Moved

smallpandas.JPG

Moving to SmallPandas.com

Hi All,

I am now moving to Full Fledged Paid Hosting to my own domain www.SmallPandas.com. Henceforth, I will be blogging there.

Why? I want to put my hand inside the code, play with it, add lot of widgets and yes bit of AdSense too, also can create own community around it in the long run.

What is the name SmallPandas!! ? :) I wanted a catchy name….Panda being my surname and also name of that small cute Chinese & also Indian bear Panda, and my blog is focussing on “Startups”, therefore coined the name as Small Pandas.

SmallPandas.com is a blog about “Evolving Technology, Entrepreneurship, Globalization & Strategy“, so my contents will be on technology and also management side of it.

Welcome to SmallPandas.com

Some tips from India’s successful entrepreneurs

Rediff has an article on India’s millionaire Net entrepreneur, some tips from these successful entrepreneurs

Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Naukri.com) says :

“With no venture capital ready to fund us, we realised from the beginning that we had to earn revenue from day one to stay afloat and cover our costs.”

“Today investors are ready to give high valuations to Net companies and want to grab companies that have a first-mover advantage in their space. Or those that have a dominant market share, a good brand and, of course, if they already are profitable”.

Deep Kalra (Makemytrip.com) says : “If you can’t deliver the service at the most efficient price, at the right time, and map all the customer queries effectively, users are not going to come back to you.”

India, Then and Now, a Tourist Paradise and an Intellectual Pool

A colleague-cum-friend (Australian) of mine is travelling for holidays in India for next 3 months, so he came back happily to share about his approval and how long the Q to Indian Embassy in London, UK was, etc! I had a Brit friend next to me who had a pun unintended query “Why do you need VISA to go to India”  ;)
I smilingly asked which countries you can travel without having a VISA, he said of course any in Europe, I said, ohh you see India is not in Europe and there is no free entry to Brit or any other nationalities to India as was possible during Imperial times ;)

Though I am not sure what he meant with that pun, but this brought back one famous discussion we used to have, when I was doing my bachelors during 1990’s and my senior used to say “There will be a day when foreigners will stand in Q to get VISA for India” the way we do now to go abroad to work there. I was not very positive then thinking it may take at least 25 years to reach to that stage. But hey, I was wrong, it only took 15 years (from 19991 onwards) to really see things happening in favour of India. There has been number of reports discussing of reverse brain drain and Indian returning back to grab the huge opportunity, so I won’t go into that discussion now.

Today India facilitated a five-year tourism visa with a provision for multiple entries for tourists. How prepared is India for Tourism? I think more infrastructures is needed to make India world’s hot spot in tourism, many part of India is still unexplored, planning commission (both state and national govt.) should utilise the tourism Industry to convert the rural India to natural tourism. This is a beginning and there are many spots in India still remain hidden and unexplored. The mindset of Tourism department/ agencies must go global in accepting and really making effort to make tourist happy. I hear states like Kerala, Rajasthan are prime destination for Tourist!! What are other state doing??

I remember, as a child I would have hardly seen any foreigners in many state run small airport like Bhubaneswar or Vizag. People used to flock around if they see a foreigner. However, now many foreigners live in India & working with multi-national having global operations. Life has changed in totality in 10 years!!

So what about the Intellectual pool/capacity of India? Some strongly agree and some say it is cheap labour. I have heard both category and have argued with both categories. Here are my takes… as a child I was told the only way I can survive in this world is by speaking beautiful English and solving mathematics in lightening speed. Even today, this is true; competition starts from very early ages in India. Also as part of living style we believe “knowledge and prosperity” are the essence of life. IITians have pioneered these essence and they are the people who really took their knowledge to global landscape. Most Indians can talk more about history and geography than most Brits I have met. This is not a comparison but my analysis is to draw focus that gaining knowledge and learning more to survive are part of daily life for any professionals in India. Therefore there is a tradition towards acquiring knowledge. However the higher education mainly engineering in second rung colleges or state colleges has been the most disappointing fact. The course curriculum has always been old dated, with no scope to do practical and in the process more graduates are coming with plenty of theory knowledge than applications. I see an opportunity for organizations to align with educational institutions and guide them to produce skilled graduates. Therefore there is a concern that India is not able to supply the amount of skilled people an organization needs for an exclusive R&D operation in India. But given chances and proper grooming, I bet they will produce best of the best.

To those categories who say India is only cheap so let’s go there, my take: – Labour is cheap but with that you get to be in a country which gives you huge market opportunities when the PPP of average Indian goes higher. So don’t go for cheap labour only but go for a strategic future. And also work smart to retain key intellectual resource because they are there too apart from cheap labour.

How successful is ePaper?

I first got an access to read Indian newspaper online in full content as ePaper while I was living in Helsinki, Finland during 2000. I was happy reading Times of India’s ePaper seeing every Indian city edition and was having instant access to my favourite section there.
Life has moved on since then, many newspaper has added ePaper and now living in UK I wonder that I dont see such initiative from many in UK though Ft.com has such facilities.

With small scale CMS, hundred of free online news, bloggers publishing information steadily, I am no longer a fan of ePaper and this random news feed makes me to be on the tip of information-berg and no longer bound by a single soure. So in one way I am liberated.
Has the ePaper been a success ?? I don’t think so because no longer reader treat one newspaper as the only reliable or centre of new information. This pattern has been broken to pieces with information popping from various corners.
However new technology such as paperless newspaper or electronic paper will further enable traditional newspaper to stay ahead in competition with and may make ePaper approach relavant. But what stops disintegrated news source to integrate to offer a electronic paper. So the user has flexibility to choose what they want to read and the same will be packaged and delivered. Therefore it is better to stay disintegrated at this moment and get integrated later. For now ePaper has not much value offerings.

Market focussed or Internal Resource & Capabilities focussed?

How should you design your organizational strategy? Should it be market focussed fulfilling the market need so that whenever market trend changes, your organization needs to keep the pace to stay ahead in the game. Strategy Management Gurus (Robert Grant is one of my favourite strategy management writer) says that in the fast paced innovative world, it is utterly impossible to chase the ever changing market therefore organization should focus on internal Resources & Capabilities mode of organization strategy design.

For instance Google’s (there are many such organization, Google is just an example) Resources & Capabilities allows it to designs products and services which is based purely on what it can offer create rather than getting driven by market. Be it their PageRank technology or AdSense or other services, all has been possible due to skills and capabilities. Therefore it is not necessary that an organization should always focus on market to drive the strategy. However market definitely provides lot of input to validate whether an organization’s capabilities are in sync with what market can absorb/adapt or is it very futuristic that capabilities won’t work at present market trends. That’s why we see innovations failing because those are ahead of their time.

So somewhere there is a fine thread balancing the Market approach and an organization’s resources & capabilities. When this balance gets distorted, we see young and innovative companies displacing the traditional company (Old and mature) in every decades of industrialization. Example: Microsoft giving tough competition to IBM or recent success of Google or may be partial disturbance in Yahoo’s organization strategy model.

Should an organization continue to add resource & capabilities but what is the milestone to do so?

What are the criteria to add such resource & capabilities?

Can an organization survive without remaining market focussed?

So what is the secret of managing strategy in an ever changing market place?

This is a short and thought provoking analysis; I will continue my thoughts on this aspect. Do share your thoughts.

China vs. India == Central Command vs. Individual

You would have heard, read many articles these days comparing booming economy of China and India, explaining and comparing how each country is poised to be the next century economy hub. Here is an interesting article published in Economic Times, India. The author writes ..

So in India, when we build one Sardar Sarovar dam, thousands pour out to galvanise public opinion, right or wrong, in their favour. But when China decides to build the world’s biggest dam – the Three Gorges — nobody gets to know how many get displaced and hopefully rehabilitated. Whether the executive and political talent of China is individually as good as ours may be questioned, but collectively, it is an unbeatable delivery machine.

Now, the micro level. An average Indian is a free bird. He can be born the poorest in the remotest part but can rise to the highest chair in the country. He can choose to work or not work. He can work wherever he wishes to work and whichever way he decides to work. The legacy of the value system favours the citizen, inflicting him with only softer indictments. He can be as ruthless as he chooses in his expression for or against anyone. Therefore, an Indian is supposedly in charge of his individual destiny.

The destiny of an average Chinese rests with the central command. He contributes more than what he gets, be it in urban or rural China. For past 25 years, he cannot have more than one child. Whether he works as a white or blue-collar worker, he has to maintain discipline. He has multiple responsibilities for civic behaviour. He cannot be unproductive in work or indulge in any economic crime. Punitive deterrents are too severe. He may lose his work permit and revert to his village along with his family, ending his urban dream forever. At home, he has to look after his family comprising his wife and his one child, parents of both spouses. There could be grandparents too. All these, with little or no social security. Clearly, the Chinese system holds the destiny for each Chinese.

==> This article is more in-line with Nobel prize winner Economist Amartya Sen’s thoughts like

**Development should be seen as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people experience
**Development is just not economical but political one too
Based on Sen’s thesis, Human Development index has been designed covering (i) political freedom, (ii) economic facilities, (iii) social opportunities, (iv) transparency guarantees and (v) protective security. Each of these distinct types of rights and opportunities are essential and closely interrelated in advancing the capability of a person. To appreciate the inter-connections between these freedoms, an empirical linkage that tie the distinct types of freedom are central to our understanding of the instrumental role of freedom. The approach of considering each of these freedoms to development is termed ‘capability approach’.

==> I liked some aspect of Chinese system whereby they put the overall country and its destiny ahead of the individual when there is a big question mark about country’s destiny. That doesn’t mean that individual has no value, it all depends upon how well the country has defined the parameter to fulfill individual’s basic need arising from such decisions. Taking India as an example, to implement any infrastructure projects like roads, dam, etc etc which has huge and positive impact on millions people for generations to come, has been always difficult. May be the political & bureaucratic system is not functioning well which makes people suffer from decisions and in return NGO’s block such projects. This is where India lacks a democratic but fast-functioning system to define country’s destiny rather than blocking both individual and also country’s destiny. In one way, India’s slow system is soft-peddling individual’s own destiny. To me such soft-peddling is why we see millions Indians still below poverty line, having lived in villages then urban and then Ultra urban India, I can say that in India, individual’s destiny has been man-made. India has lot to learn & implement from its proud son such as Amartya Sen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.