June 14, 2008

Did the Chinese quake helped quell bad vibes about Bejing Olympics

I think this very very quaint thought came to my mind. I know many of the readers to this post will think that this is most rubbish thing that anyone can write or think of. But still I felt so and I think I am not really wrong. Let me put it out why I think so.
If you remember days before the Chinese quake. Media was full of negative talks about different events connected to Beijing Olympics.
- London, Paris, San Fransisco torch relay marred by protests against Chinese abuses in Tibet.
- Quality of air in Beijing may not allows athletes to bring out their best. There were talks of that we might witness scenes of athletes vomiting and crashing during events.
- Major world leaders giving a miss to the Olympics opening ceremony and in some cases giving it a miss all together.
- Steven Spielberg's withdrawal as artistic consultant of the Beijing Organizing Committee citing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, which he believed the Chinese government could do more to prevent.
- Sentencing
China’s leading human rights activist, Hu Jia in April 2008. Human Rights Watch said the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) failure to raise Hu Jia’s case with the Chinese government was at odds with the letter and the spirit of the Olympic Charter.
- Beijing Olympics broadcasts at risk. As per report in "The Australian":Saul Shtein from Australia's host broadcaster, Seven Network, has told an emergency meeting in Beijing between Chinese organisers, high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials and TV executives from nine host broadcasters that "if this story gets out that these difficulties are being experienced, it will have a very negative impact, not only on the Olympic ideals, but also on Beijing and China".
These are few items that I could remember. There could be more that I am not able to remember. However When Cyclone Nargis arrived with all its fury to loose hell upon Burmese people all these reports revolving around Beijing Olympics lost media focus. Media was abuzz with views and reviews of how apathetic Burmese ruling Junta were towards their own people. How about more than thousand people have lost their lives in the Burmese Island which had faced of the cyclone fury and about millions would be impacted in absence of timely help. While this event was still in its prime in media China was jolted by the massive earthquake. China being more integrated to the rest of the world got more aid from rest of world and entire world media was covering the Chinese quake now though may be number of souls impacted would be about one-tenth in comparison to Cyclone Nargis. This went on for about three weeks when Cyclone Nargis aftermath again started getting attention as UN General Secretary could persuade Burmese Junta to let foreign aid and professionals flow into Burma. Then there was minor events like smaller earthquakes in African Continent, Japan, flooding in US.
In the background Beijing Olympics date kept coming nearer and nearer. Before the earthquake China was looked upon very differently by most of the people and administration in the world. With the quake and post quake effects Beijing was looked upon in a very different view. There was no more an image of cruel China which has caused pain to Tibetan people or had a role in Darfur humanitarian crisis. Image of China was as a society who had recently faced the nature fury and needed help to save human lives and agony. This perception change brought about by quake which makes me think that Chinese quake did bring some thing good for Beijing Olympics as it helped it to avert more bad publicity which was doing a lot of damage to China, it's image in other parts of world and even it's economic relationship with some part of the world.
Note: Any comments on this is most welcome.

June 10, 2008

Biz evolves - Ladies as recovery agents

This news/article that I read in the Economic Times[financial news] was really inspiring. It kind of set me thinking that how competitive things are in biz world. I will of course provide the link to this article but first I would like to share my thoughts that started criss-crossing my minding.
For last few months Indian who read newspapers and non Indian who track FI industry in the Indian market must have noticed how the Judicial system had come heavily on the high handed tactics that banks and lending institutions were employing for loan recovery. And with the number of such incidents appearing in media it's sure that this was definitely working for the lending institutions.
Now lets think of Indian society and how woman fair in the society in social and security sense. Some where I remember reading India was second most infamous country after South Africa when it cames to abuses against woman. Indian definitely know and understand what I am trying to convey. For NRIs and international readers of this post, I would post some links at the bottom of the post which will give you some idea about how women are placed in Indian society socially and from security point of view. There is no distant comparison even among workforce equality in terms of numbers in India and in defense, police and other private security industry women hardly have any presence.
Coming back to gist of this post which really set me thinking. I had never thought such a solution to the problem was possible. With Judicial system coming heavily on the high handedness of recovery agents and slapping multiple fines lending institutions were in problem. There was serious risk of high rise of problems in loan recovery and bad debt rise. Today I read in this article that woman have swapped placed for their male counterparts and new companies have opened to take over this bizes and they have providing great results. Lending institutions have got what they wanted and Indian economy has got what it wanted. Higher female participation in work force as opening of a new kind of service industry to the female work force.
Now how did the system worked out so well!!! What women did that was forcing men to use high handedness approach for the same job. It's a very common sense that it's not easy for anyone to make some one part with his money[read capital]. In India where judicial and political system is so slow and such that for the lenders it will take years for getting fair deal and outcome and by then they would be out of bizes because of loss of all invested capital as bad debts. A member of management of such a company which provides loan recovery bizes to FIs says that main reason for their business principle to work is "Our principle is persuasion is better than prosecution. We make defaulters understand the problems they may face if they don't pay". She further adds "Defaulters, who are generally men, find it embarrassing to be addressed by a woman and hasten to pay up large parts of the loan". She goes on to add "Those who find it easy to bribe male recovery agents realize that they can't do the same with women.".

Link to the post in TOI. Open it. [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Business/Now_women_recovery_agents/articleshow/3115324.cms]

Some links about central bank and Indian courts coming down heavily on banks using muscle men for loan recovery.
(1) Central bank sets norm for loan recoveryOpen it.
(2) ICICI Bank fined Rs 50 Lacs(INR 5 Million) Open it.

June 1, 2008

Body control us or we control our body - Concious vs Unconcious

These two weeks were very very busy. Many many different kind of thoughts keep coming to my mind at different times. I have not written anything about them because these may be momentary and if it sustains more than about 2 months then I would start writing about them. These will be mostly office management and corporate psychology. In between a different kind of thought also kept coming to me. Isn't there an innate way that me and my team transforms to a super performers? Then thinking along these lines different kind of thoughts about training, tools, management and communications kept coming to mind for dealing with work and people. At times have you thought that you will have to keep a team member just to keep all others senior management and at times even dumb middle management updated who are supposed to know the nerve of the project and update senior management:). This burden just adds to the project team strength and cost unnecessarily.
Then going along these lines of random thoughts this cam to my mind and I thought of writing it down. Is our mind the best thought machine which is most capable of solving all our problems or there is something with in us[in mind or somewhere else or distributed all across the body] which is even more smarter and capable of getting solutions to our people. Yes, looks like there is !!!!
Have you thought why our bodies starts to readjust itself to any external stimuli or change in environment. When there is scarcity of food body reduces it metabolism so that body can manage on less amount of food and contrarily when there is extra food body increases it's metabolic rate so that extra calories can be burnt to the keep the body weight in control. When we move to darkness after a few minutes we can start to see objects hazily and contrarily when we move to very bright area then our pupils contract so that less light enters our eyes. Similarly there is countless instances when you can observe this phenomenon in play. In fact on each and every instance you will see this innate body behavior to start coming into play.
However the ability of develop this is mostly driven by need to survive and continue the process of recreation. And if our body or for that matter any living organisms body is able to get the signal it start to change itself to the new environment and over a period this starts to get exhibited from birth after few generation. I think this is what evolution is all about and differentiates living from non living things. Looks like this is the reason why we all believe in GOD as body made of non living shows this behavior only as long as it is alive and there is soul it in.
Anyways, so coming back to from where I started or rather how this thought came to mind. Stressful and long working hours for me and my team in office. I definitely is reducing sleep for all of us. It's reducing the time we can spend with our family and friends. It's definitely reducing the time we can rest and time we can give to revitalize ourselves. I am also sure that mankind must have faced such stressful situations before so my bodies defense to face these situations will kick in soon. I think all the while I have read of human body adjusting it self to visible conditions like, food, temperature, pressure, Humidity, Predators, mates and procreation etc... Here I am looking forward to human body adjusting to white collar job mental fatigue and stresses.
Some interesting links on human body adapting itself.
[1] Human Body Adaptation To Overeating. Open it....I want to read.
[2] Human adaptation to space. Open it....I want to read.
[3] Generic human body adaptation story. Open it....I want to read.