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Archive for the ‘Work Life’ Category

New-Gen Independence Day Message!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 16, 2007

It has been 60 years since India started its journey afresh; Ever since that time, it has been trying to shake away scars of its harrowed past. Whenever a nation goes through the trauma of slavery and finally escapes the clutches to break away into the realm of freedom, the scars remain. We understand that it might take generations to be fully free again, change is slow especially when it has to act on a kaleidescope of cultures.

60 years and India has already given birth to a new generation. The present is a critical time for our country because we co-exist with a generation that has experienced the pangs and aftermaths of British rule from close proximity. Progress of a society comes from two directions – that of its own conscience and that of its well being. I believe as a society we are high on conscience and act in a manner grounded out of peace when we face with challenges to humanity. We have picked up on creating a business revolution within that feedbacks into improving our well being as a country, but we still have a long way to go. Most of our brothers and sisters are still very very poor.

The biggest hindrance i find in India’s progress is the mindset of the elder generation. It is definitely not business savy , and has created a political landscape marred with corruption and inaction. Our governments are mountains of slack and there is corruption at all levels. Ministers aren’t educated enough and lack any kind of vision and planning; their short term goals are rooted on their own existence and well being.

I understand and propagate that there is no point cribbing – the progressive alternative is to take the lead on ourselves, there is no point leaving it to the rest of the country! Taking a cue from “Rang De Basanti”, i have this message – Lets join politics, lets join army, lets create corporates and influence the government, lets remove corruption from those levels that affect the common man first, and tackle the sharks later. Lets create a culture of efficiency and vision at the lower levels first, and have a solid base to bring excellence at all echelons of governance….lets get ourselves going!!!

Jaago India!!.. the world beckons our rise!!

Tech Tags: New-Gen Indian Independence Day Message, India, Independence day,Message, Exhort, New Generation ,August 15,Rang De Basanti

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Researching on Influence

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 9, 2007

Influence as a term amazes me. Its tough to unravel the possibilities that could unlock in front of us if only we are able to comprehend the various nuances of this word and of course, demonstrate it in the real world. Most of us do our interactions with people involuntarily and keep creating mental impressions on them which we are ourselves unaware of. We take that up for study and to reach a conclusion only in rare circumstances – for eg: if someone is seemingly upset with you , then you start analyzing where things went wrong and what previous impressions the person probably had about you.

People are interested to know about Influence at various levels – from politicians to company leaders to the common man on the street, everyone feels happy if they get a good feedback about their actions. In other words, a pulse check on each person’s or organization’s influence towards their social circle is required to reveal an important indicator of survival and doing well.

In order to understand “influence” better I plan to take assistance of statistics. A diverse sample of people collectively reacting to various news items will be a good pulse check for the world to have. If this sample is properly chosen and constitutes of some really learned new generation managers, may be it becomes biased by not representing the normal public, but it does still represent a community which understands the impact of news items in far greater detail than the normal public. Watch out this space to know more about our effort to contribute to the world a pulse check feedback on Influence!!!

I’d say the concept rhymes with “The Wisdom of the crowds” theory as “The Wisdom of the wise” theory! I believe that the latter can do better advice to organizations and people – The word crowd is a turn off at least for me – it rarely behaves wise, and i like my own space in every sense!.

Tech Tags: Research On Influence, Influence, New Business Models,News, Web 2.0, Creativity, Collaboration

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Collaboration as a long tail phenomena

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 7, 2007

The concept of long tail applies to teams also – In the internet world, many business models can be set up with the internet allowing them to work together. The key to such business models is interest. Take any open source project – key individuals are into it because of their own interest. Its difficult to keep good people tied to a business unless they are themselves interested in it.

From the above premise comes a business model, especially valid for creative pursuits. The more successful ones would have people working on them because of their own interest and the confidence that they can contribute to making it work. Visibility and co-ownership are the two most important characteristics of such an organization. This can be seen in big organizations too – if we observe closely there will be the seeds of these virtual teams that are waiting to be sown and grown. People who like to be together, with complementing personalities, and who share a common vision are the best incubators of new businesses.

How do you get a team like that? With internet and the long tail phenomenon, the cost of production and the cost of consumption came down, and more importantly there are tools which connect the demand and the supply groups. These tools could be Google search, blogs, emails, alumni networks and all kinds of stuff. Am sure in the coming future there will be the long tail teams that redefine creativity and the mode of doing businesses!

Tech Tags: Long tail, Entrepreneurship, New Business Models,alumni, Web 2.0, Creativity, Collaboration

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Of intricate behavior and driving

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 6, 2007

Its fascinating to compare driving on Indian Roads to human behavior. Some vehicles are open in nature – they reveal their agenda to others. They put indicators early enough to tell others that they are turning, they maintain a good speed, they don’t ply with variable speed but they rather move according to road conditions, and most importantly they know where they are going and tell you that, clearly!

Another set of vehicles have a set of hidden agenda – they never put indicators, move at variable speed – may be they keep looking at things on the way, decide suddenly ,procrastinate about decisions and take confusing turns!

While driving, I have found it very useful to categorize vehicles who have a hidden agenda and those which are open and transparent. It really helps to deal with them effectively – After all, thats how things happen in real life too,isn’t it?… with some people you can be open, but then there are those who make life difficult…

Tech Tags: Driving, Open Agenda, Hidden Agenda, Behavior,Indian Roads

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Some news items make us sad..

Posted by Girish Krishnan on July 31, 2007

Its been murky in Bangalore for the last month or so – There hasn’t been too much of rain, but the climate would quickly inspire a newcomer to the city to buy an umbrella. But its been awesomely enjoyable weather, and with the Indian Cricket team showing willingness to fight hard in England, i was in one of the best moods of late.

Its amazing how news items can cause mood swings – I have been worried ever since i got to know that Sanjay Dutt had been given 6 years in prison for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Its probably a well deserved punishment – as no sane individual would possess such weapons even for self defense in a peaceful society as ours, and may be the incident points to the existence of several untold stories that have been hushed underneath for fear of much more dire consequences to the people involved.

I can’t but wonder why someone who has been so rich and famous, riding on a serious success wave in his career and with a bright future at his behest, behave in a way that demeans the basic concept of humanity at least towards one’s own beloved – in this case the same masses who made him the man he is!

6 years is pittance of a punishment if Sanjay Dutt had any clue of what was coming in 1993, else it is appropriate for someone who was victimized by people at the height of their deviousness. In the latter case, its the society that has to be careful – In a country where people live in economic poverty, there are always going to be enough victims for the perpetrators of crime to target.

Tech Tags: Sanjay Dutt, TADA,1993 bomb blast

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Changing times for News reading

Posted by Girish Krishnan on July 26, 2007

There are vivid images associated with News reading; the one in my head is that of my grandpa lying in an easy chair and having a newspaper in hand. Not many years ago, every morning at around 7am, i used to rush to with my morning coffee tumbler in hand to my home sit out to check for the newspaper. The idea was to get to it before my dad got there! That hardly happened and i had to keep pulling sheets off the paper the moment he finished them.But reading news was a well defined task, with all information contained in the early morning edition of the paper.

Things changed a bit with the advent of television. The 7 Oclock news on TV pretty much covered items that were in the newspaper the next day, and now my reading got limited to sports, movies and some sensational columns. If news items dont surprise you with novelty, you start skimming for columns and articles which are enjoyable.

Currently,it’s the era of the Internet and RSS readers have changed my news life completely! I pick and choose what i like and dont, and ask my RSS Tool to present me the complete summary of all the information that came in the last 24 hrs.and Bingo, the news slideshow feature in NewZie does just that. In fact Newzie has become my office secretary when it comes to getting me updated on latest news items relevant to work! I guess the next step would be to have an agent (like program) who would also read my mind and explain me the background of the news items which are not very familiar …. am waiting, Yahoo! – Google – MS – u hearing?

Though i have also changed with times, I am still waiting eagerly to somehow get that old paper reading experience through the new medium which is the internet! – “Those were such happy times and not so long ago, how i wonder where they’d gone…now am waitin for the next line to happen! (from Yesterday once more by carpenters)

Tech Tags: Yesterday Once More, Carpenters, Newpaper, NewsSlideshow, Newzie, Web2.0

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Insights from Mundanity!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on July 23, 2007

Discussions bring out insights – I have all kinds of discussions with people – They span the entire gamut – sometimes ridiculous, funny, argumentative, right on the throat, academic, philosophical, gossipy, and whatever other gazillion types i haven’t classified or don’t recollect right now.

Its amazing how a discussion goes and where it leads to – for example take what happened yesterday. We were driving to the Cha Bar in Bangalore after a “Die Hard” (nice masala movie BTW) show and was generally irritated due to the traffic around. Some wisecracking expressions of my irritations followed, and we were sharing the observation that interestingly people were driving slow on the Airport road on Sundays. I couldn’t understand the psyche of a couple of car drivers who were refusing to catch up with the vehicles in front, following them with almost 15 metres gap when there were vehicles behind zooming to take over the road !

Immediately Mr A came up with a pearl asking why do people hurry to office when most people seemingly hate their work! I guess people don’t think of it that way, and they just go to work to please someone higher up the value chain!

The next point of discussion was about the apartheid towards bikers as practiced at various 5 star hotels.This time around we were driving a four wheeler and were allowed to park inside. With the bike you are given very second rate treatment and are asked to park outside these hotels and accompanied by a “you worthless sloth from down the food chain” look by the attendants!. Same with the case where you are an economy passenger in airlines and not a platinum card holder!

As true sadists, we love to wear slippers to a five star hotel and arguing with the door keepers – the aim is to convince them that the person he is speaking to arrogantly is actually an elite hidden inside the shell of the chappal based attire! The WOW effect is when the attendant realizes your big shot stature (whether you are one or not is a different thing altogether!), and turns a new leaf while interacting with you! Similar effects are found when the person at the airline ticket counter realizes from his/her screen that the shabby looking item in front is actually an all powerful platinum card holder who can call up the CEO and get him/her fired!!

Anyways,the point of the post is simple. In India you need a car or a card or some designations to have people treat you with respect and warmth. Customer service in general sucks!

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Of Iphones and Expectations..

Posted by Girish Krishnan on May 17, 2007

Iphones are releasing in US in June and the hype around it is already sky high. The listings in ebay range in bids from $615 to $1025 and come from eBay sellers with solid reputations! But will Iphones become as successful and trend setting as the Ipod?

One of my friends shared his thoughts on the Iphone and this post is mainly courtesy him – thx Suds 🙂

For me there are reasons to believe otherwise…
– Iphone has a incredibly cool multi-touch screen which can be considered a ground breaking innovation  (There is a guy at NYU named Jeff Han who gave the demo of a multi-touch screen at the TED (Technology Entertainment Design) conference last year. Check out the videos.. they are AWESOME!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiS-W9aeG0s
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/65  )

But is the touch screen features enough for people to make that purchase decision? I dont think so..

– Do you know which cell phone company enjoys the largest market share in the US? – One would naturally expect Nokia but its actually Motorola. Do you know why? – Apparently, the US consumers prefer the clamshell (foldable) model as opposed to the candy bar model (Nokias). Thats why Razr is such a big craze in the US. Even before Razr there was a good clamshell model from Motorola which was available only in the US. So the real question is will the US consumers actually go for a candy bar model (iPhone) for a cell phone? The early adopters will beg/borrow/steal to get their hands on it but will iPhone cross the chasm? ;)).

– GSM is more prevalent in Europe and India so when Apple launches the phone in these markets they would launch a GSM variant. But how big are the “hi-value” target segments in these countries who would switch from their existing nokias and motorolas to iphone?

– Unlike the Ipods – which re-created demand for a portable music player – here there is a switching cost involved as most people already use phones. Because of this I suspect Iphones to remain a niche product like the Macs – Else If it is imitated and the price comes down badly, the adoption rate might just go up. Whichever way, i doubt if it is going to help Apple gain a substantial market share in the mobile phone market.

– So why would someone want the Iphone for? – i think it would be more for getting a “coolth” than really for the features especially when you have to do so at the cost of your old phone and ipod..

those were my thoughts … Lets wait and watch…

Posted in Work Life | 2 Comments »

Reverse Brain Drain..

Posted by Girish Krishnan on May 16, 2007

TIE had reported in 2003 that between 15,000 and 20,000 Indians have returned and Charter member of the organization Vish Mishra told San Jose Mercury News that the trend had continued and about 40,000 more had gone back in the last four years.

Why the trend?
– India is at the epicentre of a booming IT industry. The movement of people in many cases is not really disruptive i.e. they get to move to the India centre of the same company they work with

– One-quarter of immigrant-founded engineering and scientific companies set up in the United States during the past decade were by Indians. These companies rang up $52 billion in sales and created 450,000 jobs. The “can do it” confidence has become part of the Indian Gene.

– Companies are more (if not entirely) interested to move high value jobs to India – The R&D centers of various companies set up in India (Google,Microsoft, Yahoo!, Intel) are testimonial to the belief on the engineering talent in India.

– India is a also consumption market for IT. A lot of future growth will come from these emerging markets – Half of India’s 1.2 billion people are younger than 25. That’s 600 million people coming into their peak consuming years in an economy fueled primarily by exploding retail growth.Just imagine the spending potential of all these people combined – Its a huge market out here!

– For Indians who have seen wretched infrastructure and poverty in their home country, there has been marked improvements in the facilities over here in the last few years. Speaking in economist terminology, the utility function of living in India returns better results these days for all those Indians and this is a strong motivating factor to come back.

– Concerns on the kids growing up in alien land and the worthlessness of being away from their native land (when it has become a decent place to stay).

Hopefully the reverse brain drain will create a stubbornness in the Indian population  and help to get over the “chalta hain” attitude which has become part of our genes. The demand for proper returns on the tax payers money in terms of good services and a request for better accountability from all the government bodies will hopefully take shape.

Posted in General, IT Outsourcing, Strategy, Work Life | Leave a Comment »

Philanthropy Vs Business

Posted by Girish Krishnan on April 13, 2007

Here’s an interesting connection between marketing and alleviation of poverty.
Advertisement campaigns have to break the clutter of already running campaigns /advertisements to be successful. In our country of more than a billion people, it is really tough to get your voice to be heard. If you are not heard in some way or other, you cannot create a change in the lives of people and help them take a path you feel is the right way to prosperity.

If many of us have an entreprenuerial drive in us, it is for a reason – that we can make a difference to our country.It has always been my strong belief that philanthropy is not the way out, but being in a position of influence certainly is – better still if you have a thriving business that can fund initiatives. Being a mother Theresa is probably more difficult for many of us as compared to becoming decent businessmen or women. Thats a tough statement to make, however i believe thats a practical one.

Read this quote from a person (a mexican – if that gives a clue!) who might just become the richest person in this world ….”Poverty isn’t solved with donations,building businesses often does more for society than going around like Santa Claus”! I cant agree with this more and I believe this is certainly a bigger driving force in the lives of many Indian youth who want to create that difference in our country.

Posted in Cryptic or philosophical!, Entreprenuership, General, Work Life | 4 Comments »