Amazon is Amazing

November 30th, 2014 · Finance, General, Technology

After returning to India, my family really missed the online shopping experience that had matured in the US over 10 years ago.
Amazon is Amazing

While we had tried many service providers such as Flipkart, EBay, Snapdeal, etc, after Amazon entered India, we have realized that our search is finally over.

In the past 30 days, we made four orders on Amazon.in, and each one of them was handled to perfection by Amazon.

While ease of ordering is taken for granted across shopping carts, some of the wow factors that Amazon.in provided us are:

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Clean India Campaign should be to clean ourselves from the inside, not just the outside.

Lets start from within.

Lets Clean India From Within

Please see if you can promise the following:

  1. Promise I will never give or take bribe
  2. Promise I will always respect to women and will never be a party to rape, eve-teasing or abuse of women
  3. Promise I will never take dowry
  4. Promise I will never discriminate based on gender, race, color, religion or economic status
  5. Promise I will not break or bend the law according to my own needs.

On my part, I promise to follow them all without exceptions.

So, before you send me a request to be a part of ‘Clean India’ campaign in its current form, please promise you will clean yourself from within.

I would love to get invited by any one who can take the above promises so that we can clean India inside out.

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Suriya meets Arnold Schwarzenegger

September 17th, 2014 · Fun

This picture going around on FB is too funny to resist from sharing :-)

Surya meets Arnold Schwazenegger

Here is the Hindi translation – Thanks to my friend Murali :-)

Singham Tamil movie mein Surya ka ek dialogue hai – “Jor se maara toh daed ton ka weight hai!!”
Arnold: Jor se maara toh daed ton ka weight hai kya?
Surya: Nahin Nahin, kasam se woh mein nahin hoon bhaai

Here is the English translation – I did this myself :-)

There is a Tamil language movie called Singham in which Surya says a dialogue: “If I hit you hard, you will feel one and a half tonne weight falling on you”.

Arnold: If you hit hard is it one and a half tonne weight falling on the person you hit?

Surya: No no brother. I promise that was not me – someone else said it.

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Context Sensitive Spamming

September 4th, 2014 · General

Spammers have always been in business online, but have continued with their pre-historic methods of spamming where the spam is not relevant to the context. Hence the need for context sensitive spamming and hence this post to help them understand the term: context sensitive spamming.

Recently we launched a website called Hamilton Hill Medical Centre, which is a website for a hospital in Perth, Australia. Within two days of launching this website, we started seeing spam comments for Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra etc. Highly irrelevant to the context!

On this blog also, I see quite a few spam comments which are not context sensitive because they completely forget the target audience of the blog in mind. Yes, I am aware that it is done by an automated software used by kiddies who try to make a quick buck – I really wish they did some basic course on context sensitive spamming, so that their information could be relevant to the audience.

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Vodafone successfully stole my money with a very organized method. I am sure this method can be used by Vodafone to make free money all the time from its customers. Wish some one goes to the court against your wrong practice.

Whenever Vodafone makes a mistake in their bill, they will not refund the money if you decide to stop using them. They force you to continue to have an account with them if you want your money which they got by their mistake. They will accept their mistake 100% but will not pay your money back unless you continue your account with them. What a smart way to make money. Shame on you.

Can someone help me understand where to file a case against Vodafone for following such wrong practices and swindling our hard earned money?

They call this their ‘process’. I call it day light robbery. Let the court decide if their approach is correct.

Update on 25-Aug-2014: Still struggling with multiple representatives from Vodafone to try and get my rightful money back from them. All of them are trying to convince/force me into staying with them if I need my money back. Will continue fighting for the right thing – lets see where it goes.

Update on 3-Sep-2014: Vodafone has finally agreed to send a cheque for the amount that they took from me for the services they did not provide. Will wait for it.

Update on 16-Sep-2014: Vodafone has sent back a cheque accepting their mistake. So now I think I know the exact steps to recover the money that right fully belongs to us. Will document it in a separate post so that it is helpful to others also.

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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a classic viral marketing example that has to be studied by any one interested in marketing.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge involves dumping a bucket of ice on yourself to show your support to the spread the awareness about ALS. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects the brain cells.

Here is a video of taking this challenge by technology genius, Bill Gates, showing his skills in creativity while taking the challenge.

 

There are quite a few reasons why I think ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a classic viral marketing technique that has to be studied in depth by any one interested in marketing.

SMART Goals

The most important fact is that ALS Ice Bucket Challenge follows the classic SMART goals used in Project Management at various levels.
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Just came back after watching Tamil Movie, Anjaan, the latest Suriya movie at City Centre. What a waste of three hours of my life! Here is my review of Anjaan movie – in a single sentence – I wish I had not gone for this.

As I have a personal faith in Suriya’s acting, happened to go for the 9am show on a Sunday! What a disappointment.

Anjaan_Poster

Anjaan is the story of a Bombay don, Raju Bhai – as it is a movie taken in Tamil, his name is spelt as ‘Raju Bai’ (like in Meera Bai!). Raju Bai also has a close friend, who looks too cute to be a gangster. There is more chemistry between Raju Bai and his friend, than between Raju Bai and his girl friend.

The story goes like this:
The first scene of original Don movie, then the fourth scene of Nayagan movie, then the sixth scene of Don 2, then the eleventh scene of Vijay’s Pokkiri movie, with the core concept, that Raju Bai can always beat up 100 people at any given time, retained intact throughout the movie. In every scene you are left guessing with one consistent thought: I have watched this scene in some movie before!

Suriya has acted quite well and has always lived up to the expectations. Wish he picked a better movie to act in!

Samantha looks wierd – she used to look very cute – something is wierd about her in the movie – not sure what it is.

There is also a new commissioner of police who started rounding up bad guys, but then felt too bored to be in the movie after the first half and so disappeared in the second half. By the way, there is also the daughter of the old man who disappears and Samantha takes her place – dont ask where she went – no idea.

Then there is a supposed to be comedian taxi driver who comes in the first scene and a few scenes in between and finally in the last scene. I really wish he was funny!

The songs have a speciality in this movie – they have been taken in such a way that they can be inserted in the movie in between any scenes of your choice. Since the director had the option to decide, he inserted them wherever he liked. Kudos for making them so flexible!

The last scene of the movie had a good twist – slightly unexpected and the villian was dealt with in a smart way – but other than that, we were all waiting to run away from the theatre.

I am taking a break from Suriya movies until 2016. Lets see how it goes at that time, but definitely not before that.

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Many people have become blind to child labour in India just because of the way we have been brought up. We did not have the awareness that child labour is a key factor for a country’s lack of growth.

We happen to come across child labour in many forms

  • The boy assisting the guy who takes care of the laundry.
  • The girl who helps in taking care of little babies and kids.
  • The boy who helps in the mechanic shed.
  • The boy who brings tea/coffee in tea stalls.
  • The girl who washes the dishes and assists with cleaning the house.
  • And many more

It is just that due to lack of awareness we tend to ignore this injustice.

Here is an amazing video that was created to promote this awareness.

If you do not support child labour and want to see a better India, do the following the next time you see a child employed as a labourer:

  • Take a stand and raise your voice objecting to this act. (Will you keep quiet if it was your relative who was doing the same job?)
  • Report the issue to the authorities. The number to call to report child labour is 1098 (Or you can also call 2652 0601)

Together, lets build a more efficient India :-)

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When I had enquired with my friends for recommendations on books to read as the next steps, I got quite a few recommendations to read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho

The Alchemist is unlikely the other self help books that I have read in the past.

Some of my favorite sections from the book are given below:

1. When you set out to accomplish something, the whole universe conspires to support you to accomplish your goal.
This is so true – you should try to observe the next time when you set a new goal. It is an amazing feeling when you realize that you have no clue how it is going to be done, but when you put your heart out, you realize the universe adjusts itself to help you reach your goal.

2. Difference between a horse and a camel
While a camel is known for travelling quite fast in the desert, the only issue with a camel is that you never know when it is going to drop down dead in the middle of the desert. On the contrary, a horse does not reach the speed of a camel in the desert, but will clearly provide good signs much before it slows down. This helps you plan ahead of time and minimize the risks involved.
It made me immediately think about the resource management issues we some times have where some super smart team members join us but quit within a few months to join a top software services organization and compare them with some average performance producing team members who are guaranteed to stick around for a long time, thus providing with huge support in planning for long term projects.

3. Listen to your heart all the time and go after your dreams
The way I interpret it is simple. You live once, why compromise? Do everything that your heart says and just have fun all the way – this way, you can look back in the future and enjoy the journey you have enjoyed all the way.

A big thanks to everyone who recommended The Alchemist and I also recommend it to any one who is ready to read self help books.

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Raping everyday?

July 21st, 2014 · Politics

What is wrong with us Indian men? Why do we get in the news every day for raping?

Is it because Indian men have become more desperate or is it that it has always been this way and just that the news is coming out in the open more often now-a-days than before?

stop-rape-now

I do see the hue and cry about ‘death penalty’ for rapists. Are we trying to fix the effect and forgetting to fix the source? (Now stop getting sentimental and say ‘if it happens to your daughter you will know’).

We all agree the system in India is broken. While it is broken, what is the point in trying to convince ourselves that death penalty is sufficient?

Scare tactics have always worked to allow people to find ways to work around it. Eg. Driving at speed limits. Especially in India, with sufficient corruption and muscle power around, scare tactics can only go to an extent.

How have the other democratic countries handled this issue? (Forget the ones where they cut parts of your body depending on which part committed the crime!)

Why cant we learn from it? Why cant we make an attempt to work actively for a solution.

Is it using technology, working closely with the police force, introducing a offender database that is shared all over the country? I dont know.

We dont have all the answers, but we the men of this country should take it as a personal challenge and work towards eradicating this evil collectively. This will be the best gift we give the women of this country.

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