Tag Archives: Corporate

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch

So the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 is getting launched on August 10, and Indiblogger is hosting an awesome contest where they have some awesome give aways and a chance to become Samsung Mobiler which means you get to have a first hand experience of all the new Samsung Mobile products.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch

Now that the greedy devil and gadget freak I am, and an awesome technology Samsung produces it is pretty obvious that I am entering this contest. So you would get a live view and feed of the Samsung Galaxy Tab launch right here on Ginger & Cardamom. Also there is a post coming on the “Tab” very soon. Till then pray that I get this free Tab 🙂


25 Things To Do In Bangalore

Saw this post at Ratzz on things to do in the city you live in. Found it quite interesting, and since that I have lived in a lot of cities I might do it for some which I know well. So here is a list of 25 things to do when you are in Bangalore.

1-      Take a walk on the Brigade Road on a Saturday evening

2-      Eat Masala Dosa at Vidhyarthi Bhavan

3-      Take a stroll across the Lal Bagh

4-      Watch the sunrise over Nandi Hills

5-      Have a ride in the Red Volvo busses

6-      Do some window shopping at UB City Mall

7-      Have a cup of coffee in silver tumblers at Maiyas or MTR

8-      Have a Kingfisher beer  at Dewars’ the oldest bar in the beer capital

9-      Take a drive through electronic city or Whitefield to see the pulse of technology hotspots

10-   Visit the Vidhan Sabha of Karnataka on Sunday evenings or on Public holiday evenings when the lighting is on

11-   Have an authentic Uttar Kannada meal at Kamat Lokaruchi (pref on Mysore Road)

12-   Have a Gobhi(Cauliflower) Manchurian from the street peddler

13-   On a rainy evening get out for drive in cars around 6 in the evening to have a real taste of Bangalore traffic

14-   Take a stroll across the Cubbon Park

15-   Shop for Kaveri Handicrafts or Sandalwood in Majestic

16-   Have a drink at ‘The Thirteenth Floor’ followed by dinner at ‘Ebony’ Retaurant overlooking the skyline of Banglore

17-   Visit Visvesvariya Industrial & Technical Museum

18-   Visit the 16th century Bull Temple

19-   Visit the Blossoms Book Store if you are a book lover

20-   Visit the Rangashankara for a splendid theatrical performances

21-   Have piping hot Idlis at Brahmins

22-   Have a trip to Wonder La amusement park

23-   Have some gourmet cakes and pastries at Sugar & Spice, the patisserie at the Taj Vivanta at Trinity Circle.

24-   Spot some wildlife and animals at Bannerghatta National park

25-   Just take a walk in the evenings reminiscing the weather and if you are lucky there would be mild a drizzle soothing your face anywhere and anytime in Bangalore

Well this from someone who has been here in this city for close to two years, so if you folks have got to add something on Bangalore the comments is an open house.

Life Lessons from a Paani Puri Wala

I have been away from this blog for a long time but that is not what is troubling me right now. The reason for the lack of updates is not that I have been terribly busy, which I have been, thanks for asking by the way. I have been thinking about lot of things about my life, the stuff I do at work and otherwise. Its good to introspect some time and raise questions about life and the direction of it. A lot of questions were raised including the reason for existence of this space, and the relevance of it in my life.

 

This month of May has been more of a learning experience for me. I have met a lot of new people travelled to a totally new place, but I witnessed something today which brought on the surface a lot of things which were simmering down under my mind. To set the context I would summarize about myself and my life a little. I am a 29 year old guy (man still sounds too old) with a business management degree from one of the finest B-Schools in India (No it is not my usual satire and I am not a shining diamond from the Chaudhary & Sons vulture venture) employed with one of the best known consulting firms in the country.

 

Coming back to today’s incident, I was returning from office early evening and it started raining cats & dogs. I was in a hurry to reach back home and log back in for work, but the lack of visibility from rain and the additional craziness of the Bangalore traffic slowed me down and I was actually observing the roads and surroundings while driving. This was when I observed a Paani-Puri wala on the side of the road. He had a small round stall of thin bamboo sticks like generally the street vendors have and he had a red cloth and a piece of plastic tied around to support Paani-Puris. He was standing on the footpath holding another huge sheet of plastic over his Paani-Puris to make sure they don’t get wet and spoiled. I could see him his hands keeping the sheet tight protecting his stall and getting drenched in the process.

 

The fact that it rained with utmost intensity and it kept raining till 2300 hrs it was highly unlikely that he would have got any customers for his Paani-Puris. Also given the highly windy rains for such a long period would have ensured that his Puris were all damp and he won’t be able to reuse them in any case. The way he was standing in the rain getting all drenched he also might have gotten sick. I think he knew all of this all along when he was sticking out in the rain protecting his business out there in the middle.

 

When I see people like him, is when my mind questions the littleness of things I do in my life. I tend to question my own work ethic in front of the dedication of this Paani-Puri wala, his love for his work & business compared to mine. I am saying this all in the light of that I have had one of the busiest months in my career and I haven’t slept for more than 4 hours since last few days. I have heard from so many colleagues that consulting is a high pressure industry and how we need to slog (which is true) but still I feel I have it lot easier compared to guys like these.

 

I also tend to wonder that what exactly holds me back to stick out like that guy for my work. I don’t think this has got to do anything to do with follow your heart and do what you love fad which is going around; I don’t really think that guy is following his passion of being a Paani-Puri wala (possible but too hard to believe). Is it because I have a qualifications that give me a comforting factor that I will be able to earn my living while he fights for his earnings everyday? Or is it because that irrespective of his size of business he owns it and feels responsible for it and I look and argue for every task that whose responsibility and job description it is? Or is it that despite being a Paani-Puri wala who might not even be educated has a clear sense of direction how he is going to move to the next phase of life by selling Paani-Puris while I clearly have loss of direction where I am going with all my work and what I intend to do with my life?

 

I really don’t know the answer, which might be simple or may be a complex mixture of everything above, but I am glad that two seconds of view of that Paani-Puri wala gave me a set of questions to think about and may be seek answers to them. So what do you guys think of these grass root level entrepreneurs, don’t they have a lot to teach us and make us ponder?

 

Corporate Atyachar

Author: Abhay Nagranjan

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

Price: 100/-

Corporate Atyachar is another book in the league of what I call been there done that books. The book spins a story around a fresh out of college graduate in the world of HNI (High Net-worth Individual) Banking and wealth management. Though the story of the book revolves around some clichéd topics like horrifying weirdo clients, a disgusting boss, and the nuances of the wealth management industry; the essence of the book lies in the way the story has been told. The best part which makes the book different and more enjoyable is that Abhay has stayed clear off the usual romance angle in the book and has stuck to what he does the best, adding situational humor in the wealth management setup.

The protagonist is fresh out of college, with no certain direction or goal in lives. He finds his life in the job where he submerges himself to survive and extremely disgusting boss which he names as Human Ball Scratcher (HBS). The characterizations are fairly good bringing out the finer aspects of the industry and highlighting the idiosyncrasies of the high profile net-worth clients. The story of a dominating banker, a puppy loving yuppie, Thai massage loving old man all leave a very amusing note in your mind enjoying the situational humor.

The story is pretty fast paced and well written, however the event sequence is rather flat. The story begins with a moderate pace and maintains it through out the book. The ending of the book is not what we call as firmly terminal, the author has left it dangling in a subtle manner so that the scope is sequel cannot be ruled out. On the downside the editing effort on the book could have been a bit better; some grammatical and contextual mistakes could have been avoided.

Summary: A nice realistic tale of a guy who is caught in wealth management industry amidst horrible clients and a dreadful boss. A nice light read for entertainment and can be surely picked up for a nice time on 2-3 hour flight.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Bala Takes The Plunge

Author: Melvin Durai
Publisher: Hachette India

Price: 195/-

Bala takes the plunge is a story of the great American dream of the Indian middle class. How we as a society measure the success of our children by their capability to get into engineering/medical and the secure the most coveted US Visa to perform desk jobs while earning in dollars.

The protagonist Bala is another scapegoat of this great American dream by his civil engineer father. His ambition of being a movie director and cast his all time favorite super star Rajnikanth in a movie was sold for a engineering degree from a college in Chennai from where he moved to USA. The entire journey from being an aspiring director to a qualified engineer to a US resident and a director of a different kind (director of manufacturing in a fitness equipment company) is filled with funny incidents and quips ranging from the lines in US consulate to the status Corel dinner sets in Indian homes.

The second phase of the book, which is longest one, unfolds in US where the focus shifts from a struggling engineer to a well settled lonely professional desperate for a female company. The story revolves around Bala living in constant fear of being dominated again to marry to someone of his parents’ choice. The funny journey of Bala seeking companionship in sales girls of the grocery stores, matrimonial sites and finally in his pet dog which he named America.

The story finally converges towards it end when he comes back to India on insistence of his parents to see fair and lovely (pun intended) girls chosen by his parents. There his life takes some dramatic turns and he finds the love and probably a greater purpose in life.

The strength of the book lies in the humorous narrative done by Melvin, who has exploited the common incidents which happen in life a funny take. The tragedy and desperation of the protagonist Bala is the chief source of comedy which continues to tickle every time he fails to find love in his life. An area where Melvin could have improved the book is the pace of the narrative or the story; when the first part of the books are fast paced and riveting making a good build up while the second part loses the pace and grasp on the reader who has the pace in line with the build up.

Also there are multiple references to Rajnikath and his dialogues from various movies, which might add a distinct flavor to the book for someone who understands and follows Rajnikanth and Tamil.

Summary: A nice read to enjoy on a journey or a flight. If you are a Rajnikanth Fan and know Tamil movies it’s the icing on the cake..

Rating: 2.5/5

Release Day 29

“No, I cannot release you. How can you quit in such critical stage this is like a betrayal” the boss said.
“But you said I was good for nothing last appraisal”
“Oh no, I can’t let you go, no matter what”

He stood up and slapped him tightly after all he couldn’t fire him anyways.

Being a Panelist

Love Life & All That Jazz

Love Life & All That Jazz


I would be on a panel for a book reading event of Love Life and All That Jazz. The event is being organized at the Landmark Book Store at Forum Mall in Koramangla, Bangalore on May 12, 2010 6:30 PM. I would like invite you for attending the event for interesting discussions and more insight on the books & the world around us. If you happen to be around or planning to visit the event, I would love to meet you in person.

Book Review: Dork By Sidin Vadukut

Author: Sidin Vadukut
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Price: 199/-

Dork

Dork


Dork, basically is a book written taking a jibe on the consulting industry. It at a very primitive level showcases the disillusionment of the management graduates wrapped in the humor. It is the first book from the famous blogger and online editor of WSJ-LiveMint.

The book is primarily a tone of humor which is characteristically of Sidin, as in his blog. The read as an entire book and the plot is average, though the breezy humor in parts keeps you interested.

The setting of the book starts from the campus interview and moves to the world of consulting industry very soon. The main feature of the book, no doubt is the humor which at instances would keep you in splits. However, the book looses out majorly in connecting the protagonist with the audience. In an attempt to make it humorous Sidin has led the character of Robert Einstein Verghese so distant from the reality that as a reader you would not believe he can be for real.

This loss of connect, actually results in lack of engagement from the reader. You don’t tend to love the protagonist, or hate him (despite his stupidity). At most he leaves you irritated by his stupidity.

Though the book does depict shades of reality for the management graduates in the consulting industry, the exaggeration of the industry and the characters have been far away from reality. But one thing which stood out was absolutely fabulous promotion banner (Shared below) and the hilarious back cover and the words of praise on it. Typical Sidin humor at its best.
Dork Banner

Summary- Pick it up only for a breezy read during travel.

Rating- 2.5 /5

Corporate Oxymorons

If you remember this old post of mine, where I came up with a list of Oxymoron applicable in the world of business schools, you would know that the time is ripe for version two applicable in corporate.
So here I present 10 oxymoron used in the corporate world-

1- Internet Access
2- Relaxed Working Environment
3- Understanding Boss
4- Executive Director
5- Customer Care
6- Work Life
7- Long Weekend
8- Exciting Monday
9- Friendly Policies
10- Cooperative Administration

Any more additions are welcome in the comments section

The Time When I Quit

Recently I quit my first job, it was an emotional and significant moment of my life and career. I wrote a parting shot part which would leave the people smiling as you know I hate sad good byes. So here is what I wrote-

I always use to get last day at office emails from people I didn’t knew(actually sometimes people I knew too) I always wondered that is it customary or they do it plain to make likes of me jealous. I had thought that I will simply get out of here, if I ever did, with silence and dignity. Now that you are already reading this we can all agree this ain’t gonna happen. So my best parting shot from here would be create a mail that would at least make you smile for a while and trust me on this I will put all my effort and won’t let any kind of truth stand in between the satire and humor of the mail.

Now that I have set the context of the letter, I came here after doing a soft engineering course and a professional business management course after which I landed for my first job, it was nothing like I could have ever dreamt of. It was surprisingly different, different than any of my colleges, or companies where I did internships and projects, it was like being back to school, and as the old adage goes school days are the best days of life things were similar yet a bit different here. I was always happy and scared of the school over time, when the last bell rang and the gates were thrown open you could see a crowd running towards the gate and at that time it was next to impossible to stop those enthusiastic kids, I have always had a same feeling here, when you stand amidst the path towards the exit gate around 6o clock bus time. I had a feeling that if I walked in an opposite direction people might push my giant frame to the ground and walk over. And somehow the look on the people’s face was satisfying, I actually made it a point to stand on the side lines of the food court and watch people leave. The times have come to an end, the kid has decided to be a drop out from this school.

Generally people are thankful and express gratitude in their last emails, I am not sure but my first and foremost gratitude should be conveyed to the person who conceived the idea to have a Café Coffee Day inside the campus, because of whom I have been branded as a person who has more caffeine than blood in his body by my own team. Not to forget the security guards who always ensured that I walked on the pavements instead of roads, lest I get run over by lorry’s and speeding traffic in an automotive free campus. I would like to thank the cleaning folks who actually thought it would be a great idea to clean the windows of my ECC room at 2 in the night hanging by the 5th floor, I was definitely entertained to see a person hanging outside my 5th floor window waving something weird at me in the half sleep.

Now that you have realized there is nothing worthwhile in this mail to actually read further and identified it was a complete waste of time. Actually you are cursing me for writing this one and then even sending this across to you, you may go back to work. Before you delete this mail, please enter these 2 mins spent reading this mail in the timesheet under code TWRLDM- Time Wasted Reading Trashy Last Day Mail, after all we are all serious about reporting our work hours people, aren’t we?

On a serious note, Adieu to all of you. I have made friends here which I would cherish my entire life, I have learned a lot through the people whom I have worked with. The HR folks made me give up everything I had related to this company from the computers, to phone, to the I-cards but one thing they won’t be able to take away is my friendship with people here and memories of good times I have had here. I express my sincere thanks to everyone who made my journey here worthwhile. This would be my last day here and henceforth I would be reachable at Email@id or can be followed through my website http://prats.co.in

Good Byes for now and as Daniel Ocean said, “See ya when I see ya”.

Prats