Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry X-Mas!

Solstice ends! Merry Christmas to everyone!

What a weekend that was! Two parties all night long.
The Friday night party at SV3 was a last minute one, and I stood in as DJ. Boy do the alums consume a lot more alcohol than the 07 batch! Nucliomaniac was telling me that people were chugging down alcohol like never before. We had to forcibly shut down the party at 5.00am 'cause we had a day of events ahead. We had about 150 people at that party I think.
If you thought that was big, think again!
The Saturday night Christmas party organized by Nucliomaniac was the biggest and the most rocking party I've been to! The party was held at the Step-Garden near SV1. When he said it was going to be big, I didn't realize how big it was! I've never seen so much alcohol being consumed in my life before! Close to 600 people at the party. Alums, spouses, students, Academic Associates... everyone was there. The DJ promised us that we'd see the day break before the party wound down, and boy did he do that! I didn't last that long though, but I heard people were still dancing till 6.30pm. Boy do I need another day to recover from the two parties.

Sigh.. back to the last stretch of the term now! Loads of assignments lined up this week. I'm going home for the new year! Hopefully I'll get done with all this stuff by then!


Friday, December 22, 2006

Most dangerous roads in the world!

Found these links on Noise's blog.

The Most Dangerous Roads in the World - I
The Most Dangerous Roads in the World - II

Sexy stuff!
I thought they're really cool. I'd love to do this wall hugging walk.

Solstice 2006 is here.

The annual ISB Alumni meeting is here. This weekend, the alums are all on campus. I hear that more than a 100 alums from the 2006 batch will be here. I also hear that the founding batch is going to be here too. Its their 5th anniversary reunion.
I"m really excited. We have great parties planned for this weekend. Its going to be fun.

Other than that, I had my first interview of the placement season. It was a phone interview for Google. Hopefully I'll make it to the next round. I hope there won't be more than 8-9 interview rounds. Next ones will probably be in person and they will be a whole different ball game. Much tougher. Much more strenuous I've heard.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Boulder.. the smartest American city

Cool. Forbes Magazine ranked Boulder as the place with the smartest people

Boulder's been in the top place for the last few years. Interesting how every place I"ve lived in the last 5 years has made it to the top of such lists. If Hyderabad makes it to the top of some list next year, then you know whose effect it was ;-)

Read the article here.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Al Shugart... two minutes of silence for you.

Quoting Motley Fool..
In Silicon Valley lore, there's no greater story of rebellion than that of Apple and the Macintosh computer. That's why CEO Steve Jobs is still revered to this day. But before there was Jobs and the Mac, there was Al Shugart.

The father of Disc Drive industry passed away the day before yesterday. Al Shugart, the inventor of Hard Drives died out of a heart surgery complication in California.
One of the most flamboyant techie & entrepreneur that the Valley has created. Too bad Seagate threw him out quite unceremoniously in 1997 from his own company. I have heard about how the company never had any bad times till he was in control and no one was ever "let go". Everyone in the company was still loyal to him and loved him. 300 people had walked out of IBM with him, when he first set out to start his own company back in the 60s/70s.
What would I give to be a leader like him?

Read more about him here.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

So many things happening in the Universe and here I am..

...stuck at my desk trying to read for a bloody Customer Focussed Product Development exam!

Did you know that on Dec 5th, a major solar tsunami was observed?
It was called an X9 flare. I think this is the largest that has ever been observed by mankind. Read about it here.

Did you know that there is a serious solar storm approaching the earth right now? An X3 flare that happened yesterday resulted in what is called a Coronal Mass Ejection(CME) aimed squarely at the earth. It might blow out a few satellites here and there. And the Aurora Borealis will be huge and can be seen all the way from the northern United States. Read about it here.

I also found a cool related video explaining the damages that CME can cause. Watch the video here.

Okay.. and now, I'm doing something as minuscule and insignificant as trying to study for my CFPD exam.

Whats the point??

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Chennai, the manufacturing hub?

Cisco announced yesterday that they are opening up a manufacturing plant near Chennai. Samsung did the same couple of weeks ago. Dell is already constructing is manufacturing plant. I think that AMD is also building a fab near Chennai(or was that Motorola?). Thats creating amazing job opportunities for a number of people. It will involve a large number of people who're not part of the IT revolution. People who're into the manufacturing and automation line.

The already existing Ford and Hyundai manufacturing plants add to the numbers.

Of course, I hope the infrastructure will improve around Chennai. Chennai's already choking with the number of people moving into the City. The roads have not improved fast enough to support such large industries. If the road network improves, and the commuting time decreases, the way I see it, the city will expand more outwards, reducing the pressure on the real estate prices. People wouldn't mind moving 4-5 kilometers farther away from the city if the transportation time is still the same!

More on how the retail industry will revolutionalize India

Read this very interesting article on the Economic Times on how the retail industry will affect the two lagging industries in India.

Quoting from the article..

In the first phase of the retail revolution, the focus of entrepreneurs has been largely on capturing the consumers’ attention and providing them with a new shopping experience. However, the retail revolution is not just about the new shopping ambience. Going forward, the rising scale of organised retail distribution network and increasing competition will force players to focus on restructuring the whole supply chain to improve productivity and provide a better deal to customers. The retail revolution will restructure the economy’s two lagging segments including agriculture and manufacturing by small- and medium-scale enterprises. For the first time since India initiated its liberalisation programme in 1991, there is now a potential for reforming these two important sectors of the economy which can increase productive job opportunities for the middle class.

The agriculture related supply chain segment suffers from maximum inefficiency. Cumulative wastage in this supply chain is estimated to be about $11 billion, or 9.8% of agriculture component of GDP. Over the years, owing to government intervention in the input and output pricing, there has been little incentive for farmers to improve efficiency. Moreover, in the past few years, public investment in agriculture as a percentage of GDP has also been gradually declining. The archaic infrastructure for reaching the agricultural produce from farm-gate to consumers has meant huge losses in transit and large markups in pricing due to extra layers of intermediation.

I'd love to see this happen. That way the agriculture and the manufacturing sectors won't be left behind in this great Indian revolution. Undoubtedly the best thing to happen to India in a while now!

Read the article here

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My pretties.

Time sure does fly!
My nieces at Colorado.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Retail Retail Everywhere!

First Reliance goes retail. Then, Walmart comes in. Now the Birla group is getting into retail. Pantaloon retail is here too. Great times for the Indian market. Not so great times for the small time retail stores. Walmart has the history of wiping away the small players when they enter a market. Not so great times for suppliers too. The bargaining power of the retail stores as big as these ones will become extremly high. Supplier profit margins will drop. It will be interesting to observe what happens over the next 5 years in the retail sector in India. I can imagine the kind of goodies that will now enter India, if the Indian version of the Walmart is anywhere close to the American version. Chinese imports will flood the stores from now on. Buying power of the people will increase now.

I wonder how the positioning of each store will be. Walmart will be the lowest on price undoubtedly. They have to maintain their world-wide image. Will Reliance and Birla retail stores position themselves like Target (higher priced, more stylish stores)? I would also be interested in seeing how Walmart will tackle the problems associated with having the lowest prices. In India typically there is a mentality of the elite/middle class to avoid shopping at the same place where the so called lower masses shop. Then again, I don't think Walmart would be too bothered as long as it gets its required volumes. The lowest prices would definitely leave out certain sections of the population which might become a concern in the coming years when the middle class is growing and the lower masses are reducing.