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I Liked

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken , by Robert Frost 1874–1963, remains my philosophy of life.

I have not pursued this consciously, hence I would take the blocks on the Road Not Taken in to my stride every time. I could have converted this pleasure into success, too, if I would have been more painstaking enough to plan the course the moment I was on a Rad Not Taken.

This not a regret, just a candid introspection, of my first innings………

Here is the poem and couple of interesting related video clips:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Courtesy: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173536#poem

 

Robert Frost reads The Road Not Taken  

Kevin Murphy, Professor of English at Ithaca College, examines the discrepancy between Robert Frost’s popularity during his lifetime and the darker implications of his poetry, as exemplified by one of his most cherished poems. Filmed in 1992.

Uploaded by IthacaCollege on Feb 29, 2008

And here is Robert Frost’s famous poem – The Road Not Taken- visualized!

Uploaded by janmensen on Apr 26, 2007

Categories
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.

Categories
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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T E D What Makes Us Happy

What Makes Us Happy? | Video channel on TED.com

What Makes Us Happy? | Video channel on TED.com.

This was TED theme in 2004 conference. ‘but TED speakers over many years have continued this quest. ‘

So do I……..

Let us how this journey unfolds……..

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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

Categories
Contemporary Management Literature I Liked Leadership Translations from Gujarati

See Seven types of persons here

  1. Those who create complications but do not themselves know what they have done!?!?!?
  2. Those who are at least aware that they have created complications, but do nothing for the solution.
  3. Those who are at least aware that they have created complications, and then transfer these complications by informing others.
  4. Those who are at least aware that they have created complications, and then ‘inform’ others by ‘sticky-notes’ [now by e-mail or SMS].
  5. Those who are at least aware that they have created complications, and ensure self-awareness not to permit the repetition [We invite them for the jobs here.]
  6. Those who are at least aware that they have created complications, and ensure that others are aware not to permit the repetition. [We have open doors for jobs for them, always]
  7. Those who are at least aware that they have created complications, search for the solutions and also ensure own and others’ awareness for avoiding the repetition. [We are on the constant look out for such leaders.]

[[Observed at the hardboard at the Reception counter of an Engineering Company]]

Courtesy: http://nilenekinarethi.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/seven-kinds-of-people/

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Contemporary Management Literature I Liked In my view Persoanlity development

Seth’s Blog: After you’ve done your best

Seth’s Blog: After you’ve done your best.

One certainly can learn from the failures only, only if you know – why,how and what.
That is why failing the right way would remain an art.   

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Contemporary Topics In my view

The King of Good Times is now the pauper of bad times.

The growth of airlines industry in India seems to have happened quite unplanned.
Before, any meaningful comment can be offered, one needs to study the market share , the patterns of traffic, the cost structure, infrastructure management practices etc. of of each airline.
However,  few observations can be recorded at this stage:
1. Airlines seems to find competition uncomfortable. It is time that they are able to work out strategy of differentiating on factors other than price. As a customer, I have not preferred price alone. I would be necessarily guided by the preferred time slot for my travel, the experience of on-time travel. However, the airlines do not seem to have been able monetize their such USPs.
2. Certainly, [only] some routes may be profitable! but is it only the average, day-in-day-out load factor the only parameter driving that routes profitability?
3. The airlines are facing the monopoly in several other areas, like airport charges, fuel cost etc. But, this is not very much new for the industry as a whole. There are many industries  which have many customers [ meaning difficult to achieve segmentation and loyalty]; many players [Classic application of ‘Rule of 3’ – relatively fragmented supply side] and few [oligopolistic] structure of input suppliers [meaning that not much control on your input cost and /or quality performance parameters].

Certainly, the industry is in unenviable situation. But do they have not landed themselves in that condition themselves? If so, why, someone else should help them out?

[This is copy of my Comment to the original blog-post on BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday Picks – Nov. 12, ’11]

Categories
Contemporary Management Literature In my view

Seth’s Blog: There’s nothing wrong with having a plan

Seth’s Blog: There’s nothing wrong with having a plan.

The plans can fail because

  • either the design was not adequate and complete, missing some vital elements that would affect input or process or output, OR
  • it was not implemented the way it was designed, OR
  • some of the external environmental factors did not behave as expected in the plan design, OR
  • perhaps the target was too high vis-a-vis planned or available resources.
But the mission is what the plan aims to achieve. The mission can undergo change, as it should, ordinarily.
One may give up the mission. but, that still is not mission’s [intrinsic ] failure. It is the failure of that individual who had dreamed that mission.
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Contemporary Management Literature I Liked In my view

5 Unconventional Do-Over Approaches to Career, Business, and Life [CBS News] – An interesting perspective to the Life

5 Unconventional Do-Over Approaches to Career, Business, and Life – CBS News.

Almost everyone has this lurking feeling that it would been different if I would have done it ‘that’ way, at some or other point in one’s own life. To all these, this article is a simply -explained very useful set of strategies.

P.S.: Some of the strategies suggested in the article may not be relevant to contemporary India. E.g. Take up admission in reputed private college, but study in a public college or university.

Also, following the spirit of the suggestions will be more beneficial than following them verbatim.

Those who are still at one of the life stages described in the article should remember not to follow up what is obvious and seen first, but should fully reason out several options before final choice.

Those who have passed all the stages should utilize the article for right advice to others, particularly their own children.