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Showing posts from March, 2006

Keep office and profit

Sonia Gandhi's resignation today from parliament and the chairpersonship of the National Advisory Council looked sudden and dramatic. But it obviously was a well thought out, well-choreographed act. Few, not even L K Advani, would deny they weren't surprised. Don't rule out her children's ingenuity.

In today's political lexicography renunciation finds no mention. Going by current standards she could have stayed on and done worse. On that count, Sonia's decision was a masterstroke.

Nevertheless, Sonia's persona being what it is, the more she gives up, the more she seems to get. The more she moves away from the visible power-centre, more the grip she gets on the remote control. Not all can get away with this. You need to not only time it with clinical precision, but also have an aura -- deserving or not. Because, when you withdraw you also run the risk of being left behind. That could be the end of it all.

In Jaya Bachchan's issue, both the Congress and the …

State of American media

The third year report of the State of News Media is out. It is an annual effort to provide a comprehensive look each year at the state of American journalism.

The study is the work of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an institute affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The study is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and was produced with a number of partners, including Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute, Michigan State University, the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and Andrew Tyndall of ADT Research.

The report discusses many issues relevant to contemporary media. Read more here.

Privacy of riches

-- Are you comfortable with your salary being made public?

-- When you move from one company to another would you like to announce to the world the hike the new firm offered you?

Some say, yes. Because it shows your market value. It shows how much your talent is worth.

No, say others since it is a private matter, which is confined strictly to the employer-employee domain..

The issue is now out in the open with two graduates of IIM Bangalore writing to its director that salary offers during campus recruitments shouldn't made public as it attracts the attention of unscrupulous elements. These students, who bagged the highest salary offers this year, also had lot of unpleasant and embarrassing experiences following the official announcement of salary offers, says a report in today's Times of India, Bangalore, which quotes the email sent by the students to the director.

Salary levels are on the rise. Everyone knows that. With no ban on what an employee can ask for and what an employer …

Bangalore's 80-ft Road

I hold no brief for Bangalore's mayor Mumtaz Begum. But the point that she made day before yesterday -- that 80-ft road in Indiranagar is in good shape and didn't merit immediate tarring -- is absolutely valid. I use this and adjoining roads daily.

The road may be old and may need strengthening, as Bangalore Commissioner Jothiramalingam countered. But the fact is right beside the 80-ft road, the Old Madras Road is so bad in many areas: one of the worst points being in front of the Bypanahalli Police Station.

Actually, the 200 metre stretch up to the deviation to NGEF has been in a pathetic state for almost a year now. No one seems to be bothered, even after the media highlighting it.

In Bangalore, nothing gets noticed without an IT tag. Even on that count this stretch merits attention. Because this is the road that leads to famed IT Park in Whitefield.

The case here is not against tarring 80-ft road. In fact, the mayor while highlighting the misplaced priority should not have aske…

Friedman bashing

Some interesting points in an article in Daily Reckoning on "our favourite" NYT columnist Thomas Friedman. Lot of references to Bangalore. The author is Bill Bonner who is the founder and editor of The Daily Reckoning. He is also the author, with Addison Wiggin, of The Wall Street Journal best seller Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century (John Wiley & Sons).Some excerpts:  "Among the things Mr. Friedman seems to lack is a feeling for verb tenses. He goes to Bangalore and notices that it is backward. His conclusion is that it will always be so. "Is" is forever in Friedman's mind. "Will be" has no place. It is as if he looked at the stock market in 1982. "Stocks are cheap," he might have said. "Stocks elsewhere are expensive," he might have added, without it ever occurring to him that they might change places. 

"And yet, why else would anyone outsource work from Baltimor…

IBM to move ALL solutions development operations to India

Just chanced upon this article in Information Week. It says: "In a stunning example of how India has progressed from a country to which businesses farmed out routine programming and back-office work into a center for leading-edge innovation, IBM disclosed Wednesday that it is moving all of the design and development of its vaunted business consulting offerings to the fast-growing country..... 

 "IBM is on a hiring spree in India. The company currently employs about 39,000 workers in the country, up from 23,000 a year ago. That rate of growth should continue "for quite some time." .....
"IBM also hopes the initiative will give it a badly needed sales boost. The company's software revenues were flat in the most recent quarter, while services sales fell 5% year-over-year."Read full story here

Focus must be on men

The hype around International Women's Day celebrations has been coming down over the years, and this year it definitely looks low-key.One reason could be the giant strides women have taken. There are very few areas women haven't made their presence felt.Women have gone to space; women have climbed Mt Everest; women fly planes; women drive trucks; women can design, wash and repair cars; women know the difference between centimetre and barometer; women drive home alone at midnight from work; women own, run and manage huge companies; women take up jobs in cities other than their place of residence, live in big cities alone (meaning away from parents, relatives and even friends); women choose careers and spouses single-handedly run their lives, tackle problems, find solutions; and make a success of not just their lives but of others too.Of course there was a time when being a woman was a disqualification. Now no longer. If at all you find it, it is only like our dar…

Why whine

We all complain -- some loudly, some very loudly. Some others just murmur as if they are whispering something.It is just March, and we in Bangalore are already whining that “it is so hot”. I don’t know what we’d say in May-June. When there are these freak showers in the night, as we have been experiencing during the past few days, our problem is: “O! What a time to have rain.” A friend told me today he was woken up by the sound of last night's pounding rain and the bolts of thunder.When monsoon is delayed our worry is: “No rains, no rains.” But the moment it starts pouring; we change the wordings to: “Fed up of this rain!”Weather is just an example. We all seem to have a problem with most of the things and people around us.Computer is slow.Autorickshaw driver is rude.Dal has too little salt.She is deceptively malicious.Power keeps going off.That guy is arrogant.Tea has too much of sugar.Why should he always ask me, how are you.Of course the frequency, tone and t…

Indo-US Nuclear deal - a great turning point

If you can’t make much out of what has been happening today -- when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush agreed on a controversial nuclear deal -- just read the title of my blog, Time and Tide, and the brief introduction below that title. Nothing is static, everything changes with time; Indo-US relationship hasn’t been an exception.

I can’t believe I have been reading so much about George Bush without the usual revulsion I used to experience. One, the passage of time and the recent tide of events have forced the US to – finally – acknowledge certain core principles of our country’s foreign policy. Two, without budging much, our government has been able to bring around the US to accepting our points of view.

I just can’t believe that the US has addressed most of India’s objections regarding the nuclear deal. Of course, it’sn’t a deal unless the US Congress amends some of the laws and approves it. Even though we don’t have the fine print of the deal, our PM and his t…

Why Bush is avoiding Bangalore

Ever thought why American Presidents don't come to Bangalore, instead go to Hyderabad?

With so many American companies indebted to Bangalore for providing them outsourcing opportunities and thereby boosting company profits, wasn't it only natural that their president should come to the IT capital?

Bangalore contributed the word "Bangalored" to the English language, to refer to someone who lost his / her job because of outsourcing. US presidential poll runner-up in 2000 John Kerry, who once spoke of "wired Bangalore" himself went to Hyderabad rather than Bangalore.

In the run-up to Bill Clinton's 2000 visit, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh had IT-savvy CMs -- S M Krishna and Chandrababu Naidu. At that time, Krishna did make very serious efforts to get Bangalore included in Clinton's itinerary. And, when Bangalore lost out, there was no hiding the disappointment. This time, it seems, there has been no effort at all.

So, why do American Presidents go to Hyder…