Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

This is my second post of the day. It is about calling volunteers for “Aarambh”: the state level sports event for Specially Abled people. Please read on and see if you can contribute in any form possible. I hope to see you there on February 19th.

“Aarambh” – The Beginning! Please spend 2 minutes of your precious time to read on…

If you have already been a part of rendering smiles to the Specially Abled people through Aarambh 2009 – “Sports Meet for the Specially Abled”, this is an information to you to yet again provide your priceless support for a good cause, this time on 19th Feb 2011.As for the new recipients, here is a brief about Aarambh ! Day-to-day, we see a lot of not-so-fortunate people who cannot perform the activities that we can normally do and which we have taken for granted. One such activity that they dream to do but do not have the opportunity is participation in “Sports”.

Rotaract Club District 3190, Rotaract Club of Jayanagar and Rotaract Club of Bangalore in a collaboration with Snehadeep Trust for the Disabled, came up with an initiative to organise a mega sports event “Aarambh” for the “specially-abled”, who are not-so-fortunate to participate in the sports events conducted normally.This lead to the birth of “Aarambh”.

The event in 2009 saw the participation of about 500+ children from different parts of Karnataka, in different Sports events, that were organised in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium Bangalore.

At the end of the day, the happiness on the faces of the children, the fact that they also did something which they long for, was just enough to rejuvenate the organisers and the volunteers to look back at the day with pride J.

This event “Aarambh 2008” organised by Rotaract Club of Jayanagar in 2008 was very successful and Rotaract Club of Jayanagar went on to win the prestigious “Rotaract Outstanding Project Award for South-East Asia – 2008” in the Rotary International event held at Los Angeles, USA.
This year too, we are organizing “Aarambh” on the 19th of February 2011.Since the event is being conducted on a larger scale, with opportunities for more children to showcase their talents, we need larger number of volunteers who can dedicate a single day for volunteering activities during the event.

This is a chance for some selfless help and guaranteed to give you an unmatched sense of peace at the end of the day.

In case you are interested to volunteer or know someone (family, friends, colleagues) who is/are interested, please do not hesitate to contact any of us:

Rtr Jitendra Mahato @ 9740296104 – jitendra.jitu16@gamil.com

Rtr. Asha Subramaniam @ 9886041098 – asha.subramaniam@gmail.com

Rtr. Hemanth S M @ 9986027202 – contacthemy@gmail.com


If you wish to volunteer, please send us an e-mail confirming your participation, before 08th of February 2011.

Link to some memories from 2009 : http://picasaweb.google.com/115884818596928349922/AARAMBH09SportsMeetForTheSpeciallyAbled?authkey=Gv1sRgCMmS7OueqaifEw#

Must Watch Link on Youtube:- 

About Rotaract:

Rotaract Club has been involved in community service for decades . Every year of growth has been imbued with the awareness that real progress brings with the first spirited move to overcome difficulties. In an effort to provide a better place for individual growth and community’s well being, Rotaract Club has been striving to help both self and others, reorganizing individuals to promote leadership qualities, responsibilities catering to reach problems and opportunities in community and worldwide. Rotaract Club comprises a team of enthusiastic members, comprising both students and working professionals.

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BBC News reported World Bank’s report of slower economic growth in the year 2011. World Bank has predicted that global GDP growth will be 3.3% against 3.9% in 2010. It has also predicted a strong growth in the emerging economies with India and China leading from the front.

Well, let us try to take a closer look. Please note that I am not an expert. I am just a reader of news who have developed an interest into looking at different things and hope to share my thoughts. I have no doubt that the India and Chine are going to lead the world economic growth but at what cost. China is keeping its currency manipulated so that its exports benefits the country’s position. India, though not exactly an export-oriented country but definitely a service-providing company. Products are not generally produced here rather they are definitely serviced here.

Even though I, too bet on the Indian and Chinese economies, I have few concerns. Firstly, the population. There is no control over the population in these countries. And till date there is no solid system to measure unemployment or the population itself correctly. In such a scenario, would it safe to have its per-capita, GDP and other measures of economy to be absolutely correct. I doubt it. Secondly, I still don’t believe that the consumption power is good here. I would request someone to find out if the commodities and goods produced in China are really consumed within the country. I believe that the figures could be surprising for some. I still feel that majority of goods are consumed not here rather outside. So, I feel that the real consumer base is the developed countries. Having said that, i must say that we are improving but it is going to take quite a time to catch up. Thirdly, dependency on Oil. We all know all the emerging and developing countries rely heavily on Oil, whose price is hovering around $90. I feel that that Oil price should be around $120. One thing that China and India say in their defense in terms of their oil consumption is their per capita consumption is far less than the consumption of US. But boss, China and India has the largest and second largest population of the world. You guys take the call. Are the defensive statements justified? Lastly, Food Inflation. Inflation of food is at its peak. We have seen the effect of increase in the prices of Onion in India. People went crazy and made the hell out of the government. In the past, we have seen that the governments have lost power at the Central government in the past. Oppositions won over the ruling government just on the basis of high Onion price. Considering the current scenario, all the vegetables are at their record high. How it is going to affect the people and the economy, in general, would be interesting to watch closely but I am sure if the situation remains same as of now, India will definitely suffer.

Comparing the prevailing scenarios of developing and emerging countries’ scenarios, economies of developed countries will have to also tackle few obstacles. Among all of them, the most important and challenging thing will be “Unemployment” World Bank predicts that the unemployment scenario would remain dismal. So, I feel it is going to hurt more than anything else for them. Secondly, European scenario does look so good as of now.  I somehow feel that the European debt crisis is going to remain bad and it might not improve as quickly as we might have wanted it to. Thirdly, the government debt will continue to mount and may cause imbalances in their statements, not a good sign at all.

To conclude, I feel that the all the economies of the world will see some nice challenges and if they are tackled appropriately, I am sure that we will redefine how businesses will be done in future. Hope that the future brings more prosperity and happiness all around, equally 🙂

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US Holidays recorded a record sales in the holidays: a whooping $32.6 bn. It is a great news especially when the economy has been struggling a lot. So, it’s definitely a great news for the business.

I visited US in 2207 just after Thanksgiving and during the New Year. I must tell that the deals during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year were definitely very appealing. So, I almost returned from US in a bankrupt state. but I need to blame myself and that time. First I was fairly new in my job and had hardly any savings. But what is defining the sales today is ONLINE and that is what is more exciting than anything else. Consumers don’t fear to spend money online and trust the products deliver online. There are definitely few benefits of online buying: we save a lot of money by not driving to and fro to the store, we save a lot of time by not going on a shopping. Rather I feel it takes less time to buy something online. Moreover, it is easy to view the feedbacks and reviews of products online, which is easily searchable. So, with a right kind of research, one can almost snatch a great deal of his own and no other time can beat the price than the holiday season.

On the contrast, I feel that Indian consumers are yet to embrace the online buying system. There is still so much resistance among people to buy online. I don’t have the data but if anyone can start looking for it, I am quite confident that it would not much different. Why? First, Indian consumers don’t trust the online shopping. secondly, we are too emotional people that we believe that we do better deals when we are in front of another person. And by dealing I mean the power of bargaining. I will not be surprised if any survey could affirm this. We believe in relationships more. Third and most important thing, we believe in buying things at the cheapest price possible. I would really hope that some consultancy or some MBA students could do this study. Bring a same product (lets say a car) and show it to people in different countries. I cannot comment on the psychology of people of other countries but I can definitely say that the first question that an Indian might ask is: how much it would cost me? So, it is not surprising that why small cars are so popular in India. Basically, it is not that Indians are environment friendly, it is just that we are way too price-conscious. Therefore, one can see all products having small variants available in India: shampoo and soaps to cars and houses.

I believe that the future is going to belong to the online sales. There is no denying that companies like Google and Facebook (don’t forget speculations on recent Facebook’s valuation of $50 bn) are generating such huge revenues from online advertising only. But the question would be to build credibility and confidence in the minds of the consumer. And I also believe that there could not be any better medium to do so than social networking sites like twitter and Quora. Secondly, understanding the psychology of the consumer would go a long way in the pricing and positioning the product in the a country’s market.

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/07/BUQS1H5C84.DTL

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As some of you might have already read, Citigroup hit a major issue in India recently. Indian Banking market is dominated by HDFC, ICICI and SBI. All other players came in later and still in their process of wooing consumers but to a great extent, it is yet to break the jinx in the minds of middle class Indians. Citi has tried hard to break into the minds of young people and it has been successful to a some extent. So, the news of more than $67mn fraud is going to disturb its run, hitting hard on the brand name and the image of the Citigroup badly in India.

Relationships Manager of Gurgaon Citi branch, Shivraj Puri, has been named as the prime suspect and the fraud amount is said to be anywhere between $67 mn – $89 mn. One of the investors, Sanjeev Agarwal,  who invested in the in the alleged fraud fund, went on to file a police complaint. All the top executives of Citigroup were named in the police complaint including CEO Vikram Pandit, Senior Vice Chairman William Rhodes, COO Douglas Peterson, CFO John Gerspach and many more.

SEBI, the regulatory board has already issues showcase notices to the Citigroup in India and has started looking into the fiasco. But what does it mean for Citigroup globally and specifically, in India? Citigroup’s credibility was in question during the Financial meltdown and has been heavily criticized for its irresponsible behavior. It received one of the largest chunks in the Bailout and if I am not wrong, US government owns a significant stake in the company till now. It is unfortunate for Citigroup to get involved in scams and definitely the timing of this fraud is an unfortunate one.

WSJ, Reuters and everyone covered the news of this fraud. So, I feel that Citigroup would have to now answer some serious “responsibility” related questions. It has to look within – its management, its transparency and other factors. I am often told that as the company grows, it is very difficult to break the norms and try to do things differently, even though they might be beneficial. Sometimes the reason is the way company operates and sometimes the reason are the power-hungry insecure managers. I am not sure what is wrong with Citigroup but I feel there might be something within. Processes need to be more  transparent to the investors and consumers. I feel that Banks must not forget that they exist for one reason: they assure their customers safe returns on their money and this is primary reason for which banks started existing.

On a final note, I would love to see a more responsible Citigroup than the one in its current state. Would Citi be able to come out of these kind of major crisis situations? Would Citi be able to establish the same faith in our minds back? Would Citi be able to reinstate its position as Numero Uno? Only time would tell.

Sources: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576066861503613204.html



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This year, I would like to devote one article every alternate day to discuss about an interesting article. I hope to stick to the idea and am going to give my best for the same. We begin the tradition with today’s Wall Street article on Verizon.

Verizon announced to launch a set of Android powered 4G mobile phones later this year. With AT&T, claimed to be the largest and fastest network available in US, expected to launch the 4G in the mid of the year. I feel this year is going to be the year of Android. Tablets and mobile phones are going to rule the market and most of them can adopt the Android software as their operating systems. I wouldn’t be amazed if the year 2011 is named after the “Android Year”. So, do watch out for more trendy smartphones, tablets. With more smartphones and tablets, the war of network is going to get bitter. In US, we expect the war to be between AT&T and Verizon, but with the emergence of new players such as Spring and T-mobile. I feel we need to take a very close look at the upcoming Las Vegas Electronics show.

As the world gears up for the 4G network, the definition of 4G network remains kind of fuzzy. Initially, when we were expecting that the 4G technology is with us, the technology was renamed to Long Term Evolution (Basic LTE and LTE Advanced). Market and technology has struggled to define the 4G technology perfectly.

But lets not get into that debate. I will tell you couple of things that excites me in the 4G:

  • Smartphones are really going to get SMART. How SMART – We have to wait and watch. But definitely a lot of research and new gadgets are going to be with us.
  • With tablets and smartphone wars getting fierce, will other companies like Apple join the approach of Google to compete with Android. Would be interesting to watch but I would like to bet on Android now.
  • Speeds are going to KILLER. 100Mbits/s for trains and cars and 1Gbits/s for stationary.
  • Gaming and Entertainment will reach a new level of experience. Users are going to help irrespective of what they pay for.
  • Secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution for mobile phones, laptops and tablets.
  • Streamlined Multimedia is going to be the buzzword. May be a beginning of a great era of YouTube like companies.

No matter if it is 3G or 4G, I believe that the year 2011 is going to be the year of smartphones and tablets.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703820904576057983626926892.html


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15 December 2007 was a very special day for me. I was in USA last year at this time. I remember that it was Saturday. I started from Bangalore on 15 December, 2007 Saturday morning to reach San Francisco on the same day evening Pacific time. It was my first overseas travel and that also to a dream destination, where I always wanted to be.

Those 2.5 months of stay changed my whole perspective of life. Earlier, I wanted to be in India but that visit changed me to go back there. It did not happen till I was there. But the moment I came back to India, I knew what I was missing. Its not only the vibrant nature and beauty but also the energy and power. My struggle became tougher once I came back. I was filled with higher aspirations, much bigger dreams and higher courage to reach those heights. I can say that I was fortunate enough to have visited California on my first overseas travel. The whole state was amazing. One could easily feel the vibrancy of entrepreneurship and risk-taking nature of people around. There was something different there where I guess nowhere can be found. People are always bubbling with so much energy and passion for fulfilling their dreams.

15 December, 2008 and I am in India and struggling but with a hope that one day I will be in such an environment where I can make all my dreams come true. I never remembered this difference and I happened to talk to one of my colleague who went to USA with me on the same day. Fortunately or unfortunately, he mentioned the date to me and the mention was enough to put me back into frustration again.

I just hope 15 December, 2009 won’t be the same at all.

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Well, Life is a roller coaster for all of us n some way or the other. There are ups’ and downs’ of everyone’s life. But how long a phase generally lasts? We can predict the stock markets to some extent. Analysts always say if the shares are going strong all way long, then some drama is going on which has to end sooner or later to bring the market to its knees. Basically, its the Newton’s third law, which clearly says that to every action, there is equal and opposite reaction. Now, you may wonder what and why am I talking so, that also after posting something after a long time.

Well, I want to talk something about myself today. I really don’t know where I made the first mistake of my life. If I go back, I remember that my father insisted me to go to Pilani Boarding school. Citing stupid emotional circumstances, I convinced my mother to come to my rescue and as expected, I stayed with my parents to study in a decent government school in a small town. So, what does it gave me in the class V? Prior and premature knowledge of all the desi slangs and my first exposure to prono. There was a time, I remember, when I could not speak a single sentence in Hindi without a slang, especially when I used to be in the circle of my so-called friends. But I must confess, it was my father and mother (they are so simple and clean) that made me feel so guilty that I ultimately was able to come out of this horrible experience.

From there, I moved to Vishakapatnam. It was a big and good city. but immediately after 1 year, I made yet another fucking mistake. We moved back to our native state, for the first time. Though father got transferred, but my reason of going for it was I was too uncomfortable in the telugu language. I really don’t understand why the fuck people don’t try to learn a single language which can be understood all through the country when India has such a beautiful language like Hindi. Blame it on our geography, politics or the fucking attitude of the people, it will never change. People will continue to speak in their own language only.

Well, passed Xth in 1998 and yet another fucking decision. I choose to study in a semi-government college ignoring the government college at Puri, which is highly ranked in the state. The reason: want to be with some known people as most of my school friends were joining the college, yet another fucking story. Passed High School in 2000. Now, what. No Medical; just Engineering.

The inspiration of Engineering came from my Uncle, mother’s sister’s husband. He inspired with some glorious stories of his friends who moved to USA for a better and luxurious life after completing Computer Science Degree. He also tried hard to get me an admission in a good college at Bangalore with a donation, but I rejected it to study the same fucking Computer Science and Engineering Degree at a private college in Bhubaneswar. Here, I did three mistakes: One, choose to study Computer Science neglecting some core Engineering branches at the good government colleges, Two, I choose to stay at home again and most importantly, I did not weight the thing Uncle joined Air Force when his friends moved to USA. How come I missed some very crucial threads?

Then came 4 years of what study I don’t know. Quite a lot of time, there were strikes and conflicts at the college. All nuisances at one place. Plus, one of the biggest lesson of my life. A girl ran into me. Though she is happily married now and I continue t have a cordial friendly relationship with her now also, that was one of the biggest lesson of my life. A BIG NO to any Oriya-medium and Orissa-born and brought up girl in my life. There is simply no place for any such girl in my life. The very first requirement that I built for my to-be wife was that. But mind you, I am not rejecting any Oriya-Girl, it’s just no Oriya-medium or Orissa born and brought up girl. The awkward situation at that time was the girl seems to have an affair with a lecturer and he ran into me to such an extent that he was prepared to give me a F-Grade in the semester examination and that also, without any fault.

The trough starts to deepen here. By the time, I passed out in October 2004, I was trying for my second attempt at CAT though eventually it turned out to be a horrible experience for me like always. But my meeting with Jnan Mamu at his village changed my vision for my life. I still remember one statement from him “Once you are there, there is only SKY for the limit”. I am always told and my parents still say that one should only stretch his legs so far to cover himself in the blanket only and I am physically and mentally quite opposite to it. So, with him I came to know about Professor Sadagopan and IIITB and I managed to get into that institute for MTech. I don’t know why I continued to stay in the technical field though I knew that I am always a wrong person to this field, though being better than a hell lot of so-called stupid and idiot software developers.

There were some good things at IIITB: my interaction with Professor Sadagopan, Professor Damodar Acharya, Narayana Murhty, Sudha Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Rohini Nilekani; my IEEE publication. Yet again, I continued to make mistakes. I choose to rush for internship at Motorola India Research Labs through my research professor’s recommendation, which I avoided completely to rectify the mistake during my final placements after 5 months. During final placements, I decided to completely relied on my own guts and got the highest number of offers on the first day of the placements in our batch. My obvious reason was simple: it offered the highest package in the campus and my MTech has given a debt of around 3 lakhs. I planned to wind up the loan in one year, which I did of course, by now but what did not happen as per the plan was another biggest debacle of my life: I screwed my first attempt to GMAT.

I don’t blame anyone for the rot. It showed me a different world, a world which was always in my dreams. USA is a place for risk-takers, a place for dreamers with no stupid societal chains. My parents want me to get married like a lot of my friend who are already married or are getting married, few already had children too. One of my close friend, Manas, surprised me today with the photo of his son. He completely freaked me out. Come on, how someone can have a child when he gets married in February this year only. With me, I have to get out of this self-created deep nostalgic rot and then, I need to get along with the girl for about an year before committing to her but yes the rot has taught me not get along with an IT girl. They suck with no fun in life, but a simple boring life of sitting n from of a so-called intelligent idiot box.

What am I going to do now? A good question to find a answer for. Probably, try yet another attempt for GMAT or try getting H1B visa to move to USA. Not sure as of now, but I still believe I will do my MBA one day form a good US B-school. I have decided to carry the “FUCK YOU” attitude. I don’t care what the fuck is going to happen to anyone, I need to fulfill my dreams in this birth of life and I am determined to achieve it. If I am in a rot, then I am only responsible for it and I have to only move out of it and I will.

A lot of my bachelor-time friends are already abroad, some even after getting huge backlogs in their career, they are enjoying their foreign visa and life abroad and few good friends like Manu are still struggling to find an answer like for what we studied when they were having fun. SO, life teaches a lot and my fight with my fate will just get stronger because in no way, I am going to give up. I wll make tons of money like noone else can think in their life. My children will get a good life for growth and an environment where their decsions will be of foremost importance. I want to show my parents a world where people work and do according to their wills and not some stupid society. I may sound a rebellion to my Indian community but thats how I am and in no way, I am going to change and nor do my aspirations, atleast not in this birth for sure.

Disclaimer: In no form, the above perceptions can be related to any particular individual or organization. In case done so, I take no responsibility and the firm/individual will be doing so for its own insecurity, thus, proving the negative effects mentioned being followed by themselves.

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