Recently I came across a forwarded email on speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quindlen at the graduation ceremony of an American university. There was something which made me to reflect on some of the important aspect of life.
The self concept within us can be considered to be self centric from the periphery of life; but it is not fully true. After education we, most of us, take an aspiring career and fix our routine into some well defined commands. In profession we focus most of our energy to fulfill expectations of the organization. Remaining energy is used for the expectation of parents, spouse and children. The only personal expectation which drives us seems to be promotion, salary increment or a better job in highly competitive environment which is least of personal in nature. All these convert our life from hours to days, days to years, and years to ages and in return we make stress as part of our life. By definition, in the case mentioned above, we are selfish but actually we are not as hardly we are doing anything for our real self
In the process we lose our actual requirement of real self. Have we ever reflected to notice that how quickly we are losing our hobbies, friends and love in the journey of life. Can we recall things which fascinated us and we ever thought of living with those. Hobbies for example, books, movies, travel, writing, sports or anything for that matter, can you recall the last time you actively participated to your satisfaction. Take your mobile phone and check the numbers of your old college friend and ask yourself when last time you have talked to them and shared your feeling as you used to do in college days. Think of your parents when, last time, you’d delighted them as you used to do throughout your childhood like your first step, first word, first result, first achievement and then many. Actually we are missing the real happiness which is eternal; instead we are in search of pseudo worldly things and assume those as source of happiness which is very temporary.
It is right time to rethink and discover source of eternal happiness for our real self. If we are successful in doing so the definition of “selfish” will be changed with a positive meaning. And believe me if you successfully discover real you, the other professional and family expectations will also be in right place.


Realty and Retail

Though India’s GDP projections look good as made by World Economic Outlook (WEO) released recently by the IMF, India is likely to register a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7.9 per cent in 2008-09, which may slip to 6.9 per cent in 2009-10; the effect of credit crunch is visible in two sectors; realty and retail.

In Mumbai most of the developers have discovered credit route from private financers at a very high cost of borrowing varies from 36 to 48% in last one to two months. This is in anticipation of better comeback of property demand. However the recent property expo was disappointing for such developers. The prices depend on demand which is most uncertain. Bangalore and Gurgaon prices have seen significant corrections and Mumbai it is expected soon by a minimum 20 to 30%.

Full post at wealthyson

Fundamentals of Indian economy

One financial crisis in US and the equity market in the whole world shaken up with significant decline. Fundamental equations of various industries are questioned and depression took over. How safe is Indian market? All analysis indicates no fundamental error but global depression and rumors have sufficient potential to prove these analysis wrong. I should be positive but negatives can not be ignored in sudden panic environment all across.
Can you estimate how much a panic environment may create a damage? Recent rumors on ICICI bank followed by crash of its stock price is just one of the several such examples. Deposit ratios and leverage of Indian banks are much healthier than that of several top performing banks of US and Europe and still the prices are falling. Again fundamentally nothing is that bad as it is reflected in falling stock prices. Another potential damage is redemption pressure on mutual funds creating a negative cycle of further depression by killing the option of Indian MFs to use their liquidity to invest in declining market.
Let us park rumors and depression aside for a moment and try to analyze some of the fundamental issues of Indian equity market which may affect future of market after stabilizing from current turmoil.
1. First and foremost is the question of decoupling of Indian economy from US. Is it really possible? In one of the interview with Uday Kotak, director of Kotak Mahindra bank recommends that India should stop depending on global flows and start relying more on its domestic savings and domestic ability. The only question to address is the future of globalised Indian industry like IT which triggered Indian GDP growth to more than 8% in past few years and attracted most of global inflows.
2. Second is actual estimate of GDP growth. If the current situation stays for some more time, it will affect the demand. Maintaining more than 7.5% growth will be a challenge. If it drops below 6.5% which is very unlikely as the fundamentals are still okay, the global inflows will be affected.
3. Third is competition with other emerging economies especially China for preferred investment destination. Both economies are having various strengths. The differences to asses are types of governance, service vs. manufacturing capabilities and fiscal deficit vs. fiscal surplus.
4. Fourth is monetary policy. On one hand; RBI announcing further rate cut by 150 basis point, on the other inflation is still above 11%. Further cut in CRR and SLR is expected to manage the current liquidity crisis with some boost to GDP. Monetary policy will be interesting to watch if the objective is to decouple Indian economies from developed countries as I discussed in point no one above. The challenge for the policy makers is how to address issues of both Inflation and growth together.
5. And finally Upcoming union elections and the result.

“Nishkam Karma”, action without attachment

The concept of “Nishkama Karma”, action without attachment to both action/work and fruits expected there after, as mentioned in Hindu holy book Bhagwad Gita, can solve many of the management problems and can confuse few too.
One of the most popular saying of Bhagwad Gita is always misunderstood. The following stanza is always misunderstood as ” Do your work/duty without expecting any fruit/result”. Actually it is slightly different and can be explained with some more concepts mentioned in the very beginning lessons of Bhagwad Gita. I have interpreted in some different ways and tried to think it from the management perspective.
The Gita limits our domain of influence to our “Karma” only and not thereafter (ref; chapter 2, 47). So results of “Karma” are not in our hand. But if the definition of word “Karma” is analyzed closely it will confuse the above interpretation. Karma is not merely work but it is work for duty. Karma is not only activity but also it is activity with a positive purpose. When there is duty or activity with a purpose, Karma becomes Dharma. “Dharma” can be correlated with the ultimate goal of the life. So, though you should not be instrumental in making your actions bear fruit (chapter 2, 47), you may design your actions for your ultimate goal, the “Dharma”. When we talk about fruits, it is actually outcomes of your sequence of actions in the way to ultimate goal. Good or bad, there should not be any attachment to these outcomes. And so these outcomes should not divert you from your ultimate goal.
What are the benefits of detachment from fruits? As per the Gita, in advance stage of attaining yoga, there should be detachment from “Karma” too. This also have very interesting interpretation but I will try to discuss it in some other post. All these attachments creates aggression, fear and anger. Carrying forward from the conclusion in above paragraph, aggression, fear and anger have all the potential to divert you from your ultimate goal by changing your course of actions in search of pleasurable fruits. So to make your goal and your actions intact we must have stable mind. The Gita defines it as “Samatva”, evenness of mind. (chapter 2, 48).
From management perspective, replace Karma with strategy and Dharma or ultimate goal with vision or mission of the organization and all the above interpretations will hold true.
Your comments carry significant value
References from Gita
Chapter2,47; Your right is to work only and never to fruit thereof. Be not instrumental in making your actions bear fruit, nor let your attachment be to inaction.
Chapter2, 48; “Samatva”, evenness of mind is called “Yoga”.
Chapter2, 56; The sage, whose mind remains unperturbed amid sorrows, whose thirst for pleasures has altogether disappeared, and who is free from passion, fear and anger, is called stable of mind.
Chapter2,57; He who is unattached to everything, and when meeting with good and evil, neither rejoices nor recoils, his mind is stable.