The Xtra Day Special

I was wondering for a long time, what to write about this extra day we get once every 4 years. My wondering went far to wonder what other people might be wondering to do on this wonderful ‘Xtra’ day. Then I thought we all wonder what other people are doing but never wonder what our government is up to. I went to a search engine and typed ‘Government Initiatives’ in India. With some flipping and scrolling and then trying combinations, I came across this->

Gujarat Solar electricity project

Translation of Marathi wordings: Ahmedabad- To generate more electricity, the Gujarat State Electricity Board has come up with a novel idea of literally putting up solar panels on a flowing canal. By putting up solar panels on the approximately 100 kms long canal, they have not only saved space, but also provided cover to the canal (thereby reducing evaporation in Summers).

I never thought government could be so innovative. This can only happen in Gujarat. Bravo!

One Way to Effectively Use Electrical Power

This is my contribution to VoiCE blog. You can read the original article here.

Have you ever experienced how irritating it can be when the the power supply goes off? Outages are common in most cities in India, baring a few metros. And it causes the highest discomfort to the people. As a result people look to solve the problems. Possible solutions are fitting an inverter in the house (which typically lights 3-4 tube lights and 3-4 fans). Or installing a generator to support larger loads. In any case, both are costly options. But what if you could find some thing cheap, convenient, less noisy, less cumbersome to install and more environmental friendly? Continue reading

5 Things A Software Startup Firm Must Not Forget

This is a back post from my contribution to the VoiCE blog. Find the original article here.

India is a land of opportunities these days. The last decade saw lot of new technology companies letting their baby cry out and then biting dust as well. Delving deep inside the ones who failed and the ones whose success sky rocketed, we come to know why some were successful while most of them bit the dust. Here are the following simple steps a new company must never forget before getting into business-

1. Plan for the future– Most companies, whether service providers or product developers try to emulate what is already there in the market. While it might earn you business immediately, you need to keep yourself abreast of what the future of your product/service is going to be. New technology becomes obsolete even before it reaches the masses in the corners of the world. Plan for future. Your services might be a hit today. But they will soon be useless if you dont improve upon them.

2. Handle your product life cycle well– Every product has a life cycle. It starts slow. With good marketing, it picks up and the consumption of your product/service increases. If you meet the expectations of the users, the value continues to grow till a time it reaches the maturity. Lot of companies fail to understand the maturity phase and when the product starts its decline. They keep on milking the cow when they should have been raising another calf. As a result, just version control doesn’t help and the product falls steeply in the gorge.

3. Standardize– Indians have a habit of customizing every thing. It leads to many bad things such as slow delivery process, difficulty in getting the right expertise, too many different versions and hampers the brand name of the service/product. Instead, your focus should be on standardization. It is good to give options to the customers. But even the options must have standard configurations and most desired features. Apply the pareto’s rule. 80% of the users are going to be satisfied by 20% of your features. So you have room to experiment with the rest.

4. Collaborate– No company achieved every thing on his own. To ensure better performance and usability of your product/service, complement it with matching products/services from other companies. Make sure it adds value. It will also help you sustain better in case of slow down or product failures.

5. Technology and People– Please note that better technology and better people are the only two things that contribute to the success of any IT firm. Respect your people and update them as well as yourself with the latest trends and game changing innovations. There will be people with brilliant ideas and very bad executions. Boeing learnt from Douglas’s mistake and went on to become the largest aircraft company in the world. Remember!

Hope this was useful.

Maharani Gayatri Devi

Maharani_Gayatri_DeviI’m feeling very sad deep inside my heart that Rajmata Gayatri Devi is no longer with us now. She passed away yesterday at the age of 90. No, I was not connected to her in any way. (But alas, wish I could have been, anyway). But I’m her fan just like that.

My association with her (rather her fame) goes back to my late teens. I read her interview in Times of India’s erstwhile supplement, Men & Women. I think I was 17 or 18 then. I was instantly awestruck by the aura and the splendor of her beauty. She must be approaching 80s by then. Yet one could feel the charisma in the way she had answered the questions. A princes from Kooch Bihar and a descendant of the Gaikwad family of Baroda, she was married to Sawai Mansingh II, the enigmatic Maharaja of Jaipur. Gayatri Devi was once included inVogue magazine’s Ten Most Beautiful Women list.

I will miss you Maharani!

PS: After some hunting I finally laid my hand on the book. “A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur”. Believe me, it is a very good read.

Ask questions to Wolfram Alpha creator

Guys, here is a golden opportunity for you to ask questions to Dr. Stephen Wolfram, the creators of Wolfram Alpha! For those who dont know, Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that draws on multiple sources to answer user queries directly.

Dr. Wolfram has agreed to have a short conversation with Crazyengineers. Interested to have your queries answered? just click–> here!

Slumdog Millionaire wins Oscar awards

oscarsjpgDanny Boyle’s much acclaimed movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ swept the Oscar awards willing in 8 out of 10 categories in which it was nominated. This includes Best Picture and Best Direction for Danny Boyle, Best Original Song and Best Original Score for A R Rahman (for ‘Jai Ho…’) Best Film Editing for Chris Dickens, Best Sound Mixing for Ian Tapp, Resul Pookutty, Best Cinematography for Anthony Dod Mantle and Best Adapted Screenplay for Simon Beaufoy.

Jai Ho! Congratulations to the team and the people who made it possible.

Holy SAP

Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan in Shegaon is known to be one of the holy places in Vidarbha sub-state. I was reading through a magazine today and an interesting article caught my eye concerning the same regional institution. Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan has deployed SAP ERP solution to manage their day to day operations.

Holy SAP! I was indeed amused, though not surprised. With over 5000 donations and 2000 vendors to manage on a daily basis, the institution is arguably one of the busiest in state. Few years back, the entire process was managed manually. Keeping track of numerous transactions was obviously very painful. Students from adjoining engineering college, also a part of the same sansthan (institution) helped the temple develop a legacy software to partially keep track of the transactions. However as the number kept increasing, the need of an ERP surfaced. What started as an engineering project turned out to be one of the most comprehensive SAP ERP deployments at a non-profit organization in the country. The students were helped by Indian IT majors Patni Computer Systems, L& T Infotech and Tech Mahindra.

Even god has now become tech savvy. Bravo! Gajanan Maharaj ki Jay!

(Source: Networking Magazine)

An appeal to save children: UNICEF

Over 6000 children die every day in India due to preventable diseases, mostly neo natal or due to agravations of we humans. (Source, UNICEF) 

*While we are safely sitting in our offices/homes, there are small children fighting to breathe one more time in close places distant from our corrupt minds. Reason? mostly ignorance or inability to access basic medical care. The ones who survive the nature are probably done in by their own people. There is no dearth of violation of children’s protection rights in the country who worships ‘gopal krishna’, such shame on we devotees. Starting from child labor, child traffiking to commercial sexual exploitation, we as a society do it all with them. Look around you and you will find enough instances of violence and various abuses. What are we doing for them? Nothing… a big NOTHING!

(*Source Unicef) With an estimated 15 million children engaged in hazardous occupations, for instance, India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world. Although poverty is often cited as the cause underlying child labour, other factors such as discrimination, social exclusion, as well as the lack of quality education or existing parents’ attitudes and perceptions about child labour and the role and value of education need also to be considered. In states like Bihar, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, 60 per cent or more girls dropped out before completing their five years primary education. SHAME!

Trafficking is another major issue that INdia needs to sort out. Not only forced commercial sex, even coercing some one into early marriage is an offense and an intorelable violence. Unicef reports that 40% of women sex workers enter this profession before the age of 18. Most of the attempts of the NGOs and the likes of UNICEF fall flat as rehabilitating such individuals is indeed a strenous process.

We, including me, keep talking about growing Indian economy and how incompetent we Indians are to come up with some thing unique. I have also been into debates questioning why can’t we be a US or a Japan. The reason lies in the fact that we are hugely ignorant. We all lack at the grass root level where as our counterparts are way ahead. But we all can help. Last December I donated a small amount to an NGO here in Mumbai to support the education of one child. I will continue to do so. If you want to hel too, click on this link. Make a donation or a pledge today. Who knows one rupee per day from you might turn out to be a helping hand in the making of yet another Abdul Kalam.      


Selecting the right job

PS: This is going to be a long post.

I recently posted a question on the linkedin network not knowing that I would get such an over whelming response. I have come across many people who have a yes-no situation when it comes to accepting the right role. I thought probably the visitors of my blog might as well benefit from the suggestion I got. So here is my question:

How do you decide a job or a role is right or wrong for you?
Explanation: I’m a sales strategy and presales guy with some expertise in outsourcing services and IT. Frankly speaking I have rejected more job offers than companies who have rejected me and decided not to offer. But there have been too many such instances in the recent past. The main reason is my inability to decide and go for a job/role. While I know what I want to become in the long run, I’m not able to decide what should I be looking at in terms of a company or a role. I seek help to over come this dilemma from my connects.

Here are some of the responses:

Vijay Reddy, Executive HR at Infosys:- Clarify what you are.Then every thing follows.First set an expectation for you which makes you to choose your role.

Soundara Rajan Srinivasan, Director at a Fortune 50 MNC:- Here are some criteria you could use to decide whether a particular job role is suited to you or not:
1. Do you really a passion for the kind of work that you will be expected to perform in the role you are offered
2. Do you think the job or role is worth your time and values that you personally care for
3. Does the job meet your long term goals or will it help you meet your long term goals
Pretty simple is it not?

Subhashish Paul, Sr. Executive at MGL:- Hi Mayur,
1) To decide whether a job or a role is right or wrong you have to do the fundamental analysis for yourself – SWOT! I am sure by now you know what are your strengths and weaknesses so the nest step is to see where is it that you want to go with your career (i mean what is that you want to do). There is a difference between what you are currently doing and what you “wish” to be doing. Something like asking yourself what is your passion?! For example, my passion is marketing and pre sales. So the next time you are being offered a job role think about if the job role is in line with what you want to do for the next 3-5 years (You can’t just keep changing jobs. Its better you pick a job that you like so that you stick to it for sometime).

2) A job offers – role, pay, location and brand name. Now you have to set your priorities and work towards these four parameters! Seldom will you get all the four parameters in a offer. So set your priorities first and this will in turn help you to choose the job that you are looking for!

Hope the inputs helped.

Phil Lidster, a consultant in knowledge management:- Hello Mayur
I might be reading more into your question than I should. But are you seeing any new job role as simply a means to an end? – “…I know what I want to become in the long run, I’m not able to decide what should I be looking at in terms of a company or a role.”.

Clearly there is a lot to be said for having long term goals, but sometimes these can be restrictive. You might be capable of achieving a lot more than you imagine. If you take a job that will give you work that you enjoy, in a company that allows you to develop your talents, who knows where it might lead? Why not go for work that you truly enjoy and find fufilling?

Best of luck

Abi Stevens, Client Management Executive at People Smart Consultants:- Personally speaking a majority of professionals choose an assignment based on face value and not taking into account the relevant contributions that could be enacted out during the tenure of employment. But given the volatility of markets today, every call made on a potential employment swap could see one make or break one’s career path.

Frankly speaking, total dedication to one’s current role in order to build up a net worth would add value to take one’s candidature beyond white paper.

But then again if already into a seemingly bad call, it would only pay to wait and be opportunistic on a sound cut. My comment would be, to be absolutely sure of what you have done thus far and build up on your key abilities to harness your acquired expertise.

Natalie Reeve from Polkadotfrog Ltd:- You’re obviously in a very lucky position (i.e. not so desperate for cash that you’ll settle for any old job), so make the most of it as long as you can afford it! When the right job comes along you’ll know; it’ll offer you all the progression you need to become what you want to be, and your future boss will share the same ideas for your career path (even if it’s doing his/her job in 5-10 years time!).

It’s possible – hang in there, make sure you keep your eyes open and don’t miss it when that perfect opportunity becomes available!

Monica Begum, Journalist:- If you detect even the slightest degree of resistance, let that be a clear sign this ain’t the right path for you.

John S. Rajeski, International Business Development Executive:- Good day Mayur,
Check out ‘Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters’ and/or ‘What Color is Your Parachute’ – two excellent career development resources.
John S. Rajeski


Josie Summa, Principal Consultant at Redmond Consulting:- It’s quite ironic that you are in sales, yet you have trouble “buying.” Your problem is not knowing what it is you want to buy.

Decide where you want to be in 5 or 10 years and then decide what skills you will need in your toolbox to fulfill that role. Once you do this, develop several quantifiable criteria for judging any new job opportunty. If the opportunity meets the criteria and “scores” well, then by accepting the job, you are one step closer to your long term goal (only you can decide the “go/no-go” score).

Good luck!


I hope these inputs will be useful who have a dilemma in selecting the right job or a role.

Large Hadron Collider whatever

Frankly speaking, before today morning when my friend told me about this experiment, I was conveniently and completely unaware of this Large Hadron Collider. I had to spend some time on the internet and watch some news channels to know what it exactly does.

As per my understanding it is the most complex scientific instrument ever built in the scientific or engineering history of mankind. The Large Hadron Collider or the LHC promises to recreate the conditions right after the Big Bang. (Remember the big bang theory of evolution?) By revisiting the beginning of time, scientists hope to unravel some of the deepest secrets of our Universe.

As we all know (and as I read wikipedia) within these first few moments the building blocks of the Universe were created. This was the moment when the fundamental particles were created and this is the only moment when the appeared. The search for these fundamental particles has occupied scientists for decades but there remains one particle that has stubbornly refused to appear in any experiment. It is the Higgs Boson. (read it on wiki) The Higgs Boson is so crucial to our understanding of the Universe that it has been dubbed the God particle. It explains how fundamental particles acquire mass, or as one scientist plainly states: “It is what makes stuff stuff…”

The LHC, which is world’s largest and the highest energy particle accelerator has now started functioning and is gearing up for the first collisions of proton particles. When activated, they say that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, and help in explaining how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. Now there are large theories circulating which say creation of the conditions that existed just after the big bang is dangerous. Some even say that there is a minute chance that the experiments could lead to a catastrophic conditions and distroy the earth. Meh! They released the first beam through the collider in the morning today and nothing has happened yet (Today is 10th September 2008. Lets see what happens when the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place on 21 October 2008.

Alright, after writing a page full of LHC I have just one question. What is the reason to go back in time? I don’t believe they spent over $6 billion on this experiment. Even India has contributed over $100 million. Gosh!