May 23, 2007

 

13-year old entrepreneur

Surprising, the Indian media has not yet picked this story, yet.

May 22, 2007

 

Random idea

Flickr lets you explore the geo-tagged pictures on the world map. The only problem is you can only see the photos which have been tagged by users with location. That is too much of an effort, especially when you want to tag it with high precision (e.g. the Chinese Restaurant you visited in the town) as it requires zoom to highest level to add.

There can be an easy solution. The cameras already put some metadata (date taken, camera settings, etc) in the photos. Now, if cameras are equipped with GPS, they can also put the lat-long. Then the precise location can be figured out and geo-tagged. Minor problem is the lat-long is of the camera and not the object/people in the photo. But, I suppose, that can be derived from the tech specs of the lens and current zoom settings.

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May 20, 2007

 

Assumption is mother of all sc***-ups

More on the Bajaj Auto saga. From a news story in DNA on the same subject -
"Rajeev Varma and Aashish Agarwal of Merrill Lynch, in a February 2, 2007 report, had valued the life insurance business at Rs 12,384.30 crore, based on certain assumptions and performance of 2007-08."
Nothing gets more appalling than this. Analysts value business worth more than Rs 12,000 Crores (or $ 3 billion) based on assumptions. Is it that hard to get the information about JV from the company that one has to fall back on fanciful imagination?

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May 18, 2007

 

Experts are as clueless as 'Aam Investor'

Bajaj Auto lost almost 16% of its value in last 2 days, when details of de-merger scheme were made public. The particular information that dilution of insurance business at very low valuation is the main reason. Everybody, who was under the impression that de-merger will unlock the value, a la Reliance, was in for a surprise - an unpleasant one at that.

bajaj-auto-may2007

Average investor is not able find the real value of insurance business, as there are no listed entities for benchmarking. Most of the information they have is from the so-called experts/tipsters coming on the business channels. Turns out even they were equally clueless. Even the respectable brokerage houses who come out with research reports, were caught off the guard. Just see the amazing number of analysts putting a "buy" on the company with targets almost 50% higher than CMP.

So, what lesson should average investor learn from this episode?

One, don't take expert advice (free or paid) on stocks as final word. Do some of your own research. If you can't do that, use the option of mutual funds. Though similar set of problems may exists for them, but diversification lessens the grief.

Two, investing based on events is akin to timing the market, a cardinal sin.

Three, even blue-chips are vulnerable and risky. When somebody says, blue chips are safer, I can only point them to April 2003, when Infosys lost more than 40%(yes, forty per cent) of its value in two days. Risk is inherent to the stock market.

Enough of gyaan!

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May 14, 2007

 

Chasm between Operations and Marketing

My post on India Today Book club offer continues to comments from all those who are upset with India Today's lousy service (excessive delay in delivery, delivery in broken condition, etc.) My own order is undelivered yet, but I'm not so pissed off. The offer sounded too good to be true, hence I opted for Cash-on-Delivery. Hence the lack of heartache. While, I have not received the CDs, my (free) subscription for India Today Book Club has been activated and I get monthly updates. (They are useless, though, as they can hardly beat Strand Book Stall.)

But, what surprises me the most is the fact that I again received same offer in the mailer. They did an exceptionally mediocre job while executing the previous offer, but the marketing team continues to be oblivious of that and continues to push the offer again. This clearly indicates that the organization working as a bunch of silos, where the inter-department communication is not existent. This results into is losing potential customers with indifferent first-time experience. eg Marketing folks think it is cool to send the cheque of unsolicited loan to the customer and then start the interest cycle when they actually en cash. If the cheque bounces, customers are pissed off. On the other hand, if the glitch in the operation can cause the entire amount to just vanish out of bank's account. Another such aggressive marketing fiasco was the Big Bazaar's offer last year.

PS: I've again ordered the stuff to see if I get lucky this time.

Update on 20th June: Finally, I received it! In the email, they attributed the dealy to "flood of orders" and "shifting of warehouse and backend operation".

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May 09, 2007

 

IIPM under MRTPC scanner

This news might be of interest for many of the bloggers.

B-school in trouble for tall claims

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