Saturday, May 31, 2008

1 Year in the System

I have completed one year in the system. The most interesting question in front of me right now is should I mourn or celebrate.

Interestingly a year before I used to be a focussed guy; with a planned life and now have a look-

  • Who am I? An aspiring Business Development Executive or a Growing Supply Chain Consultant
  • Where I am? Pune (My Base Location- total stay 3 weeks) or Hyderabad (I am here on a short term transfer for past 6 months)
  • What am I doing? Preparing for sales roles or Getting billed for my company
  • What is my area of Expertise? Marketing (My MBA Major) or Supply Chain Planning (My area of work)
  • What am I learning? How to sell IT Services or Oracle ASCP
  • Motivation? Organization's Policies or Self Respect for the work that bears my name
  • Passion? IT Sales or Custom Components
  • Parameters for best place to work? Productivity & Recognition or Gymnasiums & Fountains
  • What drives me to work early on Monday Mornings? Awesome work that lies ahead or the parking space on the lower floor in the car park.
  • Who is more important? Employees or the Buildings
There are million questions in my mind of similar nature. I know I am totally confused but if anyone of you could provide answers to this poor soul. Answers Anyone????

Posted by Prats at 11:40 PM  

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A gesture more than 1000 Words

I always wondered about the actual disconnect which happens between the team working together like mine in a consultancy world. A lot of people I interact with, discuss things and together we work as a part of team. I have never met most of them personally for us the existence of each other is confined to a voice on the phone and the emails. The disconnect is further when it comes to the client whom the interaction is limited and very formal. The major challenge is how to get in sync with people. How to actually say how appreciative we are of each other and how we enjoy the discussions and perspectives arising for them. Amidst the lot of interaction which happens between us it is very difficult to convey the feelings of value of a team member. Often in the FMCG scenario it is done through parties outings. I was amazed by a way my client found out a way to say that how he valued out efforts. Me & few others from our project got this personalized note from director from the client side and signed by other stakeholders from the client and my company. It was something like this. It really made me feel that I was a part of the project and a huge team. Just wanted to thank everyone in the team for this.


Posted by Prats at 11:39 AM  

Monday, May 19, 2008

No-Fun-Jabi by Nature

I recently wrote about "Punjabi by Nature" "here" but my recent experience there has turned out to be a disaster and I have decided never to visit that place again. As the readers of this blog would be knowing that I am hardcore vegetarian and I ate one morsel of chicken (I know it would not be a big deal for a lot of people, but for me it is) because despite conforming thrice the waiter couldn't distinguish between the Keema Parantha and Gobhi Parantha. I mean is this how the people from an up-class premium joint act. Is it too difficult to have different colored plates for Veg & Non Veg. And after that the people were far from being apologetic; We left the food in the middle and the captain instead of being sorry for the mistake his staff had done was more worried about we will clear the bill and if we can take the leftover food with us. The tone of the staff was so rude when asked for the bill; the reply was "La to raha hoon". Though the main manager seemed to realize the gravity of the situation but till then never in any of my corporate parties or personal parties by me and my friends I would visit if it is going to be in a Punjabi By Nature. They haven't made a mistake but have broken my trust and have been proud of it. From now on for me NO-FUN-JABI by Nature.

Posted by Prats at 10:44 PM  

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The 3 Mistakes of My Life

Warning: This post contains Spoilers

Chetan Bhagat is one author I have always respected and adored. And the respect doesn’t comes because of any great pieces of literature he has written with enlightening people with a lot of new perspective of life but because he brought to life the habit or the joy of reading to what I would call Indian masses, specially the youth. His art of story telling is such amazing that the audience can actually correlate so much with the characters that they find it irresistible to keep the book down. It made them wonder as they were a part of story and the readers voraciously turn the pages to live a bit more of the characters. Even his second book was very good. Now that his third book was very much awaited and obviously very high hopes pinned to it.

I bought the book yesterday as soon as it was available on stores yesterday. Last time I saw such a craze and the volume of books being sold was for last book in the series of Harry Potter. However I brought the book and read it in a single stretch of 3 hours. The book is very typical Chetan Bhagat; an Indian setting in an easy and flowing language. The book is very well written in terms of ease, readability and flow of story throughout the book.

The story is setup in a backdrop of Gujrat, the mail lead of the story Govind is a guy who tries to commit suicide and emails his suicide note to the author. The author traces him from far across the world and comes to meet him. The story continues in the flashback completely. Here again like Five Point Someone the main character Govind takes a back seat as his friend takes a stronger role as Ish. The story is setup in the backdrop of Gujrat Earthquake and then Riots.

The characters have been well etched out and the overall read is quite good but the book lacks the sharpness of Five Point Someone. Somehow it looks to be half baked and looses finishing touch. Till the first mistake when Earthquake happens the reader remains at the edge of the seat and feels the passion of the three guys to grow the business. But after that the struggle to resurrect and low paced second mistake and third mistakes are too late in the plot and sometimes reader looses touch with the characters. And actually most of the events in the second half of the book were quite predictable and made the reader feel monotonous at times.

Chetan has tried to put in a lot of stuff and issues in one single book through one single story politics, passion, greed, hatred, and cricket however the mark that is left by the book is not so strong. Despite touching on such steaming topics like politics & religion through cricket but still it lacks that joi de vivre in the story.

Ps. I understand that it is unfair for this book to be compared to Five Point Someone but I believe it is Chetan’s Own Benchmark

Posted by Prats at 12:23 AM  

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

586 % Per Annum – New Age Money Lenders

Yes, if you thought money lenders were a rarely found species and is only found in rural interiors then you were wrong. The cheat poor farmers, by charging them interest rates as high as 50% per annum then you are again wrong. I, simple supply chain consultant was duped by my financer to pay an interest at a simplistic rates of 586.1064% per annum, yes I am not joking. If you think it is funny then its not and yes I never cheated in any of my exams; I am not an illiterate but just missed the fine print you know.

As my mom always complains that I don’t listen to elders; seems quite true in this case. When I completely misunderstood the ad for the State Bank of India, which said it aloud umpteen number of times through out the day “Only Banking and Nothing else” I didn’t got the hidden warning that I should not use any other Financial Product from SBI except banking and yes I became a proud owner of a Gold Credit Card of SBI. A genuine customer who always paid his bills on time; and in comes the creepy money lender worried about how he will earn if the bills are all cleared in time. This time he decided to roll his sinister plans against this bachelor guy in Hyderabad.

The guy always had the habit of paying the bills in the 1000s the pattern was being observed by the money lender. He used to pay 7000 when the bill was 6600, used to pay 12000 when the bill was 11200. This time he paid a mere 15,000 of his bill of 15,643.46 and the eyes of the shylock oops the money lender shone with greed and he appropriately charged an interest of 314.28 from the guy.

Yes the money lender was SBI Credit Cards, one firm which I had immense trust on because of their banking history in my family. And the guy was me who had to pay an interest of Rs. 314.28 per month on and outstanding sum of Rs. 643.36. And yes they never forgot to charge the Rs. 38.85 of taxes to the government. Eventually I paid up an interest at the whooping rates of 586.1064% per annum. Yes I got my credit card closed immediately and vowed that I would never do any business with SBI cards people.

For all those who are applying for the credit cards from SBI, they have a policy that in case of a part payment the interest is charged on the complete bill amount instead of the amount due. So for example if on bill of Rs. 1,00,010 you pay Rs. 1,00,000 and Rs 10 are remaining as a balance. Then at the gold card interest rates they will charge you an interest of something over Rs. 2000 over the due Rs. 10. That might just amount to an interest rates of 2,41,082.2% annum. I am sure there isn’t a profitable business in the world than this new age money lending.

Posted by Prats at 1:07 AM  

Saturday, May 03, 2008

P(h)UNJABI BY NATURE

Day before yesterday I visited Punjabi by Nature. I would certainly classify this is as one of the premium eating out joints in Hyderabad. A Delhi based chain; which has set its feet in Hyderabad is yet in a very nascent stage. A lot of improvement is required to meet the expectation of the customers who had been to the other PBN outlets in Delhi, However when compared to other eating out places this stands as one of the must go places.

The location of the restaurant is right in the heart of the city, at Banjara Road Number 12. The parking is congested and the Valet Parking also doesn’t turns out to be effective as at peak times the Valet are too occupied with the rush.

The restaurant has a grand look with two floors and a dark wooden ambience with blue lighting. The seating is comfortable, not as good as Tandoor or Tadka (More about this later) but can be classified as fairly good. The cutlery is all with a silver tinge and gives you a royal feeling for the overall restaurant. There are plasma TVs in the Restaurant but they are not appropriately placed as the view gets obstructed from most of the seats. However strangely I tried three tables and each one of them was wobbling in nature which was a great disappointment. One arrangement was so pathetic that u can’t even rest your hands on it while eating or talking.

The service in the restaurant is very good; the table assists are always attentive and cooperative of the customer demands and requirements. The treatment was amazing and royal with the relevant advice and suggestions while ordering not a desperate sales pitch to boost restaurant sales.

The menu was very restrictive in terms of choice and options. There were not many dishes to choose from. The menu was grand made of wood and heavy in weight but didn’t had too many options and restricted the customer choice. One more thing which actually was missed was no Liquor being available (On enquiry it was told that their license was awaited and the liquor would be soon available).

We ordered for a paneer lahori masala, mixed vegetable raita, aloo gobhi parantha and lacha parantha all the dishes were wonderful. Specially the paneer was cooked in a very dexterous manner where the gravy and softnesss of the cottage cheese cubes were almost melting in my mouth. The yoghurt or the curd was not natural but tailored so as to make it sweet and thick and tasted very good. The breads were huge in size and very filling. One parantha was sufficient for one person. The food is one of the best I have had in numerous restaurants.

For all this Punjabi by Nature would classify as grossly expensive. Our total bill including taxes for the above order was thousand bucks. A decent dinner here might just go above six to seven hundred bucks per head easily without any liquor. The vegetables are generally priced at Rs 325 and above. While the lentils at Rs. 295 and Youghurts at Rs. 125. The breads were priced at Rs 50 for normal breads and Rs 100 for the stuffed breads (But given the size of the breads the price is quite justified.)

Overall Fun-jabi by Nature is a must go place for special occasion.

  • You should go to Punjabi By Nature because –
  • You want to enjoy awesome ambience
  • To have amazingly good Punjabi/North Indian Food
  • Just to pamper yourself royally in terms of food
  • Enjoy a place with very good service.

You should not go to Punjabi By Nature-

  • Grossly Expensive
  • You would like a wide variety in the menu
  • You prefer liquor with the food.

Posted by Prats at 2:17 PM