Tag Archives: government of india

Fiscal Policy : Are we planning to go into a recession?

26 Feb

I want you guys  to read the article Wrong Doctor, wrong treatment from the editorial of the Business Line and give it a serious thought. 

But i must caution that if you are not a keen follower of economic policies happening in India and across the world then you will not be able to grasp the real concept behind what the author is trying to convey in the article. Written in clear and simple words the author of the article is wondering if tthe Govt going dangerously wrong in itr fiscal and monetary policy. 

I personally think there is a element of  merit in the arguments put forth in the article. 

Are we trying to spend the money which we dont have ? Is it not similar to what happened in America in between 1993 and 2007 , the effect of which is now seen as the economic recession now. So, are we getting the wrong economics right in the wrong propotions? 

Are we spending more than what we should be spending ? Are we taking the fiscal problem in a lighter sense ? 

I dont care what economist you believe in . I personally go for Keynesian . Always have. But you may be a Friedman fan for all I care.

But today’s economic situation is so differenent in its scale and scope that I am willing to let go of Keynesian theories and embrace which will work and sound logic from an development prespective. 

I implore you guys to read the article . 

Please drop in your queries, doubts, ideas, thoughts so we can have a sensible discussion this and take it forward.

Also read my post on Is India still in recession to understand what is happeining to our economy.

Disguised PR in Bangalore Aero show 2009 & on why we shoud not buy F-16’s!

15 Feb

Every time I change to CNN IBN news channel , I see this senior editor guy all gung-ho and ready to fly the F-16 plane. And the news reader would go like , “One of our senior editors took to the skies flying one of best fighter planes  around, a legend  and survived the ride to tell us about how thrilling the ride was and how to defend the skies” .. 

Bollocks ! absolute bollocks..

Why would the Americans want to fly a senior editor of a news channel on a old outdated fighter plane spending thousands of dollars on aviation fuel ? look! IBN has the CNN tag – so connections with the phirangis ( ahem .. did i get the spelling correct?)  help too ! 

Abhiva Bindra took a ride in one of the old-F-16 planes, didn’t he ?

It is a classic case of good PR and subtle marketing .. 

Shame on the reporter trying to convince Indians on the merits of F-16’s ! 

Let’s get certain things straight  here , shall we ? 

First , F-16 is a 2 decade old fighter plane. 2 decades .. 20 years old. Of course it is a legend ! But then , who needs a legend when our Indian Air Force ( IAF) should be flying the most sophisticated and modern fighter plane available today ? 

Our American friends are offering us the “upgraded” and “India specific” F-16 and F-18 Super Hornets. And the bonus : Technology Transfer !

 Guess what ? They are now phasing out their F-16 and F-18’s and replacing it with F-22 Raptor. The next generation fighter plane. Which means, they are trying to sell us an old technology and 126 planes for $10billion dollar contract.

Blasted Americans! They shouldn’t even be there in the contention for the contract ! 

Think about it! Why should we buy these planes when we are cash rich ( and no excuses on the security of the nation , please!) to  afford the raptors?

Why cant the Indian govt ask Americans to offer us the new F-22’s or the B-2 Bomber , also known as The BUFF ( Big Ugly Fat Fucker )!

Americans and their lingo.. man !!!!! 

And biggest pain-in-the-butt ( ass, if you will) reason is that F-16 and F-18 is part of almost  all the  third world countries air force. Outside USA and Isreal, Saudi  Arabia must be having the largest number of F ( Falcon) series planes. Why? Our very own Paki’s have it .. Every ally of USA has it ! 

So imagine one day we go to war with PAK ( god forbid it should never happen) , the Air Force general on the other side would chuckle and say ” Bloody Rascals! we know the avionics and weapons platform of F-16’s in and out . We can out guess and out perform the IAF piolts any time … Thank the Yankees for that ! ” .. And if the war gets more intense Saudi Arabia would chip in and say ” Yo… Muslim brothers .. we have some F-16’s to spare .. about an 100 of them .. we would gladly help you guys , just say the word”

Not a rosy scenario eh ? 

Here is the biggest catch : If someday we disappoint our Yankee friends by ,say, testing a thermo-nuclear bomb or signing a pact with IRAN for gas  or support Palestine or get too hunky-dory with Russia , then Americans would rap our knuckles and say , ” Dude! remember .. we can stop the supply of the spare parts for [should be read : our] the F-16’s.” That should do the trick, no ? 

Don’t Trust America :

Russia has always been our largest supply of weapons- Our MBT ( Main Battle Tank) is T-92 from Russia , our front line squadrons are MIGs followed by Sukhoi’s  , our nuclear submarines ( i think it is kilo class .. i need to update that info) are leased from the ruskies. Hey ! we even developed the Brahmos with them ( the best in the super sonic missile in its class anywhere on planet earth).

Better yet ! they have never stopped  the supply when we needed it the most ( remember the wars with PAK ?) .We ought to thank Indira Gandhi ji for cementing the ties with Mother Russia !

If you recall ,the Americans refused to supply us nuclear fuel for Kalpakkam nuclear power plan when we tested our first Pokran nuclear bomb. 

The point I am trying to make is we can never trust the Americans with our security.. NO Sir! 

Why the delay ?

It is been donkey years since we floated the tender to buy the 126 planes for the Indian Air Force. Every time a new defense minister comes to the helm , he puts the file on the back-burner , leaving it to the next minister to come in and take the decision . The NDA could have done something about it !

The UPA should have had the guts to take the decision . They didn’t either .That is 10 years gone !

Come on yaar! the plan to buy new fighter planes was hatched in 1980’s ! 

How can we call ourselves a super-power in the making when we cant even take a decision on the nation’s security issues ? How is that we have the audacity to claim air-superiority over Asia ,when our front lines are MIG-21’s and MIG -25 and worst is very spending loads of money upgrade and maintain  them .

Alternatives : 

It is time to take decisions… 

We can definitely go in for the recently out MIG – 29’s or 30 series  from Russia . The Russians make their planes big , brutal and they are definitely technologically advanced. We could also look into the new Su 40 series from them as well.

Since we have a long standing partnership with this country . We can bargain hard to get more number the fighter  planes at the same price with a technology transfer. This would help a lot in goodwill for Indo-Russia plan to jointly develop the fifth generation fighter aircraft. When we  have the LCA by 2010-2015 , we would be having a formidable line up and really claim air superiority.

The other option would be to go in for the Euro Typhoon which RAF ( Royal Air Force) and other European countries use . They are the latest and best in technology . The problem would be the cost and using their missiles as weapons platform. Which means we cant adapt , immediately that is , our exciting AA ( Air to Air ) and AS ( Air to Surface) missiles and hence while we buy the planes at a very high cost we will should also buy their missiles . Cost goes up.

India has long association with the French. They are trusty worth and their Mirage series are well tested. Instead of looking at 200o series we should be looking at 2005 series . Since Indian pilots are already familiar with the Mirage avionics system , our pilots can easily learn to fly the plane. 

Sadly , in the past we have :

  • Signed the nuclear pact under immense American pressure – therefore help America’s sagging nuclear industry 
  • Voted against Iran in United Nations assembly again under American pressure – puked our foreign policy
  • Still haven’t signed the Iran gas pipeline . No big surprise there . Iran comes under “axis of evil” list !

The least we can do is not compromise on our country’s security issue and make the right choice and take that decision soon! 

Should anyone who reads this post have difference of opinion or would like to share thoughts , please go ahead and shoot it out in the comments section

ps: I have nothing against the citizens of USA and the country. I am just angry at the divide and rule policy of the american law makers! 

 


Insipring article on rural bpo in india

29 Jan

yesterday’s editorial by Rasheeda Bhagat – Where money has new meaning , which appeared in Business Line has become one of most inspiring and important article in my life.  it practically changed the way i treat a BPO/Call Centre employee and more importantly it once again showcased  the power rural Indians have in shapping our country.

i request anyone …nay .. everyone who reads this post to follow the article link and the read it. that is not enough.  Pass on the post/link to your friends , relatives, managers where you are working and let them know the potential of rural India.

why is the post important to me ? you need to know my insignificant story first .

the story :

on the first week of Nov 2008 i quit my job at the advertising firm where i was working. i quit suddenly .. just like that ! one reason was due to a pressing  family emergency which i cant write it here for obvious reasons. the other was because i started hating the job. it wast not like that before, though!

i used to love the advertising field. i used to dream of working for an agency  for couple of years, finish a MBA degree . then join main stream marketing , enter Brand Management field with specialization in digital media communications. I was clear in what I wanted to do . But working in the company for close to 5 months I just got too stressed out. I dint have time for my family and friends . Even more alarming was that I dint have time for myself. working Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 9pm drained me out so completely that I was too exhausted on Sundays to do anything. I couldn’t read a book , felt lazy to go out and meet friends, dint have time to visit British Council library ( i used to go there every Saturday for 3 hours from 4 pm to 7 pm ).  i was tired to get up early morning to go out for a run/gym/yoga/meditation etc .. i just couldn’t .. so i quit! Call me a wuss but hey .. I have no regrets .

Today I believe that core marketing and PR has better chances revolutionizing brand management theories than advertising can ever do. I am looking to enter the Afro mentioned fields.

3 months hence I  still havent joined a new company yet. worse ! i dont have money to pay my credit card bills. now comes the call from bank bpo employees cordially asking me to pay my minimum due amount. i tell them i cant pay because i am out of work . i will pay it later with the interest .  but when they keep calling , i get irritated and blast them. i forget for a minute that they are just doing their jobs. they are collection agents and they have to collect and close accounts every month  which are due on late payments.

I forget that they could have been Shahida!

after reading the article yesterday, i realized i could have blasted Shahida or some one like her and now i am reeked with shame.

so .. who is Shahida ?

you will meet her when you read the artcile . here is a snap preview of her …

name : Shahida – age: 25 – location : Tirupathi (A.P) – education : B.A Economics , Telugu medium – occupation: bpo employee at Atlas Documentry Facilities Company Pvt Ltd started by HDFC bank – job profile : backroom processing of banks data’s in fuctions as opening of new accounts,credit card related information,foreclosure of loans ,etc.

pay : rs3,700/month – expense : Rs2000 sent to parents,rs 1,500 for hostel and lodging – for personal expense : rs 200 ( balance amount) – other income : after work shift , she makes 3oo rupees from weaving embroidery sarees.

Total amount on hand : Rs 500/per month.

Money sent to parents which helps in paying for her 2 brother’s college fees – rs 2000

her father earns – rs 60-70 a day .

Compare that with mine :

2-4 movies per month at Satyam Cinemas ( when i go with a friend or with my girl friend ) : rs 500 ( tickets alone)

a meal for 2 at Subway – veg patty sandwhich – rs 201- includes coke under “special offer” scheme . I go there almost every week.

other expenses – very very studpid unnecessary expenses – rs “more than 3000” .

Does that mean, I could /can help educating 2 young guys every month by paying their college fees ? does that mean i can uplift India in my own way in providing education to these students ? Does that mean, if I sacrifice a bit ( do i really have to watch 2 movies every month and eat at subway every week ?) i can make differece to a fellow citizen ?

Do the math and find out how much you are wasting …

And if HDFC or other bank’s marketing people are reading this post. I would like to ask  – why dont you take initatives and reach out to people like me directly to fund education of students – like that of Shahida’s brothers?  I am ready ..

As a customer/client I am ready . The question is whether the people from the bank/govt of india core management team ready to bring out innovative policies to tap working class people like me from urban india to educate the rural india.  I will never call them poor. They are more hardworking, more resourceful, more dedicated than most of us ( including me). They may not have money but I dont give a rat’s ass to money if you have diginity .

This is my clarion call to all the banks in India.

Here is an important line from the article which shook me to the core and changed me as a person.

” They have to fight for what most of us take for granted- a college education,a secure home loan, enough food on the table and a job in an air conditioned office…”

My Salutations :

to Shahida and her coleagues in that bank : My humble pranam to you . you inspire me in a way like no other other “self help” books or the monks who sold their ferraris. from you i realize the value of hard work , money and pride. if you ever read this post i want you to know that you have my sincere admiration and respect . you rock !

to HDFC bank : I am not your customer . I dont know how good is your service to your customer. I won’t comment on that. But this initiative you have undertaken – Kudos to you!  Great work and i wish you guys will go ahead and replicate this kind of work all over India.

I second what Mr.M Durgaprasd ,Assistant Vice-President and Head Operations (BPO), “……. I find them sincere,disciplined and hardworking”.

to govt of india :  most of the policies introduced is rampant with corruption. consider : the amount of money politicians would have pocketed set aside for NREGA.  But the EGMM ( Employee Generation Marketing Mission) initiative is something you will have my complete support.

most corporate look at rural india from a CSR perspective. it is nothing but one form or sympathy and empathy. people from rural india are not looked as someone who can bring in money for the growth of the company and earn a livelihood for themselves . Instead , companies open such initiatives and give it a CSR tag. I think that is stupid. given their dedication to work,opportunity for self empowerment and at the same time contribute to the growth of the company in terms of good service and revenue generation , corporate india should consider them at par with other employees from urban india.

that is why i always consider c.k prahald’s book – fortune at the bottom of the pyramid very important in its concept and execution to change  India.

I have earlier 2 articles on this :

About time we looked at rural india

Is india still in recession

Spread the good word !