Data: Mera Cell Tera Cell!

On one hand where data is a fantastic thing to have for anything and everything in the world,

Be it looking at the gender diversity ratio in a company/parliament etc.,

Be it the percentage of people for whom a certain drug might have worked in terms of the cure it offered, and in turn the effectiveness of the very drug,

Be it evaluating the state of economy, and the possibilities of getting returns on prospective investments,

Be it deriving insights from the experiments, scientists perform day-in-day out, concerning matters which we tend to deal with; with or without the realization of the same,

On the other hand, data tends to divide people, putting them into different groups and attributing the same with certain characteristics, in turn resulting in the biases that we all have, and in turn questioning the very fundamentals of a being, the very cells that make us all who we call as oneself.

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Many a times, I have had heard phrases like vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means world is one family, unity in diversity etc. all suggesting that all are supposed to be treated equally,

No matter what our colour of the skin is,

No matter what religion we were bound to follow because we choose to be born in a particular family residing in a particular place in time,

No matter what gender we got associated to and were categorized in, based upon the reproductive credentials that we possess,

Yet, for the want of it, and at times for the need of it, the who’s who of the society, tends to divide and rule on the basis of the power of this very data, which surprisingly tends to find some kind of an acceptance, knowingly or unknowingly across all variety of people.

After all, if mera cell=tera cell (my cell=your cell), would there be a need to refer to people as being part of a group or a religion?

The reality is more often than not stranger than the fiction, and that’s why it’s easy to accept and adapt to the fictitious ways in which we have all got accustomed to living our lives.

The fact is that we are going to be bombarded with plethora of data along with its interpretation, day-in-day-out,

The question all need to ask themselves is whether they are prepared to make that all important choice of not succumbing to the fiction and rise above to realize reality.

Source for the Image: http://www.3dprinter.in/we-may-soon-have-3d-cell-printed-tissues/

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Life=Startup!

With around 4200 startups already in India and with 3-4 startups being formed each day, the day is not far off, when everything from womb to tomb will be taken care by a startup.

There is a startup for nearly each and every aspect of our materialistic lifestyle, be it buying groceries on the go, or booking a cab, be it getting your car serviced to taking care of your pets at home, be it ordering food online to getting an electrician/plumber etc. for your household repairs.

Soon, it will become so aspirational that a kid, before learning to say mom or dad would learn to say “startup” and the happiness on the faces of the parents and grandparents would be exemplary considering the kid would be progressing in the right direction.

Soon, parents would not want their children to become doctors or engineers but would ideally want them to tread the entrepreneurial path, knowing that success lay in solving that all important problem and with VCs and funds chasing guys who would be able to do it successfully.

Soon, parental thinking would transform into the much talked about platform thinking, with parents aspiring for their kids to go on to become the “Zuckerberg’s” of Indian start-up ecosystem.

Soon, youth would not want to run after jobs, but would ideally want to create jobs and contribute towards the much hyped GDP concept of development.

Soon, the startup culture would engulf the entire mental framework of beings and from morning to evening, the quintessential thing that one would be discussing would be a startup.

Few among the learned say that it’s nothing but a bubble and will soon burst and sanity and good sense will prevail.

Few also are of the opinion that it’s not at all sustainable and that there needs to be some logic to the prevailing madness, though they are not sure how and when that would happen.

Few are cynical enough to say that the youth has gone crazy, not realizing that only 1 in 10 startups would ultimately get funded, leaving the rest to suffer, not realizing that the best years of their life would go in vain with no future in store.

Though opinions are varied and can be appreciative or cynical, one extremely significant thing which is happening is that the youth is not so scared to take the plunge as they were before. They are more than happy to take the dive and then learn to swim as they go along. They are no more cautious about what if it doesn’t succeed.

There is this aura being created by the aspirational youth, where there is no place for fear and doubt.

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Youth is learning and prepared to take on the challenges head on. The energy and motivation is addictive and inspires the others.

So, can we say, India is ready to churn out startups capable of going on to become the best of the best in the World?

Well, yes and no! Yes, because of the attitudinal shift, yes because of the startup ecosystem being created at the policy level, yes because of the funding opportunities with investors ready to focus their energies on India.

No, because of the herd mentality where each and everyone is trying to get a piece of the cake, no, because the focus remains on fund raising and not actually trying to do what they are supposed to do, which is to solve that one important problem for which the startup was formed in the first instance.

Instead of chasing the funds, let funds chase you; instead of making funds an aspiration, make the funders aspire to reach out to you; how and when is the mool mantra that many in the space with cash crunch would need to figure out; but if they are able to crack this code, the world would be at their doorsteps knocking for that single opportunity to invest.

After all, it’s the investors who need you more than what you think you might need them for. The choice is yours and how you perceive the entire scenario is the key to the same.

Economists would get into a debate of demand and supply, where more the startups, more is the choice for the investors to choose from and more is the cut-throat competition for the limited funds.

True to some extent, but imagine, if there were only a few good startups among the lot and the plethora of investors vouching for that all important investment which could give them those 10X returns, won’t the tables turn in that case?

Indeed, it would. For this to happen, one might have to turn days into nights, might have to tread the harder path, might have to go beyond one’s means, might have to make his/her life a startup; but if one is able to successfully achieve the same, the world will be at their feet, looking up to them as a source of inspiration.

Source for Image: https://www.lendvo.com/tips-startup-business-loans-funding/

The Consequence!

Those who love to watch cricket and those who are forced to watch it just because their boy friends or husbands suddenly seem to become more interested in the other love of their lives, might have noticed a tagline: “one over will change the World“.

Though I can go on talking about the game and the master himself, yet I would not do the same, instead would want to take you to another aspect of the tag line and would want to make little modification in the same: “one incident/decision will change your World“. 

There can be many broad interpretations of the tagline that I have used above. It could be related to the much awaited and much talked about topics in recent times, politics, with slogans ranging from NaMo to RaGa coming to the fore. And yes, one vote does make a difference and one election outcome does make governments topple (so go out there and cast our vote for it is not only your right but also your duty to do so).decision

It could be related to the economy of the World and in turn India, which due to globalization and other similar forces has become increasingly linked to the decisions being made in the international arena. One decision of the federal bank in US of withdrawing the stimulus that it has been offering for a considerable period of time, just after the financial crisis, is surely going to have a significant impact on the economy of not only India but also all the developing countries.

It could be manifested in international relations among countries fighting over different natural resources present Worldwide. If US and in turn NATO were to carry on with the sanctions on Russia over the issue of Ukraine, it needs no Einstein to declare that we might once again be treading the path to the much talked about event in the history of international politics, the cold war. Sometimes, I wonder whether the end of the cold war was just a hoax to make sure that the cold war (which in itself was not a direct confrontation and in a sense secret) could be carried in a pseudo-secretive manner.

It could be manifested in the society that we all, willingly or unwillingly happen to be a part of. One decision, such as getting married out of your caste or with a person belonging to a different religion, could bring doomsday to the lives of the couples, who dare to go beyond the caste system and the Khap panchayat which seems to function in a different world altogether, and which seems not to be bound by our own Constitution and the laws thereof, which are supposed to provide security to every citizen of this country.

At personal level, it could also be related to the various decisions that you take at various points in your life, ranging from the choice between Biology and Mathematics after high school to what career path you ultimately decide to pursue; from going for a love or arranged marriage to making a choice between living in India or abroad and so on.

If we were to tread deeper into our own nano-World and were to explore at the micro level, one decision made during that night when say you were partying at your friend’s place and decided to go for a drive when you were all drunk and happened to have met an accident could indeed bring about a huge change in your life. I guess that’s why our forefathers were so keen on voicing the precautionary principle. 

Whatever it might be, every decision and every little step that we take in our lives has a consequence, which makes me wonder whether we are just a cog in this machine of the consequential life that we all happen to be living.life race

Sounds depressive to the core? Yes, but what I intend to convey here is not some silly depressive thought but a possibility that we can all bend this consequential life in our favour by ensuring that whatever decisions we make in our lives are first of all based on rationality and secondly even if the rationality happens to go wrong, then too we must always try to maintain a positive mindset which will help us all in handling those unwanted situations and circumstances that we all happen to find ourselves in at some point of time in our respective lives.

Thus, it is absolutely essential for all of us to take the consequences (both positive and more so negative) in our respective strides and keep evolving and learning from the same, during this journey of life. This reminds me of the famous song:

किसी  की  मुस्कुराहटों पे हो निसार किसी का दर्द मिल सके तो ले उधार, 
किसी के वास्ते हो तेरे दिल में प्यार, जीना इसी का नाम है.

Source for Image: http://www.rkdf.ac.in/Result.php, http://blog.theravid.com/physical-therapy-2/physical-therapy-marketing-consumer-decision-making-process/

Time for UPA Government to Make Way?

It is not a mystery that since the UPA government has taken oath, inflation has been on the rise. It is not only with this Congress government, if we have a look at the history, this has been the case with each one of them. Can we infer something from this trend?

Well, as we try to decipher the code, the “aam aadmi” for whom the UPA government vouches for, has been again hit by the price-rise bug and this time around, it is the petrol prices, which has gone up by nearly Rs. 3.

This coupled with RBI’s decision to increase the rates to keep a check on the rising inflation would mean that the home and vehicle loans will become costlier, in turn burdening the common man even more.

I wonder how on earth, the UPA government will be able to contain this inflation and would want to give up on their flawed policies. If not is it time for UPA government to make way for a better and proficient government?

Source for Image: http://www.gev.com/2011/07/oil-prices-rise-up-again/

Farewell: Narayana Murthy

The man who made a moderate beginning some 30 years back didn’t know that he would make it so big. He had no idea at that time that he was going to change the IT scenario in the country, but one thing that he surely had was a revolutionary idea, the idea of outsourcing in which a company in US could off shore work in a company in India which was prepared to work overnight.

That ways, he provided the Americans with an opportunity to conduct business 24 by 7 and this indeed brought a revolution in the mindset of the companies, who were ever on a look out to make more money. 

What Narayana Murthy gives to a billion people in India is a hope that if one works hard and is ready to give his/her best to an idea that he/she has confidence in then anything is possible. He represents the face of Young India which is ready to take risks and go on an entrepreneurial path.

As he steps down from the helm of Infosys, we all take a bow to the man who indeed changed the ways of doing business.

 

Source for Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Narayana_Murthy,_Chairman,_Infosys,_at_the_Horasis_Global_China_Business_Meeting_2006.jpg

Doomsday for US?

Isn’t the condition in US deteriorating day by day? Though they have managed to bail themselves out of the immediate crisis, the troubles seem to be not ending with S&P recently degrading US of her AAA status to AA+.

What this means is that the investors would now be in a position to bargain when investing in US Treasury bonds, which were before this incident considered to be one of the safest propositions in the market. Now, the US would be forced to pay a higher interest on these bonds, which in turn would affect their debt position further and in turn the unemployment rate which doesn’t seem to go down with time.

This also might trigger a backlash in outsourcing with uproar going louder on jobs in US being outsourced to India and in turn might have an impact on India and her citizens who are living in US.

But do US have options left in her kitty to deal with the thunder storm arising due to ever rising borrowing limit and debt situation? For that matter do European nations and in fact the whole World have some solution for the same, as this is not going to be just a local effect. It is going to effect the entire globe and the consequences seem really bad.

Source for Image: http://www.nodebtusa.com/

http://www.debtmanagementtool.com/

Is Crisis over for US?

The decision to hike the debt ceiling came as a relief to the financial markets which were really concerned about the August 2 deadline. It could have led to a default by one of the most powerful economies in the World today, and the credit rating for the country would have rocketed down. What this would have meant for US was that the investors would no more have vouched for the destination, instead would have opted to invest in relatively lucrative and safer places around the World. This could have been disastrous for the dollar and the interests rates would have gone up if such a measure for not undertaken by US.

The immediate crisis seemed to have been dealt with, but the repercussions of the decision are bound to have a long term impact on the economy. There are certain things which US should really worry about. First and foremost is the ever rising debt for the country, which created a near default scenario for the country. Second, US should worry about more than trillion $ worth of its bonds that are with China. It is not very hard to imagine as to what will happen if the Chinese decide to sell these bonds in the market, which gives China such a huge bargaining power over US.

The US must get her act right if she wants to maintain a dominant position on the World stage. A developing country which is not much affected by US and her aid is sure going to feel good about the decreasing dominance of the super power. Default or no default, the incident has certainly decreased the credibility of US market. This might also force the US government to rethink about her policies in Middle-East, for now the demand of the situation would be cuts in the spending and the people will be quick to point out the extravagant defense expenditure being incurred in Afghanistan, Iraq etc.

What lies ahead is a very interesting scenario and the trouble for US is not yet over.

What do you think?

Source for  Image: http://afr.com/

http://www.freefoto.com/preview/04-28-49/US-Dollar-Bills