Saturday, December 24, 2011

Why We Want to be Heard?

Why we want to be heard about us? Why we want ourselves to be celebrated? Why? We have a tendency of seeking out people who are recognizing whatsoever we do; and then talk about it. Acknowledge it, appreciate it, like it, love it, and count on it. Why we want to reach a wide speaking audience to broadcast ourselves? 

The quest of being heard is related to happiness. Perhaps, it’s not a mere appreciation but a lust to feel important is the reason. We love ourselves almost more than anyone else and hence we feel good when everyone else along with ourselves is talking about the respective ‘am’ in us (Ah! Too many pronouns). Being important is certainly an achievement with a tag of being ‘special’. The tag ‘special’ brings happiness and also certifies a feeling for being heard and talked about.

Importance is then quantified, the magnitude of importance leads to comparison in the crowd. The crowd which has got every other a speaking audience who himself wants to be heard about. The magnitude derives statistics of that comparative index. The comparison invokes arrays of human natures among the mob. Creativity comes first. Innovation, discovery, something new, something different, being first, being apart from the crowd, so that everyone recognize the difference and acknowledge it in return. The unique attribute which leads to the practices of being celebrated among the mob. People admire, cherish and sometimes get envy. Then they talk about it or don’t but oneself have to be heard about him.

In our contemporary world, social media over internet has cashed this phenomenon of human nature. One has got a platform where he can ask himself being heard and talked about. Social media has evolved into a market place where such noises are being barter traded. It provides a reach out space to get oneself heard from even untapped territories. (Quality of social media conversations and its influence on people’s productivity is beyond the scope of this post).

Once upon a time there was a librarian, who lived alone in his house in a stranger town. He used to call on random numbers on weekends and talked about anything with anyone. He used to create hypothetical scenarios to initiate discussions. He also used to call on classifieds to buy certain stuffs and bargain, but never bought anything. He even called same numbers with different voices of his own; only to talk. Only to talk, not only to hear what other people were speaking on other side, but he wanted to hear himself as well. Because throughout the week he was the one who use to speak nothing and didn’t allowed others to do the same in his territory of work. As it was his job’s responsibility. The silence contained within him throughout the week use to freeze him and hence he had a snowfall of some lovely funny conversations during weekends.

This librarian had a classic quest for being heard.

Also, some of us wanted to be heard because they have an urge to prove something within the social ecosystem. Generically, something from the one’s past has to be mended or corrected (Again beyond scope stuff.)

Reason for this blog post is the consequences for the quest of being heard. If the quest is celebrated and one is heard, that’s success! What if, otherwise? Is that a failure? Sometimes such otherwise events lead to an emotional trauma of feeling insignificant. The exact reason of this trauma is the obsession or influence of one particular medium; which caters the solution for the quest of someone’s being heard.

In our contemporary world social media is that prominent platform. This sometimes goes too complex. This complex problem has a simpler solution which lies within one; an outside recognition doesn’t certify the unique attributes of an individual. The individual himself has to acknowledge his ‘special’ tag first. Actually the mention of one’s name in the noise of social eco-system hasn’t got that significance which is perceived. Last but not the least, where there are no expectations, any small thing is a wonder.

Just some Virtual, Real and Ideal Thoughts

Sunday, November 27, 2011

FDI in Indian Retail : Dream, Nightmare or Both

300 years ago British East India Company entered Indian market with a contemporary FDI.* That was a terrible mistake by that time’s decentralized India. Obviously, entry of Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco, IKEA, etc cannot have that level of Imperialistic interest over Indian Geography. But, indeed their target is the market share over the diversified Indian demography. Introduction of FDI in multi brand retail is an opportunity for people to expect something more from the buying experiences, new jobs and a direct impact to achieve a better livelihood. A threat for our neighborhood Kirana shop and established players like D-Mart, Big Bazaar, etc.

Once all hurdles are cleared**; this is will be interesting to see how the transition phase will be going along. The time before materialization of first selling operations by foreign retailers will be the most strategic phase. Today, Indian Retail Sector is a turbulent ship. Players with wrong strategies or weak fundamentals were perished severely in past. Subhiksha, Indiabulls, are such examples. Reliance retail hasn’t made its mark that prominent in this sector, although they have got a robust boosting from the parent group. But also players like D-Mart have a prominent mark in the regions where they operate. They are strategically most correct value retailers. Also, Big Bazaar which I think has the most prominent mark in the retail space (citation needed). What these existing players will be doing in the phase when the giants will step up in Indian retail space. CEOs must have sleepless night while I’m writing this blog. Existing players have two options before the new giants meet someone else approach them and have the most strategic ambitious Joint Venture like Bharti has JV with Wal-Mart; Tata Retail has the same with Tesco. Else, have a self-expansion plan so that the outside giants will avoid entering the kingdom of local giants and will seek other strategic left over locations e.g ambitions of Reliance group. And we have an abundance of such locations. Afterall we are the second largest market with growing purchasing power

As of now no company will take decision to open their value store at the same place where another player is already into operations. It is tough for existing players to further expand their expansion plans when interest repo rates are so high. They are already staring at theirs’ withheld plans from past. The current turbulent phase of global economy is indeed not the right time when government got so proactive for this decision. This is not going to tame high inflation we have today. But, todays’ high inflation has government made realize that essential commodities must have been cheaper if in past the decision of this date would have been made. 

Before going any further let us have a broad, high Level Categorization of Multi-Brand Retail with mentions of domestic players and foreign giants

Value Retail – Huge Super Markets (A-Z Departmental Stores)
                Indian Player- Big Bazaar, Reliance Mart
                Foreign Giants- Wal-Mart, Tesco

Premium Retail – Sophisticated retail outlets, mostly specialized into certain product categories medium to large size wise
                Indian Player- Shopper Stops (Apparel)
                Foreign Giants- IKEA (Home Furnishing)
Note: - IKEA is considered as a single brand retailer, which has also got clearance of 100% FDI.

Convenience Stores- Neighbourhood Mom and Pop stores, small format chains
                Indian Player- More, Reliance Fresh, Kirana Stores (mostly unorganised retail)
                Foreign Giants- Seven Eleven

Players in above broad categories in Indian retail segment have fierce competition for market share within their group as well as from outside. They are already struggling with various cost elements which is eating up their profit margins. Many ambitious ventures are being shut down in different segments. They cannot create sufficient demand for their lying inventories which mostly includes the products not commodities.

When it comes to commodities, it is apparent that those who are involved with these commodities (less producing more distributing) are going to be direct beneficiaries. It depends on how the benefit will be passed to the grass root level of peasants and farm owners, etc. Currently, we have networks of middlemen and agro-based industries who are actual beneficiaries of the business. Players will have a fierce competition of bulk buying from these distributors. They will be selling more quantities to single buyers. ***

This all happens in the retail business, but FDI will increase the intensity of these practices. Follow this link for the prototype economic model of a hypothetical GupiansLand covering before and after scenarios of a wealthy external retail player induction into the eco-system.

This prototype model has derived that inclusion of FDI in the ideal scenario taken will not only reduce the commodity cost but inclusion of new innovative products will help the overall turnover of the industry not going in red, but in green. As derived in the prototype, FDI will help in enhancing purchasing power of potential consumers as well as it will create new consumers. Therefore, industry will grow. This will be achieved only when implications of FDI policy will have a direct positive impact over the grass root of macro-economic variables. Government has to ensure people living around poverty line are the actual beneficiaries.
Some will evolve and some will emerge, Some will survive and some will get extinct, some will rule and some struggle. Economy will be drastically transformed at the macro level. As a consumer, we are excited about our higher purchasing powers which will emerge post FDI. As a citizen, we should also expect this should be a win-win scenario.
The political debate which will circle around the Kirana stores(family owned convinience stores) will definately become a national debate. Does our economy will have enough room for everyone. Or this category of retailers will face a severe wipe-out.

Just some Virtual Real and Ideal Thoughts

* East India Company's arrival in India was also an FDI. This FDI turned political and India became a british colony. Taking the economic exploitation by Britishers side apart, the FDI resulted in infrastructural developments as well. That FDI indeed made grouped decentraqlized India a Nation as well. indeed a long debate, altough thanks to @nikhilkardale for letting people identify 300 years back we had our first FDI
**As of now Cabinet has given approval to the proposal of allowing FDI in multi brand retail. The National Drama over this decision is yet to be witnessed in coming months
***Governments control over floor pricing of commodity will help in saving of interest of farm owners. However, government failed miserably in past maintaining such policies. This has resulted in wastage of grains due to improper distribution or farmers throwing away their produce on roads as they have no buyers and lack of storage facilities. We look forward that FDI in retail could bring down some infrastructural revolutions as well to the economy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

FDI in Retail: A Prototype Micro-Economic Model

GupianLand's Economy Prototype Model w.r.t FDI

Disclaimer:- The prototype model is a virtual scenario considering a set of ideal solutions only. A pure hypothesis or a random attempt of some thought experiments using what if analysis tools. Economy has got several random variables, and other possibilities cannot be denied. In this model some economic factors have been considered silent or constant.

Lets consider this scenario of GupianLand having regions namely Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter region has Distributor @JinnyBoi, Shop @Cjethmalani and one customer @TheMasakkali with a buying budget of 100 Rs.

Similarly Facebook Region has Distributor @Funjabi_Gabru, Shop @_stoic_ and customer @AbidiRuby.

Farmer @aseemrastogi2 is in Twitter region who supplies to @JinnyBoi
Farmer @TheAngrezJailer in Facebook region supplies to @funjabi Gabru

Hence, each region has respective demand of commodities worth Rs. 100

Before Week 1:-

Every week Masakkali goes shopping and shop Cjethmalani earns 10 Rupees of profit from the sales. This is his local income not considering his overheads and other expenses. This means Cjethmalani bought commodity worth Rs 90 from Distributor @JinnyBoi. Lets say that time @JinnyBoi also earned Rs. 10 of profit. This Means @JinnyBoi sold commodity in Rs. 80. aseemrastogi2 had invested Rs. 70 for that much of commodity. That Rs. 70 of FA is outside this micro economy. Similarly, earning of Customer Masakkali is sourced from outside this micro economy.

Micro economy of region FaceBook is exactly mirror image of region Twitter. (refer illustration)

As we know, in each region each Farmer, Distributer and shopkeeper are earning Rs. 10 each for every transaction made by customers worth Rs. 100.

GupianLand Government Allows FDI

Suddenly, the privacy of these two parallel micro economies functioning together is intruded by a third shop @ViralSSS , which is a bit far from both TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby. Obviously, TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby will give a damn to ViralSSS if he is selling that commodity at the same price i.e. Rs 100. He will have no income.

Shops @Cjethmalani and @_Stoic_ were earning Rs. 10 every week. Hence, that is the target earning for @ViralSSS.

Week 1:-

@ViralSSS will arrange funds from outside source to buy the stocks which can cater both TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby. @ViralSSS invested Rs. 180 to buy that stock from Funjabi_Gabru and JinnyBoi. Now he offered same commodities at Rs. 95 to both TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby. Now TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby have a benefit of Rs. 5 with this deal. So they managed to take extra efforts to reach out for buying at W. Hence, with the double turnover, @ViralSSS is managed to earn what shops @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ used to earn every week.

This strategy by @ViralSSS, has effected @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ very badly.

Also, TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby now have Rs. 5 extra to spend. @ViralSSS is a more prosperous guy, as he is backed by an unlimited source of money coming from some external source.

Week 2:-

Next time when TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby visited @ViralSSS, they got some new merchandise at the store. @ViralSSS communicated benefits of this merchandise. TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby bought that. So they did Rs. 105 of transaction since they had Rs. 10 extra saved from the commodities.

So by this time, @ViralSSS has not only made a double turnover but also achieved a profit almost equal to @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_. That Rs. 10 of value added merchandise is something which yields maximum profit. Since it has got the least acquisition cost but because of their unique nature they are sold at a premium.

 Week 3:-

Shops @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ are now effected by the opportunity loss of two transactions. Now they need some counter strategy to tackle the new player @ViralSSS, who is prosperous than them and has done sufficient damage to the business. @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ decide to sell their goods at Rs 95 as well so that they can match the cost benefit of @ViralSSS.

This week @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ retained their respective customers but they have a profit of Rs. 5 only. They had tough 3 weeks.

Week 4:-

@ViralSSS is aggressive. He cannot tolerate TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby not going elsewhere. At this point of time @ViralSSS is having Rs 190 worth of unsold commodity and Rs. 10 worth of value added merchandise. Now W has to take a vital decision. If he will further reduce the sales price of commodity he will earn TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby, but this will have a bad impact on his business for long run. As everytime they will seek that pricing. This time @ViralSSS makes a limited period offer to provide that merchandise at a discounted price if commodities worth Rs. 95 are bought from him. This week TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby bought stuffs worth Rs. 98 from W. Since that merchandise was sold at Rs 3 instead of Rs. 5.

Week 5:-

Now these shops come to know about a new product in demand by TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby. This new product has become a part of TheMasakkali and AbidiRubys lifestyle. Now they are regular buyers of it. The increased purchasing power has enhanced their spending habits. Now, shops @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ are also buyers of the same product which @ViralSSS sells. Another outside distributor @LegRJ of the product is now accessible to @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ as well. Now @LegRJ sells the products to @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_. But their acquisition cost is higher than that of @ViralSSS. And they have to sell this product at more attractive price to TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby.

Now TheMasakkali and AbidiRuby are the free decision makers in this market. As they are the one who represents limited demand in a micro economy which suddenly experienced new players inducing new products and additional supplies.

Week 6:-

@ViralSSS is now facing implications of his strategy taken in Week 1. He has to maintain Rs. 200 worth of commodity inventory (excluding applicable promotion/discounts) to avoid opportunity loss at any point of time. Inventory carrying cost is now a burden on @ViralSSS shop. @Cjethmalani and @_stoic_ have advantage on this part, as their inventories levels are lower and they have adopted to the changed market scenario with lesser profits w.r.t those commodities. However, newer products introduced in market are compensating their respective losses. A perpetual innovations carried out at product level has given opportunity to these shops to explore newer avenues and to compensate their reduced margin for commodities.

In this market place @Cjethmalani ,@_stoic_ and @ViralSSS has to maintain stock levels so that they will have sufficient inventory to cater these customers. Now these customers have become very wise and they are random in their buying behaviors.

Week 7:-

Distributers @JinnyBoi and @funjabi_Gabru are now also have an advantageous position. Previously each distributer had one buyer. Now each distributer has got two buyers.

There is a net increase in the demand for the commodity. @JinnyBoi and @funjabi_Gabru are getting more prosperous. Now they are enjoying the benefits of an extra buyer in the micro economy. They do negotiate to figure out win-win deals. They do bulk buying to get quantity discounts. Distributors have double inventory turnover. Hence they are willing to provide discounts. This extra money is now carried forward to the farmers who have got his income significantly increased.

Week 8:-

Rs. 200 (initial face value of the commodity) of extra inventory is now a part of this micro economic eco-system. (This is the minimum amount of unsold extra inventory at any given point of time)

Also, the farmers have become prosperous as well because of they had to increase yield of their farm/resources to cater this demand. That investment (actually induced by @ViralSSS) has made these farmers a potential consumer as well. This means a positive implication of @ViralSSS coming into this eco system was introduction of new consumers.

These new consumers are buying those new series of products which were were introduced in the economy by @ViralSSS. Demand for new innovative products is increasing. With every drop in the Price of commodities, our primitive consumers have got more purchasing powers.

Week 9:-

Implications of developments observed in Week 8 are:-

1. Commodity prices are finally settled at a lower price level in the economy of two unit of commodity consumers.

2. Economy is now evolved as a product oriented economy having 4 potential product consumers (Primitive consumers and the now prosperous farmers having better purchasing powers)

Economy is now pumped with money from outside sources which is represented by the value of unsold inventory lying with shops @Cjethmalani ,@_stoic_ and @ViralSSS. But, the value addition features of the new products have given a better profit yield to these shops. Since, the extra amount of money invested has been well compensated by new consumers evolved and profit margins of new products and services perpetually being introduced to the system.

Week 10:-

What if in Week 7, the middle men i.e distributors had gone greedy. What if they did exploitation of the farmers by asking them to produce extra crops but not giving them their fair share? What if they had gone corrupt and decided to keep most of the extra income generated in Week #7 with themselves only?

What would have been the Week of economy? If such earnings by the Distributors goes out of circulation, Dealer is keeping that (black) money with himself. On the other hand poor shops are struggling hard to attract consumers. These three shops are fighting it hard to win the best pie of the limited market demand for commodity and products.

Unaware of this scenario, peasants worked hard to get additional yields over the illusion of high demand. There will be dead inventories everywhere with peasants, distributers and shops. Distributers are wealthy, the black money with them will be hedged for this loss. Poor peasants wouldn’t have buyers for their yield. Shops are overloaded with dead stock. Consumers can only consume as per their capacity. Shops will try to sell their commodities with minimum profit. Money saved with consumer might not be consumed for other products as they are also in abundance by now.

Also, let’s assume Government comes in rescue to bail out these entities. To do so, Government had to cut its expenses as well. Such austerity measure means our primitive consumers @TheMasakkali and @AbidyRubi have lesser income now. Hence, there will be a sudden drop in the demand for the commodities and the products. There will be bears crawling all around the system.

Peasants and consumers will have their worst phase. Peasants will have no work as there is no demand for their farm produce. Consumers will have lesser money to spend. Shop keepers will be just waiting for their returns on investment with that huge pile of inventory, which is now slow moving. Since that bail out, they are now functioning at a lower turnover (w.r.t era before @ViralSSS arrived)

The outsider @ViralSSS might decide to quit this economy. Failure of W will discourage others outsiders to pump money into this economy. It will take time for the economy to run like before.

And that black money will remain black and idle doing no good to anyone. Perhaps Distributors transferred that money into bullions and real estate. Such black money got absorbed into such investments and is out of circulation from the economy.

If there is a law stating conservation of money, then by principle, first Corruption (absorption of money) at one link in the chain has resulted in depreciation for every other entity.

Just Some Virtual Real and Ideal Thoughts

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Concept Document: Tweet Fixing

What is Tweet Fixing?

Use of social media networking sites like Twitter to initiate a spontaneous word of mouth advertising platform for an underlying concept/ cause/product. As we know that everyday some topics trends like a wildfire on Twitter and people start discussing them to make spontaneous trends. We must have experienced our timelines trending on what opinion leaders have spoken all about. Needless to know how cricketers’ or #babyB goes trending in Indian timeline; but trending of an unknown girl wearing blue bra or Vivek Oberoi also trending with #babyB enumerates the power of people on Twitter. That power can be well channelized into some concept/ cause / product through a paid medium of Tweeples (People on Twitter) for promotion.

Such Tweeples will be referred as Secret Advertisers in the following part of this document and beyond as well.

How Tweet Fixing will work?

Such advertising campaign will be full-fledged projects. There will be a core committee of creative Twitter Consultants who will provide their consultancy for scripting how the topic has to be initiated on Twitter. A lifecycle of the campaign has to be designed covering introduction, growth, maturity and decline phase of the campaign. They will analyze and plan correct timing for launching the campaign. The designed campaign will be then executed by the Secret Advertisers strictly following the predetermined protocol(Protocol includes Plan B as well!). A moderator for secret advertisers will have a constant watch on the timeline to ensure correct execution of campaign, if they need to switch to plan B or to suspend the campaign if suddenly any real storm of topics like #babyB appears between people.

Below is the basic prototype of how timeline will function to start a successful campaign, you may find Philip Kotler also liking this prototype:-


Secret Advertisers :- @ThePopularGirlonTwitter , @AnIntelligentBoy, @AnyTimeCritic, @ScriptedStalkers (1 to N), @popularGirl’sFemalefriend (1 to N) , @Moderator @Campaigncatalysts

Real People :- @RealStalkers @RealOpinionLeaders @followerCounters @EarlyFollowers, @laggards

Pre-requisites:- designed campaign has to have genuine public interest catching contents. Secret Advertisers should have good audience in timeline and they must be real people as well (if not, they should thoroughly behave like real people). They should be also talking about other topics before, during and after the campaign to maintain their level of authenticity.

Note:- Induction of Artificial Intelligence should be avoided in this early phase.

Timeline Skeleton

Topic Initiater -@ThePopularGirlonTwitter starts sharing her views related to campaign.

@scriptedStalker(s) and @popularGirl’sFemalefriend (s)starts interacting with her and carry forward the conversation.

@RealStalkers also join the conversation and starts spreading the campaign to the real unscripted conversations.

@AnytimeCritic intervenes with his scripted counter point of view on the campaign.

@AnIntellegentBoy comes up with solid scripted points in favor of the campaign

Identified @followercounters are followed and unknowingly involved into discussion by @thepopulargirl @Herfreind @scriptedstalkers and @campaigncatalysts

@realopinionleaders will jump in the conversation.

@earlyfollowers will follow them

Above is a complicated twitter cycle which has to be performed with intelligent combinations and strategies to pull out real conversations from people.

All above entities keep themselves involved into discussions. @Moderator is keeping eye on the timeline and will be interactively using Twitter APIs to statistically monitor the flow and direction of the campaign.

Secret advertisers will initiate and actively participate in the growth of the campaign. If the campaign is successful, the maturity stage (refer product life-cycle curve) of the campaign will not require secret advertisers to tweet more frequently on the topic. The Twitter engine will carry forward the conversation in the targeted region of campaign. This will be a testing time for @moderator to keep a watch on the timeline so that he can instruct secret advertisers on how and when to perform changes in their respective tweet frequencies for the campaign. In the decline phase @laggards will also join the conversation in the campaign followed by the kickoff of the new campaign.

Last but not the least; throughout the campaign @Moderator has the responsibility to ensure that the campaign is progressing in the positive direction.

Every entity (people) in the Twitter will have their own audience to reach. Tendency of people on Twitter is to be reached and be heard. The campaign will be using this open secret of Twitter. Although, introduction and growth phase of the campaign could be artificial or scripted. But, those who understand the soul of twitter will be convinced that maturity phase of the campaign will be the real spontaneous discussion on the campaign.

This spontaneity of the campaign will carried forward to other social networking platforms like Fakebook (read Facebook) and outside the internet world as well.

Is Tweet Fixing Ethical?

When the idea was in raw phase, I asked myself the same question and also floated this query in my timeline. The element of social responsibility in the proposal has to ensure concept/ cause / product should qualify to be genuine fundamentally. Power of twitter is so smart that a fake underlying campaign cannot move into a positive direction. Secret advertisers will only be introducing the campaign to the timeline. Gradually the discussion will grow spontaneous with real people being involved with the real feedbacks and opinions. Tweet fixing will help to let people follow a direction for what topic to discuss. In social media networking we cannot control what content is delivered by the target audience who is also a part of this mass communication.

Just some ‘Virtual Real and Ideal’ thoughts

copyright- Rajeev Srivastava

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rocks, Clouds and Trees across the lake

A blanket of clouds covered the hill. They were carried down by the winds from the Pacific Ocean. Those clouds travelled so far collecting moisture from the vast sea and in-numerous islands. They settled down on a hill near to the vast lake. The euphoria of the trees on the hill didn’t allow them to think about going further. The clouds felt the reason for collecting that much amount of moisture was only meant for these trees. We can ask the wind to crawl us further away, possibly to the other side of the same island or over the vast ocean following on. “There are so many other clouds and that many other such hills, trees and people in the region; but we were destined for this particular mountain and those euphoric trees!” unanimously thought all those clouds and covered the hill under that mighty white blanket. The clouds in love with those euphoric trees reached every corner of the hill and talked with those trees. The trees in joy were combed by the accompanied wind. They danced in every possible way to express their gratitude towards the clouds and the wind for being with them after such a long spell of heat and humidity. Nature spread love in the atmosphere.

The inexpressive rocks looked unaffected in that atmosphere. A cloud thought why they are like that; so different from the trees. They are unmoved, just allowing the water to spread and pass through their surface. Our presence hardly bothered them. Even the bushes around them are so happy; they are trying to jump and see a glimpse of this nature’s song on the other side of that inexpressive rock. But these rocks are not giving us any sign to show what they are up to. What they are thinking? Why our presence or absence is nothing but just another evening for them. Look at the vast lake; it has become a mirror of us. Lilies in that lake appear laughing with joy. Folks in Multinlupa City are watching this beauty. Even look at that guy with some internal conflicts in a building at that distant extension of the lake; he has almost become a part of us. Everyone I can see is one way or another inspired except for these inexpressive rocks.

A rock knew what that cloud in particular has thought about him. That rock had thousands of pores within him and he had witnessed that many incarnations of that cloud. That rock has grown from a pebble to a big stone. Every time when the clouds came he got some new pores by virtue of the moisture they bought down to the hill. These new pores are sign which that inquisitive cloud was searching for. By the time this way of expression by rocks will come, clouds will die away. These clouds will never know how happy the masses of stone were when they arrived. The hardness of the rock never allowed him to hold those precious gifts from the cloud. But, those tiny pores within him allow seepage of the moisture through the depth of the stone. This goes un-noticed every time. When these clouds disappear and Sun comes overhead, a process of evaporation tries to take away all the moisture rocks have with them. That expansion of the pores does a painful weathering of stones. Rocks lose moisture and loose soil; days after the clouds came and disappeared after unconditionally giving away all the moisture they had.

Trees also know what some clouds feel over the inexpressive constraints of the stones. Hence, they pamper and flirt with clouds so that they forget the dilemma over their own presence. Trees have learnt this art over generations. Existence of rocks and clouds is for trees and other forms of life. One gives them water and other gives them nutrition. Hence they dance to give joy in return to rocks and clouds at this reunion. Trees have lived with rocks and learnt how to be strong and stable. The friendship with winds have taught them flexibility and expressiveness. Winds have whispered so many stories of mankind to them. Those rocks have listened as well. The appearance of clouds makes this a perfect reunion by nature. And this reunion is scheduled for every form of life in the ecology. This is the purpose which makes the clouds travel that far, only to disappear ultimately. Rocks have lived thousands of years to provide an enormous amount of fertile soil and stability. Generation by generations trees have served the purpose of life and livelihood for all sorts of life.

In this process, winds have been a connecting thread with everyone and they narrated a fable; how someone at some distance is experiencing elements of clouds, rocks and trees within himself through his internal conflicts. / Internal Conflicts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Stanley Ka Dabba

A Tiffin box, which had a lower significant value in our respective life; was a dominant factor for Stanley. Stanley and his short story revolve around his struggle for food during school recess and a series of events associated with it. Stanley’s struggle for an afternoon meal; makes one feel really privileged that we have/had a relatively simpler life.

Stanley used to go school hours before school start time and never used to bring his afternoon meal. But, he didn’t faced any discrimination from his classmates. Nobody in his school was unaware about his family whereabouts and reasons for not bringing his meal, but they all shared their tiffins with Stanley during recess. But it was a teacher of them who use to forcefully eat meal of the kids, verbally abused and discriminated Stanley for not bringing his afternoon meal. In the later part of the story Stanley devised a solution for this problem.

The screenplay of the above simple story is very intense, which is reflected through the love of Stanley’s classmates towards him. The narrations of Stanley were artistically presented. Those fake narrations later revealed as the tactics of Stanley to hide his sorrow and show the world how happy his life is. Stanley ka dabba which appeared a simpler story in its initial 90% had an intense climax when it was revealed that Stanley was recently orphaned. His caretaker uncle is using him as a child labour in his filthy restaurant. A sudden transformation of a bright school kid into a child worker at a restaurant cleaning tables and serving water was a shock to the audience. The luminance of Stanley at school was eclipsed by the darkness of this social evil. He represented and even looked like a child worker in ours’ neighbourhood who is everywhere known as ‘chotu’. Stanley’s story says that every single child workers which we have seen but ignored has got a unique story of them; their dreams, aspirations, struggles, cries & laughs, the reasons, and the ignorance from the society. There are many Stanleys’ in our country and other parts of the world, who are engulfed by the devil called child labour.

The haunting questions (also reasons for writing this blog) which an audience is left with is what as an individual who has got a relatively far simpler life than Stanley is going to do after watching this movie. What is the social responsibility of “me” as an individual who has always known but ignored this social evil. As a hobby economist, one has always condemned child labour and seeked government to be proactive and eradicate the evil. But what has really been done to kill this social evil by an individual like us. Answer from writer of this blog is ‘nothing significant’. Why one is feeling so pity for Stanley after watching his background in the dark hall of multiplex. Why the child labours in bright day light are successful in being unnoticed? Why we don’t feel pity for them?

Stanley had some unfair attributes to his personal story, which nobody knew in his brighter side of life. His sorrows were empowered by his cute narrations of how his mother prepared last night’s leftover unsold restaurant food with the efforts and affection involved. This was packed by the cook (unofficial but actual guardian of Stanley) of his uncle’s restaurant. In the end, that dabba was shared with every important character of the story excluding the ‘gormandize but no apologize’ teacher of Stanley who left the school out of a self guilt for discriminating Stanley for not bringing meal to school. Stanley’s strength to hide his tragedy and associated sorrows asked a big question, how strong enough you are as a person to deal with your daily life problems? Responsibility

Monday, February 14, 2011

Help Mohini Sharma

Help Mohini Sharma

Insignificant contributions added together achieve a significant goal. To me Rupees 300 means a couple of movie tickets or more at the nearest multiplex or few bottles of beer or anything else. But, Rupees 300 contributed by 350 volunteers would mean a power wheel chair for Mohini Sharma.

Mohini Sharma is suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She had been doing home based job past 7 years after completing B.Com. Now she wants to explore her working abilities to go out of her home based job profiles. At present, Mohini is facing a unwillingness from employers to hire someone with a wheelchair. A power wheel chair can provide Mohini an unmatched mobility and independence to get a suitable job for Mohini for her abilities.

Remember a simpler, uncomplicated life of ours is an opportunity to make others’ life better. To contribute, please notify either me or

This is an initiative by my friend circle on Twitter. Follow my friends in this initiative on twitter:-

More about Mohini Sharma on:-

Monday, June 28, 2010

Future of World Economy (Part 2)

As wealth can nether be neither created nor destroyed, just imagine how much of prosperity can be gained if there is no violence and terrorism. However, factors like increasing population can say that in timeline gross wealth can be increased, but at any given limited time frame gross wealth of the world is constant.* There will be more money allocated to remove poverty. Purchasing power of people will go high and loss of property and lives will be minimized. There will be more investments in infrastructure and obviously standard of living in the third world will be upgraded. But, this is an unlikely scenario in the present world. Every nation is unsecured by its neighbor. 

The firework dilemma*:

With so much money spent in the fireworks, once a thought appeared; what if people stop wasting money in the firework. So much money can be saved. But economy is interdependent. Macro economy is an integration of all such micro economies. If firework industry will go busted, dependent workers will lose jobs. For many they may not be compatible skill wise to migrate to other works. Those who will manage to migrate with their skills or to other skills will dilute the net workforce demand of corresponding sectors. This will influence lower pay scale among people in the interdependent economies. Same effect will be observed in the dependent sectors of firework economy. This is an effect of job loss in one sector. Same is happening at the Gulf of Mexico. An Oil Spill has ruined so many lives. Same happened in the recent recession aftermaths.

Secondly, where the saved money has gone? It could be invested in other sectors, could be dormant and out of the circulation, or money saved could create extra demand for certain commodities and hence will be responsible for inflation.

Gradually, economy has the potential of adaptability. It is a complex debate, how any sector busted will upgrade or degrade economy as a whole. Certainly, a strategic thinking can make this sustainable and acceptable to the economic ecology. 

Afghanistan is now said to be sitting on the wealth of buried minerals under those rusted Russian Tanks and opium poppies. The Afghanistan economy can witness a boost, if these minerals are accessed. The access will result in investments in infrastructures, better livelihood and millions of jobs to Afghan people and inflow of foreign exchange for the poor economy. Hopefully the clouds of a war struck nation will fade away for their prosperity. In the same way Gaza blockade removal can boost that many sectors in the region which are now under not allowed list by Israel.

The previous blog post discussed how BRIC has evolved as emerging economies and how they are going to influence decision makers for coming decades. These economies are also facing challenges to overcome and become World Powers. 

Poverty is primary among them. These nations are not homogenously developed. As Western Russia is developed, but remaining part is underdeveloped. People still live nomadic life in the interiors of Russia. Same with China, western part is not that prosperous in comparison with Eastern part having the coastline. Same is with Brazil and India. The wealth transferred doesn’t reach everyone in the same ratio. 

Infrastructure is another challenge. This is the area where BRIC nations have started investing into, so that they can make their selves ready for the forthcoming growth. Infrastructure plays a really big role in a nation’s progress. Imagine how a small railway station where only few all stop trains halt in 24 hours contributes towards the micro level economy of that village. When the tracks were being laid and station was built many locals got involved in the construction work. Some people got an opportunity to have a part time income of selling food stuffs when train halts. Some people took this as a full time vacation to reach distant places as train vendors selling food and local crafts. Some educated also got job at the station for some different roles. That village stations served nearby villages too. Those who had bulls with them will earn livelihood by providing transportation facilities. Those were the benefits to count but listed few. They were all new vocations created by single tracks of railway line with couple of platforms. Point of emphasis is the role of infrastructure, enabling wealth to reach those places where it was not before. With infrastructure reaching interior parts of the economy, it will result in increase of gross consumption and hence will guide growth in GDP. That will be the payback or return on investment in the economy.

Defense investment is a necessary evil, as it safeguards investments done throughout the economy. But, lesser this evil more is prosperity. That is why USA is ridiculed by its own mass for heavy investments in Afghan and Iraq wars. Terrorism and internal violence is a major challenge for all economies in todays world.

Illiteracy is a challenge and Education is a weapon to eradicate the evils of an economy and lead it to the path of prosperity. If people are educated and dignified of knowledge they will not be brainwashed to con tribute devil’s underground economy. Underworld is also a parallel economy, which sucks the wealth out of the white system. Any contribution in grey economy doesn’t ads to the GDP of a nation.

Corruption is another devil which really blocks the economic growth. The World Bank loan becomes a Swiss Bank deposit. World Bank or IMF receives their paybacks by hard earned Income Tax or GST or VAT paid by common mass who are still deprived of those benefits which were actually meant for them. If economies owners will go honest, imagine how much of prosperity can be gained.

Communist philosophy of Marx was based on this ideal scenario where everyone got its equivalent share of his/her contribution towards economy. Where state did all the earning and does equivalent distribution of wealth among people. However, this philosophy upon its implementation went on extreme resulting in exploitation of folks and corruption by officials. It is now ended in Russia, transformed in China. Communist ideology is now only confined to lesser know regions like N.Korea or Cuba who have minimum connectivity and responsibility towards world economy. 

*Fireworks dilemma is writetr's own hypothesis, welcome your responses on this dilemma

Part 3 will feature the Economic Hopes of Africa.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Future of World Economy

Part 1

10 years ago, 80% of world wealth was produced by the developed world, viz. North America and EU. In 2010, scenario has changed 75% of world wealth is now produced emerging economies. Among emerging economies BRIC is the building block of ‘The Change’ in the economic pattern in past decade and the forthcoming decades. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) is growing like anything. These emerging economies have their own features which distinguishes it from other. And these features are responsible for theirs’ own sustainable growth. By virtue of this growth, there is a demand for these economies to have a commanding voice in International financial agencies like the World Bank and the IMF.

The developed economies themselves are in a recovery mode. Reforms are there everywhere. Europe is undergoing a phase of cuts and high taxes to reduce their liabilities. Greece and Spain are under crisis. Great Britain has also induced toughest economic reforms to avoid being another Greece or Spain. Euro may be split in future, as Robust economies (France, Germany, etc) in Euro Zone wants to avoid economic dangers from weaker economies in Euro Zone (like Greece, Spain, EU members from Eastern Europe)

According to UN Sec Gen, Mr. Ban Ki Moon (In World Global Summit, a CNBC show), vision of United Nations is to create 420 Million new Jobs by 2015 for the sustainable world economic growth. Around that much of job had been lost by the global recession last year. Flow of money from developed economies will be directed towards developing economies. This flow of money will be in the form of investments to set up new ventures in such areas. Emerging economies like BRIC, will be the direct beneficiaries. There will be changes and economic reforms all over in the coming years. Emerging economies are poised to deliver financial recovery in coming years to follow.

Now the question is what are the unique features of BRIC economies which is making them performers and gradually evolving policy makers of the world economy. India has itself a vast potential consumer base. It has a potential to sustain in deeper recessions only by serving the demands of their domestic consumption. India had been eyed as a market of interest for many. And hence, India is witnessing FDIs. Political instability had been a blockade of economic growth in India. Now it doesn’t seems. China has a potential for its huge manufacturing base, which is delivering to every continent. Chinese policy disallows money invested in its land to go out for a certain period of time. This is resulting in higher purchasing power of its people and hence strengthening their demands by theirs’ domestic consumptions. Similarly Brazil is a manufacturer for the world and witnessing economic prosperity with an influx of foreign investments on its land. Russia so far known as an economy based on its raw material resources has now opened its arm to the world to diversify their economy. Now Russia will no longer dependent on its Coal, oil and Natural gas supplies to the Europe. Indeed, Russia is on a way to be an economic supreme by investing in other industries like the new Silicon Valley. Russian Silicon Valley will definitely bring a revolution to the world economy. They are going techie and will produce value addition of Russian creativity.

Wealth is like energy. Neither created nor destroyed. If any country will print extra currency bills it will increase purchasing power of people, raise demand for commodities, reduce monetary value and hence inflation. Therefore, the gross Global wealth is constant. Now the emerging economies have started taking bigger shares of this wealth every year. China and Brazil majorly catering to the consumption of the globe, BRIC economies extracting the natural resources are pulling the flow of wealth towards their respective regions. The European economies by virtue of their consumption more than production have witnessed the debt crisis. Now, they are focusing on the cuts and reducing social liability to balance out the difference between consumption and production. In the past decade flow of wealth is shifted.

Loss of some is the gain of others. BRIC is enjoying a prosperous growth rate by virtue of this. World economy is progressing towards a balancing equilibrium, already developed economies loosing and developing one grabbing. But, how long this will continue?

If we analyze the economic history, after the industrial revolution post renaissance; current developed economies created wealth for themselves by manufacturing of goods on a larger scale. With the economies growing and labor cost becoming higher, they began outsourcing from several developing locations worldwide. These economies became developed because of manufacturing. Now USA is also targeting to further invest in the manufacturing sector. If the invest in manufacturing will go high, BRIC can witness a reduction in the demands for the supply from their respective regions. This is going to be a way ahead of future scenario. Because in present World of West, the production cost will be really high. To start a manufacturing based economy, they first have to go that low to meet the sustainable requirements of a manufacturing based economy.

To secure wealth, Intellectual Property is one such means. With the globalization, technology is no more one economy’s advantage. Now, everyone has an access to it. Success of BRIC lies over here. They are prospering because of the technology they got shared by west, and development of their own indigenous method which got acceptance of worldwide consumption. Mainly China, Chinese goods are made for worldwide consumption. China is now doing both outsourcing and exports.

Information Technology had been an Indian success story. Mainly an outsourcing of skills, Industries growing all around the world require a support of Information Technology, and now these support services have become a major contributor to Indian GDP. India is also a diversified economy. The green revolution of 60s, has not only made India self sufficient but also supplying to the demand outside.

End of Part 1

Saturday, June 26, 2010

G8, G20 and the World Today

At the time of writing this article G8 summit has begun in Canada, which will be followed by G20 summit later on, this weekend. Developing economies are going to play a vital role in strengthening and restructuring world economy. Reforms for IMF and The World Bank are already in the pipeline. Economies like India, Brazil, China and Japan have a major role to play in making a prosperous world economy which is being under a constant unstable equilibrium. Global Recession originated in USA is over, but flaws of several economies like Greece, Spain and Japan had been exposed in the recent past. Features of Macro economics are prevailed in the cluster of theirs’ corresponding innumerous micro economies. However, Global economy is a cluster of such Macro Economies. Globalized economy where all economies are inter-related, setbacks or reforms on one will influence others with respective effects. However, North Korea is an exception to that, an unknown isolated part of the globe.

North Korea, these days featured in FIFA #WorldCup and observing 60 years of the #KoreanWar; memories of the forgotten war between the two Korean nations is being done these days. That was a war, which involved USSR, China, USA and western allies supporting theirs’ respective ideologies. The Korean War indeed a war between democracy (or Capitalism) and Communist ideologies, in the early ages of cold war era. (Recommendation- Watch 71 into the fire; A south Korean Movie based on the true story of 71 student soldiers who heroically provide resistance to North Korean army’s invasion)

Hopefully, someday North Korea will be open to the world. Like other nations of communist ideologies like China and Russia who have a wider influence on world politics and economics.

#G8 and #G20 summits, there are so many hopes associated with it. Greek or Spanish economies are undergoing tremendous reforms through tough decisions and protests. The brokenness of these economies has alarmed the world. That is Japan is also undergoing reforms and China is consequently revaluating its currency to be more open and secure to the world. Indian economy is supposed secured, no wonder it could be a mirage not noticed in a fabulous growth rate in GDP of 8+ % per annum.

Economy is the main focus of this summit, overshadowing the concern of climate change. Rebalancing of World economy is the primary focus. America has announced more economic reforms to come in coming days, in the form of new banking laws. These reforms will be toughest since the reforms implemented in 1930s after the great depression of USA. Last year G20 summits concluded with a vision to prosper Africa. Investments has been made, work in progress and results yet to be delivered.

In today’s world, we still have war wound territories like #Gaza, #Afghanistan and Iraq along, failed states like Somalia and isolated economies like North Korea. Gaza, it is sad to learn about the miseries of people, who have got many commodities, almost, everything blockaded by Israel. Knowledge of Afghanistan’s potential mineral wealth is good but sarcastic news. The war struck land lock country, deeply addicted by Taliban and opium. India and China are desperate to grab these wealth and opportunity for prosperity for the locals. For India, it won’t be that easy by virtue of dependency on Pakistan for the transportation route needs.

Economy is also catalyzed by peace. Sadly, we have weaker states like #Kyrgyzstan who are witnessing ethnic violence and humanitarian loss all around. The Gulf of Mexico, has also suffered huge job loss by virtue of the BP Oil Spill. Effect on the Environment is another major concern in this region.

Russia is now opening its arms to the world. They have realized dependency on energy sources and raw materials alone will not let them to prosperity in the world today era where emerging economies are at sprint. The Russian #SiliconValley will certainly open avenues not only for Russians but also for many economies.

Last but not the least; football for a hope has really out played every bit of concern among all of us. This Euphoria is amazingly celebrated by not only by 32 countries, in fact every country. Football #WorldCup has certainly grown bigger than Olympics in popularity. #WorldCup is certainly the bigger summit which has woven people from different nations into a single fabric.
Hopefully, this G8 + G20 summit will have a remarkable mark in the world history, in the years to come. Current Affairs