Haute Pursuit Dilip Kapur
Crafting luxury in leather
SUNIL KULKARNI COURTING SUCCESS ON A DISTANT SHORE
XCHANGE NETWORKING ENTREPRENEURS AND INVESTORS
At Pen Point
Friends, Business Management Group CEO Kalyan Kumar G Managing Editor Aamir Rahman Editorial Deputy Editor Catherine Gilon Design Art Director Varalakshmi.M Designer Matha-ul-Ameen Support Media Coordinator Mubarac Nisha Advertisement Regional Head â€“ North Debangana Mazumder
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With great aspirations, excitement and anticipation we begin this journey, the journey of The Business Enterprise. We are an offshoot of Brisk Corporate Services, a Management Consultancy, delivering corporations a suite of business, strategy and operations consulting under one roof since 2003. Briskâ€™s mission is to help entrepreneurs make their dreams come true by strategizing and bringing them to reality. In line with its mission of spreading knowledge to entrepreneurs, business promoters, business managers and all those who seek and appreciate best practices and success formulae in the corporate world, Brisk chose to foray into the publishing industry, by launching its own business magazine. A closer look at the publication, although it might sound like just another in the business segment, will reveal that it is not just about the business, but also about the entire enterprise. Since there are umpteen magazines to cover the happenings in the world of business and its essentials, we felt we should offer our esteemed readers features related to every single aspect of a corporation, both on the macro as well as on the micro level. Which means, apart from sharing valuable knowledge on various aspects of running an enterprise, it will also provide entertaining content about the people involved in an organisation, while creating avenues to interact with our audience, be it through their feedback or through surveys, polls or contests. In short, our motto is to Enlighten, Entertain and Engage our readers! We cannot escape the fact that we are a young team, though zealous. Hence, we would keep seeking opportunities to learn, improve and grow, and your feedback would go a long way in helping us achieve this. We earnestly believe that this journey of ours would be incomplete without you walking beside us. God Speed!
Aamir Rahman Managing Editor
ENLIGHTEN 08 India at a glance 10 Behind enemy lines 12 Of labels and trademarks 14 The Pygmalion Effect 17 All in the family 18 The Google way 20 What's in a name? 22 From Pune to Tokyo 26 Space Maze 28 Virtual office 30 Happily unmarried 32 Truth or dare 36 Balancing act 40 Stock market for dummies
ENVISION 56 Business on cards
60 Get smart 62 Be your own boss 64 Preserving the past 67 The Wikileaks saga
EXCLUSIVE 42 Seek and hide
ENTERTAIN 48 Shoot at sight 50 Corporate Tai Chi 52 Chandigarh calling! 54 Odds out
ENGAGE 73 Xchange 74 Crib corner 75 Punching bag 76 Your next step 80 60 seconds 82 Irone
Housing & Real Estate
2 per. Mov. Avg. (EUR)
Telecommunications (radio paging, cellular mobile, basic telephone services)
6 4 2 2Q 07
2Q 09 3Q 09
Value (Rs. In Lakhs)
Cardamom 3000 0 2500 0 2000 0 1500 0 CNY
2 per. Mov. Avg. (CNY)
Value (Rs. In Lakhs)
Indices - Apr to Dec- 2010 Indices Apr to Dec 2010
“What you are, to what you want.”
10000 0 9000 0 8000 0 7000 0 6000 0 5000 0 4000 0 3000 0 2000 0 1000 0 0
CNY 7.1 7 6.9 6.8 6.7 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.3 6.2
Computer Software & Hardware
GDP % Mov. Avg. (GDP%)
50000 0 0
Value (Rs. In Lakhs)
• ERP Implementation
2 per. Mov. Avg. (GBP)
India GDP Growth rate (Annual GDP Growth adjusted by Inflation)
200000 0 GBP
Construction Activities (including roads & highways)
Services Sector (financial & non-financial)
This entry gives the percentage contribution of agriculture, industry, and services to total GDP. The distribution will total less than 100 percent if the data is incomplete. Source: CIA World Factbook
GBP 76 74 72 70 68 66 64 62 60
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
Value (Rs. In Lakhs)
Mining and Quarrying
2 per. Mov. Avg. (USD)
Chemicals Petroleum & (other than Natural Gas fertilizers) Metallurgical Industries 2%
60000 0 USD
FDI by sector
Financing, Insurance, Real Estate & Bus Service
Source: Fact sheet of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 8%
Trade, Hotel, Transport & Communication 24%
Community, Social & Personal Services
Value (Rs. In Lakhs)
Cumulative Sector-wise FDI equity inflows (from April 2000 to October 2010) The world currencies to INR (Interbank rate)
Electricity, Gas & Water Supply
2 per. Mov. Avg. (JPY)
India GDP - composition by sector
A glimpse of India’s economic indices in the year 2010
Copper 80000 0 70000 0 60000 0 50000 0 40000 0 30000 0 20000 0 10000 0 0
INDIA AT A GLANCE
JPY 0.58 0.56 0.54 0.52 0.5 0.48 0.46 0.44 0.42
9 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
To protect your client information, it is necessary to delve deeper into the hacker’s mind.
orporations open up to the online world in an effort to increase their customer base and they are dependent on technology to manage their data. With this comes the responsibility of protecting customer information. Ensuring that their physical premise and local network is secure, won’t suffice – the danger of a school kid retrieving customer information stored in the company’s website is very real and we hear such news very often. A London school student, in October 2010, published 27, 000 passwords that he got by hacking his school’s website. This was just a school, but there have even been cases of hacking which led to credit card numbers being stolen as well. The word ‘hacking’ piques curiosity in even a non-technologist. Hacking is regarded as belonging to an elite group of genius programmers who can take control of any system, destroy any data they wish, crack passwords for any email ID and even place their own content on websites belonging to corporations and governments. In simple words, hacking means to get unauthorised access to data and hackers generally take advantage of some flaw that is present in the software application. So how do hackers break into systems? There are numerous ways depending on the system being used and we’ll start with some basics on protecting data and loopholes in systems. And since it is websites that provide the public with
a means of entering corporate networks we’ll focus on them.
Storing passwords there In this highly networked world, everyone is a customer to someone. All data in the corporate world resides on databases - user names, customer address information, email IDs, mobile numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and even passwords. And getting to the database is what a hacker would love to do. It is quite common for many people to use the same password for multiple websites and accounts. So how comfortable would you feel if your password is stored in a database - a database that can possibly be accessed by many employees in the company that runs the website, a database that if compromised would reveal your password that could be used to access your other online accounts. Till biometrics identification systems become cheaper and easy to implement, verifying users on websites will continue to be done using passwords. So how does the system verify that a particular user is the person they claim to be? The system asks the user for the login - ID (which could be known to the whole world – like an email id) and the password (which should be kept private by the user). The system then asks the database, “Do you have a record which has this userid and this password that the person has supplied?” If a record is found, then it al-
lows you to enter the system. So who all could potentially view your password? Any person who has access to the database can see it – possibly anyone from the technology department. This makes your password 'not so private' anymore. Till biometrics step in, passwords are like keys to your locker -- you don't want anybody else to get your key; not even the person who designed the website that you use.
Hashing passwords So what is the solution? Don’t store the actual password – instead convert the password and store the converted value in the database. So if your password were: thiscannotbecracked it might get stored internally as: asf980-09131#3414MAoWQafa^& The process of converting the input password to a hash key using an algorithm is called hashing. Given the hash key you cannot find the original password; it is a non-reversible algorithm and there are many hashing algorithms available. Most websites employ hashing when storing passwords. So even if someone stumbles upon the hash key for a user id, they will not be able to guess the actual password. When the system needs to verify a user, the system would take the password entered by the
user, apply the hashing algorithm and compare the generated key with what is stored in the database for that login-ID. A match means the user has used the right credentials. Encryption is also a process for converting a given text to something unrecognizable. But encryption is a reversible process while hashing is not. Is it foolproof ? Not really; if someone happens to see the hash key in the database, the only way to find out the actual password is by trial and error – since hash algorithms are public algorithms, a hacker can keep trying a random set of inputs through the hash algorithm and compare the output produced with the hash key. If a match is found then the hacker knows what your password is. Obviously this cannot be done manually - what a hacker does is create a program that will keep trying different combinations through the hash algorithm and try to find the match - this method is called brute force! Though it is breakable, the key here is that the hashing algorithm needs to be strong – weak hashing algorithms like LM Hash take a brute force program only a few hours to find the password. Stronger algorithms are the SHA1 and SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm). The stronger the algorithm, the longer it will take to find the password; and if it is going to take a couple of years to find the password, then that is not of much use for the hacker. The whole idea of hashing the password is to ensure that even if the database is compromised, the hacker does not get passwords which can be used elsewhere. How do you know whether a system employs hashing while storing passwords? Simple -- just go to the "forgot password" link and in case they email you your original password you can be sure that there is no hashing being done. Websites that use hashing will reset your account with an internally generated password because they do not know what the original password is.
your password or logging into a system, you are interacting with the database. For a hacker, this provides a small window of opportunity to test the database and if possible cause some damage.
the application is discovered. The hacker could insert SQL statements that even delete records or databases and wreak havoc! Some databases disallow execution of multiple SQL statements in one call but most databases do.
Any application performs database operations (reading and writing) using SQL (Structured Query Language). You can consider it as the language used to interact with databases. Whatever information we type into textboxes is used to build an SQL statement and then passed to the database for execution. So a login page might construct an SQL like this: Check if there is a record on the database where
And you might think that this only allows a hacker to gain access into a system -- but this can be modified further such that data from the database is returned. The hacker will try to form an SQL that he knows will fail and the resultant error message thrown by the system will give him the details of what he is looking for! Yes, there are a lot of applications out there that throw database errors back to the user instead of giving a customised error message that might say "Operation cannot be performed". Database errors when propagated back to the user can be used by a hacker to learn details about the database and this information will aid him in fine tuning his attempts at hacking the website.
Questions to ask your software development team: • Are any passwords being stored? • Is the strongest available hash algorithm being used? • Has the application been tested against SQL injection attacks? • Are customised errors sent to the user when system errors occur?
user = 'userid-textbox-value' and password = 'password-textbox-value'
Injecting code into databases
The values come in from what the user types and SQL injection/insertion is a technique where a hacker tries to insert his own SQL statement. For instance, if the user gave the password as: ‘dummypassword' OR 't' = 't’ the SQL constructed by the application would be: Check if there is a record on the database where user = 'user-textbox-value' and password = 'dummypassword' OR 't' = 't'
Keeping passwords safe is a priority. But this is not all -- there is a lot more that resides on the database than just passwords. Any mechanism that breaches the database of a system is a potential threat to client information. Do you know that every time you fill up textboxes on a website and hit the submit button, you are most likely interacting with the database on that system? Be it doing a registration, resetting
The new condition inserted is 't'='t' which is always going to hold true and so the database will say, "Yes, I do have a record for this SQL statement." Now the application thinks that this is a valid user because there is a record on the database and this enables our hacker to enter the system. There are more frightful things a hacker can do once this weakness in
The weakness is because of the way the application is coded – the application is permitting special SQL characters (like the double quote in the above example) to be passed to the database. Robust applications will perform strong validation on user entered values and there are techniques by which SQL injection can be prevented. The techniques are well documented. There have been SQL injection attacks for years and it still continues to be used by hackers even now. Protecting against this might seem to be something basic that every programmer should handle. But even this year there have been credit card identity thefts in Japan and China using this technique. It just goes to show that just because something is well documented doesn't mean that everyone knows about it! What we have seen is just a small pie of the data security threat that companies face. If you happen to be involved with anything concerning client data, the adage “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you” holds very true. A breach can ruin trust in your company. Protect before the damage is done.
11 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
NLIGHTEN is a trademark? How do I obtain a trademark for my product? What is ethical competition? What are the legalities of business ownership? At the risk of sounding too simple, you have got to acknowledge that these are rather easy issues; surprisingly for all, these seem like highly complex matters. You start up an organisation to be a player with a unique product/service and certainly, you want to be noticed and identified by your target audience and potential users. A trademark can give you this distinction; it is a sign or an indicator that stands for your unique attributes and products and that which facilitates a clear cut difference among all other entities.
Understanding trademarks In India, every second thing we see and register in our mind is a trademark. From the Maruti cars on the road to the Volkswagon ads in the newspaper, take a second and you will know you are being bombarded by trademarks that mean something to you at some level. Trademarks are not just marks or symbols of identification, they bring about some sort of connect and that is what makes them so splendid.
Of labels and
TRADEMARKS... These symbols are much more than a security process; they are an identity by themselves.
ndia has seen some stunning entreprenuers, some of the best and the most renowned brands have originated in India. This fabulous trend in a way is getting more votes among young and enthusiastic professionals. From engineering graduates to pompous management graduates, every mind has some inspirational goals. From starting up a dosa eatery to a coffee shop to a library, a theatre group, to doing some hardcore social work, they have their motors assembled and in place to be on top gear from the word 'go'. We all know, sitting behind that computer screen in a cubicle, might perhaps not get us anywhere close to what we have in mind as aspirations. However, a few believe in following dreams, and for them, an ideal workplace ought to be engineered. And that is how a company starts up. Everybody who is dissatis-
fied with a job today wants to give life to their dream company, but only a few manage to get the ball rolling, and get it rolling efficiently. It goes without saying that the show has got to be planned and managed well. Besides operating challenges, you have to work upon an inevitable legal framework. More often than not, it is conceived as an entangled system and to venture into it, is taken as a last resort. But you will be taken by surprise, when you begin working on it parallely. Although the legalities of starting up is quite some back-breaking work, it pays as much. And for an entrepreneur, it certainly is important, because in his pragmatic mind these essential questions play incessantly with no pause. Do I need to register my operations, if so how and where? What exactly
Quite undoubtedly, when we are on the lookout for some specific product or service, we are certainly also looking out for its credibility of source. Fundamentally, a trademark is just a badge that you are attributing to your products and a 'brand' to identify a commercial source of origin. A trademark can include any device, brand, label, name, signature, word, letter, numerical, shape of goods, packaging, colour or combination of colours, smell, sound, movement or any combination thereof to show distinction among all others in the market. Apart from just serving as a perfect tangible entity for differentiation and advertising, a trademark also guarantees unchanged quality and creates an image in the longer run. Therefore needless to say, you have to put your thoughts in a way people can relate and also in a way easy to understand and recall. The most ideal way to churn out that perfect identification symbol for your company, products or services is to conduct a quick market survey to understand your potential buyers. According to the kind of business you have in mind, you can choose from the many different kinds of trademarks: product trademarks,
service trademarks, certification trademarks and collective trademarks. A legally registered trademark can give you a platter of benefits, from a perfect identification mechanism that will work wonders with your target to an impeccable structure to keep yourself protected. Also, a trademark has a legal duration; the term of registration for a trademark is ten years, after which it can be renewed. So kick-start your legal work by first understanding why you need a trademark and what kind of trademark serves your need. The process is not very cumbersome, all you have to do is fill out a form and wait till your trademark is accepted and registered. Chronologically, this could be one of the first things that needs to go down on your long list of 'things to do'.
Registration of trademarks in India • All trademarks in respect of which statutory protection is desired should be registered as per the Trade Marks Act, 1999. • However, before applying for registration, it is advisable to apply for search to verify the feasibility of applying for the mark. • If any person who has not registered his trademark under this act uses the word ‘registered’, he shall be punished as per the provisions of Section 107 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The formalities and government fees for major trademark transaction are as follows: • For filing new applications, there are prescribed forms such as Form TM-1, TM-2, TM-3, TM-8, TM-51 etc. Fees: ` 2,500/• To file a Notice of Opposition to oppose an application published in the Trade Marks Journal (FormTM-5). Fees: ` 2,500/• For Renewal of a Registered trademark (Form TM-12 ). Fees: `5,000/• Official search request (Form TM54). Fees: `500/Puja Prakash
13 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
hastened Rakesh to fill in the JAF quickly. Rakesh had walked in to our office twice before for the earlier rounds of interview for a team-lead position in marketing. He had to be put before our president Keshab Nand (KN or prez, hereinafter) today for the final discussion. The JAFs are supposed to be filled in by the candidates in their own handwriting before they are taken for final interview. If you are wondering what this JAF is, then my purpose is served. Acronymising and jargonising the common terms are among the clever devises, we HR pros, tend to come up with every now and then so as to give a pretense of domain specialism, lest HR becomes an easy prey for encroachment from non-professionals. Whenever the topic turns to HR, everyone turns out to be an instant expert and starts offering comments and advice, unasked. Prez’s nod is a crucial step before the candidate is offered fitment. Though this final interview is more of a formality, KN’s uncanny knack of spotting the unspotted could, at times, bring up some surprises and would put us back to ground zero of starting the whole process all over again. KN had told me the previous day that the first thing he would do today was to meet the candidate. I know if I do not put Rakesh to him right in the morning, he would get into the thick of day’s business and it would not be easy to get him out from that later. That was why I was rushing Rakesh to complete the JAF, which, if you have not guessed by now, stands for job application form.
The Pygmalion Effect You get what you expect When the person in authority creates a positive climate by his inquisitive questioning, interested listening, responsive body language, open gestures etc., the receiving person responds to the expectations.
As Rakesh was scribbling his signature on the fourth page of the form, I discourteously pulled it out from below his pen like an exam invigilator, since KN had already walked in to his office. When I entered KN’s office, he was pouring his black coffee from the flask and noticing me at the door, he asked, ‘has Rakesh arrived?’ Had he not, that would be enough to write him off. Not keeping time is not to be brooked at the entry stage. ‘Yes Sir’ I said. I could see my overstressed ‘sir’ sounding pungent to my ears. Though KN is liberal about being on first-name terms even with his junior colleagues, we have been hanging on to sir-culture so that the other old-timers did not get offended. As he settled down in his chair, I placed the filled-in JAF on his table along with the ief that has already been signed off by the previous panelists with their ratings. Giving a cursory glance at the JAF, he said,
9 to 6
Expectation Cycle Our expectations come true
We form expectations
Our expectations are matched
We communicate our expectations
‘what Bharath, don’t you know that marketing people need to be outgoing? Rakesh doesn’t seem to fit the bill. He seems to be a hardcore introvert. Didn’t you get it on seeing his form?’ I was trying to guess whether he was referring to his lack of social and networking activities. But when he continued, ‘look at his handwriting, tiny letters slanting to the left’, I realised that he was just reading the hand-writing rather than what it contained. ‘Probably, he has not let his handwriting get the better of him,’ I blurted out in a lighter vain, with the usual anxiety of an HR man, not wanting to let go of the efforts put in to take the candidate to this stage. ‘Why do you say that?’ KN asked, as though to ask me what evidence I have got to challenge his assumptions. The least I wanted at that moment was to say something that could help wipe off any bias about the candidate. Something clicked in my mind and I continued, ‘maybe you are right sir, but can we postpone our conclusions till we get enough data and probably start with a null hypothesis -- by which we make a conscious assumption that actual is different from what is observed, which might have just been a chance occurrence. What I am trying to say, sir…’ KN cut me short, ‘don’t start your training class now, Bharath, you want me to start with a premise that Rakesh fits right for our marketing slot, right? Ok, call him’. Something made me feel that the graphology thing was not about the candidate but was more about me. I felt good about myself that I have not become another ‘yes sir’ guy.
What went on during the next half an hour between prez and Rakesh was something exemplary of an interview. Opening with a casual inquiry about Rakesh’s travel from Mumbai set a cordial note and from there, the way the discussions took on to his career-related stuff got Rakesh into a free flow. As he went on, KN’s questions seemed as though he wanted to get the best out of Rakesh and Rakesh’s responses seemed to be fully in tune with that expectation. During the course of discussions, Rakesh was seen stumbling, for a moment, when he was asked whether he had experience handling largescale payment defaults and if so, what the lessons learnt were. But KN’s cue to his stint in a small business town that faced the brunt during the recession times blew the bulb in Rakesh’s head and he was again seen in full form. Towards the close, when Rakesh was asked if he had any questions to ask, he was very candid in saying that it was one of the best interviews he had had and then asked the prez, ‘but may I know what is the impression I am leaving behind?’ KN glanced at me and then he said, ‘Rakesh, you can take on the baton’. As we wound up, KN endorsed the ief with his comment ‘fit’. (You guessed it right; ief is just the good old interview evaluation form) This interview had something that blossomed out the candidate. The earlier rounds of the interview seemed more like a fact-finding mission compared to this round. I could sense one thing: when the person-in-authority creates a positive climate by his inquisitive questioning,
15 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
NLIGHTEN interested listening, responsive body language, open gestures etc, the receiving person responds to the expectations. Thus the positive expectations set out positive performance. It can be true the other way round also. If we start with negative expectations, we unconsciously express them through various verbal and non-verbal means and we most often find the candidate coming out poorly conforming to our negative expectations. We have all heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy, which means “we get what we expect”. If we expect something to happen, our expectation will tend to make it so. It is just that people tend to live up to what's expected of them and they tend to do better when treated as if they are capable of success. "The way managers treat their subordinates is subtly influenced by what they expect of them," said Sterling Livingston in his article, Pygmalion in Management, published in the Harvard Business Review (Sept/ Oct ’88). A leading researcher on this issue, Robert Rosenthal, labelled this expectancy effect the “Pygmalion effect”. To give some background, the term Pygmalion is drawn from Greek mythology. Pygmalion, the sculptor, fell in love with the statue of a woman he created and through his sheer power of love, his statue Galatea was aroused to life. Much later, George Barnard Shaw wrote a play, called Pygmalion, in which a professor picks an ordinary flower girl and turns her into a lady, by his grooming. You may be familiar with the movie My Fair Lady, which was inspired by Shaw’s play Pygmalion. So the Pygmalion Effect has come to mean "you get what you expect." The main idea
concerning The Pygmalion Effect is that if you believe that someone is capable of achieving greatness, then that person will indeed achieve greatness. Rosenthal’s research conducted at an elementary school, popularly known as the Oak School experiment, brought out interesting findings on Pygmalion effect. As part of the experiment, the teachers received a list of students’ names, who scored high on a standard IQ Test (known as Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition) conducted by researchers and were told these high scorers were expected to show rapid progress in the coming year. Of course, the names provided were some randomly picked names. But what surprised the researchers was the results at the end of the year which showed that these randomly-picked children showed significantly greater improvement in their academic performance than did the other children in the group. When teachers expect greater intellectual development from certain children, these children do show greater intellectual development. Rosenthal listed out four factors that drove the Pygmalion Effect, namely: 1. Climate factor: teachers tend to create a warmer climate for those children, both verbally and non-verbally (for example, they will smile more often at them). 2. Input factor: teachers will tend to teach more material to children they think are smarter. 3. Response opportunity factor: children who are expected to bloom academicallly get more chance to respond. 4. Feedback factor: the child gets praised more when he/she is right but gets more differentiated feedback when he/she makes a mistake.
key factors that drive the Pygmalion effect:
1. Climate factor: • Tone of voice • Facial expression • Body language 2. Input factor: • Challenging assignments • Expanding employee’s skills 3. Response opportunity factor: • Allowing employees to express views, ideas and opinions 4. Feedback factor: • Positive reinforcement • Constructive criticism
high expectations, subordinates’ self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop and their productivity will be high. More often than he realizes, the manager is Pygmalion." So, when you hold positive expectations about people, you help them improve their selfconcept and their self-esteem. In turn, people believe they are capable of supreme performance and their performance goes up to meet the level of their own expectations. Your expectations of people and their expectations of themselves are the key factors in how well people perform at work. Bharath Gopalan
Can these findings be applied to the world of work and what conclusions can we draw from Rosental’s work? Obviously, the manager’s role is to drive better performance in all and so every manager needs to be aware how the biases or preconceived notions he holds, can make or mar the performance of his people. Be alert to how you behave towards all team members in terms of the input you give to each team member, the response you give to each person and how you give differentiated feedback to all. Livingston concludes the article ‘Pygmalion in Management’ (cited earlier), "If managers are unskilled, he leaves scars on the careers of the young people, cut deeply into their selfesteem and distort their image of themselves as human beings. But if they are skillful and have
The writer is a Learning & Development professional and presently steers the L&D practice at Madras Cements. He holds master degrees in Psychology and Human Resource Management.
All in the
The Tatas, the Birlas, the Ambanis – business in India is as much about the family as it is about running the company successfully.
ith over a decade’s experience in running this niche consulting firm dedicated to family managed businesses, Tatwamasi Dixit, Managing Director, Ojas Foundation gives us the inside gyan of the Indian family-run business. Read on…
What are the different models of a family-run business? There are three basic models -- operational, strategic and investment-based models. In the first model, the family is involved in every decision that is taken; in the strategic model, they involve themselves in the bigger picture of business strategies. Finally, in the investment model, they are mostly just sleeping partners. In the entrepreneur level, it will initially be just the founder, then it becomes a tennis game model with siblings in focus and later, it becomes a football match with too many players (read cousins, nephews, nieces) in the field.
How does family business currently run in India? India is currently in a transition process with 90% of the business being involved in a family setup. Initially, the association between the employer and the employee used to be a master-servant relationship. Now, it has become an equal partnership with important processes being outsourced to outside professionals. How do conflicts arise in a family-based business? Conflicts arise at different stages and due to different reasons as follows: • Planning the succession • Lack of transparency • Father-entrepreneur favouring a particular child • Power struggles •Lack of financial hygiene etc.
How do you resolve such crisis situations? We first identify each person’s business DNA, then identify the communication gaps and hidden agendas if any and later we try to build a transparent process that benefits all. Of course, the process is totally customised according to the stage of business and the family involved. We primarily play a preventive role in the system. Sometimes, there are cases where the business is separated for the relationship to survive. Family is the basic fibre of our country and hence it is given primary importance even in a business scenario. What role does an in-law play in a family business? In fact, in-laws play a much bigger role than we can imagine. In every familyrun business, the undercurrent lies in the way the in-laws are managed and how they relate to family environment. It is important to align the non-working members as much as the working members of the business. How does the first generation entrepreneur treat the second generation of business owners? The first generation often sees the second generation as children and their views are rarely considered. The real growth happens when they (the second generation) are treated as partners or at
least as professionals. With the younger generation being well-educated, there is a level of insecurity that creeps into the older generation. Problems arise primarily when they start washing their dirty linen in public.
How do you bridge the gap between the generations? We have been able to do this successfully over the years as the younger generation can relate to my age, while the older generation relies on my knowledge based on Vedas. How is India different from other countries when it comes to running a family business? In India, it has always been emotional relationships that rule the roost; problems arise mainly out of hierarchy disparity. In other countries, the family members are more independent and the issues are primarily structural. Can you share with our readers the mantra of success? Sangh Shakthi Kali Yuge - Power comes from togetherness in the Kali Yug!
17 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
NLIGHTEN could be popular than its competitor, there are chances of immense commercial favourability of that particular business succeeding in the marketplace. And what if they pay Google to create such visibility? What might happen if someone pays to take our eyeballs off from their competitors’ web-pages by deliberately ranking them low? All these allegations have been consistently thrown at Google. Strong critics such as ‘Google Watch’ go to the extent of saying that all of Google services are creepy! Gmail, Search, You Tube and lots more consistently create those ‘Cookies’ and land them snugly onto your hard discs permanently! Which is true - Google’s cookies track your every move, what movie you like, what brand of jeans you prefer, what your holiday destination is etc…. Now you understand how the ads for that Multiplex near you, those retail offers on clothes and travel agents’ mobile numbers reach your browser window’s side-panes! So, is this good or bad? Ethical or otherwise? I would say it is indeed completely fair.
way What began as a humble university project has now taken almost every available fringe of online technology by storm. Yes, we are talking about the omnipresent Google that has changed the way we seek information. Now let us look at how as a business enterprise, Google Inc has managed to ace its way till this moment, making it one of the greatest giants of technology we ever get to learn from.
hen there are ‘googleloads’ to talk about the company, let us just rank the two most relevant topics and analyse them as impartially as we can. Those two obstacles or rather challenges that Google successfully encountered to emerge as the best. First rank of course goes to PageRank, Google search’s USP.
1. Men are created equal, webpages are not! Contrary to other websites that existed circa 1998, Google used its patented algorithm of
The justification: You can simply avoid all of these if you can just stop your eye-balls rolling over, and your index finger’s impulsive clicks. When there is an ocean out there, Google tries its best to give you those fishes by pinpointing the best way to drop in your bait. On the way, you would definitely meet those marketers for the bait itself! But then, remember your freewill! You can completely ignore malicious content by being conscious and allowing your senses to choose products among those loaded advertisements. Ninety-nine percent of all of Google’s revenues are advertisements. So what? It is content backing the ads, and never vice versa! Think again, you will find why Google cannot be outright evil. They never are and never will be until you lose your senses!
2. The ethical matrix ‘PageRank’. This is a unique invention that helped Google to instantly identify and arrange websites for the end-user to gain maximum benefit. The more referred, or ‘popular’ the web-page is, the more chances are for it to be listed on top of Google. This has been the cornerstone of Google, and also the stem of controversy that arose, including several lawsuits against the company.
Courting controversy? Well, you could guess it: when a web-page
If you are literate and if you know how to operate a computer, you would have definitely used Google. This one website for seeking many websites proves to be increasingly our extra lens over the existent retina to view the world, to choose, to consume, to decide and to advertise .... to live life to the fullest actualizing abilities. Think how powerful a Search engine really is! Don’t you get wary while thinking about it? Many of us don’t care, some of us do know and pass it off saying Google is way big and vital to even think of a life without it. Only a very few would analyse deeply and agree with how the giant would have fallen flat on its own face, had it not been fair,
ethical and truly adhering to its motto: “Don’t be evil”.
a. In China Google was made to bend to the country’s iron-handed censoring of web content that did not adhere to the internal laws. Dubbed as the ‘Great Firewall of China’, it became ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ as Sergey Brin famously put it. Google withdrew from the country, redirected the page to its Hong Kong server. Few said Google could have stayed a little longer and made several revolutions in the most populous country. But it has now become sensible to gauge the decision to back off, as a positive blow to counter restrictions on freedom -- that freedom to search what you want. Again, that doesn’t mean bizarre stuff such as pornography with children. Google has so neatly done away with such unacceptable human rights breaches!
b. Apps or open fields? Apple and other tech giants have gained lots of inroads in creating paid and closed-accessible applications or ‘apps’ that run on computers and smartphones. Moving far ahead of their success, the creators of new apps have been burgeoning ever since the iPhone hit the markets. Google believes in open fields. While apps would narrow its potential down the years, opened-up platforms of the many services that Google offers will clearly emerge trumps since social media will go hand-in-hand to maximise sharing and spreading goodwill. For example, while a typical application restricts you in sharing its content to those who did not ‘buy’ it, an open Google application would enjoy the complete possibilities of social media and availability. They are in a way, Open Apps.
The way forward Google has won over many obstacles since day one, to continue to enjoy its position as the number one search engine. Will it sustain? If it should, what should Google do? And what should it not? To sustain, Google should focus more on its core strength, that is Search, and build upon those other blocks with more and more strength. The fact that everything that you search for is available on one single click should be approached with super-enormous seriousness than ever before. Participants, debaters and decision makers not just bound to the techie world but also other intellectually forward thinkers should be involved to the maximum.
If you are an entrepreneur, what do you get to learn from the pro… Thou shall not
i. Do not assume anything anywhere, anytime! Ask for permission if you release a new service within an existing one. Google Buzz’s auto-follow mechanism that angered so many is a big example. ii. Do not go for those out-of reach competitions and burn thyself: Facebook’s victory and Orkut’s slowdown even when it had the whole backing of Google’s might and failing out despite vain attempts at copying Facebook’s ways say it all. iii. Do not overdo anything! There is always moderation needed in life. Do you remember the furore when Google Wave was announced and don’t you know what happened next? When you overdo anything, it falls flat! And let’s follow:
i. Thorough research for each and every step. Patents, ethical approach, sound basics and impeccable brains behind those codes and wires is why Google sits on top. ii. Reach out for help when you think you need it. When Brin and Page found out that the existing bandwidth and availability of resources at Stanford for their project was limited, they sought outside for capable organisations to take over and to expand. iii. Back out when something is obviously fishy, keeping in mind the common good. Google’s exit from China is a primary example.
19 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
z What’s in a name? Bi
In this age of globalisation, branding has become an important tool in the battle for eyeballs. This month, we take a look at a branding lesson straight from the pages of the Ramayana!
ere is the synopsis from one of the chapters (Yuddha Kand i.e. the ‘War Episode’, which describes the war between Rama and Ravana) of Ramayana. Having received Hanuman’s report on Sita, Rama and Lakshmana proceed with their allies towards the shore of the southern sea. There they are joined by Ravana’s renegade brother Vibhishana. The monkeys named ‘Naal’ and ‘Neel’ construct a floating bridge (known as Rama Setu) across the ocean, and the prince and their army cross over to Lanka.
The incident goes like this: The challenge in building the bridge was to make the stones float (as all the stones sunk the moment they were thrown into the ocean). It is said that a solution was offered by supporters of Lord Rama, i.e. inscribe the name ‘Rama’ on the stone and then throw it in the ocean. The 20 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
same was done and it worked! Lord Rama was watching the progress and Naal and Neel progressively built the bridge. At one point, Lord Rama decided to extend a helping hand. So he picked up a stone and threw it in the ocean (i.e. with an expectation that it will float). Surprisingly it sank without a trace!
Subtle moral of the story: Feel good, when people recognise you by the name of your company, i.e. brand. This means, your brand is becoming bigger than you. And this may stay beyond you! Abhishek Rungta
Why was that? Because the stone was not inscribed with ‘Rama’, Lord Rama was confident that he did not need to use his ‘brand’ as he was THE ‘brand’ and tried to repeat the magic. But it did not work. It was not ‘branded’ with ‘Rama’. Moral of the story: Brand is bigger than the ‘owner’ of the brand.
The writer is Founder-CEO, Indus Net Technologies. Every month, he shares with us simple yet powerful business lessons. Reproduced with permission from the blog http://www.abhishekrungta.com.
NLIGHTEN my career. It was just fun to be able to say ohayo gozaimasu and arigato and nobody understood you.
How did you come to Japan? My Japanese language skills actually proved instrumental in finding employment after graduation. In 1995, Computervision (now Parametric Technologies Corp. - PTC), a CAD/PLM (Computer-Aided Design/Product Lifecycle Management) products and solution provider headquartered in the US, set up a Research & Development centre in Pune. They sought to employ mechanical engineers with some knowledge of IT and of Japanese and I perfectly matched these criteria. So, I was promptly hired as Localisation Engineer.
Entrepreneurship knows no borders
Kulkarni is one among the 22,000 Indian nationals who currently live in Japan. More than half of them are expatriate IT professionals who have settled in and around Tokyo. While majority are employees at Japanese or foreign firms, some of them have set up a company and have became successful businessmen on Japanese shores. ‘The Business Enterprise’s’ Tokyo correspondent, Alena Eckelmann spoke to Kulkarni on courting suc-
I turned 30 that year and, considering that the average age in India is 65 years, I reckoned that I had already completed one half of this life and in the next half I should be doing something that I really wanted to do -- realising my dream of setting up a company.
How did you get started on making your dream come true?
My chance came promptly when I joined JMEC (Japan Market Expansion Competition) in fall 2000. JMEC is a business training programme offered in Tokyo which centres on a business plan competition. Each year for 16 years now, a group of about 60 participants, both Japanese and foreign nationals who live Two years later in 1997, I moved on to Sutra and work in Japan, compete to write the best Systems India, an engineering and software professional business plan for the ten particicompany, and was soon sent to Japan to work on pating project clients, SMEs, large corporaa project for Honda, tions and non-profit one of Japan’s main organisations which car manufacturers. seek to enter or to The Japanese think In this new role I got expand in the Japahighly of India as the exposed to different nese market. IT systems and to IT country that brought outsourcing. I could My aim was to Buddhism to Japan. not only expand my get out of the ‘techIT knowledge and nical niche’ and to Despite these very skills but also put my broaden my knowlfavourable conditions Japanese to practical edge about different use on a daily basis. business functions I think that the Indiasuch as finance, HR Japan business Working as an and marketing, which I did not know much IT engineer, activities in particular about at the time. In what sparked are still very much IT you are usually your interest in well versed in prounexploited. business? gramming and you In 2000, I changed become an expert on my job again and databases but you don’t know the bigger picture joined the Tokyo office of asia-net.com, an of how a business operates. However, technolonline recruiting company for Japanese, Koogy alone does not help much when you want rean and Chinese bilinguals, headquartered in to run a business. the US. As a Project Leader, I dealt with IT
From Pune to Tokyo unil Kulkarni came to Japan in 1997 as an engineer for an Indian IT company; ten years later he is the President of two successful businesses in Tokyo.
and we thought wow, this is great.
cess in Japan and here’s what the leader has to say...
Please introduce yourself to 'The Business Enterprise' reader I grew up in Pune as the son of a governmental employee and a housewife and I graduated from Pune University with a major in Mechanical Engineering.
You speak very good Japanese. How did you get started on learning this difficult language? While studying for my degree I took up Japanese lessons to broaden my horizon beyond my studies. I never thought that Japanese would ever be linked to
products and service launching and I frequently travelled to the US to source the latest web technologies. The atmosphere at this start-up company strongly stimulated entrepreneurial thinking and employees would often narrate stories of successful IT entrepreneur role models such as Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith who launched “Hotmail”, one of the first web-based Email services that was later acquired by Microsoft and rebranded as MSN Hotmail. We watched these guys in the US who went out and tried this and that and became very successful,
backgrounds, including participants, lecturers and project mentors. They freely shared their knowledge and experiences and I was also a very good resource for them. Talking to the other JMEC members I soon realised that I lacked some knowledge and skills that these guys had. On the other hand, I could offer something else that they did not have. The JMEC lectures and workshops were all held by seasoned professionals in Japan. They not only provided me with the background knowledge that I sought but the hands-on project of researching and writing a ‘real’ business with his JMEC team mates for our assigned ‘real’ project client made JMEC an invaluable practical experience for me.
Did you face any difficulties at the time?
The JMEC participation fee of Yen 100,000 [about 54,000 INR] seemed high at first but after careful consideration of the benefits of what is often described as a ‘Mini MBA’ I signed up. It turned out to be the best Yen 100,000 I have ever spent.
I was newly married at the time and found it difficult to explain to my wife that I would spend weekends away from home attending the JMEC seminars and workshops on Saturdays. Hence I asked my wife, who is also an IT engineer, to join the programme too. We studied together and her team even won the competition.
What did you learn on the JMEC programme?
When did you feel ready to set up your company?
On JMEC, I got exposed to people from many different nationalities and business
I felt greatly inspired and well equipped to set
23 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
NLIGHTEN up up a business after completing JMEC in 2001 and I soon went on to register my company, Fidel Technologies. We offer IT, consulting and localisation services.
How did your family react to this brave step? On that day in the evening I told my wife that I had quit my job at asia-net and instead would run a company. She was very surprised and sceptical, as were my parents and all other family members. They showered me with questions about why I had left my secure job and why I wanted to take up such a risky enterprise. My family has no business background whatsoever and they believe that having a secure job as a company employee is best.
business you want to do but by and large for an entrepreneur, ‘now’ is the right time. However, I could have planned more as Japan is a difficult market overall. Looking back I also think that I should have considered other locations for establishing my business, such as Singapore, Hong Kong or India where taxes are lower than in Japan. However, you start with what you know and I knew about IT and outsourcing. I had seen some problems in these areas in Japan and I thought that I could solve these problems with my company, and so I did.
What has been your worst busi-
Did your bold venture pay off? Yes, walking this risky path has definitely paid off for me. Fidel Technologies KK now employs 18 engineers in Japan and around 60 team members at our subsidiary, Fidel Softech, in Pune.
After only a few years in business, I took an even bigger risk by diversifying into other business areas. In 2007, I established another company, Food, Sports & Entertainment –FSE KK. With FSE I hope to build ‘cultural bridges’, by organising high-profile events that connect the Indian, Japanese and foreign communities in Tokyo. As part of FSE, I am now also running four Indian restaurants under the Swagat brand in Tokyo.
Inspiration for business ideas can come from many sources.
The inspiration came from no one less than the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who visited Japan on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Cultural Agreement between Japan and India signed in 1957. In his speech, the Indian Prime Minister encouraged all Indian nationals in Japan to do whatever could be done to deepen the mutual understanding and to foster India-Japanese relations. When I heard his speech I was thinking why am I limiting myself to IT; there are so many opportunities out here.
What has been your best business decision to date? The best decision was to jump into business without thinking too much. When you think too much about what to do and when, you do not get started. I think that ‘now’ is the right time. Of course, it depends on what type of 24 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Do not hesitate to take risks. Be prepared by acquiring practical business skills.
Build networks across communities and industries. Do not limit yourself but be open to new career and business areas.
ness decision? Maybe it was the diversification into the food business. As business grows, you need more capital and time, which became tricky when both of my businesses asked for investment and for my attention. You start depleting and you use up your bandwidth. Having just started in business, I should have focused on just one business. However, when the IT business was down last year, the food business did well. This showed me that running two different types of businesses can actually be a risk hedge.
Are you involved with the Indian community in Japan? I am participating in and raising funds for events organised by Indian community organisations. With my company, FSE, I also organ-
ise events, such as a Diwali celebration, to raise awareness of the Indian New Year. With our event, we want to raise awareness of Diwali and promote India in general and we found that many people were very happy to support us in this aim.
What do you think about the business relationships between the two countries (India and Japan)? The India-Japan relations have always been friendly. The Japanese think highly of India as the country that brought Buddhism to Japan. Despite these very favourable conditions I think that the India-Japan business activities in particular are still very much unexploited. India is far away from Japan; it is a huge country with many different languages and overall there are not so many Indians in Japan. Hence, many Japanese businessmen still see India as a ‘black box’ and their first choice in business would always be the US or Europe. I often accompany Japanese customers who want to set up business in India, and Indian customers with market entry plans for Japan and I notice many communication and cultural gaps between the two parties which I try to bridge. I really feel like an ‘ambassador’. This is some pioneering work. Maybe twenty years down the line some people will say that there were these guys who helped to bring the two countries together.
What does the future hold for your businesses? I do not see my company Fidel Technologies as a middleman by just facilitating the market entry of Japanese companies in India and of Indian companies in Japan. Instead, I aim to become a partner by investing in some client projects and by sharing the business risk. Even if the investment is very small, it still shows that we are willing to bet on the future with our clients. My vision is to develop the largest company that operates in the India-Japan business, including digital and bricks and mortal businesses all under one umbrella. To realise this ambitious goal, I would like to leverage my business by utilising all networks between India and Japan that my companies and I have been creating. Alena Eckelmann
S P A C E Maze Wondering where you kept that MOU? Or worse, missing your lunch bag? Let’s face it, your cabin is disorganised.
oes your office space look like a hurricane swept through it an hour ago? Most people are so busy that they rarely have time to give thought to how their desk/cabin at work looks and feels. The question you need to ask yourself is, can you work efficiently in a disorganised and cluttered work space? Once you realise that your office space needs a creative spring cleaning, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the positive effects a clean, airy office space will have on the quality of your work. When you waste valuable minutes hunting through various piles of clutter in order to find an important document, it takes away the time that could actually be spent meeting deadlines or completing assignments.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a ship-shape office when you have to entertain clients either. Interior designer Jenny Andrews of Studio J, Bengaluru feels, “To be in sync with the vision, goals and deliverables one needs to be interfacing with an environment which enables one to be at his/her best form. This can be achieved effectively in an organised space. Hence it’s very important to create a workspace that brings out the best in oneself.” Remember, there may be demanding clients who will not tolerate working with someone who is not systematic or is unorganised. So, if you do not want to be caught on the wrong foot, get ready to take the first step in creating the perfect office environment.
Piles of files? Interior designer Nishat Saleri of 99 Studio, Ahmadabad says that lack of proper storage space is one of the biggest reasons that offices remain shabby and cluttered. When files, papers and stationery are piled up on the desk, it becomes difficult to get organised. “Today, movable compact storage systems are available. These storage systems are about 6 feet by 12 feet and come with enough draws to store important items,” she insists. The office desk is an area which can easily have clutter. Any documents you need should be incorporated into a filing system. Do not place everything in one drawer or folder. “There are two kinds of filing systems – box files and lateral files,” informs Nishat, “though a lateral filing system is more efficient, in India, people prefer to use box files and stack them up vertically in cupboards.” The problem with Up to the last nail box files, she explains, is that even if you have to file 2 papers or 10 papers, the size remains “A good design doesn’t need to remodel the the same. Lateral files tend to be neatly named, whole office to declutter. Organising storage numbered and properly organised. “If you’re space, circulation, working on soft furnishing looking for a file labeled ‘finance’ then all you are some of the key elements that can bring have to do is look in the drawer under ‘F’.”If you a total new look into the workspace while have documents that you need to use frequently, keep these in a separate area. You can even purchase binders of various colours to help differentiate rs between each.” Space makeove look good Nishat also recommends small work station Tips to make your that desks be portioned with and work better : through shelves to store books. Office ual merchandising • Bring in some vis nishings. desks must be comfortable and lighting and soft fur look also can change the should be just the right width ers ap llp wa g • Addin and height. The key to have a completely. s will leave ard to pin up thing desk top free of clutter is to • Having a tack bo sk. de have control of the paperwork. more space on the ditional s too can help in ad Having a good filing system • Suspended shelve storage. will make sure that you actually sibly to stairs can be used sen • Even spaces below put papers away where they display art or work. need to go rather than having them scattered all over your desk. The standard stacking trays labeled “in box” and “outbox” are also helpful in saving space and keeping things organised. “It keeping the budgets in mind,” opines Jenny. is also very important for every desk to have a For instance, revamp your office drawers. good cable manager,” insists Nishat. “What we There are an assortment of trays that can be do, is to have switch boards between every desk, placed inside drawers to better organise clips, and provide a hole in the desk for all the wires pins, pens and other essentials. “Especially to go through neatly.” She also recommends that in big offices,” says Nishat, “there should be the furniture be kept flexible and comfortable. a separate room or area for office equipment
like printers or photocopiers.” Offices now have network printers which can handle all of the printing jobs from all networked PCs. Paper, ink and other consumables must not be scattered around the office equipment but should be stored in cabinets, drawers or shelves. Trash cans must be placed in every room.
Light them right “Lighting is the most important factor in stimulating the need of the interface in any environment. A right amount of lux levels in lighting is needed to bring in the correct/ comfortable state for the person in the work desk,” feels Jenny. But unfortunately, lighting is often the most ignored facet of the work space. When asked about what lighting works best for employees, Nishat has this to say, “Using completely white lights in an office space is not good for the eyes,” and she adds, “a mix of natural colours which are intermediate (not completely white or completely yellow) must be used so that it is not uncomfortable for the eyes.” We hope by now you have decided to clean your junk yard, and you sure will begin to feel the effects quickly. If you are already feeling proud about the spring-cleaning, haste not, we all know how clutter works. It always manages to creep in slowly. “It all lies in the attitude of the person,” says Nishat, “if you make a commitment to keeping your office space clean, you should do just fine.” Aishwarya Shankar
27 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
to the documents
cising control over your feelings.
Companies hire proofreaders to go through their manuals, materials and editorials before it gets published or printed. This is an enticing job for many people because all it requires us to do is to read. Once the companies get comfortable with our work, they will be inclined to repeatedly hire the same person and this can translate into a stable stream of income from our online work.
Intraday Trading Another rapidly growing ‘work from home’ option is the intraday trading of shares in the Stock Market. This requires an initial investment capital, a demat trading account and a hi-speed Internet connection. The initial investment depends on the individual capacity of the trader, so there is usually no minimum or maximum limit prescribed. It is always advisable to start off with a minimal investment that a trader can afford to lose till he learns the art of making profits with his investment. Another important aspect is choosing the right broker who charges a reasonable commission for the trade and is authorized with the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).
If you cannot go to work, let work come home to you.
hen the entire city is busy jostling to and fro between office and home, there is a quiet crowd that’s slowly growing in number -- the ones who are working from home and making equally good remuneration. Gone are the days when working from home was restricted to tailoring, embroidery, cooking meals and taking tuitions. More and more people are getting familiar with the various options available in the market that does not require commuting to a workplace on a daily basis. Most of these assignments require a minimal investment of a hi-speed Internet connection and dedicated work time. This is an ideal option for those who wish to make some extra money even as they are sitting in the comfort of their own home. No strict timings, no extended work hours, no nosy managers looking over your shoulder, and no travelling in the peak hour traffic, are just some of the pros of working from home. Like everything else, work from home jobs have their own set of cons too, a major one is that there are no guaranteed monthly salary checks. Our earnings totally depend on the number and volume of jobs that we undertake to do. Let’s talk about a few of the work from home options available
in the market today.
Proofreading If you are pretty good at any language and if proofreading is something you are comfortable with, then this can be a good ‘work from home’ job that you can undertake for some extra pocket money. Proofreading is the act of checking text for consistency in flow of words, punctuation, grammar and spelling. If you’re thinking of proofreading as a career, you will need to be detailed, organised and have a good grasp of grammar and spelling. It cannot and should not be done very fast purely because the sole purpose of it is to check thoroughly for errors. Simply, it is the opposite of reading or scanning through something quickly. A proofreader checks for consistency in the figures being spelt out throughout the text and the same font being used all the way through. Many things need to be checked, such as headers and footers, page numbers, contents and index pages and the layout of paragraphs. Nowadays, a lot of work is delivered to proofreaders via email in Word documents. This makes it more convenient to mark, spot and track the changes made
Intraday trading simply means buying and selling shares within a day. Nowadays, not much paperwork is required to buy or sell shares in the market. It is all done online and completed within a few minutes. The thumb rule of the game is to ‘Buy Low, Sell High’. Usually not as easy as it sounds, this requires a lot of analysis, market study, self involvement and selfdiscipline. The market opens at 0900 IST and closes at 1530 IST. Our involvement and judgement skills are the two main factors that decide on our profits or losses for the day. It is not necessary to trade every day, a good trader will be satisfied if he has achieved his desired weekly profit within a day. In case of a loss, we must remember not to chase our losses with extra investment since the risk is doubled and it usually causes unwanted stress and tension while trading. Trading can be done in Equity, Futures & Options, Commodities or Forex from the comfort of our own household, office or anyplace that’s Internet enabled. Attainable goals, a satisfied attitude and thorough market analysis will make any person a successful intraday trader. A trader has to beat all of the skills required to achieve success. The toughest skill to be mastered is of course exer-
Medical Transcription is one of the fastest growing fields in health care. M.T. or Medical Transcriptionists are in demand in most of the Western countries especially in the US where the entire healthcare industry is based on insurance. Insurance companies require a detailed medical record of each patient to process their insurance claims. Medical transcription is already becoming one of the rapidly growing IT enabled services in India. Adding more fuel to it are the facts that there has been a change in the outlook in Indian healthcare and privatization of the insurance sector. Medical transcription is an interesting and challenging career. It is the process whereby one accurately and swiftly transcribes medical records dictated by doctors and others, including history and physical reports, clinic notes, office notes, pre- and post-operative reports, consultation notes, complete discharge summaries, official letters, psychiatric evaluations, laboratory reports, x-ray reports and pathology reports. A Medical Transcriptionist is a person who assists physicians and specialty surgeons. The orally dictated, medically oriented report of a patient’s health history is transcribed, formatted, proof read and checked for errors. This dictation covers pretty much everything that takes place between the health care provider and the patient. In India, there was a boom in this industry a couple of years back with a lot of companies and training institutes entering this field. Most of the companies except a handful could not survive due to lack of proper training and understanding of this comparatively new concept. Our country provides an ideal location for conducting medical transcription since we have a large population of educated English speaking people and a comparatively low operating cost that in turn encourages companies abroad to outsource their work to the Indian Medical Transcription field. By improving the work standards and quality of service, we have a wide scope for capturing the huge clientele in the US and many other countries. The success of the surviving companies shows that Medical Transcription holds a vital link in altering the Indian job scenario.
bined with fluency and control over the English language, welcome to the world of Content Writing. A novel work option that is mainly used to save webmasters a lot of time by writing out content for the websites that they design and publish. A brief outline of the required content is produced and outsourced to a professional content writer who in turn will research the given subject and complete the assignment for the companies. Content writing is not just for website copy though; a lot of companies, businesses and individuals look for writers for their own articles, blog posts, press releases and many more forms of the service. To summarize it all, work at home is great, but only if we are prepared for it. We must always remember to gather as much information, feedback and resources before we can accurately make a comparison and decide on what kind of work we want to take. The decision should be taken keeping in mind the domestic conditions prevailing at home and the amount of dedicated surplus time in our hands. Keep all your options open and finalise on the most feasible option to take it up in the long run.
Some more money making options that work from home: • Paid Surveys: Get paid to give your honest opinions, but the only challenge is in finding surveys that actually pay. • Affiliate Marketing: Make money by selling branded products that are sold exclusively through home-based dealers. Get paid based on your total volume of sales. • Ghost Writing: Offer to write novels, articles or reports that are officially credited to another person. • Virtual Assistants: Offer to provide administrative and managerial assistance for busy entrepreneurs. • Online Tutors: Make teaching your profession and do it across the globe in languages, technology, concepts and solutions.
Content Writing If writing is your passion, and if that’s com-
29 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
NLIGHTEN DEAs INC
Happily Unmarried The duo who have made serious business out of selling fun…
Let’s b r ea s t it!
int sized ‘recession’ beer mugs, ‘Guilt Free’ tissue papers made from 100% recycled tetra pack cartons, bottle stoppers shaped like handpumps and microphones, a snack bowl that is shaped like a spoon (‘serves you right’ they call it), ‘Mother-in-law dice’ that tell you what to do, and oversized ‘Thunder Thighs’ juice glasses: there’s quirky wit in each of the products at Happily Unmarried (HU). “Our products are well designed but are not designer products. We have tried to stay focused on fun rather than design; I doubt if any of our products would win a design award, but they will make your life happy,” says Rajat Tuli, who got into this business of ‘selling fun’ along with Rahul Anand, (co-founder of HU) in 2003. The duo say that the seeds of HU were sown when they were working together for an IT company in Hyderabad. “We were both single then, and would get only Sundays to hunt for a house and get other things required to run a house. Most people would refuse us as tenants because we were single,” says Anand, “that’s when we realised that there exists an opportunity to create products and services targeting young people. We started with providing basic services like accommodation and furniture on hire; the products came later. The services did not take off so well, but the products were a huge hit.” From working out of cyber cafes for the first two years and using a ‘second hand Maruti 800 as an office cum deliver y va n ,’ Tu l i a n d
Anand have come a long way indeed. HU now has 15 fulltime employees and 23 designers they work with on a project basis. They also have 5 stores: 3 in Delhi, and one in Shillong and Goa, and supply to 48 multi-brand outlets in 17 cities.
Their biggest breaks came once the malls came about, they say. “Back when we started, there were only a few stores from where merchandise like ours could sell, and they were high-end niche ones. And all our products are created for the young: so we tried selling at coffee shops and at weekend stalls in offices. But with the malls came a whole wave of small owner-managed shops that wanted to target the young. Initially, our designs were more lifestyle-oriented, but now we’re trying to get into products of mass consumption like cushions and bags,” explains Tuli. And that’s how the duo have managed to translate their passion into a successful business with tangible profits. They state that fun is an integral part of their products; the Indianess is also evident: an ashtray shaped like an Indian toilet seat, Bhojpuri shot glasses, a ‘Moquito India dish’ - a mosquito coil holder shaped like the television satellite dishes that are almost wallflowers to Indian terraces, a CD rack made to look like a ‘tiffin dabba’ and ‘yes da no machan’ shot glasses. “We can be called contemporary Indian designers. A lot of our products are culture-specific. If you don’t understand how we Indians are you would also not understand our products,” adds Tuli. Krithika Sukumar
A Unit of Sri Dhanvantri Trust www.pennalam.org
30 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
raud is a term that every organisation is wary of. What we are looking at as per Webster is ‘Deceit, specifically: intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right’. In this world, every organisation is prone to fraud ranging from few hundred rupees to several crores. A recent example of fraud that shook India out of its cocoon was Satyam’s US$1 billion fraud in 2009. Corporate fraud is on the rise again and the internal controls in India are by and far failing to detect them. It is time for us to wake up to the reality of us losing hardearned money in the absence of a precautionary system in place. In this article, we shall look into the case study of fraud detection in the healthcare insurance companies in US which is transferrable to India in near future.
Fixing the loophole
Truth or Dare We look at why checks are necessary to counter corporate frauds in a developing country like ours.
Healthcare in the US is a trillion dollar industry and it is estimated by law enforcement agencies that as high as ten percent of this expenditure is lost due to insurance fraud, ammounting to approximately $226 billion each year. Staggering? Yes, it should be … that is more than the gross domestic product of hundreds of countries. Fraud, waste and abuse in the healthcare industry are shocking because, in most situations, patients are subjected to unnecessary or dangerous medical procedures simply because of man’s greed. In this digital age, data is abundant. Using pencils and calculators are quickly becoming history. There is a need for computer intelligence in almost every industry; healthcare is no different. Healthcare analytics is a field in healthcare business solutions that extensively makes use of the data tsunami to build statistical/predictive modeling. Simply put, it is used to gather intelligence about the future from the current and past activities. For example; when a model is effectively taught how to identify landmines in a field filled with rocks, dead plant roots and other debris, the same model can be used in the war zone to find and defuse most of the landmines without any loss to human lives. Similarly, in the healthcare industry certain fraud scenario can be substituted for landmines and legitimate services for all other things found in the piece of land. For example, if a healthcare provider enters a false diagnosis into your medical
history so that bogus claims can be submitted for payment; this will be detected by analytics. Analytics is well-established in the finance industry, and is growing at a steady rate in the healthcare field.
of opportunities will arise in India. Data from 1.1 billion people will be a colossal database, allowing several businesses related to this to flourish. In the world of technology, data is everything; actually data is money!
Detecting fraud in the healthcare industry
Here, we shall see the step-by-step process of analysing frauds in healthcare. Basically, we need to convert the characteristics of a patient into science problems and use it to detect drug abuse behaviours. Serious ones will be investigated and later educated or prosecuted. This will be done by the law enforcement. The analysts of course will provide information to the law enforcement. Data from different facets of healthcare industry are used to design the statistical models. These models are then trained to differentiate good and bad. Well-trained models will find trends/patterns in billions of rows of healthcare data with the lessons learned. For example, the statistical model will detect when a patient takes drug A for diabetes when he/she is not a diabetic patient. A physician or a pharmacist prescribing these drugs might be bogus. Or it might turn out to be a pharmacist filing false claims to the insurance company without any actual patient or physician. In this case, a patient’s identity has been stolen and his insurance benefits were abused by the pharmacy and/or doctor. This model can be extended to real time, so as to mark as a fraud or not based on pre-emptive statistics. This is achieved by statistical programming called SAS (Statistical Analysis Software). Now, that is the healthcare analytics in brief for you.
The Indian scenario Analytics jobs in India are growing rapidly but the service is mainly for other countries. Indian businesses continue to use conventional methods. Analytics is about thinking ahead of time; Indian companies are not prepared for it yet with the data currently available. Every information is fragmented in India. And data collection is not advanced in India (some trends show that it is changing). Once achieved, this shall create a huge domestic market.
Something might be wrong if you find one or more of the following patterns in your business: • High number of manual disbursements • Recurring transactions in large round-rupee values • Strange write-offs or adjustments. • Identification of duplicate submissions • Several partial payments by customers • Detection of suspicious addresses that do not exist in your database • Excess vendor billings due to improper coding of payments • Higher vendor quotes that are disproportional to the rates of similar vendors • Changing purchasing patterns that indicate favouring a particular vendor • If your concern deals with huge numbers, it is only wise to play safe and get a commercial fraud investigation software in place
Till date, an individual cannot be identified uniquely in India. Hopefully, the Unique ID project ‘Aadhaar’ will eliminate this situation. Once this works out successfully, a new array
33 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
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BI raised its policy rates by 25 bps each at its review of monetary policy in November. If you compare this to Fed and other advanced economy central banks which are expected to pass further monetary policy stimulus, we can find that the US economy (in a way other advanced economies as well) and the Indian economy have a nearly opposite list of concerns. While the US economy is facing severe headwinds with much lower than potential GDP growth, the Indian economy is nearing the previous highs of 9% plus growth. the US economy is facing low inflation with deflation fears, whereas the Indian inflation remains very high. US policy rates are at zero percent because of economic conditions and Indian policy rates are positive with the difference widening with each policy rate. And the list goes on…. Given this divergence in economic conditions, the two economies remain interconnected because of capital inflows. Fed eases policies to stimulate its economy and RBI tries to manage the deluge of capital inflows in the Indian economy. In this context, this article reviews this issue of capital inflows with an Indian perspective.
Why have capital inflows surged in developing countries?
A look into how capital inflows impact a developing economy like ours.
In 2007, capital inflows in EMEs reached a high of USD 1284.5 bn. After the Lehman fallout in September 2008, foreign capital inflows dried and reached USD 594.5 bn in 2008 and USD 581.4 bn in 2009. This has been termed as sudden-stop and procyclicality problem of capital inflows. Economies which relied on dollar funds faced severe pressures. This led to policymakers intervening in innovative ways like tying swap lines with Fed, ECB etc. to provide foreign funds. As the crisis eased around June 2009, the problem again reversed. The capital inflows in emerging economies again resumed and are expected to touch USD 825 bn in 2010 and USD 833.5 bn in 2011. This is a sharp rise given the global economic situation which is highly uncertain. The policy rates in developed economies are expected to remain near zero for some more time. Now with zero percent interest rates and substantial global liquidity, capital is flowing to places offering higher return. Emerging
economies become the natural destination speaking about the risks of capital inflows in as both growth rates and interest rates are several speeches and monetary policy statements. higher in these economies. Further, inflation is He highlights that capital inflows are a problem expected to move higher as economic activity if they are higher than the absorptive capacity of an economy. is picking up and As India has prices of oil and a developing other commodities economy which are increasing (some is growing commodities have CAPITAL INFLOW AT A rapidly, its already increased GLANCE investments are sharply). Hence, higher than the both higher growth savings. We need rates and expected India and US (and other advanced foreign capital higher interest rates economies) have opposite sets of to finance the have led to a surge concerns. deficit. The in capital inflows India is expected to reach pre-crisis deficit is the into developing growth rates with the US being far away absorptive economies. from pre-crisis growth levels. Hence, capacity. If policy rates in India are increasing capital inflows Economists have whereas the US is expected to maintain are equal to debated whether near zero rates for an extended period the deficit, capital inflows of time. then there are have risen because no problems. of interest rate or Both growth and interest rate differenHowever, growth differentials? tials have led to surge in capital inflows real world is José De Gregorio, in India. This has led to appreciation of different from Chile Central Bank the rupee (hurting exporters) and rise accounting Governor recently in asset prices. identity and argued in a speech As capital flows are procyclical and go inflows are that it is because of out anytime, it complicates policymakeither higher growth prospects. He ing. So far Indian policymakers are comor lower than plots both interest fortable but can act if things worsen. the deficit. The rate differentials As the crisis has done a U-turn on the inflows were and growth view regarding capital controls from higher than the differentials of a repugnant to acceptable, it again opens deficit before group of developed the debate on pace of capital account the crisis, lower and developing convertibility. during the crisis economies. He and have again finds that between become higher 2006 and 2008 than the deficit. average interest rate This in turn differential was 440 has put upward bps and now it is 390 bps. However, growth differential has remained pressure on exchange rates and various asset same at 5.5% from 2007 onwards. As capital prices – equity, real estate and gold. In the inflows remain robust despite lower interest rate second quarter review of monetary policy, the differential, one can say large part of capital RBI noted that asset prices have risen quickly. inflows is because of growth differential. For the RBI, managing capital inflows India faces a bigger challenge in managing leads to managing the impossible trinity. The the capital inflows compared to other trinity means you can choose two of the three emerging economies. Apart from favourable options – capital mobility, price stability and growth and interest rate differential it also fixed exchange rates. Now most economies have has robust financial market infrastructure. capital mobility and central banks aggressively manage inflation, hence exchange rates have RBI and the capital inflow bubble been left to markets. As exchange rates are highly RBI Governor Dr. D. Subbarao has been volatile most emerging economies intervene to
37 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
But intervention leads to violation of the trinity as it says only two options can be used. Now all three options are being managed. Here is how the event cycle flows. First, foreign flows come leading to appreciation pressure on the rupee. To prevent the rupee from appreciation, the RBI intervenes and supplies rupees in the market. Higher money supply could lead to inflation. To suck the excess liquidity from the system, Government issues Market Stabilization Bonds (MSS). This way, managing the trinity becomes possible. Issuing MSS bonds has its own set of interest costs. Also as stabilization is never perfect, some amount of excess liquidity remains in the system. Then Forex reserves also increase and the RBI has to invest it prudently. So as a policymaker, one has to understand the trade-offs clearly. The above equation of capital inflows also leads to an interesting difference of opinion between government and the RBI. Government prefers to get more foreign inflows as it shows growth of Indian economy. However excessive and short-term inflows pose monetary management problems for the RBI. In October, 2010, media pointed out to differences of opinion in the interviews of the Finance Minister and the RBI officials. Apart from managing the trinity, there are other tools as well. • Macro prudential tools: This is an indirect measure as it tries to prevent asset bubbles in financial markets. This involves imposing restrictions on bank loans, asking banks to maintain higher provisions on its loans to certain sectors like real estate to avoid bubbles in that asset class. The RBI increased the provisions on home loans in the recent policy. In the last few months, China, Hong Kong and Singapore have taken similar steps to curb the rise in housing prices. • Capital controls: Controls can be imposed on both inflows and outflows. Capital controls also help governments raise revenues that can be earmarked to mitigate future crises or meet certain exigencies. In October 2009, Brazil imposed a 2% tax on foreign investments flowing into its equity and bond markets. Brazil doubled the tax on foreign investments in bond markets. There are speculations that it might double it for equity markets as well. Taiwan 38 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Capital inflow (Bn. USD)
followed Brazil in 2009 by banning foreigners from investing in time deposits. Policymakers from Indonesia, South Korea etc. are also looking to manage foreign capital inflows.
keep exchange rates at stable levels.
This crisis has led to a 594.5 581.4 sea change in thinking with respect to capital controls. Prior to this crisis, capital controls have been criticised by most economists as inefficient tools. After the crisis, capital 2010 2011 2007 2008 2009 controls have suddenly come into fashion. Year IMF economists in a research paper have said that under • Macro-prudential tools: RBI Deputy certain circumstances, capital controls can Governor Ms. Gopinath has listed several be a legitimate component of the policy options under this in her speech (August 4, response to surges in capital flows. This 2010). Similar measures like increasing risk came as a major surprise to most economists. weights and provisions could be used. Measures have already been taken in housing loan sector. There are various kinds of capital controls outright ban on inflows, mandatory reserve • Imposing capital controls is a complex issue requirement, Tax on exit before desired period, as there could be knee jerk reactions from Ceiling on inflows, Tobin tax etc. We have just the markets as we saw earlier. Hence, Indian looked at a broader angle for this time. policymakers will avoid using capital controls unless the situation becomes really adverse. Given all the above options, what is the current state of capital inflows and the preferred Overall, Finance Ministry/RBI has not relied options for the RBI/Government? First, capital on a single measure. It has been a combination inflows have surged in recent months and RBI of several measures. So, again, from a longhas been raising the risks from these flows. But term policy perspective, Finance Ministry/RBI so far, both the RBI and the government have are expected to go slow on the opening up to desisted from taking any measures to control the capital inflows. It is best summed up by RBI flows. But there are reasons why Government/ Governor in his speech: the RBI has not intervened. One: India’s current account deficit has widened and capital inflows “So, what does all this rethinking suggest? are needed to manage the deficit. Two: Rupee It suggests that wisdom lies in festina lente, as has appreciated but not as sharply as South East the Romans used to say -- ‘make haste slowly’. Asian peers. Open up your capital accounts but calibrate the opening to your domestic and external Having said this, capital inflows are likely circumstances.” In the context of this lecture, the to continue and put more pressure on rupee answer to the question is, “are capital controls and asset markets. In such a scenario, RBI has an appropriate mechanism for managing the following options: capital account?” has shifted from a qualified ‘no’ pre-crisis to a qualified ‘yes’ post-crisis.’ • Manage the trinity: Finance Ministry has kept aside Rs 47,263 cr of MSS bonds which could Amol Agarwal be issued in 2010-11.
What if understanding your business was as simple as this?
A view to your Business.
“Even before thinking to enter the stock market just research how wealth was made in the past. Period.”
tock Market - It is a place where equities of companies get traded. Recently mutual funds, some ETFs, exchange traded funds and some debt securities are also allowed to be traded. A common man can participate in equities through stock market or investing in mutual funds. People who don’t have time and expertise invest in mutual funds. But those who have time and the urge to invest directly, they deal with stock market. Some might argue that you also need courage to take the risk in investing directly in equities. However, there is also risk in equity mutual funds. In this column, we will talk about participating in the stock market directly.
1. What do you need to trade in the stock market? A person investing in stock market either online or through broker, requires a Demat account, savings account and a trading account. Your Demat account refers to a dematerialized account. Though the company you are investing in is under obligation to offer the securities in both physical and demat mode, you have the choice to keep the securities in either mode. It is however safe to hold securities in demat format as only de-
materalised stocks are eligible for trading in stock market. Your savings account is where your financial transactions are done. Your trading account is where you can log in to decide which company share you are buying, the number of shares etc.
a. How to open a DP (DEMAT) A/c? Just as all Insurances are governed by IRDA and all banks are governed by RBI, the DPs are governed by NSDL (National Securities Depository Ltd. ) and CDSL (Central Depository Services (India) Ltd.) and hence there is no risk associated with them. One can choose the DP based on convenience and service. These can be opened through any bank or stock broker. To open a DP A/c you need: •Pan card • Address proof • Bank a/c (cheques) b. How to open a trading account? You need a: • DP (Depository Participant) account • Pan card • Bank A/c However, while choosing a trading account a person should be cautious by going to a reputed brand. The process: When you need to buy/ sell a share, you log into the trading account and place the order. When you buy shares, the respective securities are updated in your Demat account after the settlement takes place and the amount gets debited from your savings account. Similarly, when you sell shares, your Demat
Finance guru account will be debited with the number of shares sold by you. Your savings account will be credited with the amount for which you have sold once the settlement is over. Settlement usually take place on t+2 i.e.2 working days from your trading date.
Role of broker: When you have an offline account through a stock broker, you can place the order through phone or by walking into the office of the broker, to open the account process is same as of online account, whereas in an online account, you can do it from the convenience of your place of choice. Advantage of offline accounts are: • Execution of order is faster compared to online. • Your broker or sub-broker can assist you with his knowledge and expirence . 2. How you can participate in the stock market? You can participate through two different strategies. 3. Tips and tricks Common mistakes to be avoided in the stock market: a. Investment: This can be short term to long term. But it is always based on *fundamental analysis of an underlying company. b. Trading: This is can be for intra-day swing trading or for short term. The right tool for trading is to use **technical analysis of the charts of the stocks.
Trader • A trader and investor should not interchange their strategies. • A trader should always implement his strategy mechanically (without emotions). He should be using his tools like stop-loss, booking profits in a pre-planned way. • He should never average a falling stock, it is like trying to catch a falling knife. • He should never trade against a major trend. Investor • Investor should understand that stock market is an irrational animal. Stock prices don’t go linear with underlying (company’s) performances in short term. But they will always match with the fundamentals in long term.
• For an investor, he should be giving ample time to his stocks to get the best results out of them. • Contrary to trader, investor should accumulate as and when the prices go down. • Investor should check the management integrity and future growth of the company before investing in the same.
4. Market watch • India-centric consumption stories will basically do well. • Infrastructure and Pharma should also do well in this year. • In large caps, one can accumulate SBI and L&T, since they will reap the benefit of infrafunding and projects. • In mid caps, you can go for SREI Infra, since it is the only Infra finance company apart from IDFC, available at a much more attractive valuation compared to the latter (they also have investments in Telecom, Energy through their subsidiary QUIPPO). In small caps ATUL ltd is a value growth company,which is a chemical conglomerate, it is expected to grow by 30% for next two years and is availabe at forward pe of 4.This divdend giving company also has portfolio of ` 150 cr in MNC pharma comanies like Wyeth, Novartis and Basf. Margin of saftey with growth is high in this stock. Footnote: A well chosen portfolio of equities has always outperformed bonds in the longer term as per the proven statistics from the analysis for the last 100 years. So Indians should invest in Equities to beat inflation. *Fundamental analysis: Experts study the actual performance of companies by going through different financial parameters, ratios and management discussions and analysis. This can be done by studying the annual report, quarterly results and the press releases from the company. **Technical analysis: It is a study where experts predict the future course of stocks by reading past behaviour through historical charts. For this, you need a software from which you can read different patterns, trends, oscillators etc. in a stock chart.
Stock-o-pedia Common terms used in the stock market :
• Emerging Market: Asia except Japan, Latin America, Middle East, CIS and Africa. • Averaging is the process where a trader or investor buys stocks at a price lower than the original purchase price. • Face Value: The basic price of a paid up stock (which can be from 1 to 100). • DMA: Day Moving Average (The average of the stock prices for the number of days considered). • Bull Market: When the market indices are trading above 200 DMA . • Bear Market: When the market indices are trading below 200 DMA. • Dividend: Profit shared by companies with the share holders, which are taxfree (it is usually on face value). • Dividend Yield Ratio: Stock Price/ Dividend. • SENSEX: It is an indice consisting of 30 top stocks (from BSE-Bombay Stock Exchange). • NIFTY: It is an indice consisting of 50 top stocks (from NSE-National Stock Exchange). Now, let’s look at the stock category based on market capitalisation (Market Capitalisation = Stock price x No. Of Paid up shares): a. Large Cap (10,000 Cr. and above) b. Mid Cap (1000 Cr to 10,000 Cr.) c. Small Cap (100 Cr to 1000 Cr.) d. Penny Stocks (1 Cr to 100 Cr.)
Disclaimer: This column is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy any of the securities mentioned. The author frequently invests in the stocks mentioned above.
41 The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Seek n’ Hide I He had an aversion to all things massproduced. Over the years, he became the patron of craftsmen who brought out the sensuous naturalness of high-quality leather. Meet Mr. Dilip Kapur on his mission to craft flawless hide. 42
f you had thought leather industries are a polluted lot, we suggest you take a walk to the premises of the Hidesign factory in Puducherry. This one is like a whiff of fresh air! With the entire structure constructed from bricks made of local earth, there are ponds, waterfalls and streams built into the layout of the factory. They inform us that the water in the factory goes through a natural process of filtration into the water bodies they’ve built as a part of the landscaping and is reused. It is perhaps such detailing that has made Hidesign a distinct identity. Over a cup of hot tea, Mr. Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign gets talking to The Business Enterprise about how he built an International brand from scratch. Read on….
1. What triggered the beginning of your journey? While studying in the US, I had taken an internship with this leather factory for a few months. This short stint was what made me relook at leather and it became a lifelong passion for me. I decided to return to Auroville and wondered what to do next. To keep myself occupied I started making leather bags. What started as a hobby soon caught on the interest of people passing by and I landed up with larger orders.
2. Initially, what was the benchmark for your venture? Hidesign was born out of the need to be distinct from the uniformity and synthetic flatness of the mass market. It was almost like giving shape to my instinctive aversion to painted, patented leathers that lose all semblance of naturalness.
3. What were the problems you faced in the incubation stages of The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
your concern? Through a friend of mine, a German buyer saw my bag and he ordered 1,400 bags from me. Imagine, I had just started my business and had only one cobbler working for me. After six months, I supplied 200 bags. That was all I could make.
4. Where you able to break even as projected in your business plan? There was no business plan when I began. I could not even read a PNL statement for the first 10 years!
5. What were the initiatives taken to connect with your niche audience? Luxury brands are never built overnight and as always, the quality of the product was the first step. With a strong product that instantly connected with the user, it was word-of-mouth communication that took Hidesign to newer markets and newer customers. Its relevance to consumer needs, its ability to fit into their lifestyle and inspire them has been the biggest contributor. By taking the lead and creating a strong identity for itself the brand has managed to motivate the customer to look beyond great design and quality and move towards an ecofriendly lifestyle. As a brand, we’ve stayed focused on our strong heritage of craftsmanship. The natural sensuousness of our vegetable tanned leathers and the solid brass hardware gives us a distinct look. Contemporary styling with clean silhouettes makes Hidesign an ideal investment not to mention its competitive pricing among
luxury goods is unbeatable.
6. What are some of the best practices followed in your company? To start with Hidesign as a policy does not use exotic leathers. We never use leather wherein the animal is killed for its skin, such as crocodile or snake or furs. Most of the Indian leathers are from animals that die a natural death except those from areas where beef is eaten where our leather is a by-product of the meat industry. Almost all leathers today are chrome tanned and coated with heavy finishes, you might as well use a synthetic as far as your skin and the environment are concerned. Vegetable tanning greatly reduces these hazards of environmental pollution. Hidesign has pretty much single-handedly pushed the envelope for vegetable tanned leathers in the accessories market. Today, we are proud to say we are leaders in the research and development of vegetable tanned leathers. We use natural extracts from barks of Wattle trees and Myrobalam seeds found in our local forests. It takes almost 30 days to cure these
leathers while chemically treated chrome leathers are made in 4-5 days. These natural oils and extracts give a unique look to Hidesign leathers with deep colours, good body and long lasting strength. This is great for the user both health wise (would you rather have a bark extract next to you or chromium?) and for the longevity of your bag. We use solid brass instead of zinc alloys as it minimises electroplating. Again, it works much better for your skin and the environment. Hidesign has stopped the use of plastic bags in India.
7. Now that you have made it big in the International market, what are your plans for the future? Balancing the International market and the Indian market, where we would have changed from being a totally export oriented company to having a 50 -- 50 balance without changing the brand and maintaining the same brand qualities and values across the world. Next are Brand extensions – launch of new product categories such as sunglasses to begin with.
8. What makes Hidesign the exclusive and elite brand it is today? Hidesign today has emerged as a recognised leader in the research of the ecological use of vegetable tanned leathers for its leather goods. Learning from the century-old skills of tanning with natural seeds and barks, over the years, we have created fashionable leathers that age exceptionally well. There are several companies that do a good job regionally, but none that have a clear brand image as they are based more on following International trends than creating their own direction. In fact, International brands that have come to India are either the lower-end brands that depend on China-made synthetic production or very high-end luxury brands. We cover the affordable luxury level pretty much alone. In Hidesign, we have a range of best sellers that has stood the test of time. These core bags define what our brand stands for -- clean, sharp, practical, contemporary and elegant!
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
High Strides 1978 Hidesign begins with a two-person artisan workshop. The first markets are small alternative shops in Australia and the United States reflecting the brand’s rebellion against uniformity and mass production. 1982 Hidesign starts in UK and fast becomes a counter culture icon in the independent stores. 1985 John Lewis in UK is the first department store to carry the full line of Hidesign leather goods.
As a brand, we've stayed focused on our strong heritage of craftsmanship. The natural sensuousness of our vegetable tanned leathers and the solid brass hardware gives us a distinct look.
1988 Hidesign successfully introduces leather garments including edgy jackets and thigh hugging long pants. 1990 Hidesign establishes its factory in Pondicherry. 1992 Accessory Magazine UK chooses Hidesign’s ‘Boxy Bag’ as ‘Accessory of the Year’. Princess Diana awards Hidesign this prestigious prize. 1997 Hidesign opens its first exclusive International store in Moscow. 1999 Hidesign enthusiastically launches in India! 2000 Marks the launch of our award winning campaign both in Europe and India. 2004 Alberto Ciaschini joins as Hidesign’s Lead Designer 2008 Thirty years down, one man’s passion has transformed a two-man artisan workshop of edgy, alternative leather bags into the iconic leather goods brand Hidesign.
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
We are family! From heading Hidesign’s garment division, to running Casablanca (Multi-brand departmental store), Titanic (affordable fashion store) and The Red Horse Riding School (RERS), Jacqueline Kapur, wife of Dilip Kapur, has donned many a role with ease. For Ayesha Kapur (remember the little girl in the Amitabh-starrer Black?), their daughter, there never was really a lack of inspiration. The mother-daughter duo gets candid on what gets them going and their beloved brand - Ayesha. How do you and Dilip complement each other's business?
Jacqueline: Dilip and I are easily challenged by a challenge. We understand that drive - that passion to achieve something once you set your target. He started Hidesign in 1978 and I helped start the garments section for Hidesign. When we began Casablanca, he designed the store and I filled it up! With Ayesha accessories, he advices me and Ayesha, while we work out how to grow the brand. Today, we complement and compete. It has never been
better. How does it feel to see your daughter take on business at such a young age?
Jacqueline: Initially Dilip was very much against Ayesha entering the movies but once he saw that she was very talented and didn’t lose her head over being successful he was okay with it. She has done only two movies so far, and we have been very careful that they don’t affect her education. With her accessories brand, we’ve realised the clarity that she has at such a young age. She knows exactly what she wants and it is joy to have her for a business partner. For a person who has been recognised as a wonderful artiste, how did you find another calling in accessories?
Ayesha: I do not believe that one has to be tied down to one ‘Calling’, especially at the age of 16!!!! I still love to act, I enjoy my schooling and building a brand which sells things I personally enjoy is not only a great learning experience, but also super fun. How was Ayesha the brand born?
Jacqueline: Let us say it was a question that led us to create Ayesha’s accessory brand. One day over dinner, Ayesha asked us on why there were no interesting brands for girls of her age. As we started discussing, we realised that Ayesha had a pretty clear idea of what she was talking. After a few months of thinking and another 8 months down, we have a fast growing brand of
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
fashion accessories for young women with 11 stores across the country and 14 more in the pipeline! How would you define your brand identity?
Ayesha: Fun, funky and young (at heart)! How do you pick the trend-setters for your brand?
Ayesha: I think I got the sense for colours from the many merchandising trips with my mother. And to find the new ‘trends’, you need to be really curious and watch constantly what’s going on around the world and then pick the right things. And your dreams about the future....
Ayesha: Getting a good education, acting in Hollywood, writing a book, being part of a happy family and of course, making Ayesha a success! As we bid adieu, we know that there is no stopping this multi-talented youngster. Catherine Gilon
Come, let us take over the greys and stripes with some fun and colour.
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
t is a tiring Tuesday evening. The week has specting) each one’s strength and weaknesses, begun on a not-so-great note and you are improve confidence and enhance strategizing already exhausted. Fire fighting with clients, ability. And the best feature of paintball is chasing targets, unending debates on admin that, depending on the need of the hour for the issues and just when you think you have had team, the game can be defined with rules that enough there is this battle to deal with a couple will focus on the specific result that needs to be of employees who are almost on a war footing achieved by the end of the day. The goal-setting with each other. And just what do you want to aspect of paintball acts as a key to assessing coldo at that time? Scream out loud asking, “Guys! lective capabilities of a team and spin a game Why cannot you solve this within yourselves?”. plan that will ensure optimum use of resources But you know too well to hope for such a mira- for a quicker and healthier victory. cle to happen. And that is precisely when you And the light-hearted spirit of the game begin to realise that internal bonds need to be stronger as these are the last things that you is rendered through the splashing of colors, which is believed to inwant to be fixing every duce a kind of joyous day. Wonder what you can do about it? Well, If your team leader is fun which the science of psychology explains that is what we are puffing and panting better. Color Affects, going to tell you in out of exhaustion in London speaks about the next few hundred the impact of colours words. no time, then he is on human beings. It has sure giving the excuse been ascertained that the In an era where basic colours – red, blue, we cannot tolerate of work stress and yellow and green corour own siblings just as much as our nosy getting over-indulgent. respond to the physical, mental and emotional neighbours or ‘weird’ roomies, break-up with our partners over aspects of one’s personality and the essential not-so-inevitable arguments and get severely balance between the three, respectively. ego-bruised over the simplest of disagreeLawn, poolside, hilly terrain – any place can ments, ‘not getting along’ with co-workers is no surprise; something which makes hating our be utilised as a background for the game field. bosses sound quite old-fashioned (but never Large organisations often prefer the outdoor out of trend!). But business today depends on set-up to accommodate their larger employee timelines, sticking to which is the only judging numbers and also provide a more open and free factor for productivity. And unless there is co- atmosphere to the game. Starting from a few operation and harmonious group work, pro- minutes to a few days, the game duration exductivity cannot be achieved. From small firms pands to suit the team’s requirement and acts as to large concerns, all employers understand the a great stress buster. value of team building and are willing to incur expenses to enhance this, which will only bring Judge me if you can! back more than enough revenue for them. The major pre-requisite for a business plan lies in the planning ability of the team behind it. And what is the easiest and most popular And this is primarily what a game of corpoway of achieving it? Organising team-building rate paintball seeks to improve. When a team exercises and games. One such innovation that of players are bunched together to achieve their has gripped the clan right now is paintball. And goal, the first instinct is to plan or device a there could be one possibly obvious reason for strategy. And more often, there is one person the wide popularity of this game – the rules on the team who takes the initiative to encourare never rigid but instead quite flexible to suit age ideas. Managers will do good to keep an the location, team size, time permitted and just eye open for such moments and spot the ones about any other preferences that we may put that show such leadership capabilities. This will across. also help one analyze who volunteers to take up any responsibility, which one acts as a mute The purpose of any team-building program spectator or merely co-operates to act on other’s me is to increase effective communication be- dictation or guidance and who takes ownership tween members, complementing each other and works hard and also who is more sportive towards achieving a set goal, assessing (and re-
over the outcome of the game. Improved communication, resourcefulness and analytical abilities are the natural by-products of such an exercise. A good observer can always tell apart the active and passive team players with great ease as it showcases the basic working style of an individual. This also helps getting to know one another better in terms of innate potential and brings out the best and the average of every player. And yes, it also clearly spells out which one in your team is in need of some fitness awareness, as the game requires stamina too. If your team leader is puffing and panting out of exhaustion in no time, then GIVE HIM A BREAK! A slimmer and trimmer avatar is more inspirational, confident and interesting to work with. So if you are looking for an opportunity to bring your team together, or seeking a onestop-shop option to bring known and unknown entities of your large organisation to face one another, and probably achieve a multi-pronged solution for your one team, then this is what you need to look for. Paintball venues and organizers are spread all over the country. You can find the right one for you at a place closer than you thought, as solutions these days are reachable only if we make an attempt to reach out. 49
Splash out This weekend, bring on the wild… . Chennai - Planet Adventure, Kottivakkam, ECR and Headshot Paintball, Semmencheri, OMR Bengaluru - Paintball Bangalore.net and Xtreme Zone, Sadashivanagar Hyderabad - Crossfire Paintball, Liberty X Road Mumbai - Headrush Paintball, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai and XZone Paintball, Andheri W Delhi - The Paintball Co. and Living Wisdom Foundation Pune - The Paintball Arena, Wagholi and P.A.I.N.T. Tactical, Kalyani Nagar
Shruthi K M Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
In pursuit of a quick, easy and non-time consuming stress-buster at work, Jayanthi Somasundaram treads upon Tai Chi, the Chinese martial art form.
ccording to Princeton Survey Research Associates, three-fourths of employees believe today’s workers have more onthe-job stress than a generation ago. The results of stress can be devastating and can also affect the productivity of employees. Organisations are increasingly making attempts to provide a ‘healthy’ workplace that includes proper nutrition, relaxed team building activities, hobby centres, supermarkets within the campus, even colour therapy and exercise regimes.
Tai Chi is becoming one of the many exercise options followed by organisations. This noncompetitive, slow series of body movements is believed to help concentration, relax and boost ones energy. This martial art form is based on the belief that energy circulates throughout the body and a disruption of this energy flow causes stress and illness.
How does Tai Chi work? The basic principle of tai chi was derived from nature; it’s under the belief that nature provides the secret to strengthen your mental and physical self. A parody would be just as it is faster to swim with the current rather than against it, Tai Chi believes that working with the power of nature ensures a healthier life, than against it. This martial arts form that originated in China aligns the body and mind. The essential aim is to integrate the mind with the body, through fluid movements, controlled breathing and mental concentration. The central focus is to enable the qi (pronounced chee), or life force, to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Like several other ancient art forms, even tai chi has variations. However, there are three major components involved in tai chi. They are: Movement All of the major muscle groups and joints are The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
required for this exercise regime. Tai chi improves balance, agility, strength, flexibility, stamina, muscle tone and coordination. This low-impact, weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and can slow bone loss, thus preventing the development of osteoporosis. Meditation The concentration required in tai chi soothes the mind, reduces anxiety and lowers the blood pressure and heart rate. Deep Breathing Exhaling toxins from the lungs and inhaling fresh air increases the lung capacity, stretches the muscles involved in breathing and releases tension. Working simultaneously with the mind and body coordination and breathing is what tai chi does.
How will I benefit from Tai Chi? Many clinical studies indicate that elderly people who practice tai chi are much less prone to falls, which is a serious health risk to people in that age group. In general, tai chi improves the overall fitness, coordination, and agility. It has been observed that people who practice tai chi on a regular basis tend to have good posture, flexibility, and range of motion, are more mentally alert and sleep more soundly at night. What makes tai chi appealing is that it is safe for everyone, regardless of age, gender or athletic ability. When one does start tai chi practice, it is possible to feel sore. It takes time to develop the postures and agility, so do not get discouraged. Unlike other exercises, such as cardiovascular workouts or weight training, tai chi is some-
thing anyone can do anywhere. The higher the oxygen level in our bodies the better our energy and the more efficient we will be in fighting infections and dealing with the stress. Here’s one very basic tai chi form you can try at your desk:
Lower Abdomen Breathing: 1. Sit on your chair with your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Tuck your hips under you slightly so that your back is fully supported by the back of your chair. 2. Hold your hands on your lower abdomen to ensure that you are breathing from the correct area. 3. Breathe in slowly and thoughtfully through your nose, expanding your lower abdomen as you do so. 4. Exhale through your mouth (again slowly) as you tighten the muscles of your lower abdomen. 5. Continue to repeat breathing in and out concentrating on the movement of your breath and the in-and-out movement of your lower abdomen for at least 6 breaths. Jayanthi Somasundaram
NTERTAIN obsessed Traffic Police force, they were all there, every few hundred metres. Their sheer presence is good enough to scare motorists into driving sensibly. Do they have monthly targets? I felt lucky to not have been waved down in my two days in the city.
Chan diga rh
Serene roads, eco parks and one artificial lake later, I wonder if I had come too far from my hustling Delhi.
My next stop was the Rock Garden in this most beautiful part of the city. The Rock Garden as I figured out started off as a secret project by a gentleman called Nek Chand. It is made out of recycled materials like bangles, tiles, ceramic, glasses etc. and is spread across 40 odd acres. It is quiet a nice walk with waterfalls on the way, sometimes you have to duck low enough to cross over to another section.
friend’s family. On my first morning, my friend handed me the key to his bike, the Enfield Bullet, which according to him is the quintessential symbol of the Chandigarh attitude. My first stop is the acclaimed Panjab University in sector 14. To my surprise, or maybe not, I find Chandigarh to be easily navigable. The city is divided into these equally sized and similarly designed blocks which are surrounded by parallel roads. A view from the top would be similar to grids in a school notebook.
burly Sardar was dangling precariously at the bus door, just above a filthy puddle. He had this mischievous look in his eyes which seem to say,’ if you come close I will splash’. So, from a distance I inquired about the bus, “Dada (elder brother), what time will the bus reach Chandigarh?” Expecting nothing but a polite reply, I was shocked at the mouthful that he gave me. Having recently moved to Delhi from Kolkatta I was still very much a Caluttan who had forgotten that the word ‘Dada’ could mean other things in other places. In Punjab, it means grandfather. For the rest of the journey I sat in one corner thinking of making a switch from the ‘Calcutta mode’ to a more neutral one, if not a Punjabi one. The latter I thought might be too much to handle after all I had been away from Punjabi
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
culture for more than ten years. I reached Chandigarh early morning on Saturday for a two-day break from work. The choice of Chandigarh was rather peculiar given that a friend from there had stated the number one thing to see in the city was, well, its women. Yes. And by the way, one could always go around the place to see its unique planning and cleanliness. When you enter Chandigarh you are pleasantly surprised by the wide roads and the greenery. And it pretty much stays the same even when deep inside the city. What impresses one even more are the separate tracks for cycles and rickshaws alongside certain main roads. To save on money and to experience the Punjabi hospitality, I decide to stay with a
The Panjab University campus is a most fascinating place, one, it’s huge, two, beautiful, and three, a different life away from the city life outside the boundary walls. For some time I sat by the Gandhi Bhawan in campus. An idyllic place to go to between classes, I thought. I ended up spending half-a-day at campus tasting food at the many canteens and chatting up with students. I learnt from them that there is this stretch nearby that students from the university and city colleges frequent in their idle hours just for fun, and it even has a name ‘the Gerhi route’. Apparently on Valentine’s Day, the road is blocked because of overcrowding and unmanageable traffic. I am back on the bike, with a helmet on. I was told to not to violate a single rule, at any point, at any time. The Chandigarh Traffic Police are known to hide behind bushes and suddenly
emerge to catch you off guard. While driving through the city I realised that this sure was one
DID YOU KNOW? • Chandigarh, the dream city of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, was planned by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. • Picturesquely located at the foothills of Shivaliks, Chandigarh derives its name from the temple of ‘Chandi Mandir’ located in the vicinity of the site selected for the city. The deity ‘Chandi’, the goddess of power and a fort of ‘garh’ lying beyond the temple gave the city its name ‘ChandigarhThe City Beautiful’. • One of the most significant monuments planned by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh is the Open Hand. The monument is a place to visit in Chandigarh. Rising 85 feet high from a sunken trench, a giant hand in metal sheets is designed to rotate ‘like a weather cock, not to show the incertitude of ideas, but to indicate symbolically the direction of wind (that is the state of affairs).’
Right next is the Sukhna lake which works like a lifeline for the residents. If you talk to people you’ll find that everyone has a story or a relationship or a memory associated with the lake. Of volunteering in the summers when the lake is dry, of the early morning walks with family, of the guitar sessions and so on. The lake is a picturesque sight that offers those peaceful moments which might be hard to find elsewhere in the city. I leave thinking without this artificial lake, would Chandigarh be half as interesting? My Punjabi machine, the Bullet, then heads towards sector 17, the shopping hub which is packed with people at any given time during the day. But this hub is not just another one; it’s famous for being referred to in Hindi movies often. And yes, also for the pretty women my friend talked about. They get together to eat, shop, kitty-party there, and occasionally without purpose. I saw many such jamborees. Having done my rounds around the city I was dreading heading back to Delhi and its chaos. Chandigarh had left me mildly addicted to everything that was part of it. A smallish city, with a relatively small population, and all the other pluses that come along make the city an ideal place to settle down in, if only the word ‘Dada’ was acceptable for elder brother instead of the Punjabi word ‘Paaji’!! Rahil Arora
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Odd’s out! W
e are living in extremely contradictory times. Times when consumerism seems to overpower us in all walks of life -- partially reflected in the over-crowded malls which make us wonder if Indians are actually shopping and have finally bowed to opening their purses! Yet, abysmal growth figures in several FMCG sectors stare at our face giving rise to the speculation as to what the teaming millions are up to at these malls. Interestingly, another intriguing statistic is the growing saving rate in India which presently stands at around 35%. From a low saving rate of 16-17% at the time of independence it has grown to the present as a percentage of our GDP after hovering around 25% for quite a while. Do we need to save so much? Rather, are Indians saving too much? By now it is well catalogued that only consumer spending means no inventory buildup, leading to expansion and finally sustained growth. If we cannot find internal
REAL & NOMINAL INTEREST RATE
10 8 Nominal int. rate
Real int. rate
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
sustained demand like US we need to find prolonged exports a la China style. At an individual level, let us consider two people with more or less the same kind or level of income but different natures. One is a spendthrift while the other is basically cautious on spending even for the shortterm hoping to get a better deal in the near future. He hopes prices of the good would come down in the near future and he could benefit from short-term gains from the market. The later kind of person hopes to benefit from the ruling bank interest rate. It is interesting to look at how interest rates for deposits for the short-term have been on the average (1-2 years) as offered by banks as can be seen from Figure 1. The interest rate was as high as 9% in 2001 but has been steadily coming down till 2005 with an apparent increase thereafter till 2009 seeming attractive to the investor in the short-term. Of course, one could argue that returns are higher in the stock market and from the mutual funds and hence a prudent short term-player would invest there rather than in banks, but surely we all do know that it is impossible to beat the market consistently in the short-run. The interest rate shown in figure 1 is the nominal interest rate or the actual interest offered by the bank. Is it the realised interest by the customer? Do the customers reap the value of his savings adjusted for the inflation? If the inflation in the year the customer invests is high then his investments value will be rather less, sometimes lesser than the original purchasing power of his investment. How is that? This is because:
Real Interest Rate = Nominal Interest Rate Expected Inflation
8 7 6
Can spending now be wiser than saving for the future? Lakshmi Kumar delves into the details of how inflation has derailed our basic beliefs.
INTEREST RATE VS. INFLATION
4 3 2
Real int. rate
1 0 -1
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
is the rate offered by the bank. The expected inflation is the anticipated inflation by the customer at the end of the year, the time when his money will mature. His decision is therefore to spend today or save for a year, one being the opportunity cost of the other. Expected inflation
of his money lesser at the end of the period as compared to the begining of the period. Even in the year 2009, the real interest rate is very low, showing that it makes greater sense to spend than save.
When a person decides to save today he hopes to gain from his investment. The last ten years in India have Surely, he does not expect to be worse off. The shown that short-term savings have saver gives up consumpnot yielded gains as inflation is overtion of the good today powering interest rates. hoping to reap a return on investment tomorrow (in the short term) and/ or buy a better product at a finite later stage. But is the decisive factor. Figure 2 gives a pictorial sadly many a time he has not take ‘inflation’ into view of real interest rate and inflation for the account while he has made his calculation. It could be his misjudgment or just the fact that last ten years. he overlooked fiscal and monetary policy. He It shows that particularly in the years 2004 is often under the assumption that his frugal and 2005 the real interest rate has been nega- nature will give him rich dividends at the end of tive, higher than the interest rate offered by the the period. On the other hand, the spendthrift banks. Obviously a person having invested his has not only bought the goods but might have money in the bank would have found the value taken a low interest loan, used his credit card
too and would be in possession of all the goods he has dreamt of! The moral seems – when expected inflation is high buy today as compared to saving because money is less valuable tomorrow compared to today. Obviously the opposite is valid too. Ultimately isn’t everything relative, including money? This is because our present paper money has no intrinsic value. One final central question is how can one recognise inflation tomorrow or expected inflation? Indicators are all over the news or the newspapers often through the government’s fiscal policy or RBI’s monetary policy. Fiscal expansion or a fiscal stimulus is a sure bet towards short-term inflation. Similarly any easing of liquidity, reduction in interest rates is an indication for monetary expansion and finally inflation. The last ten years in India has shown that short-term savings has not yielded gains as inflation is overpowering interest rates. It’s a matter of another debate that inflation is an underestimate in India. But as a final cautionary note, let me add that with almost no social security schemes it is not prudent to say that savings is not at all required for Indians. For, small sustained savings in the long term has the ability and the power of compounding, but that’s another story for another day. Meanwhile, go ahead and buy your dream car instead of saving for a vulnerable future? INTEREST RATE 9
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
The above simple equality is powerful in trying to show how the short-term spender has indeed understood the value of money. The nominal interest rate
This monthly column takes a closer look at what the hidden numbers convey and yes, uncovers crazy economics that belies our common beliefs.
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Business on cards
Cultivate empathy and intuition. A wife or motherly figure may have a useful suggestion for you. Your tarot card says
Rely on your intuition to take action
to low finances or self esteem.
your future generations prosper.
Your tarot card says
Your tarot card says
Develop your resources and self-esteem; success follows logical and practical decisions.
Gains expected on large scale, keep yourself balanced!
Death/ 6 of Cups
Two of Wands/ Page of wands
Look at what the tarot cards predict for your profession this month…
9 of Pentacles/ Queen of Sword
Two of coins reversed / 5 of coins
ries - This month would see you balancing and juggling priorities which in turn could impact finances. Care has to be taken to guard one’s resources and also make sure to take help from the right person. You need to be prepared to meet someone who could help you out of your current financial troubles. Be honest with the situation and modest in asking aid. Your tarot card says
Guard resources/ease in getting loans and aids.
Three of Wands Reversed/ Queen of Cups
ancer - All the wands denote actions and decisions to be taken, wands expedite matters but reversed three of wands tells you that the letter which you expected or message which you are waiting for may never arrive so look for more options. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Ten of sword reversed/ Queen of sword
aurus - Negotiations which were almost over will revive and garner positive result. A new lease in career or business is bound to happen. Keep your emotions at bay and be more focused in achieving your goal. Placement Consultants, lawyers or tax consultants could provide answers to your problems.
Your tarot card says
Be practical, ethical and objective in career decisions. You now have a second chance so make most of it!
5 of pentacles reversed/ King of Sword
eo - You are coming out of monetary winter and entering a more tolerable financial situation. Money problems get sorted out. Expect help from a witty and smart person. He or she could have a sharp tongue but will eventually help you out. You’ll experience a phase of dynamism giving a push
Ace of Sword Reversed/ King of wands
emini - An Ace of Swords brings in new thoughts or ideas but the reversed position here means delay in seeing the fruits of your efforts. There might be delay in understanding the clarity of situation. You need to consult an expert in such cases. Nurturing leadership qualities within and waiting to take dynamic action is denoted by this King of wants.
Your tarot card says
Your tarot card says
agittarius - Two of wands refers to being proactive and having taken a step forward towards your professional goals. Page of wands brings a happy message on its way through email, call or letters. So go out of your way, interact with colleagues specially younger ones who are bright and adventurous.
Moving towards Independence with practical achievements.
Accept change gracefully.
Your tarot card says
Hanged Man reversed/ 5 of cups reversed
Five of wands/ King of wands
ibra -You are getting more independent financially and enjoying fruits of your investments. A dark haired lady could give you sound advice regarding your future financial planning. She could prove to be an ally in your projects. Inculcate practicality and ethical practices within yourself.
corpio - Major changes are coming your way. Have faith in yourself and Almighty, whatever is not needed by you will end but new promising beginnings happen. Could be death of old patterns in life or situations which have prohibited you from moving forward till now.
Surprises and unexpected visitors bring in happy news.
Your tarot card says
New openings in consultancy field with a slight delay in outcome.
10 of Pentacles/ Reversed Temperance
irgo - Good News comes your way in form of gains or inheritance or you might acquire an important legacy.’ Temperance reversed’ cautions you to be careful in using it wisely and not to lose your balance .Maintain equilibrium in all your activities and invest with care to let
apricorn - Hanged Man reversed says that you feel you have waited enough and now is the time for action, but reversed card warns that the time is not right. 5 of cups in reversed way is a message of hope stating that you need to come out of your dejected state. Your tarot card says:
Presence on social media and professional networking site will give boost to your career.
quarius - Agreed you are surrounded by strife and petty disputes but try to be level-headed. Make sure that there is no unfairness in your dealings or you might find it difficult to fight with your ownconscience. An elderly practical man can aid you. King of sword is here to make you a winner. Your tarot card says:
Eliminate strife and petty disputes by dealing with it in mature and fair ways.
7of wands Reversed Temperance
isces - Temperance reversed says that you are focusing too much into one area of your life neglecting the other equally important facets. It could be that you are becoming too self-centered. This can create health and other problems in your life. Your tarot card says:
Be balanced and put in efforts where required, some selfless action like charitable work might give you solace. Anjali Sinha
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Get SMART 60
Android The Windows killer. Android has proved to be a successful OS and most of the upcoming smartphones opting for it just prove it right. It has given the Windows a run for its money and grabbed most of its share. With regular updates and ever growing apps, Android is here to stay.
How smart can you become?
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
umans have become very greedy. They want everything without paying more than they intend to. This holds true for the mobile phones also. Music, camera, Internet, office documents, social networking, 3G and oh yes, talking; If even one feature from this list goes missing, the phone is not considered worthy enough. And then came the smartphones. Thanks to them, the gap between mobile phones and laptops are fast disappearing. With advancements in their operating systems, processors and other features, smartphones are the fastest growing mobile phone market. And which one you flaunt makes a difference. So here’s a brief on the different smartphones available with respect to their operating systems.
Blackberry OS For the elite few. Blackberry has its own share of takers, mainly with the business people. The OS is best known for its corporate email functions and specialized keypads. Torch 9800 Rs.31900 The Torch 9800 is the first to come out of Blackberry stables to have a full hardware QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. It is also the one of the first models to feature Blackberry OS 6.0. With this one, Blackberry tries to level the gap between the corporate and the other general public who avoid Blackberry for the same reasons the corporate pick it up. The Torch includes a 3.2” 16M-color multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, DivX and XviD support, 4 GB internal storage. Against it are the absence Flash support and FM radio and high pricing.
Symbian The market leader. Devices based on Symbian OS constitute over 40 percent in the whole of smartphone market. One of the first OS for smartphones and they have a lead over others in terms of experience but the others are catching up quite fast. Symbian is trying hard to retain its share but slipping gradually doesn’t make things any better.
Nokia N8 Rs.22690 Nokia wanted to prove a point and they proved it with N8. Their range of business class mobiles only formed the low and mid class categories. With N8, Nokia they scaled the heights of the business, with a huge impact at that. 3.5 inch 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 2 megapixel autofocus camera with xenon flash, 16GB on-board storage, DivX and XviD video support, Flash and Java support for the web browser are some of the features of this star. It is also the first phone to feature Symbian ^3 OS. Though no match for Android phones in user experience, N8 wins the game with its camera.
Rs.26880 Another monster of a phone, this time from Samsung. The I9000 comes with a 4 inch Super AMOLED WVGA screen with a colour depth of 16 million. Running the Android 2.1 Éclair OS, the supporting hardware consists of 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor and 512 MB RAM. With a 5 MP camera on the back, the I9000 is capable of recording HD videos of 720p. With a 16 GB internal memory and expandable up to 32 GB, you can play with the I9000 Galaxy S much longer, thanks to the 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery. Galaxy in your hands? Sure.
Windows Mobile Our own trusted Windows. We have been seeing the world through the same windows for quite a long. With Windows 7 just being launched and it will be some time before we can talk about its highs and lows, you have to be content with its 6.1 and 6.5 versions. Not a worry as you can upgrade anytime. Currently the most popular WinMo mobiles in the market are from the Taiwan-based manufacturer, HTC. Their HTC Diamond 2 and HD2 are the leaders in their own rights. HTC HD2 Rs.26440 Another sequel to a highly successful model. And what a release it has been. Sporting a massive 4.3 inch 65K-colour WVGA screen, the HD2 is the first WinMo device to feature a capacitive touchscreen. Loaded with Windows 6.5 Professional OS and HTC Sense, the HD2 provides the ultimate WinMo experience that is complete with multi-touch gestures. Though it packs powerful features, the camera is not up to the mark and the video recording is down too. It is nevertheless the best WinMo device ever.
Ios On the rise. Like Blackberry OS, iOS has been applied only to Apple’s devices only that include iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Though ranking behind Symbian and Blackberry in market share, iOS has been gaining support strongly ever since its launch. iPhone 4 Rs.45000 iPhone has always been the best of its class and the 4th generation is no different. iOS4, 1 GHz Apple A4 processor, two cameras, HD video, Retina display (highest ever resolution on a phone 640 x 960) – all make the iPhone 4 to top the table. The improvements in the phone are justifying the fact that Apple is moving in the right direction. The 5 MP camera not only takes brilliant pictures but also records HD videos at 720p and has a LED flash. It has its own shortcomings (no Flash support, no file transfer over Bluetooth and no micro SD slot to name a few) and the price tag will leave you thinking again. So how smart you are going to get is in your hands, literally. Bala Subramaniam N
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Be your own Boss Let us do a reality - check. Are your dreams meant for a greater destiny? 62
ast month, I had this big idea after seeing an interview on the television. And then again yesterday, I had trouble sourcing something and thought why not do this for a business? Sounds familiar? Should be, everyday thousands of us aspire to create the next Google or Facebook and yes, we all dream of that one grand future –of being a great entrepreneur, of building a brand and of course, of being on our own. It is in fact great that our brains come up with ideas every time they face a challenge. It never really matters whether your idea is a big or a small one. “Will it work?” is what we need to ask ourselves. Here are a few points you need to look into before you plunge in.
1. Are you the right person? Yes, it is true that you came up with this unique business model. But still ask yourself if you are the right person to head the project. There are loads of people with ideas but if you are not ready to dirty your hands in the field then the process could be a wasteful exercise.
Here is a self-analysis questionnaire for an aspiring entrepreneur. • Do you have the required business acumen? • Do you have the required leadership skills to make your team, vendors and clients believe in you? • Do you have the passion that can be transferred to the core team working under you? • Do you have advisors who are experienced in the field? • Do you have a risk-taking appetite? And finally, are you prepared to meet failure on your way?
2. Market needs Your product may be great but we need to check whether there is a market for it now. And if there exists a market, who is your target audience? Identify them – are you catering to the young or old? Premium or mass? Can your audience afford your product? For Example: if you are running a training programme for college students, it should be updated yet economical. Once your target audience is identified, build your pitch according to their expectations. They should be able to identify and connect with your brand for it to be a success.
3. The edge
You may be the greatest leader on earth and your product can have thousands of takers but if you
don’t have an USP, you shall soon become extinct! Today, the market is flooded with choices; for any product or service to sell, it has to be something different or at least needs a value-add to go with existing products or services. Think out of box !
Finding funding More often than not, you’ll need external financial support to support your dream enterprise. Initially, it was tougher to find angel investors but with networking on the Internet highway, your choices are wider but so are theirs. So, why would they invest in you? Your passion alone doesn’t suffice to convince your angel investor or venture capitalist. Here are a few tips to help you get the nod. 1. Yes, today we can send a cold email to even the CEO of Google but then if you need someone to spend a fortune on your company; they need more than a mail. Find a way to get noticed – a common link, preferably someone who had done positive business with them earlier. 2. Get your earlier works financially audited; your data should convince them to trust you. 3. Project realistic goals and the possible path towards it. Nobody finances a fairy tale unless it’s a Hollywood movie. 4. If possible hit a target profit during the negotiation period; it will show you mean business. 5. Make sure you sought out the working capital as well. Nobody funds at once, be patient enough to turn your meeting into a business partnership. We hope by now your dreams have taken a new dimension. Next month, let’s get into the core of action!
For customised corporate guidance on business incubation, business transformation and technology computing, contact email@example.com The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
Preserving the R eal estate is just like old wine – its value increases with age. And it is clear that with the number of buildings subjected to restoration increasing daily Indians are embracing this fact with as much enthusiasm as the invention of concrete created. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in its Charter in 1972 defined heritage properties as groups of buildings, separate or connected, which because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science. Such properties are in abundance in India thanks to its vast and glorious history and they are proving to be huge investment opportunities.
While preservation and conservation of important heritage buildings have been going on in a small scale for a long time now, adaptive reuse of the lesser important ones has come to be a major source of income to many masons and architects only in the last ten years. Many have come to realise that buildings are the only solid proof that connects us with our glorious past. The pride in our heritage and the need to pass it to the future generation have developed heritage restoration as a social responsibility although gaining benefits has always been the core motive.
High value, higher returns Thus this process has been channelized mainly towards commercialisation especially to promote tourism. India has comparatively an immense number of heritage buildings than many other countries and the tourists seek out the fascinating story each has to tell. While most of the buildings that have played a role in the past have been preserved to its original glory, many others are being conserved and restored today to be converted to shopping malls and boutiques, The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
hotels, resorts and restaurants. Such projects involve a lot of investments, but people have realised that these properties appeal to many and hence the returns are abundant. The practice of converting palaces and forts to heritage hotels and resorts is a pretty old one today, especially in Rajasthan. This allows the people to experience the setting of our yesteryears even while shopping, relaxing or eating out and at the same time bringing in tourism capital. Since the interiors can be subjected to more modifications in comparison to the exteriors, many residences are easily converted to restaurants and shopping malls. These are some of the highest priced restaurants and boutiques in India that are traditionally themed and even the customers are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for the ambience offered rather than the services and products alone. Taj Mahal, in order to ascertain its position in the top seven wonders of the world, has always secured top priority for preservation. Over the years, work on this monument has involved more money than any other building in the country. The case of the Taj hotel blasts in Mumbai in November 2008 was heightened mainly due to the historical significance of the building. The fact that this Indo-Sarcenic hotel was built by an industrial legend, who scoured the world to get the best materials for a magnificent piece of architecture, intensified the sorrow surrounding the attack. People were in fact worried whether the hotel could be rendered to its original splendour that was delivered by Jamshedji Tata about 105 years ago, though 1.8 billion rupees was invested into its restoration. Although tourism has helped preserve many of the heritage buildings and in the process has financially benefited several businessmen, saving such structures cannot wholly depend on tourism. K. Kalapana, an architect dealing with conservation projects, agrees and further said that people are gradually becoming conscious of the reality that reviving ancient structures should not be for commercialisation purposes alone. She also maintains that laws should be made against demolition of historically important and aesthetically significant structures to ensure that this venture continues. People are slowly but surely grasping the fact that preservation also helps in conserving
energy. No matter how energy efficient the new constructions are, they utilise energy during material manufacture and construction. Whereas architects today are leaning toward green and energy efficient architecture, old structures have never needed much power at their prime and with a little work will require much lesser and are more enduring than their newer counterparts. As a result, conservation responds to the new fad of green architecture better.
Government efforts to revive the past The main reason behind saving and reinstating such huge structures is because the government owns about 75-80% of these heritage properties. Many of them are serving as government offices all over the country which proves to be an advantage as their maintenance is taken over by them. Ar. Kalpana contends that the government as the custodians should sensitise their staff by training them on the various modes of maintaining the structure and lead by example for the rest of the population. The government also takes the help of NGOs like INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), CRUTA Foundation (Conservation and Research of Urban Traditional Architecture) for aiding in documentation and providing assistance and technical advice on various preservation, conservation and adaptive reuse projects. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),
under the Department of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism, has identified over 3500 monuments of national importance all over the country that are in varying stages of restoration. They have also provided services to document and survey architectural monuments and chemically preserve them if necessary since 1861. The government started the National Culture Fund (NCF) in November 1996 with a corpus fund of Rs. 19.5 crores, “as a funding mechanism distinct from the existing sources and patterns of funding for the arts and culture in India. It will enable institutions and individuals to support arts and culture directly as partners with its government.” Their main attention is directed toward the buildings identified as projects by the ASI. Also, since August 1998, the government established that the donations towards this fund were eligible for tax benefit so more finances are available for these projects. While public buildings are well cared for, residential structures have still to be given their due value. The awareness to encourage preserving residences has been on a low key, but these programmes seem to have struck a chord in various parts of the country. Many are contacting agencies like INTACH, CRUTA Foundation and many other private groups for technical advice, acquiring financial help or finding physical services to accomplish thework. Awareness and educational programmes run by Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Dr. S. Suresh, Tamil Nadu chapter Convenor for the INTACH, stated that as people are more aware now than 20 years ago, the sentimental value towards their inheritance have been awakened and the interest to save them has increased considerably. He went on to ascertain that today it is easier to get a client who wants to save their house than it is to get a mason suitable to do the restoring work. “The demand has far exceeded the supply today, and hence one of our activities is to encourage people to learn or relearn the traditional masonry work needed to renovate heritage structures. We have also created an inventory of the existing technical persons for the clients to contact.”
The Wikileaks saga
INTACH also helps people prioritise the preservation activities on an inheritance based on the funds available and the attention needed in the various parts of the residence. Dr. Suresh said that they withhold from alterations to the exterior so that the whole appearance of the streetscape is not disturbed. They also try to prevent buildings, especially residences, from being demolished for the same reason.
The year 2010 saw information become the new weapon, here are few business lessons we can learn from the data war...
these organisations have created an interest among Indians in restoring and maintaining inherited houses to suit to today’s needs, but without disturbing its authentic dignity.
Mobilising community support Ar. Debashish Nayak, a conservationalist and advisor with the Heritage Program of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has achieved urban conservation. He is the Founder, Director/Trustee of the CRUTA Foundation and strongly feels that there is hope to preserve whole communities of the old city or walled-city areas in our country. In his article titled ‘Revitalising our walled cities’, he insists that, “Old buildings and older areas of the city should be looked upon as assets rather than liabilities because they represent the history of communities, embodying their tradition, heritage and culture through architecture and the urban form.” He has helped revive the Ahmedabad pol region (the walled city area) by not only conserving many residences there, but also by initiating various activities there like street plays, poetry clubs and weekly heritage walks. But the major reason for the success of this venture was community participation. In fact, many organisations today are focusing on the students to help save the buildings. INTACH also uses interested students to help out with restoration, like the restoration project of Chandni Chowk in Delhi for which a competition was held earlier this year. As a trend, this is more visible in the northern parts of the country than the south. What with Delhi restoring buildings to provide lodgings to the recently held Commonwealth Games and working its way to reestablish the Chandni Chowk glory, Kolkata developers and agencies trying to protect heritage buildings before extinction and the increasing private investors providing for heritage preservation in Mumbai, Chennai is yet to catch up to conservation on that large a scale. This trend is indeed gaining momentum in India and it looks like heritage buildings are here to stay. The instance of Los Angeles converting heritage buildings to schools should inspire us Indians to follow suit, though the profits may not be the same as tourism. And it is necessary that this doesn’t just stay a trend, but becomes a common practice in the construction business. This would surely ensure that the physical thread that connects us with our ancestors is passed onto our heirs. Nandini Subramanian The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
he website WikiLeaks. org has certainly changed the face of media. Their slogan to ‘open governments’ says it all and the website has created frenzy in the political world with the release of US embassy cables (called the cablegate). On the other side, in the technology world, cloud computing is the buzzword. Wikileaks and cloud computing have something in common. The primary content for Wikileaks is the thousands of confidential documents that they release in the public domain. For making all this available on the Internet, they need a web hosting provider -someone who will provide servers to host their website. Because of their rising popularity, the page hits on Wikileaks is tremendous – ex-
cess of hundred thousand visitors daily. And when there is something that gains popularity on the net, hackers and protestors invariably try their hand to break down the system. This is what happened with Wikileaks as well.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Denial of Service (DoS) is just what the name says -- a hacker attempts to do something to the system (or server) so that it denies genuine service requests (in the case of Wikileaks, their service was to provide documents to online users who accessed their website). One of the simplest ways to bring down a server is to flood the server with so many requests such that it cannot respond to genuine users of the website -- a server is limited in resources and if it gets overwhelmed with requests, it won’t be able to process more requests and the website goes down. On 28th November 2010, the Swedish company that was hosting Wikileaks was hit by a DDoS attack. A hacker, who calls himself, ‘The Jester’ claims responsibility for the attacks but there are conspiracy theories that it might have been the US government that was trying to pull down the site. Whoever was the attacker, it was clear that Wikileaks was making enemies along the way. When this sort of an attack is done by one person from one computer, it is easy to track Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
the person via the computer's IP address. All computers connected to the Internet are identified by their IP address. The complication arises when hundreds of computers in hundreds of places start launching attacks - this is what is called DDoS. Tracking and blocking one address is simple; but what if many new computers start striking? It becomes difficult to identify which service requests are genuine.
The Cloud disappears in fine print At this point Wikileaks decided to move from smaller servers, which are more susceptible to DDoS attacks, to larger servers. Enter stage: Amazon. People generally think of Amazon as only an online retailer but Amazon (through Amazon Web Services or AWS) provides cloud computing services. One of these services is providing space for websites on their cloud – the cloud basically comprises of numerous servers that are interconnected. The concept is simple: the website is hosted on multiple servers and each request might hit a different server; the cloud is like a blackbox which has multiple servers and the outside world will not know which server will service their request. Depending on the traffic to the websites hosted in the cloud, servers can be added or removed easily from the cloud to cope with the load. There were DDoS attacks on Amazon as well but it didn't pull down their service. The effect of DDoS gets lowered when there are multiple servers because the requests keep getting directed to different servers.
to any person or entity.” "AWS has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content." Debate continues on whether it was political pressure or whether it was continuous DDoS attacks or whether it was a genuine case of violation of terms that forced Amazon to terminate their agreement. But this action highlighted the problems business face even when using 'the cloud'.
Jeopardizing business It is impossible for any web-hosting provider to review every page that is hosted on their server and so service providers always have something in their fine print that permits them to pull down a site in case it is reported that anything illegal is being hosted on their servers. It is extremely important for businesses to ensure every clause in the fine print is understood so that any possible incidents that might arise can be mitigated. Im-
hosting provider. Businesses not only have to worry about protection of customer data on third party servers but businesses also need to worry about the possibility of the cloud provider booting them out of the cloud and preventing them from accessing their own data! This problem isn’t specific to the cloud; it can even happen on traditional web hosting providers. Amazon isn't the first company to boot Wikileaks out of their servers – Wikileaks have in the past, had to change service providers multiple times within a month. By now, they will have efficient processes in place to quickly move from one provider to another. The static nature of Wikileaks makes it easier for Wikileaks to bounce back. Copying a bunch of files to a server is simpler than attempting to set up a database on a new server with all the data loaded. Soon the drama turned around with the companies that terminated relationships with Wikileaks being targeted by hackers. The group of proWikileaks hackers called ‘Anonymous’ launched ‘Operation Payback’ to bring down websites like Paypal, which suspended the Wikileaks account used to collect donations. The modus operandi for Anonymous was again DDoS! Dubbed as ‘Hactivism’, this was the first major cyber-attack that was used for political reasons rather than crimnal agendas. This might in future be used again as a novel form of protest. W i t h DDoS being
RECAP • The cloud can help a business easily scale up but in some cases it might not be suitable to use an external cloud. • Any critical data residing with an external vendor can put the business at risk. • Analyzing the fine print in agreements will reveal potential problems and the risks need to be mitigated. • Recovery procedures need to be in place to restore the service quickly. • The more complex the system, the more important it is to test disaster recovery procedures. • If the data is not confidential, mirroring helps in keeping up availability and ensures no downtime.
much easier to use but much difficult to resist, it has become an effective tool of protest in our
Wikileaks survives! Hosting on the cloud helps companies outsource technology to an external vendor. It can also help in lowering the money spent on technology – no maintenance of servers, no need to worry about servers getting overwhelmed and payment is only on a per usage basis. But the cloud is frightening for businesses in terms of security and dependency. It is probably the reason why so many companies that deal with critical data still prefer to maintain their own cloud rather than outsourcing it to a third party who could put their business in jeopardy. It is a form of cloud computing but not in the strict sense because the cloud remains within the business itself and they have to spend money to maintain the cloud. The main aim of Wikileaks was to ensure their content was always available online – they had to keep the website running inspite of attempts to pull it down. When they were not allowed to use Amazon’s cloud services, they had to think of alternative ways to ensure availability. They tapped into their supporter base by setting up multiple mirror sites all over
the world. They provide simple instructions for anyone who has a server on how to create a mirror site. Even if one went down, Wikileaks would be available on some other mirror site present on another server. They have more than 300 mirror sites and it ensures that there is always some server in some part of the world to carry their data. Companies maintaining their own cloud also attempt to do the same by using servers across many locations. Even amidst the adversities with many major service providers (webhosting providers, Amazon, EveryDNS, Visa, MasterCard and Paypal) severing their ties with Wikileaks, the website still survives. It thrives because of the ingenious ways they chose to replicate and revive. The twist in the cablegate tale came with Wikileaks appearing on Amazon servers again - this time because of a mirror site set up by a Danish newspaper that uses Amazon as its server! In the stone age, the fittest did survive. In the cyber age, the smartest will! Sethu Subramanian
agine w h a t would happ e n to the reputation of a bank if their website was suddenly pulled down by a Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
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Focus Villgro, an innovative organisation that has its heart set on improving the lives of rural Indians, offers an array of services for self-driven social entrepreneurs - like seed funding, market research and piloting services. Ideas for any business or product that will benefit the rural population can be mailed to email@example.com. The application is studied thoroughly before being
taken through various deciding committees. The organisation itself is largely supported by the Lemelson foundation, and was founded in 2001 by Paul Basil, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Forest Management. Villgro plans to introduce a new wing whose entire purpose will be funding medium sized innovative business ideas. For more information, log onto www.villgro.org
ANGELS WANTED! Client Code: TBEE0001 Project: To develop a low cost endoscopy product and market it. Investment size: Rupees Nine to Ten Crores. Investment deadline: February 28, 2011 Client Code: TBEE0002 Project: To launch retail pharmaceutical chain. Investment size: Rupees Nine Crores Investment deadline: February 28, 2011. Client Code: TBEE0003 Project: To launch a corporate training portal. Investment size: Rupees Two to Three Crores Investment deadline: March 1, 2011.
Interested investors may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the client code mentioned in the subject line. Entrepreneurs seeking investment can also write in to the same id.
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Punching RIB ORNER
Want to punch him/her in the face? Here’s a good chance to let the steam off and what’s more, you could win an exciting prize for doing the damage!!
your boss and mail it to us and the most innovative name will be featured next month and the winner will walk away with an exciting corporate gift.
I am currently working in a project where my role is to assist my manager but I invariably end up doing the entire project but the credit is given to my manager (who doesn’t acknowledge my contribution), how do I get credit for what I do? – Raji, a software consultancy firm, Mumbai Q
Dear Raji, this is a very common scenario where in many cases people like you do not get recognised for your hard work. It is important for you be a smart worker also. My advice is to keep all your line mangers informed preferably by mail (kind of FYI is enough) about the project your working and the current status. Once you complete the project you can thank your line manager and the company for entrusting the responsibility to you. By doing this people will know that it is your project and your manager cannot take the sole credit himself. Secondly in a scenario if your existing manger quits/falls sick then your line managers will know that they can depend on you. This way you not only strike the right rapport with your line managers but also will
ensure that you get recognised.
Hi, my role as an art director involves lot of creativity but I am often disturbed as I sit next to this colleague of mine who keeps talking loudly over the phone, how do I handle this? Vinoth, Ad agency, Chennai Q
Hi Vinoth, a question to you…Is the work you do important for you? If yes, then have a coffee chat and express your feelings. But tell it to him in a way you think he will receive it and have the desired effect. This way you maintain the right rapport with him which is important for your team and your organisation. If this does not work out then change your seat or your office timings. Please do remember it is easy for you to change than change others. Hello, for the past one year have been working hard on a project. Unfortunately, our marketing team has failed to bring any profit. How do I convince my boss to consider giving me a raise? Jai, Software Firm, Delhi Q
Jai, I am sure your boss is not in the business of charity. Promise him for the desired results in specific time frame and then demand your raise.
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Hi, am a Vis.Com student who has joined a Web development company recently. In my office atmosphere, I often find that my voice is muffled by my seniors. How do I put forth my thoughts without hurting my senior’s egos. Q
Simple, - Seek for permission to speak (raise your hand out). - Thank them once they give you the permission. - Put your point across briefly. - Be clear and loud when you speak. - Once you have put your thoughts across thank them & remain silent. - This way you voice will be heard and you will not be hurting your seniors egos.
Ramesh Prasad is Life Coach & NLP Trainer with about 20 years of experience with the corporate world across various industries. You can reach him at email@example.com The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
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Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
Your Next step Opportunity knocks every month Banking, accounts, NBFS and Insurance
Account Executive C Solutions Delhi-NCR, 0-1 Years: Role includes visiting Client for audit and keeping check over the sales cum discounting procedure, to ensure the procedure is followed with dealers on discounts offered to customers and to send daily sales report to main branch office. Shine Job Id - 193840 Consultant Acquisition Manager - Equity/Commodity Sales Delhi-NCR, 1-3 Years: Required MBA freshers having good knowledge & flair for sales .Role includes acquisition of new clients (Retail and HNI’s) by opening Demat and Trading Accounts. Shine Job Id - 179800 Relationship Manager India Infoline Ltd Kolkata, 0-2 Year: Responsible for generating leads, client acquisition, selling demat / trading account,educating clients on services offered and market scenario, achieving monthly sales target. Shine Job Id - 197857 Direct Marketing Executive Capricorn Solutions Chennai, 0-1 Years: Required MBA in Sales and Marketing. Specialization:Direct/Commission Sales,Business/Systems Analysis,Bank Assurance.Job Function:Banks/Insurance/Financial Services,IT/Telecom - Software,Sales/Business Development Shine Job Id - 213736 Manufacturing
Executive - HR A Client of B N Placement Delhi-NCR, 0-1 Years: “Should be MBA (Fresher) with more than 6 Month of experience .Specialization:Admin/Facilities Mgmt,Compensation/Payroll. Job:HR/PM/IR/Training” Shine Job Id - 215706
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
ITES, BPO, KPO, Collection and Recovery
COR Analyst A Client of Jobzebra Bangalore, 0-1 Years: Required an MBAfrom a reputed college. Role includes working in the sphere of Supply Chain.Equires one to develop a good understanding of the Magazine Distribution business, Analyze sales trends and determine the number of copies that must go for print and then be distributed to the different location in US. Shine Job Id - 194908 Trainee - Research Analyst Renub Research Top Cities, 1-3 Years: To perform research and analysis of various industries by using internet research tools i.e. Google, Yahoo and other Web Analytic Interfaces. Compilation and interpretation of the researched data in a structured format to develop credible research reports and to source out relevant, informative and required information/data using web tools. Shine Job Id - 204096 Team Leader / Team Manager Tru-itsolutions. Mumbai-Thane, 1-3 Years: Required MBA, Graduate or Any Degree with Relevant Experience in BPO.Should have good Communication skills. Shine Job Id - 199705 Trainee Analyst Imarc Group Delhi-NCR, 0-2 Years: Responsible for understanding research objectives and creating protocols to achieve the same.Secondary research on search engines, government portals, trade associations etc,estimating industries and markets and data analysis & interpretation. Shine Job Id - 224530
IT(Software, Dotcom, Infra.Mgmt.& UI Design)
Executive - HR Aadithya Info Solutions Delhi-NCR, 0-1 Years: Candidate will be responsible for managing all HR admin activities of company. Excellent communication skills, written and verbal are required. Shine Job Id - 189370 Senior Business Analyst Vichara Technologies Pvt Ltd Delhi-NCR, 0-1 Years: Required MBA Finance from top institute. Should have an exposure to systems like Bloomberg, Fidessa, Calypso, Recon systems etc.Excellent communication skills a must Shine Job Id - 211116 Data Analyst MaFoi Management Consultants Ltd Bangalore, 0-1 Years: Role includes transaction processing in various oracle applications like Installed base, Contracts, Order administration etc. Shine Job Id - 212466 Sales & Marketing Executive Leewayhertz Technologies Delhi-NCR, 0-2 Years: Role includes selling IT software services in US & UK markets,analyzing client requirements in detail preparing technical proposals,engaging with customers over the phone and closing sales deals and reach out to prospecting customers for new opportunities in mobile & web apps Development. Shine Job Id - 191155 Media, Art, Entertainment and Fashion
Executive - Marketing & Business Development Finn HR Solution Delhi-NCR, 0-1 Years: The candidate should be MBA (Marketing) with pleasing personality. Fluent in English.Good Marketing skills.Excellent convincing Power and should be capable to communicate with top management. Shine Job Id - 187374
IT and Telecom Equipment
Business Development Executive Zephyr Telecom Services Delhi-NCR, 1-3 Years: Candidate required to identify potential clients, manage existing account/customer relationships,enerating the leads & qualifying the accounts based on the Sales strategies and understanding the requirements of the clients & positioning an appropriate solution Shine Job Id - 210602 Real estate and housing
Trader A Client Of launchers Delhi-NCR, 0-2 Years: Responsible for doing trading, exchanges for international markets like Asia, Europe and US and will be for dealing in bonds, treasury and commodities. Shine Job Id - 196050
Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
60 Seconds It’s your take on food, shopping, movies, books and life!
SCAN As much as the ‘book cover’ captivates every individual’s eyes, so does the story captivate every individual’s mind. The success of the story lies in rendering what the reader actually wants – ‘Immortals of Meluha’ has fulfilled that. These days, westernisation of education has replaced the Indian culture and traditions. But thanks to the author, our interest in Indian mythology is renewed! - Mythili K, Software Engineer, Chennai
God Made Me Funky, a store at Palli Hill Bandra boasts of a hep collection with wild colours and sexy cuts. As the name says it loud, their collection has all that a women wants casuals, party-wear, formals, accessories, you name it and they have it. Reasonably priced with latest trends, it is easily accessible from Bandra station, link road and hill road. The merchandise is personally handpicked by the owner of the store. We recommend every woman who has a shopping eye to be here to discover.
In ‘Life as we know it’, we have yet another rom-com set-up, except this one has a cute baby playing centre stage. As expected, Holly and Eric can’t stand each other and of course, they invariably end up in the same house. Nothing unpredictable here yet the original characterisation lends charm to a movie that could have turned into another boring romcom.
- Dipali Saraff, Owner, Retail Revolutions
- Roland Wilson, ERP engineer, Bengaluru
SLURP Zaffran is an authentic Indian restaurant which serves north-west frontier cuisine giving you a traditional yet an amazing ambience. Be it the simple Dal fry or their Chef ’s special Karela (Bitter-Gourd), whatever we ordered was absolutely delicious. While the rates are on a higher end, it still gives a 5-star quality both in terms of food, service and ambience. It is a perfect place to treat your guests. As it is in the middle of the Grater Kailash Part-1, parking is never an issue.
SNAP The flowers blush, at the little one’s touch! Vikram V, Software Engineer, Chennai
- Ashish Vyas , Area Manager - Indian Sub-continent & Middle East, Jonathan Holland & Associates, Delhi
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
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Feb 2011 | The Business Enterprise
IRON In life or in business, there is always a touch of irony that plays subtly with everyday events. Here’s to the lighter side.of life.
India is the global leader in Pothole technology. Roads are just happy accidents.
To be Respected is better than being Feared; yet Fear happens to be the more effective tool!
Landed on moon, decoded DNA, figured fission, cultivated stem cells... but we are yet to invent self-folding bedsheets!
Ironies by Aamir and Partha
“ “ “ “ “ “ “ Most good things in life lead to pot bellies.
The Business Enterprise | Feb 2011
R.Dis No: 982/10