• Economy

    Virtual Cards – A safe way to purchase online

    Whether it is from Amazon India or Flipkart or Snapdeal or Aliexpress, I buy from all of them a lot and regularly – bordering on making me an online shopaholic. Credit Card vs Debit Cards I prefer to use Credit Cards instead of Debit Cards. Let me be clear, credit card interest rates are brutal and horrific. I don’t use the credit offered by Credit Cards beyond the free 30 day period – I ensure I settle 100% (sometimes round it off over and above) of the amount due on receipt of the statement every month. With Credit Cards, the dispute/deniability of a fraudulent transaction (say done online) is a…

  • Economy,  Events

    Chennai Demo Day 2019

    IIT Madras Incubation Cell along with TiE Chennai had organised a one-day exhibition today – Chennai Demo Day, a marketplace for businesses. The venue was the spacious IIT Madras Research Park, Taramani. For the last few years, IIT Madras has been successfully incubating startups in the areas of rural, social and technology. Today, the public and investor community got a chance to see many of these companies with their solutions for clean energy, healthcare, education, mobility and others. I enjoyed attending the pitch sessions and the exhibition – a good initiative that will be of immense benefit to the founders. I have listed below a few of the startup pitches that…

  • Economy,  Rostrum,  Speeches

    Future of IT Outsourcing Industry and The Road Ahead

    The global outsourcing market especially the IT outsourcing market after a few choppy and trying years, hopes to find its lost rhythm back in 2019. Mint newspaper says the sector will grow faster in the year starting 1st April, thanks to twin trends of larger contracts and increased outsourcing. In this background, I am composing my thoughts here on how the Software Services firms especially the small ones in India can reinvent themselves and plan their road ahead. Source: Statista. After a few choppy years, 2018 stabilized the global market of the outsourced market. 2019 is expected to be a growth year. Outsourcing is not new to me! My grandfather…

  • Economy

    What makes Singapore different?

    Whenever I visit Singapore, where I have relatives and many friends, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I am amazed by the growth, advancement and the hygiene that this tiny nation-state has achieved; yet on the other hand, it makes me think how long can this wonder last, when will the other nations copy what they do? Asking this question to himself, the Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong in this interview for National Geographic Magazine (08.18 issue) answers it eloquently as below: There are any number of cities in Asia which have three or four million people in them; probably dozens, many dozens. Why are we different? It’s…

  • Economy

    How common people handle hyperinflation?

    Living in “India”, which compared to many other parts of the world, has provided economic stability and growth over the last two decades, it is extremely difficult for me to visualize what a hyperinflation situation will be on everyday life, like what happened in Zimbabwe and what’s happening in Venezuela right now. In this article by The Economist titled What Venezuelan savers can teach everyone else – Lessons in preserving the value of savings from hyperinflation, we get a glimpse of how the people of Venezuela are handling hyperinflation. They invest in Property, Cars, Shares and easily tradable commodity (like in barter trade). Valuable lessons here for the rest of the world. The currency in…

  • Economy

    Why I pity normal people?

    I feel pity for “normal” (Non-Technical Savvy) people – as it is becoming ever more difficult NOT to fall a prey to trickery and lose your hard earned money. See the below email I got recently: I often receive many of these, especially to my company address in the USA, where these kinds of “deceptive” invoices are common and earlier used to come by US Post. Just like how a “good” monopoly game set tries to make their play money resemble the “real” money, these invoices are designed carefully to mimic the IRS (USA’s Income Tax Department) notices or the regular invoice formats that you have seen from genuine company’s…

  • Economy

    Walmart buying Flipkart is dumb for its shareholders

    Before Flipkart came to India, I was buying technical books from Amazon.com and having them shipped to India by paying ridiculous amounts for shipping. I am unashamed to say I am addicted to Amazon for well over two decades now. Then as soon as Flipkart started, I started buying from them – in those days they sold only books, yet their customer service was exceptional and was unheard of in India before them and they rocked. The growth they have achieved now was set in stone in those early days. But as soon as Amazon India opened in India, I switched from Flipkart and getting a Prime subscription sealed the…

  • Mumbai T2 Airport
    Economy

    Irony of life

    Last time I was in Mumbai T2 (Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport), was on 9th November 2016, on the evening following #deMonetisation. I was in transit from Udaipur to Chennai. I had ₹120 cash (rest were ₹500 & ₹1000 notes which were worthless and Credit Cards networks were jammed), I was hungry but the only item I could pay was for a lemon cola, which I drank hurriedly to catch my flight. Today I am here again. I have more cash (yes, loaded with ₹100s and ₹50s), credit cards work, some places even accepting #PAYTM – and I have 3 hours before my flight – unfortunately, I am NOT hungry. That,…