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Remembering Mahatma

[Above: Mahatma Gandhi sharing a light moment with his granddaughters. source: Enc. Britannica ] [Gandhi's] words struck me so forcibly that there and then I committed myself to attempt to make a film about Mahatma Gandhi - a commitment that changed the subsequent twenty years of my life. -- Richard Attenborough, in his introduction to the book - The Words of Gandhi Today, Jan 30, 2009 is the 61st anniversary of Bapu's demise. Update: Added Mahatma's speech on spirituality recorded by BBC at Kingsley Hall, London in Oct 1931 (~5:20 min.). See also: Go here for works of Gandhi at Project Gutenberg. Go here for Gandhi's speech at BBC.co.uk.

Blog by A Mechanic

THE WEBSITE IS LOADED with a lot of caveats and disclaimers. That gets me thinking if they mean more fun than business..? After putting this blog through their "Analyzer" the results came back naming me to be a "Mechanic" and showed a brain-map claiming to indicate the areas of my brain that are supposedly activated while blogging these posts. Interesting it may seem, I suppose I would take this simply on a lighter note (in any case, this blog is deliberately focused in certain areas by specifically shoving certain ideas. So, there it goes!). On the other hand it was surely fun to put some of my friends' blogs through Typealyzer (without their knowing) and to find funny details about them..! They most likely would be getting some pointy tweets now :-) The analysis goes on describing the personality traits as follows: The Mechanics: The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding t

Five Lessons from Sub-prime Crisis

PHILIP J. PURCELL, FORMER CEO AND CHAIRMAN OF MORGAN STANLEY, proposed the big five lessons for bankers coming out of the current Sub-prime crisis of the US. For the record, during Mr. Purcell's tenure as CEO at Morgan Stanley for eight years the firm attained following milestones at the close of 2004: #1 in global equity trading #1 in global equity underwriting in 2004 for first time since 1982 #1 global IPO market share in 2004 #2 in global debt underwriting in 2004, with steady gains since late '90s #2 in completed global M&A in 2004 Mr. Purcell resigned from Morgan Stanley in 2005, and has since founded a private equity firm called Continental Investors LLC. Following are the 'lessons' that he recently discussed through an article in FT: i) profits matter more than revenues ( sales ) ii) compensation should be based on profits, margins and return on equity over time, not current year revenues iii) leverage works not just on the upside but on the downside

So Long, King Gates

FINALLY, THE IT TZAR TAKES THE BACK SEAT. And as Mr. Bill Gates completes his last full working day by the EOD today - June 27, 2008 - at his Richmond, WA office in the US , an era of Biggest, Richest, and Fastest draws towards a change. Call him Innovator , Software Evangelist , Chief Software Architect , or by any other name, above all, Mr. Gates is a successful businessman, Zero-to-billions kind. And that is how I would want to reckon him, for Mr. Gates is not perhaps a mesmerising orator, neither a charismatic leader, nor a magnanimous personality. Even if he is all of these, they rather remain secondary, for the bottomline is, Mr. Gates knows business, does business and means business. Period. Arguably the world's most famous dropout - and thus perhaps the tallest example that education and money may not have a direct corelation - wrote the first BASIC compiler 17 years ago, and left the legacy as the world's richest man with such words: "There is nobody getting ric

"The Beautiful Mind" Turns 80

"The special commodity or medium that we call money has a long and interesting history. And since we are so dependent on our use of it and so much controlled and motivated by the wish to have more of it or not to lose what we have we may become irrational in thinking about it and fail to be able to reason about it as if about a technology, such as radio, to be used more or less efficiently..." -- John F. Nash , lecture at CII in Mumbai, Feb 2007 IF THE WORLD IS CONSIDERED A "CLOSED SYSTEM", deeming it a Zero-sum game, Nash Equilibrium could certainly offer a different meaning to the notion of money, and thus, to the word richness or net-worth and the world economy. [Today, June 13, John F. Nash, Jr. turns 80. A humble tribute to the 1994 Nobel Laureate legend.] Arguably, the Nash equilibrium is the single game theoretic solution concept that is most frequently applied in economics. In terms of strategy and planning, the equilibrium could be simplified as

Ken Harvey, the "Richest" CIO

KENNETH M. HARVEY AT HSBC HAS HAD A LASTING impression of an IT leader for me. And I believe in the capacity of a corporate executive, 'richness' (see: Money ) has more to do with quality of role, thought leadership and budget at disposal. In all of these terms, one might wager, Ken Harvey indeed must be a very rich man, for him being the group CIO of the world’s largest organisation , and then having a whopping USD 5bn in terms of his annual spending budget. It always felt great to conclude my induction sessions for the newly joined Business Analysts in my team by saying, "While certain organizations (vendors) aspire to make millions every year, Ken plans to spend in billions..." It rather gave everyone, me included, a sense if you like, of having a bundle or two of "cash" from Ken's kitty into our pockets. I specifically recall Mr. Harvey’s discussion with the Gartner members where one of the panellists posed him with the question of the challe

The Bard's Birth Day

April 23 - TODAY BEING ST. GEORGE'S DAY is also considered to be the Birth Day of William Shakespeare . (Nobody knows for sure of the bard's exact date of birth.) If one wonders about the alchemists of that era, and if they would have got a couple of 'immortality' pills of which one was taken by Shakespeare such that he would still be alive at this time, what kind of blogs would he be maintaining..? Perhaps a blog with the highest hits on the net! Footnote: Sampling only Technorati may perhaps be a rather narrow view, but looking at their popular index stats available of top 100 , the most popular blog as of this moment is - The Huffington Post , closely followed by (my personal preference) TechCrunch . (Well, by including weblinks here, I just contributed one more point to the 'authority' count on Technorati for both.)

"Fred the Shred" under the weather?

THEY CALL HIM "FRED THE SHRED...". If you count "few good men" who took the lead in the "rationalisation" of workforce in the conservative European banking and Financial services, Fred has to be in the front row. Sir Frederick Anderson Goodwin, remained in the news in Europe, mainly Britain, for his often visionary yet unorthodox methods of running Britain's second largest Banking group. After he assumed control, the RBS groups, perhaps for the first time, saw a rather American-styled cost-cutting, or Shredding as the Britons prefer to call it. Managing nearly 1000 people worldwide at the age of 32, the acumen more than the aggression made Fred the CEO of the Clydesdale Bank at the age of 36. He has been quoted as famously saying, "I have no time for cynics, spectators or dead wood". And as we speak, being with the RBS group, he is the longest serving CEO in the FTSE-100 index. (That precisely makes me wonder if the pool underneath is in

Oil money powering windmills

WINDMILLS WERE A THING fascination, especially in the farmland of picturesque Europe, more so perhaps because they spoke of a bygone era that I felt I just missed. To much delight, the winds continued to blow in their directions, as it were, and the windmills kept going around. With time, however, as the water-table got deeper and deeper, the Netherlanders found other ways and means to keep them spinning, namely, Electricity generated by turbines spinning by the winds. And I would say, this is a niche electro-mechanical engineering field - building a very energy efficient and 'light' turbine, such that the winds can spin at, and at the same time it gives sufficient torque to the dynamo to create electromagnetic charge that could be refined as usable domestic electricity. And along with all that technical things, the ROI turns profitable within reasonable metrics (and also, that we don't end up having a dog catching its own tail). Now, so far there was no direct conflict o

The Gillette 'trap'

[A little background: It had been a few months that I was searching for twin-blade cartridges for the Gillette SensorExcel safety razor that I prefer. I had almost given up on it by now, and was looking towards this seemingly inevitable upgrade to Mach3 or something when I suddenly hit a jackpot - I found a supermarket selling the make and model that I was looking for. I could finally purchase a year worth of supply. In other words, another year that I would effectively dodge Gillette Mach3 upgrade 'threat'.] The history goes that some hundred years ago, Mr. King Gillette was a wealthy but frustrated failure of an innovator at 40. He had written a book called " The Human Drift ", which argued that all industry should be taken over by a single corporation owned by the public, and that millions of Americans should live in a giant city called Metropolis powered by the Niagara Falls. His boss at the bottle cap company, meanwhile, had just one piece of advice: Invent so

The genius of Jeff Dunham

(Statutory warning: Contents of this post are Highly Addictive!) The versatile, genius, immensely talented and intelligent, life-time achievement award winner, and winner of stand-up comedian of the year 1998, Jeff Dunham who made me roll over the floor laughing... Simply brilliant.. Your overtaxed mind needs a 10 minute break.. Go for it! To meet with Peanut, the one above: go here . For a list of the gang on YouTube: go here . If you are wondering what ventriloquist and puppetry or a stand-up comic is, go here . If you would want to learn how to (legitimately) download YouTube videos to your desktop, don't go anywhere, just email me... :-)