Showing posts from January, 2007

Indian Railways – Automatic Ticket Kiosks

It was 5:10 AM on 26th January when I reached Bangalore railway station and I was supposed to travel by general compartment. The ticketing counters open by 5 AM, and there was a long 'hanuman tail' queue in almost all counters. I was cursing myself for getting late by 10 minutes (normally I go sharp 5 AM and stand in the as the first person in the queue) and thinking whether I will get a place to sit in the 6:30 AM train to Chennai. Also our Indian junta was giving me 'dhakka' from all directions :(
All of a sudden I discovered a ATM like machine with touchscreen saying 'Swipe your Credit/Debit card and get tickets to Chennai and Mysore' and I was taken by surprise. In the past I have done some case studies about photo kiosks and with lots of excitement, I approached the kiosk. It had a simple touchscreen which had four different combinations for Chennai and Mysore. I selected 'chennai' and 'super-fast' combination and swiped my debit card in slo…

Reflections on 'The Guru'

I like only two type of movies: serious and comedy. Since Mani Rathnam's 'THE GURU' belongs to the first category watched it on the theater (after a long long time). Overall the movie was pretty good at the same time raises lots of questions about building businesses in India. Before getting the business, let me quickly run thro' the movie.

The hero Gurukant Desai, who hails from a small village in Gujarat moves to Turkey for employment and make some quick bucks. Because of his hard work and commitment (and of course his shrewdness)he raises very fast, but comes back to India and starts his own company. The first set of scenes itself says that 'Guru' is the story of Dhirubai Ambani and Reliance. If not for anything I would appreciate Mani's attempt to make movie based on real life heroes. Long time back he made an excellent Tamil movie called 'iruvar', which was a neat sketch of lives of MGR and Karunanidhi. Unfortunately it was a commercial failure …

Ganguly and media

In today’s match against WI, former captain and the comeback kid Sourav Ganguly scored 98 runs and played a significant role in India’s victory. I was watching the post match analysis in some of the media channels and finally got irritated with a high level of ‘immature’ comments. All our ‘famous’ commentators like Jadeja, Yashpal sharma, Arun lal are back with their useless opinions. These are the ones who slammed Ganguly some months back. Whatever said in the past is completely reversed now and the ‘dada’ has become a poster boy once again. I am not able to understand the behavior of the Indian media. No-logic! No-commonsense! No-ground realities! .What’s the big deal if Ganguly is out of the team? According to me, every player goes thro’ difficult times and makes a come back. Players who don’t have that reinvention capability remain forgotten heroes. It should be taken with the right spirit and appreciate the game of cricket as it is. Unfortunately in India nothing is taken in a r…

Am I 'proud' to be an Indian ?

The Times of India recently launched 'India poised' campaign showcasing India's achievements and problems in various areas. I am able to see the big-B's TV appearance, huge banners near Richmond road (Bangalore), with this new fad. With India's republic day is nearing, TOI can get some premium and publicity by initiating such things. These initiatives definitely bring in 'feel-good' factor among Indians at the same time there are lot of crude realities, which we need to digest. With over 5000 years of history and 57 years of democracy, I started asking a simple question to myself 'Am I proud to be an Indian?'. After deep introspection within myself I got the answer 'yes and no'. How come I can get two answers for a 'yes' or 'no' type question?
I feel very proud when I look back India's glorious past. When the red-Indian tribes were living in north-American jungles, we had a great civilization here. Traces of Indus valley c…

My experiences with the 'chasm'

I started my career with a startup company, which failed eventually . After reading the 'crossing the chasm' book my Moore, I can map my observationsto the chasm paradigm. I am not in a position to give out the company name, but the learnings are more important. Let me share my chasm experiences in this blog. To start with, the company was a typical Silicon Valley based, venture funded startup. It had its engineering center in Bangalore with about 120 employees both in India and in the US. The company was into broadband gateway business, mainly focusing on home-gateways or Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) product. It raised about 9 million series-A and 13 million series-B venture funding apart from the initial angel funding.It was the year 1999 and everything looked so good at the beginning. Before this company the angel investor and the CEO has sold 14 startup companies to various huge corporations. In early 2000, the company was valued about 300 million USD.From the technol…

BOOK REVIEW: Crossing the chasm

Author: Geoffrey A Moore Price: 17.95 USDISBN: 0-06-051712-3This book is one of the all time classics in the high tech product marketing and Innovation. Its been in my 'reading list' for years together and one of my colleagues literally forced me to read this book in order to have interesting 'coffee-table' discussions. As a matter of fact we had multiple discussions and I got ample amount of insights into technology product marketing. This book provides a basic frame-work, where any technology and its growth can be fitted in. To start with, what does it take to build great technology product and how to measure the success of any technology? The author introduces two key terms 'fad' and 'trend' to understand the consumer behavior, which is very key in innovating and marketing any technology product. The former (fad) is seen only among the small segment of people who are technology enthusiasts or special interest groups. These are the people who hook th…

Education in regional language?

Last night I was watching a TV program 'Education in India' in NDTV profit, where a set of educationalists (in my words arm-chair-activists) were talking about the current education system and the discussion turned to giving education in regional languages. Somehow everyone was glorifying the need of English language and telling there is not much need to stress regional languages. When any state government (recently in Karnataka and Maharashtra) tries to 'impose' a regional language, people start protesting as if they were born with English language. Frankly speaking I am not able to understand the reason behind simply 'aping' the west by embracing English big time.
Speaking from my personal experience, I learned all my education in Tamil till the age of 17 and I was able to understand things much better because it was taught in my 'mother tongue'. But unfortunately for today's parents they derive enormous amount of pleasure and they proudly say '…

Leadership and Management

The new year is on very much and I trace back one of my initial blog titled 'The manager mania', where i briefly touched upon leadership and management. It made me think more in that direction and sharing my perspectives in this blog. Whether you are a corporate guy or a government employee,these two words are gaining more and more importance. At the same time attributes of leadership and management has gone through changes over time. What exactly do I understand by leadership? What is management? How different they are? How important for an individual to know about them? Read on.What is leadership?According to me 'Leadership' is all about setting a clear direction for a great vision by empowering and enabling individuals. It is more about understanding the present, visualizing the future and leading to the future. This term can be applied to any particular discipline. Some examples are 'corporate leadership' 'thought leadership' 'technical leader…