Tuesday, May 27, 2008

World's top tech companies

The Businessweek Infotech 100: the world's top tech firms, ranked by shareholder return, return on equity, total revenues, and revenue growth.

Telecom firms with a presence in emerging markets rank high, dominating traditional tech players. Bharati, for example, the highest ranked firm from India, comes in at #21, higher than Microsoft and Oracle. In shareholder return terms, Redington India comes ranks at #3.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Unlearning to drive

It is often required to unlearn old habits, before learning new ones. Driving, is clearly one such area.

The last generation largely grew up driving on narrow one lane roads, sometimes unpaved. Four wheelers were for a fortunate few, and that too in the last decade. We, in this generation, are indeed blessed to be driving more comfortable transport on wider roads. However what we seem to retain, are vestiges of driving skills from an earlier era.

We seem to have been thrust into an era of laned roads, without being taught the associated rules. To look at rear view mirrors, to use indicators while changing lanes, to suit lanes to speed, to wait at signals, to honk with reason... are some traits we've never learnt.

We continue to view four laned roads as a wide one laner with markers that never matter, zigzag as if we drove two wheelers and honk our way to glory, as if we were clinking those cycle bells.

None of this is more apparent anywhere in India than in NCR, a region endowed with awesome infrastructure... and with drivers with archaic driving etiquettes.

Now, I don't blame our forebearers (and us). Its just that change has been so rapid, that some of what we learnt (at times by observation), is now a liability. We have so much to unlearn, and so much to learn.

PS: The above is a hypothesis, based on just three data points, seeking to explain the mystery behind abysmal driving skills in the area where I live

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Of golden temples and snow covered summer peaks

and ... I must add, jingoism, rickety bus rides and eternal peace.

Amritsar: A dusty little town with an old world charm, its crowded streets lined with age old buildings, its colorful markets that seem to have stood still in a byegone era, the mouth-watering food; The Golden Temple - so peaceful, so quiet, so beautiful; Wagah border - a interesting display of well orchestrated jingoism, a spectacle of marches and crowd chants, from both sides.

Dharamsala: A rickety eight hour bus ride away from Amritsar, along broken meandering roads in a suspensionless bus; the first view of the snow-capped peaks blowing away all fatigue, the twisting roads of Mcleodganj; the Tibetan monks, their temples and protests; yet a place of all pervading peace; Triund - a worthy 2-3 hr trek up the hills, a hailstorm covering the land with white, a meadow out of the sound of music, all beneath the beautiful peaks.

Memoirs of my travel through two interesting towns, just the essence.