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Showing posts from April, 2011

HRM systems diagnostic checklists

For last couple of days, I have tried to get overall idea about appraisal system in other companies and materials about appraisals. While checking, I came across an interesting checklist and warning indicators:

Your organization is more than likely in trouble if any of the following holds true:
chronic industrial relations problemsno means of resolving employee grievancesincreasing / erratic employee turnoverincreasing number of customer complaintsno pride in the organizationinter-group conflictsno career paths for ambitious talented employeesdissatisfaction with pay and conditionsunclear job rolesno clear performance measuresquality is unimportantbad product service / delivery recordspoor recruitment standards / practicesno management development programsno induction training for new employeescritical skill shortagesinter-departmental conflictyou do not know if any of the above are applicableyou ignore any of the above

100 spits per minute = Madurai!

Whenever I'd praise Madurai people's helping tendency, others would ask me if I like their idlis or noticed anything peculiar. Like I already mentioned, I don't like Madurai foods.

I had a vague memory that someone said that Madurai people would brag for drinking plain water as they did drink alcohol. But, for me, I was always surprised at they way they spit--more often and unnecessarily.

Madurai food Vs Nagercoil food

There's huge cry that Madurai idlis are best. Having stayed in Madurai for 7-years, I can give assurance that they're crap. Madurai foods (especially available in hotels) are of poor hygiene and poor in taste. But, I always like the people--they're friendly and helping.

My favorite is always Azad Hotel's (Nagercoil, near Tower Junction) chicken kothu parotta. Nagercoil food like aviyal, samba (red) rice, etc are always good and healthy as they're cooked in coconut oil and with high hygiene--even in hotels.

English fever and low self-esteem

Chinese may be learning English but they are not switching their medium to English—all higher education takes place in Chinese.
...
The obsession with English-medium education, particularly for technical and higher studies, is keeping millions of Indian children behind. The top business and professional schools in India remain English-based—their entrance exams are not only in English but specifically test English-language skills. A child in China, or for that matter, Japan or South Korea, does not have to deal with debilitating switch in medium to go to engineering, medical or business school.
...
it is worth remembering that only four of the richest 20 economies in the world, by highest per-capita income, are English-based. Universal education, not English-medium, is what gives China the advantage over India.
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It is also a fallacy that our software success is built on knowledge of English. Israel’s population is half of Delhi’s, yet its software exports rival our own. It is true…

Barefoot Steve Jobs and British slaves...

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc sometimes walk in barefoot in their comapus (I don't know, how I missed this earlier!). They're able to use/market it to differentiate themselves.

Whenever some newcomer or new manager--influenced by British colonial rule, visits our team, they complain about barefoot and casual dressed hackers. For years, I have been defending that they're not intentional but they're geekish. Had I known this earlier, I would have compared Apple Inc culture with our team!

Not to mention that our Online Marketing Manager (who's from London but working in Chennai) never wears suit or tie. He once told me that he wears suit only on Christmas dinner and for funeral.

Cabals and cynic bossism -- destroy team

Like I mentioned before, I often used to say that "trust is the binding force and hope is the driving force".

The things that destroy the team I have noted are:

Cabals
They are always opinionated, push themselves, bypass their reporting people/hierarchy, look for other cabals to understand the "shortcuts", etc. I find these people are quite damaging, they can never trust their reporting people--even though the reporting person is quite rational.

Cynic bossism
These people will never trust their immediate subordinates. They'll constantly spy their subordinates as they're panic and will try to see if they have better subordinate below their immediate subordinates. By doing so, they always damage morale of their subordinates, their spirit for the team, etc. Often these people will have their enemy within their own / peer level than from sub-levels.

Though many times I have noted that these people are quite damaging, till now, I have no experience in "handl…

Kids, cartoon, cricket, Rajini, Facebook, Mac

When I was studying in schools, I've noticed that Rajinikanth fans were insane and irrational. Of late, I'm noticing such attitude with cricket fans who take sportive things so serious and take serious things so sportive--moronic. Similarly I'm also noticing Facebook "herdy kids" and Mac fanatics (though I agree that iPhone is better, but can't agree that Mac is better for it's "usability").

MBAs Vs Hackers

MBAs Vs Hackers war is always on and hackers win with creating Linux to Firefox internationally. But, in India, coding is always considered to be a lower end job. In the international hacker cult, they code, code and code even at their 60s. In India, MBAs always take a lead saying "anybody can code", so every programmer is forced to "switch" to leadership role. Another problem with India is that there is no "real hacker" comparable with International cult.

I have been lamenting this for years and smelling the "gap" for years. I've consoled myself with "Learner, Hacker, Idiot" tag in LinkedIn profile. Recently I noticed some guys who branded themselves as hackers when they're bashing MBAs in Quora. Having impressed by their "attitude", I checked their product and found nothing better than StockFox.

Some hacker chauvinistic links I'm fond of:
The Hacker FAQHow to be a Programmer: A Short, Comprehensive, and Personal …

Top Indian web startups

Disclaimer: This list contains some of our team's projects

Sites that are useful and usable
erail.in - created by a single person and serves useful to quickly find availability in Indian trainsClearTrip - seems to be inspired by many other sites like Vayama, but able to get better UIRediffMail - speed is the big boostMyntra - good idea, but poor UIredBus - good idea, but poor UI and executionSites from The Times Group are also of good idea, but poorly executed/architected. They clearly try and target the web startup "gap"
Sites that are innovative (world's first/never seen before kind)
SocialAV - World's first and only antivirus building community (by our team)CSSilize - World's first and only project management tool for slicing works (by our team)jobreapr - World's first and only fixed price job search engine (by our team)

Bra & Condom websites on making or in demand?

My post Bra & Condom eCommerce website for Indian market is getting more hits now. Looks like they're of high demand or some are trying to create such sites. Some even brought my attention about CondomShopee; but that's not complete with "sizes" that I mentioned. Someone brought my me another shopping site that's also selling bras TheAgada; though the site is looking cool, the bra shopping isn't perfect.

Not to mention, I'll be greatly interested in architecting or ideating such bra and condom websites/business.

Anna Hazare hype, irresponsibile media?

In recent times, barkhagate scam clearly shows that the Indian media is much corrupt than the politicians. They give unnecessary hype to certain things to get TRP. Ever since Anna has gone compared himself with Gandhi and Shivaji, it was clear that he's trying to draw politicians attention. It was a clean tactic than what Medha Patkar or any maoists couldn't get such hype.

The TwitGens [sic] can't really understand how a Lokpal (ombudsman) system can even be corrupt; remember that the author of Savaukku did quit from DVAC (Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption).

Economic Times article on this issue shares my views; I don't understand why they couldn't get such views published in Times of India. I think, we can't expect anything good from the media that's vehemently pushing AIADMK.
Will Lok Pal be a Super Bureaucrat?Anna Hazare: Was Lok Pal protest compatible with constitutional democracy?

Jayalalitha = "change"??

Recently I have followed OurVote.in, the site that tracks Tamil Nadu Assembly Election 2011 through Facebook voting. According to the site, AIADMK is winning on huge margin as per Facebook users and everybody is mentioning Jayalalitha as a "change". I think, it's mainly because of media mayhem.

My personal opinion is to oust both DMK and AIADMK. BJP is Indian Taliban. PMK is chameleon. Vote only for Congress, CPM, DMDK, Dalit parties... and wherever DMK is facing AIADMK straight, vote for IJK or best independent candidate. When Congress gets majority, control goes to Rahul Gandhi and he appoints Nallakannu like person from CPM as Chief Minister... and CPM becomes half capitalists (pure communism is failure)... I have a dream...

Sri Lankan Tamil's critic on "Tamil Nationalism" and Thamarai, Seeman, Vaiko, etc

In Tamil Nadu, it's common for politician like Vaiko and activists like Nedumaran, Seeman, Thamarai, etc to support LTTE and Tamil Nationalism. But, the critic I read long time ago, by a Sri Lankan Tamil is an eye opener at least for me பியசேன: கபடத் தமிழ்த்தேசியத்திற்கு கடிக்க நல்ல அவல்!

Idea crazy and free advices on rise

Just for the sake of record, I have noted that "idea crazy" people who think theirs is novel and should be kept secret are on rise. Though I agree to some extent that the ideas be kept secret to get pioneership [sic] credit, I wonder, why they can't compare Coca cola and Pepsi. People giving "free advices" on "ideas" are also on rise.

IT startup - scaling up customer base

Recently I had an interesting conversation with someone who brought me a new theory that integrating sales team and development team "closely" will increase the productivity. Conversation went on like these:

Someone: Sales team and development team should work closely for better productivity.
Me: What are the IT companies having such setup? What are the IT companies that increased productivity through such setup?
Someone: (No answer)
Me: How have you arrived at that theory?
Someone: 'coz the sales team will get more technical questions and only when they closely work with the development team, they can able to answer.

Later I felt that the person is somewhat right, the problem lies with the customer base and the person's inability to bring better solution. Then, I come to an analogy of Waiter, Cook and customer base in a hotel.

Waiter, Cook and customer base in Hotel

Here, the Waiter can be compared with the IT salesman and Cook can be compared with the developer. For this e…

Richard Branson: People Power -- the Engine of Any Business

I read the article People Power -- the Engine of Any Business by Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group) in Entrepreneur magazine some long time ago, but the following piece is still echoing in my mind:

One main reason people leave a job is that they are not listened to.


Be aware that a bad leader can destroy a business very quickly. In small businesses this is easily apparent. On my island of Necker in the Caribbean, we had a general manager who tried to change the way things were done. He discouraged the staff from drinking with our guests. This soured the atmosphere fast. We had to step in to replace the manager and restore staff morale and the sense of management’s trust in them, which had been broken.