Thursday, March 30, 2017

Is excess networking welcoming IoT into our homes too early ??

You call it over-indulgence, profligacy, intemperance or extravagance, Bangalore in India is now flush with high speed ultra cheap 4G Internet bandwidth ..

A graphic on IoT ..
Maybe it is the technology capital of India, that is the reason. In my home, a moderate low intensity user family with 4 adults, I have 7 networked devices, which includes three laptops, three mobile phones and a tablet which are powered by three high speed networks, ie. 2 nos 4G and 1 no 3G broadband network.

A very soft version of Internet of Things is already existing at our homes. Access to millions of apps that automates or simplifies many of your daily tasks like knowing the weather, the best road to take to work, reading newspapers, to checking weather, preparing a document or a presentation, clicking pictures or videos, editing images, booking a train tickets or cinema tickets, communicating with friends over emails or group chats or social media, almost anything one can imagine to improve the quality of our life, can now be achieved over the Internet.

Technology roadmap on growth of IOT ..
With high speed and extremely low cost 4G and 3G broadband availability in India, the field is so competitive that a user need not pay anything, ABSOLUTELY FREE for basic telecom connection between subscribers across the country on multiple networks, major international telecom players like Vodafone found the environment too hot and competitive that it had to merge with another competitor to stay afloat. Even then it is not clear how long the new company can survive given the ultra high competition in the telecom arena in India.
The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as "connected devices" and "smart devices"), buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
        - Eric Brown, "Who needs the Internet of Things', Linux, Sept 13, 2016.
Click here for a free download of (courtesy Verizon) the HBR Nov '14 report on Internet of Things ..

A day will come soon when sitting in my office I can switch on and off my microwave oven at home or the fridge and washing machines and give it the command to process things and soon all gadgets at home will get connected.

The question in everybody's minds here in India is
  • Will India give the lead in IoT adoption given the ultra low Internet bandwidth rates ? 
  • Does India have the capability and manpower to enable this switchover ? 
  • Are our policy makers and politicians aware of the potential of this game changer technology which can add tens of trillions of dollars to our GDP ?
  • Will it make humans more productive or lead to a destructive environment around the world ?
  • Are machines going to dictate our lives ?
  • Is technology helping to bring people together, like the Internet, or making them dumb and stay aloof ? 
  • Will we be able to decide and play a role in our tomorrow ?
  • Will technology and AI completely replace human intelligence ?
  • Will technology through IoT improve the quality of our life ?
There are many interesting and impactful questions we would like to get an answer to. But they say it will take time.. Hope India will take a suitable appropriate decision to offer leadership to the world in this field.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Telecom Cost Innovation war in India. Global telecom majors running scared ..

Look at the scale of cost innovation happening in India, thanks to the extremely competitive environment because of the entry of Jio !

Is India leading the world in the fourth Industrial revolution - information revolution ? Check for yourself !! 👍

In US a GB of 4G data is offered cheapest (?) by T-Mobile at $5, (Rs 328), in UK 1 GB of 4 G data is offered by O2 at £1.67 (Rs 136), in India 1 GB of 4G data was offered by Reliance Jio at Rs 10 or 15 cents, it was beaten at this by bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) at Rs. 5.50  (8 cents or 6 pence) ..

4G data :
1000 MB - 8 cents
100 MB - 0.8 cents
10 MB - 0.08 cents
1 MB - 0.008 cents

1 MB of 4G data - 0.5 paisa ..

When we thought this scale of cost innovation can happen ONLY in INDIA, here comes Telenor from Norway, a mobile player in India offering 58 GB for just Rs. 47/-, ie. a GB of 4G data at Rs 0.8 or 1.2 cents ..

1GB 4G data offered cheapest in US is $5, while a GB of 4G data in India comes at 1.2 cents or $0.012 or in otherwords 1 MB at 0.08 paisa or 0.0008 INR.

A GB of 4G data ( for that matter transmitting data at very high speeds of 10 Mbps and above) in US is 417 times (417x) costlier than in India. Is this what we call technological cost innovation leadership of the world  ??

A surgeon touching a 3D hologram of the heart ..
I can show how this is going to be extremely beneficial for India in the next 20 years. If we are interested in sending a 3D hologram of an individual, in all likelihood let us suppose it may take anywhere from 10 to 100 Terabytes. The transmission costs for 100 TB in India over your mobile phone connection would be costing 100 x 1000 x $0.012/GB= $1200. In US a 100TB 3D hologram of an individual would cost 100 x 1000 x $5/GB= 500000. The cost difference is again a massive 417 times ..

Indian IT company research in this area of 3D hologram imaging of humans has be carried out in right earnest so that India takes the edge over the rest of the world in commercialising it at the fastest rate.

George ..

PS : I am amazed at the excellent rates offered for data by the state owned BSNLto its customers. As of 2 April 2017, BSNL  offers 300 GB for just Rs 249/- pm. ie. 10 GB for Rs. 8.30. ie. each GB of 3G data is being offered  at rs. 0.83, ie. 1.3 cents.. I dont think anybody in the world will ever be able to match the BSNL rates at least for the next 2 years !!

The cheapest 1 GB rates offered in US is 384 times (384x) the cheapest rates offered in India. !!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wings to fly and roots to grow - Dalai Lama


In two independent houses,separated by a compound wall, two people were living, in one a retired person and in the other a techie.

They had planted identical saplings on either sides of the compound.

The techie used to give lot of water and manure to the plants.The retired,just small quantity of water and little manure.

The techies plant grew into lush green,leafy robust plant.
The retired person's plant was a near normal but much luxuriant than his neighbor's.

One night there was a heavy rain with gusty wind.
Next morning both came out to see the fate of the plants.
To techie's surprise his plant had got uprooted where as his neighbor's was unharmed.

Techie asked the retired man as why his plant was uprooted despite such a good care where as the neighbor had hardly cared.
The retired person's answer should be a lesson for all of us.

*Look young man, you had supplied every thing a plant would need,in abundance and the plant did not have to go in search of it.Your roots did not have go down. I was supplying just enough to keep it alive. For the rest roots had to go down into the ground to fulfil it's needs.*

Since your roots were superficial the rain and wind could easily fell it.
Since my roots were pretty deeply grounded they could withstand the onslaught of the nature.

The same applies to your children too. 🙏🙏

Most of us are unaware of this truth. 🙏🙏 Very good message ..

 The more we care and give them more comforts and more money out of our ignorance, the less rooted they become and more lazy, less inclined to take on challenges. If we really care for our kids, let us allow them to take some decisions themselves, let them lean and earn it the hard way !!

Earlier Kerala CS Jiji Thomson used to quote from a Dalai Lama talk in most of his speeches, let us give our kids wings to fly (education, family etc..) and roots to stay firm (values, morals, belief in God etc..).


Moving to Ubuntu 17.04 ...

Gnu/Linux has always been our cup of tea. And it will continue to be so .. ¹

This is a soft invitation to all my friends to come experience a new software world. The world of Free and Open Source software, FOSS or in other words, Gnu/Linux. It's been almost thirty two years since Richard Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation in 1985 and twenty six years since Linus Torvalds released the Linux kernel in 1991.

You can select the ISO image for download (1.5 GB file), make a bootable USB. (scroll down for the link to do that in Linux and windows). Change your BIOS boot commands to make USB your first boot device. Switch off and switch on your machine to experience an out of the world experience.

You may already be one among the 96% of computer users globally using Gnu/Linux without your knowledge.
  • If you are already one of the 1900 million users of Facebook, you are already using Gnu/Linux software in a big way, as FB is a great user of Gnu/Linux software as OS and RDBMS packages. 
  • If you use Google search engine for your search, the Google cloud for word processing purposes, you are an avid Gnu/Linux user. 
  • If you watch videos over Youtube, you are one among the 1.3 billion hardcore Gnu/Linux user watching upto 4 billion videos daily, 
  • The advantage which only Linux offers, constant upgrades
    and an out of the world experience ...
  • not to mention of Linkedin, twitter (1.3 billion registered users) Google chrome browser etc.
The author, an avid Linux fan wanted to test the latest Ubuntu 17.04 beta version, set to be officially released by 13 April 2017 (17 and 04, giving it the version no 17.04) and name Zesty Zapus .. (click here for more details about zesty zapus) Zapus, is by the way, the enthusiastic American common mouse, the only mammal in the world with 18 teeth in total.

The author uses a simple five year old HP 430 laptop, 2 GB RAM for SOHO use, all actions are on the Google chrome browser and Google cloud.

The many advantages of using the present Ubuntu 17.04 Gnu/Linux for your SOHO use, which you may find interesting are as follows.
  • Its cool. No hassles, you don't have to carry a heavy conscience of using pirated proprietary Operating systems like Windooze

  • don't have to pay heavily for the OS nor the upgrades, thousands of software, technical and general, are aviable FREE

  • can lecture about the OS and copy it any number of times, its different software and don't have to worry about taking permissions from some unknown entities for getting the benefits of IT to the masses

  • Zesty Zapus
    have a vast number of high quality volunteer programmers working round the clock in different parts of the world to constantly upgrade the OS and the software to prevent it from being hacked and getting outdated

  • you will be amazed at the audio / video capability the OS and the software offers to moderately heavy computer user

  • Unlike earlier versions of LibreOffice which was found dragging and slow, the Ubuntu 17.04 version of LibreOffice is super fast. So is the case with the Firefox browser, even though the browser version is not changed. The underlying OS and 4.1 kernel has made all the difference.

  • The response time is very less compared to earlier versions of Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

  • Regarding long term support (LTS), the even year releases offer upto 5 years support while the odd year releases like the present 17.04 release, gives support for only two years, which means that one will have to upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 in two years or next year upgrade to the LTS 18.04 version. This may make a difference for commercial users of Ubuntu but for SOHO users, it rarely matters.

  • Mark Shuttleworth
    using this as a live version on a USB, since it is the beta2 version. Once the official stable release is out by 13 April 2017, I may think of changing from the present Ubuntu mate 16.04 to Ubuntu 17.04 then ..

  • can export output straight to PDF from Libreoffice

  • Google Cloud and Apps usage is very cool

    The response of all software is lot quicker than earlier versions of Ubuntu. In short the 17.04 release is faster, cleaner, leaner and more efficient as it uses a recent updated Linux kernel 4.1.

    "We are a tiny band in a market of giants, but our focus on delivering free software freely together with enterprise support, services and solutions appears to be opening doors, and minds, everywhere. So, in honour of the valiantly tiny leaping long-tailed over the obstacles of life, our next release which will be Ubuntu 17.04, is hereby code named the Zesty Zapus".

    Mark Shuttleworth, CEO, Canonical software, that releases Ubuntu
It is worth trying out the new Ubuntu beta 2 version ( I use it from a USB as a live distro for the time being ..). been using it regularly through live USB for about three days now and I am going to install it on my HD very soon.

Its worth giving a try, When you use a live USB, your old windows partition and data stored on that partition will not at all get affected, you are only using your laptop RAM and the USB memory .. Its very safe ..

Click here to write a Live USB stick in Linux

Click here to write a Live USB stick in Windows

You can erase the USB stick later if you are not satisfied with the Gnu/Linux distro or install Gnu/Linux on your hard disc if you are floored by the distro. You may need some handholding to install Ubuntu 17.04 on your hard disc. Your techie friends can help ..


1. The author was fortunate enough to work on Solaris at IIT Bombay during late nineties, Unix on the College of Engineering, Trivandrum IBM Mainframe around the early eighties and again on a NELCO mini computer at Goa Engineering College during late eighties.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

How can Indian corporates be more environment friendly and socially conscious ?

Kochi International Airport, the world's FIRST AND THE ONLY totally green 100% solar energy powered energy neutral airport in the South Indian state of Kerala has been unchallenged in solar energy implementation for the past one and a half years. It is not that the technology needed to effect such an energy changeover is not available elsewhere, but is the commitment and the leadership that is lacking in the developed economies of the world.

Kochi airport has also taken a giant leap to greening the airport by growing vegetables and creepers in the areas surrounding the solar panels. Due to constant water cleaning and washing of the solar panels, wild vegetation started growing around the panels. By growing organic vegetables  as it has the manifold benefits of

The green organic produce at Kochi airport
a) preventing birds from flying to peck at the wild fruits and berries which grow around the panels, these birds are an environment hazard for aeroplanes at the airport.

b)preventing wild shrubs from growing around and covering the solar panels, blocking the sunlight on the panels and

c) giving the needed ambient temperature around the panels to help the solar panels generate energy at greater efficiency.

d) The fourth and most important benefit of growing vegetables around the solar panels is the feeling of camaraderie it generates and help improve the motivation levels and labour relations environment at the airport.

e) The fifth benefit is that it ensures that the employees get good organic vegetables grown at the airport premises at very subsidised rates.

Sasken Technologies, Domlur, Bangalore, 
Sasken Technologies at Domlur area in Bangalore (click here for the link) has also started growing organic vegetables at a vacant one acre plot in their campus which is keeping the employees busy during their freetime and promoting great harmony in the company. It is yet to be established whether such greening opportunities have a direct impact on improving employee productivity besides improving the personal work-life balance of the employees.

Home roof solar panels
As a researcher I am interested in knowing the impact of such environment sustainability initiatives from forward looking organisations in Kochi and Bangalore on the employee productivity and employee-employer relations.Over time, has this resulted in any other benefits for the organisations like better worker satisfaction and morale ?

Another greening opporunity is in the area of power generation. With Sasken taking the lead in greening in a literary sense, a sure step for the Information Technology (IT) industry in Bangalore to take up the sustainability initiative of the country is to make a project plan in switching their energy needs over a fixed time period of five to ten years from non-renewable sources to renewable sources like solar, wind energy etc. In-house power generation plants can be a big motivator for other organisations / institutions and educational institutions around the country to switch to more environmentally sustainable energy sources.

Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore, rooftop solar panels
IT majors like TCS, Infosys, WIPRO, HCL and educational institutions can take up a solar energy generation  initiative in their offices in Bangalore and other cities to help the country tide over its energy crisis and help reach energy to distant parts of the country which are still unreachable. Rooftop solar pl;ants on government offices across the country is yet another great opportunity.

Another great sustainability initiative from Tamil Nadu govt is where organisations in Tamil Nadu have the opportunity to produce energy through wind turbines installed in Tirunelveli in south TN which is fed to the TN Electricity Board grid which can be tapped from any other point in TN by the same organisation. Corporates should take up such sustainability initiatives and opportunities in other parts of the country.

Sasken Technolgies, photo courtesy Bangalore Times.
Kochi airport - photo courtesy Mathrubhumi and Deccan Chronicle.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

200 years of colonial misrule ..

Inheriting an inglorious lineage ..
The last surviving member of a royal setup, the whole world is ashamed of, for it's excesses and avarice during better times ! 

The British monarchy through its commercial and military arms did the greatest damage, psychological and material, to the Indian colony, where ruling over 200 years they killed thirty five million Indians in three artificially created famines, second only to British immigrant settlers killing the original owners of North America over 400 years. The British royal  family through its administrative and commercial arms also saw the ransack and loot of the South Asian economy controlling 23% global GDP in 1750 AD to controlling less than 4% of global GDP in under 200 years of British plunder. 
Even though we know that she was totally helpless since she took office only in 1952, five years after the richest colony and the world's oldest civilization India rightfully gained its independence from British oppressive rule, she inherited an inglorious heritage renowned for murder and creating mayhem. She represents the present face of the oppressive British monarchy which marauded, pillaged and plundered it's colonies around the world for about two hundred years plus for personal profit which speaks volumes of the family's pleonexic excesses and rapacious greed. We know that this lady feels extremely uncomfortable at the disgraceful, undignified and humiliating lineage she inherits.

The basic human characters of treachery and deceit was what dictated British Protestant Christian rule over it's colonies, leading to its eventual degradation, deterioration and decline, like the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians ..

It took great tolerance, understanding, knowledge and foresight for the oldest cultures of India and China to see through this treachery, duplicity, backstabbing and infidelity of Britain and overcome it. Reflecting on our quality of forbearance, we should express our gratitude to this lady for all the damage, carnage, devastation and deprivation inflicted on us by your ancestors. We cannot but express our great appreciation and acknowledgement to the British monarchy for guiding or otherwise stifling and restraining India's fortunes, growth and development during these crucial years.

We pray for your long life !! 🙏


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bangalore's Railway woes - private bus lobby fleecing the public ?

The inter-state traveling public In Bangalore are put to great hardships by the private bus operators who fleece them with high charges during festive seasons and even other times, making travel very costly.

Why is it that the public funded railway department is turning a deaf ear to the cries of the hapless public ?

The private bus operators are really fleecing the customer . I have been noticing from 1998, Railways could easily have made public travel more comfortable and cheaper, but they have instead preferred to have trains originating at uncomfortable times. The private bus operators have been making great profit at the expense of the traveling public.

Last day when I was coming from Kollam into Bangalore, by the Kochuveli Yeshwantpur 12258, all AC Garib Rath, this morning I got down at Hosur and took a TN transport bus to travel to Koramangala in Bangalore. Within an hour I was at home. 

The trains officials need to seriously look at the following problems.

1. the arrival time to Bangalore and departure from Bangalore at very odd times , will push the traveling public to buses.
2. train does not come to the important city junction instead go to Yeshwantpur jn, on the outskirts. 
3. Customers are put to great difficulty so that they are forced to migrate more to private buses who charge anywhere from 1000 to 2500 rupees for a ticket during season time,  
4. In spite of knowing that the trains going to City jn are always full, no new trains are started from there. It is very essential that Railways should try to improve their operating profit by proper planning of trains. Were it not for the traveling public, Railways would have been a big zero !
If private bus operators were practicing revenue / yield management, then they would be offering tickets at multiple slabs, some very low and some very high. This not happening at all. The private bus operators continue to make a kill knowing that the hapless public are forced to turn to these bus operators. The officials never listen to the cries of the traveling public.

Mahatma Gandhi knew 70 years back, how important is the customer..

I request the officials please listen to the cries of the common man and dump the greedy private bus lobby and help the common man. I have been to many cities in India but train transport from and to Bangalore is the worst in the country.

It is shame on the Railways officials and the transport dept officials in all these twenty years, you have never listened to the customers cries, you always have one reason or the other to give as to why customers have to suffer. .. . I know reading this you will never respond, till the people themselves take you to task over this.

Please for the salary you take from the govt, be more responsive to the customer. Be more responsible to the people of the city and the country than to the private bus operators. The whole nation is going ahead in leaps and bounds. Railways and the transport dept cannot afford to lag behind.

Transportation is the backbone of the economy and your service will go a long way in making the travel of the hapless public more comfortable. The airline sector is developing at a fast pace. 

For heaven's sake pleASE be more customer responsive .. !! Public servants like Railway officials and transport department officials are the servants of the traveling public, the traveling public are your masters !! You are being paid salary from the tax we pay to the government.

george.. ( a very concerned citizen..)

Friday, March 17, 2017

World' top 100 Most sustainable companies.

Forbes magazine put up the list of Most Sustainable companies for 2017 at their website.

China and US are the two greatest polluters on planet earth ..
Even though India is the third largest economy in the world, it came as a shocker to find India had no company in the top 100 Global Most Sustainable companies list put up by Toronto based magazine research firm Corporate Knights, from among 4000 companies world wide with turnover more than $2 billion. US, the second largest polluter in the world had somehow managed to get 16 corporations in the top 100. I wonder where these companies are pushing their pollution to, are they shifting it out of US or are they shifting it to their suppliers premises and countries so that they escape the penalty ?

US, France and UK, the top 3 among themselves have 42 sustainable companies in the top 100.

The ranking methodology is given here  Each of the 4000, $2 billion plus companies was compared on each of the 14 KPIs. 

KPIs were like this 
  • 4 on Resource Management (energy intensity, water intensity. carbon intensity and waste intensity)
  • 4 on Financial Management (Innovation capacity, Percentage tax paid, CEO-average enployee pay and Pension Fund Status)
  • 4 on Employee Management (Safety Performance, Employee Turnover, Leadership Diversity and Clean Capitalism Pay Link) and
  • Supplier Score and Clean Air Productivity Score 

Country wise the distribution of companies is this way (the three great polluters of the world find themselves having the most number of environmentally sustainable companies.. Strange, right ??

Are we missing the woods for the trees ?)

United States     19
France               12
United Kingdom 11
Canada               6
Germany             6
Netherlands        5
Norway               4
Sweden              4
Japan                 4
Finland               4
Spain                  3
Switzerland        3
Italy                    3
Singapore          3
South Korea      3

Denmark            2
Australia            2
Brazil                 2
Belgium             1
Ireland               1
Hong Kong        1
China                1

The World's Most Sustainable Companies 2017 - Full List
(Company Name  |  Country  |  Industry)
1. Siemens AG | Germany | Industrials
2. Storebrand ASA | Norway | Financials
3. Cisco Systems Inc | United States | Information Technology
4. Danske Bank A/S | Denmark | Financials
5. Ing Group | Netherlands | Financials
6. Commonwealth Bank of Australia | Australia | Financials
7. Koninklijke Philips NV | Netherlands | Industrials
8. Johnson & Johnson | United States | Health Care
9. Koninklijke DSM NV | Netherlands | Materials
10. Enagas SA | Spain | Utilities
11. Dassault Systemes | France | Information Technology
12. Derwent London PLC | United Kingdom | Real Estate
13. Centrica PLC | United Kingdom | Utilities
14. McCormick & Co Inc/MD | United States | Consumer Staples
15. Henkel AG & Co KGaA | Germany | Consumer Staples
16. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG | Germany | Consumer Discretionary
17. Credit Agricole SA | France | Financials
18. Nokia OYJ | Finland | Information Technology
19. Natura Cosmeticos SA | Brazil | Consumer Staples
20. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA | Italy | Financials
21. Holmen AB | Sweden | Materials
22. Syngenta AG | Switzerland | Materials
23. Neste Oyj | Finland | Energy
24. Allergan plc | United States | Health Care
25. Kesko OYJ | Finland | Consumer Staples
26. Iberdrola SA | Spain | Utilities
27. Schneider Electric SE | France | Industrials
28. Vivendi SA | France | Consumer Discretionary
29. Television Francaise 1 | France | Consumer Discretionary
30. City Developments Ltd | Singapore | Real Estate
31. TOTAL SA | France | Energy
32. Marks & Spencer Group PLC | United Kingdom | Consumer Discretionary
33. Pearson PLC | United Kingdom | Consumer Discretionary
34. DNB ASA | Norway | Financials
35. POSCO | South Korea | Materials
36. Novozymes A/S | Denmark | Materials
37. Royal Bank of Canada | Canada | Financials
38. L'Oreal SA | France | Consumer Staples
39. Enbridge Inc | Canada | Energy
40. Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd | South Korea | Financials
41. BT Group PLC | United Kingdom | Telecommunication Services
42. BNP Paribas SA | France | Financials
43. Peugeot SA | France | Consumer Discretionary
44. Prologis Inc | United States | Real Estate
45. Sun Life Financial Inc | Canada | Financials
46. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB | Sweden | Financials
47. Statoil ASA | Norway | Energy
48. Coca-Cola European Partners PLC | United Kingdom | Consumer Staples
49. adidas AG | Germany | Consumer Discretionary
50. National Australia Bank Ltd | Australia | Financials
51. Sky PLC | United Kingdom | Consumer Discretionary
52. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd | Singapore | Telecommunication Services
53. Colgate-Palmolive Co | United States | Consumer Staples
54. Hennes & Mauritz AB | Sweden | Consumer Discretionary
55. Hang Seng Bank Ltd | Hong Kong, SAR China | Financials
56. Assicurazioni Generali SpA | Italy | Financials
57. Accenture PLC | Ireland | Information Technology
58. Toronto-Dominion Bank/The | Canada | Financials
59. Legrand SA | France | Industrials
60. Banco Santander Brasil SA | Brazil | Financials
61. Bank of Montreal | Canada | Financials
62. Eni SpA | Italy | Energy
63. Intel Corp | United States | Information Technology
64. Diageo PLC | United Kingdom | Consumer Staples
65. LG Electronics Inc | South Korea | Consumer Discretionary
66. UCB SA | Belgium | Health Care
67. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd | Japan | Health Care
68. Novartis AG | Switzerland | Health Care
69. StarHub Ltd | Singapore | Telecommunication Services
70. Sysmex Corp | Japan | Health Care
71. Cameco Corp | Canada | Energy
72. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson | Sweden | Information Technology
73. Hess Corp | United States | Energy
74. Daimler AG | Germany | Consumer Discretionary
75. Microsoft Corp | United States | Information Technology
76. Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC | United Kingdom | Consumer Staples
77. Wolters Kluwer NV | Netherlands | Industrials
78. Analog Devices Inc | United States | Information Technology
79. Rexel SA | France | Industrials
80. Kering | France | Consumer Discretionary
81. Edwards Lifesciences Corp | United States | Health Care
82. HP Inc | United States | Information Technology
83. Telenor ASA | Norway | Telecommunication Services
84. Apple Inc | United States | Information Technology
85. Astellas Pharma Inc | Japan | Health Care
86. NEC Corp | Japan | Information Technology
87. Amadeus IT Group SA | Spain | Information Technology
88. Varian Medical Systems Inc | United States | Health Care
89. Sonova Holding AG | Switzerland | Health Care
90. Outotec OYJ | Finland | Industrials
91. Merck & Co Inc | United States | Health Care
92. General Mills Inc | United States | Consumer Staples
93. Smiths Group PLC | United Kingdom | Industrials
94. Applied Materials Inc | United States | Information Technology
95. ASML Holding NV | Netherlands | Information Technology
96. Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide | Germany | Industrials
97. RELX PLC | United Kingdom | Industrials
98. Lenovo Group Ltd | China | Information Technology
99. General Electric Co | United States | Industrials
100. Autodesk Inc | United States | Information Technology
What this data indicates is that even though the country as such may be a gross polluter of the world, what matters more is how individual companies in these geographies dress themselves up and present a very promising picture to the outside "ignorant" world of their misgivings.

Indian Industries and Management Institutions across the country need to take up the question for serious analysis and study as to why no Indian MNC featured in the top 100 list in 2017. According to information, no Indian company has featured in this list in any of the earlier years too.

It should be the joint responsibility of the industry, government and educational institutions in the country to create enough awareness across different strata of society on the need to create sustainable businesses for the future of the planet and the living flora and fauna living on it, including the 7.4 billion strong human beings, HOMO SAPIENS.

Without this, we cannot claim to be great nation or be seen to be caring for the environment.

Let our industries and industry bodies along with management institutions do some basic exercises to fill this gap as early as possible by outlining actions along the following directions

a. find out the steps that needs to be taken for our industries to be more environment friendly.

b. how are other countries able to show a better progress card on environment related aspects

c. how can Indian industries be held more accountable for environment violations

d. what are the immediate simple and basic steps that could be taken by Indian industries to be more environment friendly

e. how can educational institutions from schools to higher education institutions play an active role to raise the environmental awareness quotient of Indian industries

f. what are the best environmental safeguarding practices followed by the leading organisations of the world and how can they be applied in Indian environment

g. what are the monetary / policy incentives that can be provided to industries to help them be more environment friendly

h. create more environmental awareness programmes for the public, thereby forcing industries to be more environmentally responsible

Hope our Govt, environmental bodies and monitoring agencies accept this shortcoming as a professional failure, negligence and dereliction of duty on their part and proactively support the cause of environmental protection.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

An argument for British reparations for the 200 year colonial misrule

Shashi Tharoor, former UN Under Secretary General, former Indian Minister and present Member of Parliament is back in the news again when in his latest book he claims Britain should be prepared to give reparations to India. Under British colonialism, 3.5 crores or 35 million Indians were killed claims Tharoor in his latest book "Inglorious Empire". To cut the charge behind this tirade short, India which was controlling 23% global GDP in 1750 AD dropped to controlling less than 4% by 1947 (200 years). During this period Britain exploited,  wreaked havoc, ruined and destroyed the Indian economy. They ransacked Indian coffers for furthering their war efforts.  (click here for my earlier blog on British atrocities on Indians and loss of life ..)

Dutch Capt. Eustacius DeLennoy surrendering to
 HH Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma Maharajah
in 1741 AD at Colachel, South India.
To get a better picture of the historical canvas of India three hundred years back, we cannot escape making a mention of the rising Dutch influence and interference in South Asian politics. We should also not forget that the Dutch were defeated by the forces of Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma Maharaja of Travancore on 10 th of August 1741 AD at the Battle of Colachel in Southern India (in present Tamil Nadu). The Dutch were at that time ruling the seas of the world. It was for the first time in Indian history that a local army was defeating an invading super power of that time.

The Dutch captain Eustachius DeLennoy along with 13 others were captured as Prisoners of War. With that humbling defeat on the seas in the hands of Travancore army which never had a marine wing, Dutch ambitions of colonising India got wiped out for ever.

The spoils of the war, gold, diamonds and gems, which were deposited in the vaults of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum, (more recently known as Thiruvananthapuram) to help secure the release of Captain DeLennoy did not bear fruits as DeLennoy and other 13 Dutch POWs captured along with DeLennoy, in a shocker, refused to go back to their motherland and instead vowed to serve Anizham Tirunal Maharaja. Capt DeLennoy later became the Valiacapithan (The Great Captain) of H.H. Maharajah Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma, for nineteen more years after His Highness's death with the successor to the throne. DeLennoy died in 1777 and was buried in the Udayagiri Fort in Colachel.

The riches somehow escaped the attention of the Britishers who initially befriended the Travancore Maharaja. Travancore was one of the very few kingdoms where British did not directly rule, but through a representative, the Diwan.
De Lennoy's memorial grave inside the Udayagiri Fort
in Colachel

The temple riches stored in the vaults belonging to the royal family is said to be presently worth more than a trillion US dollars (click here for the Forbes report) and somehow escaped the prying eyes of the British rulers. Knowing the military might of Travancore, Britishers never cared to fiddle with Travancore kingdom. But they could establish themselves in other weaker regions of the country and by deceit and treachery managed to expand their influence and exploitation over two hundred years across the whole of the country.

When I proposed this idea of British reparations to India to some of my friends, I found that there was a general disinterest among the elite public in seeking reparations from Britain. I was wondering why the people were so disinclined to seeking compensation from their oppressors for over two hundred years, was it loss of confidence or benevolence displayed by the victor on the loser. There are two reasons for this.
  • The first reason was, as per Indian traditional customs, the guest is equivalent to God, (in Sanskrit : Athithi Devo Bhava). Treat guests as equivalent to God and  respect them. This respect and adoration for the guest was misconstrued by the British as Indian weakness and meekness. 
  • The second reason lies in the educational system which extolled the British rule in India. The fault lay in how the British history was taught in schools and colleges across the country. The colonising British, it was taught to us, were not an oppressive force but an altruistic, benevolent force, trying to unite India and thence rule India for the benefit of Indians.  
What a skewed view of history the British could manage to leave behind ?

How the British totally destroyed and wrecked Indian economy ..
Keeping aside the historical distortions, if Britain has any sense of self-respect, any prick of conscience, any sense of guilt or remorse of wrongdoing, it should be ready to pay reparations to the tune of $14 trillion to the people of India. We are more than hundred percent confident Britain would never heed to these requests even if coming from official quarters, because it is tantamount to admitting its complicity and guilt in the destruction of other parts of the world. It can also open a can of worms wherein other colonies would also start suing Britain for the loot and plunder Britain carried out in their colonies over the past two hundred years.

This is just a formal step, which should dissuade in future, mighty countries violating the territorial integrity of other countries of the world. All countries should keep in mind the fact, that unless their philosophy of life is pure and beneficial to mankind, the civilization cannot exist. The two great demonstrations of this truth are the civilizations of India and China, the oldest in the world of more than 6000 years. These civilizations have survived the march of time because they had certain life giving positive elements besides certain element of truthfulness, benevolence, thoroughness and legitimacy in it.

I shall give how this figure of $14 trillion has been reached. Just representative ..
GDP at PPP of Leading countries of the world  (IMF, 2017)
EU is not a united country and is just for comparison

Presently British GDP at PPP is approximately $2.4 trillion, against India's GDP at PPP of $8.6 trillion. If (23-4) =19% of Global GDP loss is the damage what Britain did to India in 200 years from 1750 to 1947, it is very reasonable of India to ask for reparations of an equivalent amount of present global GDP.

(23 - 4) =19% of present global GDP of $74 trillion is $14 trillion. (As per IMF, the projected Global GDP at PPP for 2017 is $125.8 trillion, given that it was growing at 3.6%, the global GDP at PPP for 2016 was $121.4 trillion, 19% of which would be $23 trillion and annual figures would be $115 billion)

To be considerate to Britain, let us stick to the conservative 2016 GDP at nominal value of $74 trillion and 19% of this would be $14 trillion. 0.5% (0.005 or one two hundredth of 14) of this is  $0.070 trillion or $70 billion. It is very reasonable for India to be asking for these reparations for each of the next two hundred years from 2017 to 2316 AD as compensation for the damaging the fabric of Indian society, material well being and 35 million loss of life in India.

It will also be a small penalty for their misadventure in India. The world would also look down on British colonial rule and stop eulogising the British. To give a picture of this amount of $70 billion, the present annual budget of US space administration body NASA is $19 billion and the annual budget of much acclaimed and low-cost space programme of India's Space Research Organisation is just $1 billion.

This picture gives a more authentic version of global GDP controlled by
India from 1 AD. 
Exactly the reverse happened in North America over the last 240 years. The British adventure in North America could only be mildly opposed by the original owners of that land, the native Americans, resulting in the formation of the United States of America by the English settlers in 1774. This was followed by the homicide and manslaughter of the original owners of North America, unhindered exploitation of natural resources and unhindered migration from different parts of the world to US to broaden the spread and lighten the guilt of conscience of extermination of it's native population. It was a clever ploy by US to gain public acceptance and to divert and thwart global criticism of its evil, nefarious designs in North America .. Now the early settlers, conquerors, early and late migrants have all now joined hands to dispossess the original owners, the American Indians of their land and resources. What a shame for the modern world !!

India being an emerging global leader, (click here for the WEF predictions for 2030 ) it's demand for reparations should be a lesson to avoid all such future misadventures in the world. US illegally entered Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to protect itself from the global scourge of terrorism, which itself had planted in the world to gain an upper edge in global politics around mid 70s.. Now China is trying to bully it's South China sea neighbours to gain a foothold of global political power and economic might.

Let this argument for reparations from India be a warning and a reminder to US and China that only truth, honesty, mutual respect for other nation's sovereignty and general respect for humanity can take a civilization forward. 

In nature there are neither rewards or punishments, there are consequences                                                                                                                   - Robert   Green Ingersoll 
Click here to listen to news report on Shashi Tharoor's new book 'Inglorious Empire'.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Forbes website - great sane, pragmatic quotes ...

My sister once told me to read the quotes of the day one gets at site as one logs in for the first time on any day. Forbes is a great authentic site to read business articles and happenings from the commercial world. It helps one keep abreast of all developments in the business environment around the world.

Ever since that day three years back, whenever I get a chance and time I used to visit the Forbes site and get wiser with the great quotes that comes at their opening page. Very sane, sensible, practical and pragmatic quotes,

Todays quote, 13 March 2017, made me think very much. It goes like this -

Success is failure turned inside out. If you are afraid to fail, you will never succeed - Dorothy Herman.
After some failures in life, we take the harsh decision to move to safer ground. It is because we are afraid of failures. The fear of failure is hard wired in our human system.

It made me think whether of late, our capability to handle and experience failures had gone down. Was it a reason why we were not ready take chances in furthering our careers ? Will we be able to see through our goals in life by not taking chances and risks and being complacent with what we have accomplished till date and not venturing out to seek greener pastures and tougher goals in life ?

I have been wanting to write on these quotes for a long time every time I read the Forbes initial quotes, but have avoided it for a long time.

While reading on success and failures I came across these 12 rules of success and failure. It is very practical and will help us remove the fear of failure and keep taking challenges in life and succeed to higher states in our lives.

This is just one day's quote. The Forbes team deserves all credit for these simple, heavy weight and abundantly practical quotes to guide one in our everyday actions and challenges..


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

5 competitive forces that shape Industry competition

Micheal Porter
My classes on Operations strategies starts with a class on Business Strategies as it helps to get a bigger picture of the operating ecosystem before we go into the specifics of day to day operations. Operational strategies which dealt with day to day operating strategies are different from the operations strategies that were important if the organisation were to survive in a competitive environment. The most basic of these parameters being cost, besides innovation of the product or service use, differentiation of the product or service and the markets.

If the organisation is big enough with diverse products and services, it makes sense to have an organisational strategy above each of the business strategies too. However, the business strategy underlies the basic structure of how businesses or organisations operate and compete with each other.  

Porter's Five Forces Theory ..
The five forces theory due to Micheal Porter of the Harvard Business School, talks of the various forces, threats or challenges any organisation faces in its march to growth. If only organisations are able to analyse each of these factors in a very effective way, can the organisation be sure of sustained presence and growth in the market. 

I can personally quote the story of a close friend of mine who was in the semiconductor industry in beginning of the nineties to help explain these concepts well. He used to import microprocessor chips and mother boards at cheap prices from Singapore in large numbers, get them assembled as personal computers, brand them and sell them in the local market.

He thought by buying from a cheap import source he could beat the competition on prices, But what actually happened was that since he was buying from one major wholesaler in Singapore, supplier power was very high. Supplier's threat to give supplies to a competitor or raise prices, rattled my friend's business prospects. My friend was buying in large numbers, at attractive prices, but the supplier was also supplying to other buyers at the same price.

On the buying front, my friend was one among hundreds of customers from all around South East Asia who was buying from this large supplier, because of which my friend was only a small customer among hundreds of others. Hence he could not influence the supplier to give him any preference on supplies or brands.

On the threat of new entry, as more competitors came to know of purchasing microprocessor chips at low cost in large numbers from Singapore, more players entered the market and saturated it as the entry barriers were very low. If one had a lakh of rupees, one could easily enter the market and be a dominant player.  Barriers for new entry were very low.

The threat of substitute products were very low as the semiconductors were high technology products that could be manufactured only in clean environments. The manufacturing setup costs was very high, though since they were manufacturing in large numbers, the unit cost was quite low.

A valid Porter quote, set limits  first and foremost
The last of the five forces, competitive rivalry, it was observed that since the market was dominated by Intel and very less by the other player Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), there was no motivation for customers to move from Intel to AMD at all. Even for all the suppliers of Intel PCs, cost was the only criteria. The buyers started bragging about freebies like printers, monitors, modems etc. The seller found it difficult to survive in a highly competitive market where the barriers of entry were very low.

Intel overcame this to a limited extent by coming up with the concept of having preferred distributors and preferred suppliers over fly-by-night operators who used to assemble and operate from make shift shops. Since the barriers to entry were very low, too many competitors started competing for few customers, resulting in low profits. This finally resulted in thousands of small suppliers closing shop.

Among the many factors for high solvency, the most important were as follows -
   - Technology mortality, tech was changing every six months, to faster processors, the small importers found themselves straddled with high unsold inventory of old products which they had to mark down and sell at cheap prices.
   - Disposal of older PCs became an issue as smaller sellers were not ready to buy older machines at end of life. Small retailers found the going tough.
   - Arrival of powerful tablets and smartphones, made less of less of domestic customers preferr PCs and the market shrunk to only corporate clients.

The purpose of this writeup is to enable the reader to get an idea of how important it is to understand the operating environment for any organisation to begin with, to survive in that environment and finally to thrive. Once the environment is set, then comes cost and differentiation aspects.

If you ask me, do all organisations do such analysis initially before they set shop,
my answer is not a sure Yes. The entrepreneurs who start the enterprise need to have a fairly good idea of the operating environment and the ecosystem before they start the venture. The Five Forces Theory consolidates on this initial awareness and reinforces the different aspects relating to the competition.


Monday, March 06, 2017

India's unique developmental journey vis-a-vis China's

China has always surprised me both with its size, its rich culture with the Indians and its authoritarian rule with Communists.

The Communists have been ruling the country since 1949, with an iron hand by Mao Ze Dong and the infamous cultural revolution till 1974 and then by the Communist party leaders taking the country to the path of reformation and renaissance since 1979.

Even though the country is developing fast under Communist rule, human rights are denied and this raises a lot of questions about whether China would continue its growth under the Communists. In comparison with India, world's largest and most effective and kicking democracy,  which ensures universal human rights and even managed to drive out the occupying English forces by 1947 and had their own government to rule over them, is making firm and rapid strides. It has even managed to outshine China for the past many years in registering fastest overall growth of the economy among all countries of the world, clipping growth at 7 - 7.5%.

Under the rule of the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, world renowned economist, the country managed to move from #9 position globally on GDP at purchasing power parity to # 3. The present PM Narendra Modi has come as a stop gap arrangement to satisfy the anti-globalisation forces currently sweeping the world, as a nationalistic alternative, but not as a rabid communal leader, as the opposition claimed him to be despite his poor human rights record in his home state of Gujarat in India. The PM is able to make marginal changes in the Indian economy with demonetisation and the economy is presently growing at a slow pace.

In public Dr Manmohan Singh true to his Cambridge class, keeps low profile and always looks forward to action than talking. The converse is true of the present PM, sparsely educated with questionable credentials, who has come to power out of an anti-establishment storm protesting against globalisation and its impact on India. The PM is always seen in public ridiculing his political opponents, pumping his fists in the air, Hitler style, not showing even scant respect for his political opponents. This is characteristic of the dogmatic, intolerant, intransigent political upbringing he has received from his parent organisation.

Globalisation opened up the economy in un-heard of areas, exposing chances of corruption. Many avenues for corruption hitherto unheard of in India opened up with globalisation and economic development. The political party in power then, had to face lot of ignominy when its political partners indulged in corruption left and right, trying to take a pie of the cake, The fact that the first anti globalisation impact was felt in India, resulting in nationalistic forces taking over, two and a half years earlier than the United States is evident enough of the maturity in Indian democracy over the US'.

The future holds much in store for India, as people are waiting for India to overtake United States to become the world's second largest economy, before overtaking China, not in the too distant future. The people in India have come to realise that growth and development is possible only with forward thinking political movements and not with communal organisations seeking to divide and weaken India.

The people have come to realise that Modi is to India as what Trump is to the United States, just a stop gap arrangement to pacify the anti-globalisation sentiment fanned by ill-effects of globalisation where the rich have become richer and richer. In India religion was just used as a tool to further the agenda of consolidation as it is seen the maximum beneficiaries of globalisation have been people from the majority community than from any others.

When India overtakes US in the near future, it will be at a threshold in developmental history of the country. In all of history China has never been a greater economy than India, than in the past forty years due to a curious twist in the industrial revolution, colonialism and the shift of economic growth from the east to the west, first centered around Britain and then at the turn of the century to United States.


Friday, March 03, 2017

Chinese stand on South China sea, Paracel islands ..

Nine dash line - inviting troubles for China
Containing China could be a tricky issue for Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.  How can the other regional super power India play a role in ensuring peace and stability in the region ensuring territorial sovereignty of these three countries are not violated by China ?

Click here for the Guardian news on rejection of Chinese claims on the South China Sea by the International Tribunal at The Hague ...

China, being a great economy, will have to be more responsible and more conceding to smaller partners needs in ensuring peace in the region. It will have to introspect and take appropriate actions that will not hinder regional stability around the South China Sea.

It would also be in the better interests of China not to raise a hue and cry over the unrecognised "Nine dash line" in the South China sea.

Earlier it was Spratley's Is., now it is Paracel Is,
The world wants China to respect the territorial integrity of other countries in having equal access as China to these international waters. High handedness can work in a dictatorial setup within borders, but may not be that effective when tried to be pushed down somebody's throats across borders and against global sentiments...

The outside world gets a feeling that China still feels insecure, diffident, apprehensive and recognises it is on shaky ground with regard to claims on the South China sea. China is incomplete in its dealings with other liberal minded democracies and is unable to get other countries to its bandwidth of thought on international matters.

Its global statesmanship needs more polishing as much as it needs to clear up its internal politics by giving its citizens more individual freedom to decide their future and fate.

It would do China a sea of good if it realises that China's excessive hankering over attempts to exercise regional supremacy is a matter of concern and worry for all countries in the region. 


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A story of courage and perseverance .. Sheroes Hangout, Agra ..

The five courageous ladies who started the Sheroes Hangout in Agra ..
It is a heartbreaking sight in Agra India to visit the Sheroes Hangout run by women who are victims of acid attacks.

Started by Stop Acid Attacks campaign by the Chaanv Foundation, Sheroes Hangout in Agra is a place one must visit if in Agra. Read this article on the Sheroes Hangout .

 Here is an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal of Sheroes Hangout ..

Here is another Guardian article on Reshma Quereshi whose face was disfigured in an acid attack in 2015 posing at a New York Fashion meet ..

Here is a Malayalam language article on Sheroes Hangout in Agra which I got from the Internet. Very moving and touching to see the determination of five acid attack survivors who set up Sheroes Hangout ..

george ..

Information quotes ..

Recent studies of a nuclear holocaust

Copyright The Sun, UK .. What can happen to the world in case of a nuclear winter. The early study in 2007 was done by NASA which had ...

My popular posts over the last month ..