Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IDIOT....[TES Summit 2]

There was something weird about the summit.
Participants in the summit somehow all looked the same,everyone wore a business suit,had a blackberry,had frameless spectacles and had a Azim Premji type hairstyle.Each was having a sophisticated aura around him...and you just feel Entrepreneurs ought to be mavericks.How come all of them are same?
Narayan Murthy and Nilekani were the ones for whom i went to the summit However this post is not about them.
This post is about a new hero of mine this post is about Murugan.
40 yr old man...8th Class Dropout...hails from a village in Coimbatore and here he is lecturing 2500 CEOs and MDs in a hall full of people from IIT,IIM and MIT and  of course NITH ( Me :) )
Ok he is standing right there no business suit...just a t-shirt and jeans (Only Steve jobs does that in his presentations).
Text of his speech follows...please try to read it in a south indian accent. :)

I have no ppt, i have no written speech infact  i have not come prepared for this presentation.
but when you speak from here[points to heart] you don't need any of those.......[Mild Applause]

I am not from IIT,MIT or IIM infact i am a 8th class dropout (smiles )[Scattered mild Applauase]

I didn't know English earlier so i had to use a translator,but that guy was a waste.I used to say something and he used to translate something else.[mild giggles]
So i learn't English[Applause]

I want to share my story with you
One day i was sitting in my room and my wife was hiding something behind her back.
I asked her "Sudha what is it that you are hiding?"
She snapped back at me "Nothing none of your business,...just shut up" [Mild Laughter]

As i am a very curious person i ran after her and peeped into the room .[Giggles]
She was having a nasty cloth in her hand...i realized it was her menstrual periods and she was using a cloth .I asked her that why is she using a cloth why not the sanitary napkin that they show on tv.[Audience stunned as this is something you don't talk in front of 2500 high profile CEOs]

She smiled at me and said that if me and your 3 sisters start using those expensive napkins,we won't have enough money to eat.

I felt bad as the cloth was not at all hygienic,so i went to the chemist and asked him for a Whisper.He stared at me confused and wrapped the pack in a if we were smuggling something.[Claps and laughter]
I went home and cut open the napkin to see what is the material inside.It was rooyi(cotton),i weighed the cotton from the napkin and found that it cost me just 20 paise and they were charging Rs10.I went to a tailor gave him the rooyi and asked him to make a similar napkin.[Stunned Silence in the room]

Ok in 30 minutes my product was ready.....but where do i test it????[giggles]
When you(points to us) guys want to test your product you take it to a lab but the only testing lab i had was my wife.[Hall has gone crazy,thunderous clapping and laughter]
So i asked Sudha to test it for me.She took the pad and kept it in the almirah.
I saw that and asked her to test it right now and give me the feedback.She told me to shut up and come after one month to take the feedback.
I thought it is a very frustrating process,you have to wait 1 month before you can test your product.[he is Giving evil smiles]

So one month passed and i was coming back from the market,the moment i entered the room my wife gave me a mouthful of pejoratives.What a nasty thing you have made,it doesn't work at all.[a lot of ohhh shitt and oooh noss in the hall plus a few laughters as well]

[Please keep reading it in a south indian accent,that was making it even more hilarious]

I asked her as to what changes can i make in the product.I implemented her suggestions ,it took me 3-4 days and when i took the product to her .. guess what..she again kept it in the almirah....[He has become the darling of the audience,we are just loving him]

It was a very frustrating process,make small changes to the product but testing team was super slow.

I thought this way it won't work so i went to a medical college ,i thought that this is their profession and they won't be embarrassed about it.[Crowd is Appreciative and Clapping]

Whatever i did product was not working..then i thought that maybe the material is not rooyi ,it is something else.i took the material from whisper and sent it to IIT bombay and BITS pilani for research.After 2 months they told me that it is wool fibre and not cotton.[Sighsss in hall,oh nosss]

After that i made a process that would make rooyi work like wool fibre.I gave the product to my wife this time to test and yess it worked.
Murugan was rubbing shoulders with proctor & gamble ad johnson and johnson.[thunderous Applause and in unison]

After that i thought i can make a napkin but there is a process to it.So i decided that i won't leave it here ,i will make a machine that will prepare these napkins.
I made that machine and it costs around 8000 per machine and it can produce 800 napkins in an hour costing Rs 1 per napkin.I have sold this machine in around 10000 villages giving hygeine to thousands of village ladies and a source of income to atleast 10000 families.
[Standing ovation,clapping,whistles...CEOs running to the stage and hugging him.Absolutely stunning Standing ovation for two minutes or so]

Thank you all..thanks for that...[he is so humble..i just love this man]

I will throw these proctor and gambles and jhonson and jhonson out of this country[he is not only humble,he is aggressive as well],as they are working on the apex of the pyramid and i am working at the bottom of the pyramid.[I was amazed as he knew CK Prahalad as well]

[Now he delievers the knock out punch]
See every year 2000 people go into IIMs and 3000 people go into IITs.These are brilliant people.They achieve a lot and their achievements are glorified by the media,sometimes glorified ...sometimes over glorified.Now when these achievements get so much attention it gives confidence to 5000 students in iits/iims as they think if our seniors can do it we can also do it but in a nation of 130 crores do we need to give this confidence to only 5000 people?
If it motivates those 5000 people ,it sort of demotivates the rest of the nation.
People start believing that it is the IITians and the IIM guys only who can make it big.
Which is not at all true.
Every year just 5000 will get in.Does that make the 5001th person bad or for that matter the rest of the nation

Please show my story to every indian....everybody will feel inspired that if this 8th class dropout can do this,

[Stunned Audience..may be a lot of introspection going on....]
[That filmy style person starts it slowly and the rest of the hall joins it.Stunned and blank audience.]
[Thunderous applause,a sort of eery thrill in the air ,as if all of us have been shaken]

Amidst all this ,organizing head of the TES summit goes on stage and makes an announcement.

TES Head -"I had heard MURUGAN last year at TIE bangalore and i very proudly say that this man is the single motivation behind TES Summit Mumbai".
and rightly so the TES summit 09 was called "JUGAAD" - The enterprising indian.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All are rich .....[TES Summit 1]

I was on my way to Mumbai for the TIE Entrepreneurial Summit.As registration was very very expensive I took a Rs 526 train ticket and it would take 20 hours to reach Mumbai.Two uncles after discussing the morality of Rakhi Sawant slept on the middle and upper berth opp to me.I had also slept for some time and now i was just looking at the green fields outside.I was not thinking anything ,just staring blankly outside the window.An Aeroplane flies over the train and that sets my mind to launch a new "All are Rich" theory.
According to this theory
"NO person in this world is poor --currency may vary"

So the theory goes like this...
The person travelling in  plane must be a rich guy .He cannot even imagine doing nothing but just travel to mumbai in the next 20 hours.He'll have a meeting followed by a lunch with the delegates and then a function to attend in the evening and then a corporate dinner.His schedule is packed.He doesn't worry about the money but his time is more valuable.

On the other hand....

All of us in the train are poor guys as we don't have money but we have a lot of time.We can afford to be in a state of worklessness for the next 20 hours.No meeting to attend ,no lunch to participate.We can go on discussing Rakhi Sawant for long stretches of time followed by a sleep with our mouth wide open but our money is too valuable.How can we spend Rs 5000 only on travel when in either case we'll reach mumbai only?
So we can deduce that

All the people in the plane are money rich but time poor.
All the people in the train are time rich but money poor.

Plane poeple wish they had more of what train people had in abundance,
Train people wish they had more of what plane people had in abundance.

Hence proved that in some way or the other  "All of us are Rich. -- currency may vary"
After proving this theory of mine i thought who are the guys in the train who are travelling by 1st class AC.
(After all- They are paying 5000 rs and they'll take 20 hours to reach mumbai )
May be they are confused people...

Let me be honest and ask myself Which category do i fall in?
I think I am a rich guy...sometimes money rich and sometimes time rich.
So i did onething...
I went by train and returned by plane. :)

What happened in between the train and the plane is for the posts to follow....
Mumbai Summit was stunning...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


In class 3 i changed my school from Village Darlaghat to Town Solan.
That meant a change of mediums.
Now i was a student of the most reputed English medium school in Solan.
At home we didn't speak English at all....
It was really difficult decoding those esoteric instructions from the teachers..

I was sort of comfortable in English but it was limited to monosyllables or bi syllables at the most
eg.Hi, Hello,Welcome,good morning,good night.

Any thing longer then that required a mental translation in English for each of the words
and then assembling each of those words
and then adding verbs
and the nouns
and the pronouns.
By the time i was ready with my sentence it was no longer needed.

English embarrassed me time and again....

One such incident was ...
Four of my cousin sisters and me were sitting and having some chit chat.It was getting dark
Didi said "Gaurav Please curtain kar doge?"
Gaurav gave a nervous smile and thought "Kar to dunga but Curtain hota kidhar hai aur ise kaise karte hain?"
I was blushing...heartbeat had increased...all four of them looking at me and waiting for me to "Do the curtains".
and i am sitting there absolutely clueless ....Not even a minute idea of what is required of me....

Those querying eyes were asking me "Come on you it"
this helpless Soul was asking  "Please someone tell me where does one find it?"

After a lot of brainstorming i stood up ,
leapt out of the quilt and sprinted in a direction that was opposite to that of the curtain.

I ran straight into my mother ...she was cooking something.
"Mumma Mumma Curtain kya hota hai"
She answered nonchalantly "Parda".
The obviousness with which she gave the answer made me feel like a Duffer even more.

It has been 17 years since that event ....
but today it was kind of deja vu
One of my office mates was leaving for lunch and wished a "bon apetit" to me.
You won't believe same emotions,same feeling,same blush ,same rush of heartbeat as to what should i reply to that???

Immediately i googled 'bon apetit', Smiled and thought ....
You never stop learning.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Over Priced

Last weekend i was having a cup of coffee in Barista with one of my old friends,
We were enjoying a very good discussion on the good old college days .
After a discussion of 2 hours or so i asked for the bill and placed my ICICI card for payment.
The girl took my signature, returned my card , said "Thanks Sir" and gave me a
the coldest of smiles.

I returned the smile with a equally fake one.

I didn't even notice the amount deducted from the card.We continued the banter and after sometime left for home.

I had to take a rickshaw to get back home, so i approached a rickshaw man
.He was a man in his late sixties ,visibly weak and tired.

I asked "Asalatpur ka kitna loge"
He said "15 rupay bhaiya"
I said "Loot rahe ho kya ,10 hi bante hain."
He said "Thand ho rahi hai, isliye jyada maang liye"
I said "10 main chalna hai to chalo"

He knew i was going to get another rickshaw so he agreed to my terms and yes 10 Rs it was.

Sitting on the back seat i was lost somewhere and was fiddling away with that Barista bill.
I opened it ...the bill read
2 hot cappuccino = Rs 250 + Rs 26 service tax.

Reading that bill froze me for a moment.

I sort of knew what was overpriced.
I sort of knew that i was haggling at the wrong place.

I felt as if i should apologize to the old man driving me home in that chilly night.
I wanted to make up by giving him 50 Rs .
He might not deserve 50 but still he needed it genuinely.

I reached my home got off the rickshaw but couldn't gather the courage to give him 50 rs.
As again my educated self told me that it was too much.
I gave him 25 Rs.He counted and gave me a puzzled look.

I held his hand warmly and gave him a approving smile to keep it.

In return i got a very pure ,very true and a very very warm smile which was not at all obligatory ....not at all superficial and despite the chillness of the night ...
not at all COLD.........

Sunday, November 1, 2009


1st November 09
Sunday 9:30 am
Event - Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

With the kind of weight i have put in the last one year, winning was out of the equation however I thought 500 mtrs or at max 1000 mtrs would be what i would be able to run.

Shahrukh khan waved us off at the start line and There we were... offff on a 7 km "The Great Delhi Run."

A few fit ones started a normal jog and settled into a nice rhythm ,less fitter ones ran a sprint for a while and then sided away into a fast paced walk and then finally rested.A few girls and guys were more interested in getting a pose clicked in their newly bought impeccable Reebok attire for the race.

Looking at them i wondered how come i always find myself out of options whenever it comes to a dress code....?
and i wonder a bit more when i see girls coming out with the perfect dress for whatever occasion it is.

I must admit ...There were a few really impressive ones.

I kept shouting,cheering myself and the co runners for the first 5-10 minutes.I think 500 mtrs was done ...mind wanted me to stop running and enjoy the rest of the race.I told mind to shut up as we(mind and body) were going on for next 500 mtrs.
It was quieter then the first 500 mtrs .I don't know when and I don't know why but at some moment i decided that i am going to complete this race.

Legs were getting heavier and the asset that i have built over the last one year (76 kgs of human Flesh) was proving to be a liability .I was just taking the race 500 mtrs at a time.This way I completed 3000 mtrs (6 times more).From here we took a turn back ..

On our way back i was telling myself "It's all in the mind ,i'll make it.I am not backing out."

Now at this moment 500 mtr theory was not working, a mere look at the next 500 mtrs of the road was hitting my determination,i felt like quitting at the mere glance of the next 500 mtrs.
Thats when i took the race one step at a time.I lowered my head and started watching my steps.I wanted my next step to be better than the last one. I knew it was a long way to go but i had to enjoy each and every step of my race.

This way i got to 6000 mtrs. I caught hold of kingfisher mineral water but didn't have the energy to rip it and have a sip.

I was doing fine but a pain had started in my right lower abdomen. I was in a kind of a zero zone,dumbly focused on the race but energy was draining out and pain was excruciating.A girl ran past me ,on the back of her t shirt was written "Runner in the day ,Rockstar in the night". I don't know what that meant exactly but watching her run... she was indeed "a Runner in the Day". Another female foreigner just shot past me wearing a black shirt,profusely sweating.On the back of her shirt i read a quote "Pain is temporary ,Quitting is Forever".

I smiled as i felt Lance Armstrong had himself come to motivate me for the last 1000 mtrs.
I just lowered my head and tried to overpower the pain as i wanted to Win this race and defeat my mind. Last 500 mtrs i sort of went into a sprint colliding with a big fat girl and nearly running over her.

Apologies to her and there i was 50 mtrs away from my finish line.

I raised my hands,closed my eyes ,threw my head backwards ,made the loudest of shouts and gave a huge high five to my friend .

People stared confused as i was in no ways a winner of the race but they didn't know.....I had won...I had defeated myself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Body Building

There were two friends Dharam and Veeru,both of them were born in a village where Body Building was taken as a status symbol.

Veeru loved to build his body but Dharam was reluctant and had no interest in working out those muscles.
Still due to societal pressure he gets into the profession.

One day a renowned body builder comes to the village and lectures them over latest techniques of body building.
He told that if they worked on his preachings he'll take them to new heights,he would get them a brilliant job.
He gave them a few hand written scriptures and a few web URLs to go through.
He also promised to come and see their progress sometimes later in the year and fixed 12 DEC for the meeting.

Veeru just loved the lecture and from the next day he followed the tips and tricks told by that man.
He would browse the URLs one by one and then do the exercise regularly.
He was enjoying what he was doing ,gradually he started loving the PROCESS and results were there to be seen.

AS Dharam had no interest in all these workouts he thought that he would go through the scriptures and URLs just 2 Weeks prior to the day of meeting.He would not workout regularly.He knew the stakes were high and if he didn't work hard he would lose the offer.

Meeting with that person was a EVENT for Dharam and he thought that he would easily get the job because he would have read all the books anyways.

Meeting day finally came and no prizes for guessing who got the job.
Veeru made it because he took body building as a PROCESS .

Even if Dharam read all the scriptures, his bulging flabby tummy defied all his knowledge.

The renowned body builder told Dharam that TRUE SUCCESS is not an EVENT ,its a PROCESS.

You have to go thorough the Process .enjoy it and success will be all yours.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Foresight and Hindsight

There is a investor who has $1 million to invest in a startup and there are two teams who are looking for this investment.

Leaders of the two teams come to pitch their ideas to this investor.

Now one leader is 23 years old but has a brilliant idea which has never been done earlier and has a lot of potential but risk is there as he doesn't have any market experience.
Another one is a 45 years old with 23 years of industry experience,returns might not be that high but he has a mature head and success of his venture is almost sure.

Who would get the investment?
If answer is first one you live in an economy where talent and foresight is given preference over experience and hindsight.You will find people in there early twenties as CEOs running FaceBooks, Twitters or youtubes.

If answer is second one then you are living in an economy where experience and hindsight is given preference over talent and foresight and you won't find people in there early twenties as CEOs running FaceBooks, Twitters or youtubes.

Talent and foresight tell us what can be done to have a better world? How the future should be? They envision something which just doesn't exist.

Experience and hindsight tell us What should not be done? They tell us about what went wrong when they took that particular step.They prevent us from getting stuck in that trap hole once again.

I suppose its better to prioritize talent and foresight and then when the vision/dream/goal is set in place we should rope in Experience and hindsight so that we don't mess up our vision.

Its better to fund Larry and Sergey first and when they sort of know where they are going, get in Eric Schmidt.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Passion for Passions


You go up to Sachin Tendulkar and ask him

Why do you keep playing CRICKET?
Now imagine the way he will react to your question.

I suppose he will feel irritated ,bemused ,baffled ,frustrated at this question of yours.

But still if you pester him to answer this question he might come out with a irritated reply which probably won't be anything more then

I just love to play cricket and that's why i do it.”

This reaction and reply are probably the reactions that you would give when questioned about the truest and purest of your passions.

As they say “Chase your passions and be successful”, but how does one know what is his passion??

Just ask yourself this very simple Question “Why do you keep doing XYZ ??” and if the answer and the reaction are similar to Sachin , you are indeed following your passion unconditionally in its purest and truest form.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who runs your company?

It took me a long time to recover from my catastrophic last (deleted) Blog :-).A lot has happened since then and a lot is happening right now.

Amidst all these happenings and non happenings there were a few things that i wanted to share.

One of them was the following......

Nandan Nilekani (Infy co founder and at present Chairman Unique Id project) was asked that when you leave Infosys what damage it will have on Infy.How will Infosys function without you?

Nandan--" Infosys is not a individual driven Company it's a values driven company and when something is value driven you need not worry about it's functioning."

At first it seemed like just another cliched management funda but slowly it got big on me.The more i thought about it the bigger it got and more i could relate it to our day to day life.

Analogy from day to day life is like parents try and teach there child some values which he should adhere in his life. A few fortunate parents can say with pride that "I don't need to worry about my child ,i know he'll do well".These are the ones who know there child is now values driven and not individual driven.

A child remains "individual driven" or "values driven" depends on a few metrics such as

Do we force our decision on our child or Do we let him think independently ?
Do we treat him as a nobody or Do we let him have a sense of ownership ?
Do we let him learn from his mistakes or Do we force our burden of expectations on him?

A company is also like a child , it needs the same values as we give our child.

Think of a values driven relation where you remain loyal even when your other half is not monitoring.

Think of a values driven classroom which sits quietly and does its work very very diligently even if the teacher is not there.(I know it would be very boring but still think of it :-))

Think of a values driven company where employees work honestly and with integrity even when your lead is not there.

It's a very simple concept to listen yet very complex to comprehend and even more difficult to execute.

Think about it and answer......

Who runs your company??
or more relevant.......

Who runs you ??

Friday, June 19, 2009

Polarize -v 1.2

Now we come on to the question that was responsible for the polarity and this series of blogs.
So in the meeting all of us were having a discussion on the topic "Why Indian IT is service based and not product based?".
Answers were something like--
To find a market for a product is much more difficult then to find a market that needs servicing.
Another reason that we got was --Return of investment is much faster in a service based industry.
Another rationale given was --Risk is much less in a service based industry.

I was sitting there listening to all these pretty convincing points...but somehow i was not able to digest that these are the sole reasons for our being a service based industry.I was thinking that if we remove all the constraints of money,risk,rate of investment and potential market.Do we have it in us to come up with a iPhone** and suppose we do come up with a iPhone.Do we have the self belief that our iPhone will be consumed in the western markets or our own markets.

It really needs a leaders mindset ,a winners mindset to see a market that just doesn't exist.To be a leader one doesn't just need hindsight,it has to be foresight as well and to be a industry that comes out with Products(innovative and path breaking ones) you have to have a Leaders mindset.The whole industry should feel like a leader.It has to believe that if we manufacture a car,a phone or a computer.Our product will create a market of its own.

The fact which was disturbing me even more was that we as Indians will be behind most of the softwares being written.It is very much possible that for iPhone also the software has been written by some Indian software company.This means that we have the talent and the expertise to write software for Apple but we just can't think of it ourself. It has to be Steve Jobs who comes up with this idea and it has to be us who will implement his idea.

We make pretty handsome money from this Apple deal but we lose on the bigger picture.We don't create the hype and the excitement that Apple and Steve Jobs create.In the end it is Apple that is the apple of everyone's eye and we just have a few hundred thousand dollars.

To add to it was the fact that Steve Jobs hasn't written a single line of code in his whole life.He just has a mindset and a vision that does the magic for him.In addition to these i had read CK Prahalad quoting somewhere "Being a Developing nation is just a mindset".

All this facts led me to the deduction that we have got everything (talent,expertise,knowledge etc),only thing we are lacking is in mindset.

All these things were going on in my mind,
I raised my hand and let go of the revolution that was going inside me...

I took help of a story to keep forward my point

Once upon a time there was a Gurkha(lets name him Bahadur singh).He was a watchman and so were the men from his earlier generations.He was fed up with his job,he didn't want to be a watchman any more.He used to cry ,he used to ask god to free him from this boring and mundane job of his.He decided to leave the job and start a Tapsya(prayer) to Lord Shiva.After 12 years of rigorous tapsya in the himalyas,Lord Shiva decided to meet this devotee of his.Clouds thundered,lightening occurred,it started to rain.Bahdur Singh felt a hand on his shoulder....he opened his eyes and was very happy to see Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva:: "I am really happy with your devotion.Ask whatever you want to have?I'll heed any number of wishes??"

Bahadur Singh::"I want to be the richest person in the world"

Lord Shiva ::"Tathastu (Granted) .What else??"

Bahadur singh ::"Most beautiful lady should become my wife"

Lord Shiva::"Tathastu,what else??"

Bahdur Singh::"Most beautiful home in the world"

Lord Shiva::"Tathastu ..what else??"

After heeding to as many wishes as Bahadur asked for.

Lord Shiva says::"Bahadur ,now you have everything possible.Can i leave or there is something else??"

To this Bahadur singh(richest man in the world) replies

Bahadur Singh ::"Itna kuch de diya ,ek shaab aur ek mem shaaab bhi to de do."

Lord Shiva::"With a big satirical smile said ....TATHASTU"


think about it...
We have everything that is required to be the leaders ,but it's just a case of changing our MINDSET.

**iPhone - its just a representation that i have taken to symbolise a product which creates a niche for itself.

Note:We already know what happened after narrating this story.If not , please read the previous two blogs of this Polarize series.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Polarize -v 1.1

Sequel to polarize -v 1.0
(if you have not read version 1.0 ,Please do that first or else you'll lose plot )
Guy Kawasaki in his book has talked about a concept called "Polarizing people".In this concept he says whenever you come out with a product in the market ,it should be able to polarize people.

People should either have a jaw dropping ,eyeballs-popping reaction

(ie Oh my god....i just want to have it right now)
eg .iPhone


They should have a "just-take-it-away-that's-pathetic" kind of reaction.
eg Chinese variant of iphone

Your customers should either like it or they should dislike it,it shouldn't be a ok-ok reaction.If the product polarizes customers it will stick.Your brand will stick. You'll keep your visibility intact in the market .

so that was from marketing perspective,but i felt it could be applied anywhere.

For example schools- After 10 years if you go to your school,chances of your being recognized by your teacher are directly proportional to the degree to which you have polarized your teacher.

If you were a brilliant student --you'll be recognized.(+ve polarity)
If you were the nastiest student in class -you'll again be recognized.(-ve polarity)
but if you were a ok- ok mediocre student-- chances are that you will be greeted with a name that you have never heard before.(may be a rahul or a pooja )[no polarity]

So i suppose you get the concept of polarity...

Now we'll continue from where we left.....

I got a mail from tie about another event.This time i told myself that please ask your questions sensibly or better-- keep quiet and listen.
I reached there ..attended the presentations.In between the presentations we had a tea break(high tea or networking tea as they call it).

In this tea break i was trying to hide myself from the attendees of the previous meeting.As they might have seen Mr Rekhi knocking the hell out of me.

A person in his mid 40s approached me and we exchanged greetings.He told me that he felt bad for the way Mr Rekhi responded to my query.He said it was a valid point but Rekhi sahab just blew it away.

I couldn't believe ..this man had thought about my point ..he still remembers me.... how was that possible?

Then a few more entrepreneurs came to me and talked to me about that discussion.I was like stunned that so many people recognise me and actually they remember my point which i had given almost a month ago.

If i would have kept quiet....rekhi sahab wouldnt't have answered in that way...

if Rekhi sahab wouldn't have answered that way...i wouldn't have POLARIZED the audience....

so that was a case of negative polarity working for me .....although it was -ve but it was polarity and i was happy.

So many entrepreneurs gave me there visiting card and asked me to keep in contact.

It got all the more exciting when i realised its mapping to Guy Kawasaki's concept of polarity.I came home --told my friends about my stories of bravado(this time they were real).

I thanked Mr Kawasaki for writing that book and my devotion as a fan to Mr Kawasaki increased many folds.

I knew he is a super busy person but still i wanted to share this event with him.
so i sat down and sent him a detailed explanantion of what had happened.i sent him an email...i wished he would reply..

and yes

my wish was heeded .....he replied....GUY KAWASAKI replied ....:)

I had a guy kawasaki mail in my personal inbox.....i was jumping all over the place....telling my friends about Guy's mail...

It was a nice little journey from that guy kawasaki video -to guy kawasaki responding to my mail.

From all this i have learn't my lesson ie

Try real hard to polarize people positively,try to be on the positive end of poles but in that process if you come across some -ve polarity as well. Take it. It will help you remain visible.

**Next post is about the Question that i asked from Mr Rekhi..

Friday, June 12, 2009

Polarize -v 1.0

Some facts you need to know before i start this series...
1)Polarize -verb To cause to concentrate about two conflicting or contrasting positions(eg. magnet -north pole south pole)

2)Guy kawasaki - ---Author to some amazing business books,
out of the world Blogger, entrepreneur, venture capitalist,great great orator,Apple evangelist

3)TIE - The Indus Entrepreneurs - Nice platform for budding or want to be entrepreneurs.join one in your city

4)KR - Kanwal Rekhi - Indian-American engineer, businessman ,venture capitalist ,entrepreneur ,millionaire philanthropist


It all started with a TIE Conference video.Guy Kawasaki impressed me like anything,the guy has amazing articulation skills.After the video i searched on the net about Guy Kawasaki .I went through his blogs,the books that he has written, some speaking assignments.I bought a few books and after reading those books,i must say i was a fan of Mr Kawasaki.

In these books he has come up with a funda of Polarizing people.I'll discuss about that later.

Then i searched for TIE ,i wanted to know -what is this organization that invites such brilliant speakers ? after some googling i knew that TIE is a pro-entrepreneurship organization and it has a chapter in delhi also(it has one in major cities).I checked on the new delhi TIE site for some upcoming events...and yes ...There was one coming for the weekend -"A Discussion with KR-How to promote entrepreneurship in recessionary times?"

I was all excited for the event. Little bit of aage-se-left-then-right-then-turn got us to the venue.If any one is thinking of starting his own enterprise but is not being supported by family members (parents ,girl friend or your wife),i will say this is the place to be.Its like the dream world -utopia for all of us "wannabe entrepreneurs".I mean ,you are surrounded by around 200 young enthusiastic entrepreneurs,a renowned investor is telling you about the nuances of the trade,and the best thing is people are listening to your idea.The atmosphere is so stimulating that you just get the confidence to be the next Google.

now about the discussion....
The discussion began with Mr Rekhi giving us his inputs .That was followed with Q&A session.Somehow towards the end of the discussion we were not discussing "How to promote entrepreneurship in recessionary times?" but instead- discussion had shifted to "Why indian IT is service based and not product based?".and that i must say .... is a sensitive topic to discuss with someone(Mr Rekhi) who is like a father to indian IT services.As expected discussion got a bit hot.

I had an answer to our being service oriented and not product based but Being the youngest in that group(22 yr-avg age of group was around 38) ,i had my reservations as well ....but still i gave it a go.

Rekhi listening to me .....looking straight through me.....i knew he was fuming and not liking what i was saying...

I stopped with my explanation ....and that proved to be the breaking point for mr Rekhi.He blasted me off with expletives such as non sensical :(.It was as if i had talked about carnal pleasures to a person following celibacy or vice versa.


After his attack ...i sat quietly on my seat .I couldn't feel the seat...infact i couldn't feel myself.
Why did i say that? I shouldn't have spoke in my first meeting?? How could i ask that??How do i run out of here? where is the door?

With all these thoughts and a few nervous handshakes i just ran the hell out of there....

Now being an optimist i decided to take whatever positives i could make out.I tried to convince my self that my point was valid was just that Mr Kanwal Rekhi was too intimidating to have a debate with.

Reaching home , my friends asked me about the event.I couldn't tell about Rekhi overpowering me ,so i did just the opposite.It was very much like that andaz apna apna scene--In which Aamir khan and Salmaan khan come downstairs after facing the wrath of Uncle and when there girl friends ask about what did they say to Uncle.Both of them boast away to glory by telling false stories of bravado(unka ek ek sawaal mere do do jawaab).

So that was what-- i also did.Rekhi sahab ka ek ek sawaal mere do do jawaab..aur phir ek lambi khamoshi... :D.

The event was done,i had my share of censure but there was something that made this event worth remembering .

but that is for the next post ....

What followed was another TIE interaction with guy kawasaki.... concept of polarization and yes the question that i asked from Mr Rekhi.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Healthy Cow...

This posting should have come a few years ago ,may be in 2001-02.
It's a story about me,my health,our religious beliefs and a cow.

Back then i used to be the thinnest person possible on this planet.

I used to ask god ,why me ??why only me?? There were people plump and fresh around me and i used to ask GOD for mercy.
I mean ,just 40-42 kg in 12th standard was something that was lighter then the girls of my class.
The feeling of being the shortest and the lightest guy of our class was something that used to send shivers down my spine.
You imagine for yourself ,i had a crush on a girl 10-15 kgs heavier and 5-6 inches taller .I know if we leave emotions aside ,
i had literally nothing to impress her..and emotions were something that i never came out with.(and i thank god for that)
by god ...If i would have come out with all my emotions at that time i would have certainly made a fool(a big one) out of myself.

But its not the crush that i am here to write about ,its my PHYSIQUE that i want to blog about.

OK so i was tense about my health,my mother was worried and everyone who cared about me was in some way tense that why don't i put on weight.
I myself felt that its something destined for me and i have to live with it.i could see no hope,i ate like anything,i exercised ,i took health drinks .....
but improvement :(. day a ray of hope came

There was this renowned pundit ji who could cure anything.
My mother took my Kundli** to him and dragged me along with her to meet this man,i had a physical frailness but my ego was super strong.
I hated being talked about my health to strangers.But willingly or unwillingly...there i was sitting in that eerie room of this holy man.after looking at my kundli ...he said "roz subah 4 pinni khilao kaali gaye ko"(everyday take 4 buns and feed it to a black cow).OK great ....i felt rejuvenated..that's it. just this simple task and i 'll be light and short no more.

For the next three months...

Every morning my mother would put a tika on my forehead ,would give me a plate with four pinnis(buns).I would take that plate ,close my eyes before that black cow,pray to god(of course to the cow as well) and feed her those buns.When i started with this ,i was hopeful that mother cow will help me out ..but to my disgust in these three months i didn't gain a single kilogram,nor did my height budge off a cm.
I was where i was....and it was disheartening..I felt cheated ..pundit ji was a fake.

I did what he said with all my devotion but nothing happened....

It still continued for another week or so but now i was reluctant.I would feed her daily but i used to think ,its me who needs to increase the Diet not the cow......
then i realised it was the cow that was putting on the weight.She got stronger ,taller and smarter.I was still my sorry self.:(

by this time i had figured out that its total insanity to feed a cow if you want to put on weight.
Its simple common sense that if i want to put on weight -I'll eat
and if i want to lose weight - I'll not eat.Simple as that.

I cursed that pundit ji for the false regimen he put me into.

That day and i swear ....i have never looked back..i have made it a point ,not to listen to any of these holy man in future.i will go by my own logic and do what i feel is right.After that day i ate what was meant for me and also ate what was meant for that black cow. It took some time to show results.

but results did show....i put up 24 kgs and now i am a super cool looking young man :P (height nahi badi koi baat nahi).
and yes ...Cow is also doing fine , a bit weak but looks great....

**Kundli - Its a text document that somehow knows all about your future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Everyday i see the sky......and i want to fly

Born today , i stared up
it's only me,yes only me that's laying down
rest everyone is standing up
i wanted to stand ,i wanted to be one of you

i tried..........., i fell.........., i cried
i was in some sort of pain
but he came

and yes he helped me get up again..........

Now i can stand on my own, i don't fall any more
but i know ,it has got to be much much more

I want to walk ,
its such a big house and i want to explore

Walking was fun until that stair came in my way
i wanted to conquer that stair

i tried ....... , i fell........ , i cried
it was such a pain
but there she came

and helped me get up again............

Now i walked around with ease ,no obstacle was big enough for me
but i knew
it was not had to be running for me

i wanted to beat everyone....i wanted to be fast
i entered a race and i was not sure when would it last

competition was strong and terrain was rough ,
i was afraid.....

i tried ........ , i fell............ , i cried........

but there they were.....
watching me run in my lane

and yes they came and made me get up again......

Now i run amongst the fastest

and all these years have taught me

no race is hard enough as long as you put in a genuine try.
running was fun,tracks were my forte but now I WANTED TO TOUCH THE SKY

yes yes has to be the SKY as now i want to FLY......

and this time
i'll give it the best of my try
i may fall ,i may rise
but i assure
that i won't cry

and yes thanks to all of you to get me this far
i have learn't how to handle my pain

and this time if i fall

I will MYSELF get up again

best of luck dear , go chase your dreams.......

Saturday, May 30, 2009

About me.....

It was sometime in 2005 that i created my orkut account.This was followed by filling up of the orkut profile.There is a section in this orkut profile that says "ABOUT ME".

About me --2005

"I am a doston ka dost and dushmanon ka bhi dost.I live each moment of my lif e king size .Enjoy each and every moment who knows ye moment kal ho na ho.Love you all"

In 2009 i sat there reading my ABOUT me .I just gave it a reading and i just said "come on gaurav have you written that????? noways." You won't believe i was embarrassed at this earlier effort of mine.I can i write love you all ,kal ho na ho,doston ka dost. I Mean, yes i am all that but this was heights of plagiarism .It had to better put and it had to be less clichéd.So i immediately deleted it from orkut and sat to give it another go.

After a lot of introspection thinking who i am,what are my characteristics,what defines me best?I came up with this

About me 2009

"I have my VISIONS -- that makes me a DREAMER

I have to live my DREAMS -- that makes a BELIEVER

I have to know my BELIEFS -- that makes me a LEARNER

I face challenges in LEARNING-- that makes me a FIGHTER

I may or may not conquer every fight--
you may or may not call me an achiever

but for the path that i travel from VISION to FIGHT
I'll always be a WINNER..."


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Google and Lok Sabha

Google and Lok Sabha -- do we have something in common?

Alrite both are Giants in there own right but is there anything else that we do have in common.

I think we do.

A few days ago i read that maharashtra had a voting percentage of just 40% ,the thing that shocked me with this was that maharashtra was a state recently attacked.I had a feeling that people would come out in large numbers to decide the fate of the state and that of the country.I was wrong and 60 people out of every 100 didn't care to vote.

I sat there reading my newspaper and thinking ,why didn't we vote ?
Why is it that youth of our country is disillusioned with the whole process of democracy ?
All those candle marches and protests appeared to be pseudo ,as when the time came to enforce a change we pulled ourselves out of the process .

Ok all these questions wanted an answer and i started discussing it with my room mates.After a long discussion the unanimous answer was "Mere ek ke vote se kya fark pad jaega???"(How much difference will one vote of mine make?).Ok fair enough.In a country of more then a billion, do i really matter?? That answer set me thinking for a solution.

Being a techie i looked for some technological solution to this and guess what?? i found it in GOOGLE.:) (it really searches everything).Although this time i had to read the technical design of Google's architecture to find a solution but still it was Google that gave me the answer.

Ok I'll start with Google's relation with democracy.
In the 90s search engines used to search solely on the basis of meta tags(these are the tags that tell about the keywords in the page).Suppose i have a page that deals with cricket so my meta tags will be like "ball","six","boundary","wicket" ,"bold" ,"tendulkar" etc.Now a search engine used to look for maximum matches in the meta tags and ranked the page accordingly.But web pages started misusing it.
Suppose a cricket world cup is approaching so the web page will put the keywords related to cricket in its meta tags (content will have nothing to do with cricket --it might be a page).So the developers exploited this loophole and search engines came up with all sort of weird results(shaadi,cookery ,pottery and what not) instead of cricket pages.

Thats where Google cashed in,They came up with an analogy that a person can lie about his credentials but other people in his locality won't lie about his credentials which is similar to a scenario where a web page can lie about its content(by giving misleading meta tags) but the other pages on the net won't lie about it.So if a page is REALLY good there will be other pages on the web that will be voting for its good content.

For example suppose we open and on the homepage we find an advertisement for,so the fact that yahoo lets stay on its homepage means that yahoo is voting for the fact that yahoo is itself voted by millions of other web pages makes yahoo's vote that much more important.So the fact is ,million of pages voted for yahoo and yahoo voted for that makes a really good web page.

Another real life analogy will be -suppose a company has to make a decision,now there are 1000 freshers(just joined the company) and one CEO thats going to take part in the the 1000 freshers say that we should choose option A,but CEO says we should chose option B.In Google's version of democracy it will be ceo's option that will be chosen because he has the vote of thousands of other employees who say that we trust your decision making abilities.

So its more of a weighted democracy kind of thing,which depends on the credentials of a person and these credentials will decide his voting power.In this kind of democracy a person like APJ Kalam might have a vote that has thousand points and a person who is into any sort of anti social activity will have a single vote or he might not have a say at all.

It is basically down to the individual weight age of a person's vote.This phenomenon can be visualized as follows

There is a village with 100 people ,99 are goons and 1 is an intellect and a visionary(named Mr Brilliant).Lok sabha elections are nearing and Mr Yadav is standing in the elections.Voting power of 99 goons is 1 point each and voting power of Mr Brilliant is 100 points .Now Mr yadav has to convince this village.If he tries the conventional way(bribes,gifts,liquor ) to get the village votes,he will at most get 99 votes of 1 point each.but our Mr Brilliant will not give in to these tactics of Mr Yadav.So a single vote of Mr Brilliant can decide the fate of our village.The other case is if Mr Yadav has to convince Mr Brilliant he has to do real development,he has to fight on real economic issues ,he simply has to perform in order to get Mr Brilliants vote.
So applying this algorithm we can give a message to our youths that you have a say in the elections and when a young man will feel that his vote can make difference.I think he'll come out to make that difference.

Google implemented democracy on the web after tweaking a little with the concept of democracy,now i think we should be taking a clue from Google's implementation of democracy.May be we don't do it at the national level .Let's start with the panchayat level elections and see for the implementation of this new version of democracy.

I think it should work.... it works magic for Google :)

1)Google uses a page rank algorithm to rank its pages voting power,what algorithm will we use to rank our voters.(thinking over it ---suggestions please)
2)I am making edits to a concept(democracy) that has been working for last hundreds of years,Please correct me if i am overlooking any strengths of democracy.(which i am sure i am).