A unique idea goes into execution

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 12-12-2009

A great conference shapes up, inch-by-inch, and reaches close to the D-Day. I am refering to Milagrow World SME Conference coming week in New Delhi ( Dec 16-17, 2009 actually). Incidentally, my alma-mater IMT Ghaziabad is an academic partner at this conference and we have done some amazing amount of work together at Milagrow IMT Ghaziabad MSME Center of Excellence. Makes me feel good.


Government representatives representing policy makers component of the MSME ecosystem, academicians who matter, and industry stalwarts who have seen it all. That, incidentally includes my CEO, Rajeev Karwal, who feels very strongly on MSME issues, and is always full of data and softer inputs in an argument that it is difficult to win from him! Besides, there is Anu Aga, Raman Roy, Rajesh Jain, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, SMB Nation’s Harry Brelsford, Prof Jagdish Sheth(I could’t take his autograph on his book in Chennai, let me try again!), Prof Anil Gupta of IIM A who is synonymous with the grassroots innovation movement in India. Besides, journalists such as Manvi Dhillon, Shereen Bhan, Chetan Sharma and so on.

My colleague Nishant put this presentation up on SlideShare. Should you be interested in knowing more about this conference, please feel free to the event microsite www.wsme.in – I rather feel you should – even if you are thousands of miles away from Delhi, where we are hosting this edition of the conference.

Never Tired of Reading about Social Media

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 28-11-2009

Especially, when it happens to be about how organisations are getting affected. This one is from McKinsey Quarterly and answers questions on social media that managements would like want to know about. And in line with the state of things, the ‘ground bottom’ of the organisations know much more about what is being spoken in this video and, neither even care about some of the points here. But if you are the ‘management’ layer, do hit the play button to listen to MIT’s Andrew McAfee.

Well, if you cannot see the video, sorry, I am doing what McKinsey asked me to do. So what if the result is not there!

SaaS/ Cloud Computing versus the perceived disconnect with Data Security

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 22-06-2009

Since the term Cloud Computing and SaaS gain currency, there has been tremendous excitement in the technology watcher community. The same level of excitement has not seen in the business adoption of these technologies. 

If one were to see the different IT applications, any application with regard to a financial transaction is considered a high risk, compared to one, let’s say, document management. That’s why it is long time since terms such as CC and SaaS are a few years away from online retail, financial services and so on. In comparison, Slideshare, a presentation sharing site and Twitter are hosted on Amazon web services. Risk perception = Difficult to answer the question – Is it a proven and safe?

It is not that SaaS is completely a no-no in the enterprise scene. Salesforce offers  CRM application as SaaS. Salesforce.com had a revenue of little under 250 MN in 2007-08 which is not small pennies. It surely hosts a great amount of valuable data. Google Apps has found great favour with academic institutions across the world resulting in some extremely large implementations. There are quite a few ERP applications on the SaaS mode. At this stage, it is not really a proven to say that data in a cloud of on a SaaS application is any less secure. One the other hand bulk storage is becoming cheaper, thanks to companies such as NetApp.

It is more of a perception thing. Which boils down to the same old point of consumer behavior- Does your product promise hold credibility to generate sales?

Trevor at Kinaxis blog has an interesting argument. He says one of the big issues in Cloud Computing is if the company hosting the CC goes bust, how do you get the data secured? He argues that the on-premise applications are no more secure than those based on the cloud. He also argues that data can be lost by way of a simple printout, which can happen either way. I go with Trevor. Every year we read about sensitive data lost via misplaced or stolen laptops or disks lost in transit, including credit card data. Why, a senior British law enforcement official recently lost his job because he carried a printout of a plan the cover page of which was visible to the media, thereby compromising on the operation.

In short, it is not A vs B when it comes to on-premise application vs SaaS or CC. Both these solutions will probably continue to evolve in parallel, and address different needs.

My Upcoming No Goog Experiment

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 03-06-2009

For the last few days, my hands are itching to do some self-experimentation. In particular, my interest is in seeing how much I can break my ‘set’ routine into something new. It is also quite strange, because few years back I used to yearn for a routine.

My day usually becomes when a half-sleepy me, presses the PC button and while it loads, check personal mail on my phone (Mind you, not a Blackberry, but a Sony K790i). I find that my mails come on a service called Gmail. Next, I start Firefox and fire the Feedreader, which is by a company called Google. Incidentally, while the feedreader loads, I find myself looking at the cricket, holiday and birthdays calenders, on a service which has a Google prefix too. I then check my mails coming onto my B-School alumni email id, which is hosted by GApps. Yes, from the same company with a capital G that was founded by Messers Larry and Sergei. 

In the course of the day, I look-up the web for anything from the mundane to the sundry such as data on a company, weather, stocks, timezones and unit conversions. I find that almost without a thought, I use the same G company as the starting point. Quite a few times, it is also the end point.

Here’s the experiment. I would not use any G product on Thursday and Friday and see if  I can still have a sensible life. It means I could be missing wishing some of my family members or friend’s birthday or anniversary.(It also means that I would probably find more time for Facebook). No I am not even using Orkut next two days for reasons you understood right! 

The reason for this rogue socialogical experiment is simple. Sometime back I realized I was not getting the best deals because all my banking requirements where with one bank. I was reasonably satisfied till I found I was loosing out. Is Goog likely to be my information bank in that sense? That’s why I consider this experiment to be important.

Note: My experiment has begun. I have changed the default search engine on my laptop to Yahoo. To be fair, the home page has been changed to Bing.com. Next step. See how I can view my blog feeds on some non Goog platform. I am wondering which one. Information Cold-Turkey?? Looks like fun!!!

C of Stories!

Filed Under (Humour, Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 25-04-2009

To call C as a photographer would be incorrect. A commando would be a better appelation.  C holds his camera with as much pride as a commando and points it the moment he has a doubt of some monkey business anywhere. And unlike the commando, C starts firing indiscriminately without any orders.

I am not going to identify C since the flavour of the season is anonymity spurred by the deep throat who blogs as the Fake IPL Player.

Coming back to C now. C honestly believes that his big camera is actually part of his human anatomy. He cannot live without it for a moment. He also believes everyone is interested in his elevator pitch on his camera particularly on virtues of optical zoom.It is amazing how he does it. 

Of course, C loves photography. But that love does not translate onto his love for his subjects. That’s why when people smile in a frame or look towards the lens, he yells,”Waste. Photo should appear natural”. Essentially means people have to have the dull, infinite-focus mode or animated discussions, but should not be even side-glancing towards the lens. And somewhere he also nurses the film-maker syndrome deep within. Nothing wrong with that – only with the retakes. Imagine his subject standing in the center of the road median in the April sun with vehicles whizzing past him from both sides. Not just that, the subject, another friend who I would call K points his right hand towards the sky towards an imaginary aeroplane that C taught him to visualize.  C meanwhile has his telephoto connected and standing in a shadow and adjusting his lens manually while K comes with his choicest abuses asking him to hurry up.

Ocassionally C gets into trouble with his camera. Once, driving by the outskirts, he is believed to have  stopped his car at an idyllic location and got down from his car with the camera. He also fitted a massively long lens in the front and pointed it to a villageman who was heading towards him. He kept adjusting till the villageman was possibly ten yards away from him. Finally, the villageman notices this retraction and expansion of lens that C was constantly doing in the hope of getting the perfect frame. He grew suspicious in case C could be holding a weapon! He became suspicious of C’s intentions. He just threw a stone towards C and ran back to the direction he came from. C also folded up and scooted the next moment.

But why do you need a long telephoto lens to take the above picture when the subject is just ten yards away is another dimension. Sometimes C suffers from the delusions that he is Rajanikanth and needs no framework of logic to define his actions.

And car is part of an extension of his body connected from a different part of his body. That’s why C often steps out of his house and gets into the car and goes nowhere and comes back. I think I’ve already sounded you out that he does not needs precise human-moded activities such as starting a car. It is just that C starts missing the car so much so he gets inside sits for the moment looks around and comes back!

Never mind, C!

Shoes or weapons of mass destruction?!

Filed Under (Humour, Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 10-04-2009

A shoe is an item of footwear evolved at first to protect the human foot and later, additionally, as an item of decoration in itself.

Ask the petrified politicians if he agrees, quite likely he’d not.

George Bush wasted time looking for WMDs. They finally came his way in a press conference. The Chinese were taken aback as well and Indian politicians are just learning the potency of this olfactory-cum-tactile projectile, usually hand delivered.

Next what? ‘Footwear not allowed’ press meets? Or keeping janta-janardan crowds so far away that a hand lobbed dirty-smelly-sweaty flying object of the above description does not proximate the dignitary’s honour. A flying shoe has the following impact:

  1. Physical (Damage value – minimal)
  2. Biochemical ( Damage value – moderate – the sweatly smell effect- yukks)
  3. Emotional – Makes an amazing newsclip – media loves such short, shocking drama. No editing required. Can be replayed ad-nauseum. (Damage value – very high. TRP builder. It hurts, aaah.)

But bad, too bad. Politicians ‘serve’ their respective countries. They’d even say yes if you ask them whether they would lay down their lives for the honour of their countries if you ask them. But being treated with shoes?! Some footwear company’s ad once said their shoes are designed for better aerodynamics. Never understood then!

Update: Looks like it happened in Haryana this time around. Oops!

Why free coffee will not increase voter turnout in India!

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 03-11-2008

While Tata Tea campaigns for voter enlistment, Starbucks has an unambiguous offer – vote on Nov 4 and get free coffee. If someone needs to have a similar campaign in India, she needs to have a region specific differentiated strategy:

  • * Bihar – Free khaini for those who prefer. Chai in a chukkad for others.[Khaini = powdered tobacco]


  • * UP – Free paan, make it Banarasi patti


  • * Gujarat – Gutkha unlimited [Gutkha = flavoured masala, eaten raw]


  • * TN – Filter coffee in tumbler. You must not replace this tumbler with a cup.


  • * Rajasthan – Butter milk in a BIG glass


  • * Haryana – Butter milk in a still bigger glass, preferably made of brass




  • * MP- Pohe with jalebi, wrapped in a dona


  • * West Bengal: Just another place to talk. Maybe an adda. 


The list can go on. As you can see, a common strategy does not work across regions in India. That perhaps explains why we have a coalition powered by several parties!

Banking is a complicated business.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 18-09-2008

Take it easy, this is humour. At least attempted humour.

So many things are happening around banks these days.

The Placement In-charge of Jhumritiliya School of Management Education has reportedly gone to the press saying that in the light of the Lehman collapse, chances of all students getting placed could not be expected to reach cent per cent. No one has bothered to ask him if they ever managed to get few companies over.

Even the banks of the Kosi river broke four weeks before the banks in US went broke.

A leading politician of one of India’s eastern states famous for strikes has reportedly issued a statement that this collapse is due to the rigid and unfriendly stand of the state government. She and her followers have gone to her latest fast unto death. The state government has instead stated that this is American conspiracy against the people of the state. And no matter what, they would continue to maintain their people friendly policies for the ongoing growth of the state.

Dictators of Africa have already thanked their grandfathers for giving them the good sense of stashing their wealth in Swiss Banks. 

Dictators of South Asia, present and past, are already having hush-hush conferences, saying one should never bank on Americans. And they are kicking themselves for this – wishing they had realized before being thrown out of power.

Patrons of the blood bank are curiously trying to understand the meaning of the headline on the billboard outside the stock exchange that said Tokyo to New York,  there’s Bloodbath on the banks.

Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank got further worked up and issued a kilo-trillion currency note in anger.

The health minister of a foreign country is understood to have decreed that the sperm bank would not be called so, but now be known as Sperm Depository. Obviously, the minister does not want the citizens of the country to feel there is any shortage.

PJ of the day :Shopping Malls have renamed boards saying Elevator Bank to Elevator Station to make the patrons comfortable. Trigger: An old couple deciding to walk out of an elevator after seeing a made in USA sign. They had read somewhere that American banks are collapsing.

Who says social media is not in yet?

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 11-09-2008

Before you begin reading, dispel the notion that anything social in 2008 need to be online.
I am sitting in the Tidel Park Conference room here in Chennai waiting for the CII Connect 2008 Unconference to begin. Though several biggies are expected here, including Ms Kanimozhi, Member of Parliament and several corporate honchos, the atmosphere here would devastate a conformist. The tables are arranged in U-shape, but instead of the central space being used for a speaker to stand, there are folks sitting with laptops. The audience is a mix of youth and experience, and truly, a flat format conference is about to begin.

The debate about to begin is on Technology for the Common Man

Hello, it is 5.30 PM and the event is on. The ‘VIPs’ are all there, but no Kingsize chairs, no elevated platforms.

For a change, it is the audience that is speaking and the guests are waiting for their turn. The mike does not come automatically to them, but only when they ask for it, and even then the time allotted to them is the same , which is one minute
Siddharth has an interesting Flickr stream here

Two Months onto WordPress and a Metapost

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rajesh Kumar on 28-08-2008

I ventured onto WordPress on June 28. Too months onto this platform(and URL), I observe the following:

  1. This site has started to get interesting traffic via search. In fact, on a good day it compares significantly with the Blogger blog.Yeh Dil Maange More
  2. Looks do matter: Comments per post have increased, this could possibly not be attributed to any sudden enhancement in my content abilities.
  3. ‘Setup and forget it’ does not work with WP. WP keeps releasing better versions.Compulsive delivery syndrome? Code Diarrhea ? I think I can bear it.

Some reflections on my past posts on Blogger.

  1. My posts on Subroto Bagchi and  Mahesh Murthy continue to get  fairly good number of visitors everyday. But overall winner by a great margin is Dr Abdul Kalam, about him I have written five posts, including one on an imaginary conversation between Dr Kalam and (former) President Musharraf which for some reason is my favourite.
  2. My moment of real blogging happiness was when Shel Israel left a comment on a post I made on his (and Rob Scoble’s) book.

Net net I remain quite delighted  with WP and the flexibility. I continue to mentally debate if I should move all content to this platform and ditch the old site completely. Any suggestions?

About Rajesh Kumar. Rajesh is based in Chennai, where he works for Defiance Technologies in Marketing. The views on this blog are his own. Rajesh Kumar