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I Liked

Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid and Hiran Minar in Fatehpur Sikri – c1890’s – Old Indian Photos

This is to record my liking of the site, the Old Indian Photos:

 

Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid and Hiran Minar in Fatehpur Sikri – c1890’s – Old Indian Photos.

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Contemporary Topics I Liked

Gangnam Style « Be Money Aware Blog

Be Money Aware” is a very well – written, well-reseacrhed site/ blog on the matters of the world of finance and  investments as, seen from the point of view of a [typical] lay, ‘retail investor’ .

The present article on “Gangnam Style” seems to have been spurred by the inherent trend of more and more and Indians also gravitating to the mindset of spending (first) rather than saving.

THe writer of the blog has dug up an intersting underlying aspect of Ganganam Style – “an upscale neighborhood of Seoul like Beverly Hills of California. It occupies a psychic place in the minds of Korea’s 99% and represents the luxurious life for which they strive”.

But as is the typical style of tis blog, it does not just  rest with the introduction and /or detailing of the subject. It goes on to present all possible aspects, that a (lay) investor / reader should know in order to a n ‘awakened consumer’.

So we have an excellent treatise on Gangnam Style, to read on, enrich our knoweldge and fully enjoy …………

Gangnam Style « Be Money Aware Blog.

I thank “Be Money Aware” to concur to reblog this article here.

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Contemporary Topics

Small-Scale Farmers Creating a New Profit Model – NYTimes.com

Organic farming, one devoid of use of fossil fertilizers, pesticides and fuels has been around for quite some time in India as well.

But, the concept is more at the stage of either a hobby or at the stage of  ‘elite’ society’s ‘awareness’ of health.

The fact that NYT has thought fit to carry the story, should be utilized to leverage the concept of ‘small farmers [which is the category in which most of the real farmers of India would fall into] into a viable long term business model. This should be part of an efficient supply chain as well, with or without the {so called] large scale Retail, which in turn can be with or without FDI.

Small-Scale Farmers Creating a New Profit Model – NYTimes.com.

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Contemporary Topics Divya Bhaskar In my view Innovation Leadership

બિઝનેસ મોડલ ગરીબોને ફાયદો થાય એવું બનાવો – Create a business model that benefits the poor – www.divyabhaskar.co.in

બિઝનેસ મોડલ ગરીબોને ફાયદો થાય એવું બનાવો – Create a business model that benefits the poor – www.divyabhaskar.co.in.

Not long ago Dr.C K Prahlad used to passionately advocate the concept of ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ and had explicitly established that given the right business model, this consumer segment had far more  untapped potential – both, in terms of profitability and  the market size.

He also used to establish that so-called ‘poor’ nations in fact did not suffer because of paucity of resources. They suffered because they are not utilizing their resources efficiently and effectively. This calls for invoking the instincts of innovation, inherently available in every human being but generally remaining very dormant.

Not many years ago, when there was hardly any presence of private enterprise – generally presumed to be efficient and innovative – many of the products and services of the public sector in the fields of education, health care, TV, Radio etc. were exemplary.

However, surprisingly the advent of private  sector in these fields in last 20 years seem to have deteriorated the performance and standards of performance. This is considered to be the most adverse comment on the free-market orientation of deployment of resources. The free-market mindset seems to be highly pliable to path of least resistance. The practitioners of free-market orientation need to read Robert Frost’s poem – The Uncharted Road.

in fact, reaching out the bottom of pyramid , the so-called “Aam Aadmi”, is the Challenge of 21st Century, as evidenced by Occupy Wall Street movement and the likes.

What incentives the young professionals of 21st Century need to take up this challenge?

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Contemporary Topics

The 20th Anniversary Issue [Vol.21, No.1 for the fortnight of 26th Dec ’11 to 8th Jan ‘12] Of Business Today

This 20th Anniversary issue of Business Today is – both , in keeping with making the Anniversary Issue a Collectors’ item as well as presenting either a fresh view to the contemporarily relevant topic or presenting a new topic] a very pensive yet full- of –hopes forward-looking statement.

In presenting the design and the content, the Editorial Team has indeed lived up to their promise of not looking back.

The issue is essentially split in several sections, each section having an article or a story from the different fields of India.

For all practical purposes, the issue opens with ‘Companies That Changed India’ in the last 20 years. There may be some debate about a few of the models quoted here or left out from its roster,, but even while looking at the rear window, the eyesight has not wavered from the front-view.

Score Ahead’ charts the current scenario and future agenda for ‘a new India’ in terms of the aspirations and challenges in the fields of Democracy, Politics, Corruption, Media, Scientific Research, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Education, Banking, Global Standing, Personal Finance, Philanthropy, Women, NGOs, Healthcare, Public Transport, Infrastructure,  Agriculture, Environment, entertainment, Advertising,  Technology [Social Media].and Sports – the Index has inadvertently maintained the title of “Column’ here-  with the help of quite passionate articles from the persons at the grass-roots in the respective field. The topics do cover most of the soft issue for the tomorrow of India, and to some extent that of Bharat as well.

The editorial preface to these articles notes deluge of opportunities. Partly the [so called] liberalization in the past 20 years, coupled with need of the European countries and USA to locate their manufacturing bases to a low-cost destination has provided  such a booster dose to our economy, that some of the chinks left out in the process of development have not hurt the economy and the people.

The liberalization eased, to a greater extent, but only in certain selected areas only, the governmental controls on operation and maintenance of the business in India. As result, entry of private enterprise in the two basic sectors, heath care and education, did get great opportunities. At the end of 20 years, when the momentum of growth has mellowed down, the three typical systemic maladies – insufficiency, [only] profit orientation and degeneration of ‘people aspect’ – as captured by Dr. Abhay Bang [“Change the Medication” , page 96], seem to affect almost all the areas taken up for discussion in this section.

The Editorial Team needs to be especially complemented for presenting the stories of ‘common men’s spirit of entrepreneurship – the potential bulwark of engagement of the bulging young India in decades to come – in the section ‘The Enterprising India’. One may chuckle with a resignation of cynicism on this aspect, particularly if he /she has read a story, being circulated in some other publications, of Dr. Piramal sitting over a pile of disinvestment cash.  Oh well,  even though we have gained fairly good ‘project’ management expertise [“Blueprint for Excellence” – Shri K Venkatesh, page 110],  as much of the work has been done in last 20 years is still required to be done in next 5 years.

Catalytic Converters’ has picked up a wide spectrum of potential game changers by way of Clean Drinking Water, Solar Energy, Low-cost tablets, Wireless Broadband, UID, Cloud Computing, Mobile-based Transactions, Commodity Trading,

The photo gallery and snippets of thoughts of “ambitious men and women who are deciding the future of India in the areas of Entrepreneurship, professional Executive, Fashion, Jurisprudence, Education to air their views on what would change in their areas of work in the next decade.’

The stories in the issue have presented the imbalances and the opportunities by maintaining the delicate balance with an undercurrent of positive optimism.

May be because of such strong under-current of déjà vu that Shri Chaitanya Kalbag’s editorial post script – which I have translated in Gujarati] throws up the gauntlet of getting back to the work of unfinished agenda of providing decent education, health care, nutrition and shelter to the poorest child in the remotest village of India [Bharat] with the’ collective semi-conscious’ energy to stand up, dust off and carry on. He has unambiguously emphasized the intent of the Editor-In-Chief to set the tone for the future on the 20th Anniversary of Business Today.

On the whole, the issue has been well-designed and its content carefully chosen and presented to render the Anniversary issue a must-read and ponder upon.

I feel satisfied to remain an avid reader of this business journal from its inception and justified in maintaining the relationship of a subscriber for almost 15 years.

Ashok Vaishnav, Ahmedabad,

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Contemporary Topics I Liked

Corruption and India’s 1%

The only important question in the West right now is how to restart stalled economic growth.

So it is easy to be dazzled by India, where a 7% rise in gross domestic product is the nightmare scenario, and optimists are shooting for 9%. But Indians themselves are starting to worry about how that growth is being achieved – and who is benefiting.

The headline complaint is corruption. That is nothing new here, of course. But the country now has a middle class self-confident enough to feel humiliated by paying quotidian bribes and resentful of the rise of baksheesh billionaires. Anna Hazare’s hunger strike became a national political event because it tapped into this anger of the urban bourgeoisie.

“India has been overwhelmed by corruption scams,” Kiran Bedi, the first Indian woman officer and one of Hazare’s chief lieutenants, told me in one of a series of interviews in Mumbai. “While it has been apparent that India is shining, India has also been declining in many ways as there has been rampant exposure of corruption.”

“Corruption is endemic,” said Rajiv Lall, chief executive of Infrastructure Development Finance Co, a partly state-owned financial institution. “I don’t think anybody here is pretending that there’s no corruption in India.

And corruption can take on a new dimension, especially in time of great transformation.”

Graft is just part of the story. One of the reasons to celebrate India’s astonishing economic rise is that the subcontinent desperately needed to get richer. In 1991, when Manmohan Singh, then the finance minister and now the prime minister, began the liberalization program that underpins the country’s transformation, India’s 854 mn citizens had an average annual per capita income of only $1,300. The problem, said Arun Maira, a former industrialist – member of the country’s influential planning commission, is that India’s economic rise has had the least impact on people who need it most.

“My thesis is that most people are not feeling included in the growth,” Maira said.

“This has become a very loud voice which is saying ‘Come on guys, the economy is growing very fast now. You’re celebrating this 8, 9, 10% growth, but what about us?”

As Maira points out, one of the most powerful advantages of the wealthiest 1% is “access to people in power.” But there is a more subtle reason the game is most effectively played by those who are already winning it. S. Gopalakrishnan of Infosys, said that “The tendency is that people who have access to power and access to governments, etc., tend to get a better deal. “The policies, the roots, are framed because they are people who give inputs to those policies,” he said.

This is the Indian version of what Willem Buiter, the former London School of Economics professor who is now chief economist at Citigroup, calls “cognitive capture,” and which he blames in part for the regulatory and legislative lapses that created the 2008 crisis.

Ashutosh Varshney, a professor of international studies at Brown University, likens India’s thriving and dirty capitalism to the United States’ Gilded Age. That apt comparison suggests that India watchers should be on the lookout for a Hindu version of the Roosevelts – a Teddy to break the grip of the robber barons and an FDR to offer the 99% a New Deal.

There is, however, one important difference. India’s robber barons have emerged in the age of globalisation and at a time when the US, still the world’s dominant economy, is  experiencing its own second Gilded Age. The wealthiest 1% is a global class, and cognitive capture is an international phenomenon. The world may need its own global Roosevelts, too.

Courtesy: SmartInvestor.in 18-11-2011