggest challenge after B-School is handling reality of the corporate world. While I can't speak for others, the key challenge is to manage the gap between your expectations about work and what exactly is offered to you. The next challenge is handling different species that one gets to see at office. While there are as many complex species at B-school because of the intense focus, competition and time pressure you don't get to see all the different attributes of everyone. But at work there is so much time that they people get into their comfort zone and start displaying exotic attributes.

Another important that everyone looks forward after B-school is the first paycheck day. Despite this being the happiest day of the month, there will be some shocking reactions when people get to see the bottom line, which is the net pay, as there will be so many deductions under complicated heads and one of the monsters being Income Tax.

Things that I miss the most after ISB are Rec center and ISB spam.Things are looking up in the external world and this may be the time to hold on and use a wait and watch approach. One big question for ISBians and all other B-school students would be about the impact of the current Macro-economic scenario on placements