Economy,  Lounge

    Finance ministry is proposing to close BSNL

    Sell off BSNL, MTNL, Air India, Airport Authority & others in the services sector –  Government has no business to be in hospitality. Privatise portions of Indian Railways especially coaches and stations, Government has no role here too. I wrote the above in 2014, as part of my wish list to the (then) new Government of Mr Narendra Modi. After five years, they seem to be taking steps in this direction, recently the Finance Ministry has recommended the closure of BSNL & MTNL. If this really happens, I welcome the move and wish Air India and others join the list. Taxpayers can’t be used repeatedly to bail out public sector…

  • ISR and CSR

    What is the purpose of a company?

    Till some years ago, it was an accepted fact, that the purpose of a company should be to maximize shareholder value – an idea popularised by American honchos. Now, this idea is being questioned. There are many alternative views being heard from around the world. In India, in the past, many of the big businesses were family-owned and they were interested in taking care of their shareholders (their family members) as leaving a legacy for their future generations to cherish was important apart from the profits. Recently in the press, there have been many articles discussing this topic of what is the purpose of a company? I have given below…

  • Incentive to pay Taxes

    Pay Sales Tax and win Lottery, the Taiwan way from 1950

    Leaving the politics and the implementation gaps aside, Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives of Demonetization and Goods & Services Tax were done to bring the informal (black money as it is called in India) economy into the open. Noble intention they are, which everyone will agree, as more the money that goes through banking channels and sales paid along with due (sales) taxes, the Government has more resources to spend on its various schemes. Unfortunately, getting manufacturers,  merchants, dealers and service providers to declare all their sales and pay taxes has been a challenge for independent India (and even in British India) – this is worse in countries like India, where…

  • plant roots on soil

    Even the fungi are cunning merchants!

    Science is fascinating and sometimes unbelievable too like in this case. If we think exploitation is a human trait born out of our greed, we are not alone, even fungi exhibit this behaviour! The fungus is a microorganism such as yeasts and moulds as well as the more familiar mushrooms. Check out this Economist article quoting a study just published in Current Biology by Toby Kiers of the Free University of Amsterdam: //In the soil, where plants’ roots meet fungal hyphae, there are trading posts. Like cunning merchants who know how to make a profit, fungi exploit resource scarcity by marking up their prices. They demand more nutrients from plants…

  • Economy

    Finance for Entrepreneurs

    Today,  TiE Chennai, had started a 12-week workshop on “Finance for Entrepreneurs” to expose, familiarise, and, educate entrepreneurs on the basics of financials. While a promoter needs to be aware of most of the areas in her business, knowing the basics of finance and accounting is a must. The workshop is being conducted by seasoned professionals in the field including Mr M.S.Jagan, Mr Kannan Ramanathan and Ms Aparna Rammohan. The organizers from TiE had invited me to be the intro speaker to share my experiences. I listed the following four costly mistakes I did in my business due to my lack of finance / accounting / taxes in my early days…

  • (Representative picture) Labourers working in a construction site
    Economy,  தமிழ்

    We need to welcome immigrants coming to Tamil Nadu

    “கடந்த சில வருடங்களாகவே தமிழகத்தில் கட்டுமான வேலை செய்ய, தச்சு வேலை செய்ய, தொழிற்சாலைகளில் கடினமான வேலைகளைச் செய்யத் தமிழ்நாட்டில் இருந்து வேலையாட்கள் கிடைப்பதில்லை, வர மாட்டேன் என்கிறார்கள், அப்படியே வந்தாலும் கடினமான வேலைகளைச் செய்யத் தயங்கி வேலையை விட்டு விடுகிறார்கள்”, இதுபோன்ற புகார்கள் பல தொழில் நிறுவனங்களிடமிருந்து நாம் கேட்கிறோம். இன்று சென்னை போன்ற பெருநகரங்களில் நம் வீட்டை சுத்தம் செய்யவோ, சமைக்கவோ, சிறிய குழாய் பிரச்சனையைச் சரி செய்யவோ, தச்சு வேலை செய்யவோ (உள்ளூர் / தமிழ்) ஆட்கள் கிடைக்க மாட்டேன் என்கிறார்கள் என்பது உண்மை. எனக்குத் தெரிந்து பல வீடுகளில் சமைக்க, வீட்டு வேலைச்  செய்ய வட இந்தியாவிலிருந்து இந்தி பேசும் ஆட்களை தான் வேலைக்கு அமர்த்தி உள்ளார்கள். இது போலத் தான் பல தொழிற்சாலைகளிலும் நடக்கிறது என்று கேள்விப்படுகிறேன். இதற்குப் பல காரணங்கள் கூறுகிறார்கள், “அரசு கொடுக்கும் இலவசத்தால் தமிழர்கள் சோம்பேறி ஆகி விட்டார்கள், அவர்கள் எல்லாம் நூறு நாள் வேலைவாய்ப்புத் திட்டத்திற்குப் போய் நிழலில் உட்கார்ந்து காசு வாங்க…

  • Economy,  Lounge,  Technology

    How America’s ban on Huawei has altered the digital future forever!

    //A major scientific society the New York City-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)  has banned employees of Huawei, the Chinese communications giant, from reviewing submissions to its journals because of U.S. government sanctions against the company// [Update 2nd June 2019: Following the clarification from the U.S. Department of Commerce on the applicability of these export control restrictions, IEEE Lifts Restrictions on Editorial and Peer Review Activities. This is a welcome move, but the scar and fear that’s been left behind are going to take a long time to heal.] This news makes me angry, sad and disillusioned. A scientific body like IEEE, of which I am a Senior…

  • to buy or rent your first house in india
    Economy,  Lounge

    Should you buy or rent a house in India

    In #Chennai, it is better for most people to #Rent says this insightful article – I had felt this to be the case for many years. Yes, owning a property is an emotional achievement in one’s life and a very valuable asset that you can save for your children, but in most cases, many of the poor/working class spend their entire life in hardship just for this and sadly end-up their last years unable to enjoy the fruits. This is where the below chart is super-helpful to scientifically say for which earning bracket buy vs rent makes sense. Thank you The Economic Times for the below piece: