Why me ?

Arthur Ashe- first African-American male to win a Grand Slam from USA was dying of AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: “Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease"?

To this Arthur Ashe replied: “The world over - 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals, when I was holding a cup I never asked GOD ‘Why me?’.

And today in pain I should not be asking GOD ‘Why me?’

Example of Linear-active and multi-active cultures

Yesterday I was reading an interesting book 'When Culture collides' by Richard D. Lewis and then come across the following example of Liner-active multi-active culture and somehow linked Indians to one of these categories as well. If can find out 'Indian belong to which category ?'  by reading following :

Sven Svensson is a Swedish businessman, living in Lisbon. A few weeks ago he was invited by a Portuguese acquaintance, Antonio, to play tennis at 10am. Sven turned up at the tennis court on time, already in tennis gear and ready to play.Antonio arrived half an hour late, in the company of a friend, Carlos, from whom he was buying some land. They had been discussing the purchase that morning and had prolonged the discussion, so Antonio had brought Carlos along in order to finalise the details during the journey. They continued the business while Antonio changed into his tennis clothes, with Sven listening to all they said. At 10.45 they went on court and Antonio continued the discussion with Carlos, while hitting practice balls with Sven.

At this point another acquaintance of Antonio’s, Pedro, arrived in order to confirm a sailing date with Antonio for the weekend. Antonio asked Sven to excuse him for a moment and walked off court to talk to Pedro. After chatting to Pedro for five minutes, Antonio resumed his conversation with the waiting Carlos and eventually turned back to the waiting Sven to begin playing tennis at 11. When Sven remarked that the court had only been booked from 10 to 11am, Antonio reassured him that he had phoned in advance to rebook it until 12 noon. No problem.

It will come as no surprise to you to hear that Sven was very unhappy about the course of events. Why? He and Antonio live in two different worlds or, to put it more exactly, use two different time systems. Sven, as a good Swede, belongs to a culture which uses linear-active time – that is to say, he does one thing at a time in the sequence he has written down in his diary. His diary that day said 8am get up, 9am breakfast, 9.15 change into tennis clothes, 9.30 drive to tennis court, 10–11am play tennis, 11–11.30 beer and shower, 12.15 lunch, 2pm go to the office, and so on.

Antonio, who had seemed to synchronise with him for tennis from 10 to 11, had disorganised Sven’s day. Portuguese like Antonio follow a multiactive time system, that is, they do many things at once, often in an unplanned order.

Multi-active cultures are very flexible. If Pedro interrupted Carlos’s conversation which was already in the process of interrupting Sven’s tennis, this was quite normal and acceptable in Portugal. It is not acceptable in Sweden, neither is it in Germany or Britain.

Linear-active people, like Swedes, Swiss, Dutch and Germans, do one thing at a time, concentrate hard on that thing and do it within a scheduled timescale. These people think that in this way they are more efficient and get more done.

Multi-active people think they get more done their way. Let us look again at Sven and Antonio. If Sven had not been disorganised by Antonio, he would undoubtedly have played tennis, eaten at the right time and done some business. But Antonio had had breakfast, bought some land, played tennis and fixed up his sailing, all by lunchtime. He had even managed to rearrange the tennis booking. Sven could never live like this, but Antonio does, all the time.

Multi-active people are not very interested in schedules or punctuality. They pretend to observe them, especially if a linear-active partner insists. They consider reality to be more important than manmade appointments. Reality for Antonio that morning was that his talk with Carlos about land was unfinished. Multi-active people do not like to leave conversations unfinished. For them completing a human transaction is the best way they can invest their time. So he took Carlos to the tennis and finished buying the land while hitting balls. Pedro further delayed the tennis, but Antonio would not abandon the match with Sven. That was another human transaction he wished to complete. So they played till 12 or 12.30 if necessary. But what about Sven’s lunch at 12.15? Not important, says Antonio. It’s only 12.15 because that’s what Sven wrote in his diary.

So Indians culture is Linear-active and multi-active  ?...you got it right !!

Delhi Airport Express train - A whole New experience

I was visiting my father on this Holi and landed at terminal 3 of IGI airport,Delhi in early morning. I was out of airport in 30 minutes(super quick).I suddenly saw Delhi airport express train signage just out of gate number 4. As I had time in between my journey to Lucknow, I thought to explore it.......I enjoyed the Delhi airport express train operated by Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd. (DAMEPL) and believe me it live upto it's expectation of 'A whole New experience'.I was mesmerized to see the facilities at the IGI station for airport express train like automatic ticketing machine,ticket kiosk and friendly English speaking staff to help the passengers. The price of one way ticket is kind of nothing as compared to what is being charged in another big cities for similar services.(see comparisons below).
London : 16.5 pound ( 1185 rupees)
Paris(RER line) : 9 Euro (568 rupees)
Oslo : 170 kroners (1373 rupees)
New delhi : 80 Ruppes( in future it will go upto 150 rupees)

Air-conditioned Delhi airport express train now runs between Dwarka(sec 21) station and New Delhi railway station (Paharganj side) and in between covers IGI airport,Delhi Aerocity(NH 8), Dhaula Kuan Station,Shivaji stadium. Now it operates with frequency of 20 minutes starting from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.It has 5 underground stations and one elevated one. plateforms on all the stations are covered with glass to avoid any problem and maintain cleanness. Security is very tight as reliance has hired the security personnel from government agencies.Facilities of trolleys are their for luggage on every station and very soon check-in facilities are going to start at ND station and Shivaji station as most of the airlines has already opened their counters but not started serving yet. Coaches are imported from CAF spain and are very spacious(and different from regular metro coaches) with ample space for luggage.

So India has proved that , when it comes to world class service , we can provide world class services at very reasonable price.

Supermoon - Do we need more natural tragedies in march 2011 ?

It is always a pleasant feeling to be with your own family. So I am happy for myself and my father when I am travelling on 19th march,2011 to India to stay with my father during the next week as one of main Indian festival-Holi is being celebrated on 20th march.
19 march is important as moon will swing around Earth more closely than it has in the past 18 years, lighting up the night sky from just 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away. This phenomena is called 'extreme supermoon'.

Many astrologers believe it could inflict massive damage on the planet.It should be noted that astrology is not a real science, but merely makes connections between astronomical and mystical events.) But still past supermoon event suggests that there 'may be' some problem(havoc) like Huge storms,tsunami,volcanoes or earthquake.

Science : Scientists have studied extreme supermoon scenarios for decades. As per them moon has some impact - all the time on earth but intensity is matter of concern. Even under normal conditions, the moon is close enough to Earth to make its weighty presence felt: It causes the ebb and flow of the ocean tides.The moon’s gravity can even cause small but measureable ebbs and flows in the continents, called “land tides” or “solid Earth tides,” too. The tides are greatest during full and new moons, when the sun and moon are aligned either on the same or opposite sides of the Earth.

The effect of tides on seismic activity is greatest in subduction zones such as the Pacific Northwest, where one tectonic plate is sliding under another. William Wilcock, another seismologist at the University of Washington, explained: “When you have a low tide, there’s less water, so the pressure on the seafloor is smaller. That pressure is clamping the fault together, so when it’s not there, it makes it easier for the fault to slip.” Scientists says that earthquakes don’t respond as much to the tides as you’d think they would. Most natural disasters have nothing to do with the moon at all. The Earth has a lot of pent up energy, and it releases it anytime the buildup gets too great. The supermoon probably won’t push it past the tipping point, but we’ll know for sure, one way or the other, by March 20.

Some people are saying that on 19 , we may have big catastrophe in Japan itself.

With this hope that 'Mankind will not see 19 march as black day' . I am signing off to India- land of my parents and my own countrymen.

Term : lunar perigee =the closest moon's approach during its orbit

Infosys 3.0 - International to local transition

Now a days many IT consultancy companies are re-organizing themselves considering the market situation and future growth trend.Big multinationals like Accenture,IBM,Capgamini have already taken a leap and established processes in such directions.

Moving from a technology solutions company to a business solutions company and proactively help customers build the enterprise of tomorrow is not easy task for a traditional Indian IT company but Infosys seems to determined as they know that this is the only area where they can use its hard working and smart workforce to compete with companies like Accenture, Capgamini and IBM.

History: Infosys started its journey in 1981 and went public in 1993. With very sound planning and strategic decisions , infosys has achieved a place in world IT services companies.During first 30 years of business, company worked on
Infosys 1.0 and 2.0 model and now working towards 3.0 to be world's number 1 IT services and consultancy company with employee strength of 120000 plus headcount.

Infosys 1.0 : ( 20 years) - focus on developing and managing technology applications for customers and on building a global delivery model.
Infosys 2.0 :( 10 years ) - develop end-to-end service capabilities, systems integration capabilities, and added some consulting and innovation expertise.

During Infosys 1.0 and 2.0 , i.e in the past years it's project are categorized as :

1. Transformation projects <--- traditional business( 25% revenue) 2. Innovation projects <--- traditional business( 10% revenue) 3. Operational efficiency projects. <--- traditional business( 65% revenue) Now Focus are for Infosys 3.0 which means developing expertise in global trends like : 1. 'digital consumer' (digital products permeating all aspects of life), 'new commerce' (mobile commerce leading to extremely small transactions), 2. `healthcare economy' (healthcare becoming more preventive, affordable and inclusive) 3. 'sustainable tomorrow' (doing things in an environmentally and socially sustainable way), 4. `smarter organizations' (making organizations more adaptable, less complex), ' 5. emerging economies' (global growth concentrated in these areas) and ' 6. pervasive computing' (all devices becoming computing devices). Not only this but after success of finacle, Flypp and iEngage , now infosys is also working towards strengthening its reputation as complete 'product company' by creating 'Infosys Lab'.

The company now wants to do many more of those, as also co-create products with their customers.

Challenges :

  • Establishing permanent base in smaller countries ( like middle europe,east europe and nordic ) to establish reputation of local international company. This should be on the same pattern as Accenture and IBM is doing.
  • Establishing its brand among the western countries. Objective is to recruit local talent in western world and train them to become the face of Infosys in the concerned country.
  • Core business consultancy ( or some called it management consultancy) requires the knowledge of :
    1. Business processes that are applicable in the client's geographical area like America,east Europe,China , Nordics. etc...
    2. Innovative business/strategic solutions to improve the competitiveness of business/process efficiency.
    3. The theoretical and practical business concepts applicable in client domain eg. insurance,banking,oil and gas etc.

    excelling in all 3 areas can only give Infosys lead or establish it as respective international competitor.

Pomegranates : We produce 60% of world's pomegranates and export 2%

My Dad loves pomegranate and its juice.And so I have the natural tendency of loving it as well. We in India get this juice on most of the local juice corners. But slowly and slowly it is getting costlier and costlier and so getting out of the reach of common people. I just got to know that India produce around 60% of worlds's pomegranates and has number 1 ranking in world.

India produce so many diverse variety of fruits and vegetables which are not possible in many other countries of the world. But still Indian fruits and vegetable export is very less as compare to many other countries.
For entrepreneur's point of view ,India has a great window of opportunity for the people working in food and vegetable export business.And that is the reason why Ashutosh Sawant(IIM-B) took up the challenge of making career in this feild. He started by working with farmers and help them produce export-quality fruits and vegetables and finally export them. He started a firm which looks at exporting frozen fruits like alphonso mangoes, frozen strawberry, pomegranate arils, frozen vegetables and cauliflower florets.

He says - "The main reason why our products could not be exported was because we used farming methods that were unacceptable in other countries — like using banned pesticides. I will work closely with farmers, help them with best practices and finally export the produce,"

Ashutosh has already started his pilot projects. Back at his hometown in Kadegoan, Karad taluk, Maharashtra, he has entered into a contract with the owner of a 150-acre mango grove. "I helped the farmers with the technical knowhow like dip irrigation and use of chemicals. They do not have access to such knowledge. I consulted with the Central Food Technological Research Institute. The first produce is almost ready," he said.

The total value addition to fruits and vegetables in India is less — around 4% — compared to global standards of 45%-50%, he points out.

Once the produce is there, he will look at marketing it to retail chains in other continents. The processing involves cleaning them from chemicals, cutting them according to the specifications of the client and packing in refrigerated containers. 

In the experiment, a group of men and women were given a 500ml bottle of pomegranate juice to drink every day for four weeks.The researchers found that nearly half of all volunteers had much lower NEFA levels by the end of the trial. They believe that this will make them less likely to store fat around their stomach.
Besides, more than 90 per cent of the men and women had lower blood pressure by the month end. 

There is no doubt that pomegranate juice is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease because results showed a significant and consistent lowering of blood pressure.

S.H. Kapadia - Class IV to CJI

Sarosh Homi Kapadia, Chief Justice of India has proved that Indian judicial system has sufficient power to question the Prime Minister as well. It was not possible for government to remove CVC without SC's this verdict and may be that is the reason why PJ Thomas resigned in minutes of SC verdict.s

Since May 2010(when he became the CJI) , people of India has experienced a new phase and a sharp contrast to the earlier phase when KG Balakrishnan was the chief justice. Under leadership of Kapadia the court's credibility has been restored after the damage it had suffered during the 3 year tenure of Balakrishnan, whose kin are now under the scanner for amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.

He is giving due consideration and utterly focus to PILs :
- PIL againts Balakrishnan
- PIL againts CVC appointment
- PIL in 2G scam
- PIL in CWG scam

Not only this his administration has also given due consideration to

- Ratan Tata's petition raising concerns of privacy and other such related matters and so they were all placed before the already charged-up Singhvi bench.

- revive the police reforms case which had seen little action during the Balakrishnan years. Not only this but current bench for the first time fixed a time frame for states to report compliance of the reforms aimed at reducing political abuse of the police forces.

It is very important to understand that Kapadia has the high level of integrity and honesty and his past is equally dignified. I tried to find more details about him and so ....

Kapadia was born in 1947 in a lower middle-class Parsi family. His father was a clerk in a defence establishment, his mother a homemaker. There was enough to eat, but barely. Kapadia completed his BA and LLB. He started his career as a class IV employee . He acknowledged his humble beginnings in a letter he wrote to Justice V R Krishna Iyer recently. “I come from a poor family. I started my career as a class IV employee and the only asset I possess is integrity...” he said. He joined Gagrat & Co, a law firm as a clerk and later, went to work for firebrand and highly respected labour lawyer Feroze Damania. Soon after, the family moved to Andheri. There, in the neighbouring building lived a young girl, Shahnaz, with whom Kapadia fell in love. She became Mrs Kapadia. They were to have two sons.

The young Sarosh may not have been rich but what he did possess was ambition and determination to become a judge. He became counsel for the income tax department in 1974, aged 27. He also appeared for the then Bombay Municipal Corporation in matters concerning rateable value and octroi. He represented the Maharashtra government and several PSUs until he was appointed a HCJ. As a judge of the Bombay HC, he developed a reputation for his expertise on commercial and tax law.

The best thing that ever happened to him was the stock scam of 1999 involving broker Ketan Parekh. On August 5, 2003, he was appointed CJ of the Uttarakhand HC and in December of that year, he was elevated to the Supreme Court, thus serving only a very short tenure as chief justice of a high court.

Now, the biggest professional challenge for the man who has spent his entire life working towards becoming a judge is to decide who should scrutinise the Chief Justice of India and whether he should come under the purview of the RTI Act. This has far-reaching implications for both law and justice.

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