Monday, February 25, 2008

Upcoming Events - This Week

  1. As I have said in one of my earlier posts(, Facebook-style Open Social Applications is expected to go live on orkut this week. Personally I have been expecting Open Social Applications in Orkut for a very long time. Hope it happens as announced and Opensocial applications in Orkut are as good as Facebook applications.
  2. Google's competitor, Microsoft is expected to release a software that may change the world. Unlike regular PR pitches, this announcement is extra special due to confession of famous Tech Blogger Robert Scoble that he shed tears on seeing the software. Techcrunch predicts that Microsoft is either going to offer Opensource on Feb 27 or announce worldwide telescope on Feb 27. But nobody sure what it is going to be.
  3. This update is Personal. IIM Indore is having its placement week till February 29th So my Career and my future might be decided in this crazy week.

So keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ready to buy TATA Nano Online???

Conventional automobile wisdom says that a car dealer is always required to complete the transaction and a web based option can be just an information window. It can never really be an alternative to a ' brick-and-mortar' dealer. But TATA Nano has already broken a similar conventional automobile wisdom by coming out with a car which is priced at 1 lakh Indian rupees ($2500). It may as well break the conventional automobile wisdom once more.

As per the recent blog post by TATA Nano team, it is seriously considering online car sales option and is asking the comments from people to help them design the right service. All the market pundits(including me) expected the People's car to be revolutionary not only with regard to its manufacturing but also with regard to its distribution model. But I never expected the e-commerce to be a part of that distribution model. One More Nano-lution. Hats off to TATA Nano Team!

Don't Complain about 'Commercialization' of Cricket

When the IPL auction took place, there were hundreds of blogs complaining about the commercialization of cricket, Amit Verma in his post in India Uncut gives a proper reply to these people who complained about Commercialization. He explains clearly why it is us who are responsible for the cricket being the only sports in India and why it is us who will be responsible for the death of Test match cricket when it happens.

'Wherever there’s big money floating around, politicians emerge and start squealing. The recent auctions at the Indian Premier League have roused the ire of both the Left and the Right of Indian politics. On the right, the inimitable Balasaheb Thackeray has described the IPL auctions as the “gambling of industrialists”. On the Left, Gurudas Dasgupta is complaining that this will make “every youngster not a good sportsman but a man hungry for money.”'

The above passage is just the introduction from the column, for the rest visit 'There is nothing wrong in being commercial". A must read for any cricket enthusiast.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Annual Venture Capital Investment Skyrockets to 166% in 2007

On a 2004 survey on impact of private equity in UK, 77% of companies said that without private equity, their business would not have existed at all or would have developed less rapidly. But this critical component - Private Equity, needed for the survival of entrepreneurs ,was missing for a long time in the Indian economy.

Annual Venture Capital funding in India for 2005,2006 and 2007Good news is that things have started changing. A recent report by Dow Jones VentureSource brings out the huge increase in the number of deals and the amount invested by the venture capital funds in India.Venture capitalists invested around $928 Million in 80 deals in entrepreneurial Indian Companies in 2007, the highest total ever.

Some interesting statistics from the report
  • Nearly 48% of all venture financing deals in India were for Information Technology (IT) companies.
  • The most popular recipients of venture capital in the IT industry were companies in the Web-heavy "information services" sector
  • Service-oriented companies in India -- both in the technology fields and the non-technology areas of hotels, taxis and similar services -- continue to attract investment
  • Of all the companies in India that received venture funding in 2007, nearly 73% were already generating revenues or profitable
But the best thing is the prediction by Ms. Canning , Director of Global Research for DowJones VentureSource that "this is only the beginning for the venture capital market in India". Her belief is supported by the fact that in 2007, around 79% of deals in India were for seed and first rounds and a lot of these companies will continue raising venture capital as they progress toward profitability and liquidity.

Though the going is good, we still have a lot of catching up to do when we compare ourself with the amount of venture capital funding in USA. (>$20 Billion)

An economy that does not have a strong venture capital sector is one that displays symptoms of deeper economic problems
- J.P. Cotis, Chief Economist OECD

P.S: VentureBeat also has a spreadsheet with the segment wise breakup.
Thanks startupdunia for the info.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Indian Premier League IPL LogoAccording to you, Which of the three leagues - Indian Premier League, Indian Cricket League and English Premier League is going to be the most popular one in India?

My Answer: Indian Premier League for the next 7-9 years and English Premier League from then on.

Indian Cricket League ICL LogoThe question - 'Which is popular among the two existing cricket leagues in India?' is a no-brainer. The ICL may have been the first off the block, but the fact that players signing a contact with ICL bring their career to a halt means very few stars would be signing with them in the future. And IPL provides the cricketers with a better, if not lucrative option. Since only one entity owns all the teams, the capital base of the ICL is also not expected to be huge, preventing it from future expansion.

English Premier League EPL LogoThe recent buzz for IPL shows clearly the huge popularity that Indian Premier League is going to enjoy. But the real competition for IPL comes from English Premier League. Though soccer as a game is not as famous as cricket in India, it is slowly gaining popularity, especially among young male Indians. [Target Segment of Indian Premier League too] Additionally, English Premier League already boasts of a huge number of Indian Die Hard fans. And it would take a monumental effort for any franchise in English Premier League to create a similar group of die hard fans.

With the increased globalization and increased number of Indians traveling abroad, the reach of English Premier League is going to be an upward graph. And with the Indians' inborn attraction of anything Western, it would seem 'cool' for many young people to follow and to proclaim to be a fan of Manchester United rather than Chennai Super Kings.

With the extreme popularity that cricket enjoys in India, Indian Premier League is sure to remain as the most popular professional league in India, atleast for a few more years. For the dominant position to continue for Indian Premier League, both the players and management have to provide unadulterated fun for people who are watching it - on Television and on ground.

P.S: Since it is going to take a long time for Tirunelveli to get a franchise on its own, I have decided to become a fan and supporter of 'Chennai Super Kings', Chennai Franchise of Indian Premier League. To extend that support, I have started the first fan blog of Chennai Super Kings at If you would like to hear about 'Chennai Super Kings', do subscribe for the blog at

Monday, February 18, 2008

Indian Children are not safe - Physical Abuse

This is the first of the series of posts under the topic - "Indian Children are not safe". Read the introductory post at "Indian Children are not safe".

Don't forget me Child Abuse IndiaSome of us are lucky in our childhood days to get parents who understood us. But others, the unlucky ones had a rough childhood... They have been abused either physically or physiologically or sexually. Sadly these abused ones constitute the majority rather than the minority group in India.

Most of us(including me) had been smacked in our childhood days (sometimes by cane, belts, slippers, etc.) in the name of 'disciplining'. But the sad fact is that there is a huge amount of scientific evidence contrary to the common belief that physical punishment encourage discipline in children. Sometimes, it is the parents' frustrations and their inability to raise their children that finds a manifestation in the form of beating them or causing physical harm rather than 'disciplining'.

Indian society, being a society with a high power distance and a patriarchal structure, parents consider their children as their property and assume a freedom to treat them as they like. This not only results in adoption of harsher methods of disciplining by parents and teachers, but also results in very little opposition to this harshness.

According to the survey conducted by Ministry of Women and Child Development on Child Abuse in India - 2007, 2 out of every 3 children in India are physically abused. Parents followed by Teachers are the major perpetrators. And a Belief in "Spare the rod and Spoil the child" is one of the things that these thugs have used to justify their acts. But in any society, such a high level of physical abuse amongst children is not acceptable and no society, which values its children, will not and should not tolerate this.

Hope things atleast change in the next generation!!!

[Just to make things clear.. Physical abuse is defined as beating manifested as kicking, slapping,punishing through corporal punishment, beating by family members and others including peers, police,employer, caregivers, etc.]

Photo Source: MundoZeli

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where is Stanford University of India?

TATA Nano India Buzz Photo FamilyRight from the day, TATA Nano was revealed in Auto Expo, the question - 'Why such innovative products are generally missing from Indian market?' has been haunting me. Why does Entrepreneurship & Innovation has always been belonged to 'all talk and no action' category? What are the barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship in India? And is there anybody working on those barriers so that the future entrepreneurs do not have to face them?

Pranav in his recent article in Startup Dunia lists down the missing pieces of Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem, the foundation on which hundreds of innovation should have happened
  • Non-Existent Early Stage Funding
  • Inability to attract and hire good talent
  • Spark or Tipping Point that sets Indian Entrepreneurial scene in fire.
Add to this
  • A general lack of political initiatives trying to create an ecosystem that breeds innovation. [In India, Entrepreneurship is never an electoral issue, while in US, Barack Obama has already promised to take all steps to make sure that the next Google happens in US]
  • Focus of Indian Engineering Colleges on creating employable graduates rather than on creating entrepreneurs. Which of the Indian Engineering Colleges is ready to play the role of Stanford university in the creation of Silicon Valley style environment? Remember it is Engineers who beget ideas.
Guy Kawasiki has a few advices of his own on How to kick Silicion Valley's butt?

Photo Source : code_martial

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

MacBook Air in India

Apple CEO Steve JObs Holding MacBook Air LaptopWhen Steve Jobs revealed the World's Thinnest Laptop - MacBook Air in MacWorld Conference & Expo in January 15, 2008, I thought it would take a few years for the product to hit the Indian market. I was planning to save enough money in the meantime, so i could be one of the first persons to buy it in India. But today's news on CNN-IBN disrupted all my well laid out plans.

MacBook Air and Time Capsule, the latest products from the staple of Apple Inc. is expected to hit nationwide franchises and retail outlets in India within the next two weeks. Personally I am at odds on how to interpret this action by Apple: whether to intrepret it as a mark of Growing Economic Clout of India (as our Indian Media would like to believe) or A Classic Situation of a Miscalculated Supply that has outstripped the Demand. Whatever it is, I am not complaining!

Hope the good times continue for India with regard to other latest Apple Products.

P.S: Can anyone explain the reason for Rs.25,000/- Price Difference of MacBook Air sold in India and abroad.

Price of MacBook Air in India - Rs. 96,100/-
Price of MacBook Air Outside India - 1799 USD (Rs. 71,447/-)

Indian Parties Need Internal Democracy

We, the Indians take huge pride in the claim that India and USA are the two greatest democracies in the world - one country has the oldest democracy while the other has the largest. But differences between these two democracies have never been this acute, as in recent times.
  • In one country, a huge democratic process is going on to select the Presidential candidate. And the whole world media is going gaga about it. Hundreds of Party men are voting to choose the person, who is going to lead them in the elections and every person in the party are given the option to have their say.
  • But in the other country, one high powered committee of the party decides the Prime Ministerial Candidate. [Read Indian Party declares PM Candidate.] Even this looks democratic, when it is compared to the selection process of the opposing party, where the Prime Ministerial Candidate is decided in 10, Janpath.
In a recent beautiful article 'The Indian Chromosome', Islamabad-based freelance columnist Dr. Farrukh Salem narrows down the reason for the differences between two neighboring nations , sharing the same chromosome and culture, to a single fact - "Democracy or One Nation being able to elect its leaders". Democracy has been India's greatest asset in the last sixty years and it would remain so, even in the future.

But to fully enjoy the benefits of the democracy, it is time Indian parties chose to give voice to their party cadres. Yeah! India is a country with high power distance. But with the changing Indian Culture, changes in the perception of Youth and the advancements in the technology, Indian party leaders are running out of reasons for not being able to give the choice of choosing the prime ministerial candidate to its cadres. Simply by giving a voice, a party would be able to attract much more members to its rank.

Hope Indian parties realize the need of a thriving and healthy internal party democracy. Otherwise they would be wiped away like some of the Indian firms which were never able to adjust itself to globalization.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Google Updates!

No company has impressed me as Google has done. Their newer products has never stopped amazing me. And Google continues this tradition with these latest news from its blog.

1. Know India's Hottest Trends:
Google Trends India Shahrukh Khan Vs Amitabh BachchanWant to know a snapshot of Indians' collective mind, visit Google Trends - India and come to know the fast rising searches of the day. Find out who is popular, Shahrukh Khan or Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar or Sania Mirza, Bharti Airtel or Vodafone, TATA or Reliance. Read more @ What's India searching for Online?.

2. Death of Elections Talk Shows???
Google Twitter Integration Super TuesdayThis was the question that raised in my mind when i saw the integration of Google Maps with Twitter[Asking what is Twitter, read about it here]. Hearing(reading) what people like you and me have to say about Super Tuesday (in just 140 characters) was much more interesting than hearing all that nonsense in Election Talk shows. Yeah! Death of Election Talk shows may be far reaching but this product has a huge potential. Read more @ Be part of the Super Tuesday Action & Super Tuesday Wrapup

3. OpenSocial Apps Very Soon on Orkut:
One of the things from Google that i have been waiting for is the OpenSocial Apps in Orkut. And Opensocial API Blog reports that i don't have to wait for many more days. Facebook-style applications would go live to Orkut users in the last week of February. Read more about Google OpenSocial at Google Out'foxing'(opening) Competition.

Also Read other Google Updates from me at

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Plans for Future!!!

As an old proverb goes "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". So it is time i come up with a few plans and goals for this blog. Yeah! I know that i am a bit late for 2008 new year resolutions. But it is better late than never! :)

Plans for the futurePhoto Source: sweetness6

Meta morphing to an India-centric Opinion blog with less and less personal stuff.

  • Reaching 100 Subscribers by RSS/Email by the end of year 2008
  • Hitting the 200th Post mark before the end of 2008 which roughly translates to 9 posts every month hereafter. [My last post was my 100th post]

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

100th Post

100 Birthday cake Century Centum hundredIn Cricket, Nnineties however important it is, can never match the aura of a hundred. We still recall how Dan Bradman missed a career average of 100 runs by just 4 runs. The number 100 is special to all of us including me... We all would like to live to a magic age of 100...

But why all this hullabaloo about number 100?
Simple Reason: This is the 100th post to be published in this blog - The blog has evolved and grown in the mean time. From just being a space where i write some idiotic stuff about myself, it has metamorphosed itself into an India-centric Opinion blog with less and less personal stuff.

Rather than writing something new to make this special post extra-special, it would be better if i pick out the five best posts of mine in earlier 99 posts... [It also serves the purpose of informing the new readers of this blog of my earlier posts :) ]

1. In Service for Sight - This post is special because it is the first post in which i moved from personal stuff to general stuff. It is about Dr. V and Aravind Hospitals who by their single-minded focus and vision has shown us what is possible for a single person to achieve individually in the land where we live in.

2. Why Tirunelveli is the City of the World? - One Post that still brings me smile even after reading it umpteen number of times. Extra-Extra-Special

3. Orkut Celebrates India's Independence Day - Only Post that has the record of bringing in more than 1000 page views in a single day. Thanks to some luck!

4. BSNL And its Comical Vision - Something that i found out comical about BSNL's Vision and only person on the net to point out the foolishness committed by such a huge Public Sector Company of India.

5. Are Pyramid Schemes(Questnet, Goldquest) Easy Ways to Make Money? - A Constant Traffic Driver even today. My Only Hope is that People who are thinking about investing >30K in those scams get to read this post or posts with similar messages from other blogs.

Enjoy Reading!!!

P.S: Incidentally, This Blog has also hit 10K Page Views Mark. :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tirunelveli-an making News in Global Tech World!

When another Tirunelvelian makes news in the global tech world, how can i remain silent?

When I saw the news about Seattle based Global Scholar in Techcrunch, i disregarded the news on seeing the headline. But my whole perception towards Global Scholar changed today on hearing that Kal Raman, CEO of Global Scholar was from Tirunelveli (Thanks to Kiruba's Blog). How exciting it is to hear about another person from your native making news in the global tech world!!!
Global Scholar LogoMy 2 Cents to Investors Ignition Partners and Knowledge Universe: Never, ever, worry about $42.5 million invested in Global Scholar. Just remember that we, the Tirunelvelians are born with the gene of business. :D

P.S: Incidentally, Kal Raman also graduated from CEG, Anna University

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Kudos to Dominique Lapierre

Padma Bhushan award India LogoPadma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Sri... Until now, my opinion was that these awards reveal the influence wielded by a celebrity in the government... Even the esteemed Bharat Rana was added to this list, when every Tom, Dick and Harry started suggesting their own 'corrupted' party leaders for Bharat Rana. [Read what happend when NDTV ran an opinion poll that included 'Picasso of India'] But all these perceptions changed when i found one of my favorite writers - Dominique Lapierre (a Non-Indian) on the Padma Bhushan awards' list. Read the news here.

A French author, who by his casual way of writing and his extensive research on the subject(historical events) captured my heart. A writer, who by his books, changed my outlook towards
and much more...

His books, rather than being a collection of Newspaper headlines, bares all before the eyes of the readers. Sometimes, it jolts people on hearing the history that was never revealed to them in their text books. I can never forgot my own emotions when i read about the saddest days of Indian history(Partition) when fathers beheaded their own daughters and husbands beheaded their wives (to protect them from the torture that awaits them from the people of other religion)

Padma Bhushan gets a special new meaning (for me) because of being awarded to him.. :)