Business & Entrepreneurship · Information

Some numbers and some estimates…

This is from McKinsey Quarterly. Just a collection of facts and estimates. If you find something useful, great. A nice read anyway…
Some facts and predictions to make you think
Total world cross-border trade as a percentage of global GDP
  • 1990: 18%
  • 2015 (estimated): 30%
Number of regional trade agreements
  • In 1990: 50
  • In 2005: 250
Change in Germany’s population over the age of 75 from 2005 to 2015: 33
Increase in tax burden needed to maintain current benefit levels for Germany’s future generation: 90%
Change in Japan’s population over the age of 75 from 2005 to 2015: 36%
Change in Japan’s population under the age of 5 from 2005 to 2015: -13%
Increase in tax burden needed to maintain current benefit levels for Japan’s future generation: 175%
Computational capability of an Intel processor, as measured in instructions per second

  • 1971: 60,000
  • 2005: 10,800,000,000
Multiple by which e-mail traffic has grown from 1997 to 2005: 215
Number of US tax returns prepared in India

  • 2003: 25,000
  • 2005: 400,000
Combined market cap of top 150 mega-institutions

  • 1994: $4 trillion
  • 2004: $11 trillion
Total capital under management by private equity firms in 2003 in the United States and Europe: $1 trillion
Market cap of the NYSE in 2003: $11 trillion
Growth rate of the total wealth controlled by millionaires in China from 1986 to 2001: 600%
Estimated number of Chinese households to achieve European income levels by 2020 (assuming real income grows at 8 percent annually): 100 million
Total number of workers in China: 750 million
Number employed in China’s state-owned companies: 375 million
Year when the income gap in the United States between the wealthiest 5% and the bottom 10% was the widest ever recorded: 2004
Part of national GDP spent on the public sector in the United Kingdom in 2004: 20%
UK public-sector spending as a ratio of GDP when transfer payments (for example, pensions) are included: 40%
Proportion of Latin Americans who would prefer a dictator to democracy if he improved their living conditions: 50%
Muslims as a percentage of the global population
  • 2000: 19%
  • 2025 (estimated): 30%

Number of major violent conflicts

  • 1991: 58
  • 2005: 22
Number of coal-fired power plants China plans to build by 2012: 562
Estimated year China will overtake the United States as the number-one carbon emitter: 2025
Estimated year CO2 levels will hit 500 parts per million: 2050
Years since CO2 levels last hit 500 parts per million: 50 million
Average years it takes a CO2 molecule, once produced, to degrade: 100
Global CEOs who think overregulation is a threat to growth: 61%
Probability that a company in an industry’s top revenue quartile will not be there in five years: 30 percent

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Business & Entrepreneurship · Descriptive Articles

India and China – I

The Hypothesis

The hypothesis (which you may also like to call a bias) that I am starting with is this. On most of the indicators of Economic Progress China is doing better than India. This is because they have been able to plan through their reforms process better. This ability to plan, in turn, is the result of autocratic governance there. Therefore, there is a question mark on whether the trend will be the same in future. Due to the multi-party democracy, Indian reforms and planning has been often plagued by the short-term vision spanning the term of governments. Also the necessity to be able to achieve a minimum level of acceptance amongst various parties and groups have often stalled important processes here. But it is this same thing, which also gives robustness to the things happening in India. To summarize what I feel about China, given the lack of democracy and lack of freedom of press and speech, I would quote this one like from an article that Priya sent to me

China is a geopolitical problem waiting to happen

Some preliminary numbers

The following comes from a project we did in the last term (Thanks to Divyansh who drew the following charts).







Source: World Bank Site

(If you click on these images, you can see them clearer. I am sorry, but I do not yet know how to make them look all right in the main post itself).

A quick look at these figures will tell us that on almost all the parameters of economic development, China is doing better than India presently. However, look at the variables of “Press Freedom” and “Voice and Accountability”. India is far, far better than India. We are marginally better even in the case of “Rule of Law” and “Control of Corruption”.

The more striking trends can be observed in the rankings of Global Competitiveness Index as published by World Economic Forum. (Thanks once again to Divyansh for taking the pains of gathering this data from Executive Summaries etc. which were available free and making these charts).

The index that is published has actually two indices, in turn comrising of subindices

  1. Growth Competitiveness Index
    • Technology Index
    • Public Institutions Index
    • Macroeconomic Environment Index
  2. Business Competitiveness Index
    • Company Operations and Strategy Index
    • Quality of National Business Environment Index

Growth Competitiveness Index




Business Competitiveness Index





A general trend of India’s situation improving while China’s worsening is obvious from these graphs. And over last few years, India has been able to overtake China is some of the indices. What will be interesting however will be know what is causing it. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the complete report. It would have been nice to be able to delve further into the components of these indices.

Anyway, we will see in due course of time.

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Business & Entrepreneurship · Technology

What is it about user doing everything?

So there was a time when it was grocer’s job to service you, to suggest you which brands to try, to deliver stuff at your home if you are a long time patron of the shop etc. etc. And then came self-service stores.

There was a time when going to a feast or a meal invitation means being serviced by people, being pressed to taste this and that. And then there were buffets.

There was a time when there were good reporters, good editors and we used to read content having their kind of flavour. And then there was Web 2.0 and the “all powerful user” and universality of “user generated content” and digg.coms.

I am happy about the first two. I do not feel going ga-ga over the last one. There can never be so many items in a store or so many dishes in a lunch/dinner that I can not make my choices. And in any case I can try things out and then take my decision. Not so in case of information. I can use a soap, taste a dish and decide whether I want it again or not. Not so with information. There is no “repeat use” of information. You have invested time in reading it and that is it. I would like to get something that is good and I do not always have competency to know what is good. So, I want somebody to do that job of selecting things and issues for me. The job that good reporters and good editors used to do (hopefully still do).

But of course, there are topics about which I may be knowing quite a bit. In such cases I would like to have more and more information and then judge on what to keep in my mind and what to forget. In such cases I do not need good reporters, rather lot of information which I can filter out for myself. But even in such cases I would like to read from focussed sources, which talk about the specific topic.

This is how I would like to summarize my take on the recent debate emerging from comparisons like “Slashdot vs Digg“. I would prefer reading Slashdot because as of now there is nothing there in which I have an expertise and would like to delve deeper in to. When due to unfiltered user submitted content the amount of content is too high, unfocussed sites become kind of useless. I still scan through Digg just in case I land up on something useful and there have been times when this has happened. But I would not spend time in seriously reading Digg. If someday I decide to dig deep into some topic, I would look for more focussed sources of information. Or may be use something like Google Alerts.

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Business & Entrepreneurship

Postoffices and retailing

Now, you’ll get your tea through post!

The above was an interesting piece of news. Assam tea to be sold through post-office network. There are several reasons for which I like the idea –

  1. The brand “Assam tea” gets popularity and reach.
  2. The end-consumers have a less expensive way to get the genuine product. Even when you actually visit the place, unless you are an expert you really do not know what is it that you are getting sold in the name of a prodcut from that particular reason.
  3. The huge postoffice reach and infrastructure is finding a good use. This concept should be taken further. As we are living in the age of privatization and liberalization, it is likely that several old institutions would become obsolete. However, many of them have built good reach and infrastructure over the years. Productive new usage for them should be found for the benefit of the economy…

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Business & Entrepreneurship


As a B-School student one can not be “not-aware” of the famous “Intel Inside” campaign and strategy. As they put it, it made people to think what was inside their computer. However, in my last trip back home I was forced to think over the kind of damages it can do (proably it did not do so in case of Intel, but the potential). Was talking with my brother about the computerization in the branch of SBI where he is posted. He was ranting badly about the dysfunctinoal nature of the computers provided – “Sometimes, they would not start at all, sometimes the programs would not run, sometimes the Internet does not work etc. etc.” And then came the expression which I did not how to react to – “And all this despite the fact that they have Intel!! All the PCs have Intel Inside written on them!!

Well you know, you have to be careful about whom you want to understand what is there inside your computer 🙂

A related news that I get now is that Intel is now trying to change its well-established tagline of “Intel Inside“. No, no – I do not claim that it is for any such reasons as I have figured out :)). They are revamping it becuase they do not want their brands to be identified just with microprocessors when they are present in other important segments too. Now, that’s risky – isn’t it? If you are assoicated with too many things, something like above is more likely to happen. But apparently it has been after extensive market research. Let’s put that to test.

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Business & Entrepreneurship · Thoughts

मुझे लगना है बस मुझ जैसा

I could not help notice two advertisements on this trip back home. One was for No-Marks cream and the other for Afterbath Cream. Pardon me if you think I have seen it too late, but its only when I am at home that I watch television – hence the timing.

First one disappointed me. It appears that nothing can beat the craze for fairness out here.No-Marks अब double role में – दाग-धब्बे हटाए और गोरा बनाए (I do not claim that I remember the words exactly – but this was the gist). So – no – you can not sell unless you make people गोरा and hence marriagable!!

Afterbath cream seems to have taken a bold step – “ना गोरी, ना साँवली, ना श्याम, ना श्वेत……. मुझे लगना है बस मुझ जैसा”. I would love to see it succeed over the get fair – get married theme. But is that likely to happen yet? 😦


  • No-Marks अब double role में – दाग-धब्बे हटाए और गोरा बनाए = No-Marks now in double role – Removes marks as well as makes you fair.
  • ना गोरी, ना साँवली, ना श्याम, ना श्वेत = Neither fair, nor …., nor black, nor white
  • मुझे लगना है बस मुझ जैसा = I just want to appear like myself

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Business & Entrepreneurship · Technology

Threats and Products

Some of you may have noticed that a rather inactive blog has made its way to the blogroll of this blog again. Yes, yes the last one on the list called “Blogroll People”.

I declare openly that I was technologically blackmailed into doing that 😀 What does that mean you ask? You – technologically illliterate! Got no time to explain really.

Anyway, more importantly why he is included here is that any hate mails after trying what I am going to write about currently should be directed to him. In any case, there should be a feedback link somewhere on the relevant site, which you can use. But what I mean is that I take no moral/ethical/legal/whatever else responsibility. 🙂

But then I am blogging because I sort of liked the idea of Krawler – oops no – Krawler[x]. 🙂 Before getting into the product, it was kind of interesting to see that while everyone else is betting on taking everything online (Windows Live and Google+Sun Office Suite and what else not!), they are trying to bring something that has been there online on to the Desktop. The social collaboration network!! Right – it sits right there on your desktop. No logging on to the Orkut and “Not Donut for you” messages 😀

What I have said here is just a general concept. The potential usage are many. One I can think of immediately in the context of IIML is replacing the claroline based course management system. The maintenance of server appears to be hell of a problem and almost always there will be a last moment fight of getting the relevant PPTs and other files during the exams. Lo! Claroline is down!! This Software has a module to support similar functionalities and once a course is shared, eveyone subscribing to it becomes a source of the files. So, long as there is even one node alive on the network someone needing it should be able to get it. Yeah – right! The usual P2P funda. But customized in a way that is going to be useful.

And then there are the features implied by the descriptor “Social Collaboration Network” too. There are several levels of groups you can form, content-sharing can be done, has an in-built messenger etc. etc. Before I bore you enough, why do you not just download it and see if there is something useful there… Right – its free.

Also, I have not been able to explore it fully. So, can not give an exhaustive description right now.

Before I end, let me remind. I take no responsibilities whatsoever for any damage caused. Even if you are too impatient to give feedaback, you know why the link has been added in the blogroll. 😀

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