Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Entries from July 2011

Blog Past: China Impressions

July 31st, 2011 · 1 Comment

From a post a year ago (after a trip to China): 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 […]

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Weekend Reading

July 30th, 2011 · No Comments

This week’s links: Evolution of MVAS in India: A presentation by Analysis Mason. Africa’s mobile economic revolution: from The Guardian. “The power of telephony is forging a new enterprise culture, from banking to agriculture to healthcare.” India’s half-finished revolution: from The Economist. “India’s liberalisation began with a bang in 1991, but two decades on the […]

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Good Books: The Information by James Gleick

July 29th, 2011 · 1 Comment

I still remember reading James Gleick’s Chaos a long, long time ago. It was beautifully written and simplified a complex subject. Now, Gleick takes what is a seemingly simple topic – information – and weaves a wide array of stories around it. We are all flooded with information, and have a hard time keeping up […]

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Good Books: The Numerati by Stephen Baker

July 28th, 2011 · No Comments

I was drawn to this book by a chapter entitled “The Voter.” I had heard and read bits about how the US political parties would do microtargeting. The science of analysing and targeting voters came alive in this 30-page chapter, and that then encouraged me to sample other chapters in the book. As we are […]

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Good Books: Two More on India’s Electoral Politics

July 27th, 2011 · No Comments

Two books that I have found particularly useful are: Rethinking State Politics in India by Ashutosh Kumar. This looks at India as a collection of regions. From the book: “This volume adopts a sub-national comparative method for carrying out an in-depth analysis of the politics of identity as well as development in the large, multi-level […]

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Good Books: India’s Elections Series by Sage Publications

July 26th, 2011 · No Comments

I have been going through some books on India’s political landscape, and especially some of the recent elections. Sage has books on some of the recent elections edited by Paul Wallace and Ramashray Roy.  Since these books are published a year or two after the elections, there is time for some in-depth research and analysis. […]

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Good Books: Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser

July 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Cities are amazing places to live. I for one have lived almost all my life in two of the biggest of them all – Mumbai and New York. Glaeser’s book celebrates cities and discusses what makes cities different and successful. Given that one of India’s biggest challenges is going to be to create new cities […]

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Blog Past: Shadow Cabinet

July 24th, 2011 · 1 Comment

From a blog post a year ago: 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 […]

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Weekend Reading

July 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

This week’s links: The Post-PC era will be a multi platform era: by Horace Dediu. “The very reasons which are driving developers to spread their bets across all and any new platforms should indicate the potential for new platforms and the sustainability of small platforms. The thesis that one dominant platform wins the mobile “war” […]

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Good Books: Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

July 22nd, 2011 · 1 Comment

This new book was recommended to me by a friend at our Book Club meeting recently. It doesn’t necessarily have answers on how to eliminate poverty, but provides a framework on how to go about finding solutions. The authors give results of many experiments and field trials done globally to see how the poor make […]

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Good Books: India: The Emerging Giant by Arvind Panagariya

July 21st, 2011 · No Comments

One of the best books on India from the economics and development point of view is Arvind Panagariya’s book, published in 2008. It gives a very good account of why India didn’t develop fast enough after Independence, and then the changes through the 1980s and 1990s that accelerated growth. He also gives an excellent account […]

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Good Books: How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov

July 20th, 2011 · 2 Comments

This book by the former world chess champion is a revelation. The writing, the thinking and the stories that pepper the book — they are outstanding. Atanu recommended the book to me. I had never heard of the book until he told me. I don’t know how I missed the book when it was published […]

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Good Books: Everything is Obvious by Duncan Watts

July 19th, 2011 · No Comments

This new book by Duncan Watts makes for interesting reading by challenging many of our conventional ideas about common sense. Watt’s previous book, “Six Degrees”, was one I had liked immensely. This book is much more textual and thoughtful, forcing us to think about what we know. From the book description: “Drawing on the latest […]

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Good Books: Gaming the Vote by William Poundstone

July 18th, 2011 · 1 Comment

This book by William Poundstone came recommended by a friend. I had the author’s earlier book, “Fortune’s Formula,” and had loved it. This book is as good. It discusses various voting systems, and their pros and cons. The book was published in 2008 just around the time of the previous US presidential elections. Given India’s […]

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Blog Past: A Brainstorming Format

July 17th, 2011 · No Comments

From a post a year ago:  Brainstorming is very useful to get a set of opinions on different issues from a diverse group. I have tried out this format for getting ideas to bubble up from individuals and groups: Identity 4-5 key questions that needs to be discussed Create a questionnaire which is then given […]

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Weekend Reading

July 16th, 2011 · 1 Comment

This week’s links: Kevin Ryan Interview: from WSJ. Kevin runs Gilt Groupe. “Currently valued at $1 billion, the four-year-old business is by some estimates the most valuable U.S. e-commerce company other than Amazon.” See the discussion on the tech bubble in the article. The Google Plus 50: by Chris Brogan. “It sparks my attention from […]

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Business Standard on Novatium

July 15th, 2011 · No Comments

Business Standard’s “The Strategist” had a story on Novatium a few days ago, entitled “Computing power to every home.” Here is how it begins: A serial entrepreneur’s vision to drive PC adoption in India promises to bring computing power to every household through the innovative use of cloud computing. Novatium, a computing services company founded […]

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Mumbai Again

July 14th, 2011 · 10 Comments

The shocking thing about the Mumbai blasts last evening is the regularity with which terrorists are able to strike at the heart of life in the city. Innocent bystanders going about their daily life are killed or injured, and will soon become a statistic linked to a date. And we will all wait for the […]

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A New Mobile Phone: Samsung Galaxy II S

July 13th, 2011 · 3 Comments

After a couple years of the Nokia E71, I got myself a new mobile – Samsung’s Android phone which sold 3 million worldwide in its first 55 days. It cost Rs 30,500 ($680). It is a beautiful phone. Quite light, big sharp screen, and quite an intuitive interface. Of course, the Apps are now being […]

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Movie: Delhi Belly

July 12th, 2011 · 2 Comments

I saw “Delhi Belly” a few days ago. It is a movie which will bring out extreme reactions in people! If one can look past the coarse language (which is quite central to the movie, though somewhat overdone), there are many good things in the movie. It is in English. It is fast-paced. There is […]

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