Friday, November 27, 2015

Economic Boycott – Social Media has a new Tool

Snapdeal  is facing flak on Social Media these days after a controversial  remark made by  its brand ambassador Aamir Khan on growing intolerance in India. Mr. Khan said that his family contemplated leaving  India. And the unlikely victim of this whole saga  has been Snapdeal. The  e-commerce giant is bearing the brunt of people’s  anger in the form of App wapsi  & ratings downgrade. People vented their anger by  boycotting Snapdeal ,deleting its app & writing unfavourable reviews leading to its downgrade on Google Play Store. Here is a tweet by Suresh Nakhua 

Hashtags like #BootOutSnapdeal  & #Appwapsi  became the top  trends on twitter. The message was loud & clear - Hit the ecosystem where it hurts the most.
And certainly it hurt them as many ‘Thought Liberals’ jumped in to placate the common man hurt by Aamir Khan’s remark. Some tried to douse the fire by trying to delink Snapdeal from Khan’s comment. As Snapdeal started facing consumer backlash, many even questioned the legitimacy of this protest. Quite  evident from this tweet by Bdutt 

 Soon they were shown the mirror by being reminded about the Gandhian philosophy of “Non-cooperation” & economic boycott as a legitimate & democratic way of protest.
In the process, tweeples also exposed the hypocrisy of such “thought liberals”. 
Check these tweets by reviewero DavidBCohen1 NalinSKohli doctoratlarge .

So has Social Media got a new tool to fight against biased MSM & 'thought liberals' ? 
Much to the disappointment of many people, the answer is Yes.The Social Media is certainly responsible for amplifying the backlash which Snapdeal is facing.And it was only possible due to breathtaking power & speed of Social media because today everyone with a cellphone is essentially a reporter. 
So is it Good or Bad ? 
Well in my opinion it depends on the cause for which it is used.
According to an article by Wharton : " Social media outrage, it seems, is a beast with the fangs of a rattlesnake, and the attention span of a gnat."

Well Social Media is here to shape the socio-political envirnoment & this outrage is completely justified.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why I trust the Leadership of Narendra Modi ?

Although ‘Leadership’ has been defined many ways but the simplest one is :  “Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task ’.  Fiedler contingency model given by Fred Feidler defines two types of leader : those who tend to accomplish the task by developing good relationships with the group (relationship-oriented), and those who have as their prime concern carrying out the task itself (task-oriented). Narendra Modi falls in the latter category. A man who believes in India first & whose single point agenda is development and has Arjuna like focus – the ability to block out all distraction & the determination to achieve his goals.

Why I have immense faith in the Leadership of Shri Narendra Modi ?        

  • ·      Leadership is all about taking bold & prudent decisions keeping in mind  the long term goals of the Nation/organisation. It is certainly not about playing the victim card like Arvind Kejriwal & Rahul Gandhi  in order to garner sympathy votes.  Modi always talks about his work  & not about his Grandmother/Father like the Gandhi scion. He wants to be judged  purely on the basis of his work & not on the basis of his lineage.
  • ·         Narendra Modi has been the victim of the longest running defamation campaign in India’s political history . Despite hate-mongering by the media, Modi  continues to attract people because of his development agenda. Narendra  Modi  despite being hounded by hostile Media for so many years never threatened to send media people to  Jail like the very ‘special’ Aam Aadmi Arvind Kejriwal . And no need to mention the emergency era under congress where all civic liberties were curbed.
  • ·         Modi has single-handedly changed the political discourse of India from Caste/Secularism to Development  (the manifestoes of all political parties for Gujarat elections are a testimony to this fact ) .This is a major paradigm shift from the Nehruvian/socialist/leftist stance thrust upon the nation since Independence. Instead of voting the caste people will cast their vote based on performance & track record .
  • ·         Like a true leader, Narendra Modi has the ability to take decisions with certain ruthlessness necessary for beating down vested interests without submitting to any act of dissent. He has the ability to revive the fortunes of BJP by cutting down the dead wood without giving much importance to the tantrums of sulking old guard.
  • ·         He doesn’t believe in tokenism like praising Jinnah , wearing  skull cap or splashing  his pictures of  Iftar party unlike many ‘Sickulars’  to prove his secular credentials or doling out extra ordinary appeasement to garner votes . He does not believe in politics of communal appeasement  & has focussed only on mass prosperity  and equality . This is a paradigm shift from the pre-dominant  politics of  keeping India fractured on communal lines.
  • ·         Narendra  Modi has a single point agenda – Development for all & appeasement of  none. Free laptops & other freebies do not fall under his scheme of things . He believes in liberal policies, economic freedom, creating  job opportunities as a means to achieve mass prosperity .
  • ·   Narendra  Modi has a tough stand on National  security. He can single-handedly  tackle the sinister forces who with their nefarious designs  have tried to challenge the sovereignty of India time and again. We have paid the price of having a weak govt. at the centre. When asked to crawl he does not even bend  and such leader can surely protect the interests of our Nation.

The above factors convey only one thing – Narendra  Modi is the only alternative .

Friday, October 21, 2011

After College - MBA or Job ??

Finally the most awaited & also the most dreaded ( for  few ) season of one’s Engineering career – the placement season has started. Everyone is trying to be as presentable as he/she can be. Even Saurav, who never bothered about his dressing sense, was in his best attire. The thought of  better job prospects & better future was lingering in everyone's mind & so everyone  was trying  his level best to  impress ( or fool ) the interview panel.
The same people who  were once diehard fans of  wrestlemania  & other sports  were now discussing the gyaan given by Kotler  baba & Steve Uncle . The campus was buzzing with words like TCS,TechM,Wipro, Infy etc. as IT companies dominate this season in the Engineering colleges . And the placement season was responsible for this wind of change. Although it was temporary but it was a welcome change. So finally when  the placement season was over, most students  were placed & while others decided to go for higher studies -for them either it was the critical CAT or the Mighty MS or the glaring GATE .

I would like to share two incidents which would show the euphoria surrounding this placement season and at the same time  madness of the Engineering students.

1)      (1)  One of my close friend , Saurabh  ( he is different from the one I mentioned earlier ) was so excited after he got placed in TechM, the first company to visit our campus , that he started shouting at the peak of his voice…moving from one building to another..ready to announce …I have arrived !. Few thought he has lost his mental balance & even volunteered to take him to the Doctor . However, I decided to keep a low profile:) 

)         (2)Yes , my friend Kapil is different. Trust him to do the unexpected & he won't let you down.I would not like to mention how he was dressed for the interview…it  can be anyone's guess. Finally, he was called for the interview & there he showed who he was. When asked about his dressing sense, pat came the reply  “ I don’t think it has any relevance to my knowledge or for that matter my job profile “. The panel members were shocked …But the show has  just started . Many questions were asked but  his replies were never staraightforward. Finally he was asked why he should be hired. Very candidly he replied that he was much better than the many candidates who were selected . Finally , they said that ,” You fit the bill & you are hired .” And here was the masterstroke from Kapil ,” I don’t think this company is fit for me and I don’t want to waste the time of other candidates who are waiting outside. Thankyou "…and he left . This was a rude shock for the interview panel .Whether it was  madness or something else but it surely made him a star overnight.

Engineering is like an expedition, a four year long journey. Insipid in the beginning, interesting in the middle & responsible & beautiful at the end. You can always be singer, guitarist,pianist ,cricketer,etc.  first & then an engineering student. It gives you ample freedom to excel in your area of interest. Such is the beauty of life in an engineering college.

The session after placement waiting for the  call from the company to join is very placid and serene. The busy schedule of college bus timings, class works, exams and results is no more. Spending most of the time with friends, new releases, late night roaming, computer games, short trips & placement parties make the daily routine. So everyone was trying to make the most of the opportunity available to them..Living life King size .
And finally after the final exams , it was time to bid adieu & get ready for the hunt. A hunt for a purpose, A hunt for knowledge, A hunt for the stomach,A hunt for a career and a hunt for a life.

With bucket full of dreams, We finally landed in our respective cities to start what we call professional life. One important thing I would like to mention here is that even after our placement we used to discuss the merits & demerits of doing MBA after our engineering.
Finally we ended up joining the company in which we were placed & MBA took a backseat.

Was it a big mistake ???

                                                                                                    …………………….to be continued.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

iMourn iRespect Steve Jobs !!

 For Indians all hell broke loose after the sad demise of the visionary co-founder of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs, who died after a long fight against pancreatic cancer. Steve Jobs' impact on modern society can not be understated. But the immediate beatification of Steve Jobs fulfills all the criteria for mass delusion and is evidence of some kind of quasi-religious quackery . Every Tom & Harry ( one name omitted for obvious reasons ) was dying to join the league of Mahindras & Tatas to pay rich tributes  to  the man behind iPad,iPhone & iPod.
There were posts on facebook  & tweets on Twitter and everyone was iMad to outsmart others in paying tributes . Everyone iMourned  the demise of Steve Jobs & everyone was iSad about it.
Few examples are :
3 Apples changed the world: the one that Eve ate, the one that fell on Newton's head & the one that Steve built. RIP Steve Jobs .

"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do" - Steve Jobs 
Goodbye Steve Jobs. Visionary. Leader. Genius. Inspiration. Thank you for moving us to resist settling for average. R.I.P 

"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, that's what matters to me."-Steve Jobs R.I.P !!
With due respect to the genius Steve jobs was, I would  like to ask all the people who went berserk how many of them use Apple products. People went overboard & compared Steve Jobs with Gandhiji . Now it was  time  for me to go iMad. I mean I don’t see any reason behind this. I wonder at the Mania of Crowds.
My post does not intend to demean Mr. Jobs or his achievements. He was a modern magician who reached into tomorrow and came up with things that changed millions of lives and nobody can deny this fact. It merely asks that we keep them in some kind of perspective and by doing so might better honor his life, work and legacy. But to listen to some of the weeping and wailing on all social networking sites & micro-blogging sites one is forced (incuing me ) to think that prior to the inventions of the iPod, iPhone and iPad no-one had ever previously listened to music, endured a telephone conversation or read anything on a screen. Let me make it clear  Apple improved each of those experiences; it did not create them.
Although iPad, iPod are great hits but it’s also true Apple remains an elite and niche product . Macpro is anytime costlier than HP or IBM product.
There’s no doubt that Steve Jobs was a genius . But that does not mean that people should throng Apple stores to hang around with other mourners and make a fool of oneself. Those that do so reveal themselves as members of a cult or iReligion  that's just as stupid as any other and equally deserving of scorn and pity.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Open letter to Delhi Boy - My Response

Open Letter to Delhi Boy   - My Response

Its a nice write up but the content is too much racist in nature. I could feel the lady spitting venom while reading it.

Well to start with , I am an Indian & having stayed in almost all the major metropolitan cities ( barring Kolkata ) , I can say that what you experienced in delhi happens everywhere. Just like corruption , it's a global phenomena. Idiocy does not exactly require a geographical qualification. Just because you had an unpleasant encounter with few spoilt brats , it doesn't mean that the whole lot is bad & so the generalization based on that shows your level of maturity (rather immaturity ). 

What you experienced in Delhi ,the same can be experienced by someone else in Chennai or any other city. But that doesn't mean that that person should also write an open letter demeaning others. That would be the most stupid thing to do. On a lighter note , I guess this outburst is because you were devoid of any attention from Delhi boy :P 

But on a serious note, if you have written this to garner public attention then my heartiest congratulations to you as you have accomplished this mission !! 

As someone said, Just forget & forgive and move onto new things that life has to offer !!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shopping Spree – local action, global reaction !!

Last week my friend Mr. Atul  was on a shopping spree ahead of his visit to his hometown. I don’t know whether  the word ‘spree’ is the right fit or not , but the way he was buying things ,even when they were not needed ,it was not less than a blitzkrieg. 
On our way back , I asked the reason for this indulgence & he very candidly replied :
 “Dude, I have got the Visa power !  “, referring to his credit card as if he is blessed with Divine power.  
So my next question was, “Who is going to pay for the ‘powerful’ bill for using this so called visa power ?“. .Pat came the reply with a rider “ Me,but only if I’ll have the money to pay .” 
“ Its people like you who are responsible for the big mess in which world economy has been pushed today .” I told him. 
“ Yaar, now  what this has to do with the world economic problem. How suddenly you have brought  world economy into this ?  I am totally confused . ” he said. 
Seeing his spending habits , I couldn’t resist the temptation to relate it the current world economic problem which has forced many European economies are on the verge of bankruptcy. 
Although my friend does not fall under the NINJA ( for beginners , NINJA is a description of type of loan or credit given to people in US with No Income No job No assets  which created turmoil that threatened  some of the biggest financial institutions of the world ) category but such type of  spending  habits have  surely  created deep fissures in the global economy.
For an individual it might be an easy & best  thing to do what we call as ‘credit default’  but in an integrated economy & in an integrated world ,what is best for an individual or institution is not always best for the system.  And the fault lines which have resulted in the present economic crisis are very systemic & each individual or institution has acted as a tectonic force which led to these fissures in the world economy.  
A wider cast of character shares responsibility for the crisis : it includes regulators, policy makers , people like Atul  & me. It’s a collective effort which is all set to take the World’s economy to the brink of disaster.  The danger of Greek default is looming large & if this happens , a chain reaction will start which is sure to engulf the other European economies like Italy,France ,Germany etc.  The picture of US economy is also not that rosy as its total debt is 96% of its GDP  & the sheer size of this debt can send shivers down the spine of even the most optimistic economist hoping for the global economic recovery.
Tough time calls for tough measures & hopefully US will rise to the occasion & take measures to check the turbulence and widespread fiscal strain threatening the global economy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The magic 'number'

Last week, I was reading a book called ' Gods and Godmen in India' by Khushwant Singh and it was a pleasure reading that book as very few authors have the guts what it takes to charge like a raging bull to attack the epidemic of Gods( i believe demi-gods would have been more apt) and godmen that has swept the nation in recent years. In that book , he has also mentioned about four things which are mostly in the minds of Indians and one of them is market ( For other three, Read the book).So what is  stock market all about ? Is it just a number or more than that ?

For some, its a 'support' level while for others its a  'resistance' level. Some call it a 'bullish' phase while other term it as a 'bearish' phase. But why such a hype about this number ? Perhaps no other number draws so much attention in middle and upper class as the numbers on the Sensex.It takes only few swings in the stock market for the people to change their opinion about equity market.Like, when sensex touched the 8000 level, everything about the stock markets looked uncomfortable and there were talks of further dips upto 6000.

And when the recent rally took place and the Sensex touched 16K, the very people who were then skeptical about the stock market are now not tired of predicting new 'Highs' for the Sensex with every passing day. We can see the changing mood of so-calledStock pundits & leading global investment houses, thanks to change in those 'Magic numbers'. There are many experts( rather Craps , saying all the non-sense things to further their own interests) appearing on the business channels trying to grab the attention of the people by predicting the new levels of the Sensex without even thinking about their blunders in the past.

But for us,the investors, while it is natural to go with the tide, some rules of investing don't change siply because the mood in the environment has undergone a change. Some understand it easily while others are forced to understand the hard way ( after loosing huge amount). But one thing is true that equity will always provide us a good earning opportunity ( a faster one) but can never give us the comfort of safety like the one in traditional investment opportunities. It holds well irrespective of the sensex level, bullish or bearish phase.

Here, I would like to quote, Benjamin Graham,the legendry investment Guru -

" In the short term, market is a 'voting'  machine whereon countless individuals register their choices that are product partly of reason and partly of emotion. However, in the long-term, the market is a 'weighing' machine on which the value of each issue is recorded by an exact and impersonal mechanism."