Sunday, September 24, 2006

My years with General Motors - Alfred Sloan

Bill Gates had paid his tribute to Alfred Sloan by saying the following: "If you read only one book about management, let it be Alfred Sloans My years with General Motors". After finishing reading the book I must say that I whole heartedly agree with Bill Gates.

It is a must read for anyone who is running or plans to run a business, whether it is a million dollar business or a billion dollar business. In this book Sloan has shared his thoughts and ideas on many intricate details of what were the broad policies and processes that he used at General Motors to make it the number one organization in the Automobile Industry. We not only learn about management and organisation, but also a lot about the evolution of the Automobile industry. The credibility of the book and Mr Sloans thoughts and ideas stem from the fact that he used these thoughts and ideas from 1920 to 1946 at General Motors when he was the CEO of the organisation and he was instrumental in making it one of the most successful organizations in the history of the Automobile Industry.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Patanjalis - Yoga Sutras

Got this wonderful paragraph on Patanjalis Yoga Sutras from APJ Abdul Kalams book Ignited Minds.

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."


APJ Abdul Kalam - President of India


Just read 2 of Abdul Kalams books. One was his autobiography "Wings of Fire" and the other was "Ignited Minds". After reading these 2 books, I really felt proud about being an Indian and I felt highly inspired and motivated by his life, his thoughts and ideas. I think he is an ideal role model for any young Indian who aspires to peace, prosperity and bliss for himself and India.

I would say everybody should read these 2 books.

I would also like to highlight 5 Key Improvement areas for India to achieve its rightful place in the world order as per Vision 2020 which has been set forth by a panel of 500 top experts in India.

1) Education and Healthcare
2) Agriculture
3) Information and Communication
4) Infrastructure
5) Critical Technology


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai

Saw Lage Raho Munnabhai yesterday. After watching this movie I really felt proud that we have the talent to make such a fantastic movie. It is one of the best bollywood movies that I have seen till date. In this age when most people may think that the message and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi is not that relevant, this film makes some very convincing arguments in a language and style that most Indians can relate to, as to why Gandhi is still relevant and why he will be relevant for a long time to come. It is becuase his philosophy and principles are based on eternal truths. If I were to put Ghandhis philosopy is 2 words they would be:

1) Non-Volience - Not hurting any living soul in thought, word or deed
2) Satyagraha (Truthfullness) - Always speaking the truth no matter what the consequence

Adhering to these 2 principles will do much more to take us towards peace and happiness than anything else that we do.

The film teaches us these 2 things without any sermonising, but by using humour and comedy. I for one loved the movie and I hope all of you who read this make it a point to watch this movie at least once.

And if this movie gets you interested in the Life and Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, then you can check out his autobiography titled "My Experiments with Truth". Your admiration for the man will increase 10 fold. Or as Lageraho Munnabhai says "Bandhe mei tha Dum, Vande Mataram".


Monday, September 11, 2006

Prostitute or Consultant?

Being a Consultant myself, I was amazed by the number of similarities a Consultant shares with a Prostitute. This is really humorous. Njoy !


  • You work very odd hours.
  • You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.
  • You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.
  • You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.
  • You charge by the hour but your time can be extended for the right price.
  • You are not proud of what you do.
  • Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.
  • It's difficult to have a family.
  • You have no job satisfaction.
  • If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.
  • You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living. · People ask you what you do and you can't explain it.
  • Your family hardly recognizes you at reunions (at least the reunions you attend).
  • Your friends have distanced themselves from you and you're left hanging with only other professionals.
  • Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.
  • Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.
  • Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or BMWs.
  • Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.
  • You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client is foolish enough to pay it's not your problem.
  • When you leave to go see a client, you look great, but return looking like hell (compare your appearance on Monday A.M. to Friday P.M.).
  • You are rated on your performance in an excruciating ordeal.
  • Even though you get paid the big bucks, it's the client who walks away smiling.
  • The client always thinks your cut of your billing rate is higher than it actually is, and in turn, expects miracles from you.
  • When you deduct your take from your billing rate, you constantly wonder if you could get a better deal with another pimp.
  • Everyday you wake up and tell yourself you're not going to be doing this stuff for the rest of your life.

Life in Mumbai - The Good and the Bad

The Good part of living in Mumbai

Mumbai is a great place to live, to study, to work, to fall in love. It has got history, culture, tradition and lots of variety. Many people have come to Mumbai almost peniless and become millionaires and billionaires after coming here. So if there is any place that offers anything close to the American Dream in India, it is Mumbai. The best example of this is Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani and his Reliance Enterprise.

The Bad part of living in Mumbai

Mumbai never became one of the prominent international cities because it is dirty, congested, overpopulated. Commuting to work to and fro takes a minimum of 2 to 3 hours for most people. So even though there are great places where you could go to enjoy your weekends, most people prefer to stay at home and relax, rather than face the horrendous traffic. Nowhere in India is the disparity in income between the poor and rich so apparent as in Mumbai. You find some people who have money to burn and some people who can't afford 3 meals a day.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Indian Politics

If there is any one area where India has been let down in a big way, it has been politicians who ruled this country post independence. Winston Churchill once said “If the British left, India will fall back quite rapidly through the centuries into the barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages". Looking back on the past 58 years of independence seems like Churchill was not quite far off from the reality we see today.

Indian Business

I think for Indian Business there have been 2 eras. The License Raj era before 1991 and the Globalization and Liberalization era post 1991. The first I would say to a large extent the legacy of Nehru and the second a gift from our then Finance minister and current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. India may have attained freedom on 15th Aug, 1947 but Indian Business became truly free to a great extent only after 1991. Before 1991 we were proud when any Foreign Multinational took a stake in an Indian firm, today in 2006 we see many Indian companies in IT, Pharmaceuticals, Steel just to give a few examples, taking over companies in the US and Europe. Information Technology has been instrumental in the rise of India on the international scene and the same is now happening in new areas like Bio Technology where Women Entrepreneurs like Kiran Muzumdar Shaw are showing the way forward to India as well as Indian Women.


The English Advantage

Since I was born after Indian Independence in 1947, I don’t know how much we suffered or gained from 200 years of British Rule in India. But one thing we should be thankful for to Britain is the gift of English Language. And I think it’s a tribute to Indian Culture and Civilization that we have always been open to accept and adapt to new languages and new cultures. This I believe will be one of the key to success in the global scenario. Even with our heavy Indian accents most Indians are quite fluent in English which has allowed us to gain access to business and work in various parts of the world and has allowed us to become the preferred destination for Outsourcing of various kinds of work. Being an IT professional who deals with Customers from various Countries in the world, I can say quite safely that with all the skills in various other subjects that I learned in school and college, the English language is one subject which has allowed me to market my various skills to Customers all over the world. If it had not been for English I would have been limited to working only within India.