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Entries from July 2010

Weekend Reading

July 31st, 2010 · 2 Comments

This week’s links: The Top 20 Countries on the Internet, and the Future: from Royal Pingdom. India is listed at#4 but the numbers seem quite exaggerated. The “Street-fighting Mathematician” Q&A: from the New York Times. Answers by Sanjoy Mahajan. How LEGO revived its brand: from Business Week. We have all played with Lego blocks, so [...]

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A Summer of Travel

July 30th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Abhishek’s vacation ends soon, and we are now on to our last travel, after Surat, China (HK, Shenzhen, Shanghai) and Chennai. This time, it is a 3-day visit once again to the Jain temples in Palitana. We will be going by train, like we did last year. It is a 13-hour train journey, and one [...]

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A Nation Adrift

July 29th, 2010 · 8 Comments

I cannot but help think that we in India don’t have a clue how to solve the big challenges that we face. Whether it is getting 500 million out of extreme poverty or dealing with Naxalism or handling our neighbours (Pakistan and China) or even something seemingly simple as dealing with errant Ministers at the [...]

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Three Thrillers

July 28th, 2010 · 5 Comments

In the past few weeks, I have read three thrillers on my Kindle that I have liked: Foreign Influence, by Brad Thor Rules of Betrayal, by Christopher  Reich The Rembrandt Affair, by Daniel Silva I have read previous books by all the three authors, so was looking forward to their new ones. And I was [...]

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A Refreshing Change at Mumbai Airport

July 27th, 2010 · 2 Comments

In the end, it was a simple rule that has transformed departures at Mumbai airport. Airlines have been asked to shutdown check-in counters 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time, and have the engines ready 15 minutes prior. If they miss their departure slot, they are sent to the end of the queue. Within a [...]

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Madras Cafe

July 26th, 2010 · 4 Comments

One of the best places for South Indian food that I have come across in Mumbai is Madras Cafe at King’s Circle in Matunga.  It is a little far for us to go, but we go there once in a while with friends. There is invariably a queue so expect some waiting time at peak [...]

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Blog Past: Writing

July 25th, 2010 · 2 Comments

In early August, it will be two years since I re-started the blog after a short gap. Since then, I have made it a habit to post something new daily. Here is what I wrote a couple years ago on “Writing”: One thing I do like is writing. The writing habit started when I was [...]

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Weekend Reading

July 24th, 2010 · 1 Comment

This week’s links: The Top Idea in Your Mind: by Paul Graham. “It’s a disaster to let the wrong idea become the top one in your mind.” Estimating Lifetime Value: by Jeremy Liew. “You actually see a full customer lifetime, which can help in accelerating decisions about marketing and customer acquisition.” How Will You Measure [...]

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Shadow Cabinet

July 23rd, 2010 · 3 Comments

I have been thinking about this idea for some time. The most recent trigger came in an Economic Times op-ed I read a few days ago arguing for an Indian shadow cabinet – like they have in the UK. I think it is a great idea, but I don’t think the Opposition in India will [...]

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Antiquated Duty-Free Baggage Allowance Limits

July 22nd, 2010 · 5 Comments

When we landed back in Mumbai, one of our checked-in bags was missing. (It arrived the next day – had gotten missed out in the transfer at Hong Kong airport from Shanghai.) As we went through the process of filling out the forms for its customs clearance, I became aware of the fact that as [...]

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How China’s Leaders Think

July 21st, 2010 · 1 Comment

That is the title of a book by Robert Kuhn I saw and bought at Hong Kong Airport. It is a book that should be read by us in India, and especially those in power in India. Here is an brief about the book: China impacts everyone—an economic superpower competing in every arena of human [...]

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Better City, Better Life

July 20th, 2010 · 2 Comments

That is the slogan one can see all across Shanghai. Efforts are on to make cities greener and much better in every aspect. China has been building new cities at a frenetic pace over the past 10-20 years. India has done little on that front.India needs to start looking at life in its cities. Delhi [...]

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China Impressions

July 19th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Seeing Shenzhen and Shanghai, all I can say is that anyone who thinks that Mumbai can become a Shanghai or India can do a China has not visited China. Sitting here in Mumbai, we can imagine and dream. But going to the places, one is struck by the scale of what has been created in [...]

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Blog Past: An Open VAS Platform

July 18th, 2010 · No Comments

A post from a year ago: In India, the only workable way to do the “subscriber pays” model is to work with the mobile operators. Revenue shares of what the user pays are heavily loaded in favour of the operator, who tend to keep more than 70% of what the user pays. Also, the lack [...]

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Weekend Reading

July 17th, 2010 · No Comments

This week’s links: What it takes to be a top 100 website: from Royal Pingdom. “…at least 22 million visitors per month.” On Google and Valuation Multiples: by Bill Gurley. “…if its not growth, competitive position, or execution, what is the shortcoming that hurts Google’s valuation?” The Velluvial Matrix: by Atul Gawande from The New [...]

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Time with Abhishek

July 16th, 2010 · 2 Comments

For me, one of the best things about the vacation was the time I got to spend with Abhishek. At 5 years and 3 months, he is now at an age where one can have interesting conversations. He is much more mature and independent than a year ago during the London vacation. He has a [...]

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Shanghai

July 15th, 2010 · 2 Comments

In Shanghai, we stayed in Pudong. I had walked through Pudong during my visit about ten years ago, and there were parts of it still under construction. Since then, Pudong has been built up with plenty of skyscrapers and large roads. Again, a new city created in just about a decade. We visited World Expo. [...]

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Shenzhen

July 14th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Shenzhen is a short hop away from Hong Kong. I had been there four-and-a-half years ago, for a business meeting. I didn’t see much of the place then. This time around, we actually went around the city. To think that this whole place has been created in the past couple decades is quite astonishing. We [...]

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Hong Kong

July 13th, 2010 · No Comments

The first day in Hong Kong was laced with heavy rains. So, we ended up staying mostly indoors in the hotel in Kowloon. We were also tired after the overnight journey. The one place we visited was the Toys r Us in Harbour City Mall, much to the delight of Abhishek. Day 2 was Disneyland, [...]

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China Vacation

July 12th, 2010 · 1 Comment

This year’s vacation was in China – Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai. Our vacations are quite active ones – walking, seeing places, a bit of shopping, and meeting friends. Vacations tend to be short (10 days or less), since we get homesick! We picked China’s three destinations because they were closer to home than say [...]

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