Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Jallikattu The Bull Taming Game – Banned in India

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Jallikattu is a game involving bulls and humans, very popular in the state of Tamil Nadu. This game involves letting the bull run towards a group of participants, who will try to tame it. The person who tames the bull is declared the winner. Every year, Jallikattu has resulted in quite a few deaths and also lots of injuries not only to the humans, but also to the animals. In fact, there are even laws around it such as only four participants should tame a bull at any given time, etc.

Jallikattu banned by Supreme Court all over India

Jallikattu banned by Supreme Court all over India


The Supreme Court of India have declared a ban on Jallikattu as it is considered to involve torture of the animals, as they are kept in an agitated mood to make sure they cannot be easily captured by the participants. This move is considered to be a big victory for animal rights groups who have been fighting for this for quite a while now.


One Liners to Remember – One – Two – Three – Four – Five

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

This is a compilation of one liners based on my learning from various leaders who have inspired me. These leaders are Vince Dobilas, Coach Wooden, Seth Godin and Robin Sharma.


ONE THING TO REMEMBER (If you can only remember one thing, remember this)

  • Do the right thing all the time (This is attributed to Vince Dobilas)


  • Be consistently passionate about your dream
  • Consistently spend time, effort and energy towards working on making your dream a reality

THREE SIMPLE RULES IN SPORTS (This one is from Coach Wooden)

  • Be on time all the time
  • Do not say one word of profanity
  • Be a team player


  • Spend lots of time with your family and friends
  • Get fit and stay fit
  • Become a serious investor in You, Inc and focus on doing one thing extraordinary at any given point in time
  • Be positive all the time and say bye bye to all negatives


  • Find the right team, then you can decide which initiative to work with them on
  • Network is the key – Connection economy rules the world today – Invest in building your community
  • Success is the satisfaction that you get when you know you have made the best effort that you are capable of
  • Measure everything – emotions are not measurable – go by facts and data
  • Identify your economic engine – find your first paying customer – and listen carefully to their needs and fulfil it

The Shakti Foundation – Shryaahva 2014

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Difference in Work Culture between India and the US

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

A friend of mine who moved to the US recently to start a new business had asked about the work culture in the US in comparison to the work culture in India. I gave my thoughts and then realized it is worth posting it here.



Work culture in the US is slightly different from the work culture in India. Please find my views based on my experience managing people in the US for about 15 years:


  1. Punctuality: Employees in the US are a lot more punctual. This is one habit you should develop from day one. (In India, no one knows what that means and they have stopped even caring about it!)
  2. Addressing People: Everyone is addressed on a first name basis – no Sir or Madam business. It helps establish equality right from start – which I love.
  3. Family Time: People in the US give high value for family time. This is their number one thought at any point in time – takes higher precedence over anything else in life. (Eg. In India you could ask an employee to skip their kid’s annual day as there is more work load. In the US, such an act would be considered insensitive). If they see you respect their priorities, they will be happier.
  4. Work Hours: In US, employees start early and end early. They will not stay back for any reason. If you ask them to, you better have a very genuine reason and it better be not more than once a year!
  5. Losing the job: People in the US are always scared of losing their job. This is in the back of their minds all the time, as they know that it is difficult find another job and so they will do their best to keep you happy. (In India, due to the booming economy, people really dont care that much). This is one area I do not comment on or discuss with any employee as the equation is maintained well.
  6. Lawsuits: In the US, the laws are very good – helps both the employer and the employees. Be aware of what you speak and what you write. Anything and everything can be used against you in the court of law. Eg1. you can never insult an employee in the US – not a word of profanity. (In India, you can say whatever you want as long as you are the boss – horrible!) Eg2. be racially sensitive – you can never call some one a ‘White’ or ‘Black’ or ‘Mexican’ – those are considered offensive. (In India, at all levels, money talks – in the US, at small business levels, lawsuits talk!)

Maintain your style – your trademark smile – that will protect you from everything.


  1. Do the right thing: As long as you do the right thing, you will always be happy with your employees.
  2. Exploiting Your Weakness: In both locations, people will try to exploit your weakness. This is human nature. If you keep bending, they will keep exploiting. Be aware of this, give them all the trust they deserve, but keep looking for patterns – if you feel they are taking you for a ride, 99% of the time, chances are that they are.
  3. Treat people exactly the way you want to be treated – and be consistent and firm in your words and action and you will be fine.
  4. Position of Strength: Always operate from a position of strength.

Hope that helps.

Miss America 2014 – Nina Davuluri 101

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Nina Davuluri is a person of Indian origin, born and raised in the US.

It is funny when I have to start an article with an important fact as there appears to be a huge discussion going on the internet on racism and related topics right after Nina was crowned Miss America 2014 recently.

As soon as she was crowned Miss America 2014, Twitter world was full of racial slurs, mainly due to ignorance. You can check out this link where Buzz Feed has collected many of these racial tweets to give an idea of the levels of ignorance on this topic.

This article is intended as a basic course about Nina Davuluri to those folks who have expressed their anger and frustration mostly due to ignorance about the facts behind Nina.

Miss America 2014 - Nina Davuluri

Miss America 2014 – Nina Davuluri


So here we go:

  • Nina Davuluri’s parents are from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, India and are not of Arab descent 🙂 .
  • Nina spent time graduating with a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science from University of Michigan – not in terrorist skills or links with Al-Qaeda 🙂
  • Nina won many laurels in her career already, some of which are being included in the Dean’s List, Michigan Merit Award, and winning the National Honor Society Award. Do you still want her to serve you buffalo wings? 🙂
  • Nina has spent two years during her childhood in Vijayawada, but that is still ok to be called an American – from what I have read about her, she is 100% American at heart.
  • Nina was runner up in 2006 in Miss Teen America (I guess no one noticed it because she did not win it then, otherwise this refresher would have been obsolete by now!)
  • Nina won the Miss New Year earlier this year (Again she was not noticed – not sure why)  – one interesting fact is that Miss America 2013 was also from New York 🙂
  • Nina learnt Indian classical dance forms such as Bharatanatyam during her child hood – surely far away from the sniper attack or suicide bombing skills that terrorists get trained at.

Indophobia (hatred against Indians due to various reasons) is not uncommon in many parts of the world, but this one is mostly due to ignorance and the assumption that Nina was Arab and partly due to the racism factor. I am quite sure Americans know quite well how it is to be hated in many parts of the world due to various reasons!

It is quite obvious that due to various factors, such as the targeted terrorist attacks and economic instability in the past ten years in the US, some people are so frustrated that they cannot refrain from expressing their anger, in this case due their ignorance. I hope this article helps clarify some of these doubts.

To top it all, here is a simple response from Nina herself on this topic:

I have to rise above that… I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.

Now that the 101 is completed, it is time to celebrate Nina’s victory – Congratulations Nina Davuluri, you have made all Indians and Americans proud – we wish you all the best to go on and win at the global stage.

Inspiring talk by Ashton Kutcher

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Ashton Kutcher spoke about three things in his speech to a bunch of teenagers and it was quite impressive.

In fact, this also reminded me of Steve Jobs’ speech at the Harvard convocation 🙂 . Not a mere coincidence that Ashton Kutcher acted as Steve Jobs in the recent movie – in spite of that coincidence, I felt the speech was impressive.

How To Build a Thriving Culture – Good Example

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Happened to come across a series of slides developed by Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of a company called HubSpot.

These slides were quite impressive, so I thought I should share it here.

It also reminded me of the Netflix presentation that was done a few years ago by the Netflix management team.

The message here is that great leaders drive companies to become great and these are good examples of the same. This is the exact message that Jim Collins spreads in his Good to Great book. These are quite inspirational topics and hence is worth sharing here.

US Consulate – A pleasant experience

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Happened to go to the US Consulate in Chennai earlier this week and had a wonderful experience..thought should share it here.

After the usual security check, the minute we stepped into the compound, we noticed the clean surroundings as well as the footpath, pavements, etc done very well.

As we entered the building, we were asked to be seated in a waiting area, where there were basic facilities provided. Every one was provided with a coupon number and we had to wait for our turn to meet the officials. The TV display right above us showed exactly which coupon number was to be serviced next and which counter to go to. There was a separate enclosure for taking care of babies. The power sockets were made child safe and in fact all the switches were done exactly the way it is in the US.

I guess the idea was that once a person enters the compound, they should have the exact same feeling as if they are in the US and I can vouch for the fact that they have succeeded in providing the same.

When our turn came, we were politely and clearly told exactly what to do and this experience just made us feel good.

After the job was done, we checked out the library and I was extremely happy to see the large collection of books again. (I used to go to the library in the US at least twice a week and was missing that after coming to Chennai). I became a member right away and am happy to have found this resource available for use.

Overall, the experience was amazing and when I think about it, a few things come to my mind:

  1. They just provided the basic customer service without any hype about it. It has become so rare in this world, that people have started feeling happy when provided with the basic services as promised.
  2. When you think about why such a service is not provided by the Indian Government, I am guessing this could be a reason why some people who come back to India from abroad, return to the foreign countries, to run away from this mess we are dealing with basic necessities here in India.

It would be best to learn from such experiences and see if we can accomplish it in India. That would be something, isnt it?

Autos and Meters

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Every one in Chennai knows that people have given up on the Government to do anything about the issue with Auto-rickshaws (known as AUTO in India) and their refusal to ply with the meters to calculate the fares.

Every single person involved in this system (the passenger, the auto driver, the owner of the auto, the Government, the traffic police, the traffic regulating bodies as well as the auto associations) know that the menace created by some greedy auto drivers has become very common.

The most interesting aspect of this situation is that every one loves the idea of autos, especially in cities like Chennai, as they provide a very quick mode of transportation, with the cost ranging between taking a public transportation system such as a bus, and taking a taxi cab to go to your destination.

While the idea is great, the implementation lacks regulation due to which there are now a million autos in the city, while 99% or more of those autos do not use the meter.

There have been some attempts by some individuals to come up with online initiatives such as and, to address this issue, but they barely touch upon the actual problem.

The key problem at hand is the fact that auto drivers do not use the meters, charge whatever they feel like and refuse to ply to some destinations.

I have seen New York city solve this problem in an amazing way with their taxi cabs, where those drivers did exactly what auto drivers are doing today in Chennai. The government stepped in and rectified the problem once for all. Today, if you take a cab in New York, you do not even tell the driver where you want to go until you are seated inside the taxi. Once seated in the taxi, you tell the driver, he switches on the meter and once the destination is reached, the meter automatically prints a receipt for you. You can swipe your card from the seat and it automatically charges the amount. If at any point, the driver refuses to ply to the destination of your choice, or asks for anything above the meter, there is a toll free number and the cab’s number printed in big bold letters right in front you in the back seat.

Full transparency – this is possible only with the complete support of the Government, who have not been able to solve this problem in Chennai for over ten years now.

For the past three years, I am noticing even tv and interactive online access available in the cabs in New York. This is what is called as solving the problem and going beyond the basics to exceed customer expectations.

Here is an interesting short video clip made by Times Of India, as a part of their Missing Meter initiative.

Note: The above video is in tamil.

I believe there is a way to solve the problem, with or without the Government support. It is in thinking differently from the usual basic steps such as trying to work with the auto unions, governments, etc. It requires an initiative that cannot be overlooked by the auto drivers and they will have to adopt or lose business. While the idea I have is not fully mature, I am parking it in my idea godown for now, but will surely publish again in 2013 after documenting it (and if possible implementing it in 2013).

Junk Comments

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

As I write more regularly, I am noticing that the spammers who specialize in posting junk comments are sending a lot of junk comments, with the hope that I would approve it and they would get some links back.

If you are not an experienced blogger and just starting to blog, you might be tempted into believing that they really meant what they wrote. Only when you carefully look at it, you will know that these comments are so generic, that these spammers just keep posting it as a response on any random blog post.

I get a good laugh when I read such posts. Sharing some of these comments here so you can also get to see some of those comments which I reject and do not publish.