Thursday, September 21, 2006


I found a wonderful business networking website OpenBC
It has a clutter free interface and works really well for networking. Thought you guys might be interested. Sometime i might create a group for MBA aspirants.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Change in Plans

After much contemplation and detailed career thought and analysis (leading to nowhere) I have decided to bid a painful goodbye to my beloved company prancing horse (I will always be a Ferarri guy). While I am still focused towards getting to a bschool( preferably of my choice), the next few years (hopefully eventful) will be spent as an Energy Consultant in London, U.K..
Time to look for an apartment Yikes!! Over the past 4 years I have lived in 3 continents and 4 countries.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Big Mess

Last couple of months have been following the steel giant Arcelors bid to hold fort against a merger with Mittal steel. It was really interesting to see both parties giving numerous press interviews against each other and clearly Arcelor handled it in a very unprofessional way. It clearly reflects one of the big challenge that globalization is going to bring, what if you don't want to sell something purely because you want to keep it national?. Isn't it like selling your favorite soccer team to opponents. I know we don't live in a socialistic economy any more(and I am glad) but what would happen for example if Americans had to sell coca cola to another country say Chinese. Should we be changing our laws to protect our most prized possessions or accept the fact that globalization is going to create a level playing field?

GMAT pace: .....Slow (need to concentrate)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Progress so far

Haven't written anything new for a long time largely due to procastination. GMAT prep has been going on slower than expected but I happy with the results so far. Here is a brief of what I have done so far.
Critical Reasoning: have started working out problems in OG. Doesn't look too difficult although I did make few mistakes in first 35 questions.
Sentence Correction: took about a month to send my manhattan book.Like most test takers I want to take the guess work out of this section. Actually the book being late was a blessing in disguise. I reviewed my rusty grammar from this website. It was great since they had exercises and after completing it I felt stronger. Now when I am doing the manhattan book I feel that I have a reference that I can go back and refer.
Reading comprehension: Nothing as of yet.

Have pushed my level of confidence in quant through series of practice lessons from gmatclub. I have been focusing on permutation, probability and number properties. I also bought the number property e-book from My main worry and hence the focus of my preparation is towards beating the clock. I have been managing to complete the test so far. I gave a kaplan's paper based test and scored in the 99%ile: Lets see what happens.

I have previously made the mistake and also seen a lot of people make the same mistake of reading too many books, Kaplan, princeton OG etc. Honestly I don't know whether my strategy will work or not but I will not read a lot of material, but whatever I read I will try to perfect it so that I maximize my chances.
This weekend going to nice, France. Spring break time so should be nice.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That vs Which

Grammar has been the bane of many. I am no different. My time in High school class was split between understanding the life cycle of stars, the force needed to lift a rock inside an elevator and wondering what my gracious mum gave me for lunch today. English was never my favorite or least favorite subject in school. I plainly chose to ignore it. It is definitely not funny now that my knowledge of grammar is based on what I "feel correct". My brain refuses to see the sentences in terms of syntax. No wonder if there was an award for most green lines in a Microsoft word document I would win hands down. But I have started my GMAT struggle and trying to unlearn . Giving finishing touches to my Noun, Verb and Pronouns. By the end of this week I aim to familiarize myself with basic rules and then the real struggle begins.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Microfinance*-A powerful tool

Vikram Akula is the news these days for the right reasons. The ex McKinsey man is using IT to make much needed money available to people in need. I think he is doing a fantastic job. The fact that he came up with the whole system and had the guts to implement it is outstanding. On the same lines I was reading through Stanford GSB site(one of the schools I am interested in) and stumbled upon Center for global business and economy . It had an interesting take on Debt relief or Aid.
I am a chemical Engineer by profession and have studied economics only in high school but I am greatly interested in economics and its implications on socialization. The paper brings up some very interesting points. The central emphasis being that debt relief that worked wonderfully for "Brady Countries" may not work very well for HIPC's (Highly indebted poor countries". Brady countries were primarily Latin American countries which during the period of 1980's were in high debt and were unable to pay this amount. Brady a U.S. treasurer came up with the plan to basically pardon their debt. HIPC are mainly African nations that are in a much worse situation today. The paper makes several interesting observations:
  1. Debt relief could only work if this pardon can promote economic efficiency by improving incentives for investment and growth.
  2. HIPC don't have enough social infrastructure to promote investment even if their debt is relieved. Or in other words debt relief could work for a country which has a relatively developed social infrastructure.
  3. Although at first (although to me) debt relief seemed like a loosing situation for creditor. I mean if I pardon my debt what could I possibly gain from it. But you would be surprised to know if you pardoned a bit of the debt it will actually improve your chances of getting the rest of the money back. The idea is to reduce the debt on the debtor to an extent that it leads to strengthening of the debtors situation (obvious), leads to better market perception (people have more confidence in you) and hence invest more money (fostering new investment).
  4. Aid works better than debt relief for HIPC.
Now while reading this I thought why can't International funding bodies like world bank invest a chunk of the money in microfinance schemes?. If we take the case of India. India has a strong social infrastructure now. Government is powerful and stable however the difference between rich and poor is still large. Can't you make a part of investment in mirofinance and the rest to the country? The advantages of microfinance is in a way similar to what debt relief was trying to do but for individuals.
  1. Microfinance schemes are in a way independent of sudden fluctuations in country economy due to bad policy making.
  2. In a country where there is a huge divide between people. Using funds to build railways, airports is definitely gonna help. But something needs to be done at the level of poor farmers. Recently there was a lot of news about cotton farmers committing suicide. If one could make the women independent no matter how small the money is, it changes a lot of things.
  3. The strongest argument is credit lending has worked for so long. We use credit card everyday. If you are intelligent enough to make the right use of it I don't see how it cannot work.
Electronic microfinance idea like that of Vikram Akula would make the process much easier.

Friday, April 28, 2006

How much is infinite money?

The discussion started out with my friend P saying that a billion dollar is enough for a lifetime and even if a person tried he would not be able to exhaust it. I am a skeptic and hence have a problem accepting bold statements like this. So we set out to prove or disprove his theory. Before setting out on our quest we made some assumptions.

1. Our guy is rich enough that he has 1 billion dollar in liquid cash at his disposal any time.
2. He will not be keeping any of the money in the bank and hence earns no interest.
3. He will not make any investments (He cannot buy property and then sell it; he cannot buy shares; he cannot build a corporation).
4. He has no kids but could be married.
5. He is a sporty guy and an art freak and generous at heart.
6. He is 30 years old and will die when he is 80.

  • H bought 10 houses with an average price of 15 million dollars ( Fact: Lakshmi N Mittal, Chairman and CEO, of the LNM Group bought a single house in ballooners row in London for 125 million $ ; he also owns 5 other houses) [15x10=150 million dollars].
  • Our guy loves cars and swears by his Ferrari FXX (price upward of one million dollars), and others like Bugatti Veyron, Saileen among his 10 exquisite car collection. 10 cars may look overkill but just do a google on the number of cars the Sultan has this number starts looking reasonable. So 10 cars for one million dollar each. [10x1=10 million $]
  • He has to own planes and helicopters. No brain scratching on this. [3x10=30 million $]
  • Our guy likes sailing infact he never misses Formula 1 grand prix in Monaco sipping cocktails on his expensive yachts. 5 yachts. [5 x 10=50 million $]
  • He likes to do some exciting and exclusive stuff sometimes. He want his own moon ride. [100 million $]
  • He likes charity both for rubbing shoulders with the elite and for helping in a genuine way. In his 50 years of life time it costs him [50 million $]
  • He has to eat and drink and party ofcourse. For his pocket money he spends 2 million dollars annually that's 5500 dollars everyday. [2x50 years=100 million $]
  • Now ofcourse since he owns 10 houses there are people required to maintain them. There are 15 people working round the clock to make his stay comfortable (I know his house is really big and he needs cooks, Gardner, cleaners, chauffeur). He gives 30,000 $ to each of them for 50 years. [15 people x 50years x 10 houses x 30, 000= 225 million $]
  • He likes to spend time in water and own an island for 20 million dollars. [20 million dollars]

That is what we could come up with. If you add everything up you still can't get to 1 billion. Looks like it is an infinite amount of money.

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