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The real estate numbers speak otherwise

Contrary to popular belief, recently released real estate numbers suggest that the property market is not slowing down, Infact it is still rising. I am really surprised and not really sure if these numbers reflect the reality of situation.

Every property purchased has to be registered with property registration office. The following data was collated from the office of the state's inspector-general of registration and stamp duty.
City 2006 2007 % growth 2008 % growth
Mumbai 40,803 41,012 0.51 44,232 7.85
Thane 47,155 53,838 14.17 60,551 12.46
Pune 70,395 68,004 -3.39 79,973 17.60
Nagpur 24,529 25,937 5.74 27,514 6.08
Nashik 21,087 23,176 9.90 28,409 22.50

The comparison of first three months' data in the last three years also shows that registrations have gone up substantially. The number of registrations increased by 13.54 per cent during January to March this year compared with the same period in 2007, while it increased by a mere 4 per cent during January-March in 2007 compared with the year-ago period.

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Authorstream: Online powerpoint presentations on Steroids


When I came across Authorstream, the immediate thought that came to my mind was it is an exact replica of popular online presentation site Slideshare. However, after a closer look it was clear that Authorstream has number of additional features that makes it quite appealing to online powerpoint presenters ! Authorstream logo Authorstream not only allows users to upload powerpoint presentations online, but it also has ability to convert your presentations into video format (mp4), if you have set up 'Rehearsed Timings' or have recorded audio 'Narrations' in your Powerpoint presentation. The uploaded presentations can also be downloaded to iTunes. Now thats neat !

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Email is still the most popular way of sharing articles from a blog / website.


While carrying out routine admin tasks of my today I came across some very interesting statistics that I thought of sharing with my readers. Nearly a month back I installed a plugin called ishare that helps readers to share articles published on trak.in blog. Now-a-days, having social bookmarking buttons on your blog is commonplace. It helps to bring in traffic to your blog. ishare is a neat plugin that not only allows you to share the articles through social bookmarking sites but also allows you to email the post, convert it to pdf or word document and even print it. When I installed this plugin, I thought more than 3/4th of users will use it for sharing articles on social bookmarking sites. But I was wrong ! The traditional way of sharing articles via Email still rules ! Here is the snapshot of how readers have shared articles using ishare buttonbutton. Main-Sharing-stats

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Reliance Retail winning battle against Bharti- Walmart !


Last year I had written about interesting Test match between 2 retail giants who had announced their plans to open hundreds of stores across India.

Reliance Industries logoBharti LogoWalmart Logo

Bharti Wal-Mart had announced their wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India. Close to their heels, Reliance Retail has announced their plan of entering the same business segment with plans of supplying to kirana stores and institutional buyers.

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The best management lesson

This excerpt is taken from the speech of Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam given at Wharton India Economic forum in Philadelphia on March 22,2008.

A Leader Should Know How to Manage Failure

Question: Could you give an example, from your own experience, of how leaders should manage failure?

Kalam: Let me tell you about my experience. In 1973 I became the project director of India's satellite launch vehicle program, commonly called the SLV-3. Our goal was to put India's "Rohini" satellite into orbit by 1980. I was given funds and human resources -- but was told clearly that by 1980 we had to launch the satellite into space. Thousands of people worked together in scientific and technical teams towards that goal.

By 1979 -- I think the month was August -- we thought we were ready. As the project director, I went to the control center for the launch. At four minutes before the satellite launch, the computer began to go through the checklist of items that needed to be checked. One minute later, the computer program put the launch on hold; the display showed that some control components were not in order. My experts -- I had four or five of them with me -- told me not to worry; they had done their calculations and there was enough reserve fuel.

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Trak.in Poll Verdict: Indians prefer female bosses, only just


I had written about ASSOCHAM survey couple of weeks back which concluded that more than 68% men and women prefer male bosses at their work. I did not really agree with this survey and decided to carry out my own small survey on Trak.in. There are about 202 trak.in readers who have participated (till this point) in the survey and it reflects exactly what I feel.


Out of 202 poll voters, 42% prefer female bosses at workplace, 37% prefer male and 21% said they have no preference.

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The new mantra of PR: Marketing through blogging and Social Networking

Indian blogging scene has grown quite a bit over last 12 to 18 months. Last year in May when I started blogging, there were hardly any blogs that one could name which were even remotely popular, other than Labnol and couple of others. However, over last year or so Indian blogging scene has grown and now we have number of blogs that command decent traffic.

I see exponential growth in Indian bloggers in coming months  , thanks to Aamir, Amitabh and host of other celebrities (latest being Salman Khan ) embracing blogging quite seriously. Yes, it is may be money making source for some, but these celebrities are bringing "blogging" into Mainstream media. Not a single day passes by without some or the other blog content being quoted in our national dailies.

With blogging becoming popular, most PR agencies are looking at bloggers as a serious marketing avenue. During early days of my blogging I used to get standard PR material mailed frequently, most of which could be termed as spam mails, as little consideration was given to who the blogger was, what subject does he write about and so on.

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Top 25 great places to work

It has been many days since I have published a top list. So here are the top 25 great companies to work for in India. This list has been published by Indian arm of Great place to work Institute.

The list has been compiled based on the responses given by company employees' to a proprietary survey developed by the Great Place to Work® Institute. In addition, materials submitted by the company are evaluated, including the company's response to the Great Place to Work® Culture Audit©, any accompanying materials submitted by the company for consideration, as well as information gathered from other reputable sources such as media stories about the company.

 List of Top 25 great companies to work for in India (only top 25 companies are ranked and others are in alphabetical order) :

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Vantagetrade.com: Simplified Technical Analysis for Stock Market trading

VantageTrade Indian Startup

2008 has not been too good for Indian stock Markets. Thousands of investors and traders have lost crores of rupees in recent bloodbath. What should investors do in such a volatile market? Should they stay away or take advantage of low stock prices? According to me, right now is the best time to put money into stock markets. The only important aspect is one has to be very careful and stock specific while investing. One needs to look at not only the fundamentals, but also do some amount of technical analysis. Most of the professional traders and investors use technical analysis to do their stock picking, but it seems to be too complex for part-time investors like you and me. Simply put, technical analysis is the examination of past price movements to forecast the future price movements based on number of factors and calculations. This is where Vantagetrade comes into picture. It does all the hard work for the investor and throws up exactly what he wants to know in a simple language. For Example: I am keen on buying L&T stock. I know the fundamentals of the company are great and they have many orders in pipeline. But I am not sure if today is the best time to buy this stock. Technical Analysis with Vantagetrade is the answer. Just enter the company name or stock symbol and it puts across the technical analysis in simple language that you and me can understand. Here is the suggestion Vantagetrade gave me for Larsen & Toubro stock:

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Indian B-School teachers lack basic awareness

This may come as a shocker to you, but nearly 90% of the faculties imparting business programs at Indian B-Schools are not aware of the basic facts about the national and the global economy such as GDP growth rate numbers.

If this is what is the intellectual plight of MBA teachers, think about the level of knowledge our MBA students will have. While Indian business institutes are increasingly getting popular internationally, this revelation by ASSOCHAM Business Barometer (ABB) Survey comes as a shocker ! The ASSOCHAM Study on “Faculty Awareness” surveyed 258 faculty members (except top 30 B-schools) of various institutes imparting Masters in Business Administration (MBA) across the country.

Here are some of the highlights of the survey carried out by ASSOCHAM Business Barometer:

  • As many as 89 per cent of the teachers were unable to tell the GDP growth rate scaled by the Indian economy in the financial year 2006-07.
  • Hardly 6 per cent of the lecturers surveyed read any business newspaper on regular basis. Moreover, persistent readers of business magazines were negligible.
  • A little less than 5 per cent of the teachers could estimate the saving and investment rate recorded during the same fiscal.
  • The proportion of teachers who knew the amount of exports and imports made during 2007-08 was almost nil.
  • Almost 92 per cent of the lecturers were not conscious of the fact that the foreign exchange reserves of the country have surpassed the USD 300 billion-mark.
  • Not even 10 per cent of the teachers were aware of the existence of financial turmoil in the USA.

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Always be careful of what you write on the web !

Orkut user Krishnakumar Vaid has learnt this the hard way ! He stands to to be imprisoned for nearly 5 years and fined upto 1 lakh rupees if found guilty.

Here is the news:

Google has issued a statement regarding sharing the user data and IP address of Krishnakumar Vaid (22), who posted vulgar content about Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The search engine major said that they complied with Indian Legal process and gave the information regarding the Orkut.com user to police.

Google spokeswoman said in a statement that Google is committed to protect user privacy, but the company complies with local laws. As the information was required to trace the user for further investigation, Google helped the police to find the user from his IP. The accused user was using Bharti Airtel’s internet services.

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Is Amitabh the highest paid blogger in the world?

Just came across this news - Amitabh Bachchan is being paid Rs. 100 crore for writing on his blog - that is nearly 25 million dollars ! Now thats a HUGE sum to be paid to write a few paragraphs daily, even if it is from an iconic figure like Amitabh Bachchan.

I have been an ardent admirer of Amitabh not only for his acting skills, but more so in the way he has conducted himself off-screen through-out his illustrious career. It is tough being in public eye constantly for more than 35 years and he has handled the media glare exceptionally well. Never has he stirred up controversy, always keeping mum and never really criticizing or putting down his fellow actors. However, since he has started blogging, things seem to have taken a total U turn. Nearly every post he has written have been controversial and widely covered by Indian media.

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The Five Most Important Things About Growth in India


This post has been written by Bruce Greenwald and reproduced here with his permission

Indian growth is going to depend overwhelmingly on what happens locally in India.

The reason India and China went from being peripheral players in the world market in 1980 to the powerful forces they are today didn’t have to do with changes in the global market. It had to do with local changes in India and China. In places where these changes haven’t taken place — in Russia for example — you see their participation in the global economy is what it always has been: just as a supplier of raw materials.

The reason so many Chinese goods now sell around the world is not because the demand for those goods has suddenly materialized, but because productivity growth in China — and it’s the same in India — enabled it to provide goods and compete successfully in global markets.

This trend is going to get more — not less — important in the future.

If there is one enormous anti-globalization trend, it is that local services — education, medical care, housing — are becoming much more important for consumption and therefore economic activity than manufacturing or other kinds of services. There is a limited demand for manufacturers — there are only so many suits of clothes you can own, in the same way there is only so much food you can eat, notwithstanding the rising weights of Americans. Manufacturing, in terms of its importance in employment and economic activity, is going to go the way of agriculture in the 20th century.

This applies also to outsourceable services. Remember, for services to be outsourceable, you have to be able to routinize them. If you can routinize them, you can automate them. If you can automate them, those jobs are ultimately going away. So local services are going become much more important in India and all over the world.

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Do you prefer a male boss over female at your workplace?

More than 68% men and women prefer male bosses at their work. This is the conclusion of recently concluded survey - "Preference of Bosses in Emerging Corporate Culture" - held by ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India).

I am not sure whether to agree or disagree. In my 12 years of experience I have had only one female boss and I would rate her as one of my top bosses I have ever worked with. Although, it may not be the yardstick with which one can come to a conclusion, I was always under the impression that women make better bosses.

Contrary to my belief, 68% of the survey respondents expressed that "males are faster in taking decisions, quicker in disposing off their assigned jobs and much more focused and straight towards their work and at the same time passionate in awarding their subordinates with functional autonomy to completely let them enjoy their work".

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Internet Poll Verdict: Indian Broadband connections are expensive…but why ?


I had set up a poll a fortnight back on this to understand why Indian Internet penetration is lagging behind so much so that a country of size of Hong Kong beats India, even when we out number them in population by over a billion people. Obviously, one of the basic reason is that more than 70% of Indian still live in villages and are dependent on farming with no need of internet as yet what so ever. But what about urban Indians? India has more than 250 million people living in cities, then why is it that we have only 3.5 million broadband connections to show? Here is the Poll Verdict: Internet Poll Out of total of 156 poll participants around 44% felt that Internet connections are expensive. I feel so too.

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