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Rise of Indian economy - Groundswell or Reactionary?

Continuing the chain of thought from my previous post , I got thinking as to whether the changes in the Indian economy since 1990's have been top down and visionary or merely reactionary and ad-hoc. The conclusion which I have reached has been that they are a combination, but above all - they are based on a Groundswell from the masses. While multiple sectors - IT, Retail, Financial Services and even manufacturing - have contributed to rise of the Indian Tiger; to illustrate my point, I would concentrate on the Financial Sector [ related post ]. Pre-liberalization, there were many shackles, like license raj, on the Indian financial services sector. But more gruesome were the factors of immature or absent regulatory supervision and resulting power of large investors to manipulate the free markets. The Banking sector meanwhile was dominated by PSU banks which were slow, bureaucratic and customer unfriendly. Starting the 90s there were many top down reforms starting like Dematerializ

Atanu Dey is not always right

I have previously pointed a lot of links [ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ]to Atanu Dey's blog, also praising his RISC model for development of Indian rural/semi-urban areas. However, this comment on his blog (by someone with an alias Human Blasphemy ) sets out some very pertinent doubts on this model - reproducing it here: Dear Atanu, I heard you during your session on RISC at XIMB. One of the members asked you a question whether Rural Infrastructure can be developed through people’s participation and through microfinance. Which according to you is not possible, because large infrastructure projects have to be completed at one go. But the problem is that why will any private company invest in rural infrastructure? You only said that i dont know how it will be possible. I believe you will agree that in future Microfinance will not remain microfinance it will become SM-finance [Small and medium finance. We have already seen the examples of increased limits of credit in Andhra Pradesh, where Mf loans

Death of the PIN Code

I was reading this GigaOm piece on augmented reality when I realized that we may be very near towards making the Zipcode (or Pincode as we know it in India) completely redundant in the next 10-15 years. The article talks about how location aware application - Layar delivers ATM locations, restaurant information and available jobs on the phone’s screen as users point the camera at their surroundings. This innovation is a combination of 3 technologies coming together - GPS (location awareness), persistent connection (ability to extract information on the move) and image recognition (point the camera and the phone knows where you are). The latter is probably a complicated and expensive technology to build everywhere, but the former two are now almost ubiquitous. As I have written earlier , mapping services are improving every day in India - already maps to smallest detail are available for most Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities in India. With ISRO's project Bhuvan , imaging information should

My latest figure is 57-63-104!

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KPMG Thought Leadership Update

Reshaping for future success What's next for Private Equity in India This report, based on research conducted in the second quarter of 2009, examines the impact of the global financial crisis on private equity in India and the prospects for the market in the near and long-term. The research, undertaken by KPMG in India in conjunction with Stanford University's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center includes a detailed survey of 40 General Partners (GPs) and Limited Partners (LPs) active in the Indian market. I hope that Thought Leadership update will prove to be a valuable resource for you. Regards,   Download Report (2,029 KB) Privacy & Disclaimer © 2009 KPMG, an Indian Partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss cooperative. All rights reserved.

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How Indian Finance Sector has matured

I was Googling for some information on Financial regulations in India, when I chanced upon a few old news items from the early 2000's [ 1 ][ 2 ]. While reading those new items I realized how the Indian Financial sector has undergone a rapid transformation in the last decade or so. India's financial sector has undergone a very rapid phase of transformation in the last 10-15 years. While scam ridden 90's brought in multiple regulators like SEBI and other related organizations such as NSDL and NSE, the private banks which grew brought in newer leaner ways of banking and infusion of technology - Core Banking Systems and Straight-Through-Processing. However, it was only in the new millenium that these changes as an aggregate started hitting the psyche of the common man and the government / regulators together. This trigerred massive national level initiatives - many of these fueled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Some of these were the introduction of Electronic Clearing (EC

Weekend Trips and Google Maps

I am a self confessed Fan (yes with a capital 'F') of Google and its products - my GMail remains open on my laptop as long as it is switched on; I visit Google to reach every 9 in 10 websites I visit; I save most of my documents as GMail attachments or Google Docs; all the websites which I manage are managed through; and almost every time I drive to a new place, I use Google Maps ! The resolution and detail on Google Maps for India has improved a lot since I first blogged about MapMyIndia version of Indian mapping software (incidentally, the makers of MapMyIndia now power Yahoo! India Maps ). However, Google Maps has forged far ahead of Yahoo! Maps or MapMyIndia thanks to its colaborative features - most of the landmarks and addresses which I find on Google Maps are tagged or identified by users themselves. This kind of crowdsourced mapping info makes Google maps an ideal tool to find anything from businesses (say CD Shop in Powai) to picnic spots and weekend getaw

Motivating People

Found this awsome list of statements on motivating employees here . people don't do what you tell them to do; they do what gets them a reward positive reinforcement is the most effective way to motivate people [Note that in a technology company, a reinforcer might be the freedom to spend some time working on a side project or a pet feature; reinforcement is broader than money or praise; it can be anything that the employee values.] reinforcement works best when it is immediate, certain, and frequent (Daniels points out that kids that our public schools diagnose as having an ADD learning disability are able to concentrate for hours playing video games that provide 85 positive reinforcements per minute) reinforcement doesn't work if followed up with a "but, you need to improve X, Y, Z" monthly reinforcement only provides 12 opportunities per year to shape someone's performance; weekly is the minimum (the annual review and bonus is a joke, as far as Daniels is concer

The day Could not have started worse

Image Credit: deen I took about 2½ hours to reach office today. Apparantly some truck has oveturned near Chembur and hence all traffic from the Sion-Trombay highway has been diverted towards the Suman-nagar flyover (where Eastern Express enters the Island city). This has resulted in a huge traffic jam at Sion. The small incident explains how fragile the infrastructure demand-supply equilibrium is in Mumbai. The roads are just about sufficient to support traffic. So, if it rains or a truck/bus stranded on the road side - it creates queues of traffic kilometers long. Image Credit: Marc van der Chijs This is because of multiple reasons - first of course being that road-space is narrow. The others are like: There are no alternate routes to reach the Island city apart from the arterial roads. The JNPT road remains unutilized even at the time of the traffic jams and natural calamities like water logging. The Highway Maintenance services such as towing trucks to clear stranded vehicles are n