Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nepal: In turmoil or in transition?

During the early part of the last month, I happened to visit Kathmandu for one of my consulting assignments. Given that Kathmandu has been one of the major tourist destinations and there has been some mystery attached with the Himalayan Kingdom, I was excited about this trip. As it was more than a week long trip, my stay over there did help me experience different facets of Nepal.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mr. Prime Minister, I will try my level best

A couple of hours ago, I happened to watch our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, address the nation. Given the spate of criticism faced by the government in the wake of corruptions and controversial reforms, the public at large felt an address to the nation was long due. Even his self-proclaimed “khamoshi” (silence) that was meant to save the “aabroo” (dignity) of the corruption laden nexus of corporates and politicians, wasn’t successful at all.

These are some of my observations from the PM’s address to the nation. Before you proceed, I would request you to either go through the text of the speech or the video so that we can have a more meaningful discussion.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Five major challenges faced by Indian startups

One keeps coming across conversations that focus on when would India provide or start producing the next Googles or Facebooks? After all, many Indians have played a key role in turning the Silicon Valley as the global innovation- hub. While nobody may have a conclusive answer to the question posed above but nevertheless many startups have recently emerged in India, especially in the field of internet commerce.

Despite frenetic activities (by the Indian standards) on the startup scene, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for the entrepreneurs. In this blog I will focus on major challenges being faced by startups in India. I have tried to incorporate views of some of my friends who did give entrepreneurship a try. While some of have them have returned to become private naukars again, others are still part of the former breed.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How to clean the IPL mess?

A lot is being said about IPL nowadays so I thought why not join the bandwagon. After all, IPL which was supposed to be a mix of cricket and glamour, has instead become a topic taking black money, conflict of interests, match fixing, abuse, molestations too into its fold.

As is the case (discussed in one my earliest post as well) that those who run the IPL i.e. organizers (IPL committee), the regulators (read BCCI but don’t ask me if they are too different from the IPL committee) and the sponsors (including the advertisers, broadcasters and team owners) are too intertwined and thus this combination has become just “Too big to fail”.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Identify your "Consultant Type"

Consulting as a profession has been growing steadily with more and more firms setting their base in India. Consulting landscape has also been helped by maturing of Indian business set-up as well as growing popularity of professional courses like MBA. But joining a particular industry, sector or a profession, is just the beginning. After all, our professional career could well span over 35 years. Similarly for consulting, while problem-solving skills, analytical capability and a consistent academic record may help you join a good consulting firm but it doesn't ensure that you would enjoy your stay as well.

As I complete my first year in consulting, I have tried to come up with a framework, based on one's interest areas, to suggest what lies in consulting for him/her. I have tried to simplify it by using two major focus areas and I would once again reiterate that it doesn't talk about the capabilities that you need to excel as a consultant.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Three types of Primary Interviewees that Consultants come across

As they say, consultants are not scientists; they largely thrive on collective wisdom. And one of the major sources of this collective wisdom is “primary interview”. By primary interview, I mean the one-to-one interactions that you have with people who may be SME (subject matter experts), competitors, customers or other stakeholders. I must say that these primary interviews have been one of the most reliable sources of information for me especially with the secondary data sources being inadequate or simply unreliable.

In this post, I will discuss three types of interviewees that I have come across quite often during my exposure to consulting. Surprisingly, I have come across at least one of each type, during each of my project. I will also try to come up with recommendations that may help you ace the interview or make the most of it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coke opens Citra: Strategic or a shot in the dark?

I must say that I feel a bit nostalgic writing this post. I still remember, it was one my birthdays almost 2 decades ago (yeah I am getting older) when I sipped “Citra”, a new flavored soft drink for the first time. While I don’t recall tasting the clear drink in green bottle too often after that but I was surprised when I heard that Coca-Cola plans to revive Citra after 19 years. This move once again reaffirms the fact that it’s neither easy to create a brand nor easy to kill one especially in FMCG sector.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Telecom Industry: 3 cheers to 2G verdict?

So, finally the cat is out of the bag. Through a drastic as well as unprecedented judgment,   the Supreme Court has cancelled all the 122 2G licenses issued in January 2008. Some may say that the crook corporates got what they deserve, whereas others might say that it wasn't fair to paint everybody with the same brush. Let’s try to discuss the major fall outs of this landmark judgment.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rupee Depreciation: There are lessons to be learnt

Rupee, our very own Indian currency, has witnessed a literal free fall especially in the past few weeks. The rupee slid 15.8% in 2011 and by 0.2% in the last week of 2011 to 53.065 per dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. According to reports, this currency weakened the most in Asia this year. So, what has led to such weakening or should I say, depreciation of the rupee and what does it entail for the Indian economy? Let’s explore this interesting and crucial topic that has the potential to shape the future of Indian economy. After all, an appreciating currency makes a country's exports more expensive and imports cheaper in foreign markets whereas the reverse makes a country's exports cheaper i.e. more attractive and its imports more expensive in foreign markets.