• 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

    Small businesses are backbone of Indian economy

    In the past, I have written a few times in this blog about “Challenges of Doing business in India” and “Running a Product business in India“. Is it only thorns along the way? not really. There have been many instances of “Small Indian Companies that have stood over time” and how you can succeed by taking advantage of technology and the first step for that will be to “Secure your business website“. In this background, I was happy to see a new initiative titled “The Action Committee for Formal Finance for Non-corporate Small Businesses”, certainly a mouthful. The group is constituted by leading organisations from across India, to create a financial architecture for…

  • Economy

    Unexpected money I got thanks to SEBI

    Who hasn’t faced a money crunch from time to time?. Few weeks back I was in one such phase. I was dreaming I will hear from the estate of a diseased Uncle who was forgotten and get a windfall. (For records I tried and elders in my family could account for all our Uncles & Aunts for last 3 generations ). Just then an email came from eCAS_MutualFunds at manipaltechnologies.com. Thinking it is the regular reminder emails for some payments due, I was about to delete the email without reading it. Just then the words “Non Transacted Folios” caught my eye. In the preceding week I liquidated all the few…

  • Economy

    Closing my ICICI Accounts

    Over the last few years I have tried to simplify my personal banking by reducing the number of Bank Accounts and Credit Cards to two each. Some of these accounts you sign up for a specific purpose but then managing them, maintaining the minimum balance is a pointless hassle. I began this route in 20th August 2009, when ICICI introduced 3D Secure and I noticed few indemnification clauses that put me in risk as a consumer even for their technical faults which it doesn’t sound fair to me. I couldn’t find these clauses used even by the Foreign banks like Citibank and Standard Chartered. I  called them and closed the…

  • Economy

    Dollar movements, Revisiting after 4 years

    I wrote a blog post “Dollar Movements” nearly 4 years back in 2008, a week before the Lehman brothers collapsed and the US recession that followed. The western world still hasn’t recovered from that shock and its ripples, India with China showed resilience and solid growth but they both seem to be running out of steam now. India’s growth has now slowed  and Dollar once again gaining. In the last 12 months Indian Rupee has depreciated more than 27% to US Dollar, see the chart below. The data was from RBI Archive webpage and you can download the data from this Excel file here. Unlike last time I am rejoicing…