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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

http://www.indiainfoline.com/Markets/News/Citigroup-India-hit-by-Rs-4bn-fraud-reports/5033266623

http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-53924220110104

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Well, the Sub-Prime Crisis has now taken the sweat and blood of every economy with USA leading the list; indicating one of the worst recession in the last 30 years. Before I put my opinions, let me start with a small introduction to what is this crisis is all about. I have kept it as simple so as to be followed by any reader.

In the last 5-7 years, the reality prices soar like a bubble and as expected, it inflated so much that it got busted. The reality prices rose to the sky-high with not a single country being left affected, including India. Now, banks started with the loan system of availing the homes with almost no hassle and low interest rates riding high on the strong economic growth. In fact, later part, the banks gave loan without any scrutiny and with the options of no down payment and customers availing all the amount through loan. Customers were happy and so does the banks, The banks, then, started giving the bunch of these loan in the form of funds
to other investment firms as that of Bears. So, when everybody was happy, where did it go wrong?

The problem came when the reality sector got busted and prices fell. The customers backed out and so the firms like Bears got busted and banks, including the largest bank of the world-CitiBank recording huge losses; pulling down the US markets and the economy and many other problems.

Now, what makes India not getting affected so much with this crisis; holding strong when all the economies of the world have fumbled. The answer is CORRUPTION. Strange; right. Lets take a scenario in India to understand it better. When a house is brought, it gets registered at a considerable low price; thus, paying the remaining balance amount in BLACK money. Now, suppose, a person who buys an apartment for 80 lakhs shows 40-50 lakhs as registration in order to save tax and making out the rest from his BLACK income. Now, even though the price of the flat fall, the margin is such it has to fall considerably to make out this difference.

So, if we feel we are not affected, let us think twice in true terms. We are affected but is not visible in the short term but the long-term implications could be devastating. US economy may be struggling now but its fundamentals are so strong that it will definitely bounce back. But what about India, where major part of the country is controlled by few people, corruption and dirty politics. Not to forget, here government controls the RBI and various factors like inflation. What if they supress it for their benefits as elections are knocking at the door. Don’t forget how BJP suppressed the inflation figure during last time General Elections to put forward false “India Shining” campaign.

I support US economy here because the visibility is more and clear as they are privately owned bodies and privately owned bodies can’t take the losses onto them.

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