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True Leadership demonstrated

Well done India in winning the World Cup !!!

There were several points to be noted in this World Cup.
  • Clear leadership demonstrated by Dhoni. No wonder he is able to lead the team to many heights, including the World Cup.
  • Gary, no doubt, has done his part really well in bringing the team up in ranks - be it Tests, ODI or the T20. India is in the top.
  • Sachin no doubt the master blaster. He could have finished the top run scorer in the Cup, but his quick stint in the final match could not take him to the top.
  • Zaheer is undoubtedly the dependable bowler - YES..there is no other bowler who could support him.
  • Gambhir, Shewag, Kohli, Yuvaraj - demonstrated that they are still capable of big innings. Gambhir's innings in the final is a class. He is an unsung hero.
Dhoni has silenced many critics, including me. People were questioning his team selection and batting line up. It is always easy to sit outside and comment. He is a clear Leader, who knows his team very well and utilised them very well.
 
In the final match, he took on his shoulders the responsibility and finally proved that he can do it.
 
With the dream run, I wish India all the very best.
Take some rest, till the IPL starts.

Too much cricket nowadays.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Process improvement - Good story

One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soap box that was empty.

Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty.
Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty.

No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent whoopee amount to do so. But when a workman was posed with the same problem, did not get into complications of X-rays, etc but instead came out with another solution.

He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Moral of the story

Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problem. So, learn to focus on solutions not on problems. "If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything; if you look at what you have in life, you have everything.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Managing growth & risk in current Indian economic scenario

In today’s world, the growth of a business is critical and is challenging. With inflation adamant of not coming towards south and travelling north direction, RBI hiking the rates (further rate hike on the cards), economy is not so stable, Forex not steady, heavy competition, the business is put to lot of stress on its growth aspects and increase the risk factors.
Let us see what the factors for growth of a business are.
  • Strong business strategy. The business should have a strong strategy for its growth, either organic or inorganic.
  • Top line v Bottom-line. It should be clear on the growth aspects, do not ignore the bottom-line for the top line growth.
  • Market leadership. Unless you are a leader it is difficult to sustain the growth.
  • Differentiator. Not only a leader, but you need to be a differentiator with your product or services.
  • Sound financial position. Financial prudence is critical for a business growth. Have a good finance practice.
  • Focus on core businesses. Develop on the strength and management should concentrate on the core businesses, which yields good results.
  • Diversify - known businesses. Do not diversify into unknown areas or unrelated areas. This will put strain on the management, as they have to spend time on the new one and focus will be lost on the existing business.
  • Monitor the external environment. Keep a watch on the external factors like the other countries economy (wherever you have operations), political stability, tax regulations, Government policies, etc.,
Challenges for growth
It is easy to prescribe the factors for growth. Is it something that can be achieved, so easily? There are challenges to that. Let us see some of them.
  • No / Lack of strategy. In most of the cases, the strategy was missing or not being clear. This is very critical for growth.
  • Communicating the strategy. Having a clear strategy is not that important. It has to be communicated to the stakeholders and should have their buy-ins.
  • Personal v Professional aspirations. Sometimes, the professional vs the personal aspirations come in the way of growth. This is true in case of a person driven business. 
  • Operational level challenges
    • Funding – if funding is not available at the right time, growth is at risk 
    • Talent – you need to retain the talents to achieve the growth. It is the talent which works for the growth of a business.
    • Risk taking ability – business need to take calculated risk, to stay in lead.
    • Ability or willingness to change – if the business still in the traditional way of working (like technology), we have grown in that way attitude, it has to change. It is not only ability but also willingness to change is a success factor.
Mitigating risk
The Biggest Risk is Not Knowing the Risk. If you do not know your risk, better know it or forget your business. Ignorance will not help here. I would categorize the risk as CFOS.
  •  Compliance risk – something this will destabilize a business (eg. Pollution control)
  • Financial risk – if you do not have your homework done properly in this area, you are inviting trouble. Example: Mix of Debt/Equity, not generating cash, borrowing at high rate (higher than your business return) etc.,
  • Operational risks– Destruction of facility, non-availability of resources etc., A good disaster recovery plan / Business Continuity Management Program will help a long way in mitigating this risk.
  • Strategic risk – if your strategy itself is not correct, you cannot expect to grow. You need to course correct the same, as you move on. Review it periodically.
To sum up, if you want to grow, the following points have to be kept in mind:
  • Focus on your strategy
  • Engage customers – they are the one who gives you the business to grow.
  • Engage employees – they are the one who helps you to achieve the business requirements.
  • No compromise on quality – AT ANY COST. If you compromise, you lose even your existing business.
  • Open to change. Be open to change. Traditional working will not work for long.
  • Monitor the external environment – this is critical as it has direct impact on your business.
  • Diversify – in known businesses and do not lose focus on the core business.
All the very best and have a risk free & growing business.
Cheers,
Gopal
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Obtaining Directors Identification Number (DIN) is now made easy

If you are a Director without DIN or going to be a Director in a company, you have to have your Directors Identification Number (DIN). Currently, we have to fill form in physical form, attach supporting documents, take a DD and send to the DIN processing center. You have to wait to know whether your DIN is allotted or not. You will query later on, which will drag the process of getting a DIN.

Lot of representations have been received by the Ministry that the documents required to be submitted should be simple to prove the existence/residence of a person, who intend to become a director of a company.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 4th March, 2011 issued a circular simplifying the procedure for getting the DIN. Following is the extract of the same:

  1. 1. Application for DIN will be made on eForm ; No physical submission of documents shall be accepted and for this purpose Scanned documents along with verification by the applicant will be attached with the eForm. Only online fee payment will be allowed i.e. No challan payment.
  2. The application can also be submitted online by the applicant himself using his DSC.
  3. DIN 1 eForm can be digitally signed by the professional who shall also confirm that he has verified the particulars of the Applicant given in the application.
  4. Where the DIN 1 is verified by the professional, the DIN will be approved by the system immediately online. 
  5. In other cases the DIN cell will examine the application and same shall be disposed of within one or two days. 
  6. Companies (Directors Identification Number) Rules, 2006 are being amended on the above lines.
  7. Penal action against the applicant and professional certifying the DIN application in case of false information / certification as per provisions of section 628 of the Act will be taken in addition to action for professional misconduct and revocation of DIN, allotted on false information.
  8. The above procedures is expected to enable allotment of DIN on the same day.
  9. The above procedures applies to filing of DIN 4 intimating changes in particulars of Directors.
So, if you have proper documentation and the professional certifies your credentials, you get your DIN almost on the same day.

Process improvements and usage of internet is on a big way in government departments. This will improve the efficiency of the system, reduction of time, transparency etc.,

Wishing more and more such improvements.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Budget impact on Software Industries

The much debated Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) tax benefit has ended. No more tax benefits for the STPI units.

What does it mean? Small companies in the IT & ITES sector will suffer to compete with others. No impact for bigger companies, as they are not hit much because of this tax benefit.

Small and medium companies price their products / services based on the tax benefits (thought it is not the correct way). In the competitive world, they have to do this.

People look only at the tax payment. Actually, it is nothing but deferring the tax to a future date, as there is a MAT on companies.

After STPI, companies started to look at SEZ (Special Economic Zone). But even SEZ is not spared from MAT (both the developers & Companies operating in SEZ are covered under MAT). This will dampen the profits.

What is there in the budget, which makes the IT sector to smile?
  • the surcharge has been reduced from 7.5% to 5%. But MAT has been marginally increased by 0.5% (from 18% to 18.5%).
  • reduction of foreign dividend tax rate to 15% for Indian companies
  • Lot of IT spending by the Govt towards UID, e-stamping, computerisation for GST means more business for the IT Industries (if it is given to private IT companies).
This budget, i would say, is neutral to the IT / ITES sector. The sunset clause (STPI) was as expected.

I think we should come of the exemption / concession mode and this is in the right direction.

Cheers,
Gopal

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Union Budget - 2011 - Snapshot


Yet another budget from Mr.Mukerjee. The intention is to step up the pace for a double digit growth in the years to come.

Some salient features of this budget (as I could manage to hear from the net) concerning individual tax payer:
  1. Firm on the 1-Apr-2012 deadline for the Direct Tax Code (DTC)· FDI policy to be liberalized further
  2. Individual tax payers get a flat Rs.2,000 (as the basic exemption limit increased by Rs.20,000) - further benefit to Senior citizens
  3. Senior citizen - Qualifying age limit lowered to 60 years (we can think of retiring soon) and the basic exemption limit increased by Rs.10,000.
  4. Senior citizen, who is 80 years & above will have the basic exemption limit at Rs.5,00,000.
  5. Additional deduction of Rs.20,000 for investment in long-term infrastructure bonds to continue for one more year.
Corporate (major items relating to tax rates):
  • Surcharge on corporate lowered to 5%Cheers,
  • MAT rate increased by 0.5% to 18.5%
  • Lower rate of 15 per cent tax on dividends received by an Indian company from its foreign subsidiary
The Fiscal deficit kept at 4.6% of GDP for 2011-12. To me, this budget is a good one, given the situation. We need to see how the government going to grow, contain the risk and not widening the deficit.

I will go through the text of the speech in details and post a detailed one covering direct, indirect taxes and economy.

Gopal
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CFO Series 2011 - Organised by Dun & Bradsheet, India

On 10th February, 2011, Dun & Bradsheet (DNB) invited me to give a speech on Managing Growth & Risk in the current economic scenario. The CFO series is a multicity conference across India (in the major metros) organiised by DNB in association with ANT trust. This is one of the easiest topic to speak in today's world, but very difficult to practice or implement.

The meeting started on time and Ms.Preeta (Head  - Learning Solutions) of DNB welcomed the gathering of CFO & Head of Finance. He introduced the speakers, as and when their turn came.
I was the first one to go and luckily I sent my presentation materials to the DNB team and they loaded the same, which made my job easy. Actually, I forgot to take the pen drive, which had the file.

I started the speech, as usual, with some pictures in my presentation material. I covered the following areas during my speech.
  • Where are we (India) in terms of the economy (Inflation, Interest rates, Forex reserve). The CFOs have to play in this ground and steer their companies in the growth path.
  • The current CFO's role, which is not confined to Finance and Accounts, but beyond that. A CFO should be a catalyst in an organisation. He should be a business person and get involved in key decisions.
  • The key drivers for growth - Strategy, Market Leader, Differentiators, Financial prudence, focusing on core business, careful when you diversify.
  • Challenges in managing the growth.
  • What are the possible risks? My punch line was "The biggest risk is not knowing the risk" Scott Adams cartoon came in handy for this topic.
I summed up the topics discussed with the key take-aways.

Mr. K R Girish (Partner – Tax and Regulatory Services and National Head – Litigation Practice, KPMG) presented the Tax reforms in India and covered the salient features of Direct Tax Code (DTC) & GST. Some of the DTC proposals were really scary, especially the GAAR & CFC. We need to wait and watch what is going to happen from 1-Apr-2012.

Mr. Itzik Amiel Attorney-at-law & Director International Business Development, ANT Group said, “India led, is leading and will lead the world for a new positive era of growth using its creativity, innovation and simplicity also in the financial and tax matters”.  His presentation on the tax benefits on being in Holland was really an eye-opener for me.

Mr. Narasimha Prasad, Zonal Manager – Employee Benefits, Metlife India Insurance Company Ltd said, “It is getting difficult for the common man to cope up with the rising prices hence there is a need for cautious macroeconomic policies to ensure that early action is taken in crucial areas. He presented the Employee Benefits offered by MetLife and solutions through Employee Benefits

Mr. Balusu Markandeswara. Chief Financial Officer, CARE Hospitals, presented the financial model for the healthiness industry and the expectations from the investor.

Though there was a panel session for the questions, the finance leaders asked the questions after each presentation.

The event ended with a note of thanks to the participants and the presenters. The lunch session was useful and helped the participants to network.

I forgot to take my camera and so no photos. If I get some photos from the organizers, I will publish the same.

Cheers,
Gopal 
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Economic Times - Running out of articles?

Today I am surprised to see the Economic Times carrying the same articles the successive days (3rd Feb 2011 & 4th Feb 2011). Are they running out of articles, as the words remain intact, the pictures have changed.

Today morning, when I read these pages, I thought I am reading yesterday's paper and checked the date. It is 4th Feb 2011. Then i checked yesterday's paper and found the same articles. I cant believe Economic times can do like this, with its popularity. I am a regular reader of Economic Times and I have not seen such things.

Here are the links:
Heard on the street (Page 12)


VIX retreating to 3-yr low is fastest-growing options bet (page 12)
3rd Feb article repeated on 4th Feb 2011

BHARTI - Co dials the right number with Africa ops  (Page 13)
3rd Feb article repeated on 4th Feb 2011 - (Ranjit Shinde)

Hope the editorial team has noticed it and see whether they come with some clarification.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Seminar on Computing at Sri Malolan College, Mathuranthagam

Sri Malolan College of Arts and Science, established by Sri Ahobila Mutt organized a two-day seminar on “Recent Trends in Computing” with a view to offer an opportunity to the rural students of University of Madras and in particular the computer science students for interacting with the professional experts in this area and for acquiring an insight on the various recent trends.  About 100 students from various rural colleges and 30 faculties participated in this seminar.  It was inaugurated by Dr. N.Srinivasan, Director, Computer Centre, A.M.Jain College.  The key-note address was delivered by Mr. Sundar ram, Vice President, Oracle -Asia Pacific.  Mr. R. Sathya Narayanan, Oracle India spoke on “Enterprise Solutions – Past, Present and future” followed by a speech on “Wireless networks” by Prof. Narayanan. Mr. Kiran Nair, Sr Executive, Tally spoke on   Career opportunities for rural students in the accounting software.

Mr. R.Lakshmipathy, Vice-president, Accel Front Line inaugurated the second day of the seminar with a lecture on ‘Quality initiatives’. Dr. Jagannathan, Deputy Registrar, Sri Vinayaga Mission University spoke on “Evolution of trends in Computing over the years and the present scenario”, followed by a lecture on Modern Trends in  Computing by Mr. K.Venkatanarayanan, Senior Executive, Renault Nissan. The seminar included lecturers on cloud computing by Mr. S.Kailash of C-Dac Chennai. Students from various colleges presented papers on various recent trends. Events such as quiz, adzap collage etc was also conducted for the benefit of students.

“It is our endeavor to provide quality education to rural students and the seminar on Recent trends in computing is one such effort” said Mr.Santhana Gopalan, the Secretary.
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Mr.Ramadorai of TCS appointed as advisor to PM (for NSDC)

S. Ramadorai,Vice-Chairman Tata Consultancy Services, has been appointed advisor to the Prime Minister in the  Prime Minister’s National Skill Development Council in the rank of Cabinet Minister.

The Council, which is headed by the Prime Minister, seeks to develop a strategy for skill development at the national level along with variations at the state level and formulate strategies to address the skill deficit, said a press release.

“We are delighted that Ramadorai with his vast experience has been given this critical role of helping build skills and competency of India's growing workforce. He has always been very focused and committed about talent development and has been at the forefront of building the talent eco-system for the IT industry,” said N Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD, TCS. He added, “Ram's energy, passion and dedication will add great value to this national endeavor that holds the key to raising the growth rate of the country and meeting the aspirations of its citizens.”

S. Ramadorai said, “I am both delighted and humbled by the opportunity to be the Advisor to the Prime Minister in the National Skill Development Council. To reap the benefits of our demographic dividend, skill development for employability is a critical development task for the nation. Strengthening the links between Education- employable skills- jobs is imperative both from the perspective of a young working population as well as a competitive advantage for the country.” 

He added that like professional education, skills too must be made bankable. Technology must form an important part of the skill strategy not just to enhance quality of training but also to address challenges of scale, reach and cost of training. The country has a number of large scale initiatives underway that will provide the impetus for the next level of growth. It will be my endeavor to facilitate a unified nation-wide effort towards this critical Skill Development initiative.
Nandan was given a role to play in Government and now Ramadorai. Hope the the IT heads skill sets matches our politicians' expectation.


If one remember the last budget (in February 2010), it has approved 3 projects, worth about Rs.45 crores to create 10 lakh skilled manpower at the the rate of 1 lakh per annum, to the National Skill Development Corporation.

An extensive skill development programme in the textile and garment sector to be launched by leveraging the strength of existing institutions and instruments of theTextile Ministry to train 30 lakh persons over 5 years.
 
I see this as an action to show that they are going by the budget allocation, so that they can show this appointment and allocate further in the coming budget.
 
Let us see what is in store for allocating amount to the National Skill Development Corpn, in this budget.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Finance Shared Services - What is it?

Today, the Bangalore chapter of ICWAI organised a Professional Development programme and the topic is Finance Shared Services. Mr.S.Rengarajan, Managing Director, Caterpillar India was the speaker.

Mr.Rengarajan explained what Finance Shared Services (FSS) means. He shared his experience in setting up an FSS and the benefits of FSS. He also touched upon the possible risks of an FSS or outsourcing.

He pointed out that efficiency can be built, if the systems are common. If the systems are different, achieving efficiency is bit difficult. Having an ERP environment will make it easy and help centralisation.

He explained how the invoices are settled using scanners, ERP and sitting in a remote place.

The programme was for an hour and it was interesting. Mr.Rengarajan answered the members questions during the Q&A session.

Mr.Rengarajan is an Engineer and a fellow member of the ICWAI. When I googled, I see that he belongs to the PGXPM VI batch of Great Lakes Institute of Management.

It was a great day with too many meetings in the morning and a good session in the evening. Thanks to Simhan for accompanying me.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Credit Policy - Highlights

Further to my post on the Credit Policy expectation, here are the highlights of the Credit Policy:

The Repo rate and the Reverse Repo Rate were increased by 25 basis points. Now the Repo rate stands at 6.5% and the Repo rate at 5.50%

The Cash Reseve Ratio (CRR) remains unchanged at 6%.

With inflation daunting the Indian economy and the government, the RBI is cautious in increasing the rate by 50 basis points - they settled for 25 bais points this time. I am sure that RBI will slowly start increasing the rates by another 50 basis points in the months to come (mostly in March).

How these rates impact the liquidity and the inflation? I am reproducing my earlier post on Repo & Reverse Repo below for your easy reference.

2. What is REPO RATE?
 
Repo (means Repurchase Agreement) Rate is the rate at which the banks borrow funds from the Reserve Bank of India to fund their shortfall (the money they require to do business vis-a-vis the money they have with them to lend). Repo rates plays a critical role in the liquidity position. If RBI wants more liquidity in the market, it will reduce the repo rate so that the borrowing cost becomes cheap for the banks. So they will borrow more and lend more. If the RBI wants to cut the liquidity position, it will increase the repo rate, so that the borrowings will be more expensive for the banks and result in reduced borrowings by the bank. This borrowings are of short-term in nature and often for overnight borrowing. It will help the RBI to push money into the banking system for more float.

3. What is a Reverse Repo Rate (RRR)?

As you would have guessed, it is the opposite of repo rate. It is the rate at which the RBI borrows or Banks placing their monies with RBI. This is a very handy tool for the RBI to control the availability of money in the banking system.

If the RRR is increased, the banks would prefer to place their funds with RBI, as it is the safest one. By this, the money circulation is curtailed. When RBI feels that there should be more money in the system, it would reduce the rate, so that the banks would lend to outsiders for a better interest rate. The RRR helps the RBI to absorb the liquidity from the banks.

With the fear of interest rate hike, the stock market is also in for correction.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Change Management

Do not get carried away by the title. It is not really about the Change Management in a management perspective. It is managing your change (currency, coins etc.,) in a day to day life.

We struggle everywhere for change, especially in Bus, Train, Coffee shops etc., Nowadays, anything is rounded off to the nearest Rupee. No one (leave alone beggars) accepts anything less than a rupee. I tried giving 25 paise coins (4 nos) to a restaurant cashier and he looked at me and accepted the same.

With the spiraling inflation the money has no value at all. Even the government is reducing their cost of minting money (hey...I am not talking about politicians minting money). The cost of minting 25 paise coin is more than its real value. Steel prices, labour cost, inefficiency added to the inflation make the cost of the coins more.

With this in view and make people not to struggle with smaller denomination changes, the Government has withdrawn the circulation of 25 paise coins with effect from 1st June 2011.

So, from June 2011, the minimum acceptable coin is 50 paise. I really do not know whey they want to keep the 50 paise also, when everyone is looking at rounding off to nearest rupee.

Coin collectors are busy collecting the 25paise coins. I did collect the 5 paise, 10paise, 20 paise (brass / aluminum) and treasure the same. We can show it to our future generation that we too had coins in our system.

By the by, RBI will come out with a notice soon on how to call back the 25 paise coins.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Review of Monetary Policy - Today

Today is the Credit Policy day. RBI will release the Credit Policy today and the markets are eagerly waiting for the same.

It is expected to see an increase of 25 basis points in the repo and reverse repo rates.

So, for those who are waiting for good FD rates, expect the same soon.
If you remember, Review of Monetary Policy was my second post (on 28th Jan 2009). For those who want to know, what is SLR, CRR, LAF, Repo, Reverse Repo rates, please have a look at the blog posting (http://gopalramanan.blogspot.com/2009/01/third-quarter-review-of-monetary-policy.html).


Will post tomorrow on the review of the policy.

Cheers,
Gopal

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Human Resources Management - A Chinese Perspective

Today (19-Jan-2011), I attended a session organised by NIPM, Bangalore Chapter at Hotel Woodlands.

The speaker and the title impressed me and forced me to attend the session. The title is "Human Resources Management - A Chinese Perspective" and the speaker - Mr.Lin Bo (VP - Human Resources - APAC, Exide Technologies).

For the first 20 minutes, Mr.Lin Bo was presenting the Chinese economy, on how they were and got to the open world in the 90s. It was nice to see someone presenting rather than reading it from the net or book. He was really good at presenting the topic. 

He started with the Chinese-Indian connection. Anyone in China who is 40+ years will know India by a movie - Awaara. He said, this movie is liked by most of the population. He also said about the movie Caravan. I can vouch for this, as our Bollywood movies are hit in China. When I was there, they were talking about Threee idiots, AR Rehman, etc.,

He then compared the Chinese economy and the Indian economy,, especially the  areas like geographical, population, number of states, languages, dialect, policies etc.

After this, then he presented a slide on the cities, which contribute to the growth of the economy. We all know that in China most of the industries & services are run by the Government. The numbers presented was really stunning. The State Owned Enterprises govern 66% in terms of the numbers and contribute to about 80% of the Profit. It is obvious that they are well managed, people are productive and also that the government is monopoly and can fix the price.

He came later to the topic of Human Resources management.

He said the labour laws of 2008, labour cost,legal compliance were the major labour related issues that are faced today in China.

The big challenge is retention & talent management. High turnover at top level is a concern for MNC. People prefer State Owned Enterprises. 

With the population control in place (one child per couple), the country is facing labour shortage in various industries. Due to the Generation Y, there are no takers for agriculture, high labour oriented industries like construction etc., With the growth of Tier 2 cities, the population is moving towards the cities. This is nothing new to us, as we too face it in India.

Then the floor was open to Q&A.

The meeting ended thanking Mr.Lin Bo for taking his time out.

It was a good session for me in terms of learning something new on economy, HR and about our neighbor.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Rejig of Cabinet ministers - What is the impact?

With the 2G and other scams around, the PM reshuffled the ministry except the Home, Defence, Finance, External Affairs.

It looks like Mr.Murli Deora, the man behind free pricing of Petroleum has taken over the Corporate Affairs from Mr.Salman Khursheed. 

Mr.Salman Khursheed is now given the Water Resources and additional charge of Minority Affairs.

In a corporate environment, we allocate based on the experience and here it looks like experimental. That too at the cost of the public. One thing the PM made sure is that no minister is dropped and only the portfolios have been changed.
What is so important about Mr.Deora & Mr.Khursheed, when most of them were shuffled? 
  • As a  Corporate finance person, everyone is looking for the IFRS convergence and with all odds, Mr.Khursheed was able to get the things moving in the parliament. Now we need to see the pace of the IFRS with changes to Companies Act and other related areas.
  • The name change for the ICWAI was well received by Mr.Khursheed. Now we have to see how this is being taken further.
  • ICAI, ICWAI & ICSI has to rebuild the relationship with the new minister.
My thanks to Mr.Khursheed for all the support to the Corporate world and let us wait and see whether Mr.Deora can fuel the momentum given by Mr.Khursheed in the above areas.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Index of Industrial Production (IIP) - What is it?

Today everyone was waiting for the IIP numbers to be announced by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation, especially the stock market. What is it and why it is so important? Let us see what this IIP is all about and then the Nov IIP numbers released today.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) compares the growth in the general level of industrial activity in the economy with reference to a comparable base year. As you know, to have any index measured, we need to have some base year to see where the current position is.

History of the base year for IIP 
In order to capture the structural changes in the industrial sector, the base year of the all-India IIP which was commenced in India in 1937 was revised in 1946, 1951, 1956, 1960, 1970, 1980-81 and 1993-94.

The current series of all-India IIP (base 1993-94) was released in May 1998.

It covers the following sectors (the weightage is given along the sector)

Mining....................10.47%
Manufacturing.........79.36%
Electricity............... 10.17%

Who compiles IIP?
The Quick Estimates of IIP are compiled on the basis of data furnished by the source agencies located in various Ministries/Departments/Subordinate Offices of the Government of India.

When is this IIP released?
The index is released within six weeks from the reference month and are subsequently revised in the next and the third month based upon the revised production data furnished by the source agencies.

For those who want to know more, please mail me or visit www. mospi.nic.in

What is the IIP number tell for Nov ? 
India's Index of Industrial Production, or IIP, in November fell sharply due to poor patronage by consumer non-durables, intermediate goods, manufacturing and power sectors.
 
However, the industrial growth for the eight months of this fiscal witnessed a higher growth rate.
 
Data released today (12th Jan 2011) by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation showed the IIP for November had a growth rate of only 2.7%, sharply down from the 11.3% for the corresponding month last year, and lower than the growth rate for October.
 
The cumulative index of industrial production for the first eight months of this fiscal grew to 9.5% from the 7.4% in the corresponding period of last fiscal.
 
The data kept the estimated growth rate for October revised upwards to 11.3% from the earlier provisional figure of 10.8%.
 
During November, growth rate of the manufacturing sector, with a weightage of 79.4%, fell drastically by 2.3% from the 12.3% in the November of the preceding year.
 
The power sector's growth increased by 4.6% from the 1.8% for the corresponding month last year. The mining sector's figure declined by 6% from the 10.7% in November last year.
 
(Source : RTT News).
 
With the IIP numbers showing slowing trend, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will have to take corrective action to control the inflation. So, expect some rate increase in the coming monetary policy review.
 
Cheers,
Gopal
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Know your EPF (Provident Fund) balance online

It was a year ago that EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organisation) announced that it will make the balance in one's PF account will be made available online.

What it means? You need not waste your time in the PF office to know your balance, you need not wait for the account statement (which normally issued after 3 or 4 years in arrears).

How do I know my balance? Simple. Go to the following link, which is the All India PF office link. Click the "Our Regional Sites" on the left hand side.

It will open up the regional / state sites. You can check your state site to see whether they have this online balance checking. I have checked for Chennai & Bengaluru office sites and they are working. Chennai is updated till Dec 2010. The Technology Capital is updated till 2008 (It is a shame!!!). Below are the quick links for the Chennai & Bengaluru regional sites, where you can check your balance.

Bengaluru : http://stg1.kar.nic.in/epf/memberlogin.aspx (updated till 2008)

Chennai : http://www.epfochennai.tn.nic.in/obcb/oblogin.aspx (updated till 2010)

Check your state's PF office site : http://epfindia.nic.in/RegSites.html

Following are the state links available:
1 Ahmedabad (Gujarat)
2 Bengaluru (Karnataka)
3 Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
4 Dehradun (Uttarakhand)
5 Delhi (North)
6 Faridabad (Haryana)
7 Goa
8 Gurgaon (Haryana)
9 Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)
10 Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
11 Tiruvananthapuram (Kerala)
12 Mangalore (Karnataka)
13 Mumbai - I (Bandra, Maharashtra)
14 Pune (Maharashtra)
15 Jaipur (Rajasthan)
16 Surat (Gujarat)
17 Thane (Maharashtra)
18 Vadodra (Gujarat)

PF is a good method to save your money for the future. It is your hard earned money. I noticed several times that transfer not happening properly on time, interest is wrongly calculated, Interest not calculated while transferred. So, have a tab on the balance and track it.

Please share your experience in checking the balance in your state. It will help other readers.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Indiblogger meet & Akshyapatra

This was my second Indiblogger meet (on 9th Jan 2011) and an excellent  turnout of bloggers from all over India. Thanks to Indiblogger and Akshayapatra (initiative from ISKCON). Akshyapatra sponsored this event by giving space and also food for the bloggers. I have been to ISKCON several times and know the food quality. The quality of food that was served was too good and tasty. This is the same food which is served to the needy school children in India (wherever ISKCON is situated).

Akshayapatra: Started with a mission of No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger. Today, they serve 1.3million needy students all over India.

How can we support this initiative?
  • By donating yourself (Click HERE to know more)
  • By spreading awareness by blogging (Click HERE to know more)
  • By volunteering (Click HERE to know more)
Visit : http://www.akshayapatra.org/onlinedonations

About the meet:

Got to know fellow bloggers and made new friends. It was an excellent meet and with an agenda. They have arranged IndiBus for the bloggers in Bangalore. We were welcomed with Samosa & Juice at the auditorium. The meeting started late, as the IndiBus could not make it on time.

Anoop (from Indiblogger team) welcomed and gave an idea on the program. Later they played a movie clipping on Akshayapatra, which was followed by Shri.Chanchalapathi Dasa (Vice President, Akshayapatra) speech. He explained how this idea was formed and the tough route it has taken and the supporters for this movement.

The next agenda item surprised me (like many others). It was introducing 60 famous bloggers. The first name was beamed and the next name appear at the bottom in the screen. I was pleasantly surprised to see my name. Everyone was given 30 seconds to present themselves and their blog. With my toastmaster experience on time keeping, I could make it crisp in the 30 seconds.

Then it was lunch time and we were served with the food that is being served to the students. True to the quality of ISKCON, the food was real KrishnaPrasadam. We had Sakkara Pongal (Sweet Pongal) and Bisi Bele Bath. Everyone enjoyed the food and were convinced about the project. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


After the good food, we gathered and had a presentation cum Q&A session by Shri.Madhu Pandit Dasa (Chairman, AkshayaPatra) and his team. There were good suggestions and the session was very interactive.

We then had the Live & let comment session. In that we can interact with other blogger, get to know them, visit their blog. This is more from a networking angle. Those who got more comments / contacts were given photoframes of ISKCON. This was followed by 4 groups discussing on 4 topics on how to make indiblogger/ blogging more successful.

The meeting ended with Thanks to the Indiblogger team. They have taken pains in getting this big event organised.
It was overall a well organised (except for the delay..that is common in Bangalore traffic) programme and everyone enjoyed it. Networking was at its best. Blogging is becoming more popular. Thanks to Indiblogger team and Akshayapatra for the wonderful day.
Waiting for the next meet !

My thanks to those who shared the photographs, which helped me in making this post.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Cash in when the markets are down

Remember the market downfall in Jan 2008? This time also the market shed more points and is a good time for investors in get into the fundamentally good shares.

With the market comes down, start investing in the fundamentally strong stocks. Those who invested when the market was down in 2008 made a good money in 2010! Few examples: Tata Steel, Canara Bank, Tata Motors etc.,.

Do not wait for the market to bottom out, as no one know what is the bottom. Instead of the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), which you sign up with some mutual fund, you start investing in the good stocks, whenever the  market sheds more than 100 Nifty points. You can consult your stock broker on the fundementally good stocks. Do your home work and have a diversified portfolio. Good sectors i would bet are: Infrastructure, Banking & Steel.

I hope the market will be going up on Monday, eventhough the rate hike impact is ther.

Happy investing!

Cheers,
Gopal
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First ever World Samskrit Book Fair 2011 - Bangalore

Friends,

For those who stay in Bangalore and who has some interest in Samskrit or want to learn Samskrit, here is a good opportunity. Yes, here comes the first ever World Samskrit Book fair. It is being held in Bangalore - National School grounds, Basavanagudi, Bangalore from 7th Jan to 10th Jan 2011.

Am planning to go there, to start learning the language, which I tried in my early days. Why samskrit of all language? This is not the question that you only ask, but many, including my family members. My answer to them is simple. Most  of the manangement books, nowadays, refer to the great epics like Mahabharatham, Ramayan etc., It is better, if you could read in those in the original flavor.

Not only that, Samskrit is being learnt all over the world and is said to be mother of all languages (including Computer languages). I know that in the late 80s and early 90s, foreigners take students from Sanskrit College, Chennai on scholarship to their country to learn the language. Learning this language is for self and not from a job-seeking perspective.

There is an article today (7th Jan 2011) in the bangalore edition of Times of India (you can visit the times of india site and view the e-paper) captioned "For this Britisher, speaking Sanskrit is easy as talking English". We know that Samskrit is being learnt by many in United Kingdom and lot of schools & colleges teach Samskrit there.

There is a village in Karnataka, India, where the people speak in Samskrit. It is a versatile language. Let us try to revive the language, which is spoken in our country.

For more details on the book fair, please visit http://www.samskritbookfair.org

Tomorrow is the indibloggers meet and after that am planning to go to the fair. Will blog tomorrow more on the meet & fair.

Cheers,
Gopal
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Indiblogger meet - 9th January 2011 - Bangalore

When & Where? - Sunday January 9, 2011 

MVT hall (Multi Vision Theatre),
ISKCON Bangalore
HK Hill west of Chord road, Rajajinagar, Bangalore-10
Landmark: ISKCON Temple

Time: 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Seats Available : 300

About the meet :
Bloggers from all over the country are going to flock to Bangalore for a MASSIVE IndiBlogger meet - register quick before the seats are taken!

For more information, call Anoop Johnson at +919900001655.


Register yourself at indiblogger(dot)in

For those who blog and want to know more on blogging, visit the website and be there for the meet to share the experience.

Cheers,
Gopal
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HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2011

Friends,

Happy NEW YEAR to you, your family & friends. Like previous years, let this new year too usher in good luck. We wish everyone a Happy New year, every year. How about wishing once for all a HAPPY FUTURE !

Time flies and I stopped blogging from Apr 2010. I stopped blogging, as i got a mail from my company on blogging policy. That stoppage took a long time to get back to blogging.

This is not my new year resolution to start blogging, but to restart from where I left. There were many things I wanted to share the shames & scams (CWG, 2G etc.,). Stock Market ups & downs, IFRS deadline, Direct Tax Code, but could not.

May be this post for wishing you all a bright future,  will make me to come back on track and start my blogging.

Hope to keep up my regular posting.

Once again wishing you all a bright and happy future.

Cheers,
Gopal
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