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Showing posts from December, 2011

Office Productivity Booster: 3 Tips I use

Here are three tips that i have personally benefited a lot from at work.

Read through your emails 2-3 times a dayStop checking your emails every few minutes. I use Lotus Notes for work emails and had replication set to 1 minute. Now, I have moved away from those crazy days and check mail between 2-3 times a day. Once at the beginning of the day and once more around around 3 pm in the afternoon. What this has done is left me a lot of time to do "actual work". I am now no more a slave to my emails. Stop multitaskingThis is really critical. Multitasking is crazy. There are tons of research on the ill-effects of multitasking on attention, concentration and ability of recall information. So, to really do quality work, just focus on do one thing at a time. If you are really keen, you can use the Pomodoro technique. I use it fairly regularly and think it brings in a good deal of focus as it forces you to work against the clock.Put your important tasks on your calendarPreviously most…

PM Talks Tough!!!

In a discussion with the leaders from Indian industry, Indian Prime Minister let his displeasure known. "It is a little disappointing to hear negative comments from our business leadership or be told that govt's policies are causing slowdown and pessimism. Such comments have added to uncertaintyand have emboldened those who have no stake in our economic growth."

It is like a school child who has failed in a class but is petulant and saying that why are you all saying that I have failed, it makes me look stupid in front of others!! The problem, Dr Singh, is that whether you like it or not, the govt and by extension you, have been performing miserably. No amount of talking tough or big is going to change that. Instead of raising your voice to these people, better do it with your coalition partners and your party members and get some real work done!

Bharat Ratna: Is the change in guidelines good?

Lately there has been a large hue and cry over the changing of the criteria for awarding the Bharat Ratna to "performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour". This is a modification from the previous criteria of restricting winners from the fields of art, literature, science and public services.

The detractors are saying that the rules have been changed to facilitate awarding Sachin Tendulkar. And since Sachin is a sportsperson, which is by nature "a form of entertainment" and does not contribute to nation-building, should be excluded. I have nothing to say for or against Sachin as an individual awardee. My only contention is that I am not very sure of how people like Bhimsen Joshi, Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Pt. Ravi Shankar, M. S. Subbulakshmi - all musicians have contributed to the "nation-building"!! Similarly, the award has been presented to all Prime Ministers that headed Congress governments. I am not sure how great a job was act…

Blogs: New focus

I am planning to make some clear demarcations between my two blogs. ValueInvstr would continue to focus on investing. I would focus on equity value investing, economic viewpoints, behavioral finance, financial news and views, financial book reviews and the very popular guru speak.

This blog will continue with an emphasis on my other interests - management, leadership, politics (again with emphasis on Indian and Bengal politics). 

Please feel free to comment on my posts (or send me emails as before).

Dream: How to control India's fiscal deficit?

Warren Buffet had two wonderful ideas that he has espoused over the years for fixing the fiscal deficit for US. Here let me outline two solutions that will go a long in solving this in India. But these ideas can also be extended to make governance work in India.

Solution 1:
Make a rule which automatically disqualifies all the sitting parliamentarians for running in the subsequent general elections once a threshold fiscal deficit target is breached!!

Solution 2:
Issue export certificates to all exporters for the dollar equivalent of their exports. Imports will be allowed only against a valid "export certificate". Create a secondary market for trading these certificates like stocks or bonds. For example, say Infosys exports software services for $1 billion. They get certificates for that amount. Now, Indian Oil needs to import oil. They can buy those certificates from Infosys in the open market and use it for the import of oil upto $1 billion. What will happen in reality is that b…