Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Roc

Paul Allen and his 6 engine stratolaunch, Roc ..
When Paul Allen Microsoft co-founder first proposed the idea and funds, noone thought it would change human expeditions to space forever ..

What can we expect Stratolaunch, the 6-engine behemoth to be capable of carrying besides rockets to the Stratosphere for onward launch ?

Can it help launch space platforms or Mars settlements from the Earth's Stratosphere ? After having finished experimental flights, we can expect The Rock to be ready for launching rockets as early as 2020 AD. 

Will it help change human dreams to conquer space ?


Monday, September 25, 2017

Mt. Agung volcano in Bali, Indonedia ready to erupt anytime now ..

Mount Agung ready to erupt !!

Last time Mt. Agung, 3000 m high, in Bali, Indonesia erupted in 1963 for almost a year, the debris flew 10 km to the air at a speed of 700 km/hour and killed 1100 people. 

This time around a 12 km radius almost 16,000 people have been evacuated.. The ash debris after eruption, is expected to be of 1.6 km thickness.

Hope it does not get too active and cause great damage to life and property.

Watching closely ! click here for more details .


Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Tourist Guide to Kerala - Where to visit and what to do in Kerala ?

Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi
 Most tourists agree with National Geographic Traveler "10 top places of the world to visit in one's lifetime", when they visit the only Indian place in the top ten - Kerala. Legend has it that when Parasuraman threw his axe to the sea, water cleared out till the place it landed, and there out of the sea was born Kerala.

Here is a short description of important historical, cultural and religious places in Kerala. Kerala was part of the famous spice route of 200 BC and is known for it's friendly people, greenery and scenic beauty. 

House boats of Alleppey
Kerala has three ancient kingdoms or regions, Malabar (north), Kochi (central) and Travancore (south). The official state of Kerala came into existence in 1956. Till then Kerala was only Tirukochi, Malabar came under Madras Presidency.

Cranganore (ancient name Muziris) in, central Kerala had trade with Romans, Arabs and Chinese from around 100 BC in spices and Ivory, part of the old the spice route. Then on silting of Cranganore port because of heavy floods in Periyar river around 1400 AD, trade shifted to north in Calicut and south to Kochi, Alleppey and Quilon. 

Munnar, the Switzerland of India
There are two hill stations, Munnar (1500 m above MSL) in central east Kerala and Wayanad (2100 m above MSL) in North Kerala.  Both are great  places full of tea estates and spices plantations. .. 

Alleppey and Kochi are ancient seaside cities and ports and have famous backwaters and houseboats for overnight stay. Bolgatty islands in Kochi has the Kochi royal palace.

Padmanabha Swamy temple, Trivandrum
Kumarakom on the banks of the famous Vembanad lake in central east Kerala near kottayam is a favourite tourist spot for boatrides. Beatles visited here decades back in the 60s.

Down south in Trivandrum is the world famous Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple, richest in the world with underground treasures of diamonds, gems, gold and precious stones (got from the exploits of the first war of the Travancore King Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma with the Dutch at Colachel near Trivandrum) worth a trillion dollars.

Light house and beach at Kovalam
Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari) in all its splendour
Kovalam beach is a world famous beach near Trivandrum. Protected from three sides, this is one of the best beaches of the world made popular buy the hippies on their way to Srilanka in the late sixties and seventies. Regent Maharani Sethu Laxmi Bai of the Travancore royal family building her beach resort, the Halcyon castle here was the turning point in Kovalam's timeline which brought international fame to this place.

South of Trivandrum, in Tamil Nadu is Cape Comorin, the point where the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea merge with the Indian ocean. The Vivekananda rock and the statue of Tiruvalluvar are the chief attractions at this place, besides the early morining  sunrise and late evening sunset. This is the meeting point of the Arabian Sea to the right, the Indian Ocean, straight in front and the Bay of Bengal to the left.

While Kochi is the comercial capital of Kerala, Trivandrum is the political capital and Trichur the cultural capital.

Onam which is celebrated as the harvest festival comes by end of August / September and is celebrated by all Malayalees irrespective of casre, creed or religion. Trichur, the cultural capital of Kerala has the Kerala Kalamandalam, the University teaching performing arts. On the fourth Onam day the famous Pulikali (tiger dance) is played. 

Pulikali, (body painting) during Onam
Trichur also hosts the famous Trissur Puram during April May and is one of the great places in Kerala to be in to witness the fireworks and world-class percussion,  elephants exchanging decorated umbrellas (kudamaattam) and the accompanying fanfare.

Cashew nuts, is an important cash crop of Kerala, was brought to India by the Portuguese around 1500 AD. Cashew factories processing cashews are found mainly around Kollam in the Southern part of Kerala. Rubber plantations abound in the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki.

Kochi boasts of having the world's first and only 100% solar energy powered International airport (the third largest in India). So if you are flying down to Kochi, you have already experienced the luxury of clean and green energy.

Jewish synagogue, Kochi
Even though the three main religions are Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, Judaism came here from the first century BC. The Paradesi synagogue, established around 1560 AD in Mattancherry, Fort Kochi is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth countries.

The Ayyappa temple, nestled among the eighteen hills in Perunad Pathanamthitta district of Kerala is a very popular devotional pilgrimage destination for Hindus across the world during the Makarajyoti festival during the second fortnight of January every year. It is supposed to be among the most popular pilgrimage centres of the world with almost 100 million pilgrims on an average visiting every year. 
Sabarimala shrine of Lord Ayyappa

Kerala has 100% literacy rates from 1991 onwards, the highest literacy rate in the country. Women on an average have literacy rate of 90%, men 94% because of which women enjoy a high social status.
Athirapally falls, near Chalakudi, Trissur ..

The standard of living in Kerala is the highest in the country (due to the heavy inflow of foreign exchange remitted by Malayalees settled in the Gulf region, Europe and US) and is equated to the state of New York in US. The highest sale of luxury brand foreign cars in the country, BMW, Mercedes etc happens in Kerala.

Educational facilities are top class in the state with an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Calicut or Kozhikode, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Palghat and a National Institute of Technology (NIT) too at Calicut.

Edakkal cave inscriptions, Wayanad of 6000 BC
Athirapally waterfalls near Trissur, beats Hawai in flora and fauna and is a beauty to visit in the monsoon. The silent valley in Palghat is one of the most preserved, diverse and rich ecological parks in Kerala.

A concept which has failed in the most advanced and modern nations of the world, the world's first carbon-neutral village is coming up in Meenangaadi in Wayanad.

Early history of Kerala dates back to 6000 BC and is the only state in the world to enjoy a very cool, comfortable, pleasant climate, humid at times, throughout the year blessed by two monsoons, the South West and North East from June to Sept and Oct to November respectively every year.

Thekkady wildlife reserve on Periyar river
Kerala also boasts of the famous medical treatment system of Ayurveda, three  millennia old and the famous classical dance forms of Kathakali and Mohiniattam.  The Periyar wildlife sanctuary at Thekkady near Kumili having elephants and the tiger reserve, bordering with Tamil Nadu and the lime stone 113 year old Mullaperiyar dam are also great places of interest.

Thenmala ecotourism project near Quilon is a great place to visit. Here you find tourism promoted with great facilities to tourists to enjoy the place and the pristine clear water without harming the natural ecosystem. The concept of sustainability is very much visible here.

A visitor who comes to this God's own country, will never be disappointed because he indeed is visiting God's own land, blessed and nurtured for millennia !!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, interview after release from Yemeni captors ..

Having been brought up in a Salesian school (Don Bosco Irinjalakuda, Kerala), I feel so elated at the release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil from the hands of Yemeni captors after 18 months of detention (March 4, 2016 - Sept. 12, 2017) for helping refugees in war-torn Yemen, after help and negotiations by the Vatican and government of Oman ... 
While his colleagues, five nuns were shot dead, Fr. Tom was spared. Here is an interview he gave to ANS after his release.

(ANS – Rome) – Father Tom Uzhunnalil answers a few questions, an ANS exclusive.

*How have you spent these 18 months in captivity and how did your captors treat you?*

It was a long waiting and I did not know what to do except to pray.

My hand and legs were tied and my movements limited for a few days only.

I have spent my time praying as much as possible, for as many intentions possible. I used to sleep, pray, think of my technical classes and prepare some lessons etc and go to sleep each night. Each day used to go like that and I had no communication at all from the outside world, nor did I know where I was put up also.

My captors did not ill treat me or torture me. They gave me food all the three times and they asked me one time details about me, my family, the places visited, the people I know etc. I was their captive and the whole day I used be sitting on the ground on a sponge like material with my hands and legs tied, and when I am tired, I used to sleep a bit or lay down, and my days went like that.

*How did you feel when you came to know about the death of the sisters and the others in the attack in Aden?*

It was on 4th of March 2016, Friday, after the Eucharistic Adoration and Eucharistic blessing in the morning for the five sisters, I had breakfast. Then I spent some more time in the chapel for personal prayer. Around 8.40 am, I just came out of the sister's house. I heard a gun shot almost immediately, and one of the attackers held my hand and I declared I am an Indian. He made me sit in a chair, near the security room, near the main gate of the campus of the institution. The sisters were already at their place of work with the old people. The main man of the attackers went to the place of work, and brought out two sisters first, and went back again and brought another two sisters near to the main gate. He went and looked out for the fifth sister but could not trace her in the campus. Then he returned back to the place near the main gate, where the sisters were kept. Then he took two sisters first, moved them to some distance out of my sight and shot them, then he came back and took the other two in my vicinity and shot them,  all these took place within the campus. I only prayed to God to forgive the sisters and the persecutors and have mercy on them. I did not cry, nor did I have any fear of death.

Then he took me and put me in the boot of the car, which they parked near the campus, and closed the door of the boot of the car. He entered the sister's chapel, brought the tabernacle with the blessed sacrament in it and threw it in the boot of the car, where I was closed and kept in. They drove away the car with me in it.

I was experiencing a great distress. I prayed to God to be merciful to the sisters and the others who were killed and to forgive the killers. I prayed to the Lord to give the grace and strength to accept his will and remain ever faithful to God, till I am faithful to the mission, he has for me in this life, here on earth.

*How much did your life of prayer and Salesian Charism help you in this experience as a captive?*

The major part of my time be it day or night whenever I was awake was dedicated to prayer. I used to start the day with the angelus, followed by one our father and hail mary for each of the sisters who died, then go on to pray for my province, congregation, parish, family remembering as many as possible and praying for them. I used to pray also for my captors and ask the Lord to forgive them and pray for their conversion. I had no host or wine, nor any missal or lectionary, but I used to celebrate a spritual mass everyday. I used to offer it to the Lord, and for the readings each day I used to take some incident of the old testament or the new testament, and for the gospel some miracle, or parable or some episode in the life of Jesus and meditate. I used to also pray for all the deceased salesians, family members, parishioners and all people I knew. I used to keep on praying for as many intentions I could pray for. I also prayed that if it was the Lord's will that I should be freed, I prayed for my deliverance also. I used to pray the rosary often. Sometimes, I could not pray also, because they used to talk in Arabic and I could not concentrate on anything, in my mind.

*How were the videos of your appeal for liberation made?*

It was well planned by them. They used to tell me in advace that they were making a video to make an appeal to get some money, I had no other go than to obey them. They used to also shoot as if they were hitting me, and make some noise, but they never harmed me. They were hoping that these clippings would fetch them the ransom quickly.

*How do you feel after you have been released?*

The Lord has done a great miracle for me and given me another life. If he has saved me, it means he has still some plan for me and he wants me to live for Him and be a witness. I want to thank God the alimighty, the Church authorities both in India and Vatican, the Salesian Congregation, the family and to each an every single person who has been praying for my release. Definitely it is because of the prayers, that my life was spared.

*How do you feel after meeting the Holy Father?*

This is also a big grace bestowed on me because of my captivity.  I wept profusely before him sharing with him my experience. He was so sympathetic, compassionate and concerned and he kissed my hand twice. I cannot expect anything more than this, I have been given a new life and I requested the Holy Father to thank all the people for the prayers offered for me all over the world.

*What are your next plans? Are you going to return to India immediately?*

Right now, I feel physically weak, but with the medicines and food I am also beginning to feel better. I need to do a couple of medical tests and I hope I will be able to recover soon. When I was in Aden, I used to weigh 82 kgs and after my release when I checked my weight, I was 55 kgs and now with the food and medicines that I am taking the last two days, I am improving. I am sure I will feel better, because God's grace and the prayers of the people are helping me.

I have no plans except to do God's will, and that will be expressed to me through the Superiors of the Salesian Congregation. I would definitely love to get back to India and thank all the people and meet all my people, but I shall wait till the doctors certify that I am fit to travel. It may take some more time, and I am ready to wait for some more time.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Service providers, facilitators and customers ..

This chart gives us some of the world's largest service providers. It is an eye opener at the trend of global things that will emerge in the coming years, it also reminds of the great events that befall planet earth and its commercial world in future.

All of the service providers mentioned here act as middle-men and have been enabled by the Digital world and e-commerce. These companies have great unparallelled networking capabilities that connect the service provider and the customer .

One important player missing here is Google Tez, the Indian Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Without really having much money, Tez would in future control global payments acting as the middlemen between banks, businesses and customers not only within India but around the world

Impacts : 

1. With less of middle men, expenses are less, but often profits are huge. 
2 More consolidation and centralisation of money and power.
3. Streamlined, efficient, well laid out and clear procedures
4. Low risks involved
5. Networking brings more customers and service providers online making the middle-men stronger, more profitable and productive..
6. Small players (middle-men) vanish or are pushed out
The most important lesson this tells us is - the player who has the maximum networking ability is going to control the businesses of the world. 
Where will this global trend lead us to ??

George .

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Total Quality Management - basics

Concorde Motors alongside Tata Motors, Dairy circle, Bangalore, India.
A very efficient and customer friendly shopfloor environment that I have seen is the Tata Motors Service showroom of Concorde Motors in Dairy Circle, Bangalore. 

The moment you enter, these is enough communication media that tells you where to go and whom to contact. The ambience of the place is great and there are enough areas for the customer to sit. In front of the customer representatives there are enough chairs to make him comfortable. The counter clerk is an enthusiastic young lady. The coffee machine has an attendant to serve the customer or the customer can self-operate it any time. The customer representative notes down systematically the customer issues and directs him/her to the right department. An accurate analysis of the work involved is arrived at by the employee along with the approximate rates and delivery dates and informs the customer who then takes leave.  

This is an environment which nobody can find fault with. So comfortable, cool and customer friendly..

Total Quality Management (TQM) is based on the Deming Cycle famously referred to as the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act). It is also completely based on customer satisfaction ..

The eight elements of TQM are as follows -

1. customer-focused
2. total employee involvement
3. process centered
4. integrated system
5. strategic and systematic approach
6. continual improvement
7. fact-based decision making and
8. communications

If you look at the 8 processes and try to find what are the functions of each of these and how they contribute to the whole, we find TQM is nothing but an orderly and disciplined customer-focused, employee enriching fact-based control system that has a relentless focus on improvement and great communication. 

Click here for a good video ..

What are the pre-requisites one needs to acquire and master before embarking on a journey of Total Quality Management. ?

Of late we have Quality Management Systems which are systems that help organisations be systematic and orderly, but rarely it beings focus on customer satisfaction and employee enrichment. Even the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Awards or the Deming Prize concentrate fully on orderliness, processes, and customers, with a very small emphasis on employees ..
The six critical areas where any organisation implementing TQM needs to focus is (along with tools)
1. customer focus (feedback analysis)
2. total employee involvement (quality circles)
3. process-centred (5S, JIT, VSM)
4. continuous improvement (Kaizen) and
5. fact-based process-control (Ishikawa diagram, Pareto analysis, SQC) and
6. Communications (Visual systems and posters)
Great focused Leadership emphasising on the need to deliver the best quality to the customer by all counts and excellent long-term relationships with suppliers are two additional areas which are not emphasised here, but which carry great importance. 
For a University aiming to be among the top 20 of the world by 2030 AD, what are the planning and activities it needs to carry out ?

Here are three everyday activities. Take any one of these as a small project which one can take up to emphasise the importance and process of TQM

1. Everyday you take tea from the college canteen. Analyse each of the eight factors and prepare a strategic plan, how the tea stall owner can deploy TQM in his organisation and see that it thrives.
2. When you fall sick, you visit the hospital nearby. Prepare a TQM plan for the hospital, list out the tools you would use to deploy TQM in its different phases.

Click here for great ASQ TQM resources..


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is Nature paying US back ?

Harvey and Irma in 3 minutes ! 

Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria after US bombing, looks better, than after this natural bombing of Texas and Florida !!  sad ..

Is nature paying back ?? The devastating US bombing in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria was over years back. 

Is it that the natural bombing of US has just started ??

George ..

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Managing technology - simplified ..

The other day I was trying to find the different technologies in use at my home in Bangalore. They are

1. Surveillance
2. Communication
3. Visual/ entertainment
4. Audio
5. Environment conditioning/heating
6. Refrigeration
7. Lighting
8. Computing / info tech
9. Vehicle/movement
10. Photographic
11. Electricity/energy  - conv / non-conv
12. Cleaning - clothes/dishes
13. Cooking
14. Water treatment
15. Water storage/distribution
16. Health monitoring - X-Rays, MRI/ blood tests etc.
17. House construction

On what basis do we decide what technologies to have at home and what not ?

The important aspects are capital costs and running costs, the effectiveness, comfort, the benefits and so on.

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge and principles for practical purposes especially in the industry. It refers to the machines and devices developed from scientific knowledge. It is also referred to as the branch of knowledge dealing with engineering and applied science. -
The inadvertant use of technology besides making human life much easier on planet earth has also destroyed our health and environment in many ways.

Of all the technologies listed above, information technology and the different apps related to IT are the ones that are in maximum use.
Technology management can also be defined as the integrated planning, design, optimization, operation and control of technological products, processes and services, a better definition would be the management of the use of technology for human advantage. -
How does one adopt technologies and how does one tide through the technology cycle :

Whenever a new technology is introduced there is a period of low acceptance and adaptation. Once this period is overcome, then comes the period of slow acceptance and big technology adaptation. This brings a change in the systems and finally the fringe users also accept the technology.

What is the role of Innovation in this ?

Innovation helps us to extract more value from these technologies, by way of new products, processes, services and the like. 

Mayo Clinic 50 health tips.

This is a very useful document which highlights how to keep up one's health during good and bad times. 

Click here for the link ..

You won't get these tips from Doctors due to their busy schedule and in most cass, unwillingness of the doctors to help patients avoid diseases than curing them. 

The medical community does not seem to believe in the old adage - prevention is better than cure !

Thanks to the doctors and staff of preventive medicine at Mayo Clinic for this fantastic document .. 

George. .

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Life on Earth ..

If this is what happens after human extinction on Earth, roughly every 100 million years, imagine we have had approximately 46 earlier cycles of such creation and extinction already !! 

What would have been the size and shape of the intelligent thinking creatures in each of these geological cycles and what would have been their accomplishments and creations, knowledge sources, energy sources like ? 

In each of these cycles, what were their Gods and religious customs like ? Did they ever have Gods at all ? What were  those civilization and cultures like ?

How did they move from point A to point B ? Did they explore outer space ?

What rational thinking (like our Science) and knowledge did they rely on ?

How many of that intelligent species populated planet Earth then ? How did they reproduce? What were their food like ?

Were material, spiritual, knowledg or any otheer possessions considered desirable in society? Excess of which of these possessions brought respect in society ?

What did they call the supernatural powers then ? How did they worship them ? Were the intelligent species divided on these powers they worshipped ?

Did all members of the intelligent species have the same colour of skin ? Were they discrminated then ?

Did they live in families and societies ? Who became the leader and what qualities did he or she have ?

Where there two or more than two sexes or only one ? How was time denoted then ? Were there any more fundamental dimensions than that of mass, length and time which we possess ?

Interesting thoughts ..

Monday, September 11, 2017

Is this Afghanistan or Florida ?

No nation is advanced or strong enough in this world, as the above pic shows .. All have their own weaknesses and pain points .. In Texas and Florida, we saw and continue to see US being tossed left and right, up and down .. No AWACS, no STAR WARS, no nuclear bomb can save US now ..

It is a sad plight to see a strong power, US, global leader in science and technology, medicine, transportation, space technology and so on, also the second largest polluter of the world, totally helpless, being pounded time and again by mother nature ! Trillions of dollars of material damage already  ..

Let's be modest and mend our ways !

President Trump needs to have a relook at his climate policy. The vagaries of nature occuring all around the world, particularly now in United States, is due to man's insensitivity, especially that of the leader United States, to the uncontrolled atmospheric and ground based pollution happening around the world.

Now it is United States, next it could be Europe and then the rest of the world. Beware, countries of the world. US would not accept its responsibility in causing this great change in global climate by polluting the world from 1876 onwards when it regained the position as the world's top industrial power.

The casualty of this hurrricane so far in US has been three deaths and 65 millions of people shifted to makeshift safety camps. the material damage has been very large. HBR suspects  damage to the local economy to the tune of $1.2 trillion. It could take perhaps weeks and months to retain its earlier glory. Lets be optimistic and modest. Climate change from global pollution is not just the look out of Europe and Asia, US also has its hands in deep shit in this problem and needs to pull up its pants and co-operate with global efforts to contain future damaging global effects of climate change ..


Is slow work, productive work ?

Author unknown (from the Internet), but I found this an absorbing read and very thought provoking ...

Slow Down Culture in Sweden Vs.Hustling Culture of US.
It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x number  of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. In the end, this always yields better results.

Put in other words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo , a state in Brazil .
2. Sweden has 9 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden , one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think so?" Imagine my face. (And imagine a corporate parking lot in US!) 

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week. Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fuelled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the quality of being".

French people, even though they work only 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 29 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!". This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, perfection, with more attention to detail and less stress. It means reducing rejects and wastage. It means re-establishing family values, friends. This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, perfection, with more attention to detail and less stress. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous future. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of the human spirit.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment.

As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world. 

Probably applies to many of us (if not all of us).


Does slow (thoughtful) work mean more quality productive work ?

Fact corrected - Sweden has 9.8 million population.


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Problem penetration as an efficient metric ..

Most of the time new enterprises are evaluated on the metric of market penetration. How much of customers are using the product or service is a measure of the acceptance of the product/service presently in the market and is also an indicator of how more customers will get attracted to the product/service in future.

If we slightly change our thinking process from meeting our needs (less affirmative) to solving problems (more affirmative and pro-active), besides helping solve problems it can motivate innovative thinking and new applications and processes. How ?

Problem penetration as a metric addresses the core issue of the problems/challenges addressed by new product or service introduction. What are the problems/challenges faced by the market presently and how far does the 'new' product/service address this market problem is a great way to address the issue. Other than addressing the immediate problem in the society and satisfying an unmet need, this metric also motivates innovative thinking in the organisation. 

The products/services developed by this metric specific thinking process is likely to bring in more innovative thinking and innovative products and services to the market.

We know, Market penetration ratio is the ratio of the amount of sales to the total theoritical market for the product or service.

Problem penetration ratio could thus be more accurately defined as the ratio of problems directly addressed or satisfied by the solution to the sum total of all current problems faced by the industry sector trying to find solutions.

It would also be a good idea to keep track of the innovations that accrue as a fallout from the introduction of this metric.  Hitting two birds with one stone !!


Ref : Yoon, Eddie, Tesla shows how traditional business metrics are outdated, HBR, August, 2017.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

India retains top spot in data usage, thanks JIO .. ..

On the 5th of September last year, Indian Internet data consumption was just 20 crore GB (200 million GB) per month. On 5th of September 2017, this figure changed to 150  crore GB (1500 million GB) per month.

Who was the top singular Internet service provider and telecommunications provider in India who made a big difference the way India handles data ? was no doubt Reliance Jio, the telecommunications company working on 4G by Mukesh Ambani. In the period of a year he also has got atleast 136 million new connections making it among the top telecom players of the world. With the offer of a free Jio 4G phone for Rs 1500 ($25, refundable) he is again going to disrupt the whole telecom world like never before.

Mukesh Ambani invested almost $ 33 billion in building hardware infrastructure in cables, towers and stations across the country making Reliance Jio investment the heaviest in telecommunication in any country of the world by any telecom service provider. Mukesh has also seen that India has the cheapest 4G data availability at $0.17/GB.

Telecommunications sector being a very hot and active participant in economic development of any country, it is not hard t say whether  India can maintain the lead for a long time. Will China build its own super heavy networks and challenge India and Reliance Jio ? We have to wait and watch.


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

How to neutralise your body and remain healthy ..

Have plenty of fruits, plantains in your daily diet
If you look a some of the ancient and time tested medication systems and practices around the world, be it the famous Ayurveda from India, Homeopathy from Germany Unani from Greece, Egypt and the middle east, the traditional acupuncture, herbs, massage and dietary therapy from China, almost everywhere the stress has been on identifying the root cause and eliminating this root cause. 

The more nascent western medicine also has a scientific approach to treat ailments, but most of the time, the treatment is superficial and treats symptoms than the real cause. The high variance in efficacy of treatment procedures from differently able and informed practitioners makes western medicine scary at times !

This chart tells you what foods to avoid ..
Our lifestyle and food eating habits especially with bakery foods, chemical fertiliser enabled food items, vegetables, hormone injected poultry items, fish etc sees to it that most of the time our diet is acidic in nature, less than 7 pH value.

The more acidic our stomach and body, the more problems we face, all sorts of health ailments like arthritis, acidity, gas etc. The continued presence of acidic environment in our body (low pH) can lead to many disturbances and imbalances in the human body, especially leading to cancer..

Taking food items which are alkaline in nature will help you to reclaim the neutral or mildly alkaline environment in your stomach. Ideally blood should be 7.3 - 7.5 pH value, slightly alkaline.

Click here for the ideal 8 food items to give you an alkaline stomach and blood, a healthy body..
Food components that leave an acidic ash include protein, phosphate and sulfur, while alkaline components include calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Certain food groups are considered acidic, alkaline or neutral:
  • Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol.
  • Neutral: Natural fats, starches and sugars.
  • Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
                   : From "The alkaline diet - an evidence based interview", Joe Leech
Do not miss out on sunlight, nature's greatest gift to humanity

Don't miss out on vegetables, local fruits, nuts and roots.. These are the food items that helps to neutralise your body pH and helps you lead a healthy life. 

Sunlight is the greatest gift from  nature to mankind. Take enough of sunlight, 30 mins at least 4 times a week, of the morning sun upto 10 AM. Besides raising the Vitamin D levels in the body, it has multitude of benefits as the above pictorial shows ..


Monday, September 04, 2017

Will the digital superpowers of the world grow more stronger ?

The top eight digital superpowers of the world are given in this pictorial.

While three of these are from China, five are from United States, the top and second topmost economies in the world. These companies definitely add value to the people of the world without any doubt of discrimination. but the really scary question is - are they really getting all-powerful making them escape the control mechanisms of the world ? 

What aids them in their quest to be the digital superpowers of the world ? It was simple innovative thinking which propelled them initially and gave them the required traction to beat local competition and emerge as global IT products.

Networking is propelling them to greater heights, lets take a look at Metcalfe's law which gives us some understanding about the process.

Metcalfe's law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).

Even though the law is for telecommunications network, in the present world it is equally relevant in the digital world too.

The strength and popularity of a network is determined by the number of players or nodes in the network. As the number of  nodes increase, the strength and capability of a network increases according to the square of the nodes connected.

With just under 2.5 billion people of 7.25 billion all over the world connected to the Internet, as the unconnected people of the world get online and connected, these superpowers are only going get stronger and flex their muscles again.

An interesting fact is to know how these digital superpowers (or hub firms) compete. These hub firms do not compete based on the services and products they offer, on costs or features, they relocate themselves to the new environment and using their strength of networking, access the services and products on offer in the new environment, what follows is complete domination.

A very scary situation.. A possible outcome is these eight superpowers may get re-consolidated to two or three and control the people of the world .. When the next round of electric driver-less cars, working on artificial intelligence, networked and connected to the cloud emerges in the global scene, whichever be the company, it will emerge really strong and be a contender for the digital superpower post.  

The doubts that linger in the minds of the people are whether these over controlling digital super powers of the world, will control humanity to a large extent resulting in the imbalance between the haves and the have-nots increasing. Will it lead to social unrest and wars in the future ? The other great drawback of this whole exercise is we are in a stage and cannot backtrack. 


Ref : Iansiti, Marco and Karim Lakhani, Managing our Hub economy, HBR, Aug-Sept., 2017. 

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 ...

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