Friday, January 03, 2020

Composing a Masterpiece

In an orchestra there are many individual great and very accomplished players of various instruments. Yet when they all play to the same composition together they bring out something special that they could never bring out when they play individually. And if they all play their own tune it never sounds great. Sounds more like noise.

Its the same with any team or a startup, there are many accomplished members of the staff but unless they all play to the same composition they will not produce the music of success. And if they all play their own music it never sounds good and it feels like the team is pulling in different directions.

That's where a composer plays a very crucial role, to write the music the way they envision it and then get everyone on the team to play to that composition.

This needs to be fine tuned everyday so that the orchestra plays in tune and is able to adjust to the everyday changes that are bound to occur.

Who is the composer in your team? Who writes the music for your team? Is your team ready to write the next masterpiece?

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Monkey on your back

Ever feel like you are being weighed down by a ton of monkeys on your back. Well if you do, then you allowed those monkeys to be put on your back.

Lets step back a bit and understand what is a monkey? A monkey is a task you gave a team member to work on and you expect them to take care in doing it to completion, but instead of completing it they bring it back undone to ask you expecting an input or a decision from you to move ahead.

The moment you take it upon yourself to give them an answer you have successfully taken over charge of that monkey and now it is stuck with you until you give an answer. Now think about  it, if you start accumulating monkeys like this what would happen.

You would have to figure out how to make time to handle these monkeys as they get brought back to you to firmly take them and put them back on your team members back.

Remember that if you do not get rid of these monkeys they end up one on top of the other and the longer you keep them the more of a stink they create.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Being Relevant

The IT industry is a very fast changing environment and there are new languages being invented, new technologies being uncovered and new methodologies being proposed. At the same time there are better equipped smarter and more enthusiastic youngsters that are passing out of university all excited to be part of the world building the next exciting thing to hit the technology market.

Given this situation its quite a challenge for someone who has already been working in the industry for sometime to continue to stay relevant and know and understand all the time what is happening and at the same time being acquainted with the technology and the tools that the people are using and the customers are demanding.

But it is important that one does stay acquainted and relevant to the changing times. If you don't then there is every chance that one can get rolled over by either the technology or by the super smart young kids coming out of university.

Learning never ceases and if you stop learning that would be the start of your decline. There is no reason now to stop learning in this age of online courses (coursera, udemy, many more), YouTube and many more platforms.

Keep Learning. Stay Relevant.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Task Execution Vs Task Leadership

Ever been in this situation, you give a task to a member of your team and every few minutes the person would come back to you and ask you for feedback or queries and then you feel you are going nowhere with the task (as many a time you do not know the answers and would have to research) and the person feels that they have put in a lot of effort. 

Alternatively you have the situation where you give a task to the member of your team, they understand what is the end goal of the task, they take all the inputs from you that you have to offer, go back to their desk and do all the research needed to execute, come back with a plan, resources needed and an activity list to execute the task and on approval sets about silently executing the task and only providing you periodic updates on the progress. 

Which of these two team members would you prefer to work with? The answer is quite obvious and this is task execution vs task leadership. Its easy to find people who can execute tasks, but that leaves you to do all the thinking and making the plan. This slows down execution and can leave a lot of things on your desk waiting to be completed. 

Find team members who can show leadership in understanding of what needs to be done and then doing whatever it takes to get it done rather than team members who can only execute what you give them to do. This is what differentiates a great team member from a good team member. 

Saturday, August 08, 2015 : Ras Al Kaimah's emerging business platform

RAK Pages is focused on bridging the gap between consumers and businesses. Rak Pages stands for Ras Al Khaimah pages and is dedicated to the residents and businesses in Ras Al Khaimah.

According to Wikipedia, Ras Al Khaimah has over 250,000 residents. Most of the information about businesses has been passed on by word of mouth and is not centrally located. Rak Pages aims at being the one stop information portal for any business or service requirement for the Ras Al Khaimah residents. is an online business directory that e-enables businesses by providing an online platform. This platform:

Identity: Allows for up to date information about the business which is not limiting to the business name, location, contact information and description of the activities of the business.

Showcase the business: Various ways to showcase businesses
  • Photos, 
  • Printable and physical vouchers, promotions, gift coupons and flyers, 
  • Leader-board spaces on the website
  • Location map 
  • Contact form
  • Trendy links with photo viewer
  • Mobile app
Connecting clients with businesses: Businesses can get qualified customer leads through the contact response from our call center and online application after receiving approval from the client to pass on their contact details to the business.

Bringing businesses to the doorstep of residents: By marketing the business through vouchers, coupons, promotions that are physically distributed across Ras Al Khaimah, we will take the service offerings of the businesses up to the door step of the residents. Thus, increasing footfalls into malls and private establishments.

24/7 access of information to residents: RAKPages is available on the web and the mobile platforms iOS and android. This provides any time access to the users to get comprehensive information about any service or product that they are seeking.

Benefits to the Business

RAK has immense value to the businesses:
  1. Quickly setup with no infrastructure cost. They can get a website through a URL unique to the business that they can share and publicize. 
  2. The website is easy to use to update information about the business including photographs, vouchers, promotions, contact information and description of the services. 
  3. Connect with customers by sending news about offers at the business
  4. Attract customers through vouchers sent directly to their mobile phones
  5. Help the business connect with international customers through the internet.
  6. Proven cost effective platform to promote the businesses.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Water Politics

Its amazing how the actions of one party that is less than 2 years old can get the whole nation to sit up and watch by just changing the policy on how water is billed to the residents of that state. With just that one move they manage to get prime time TV debates and every other state trying their best to replicate that model although it should not really be too hard given the amount of money each state already spends on subsidies. Water is becoming increasingly a resource that needs to be carefully consumed with a growing population and greater pollution of the existing water bodies it is becoming harder and harder to find cheaper sources of water.

Countries like Canada with the 5 great lakes have the largest body of fresh water available at their fingertips and since they are all glacier fed lakes they are perpetually being refreshed with more fresh water. The Arab countries with the desert and all the development taking place have to use desalination plants to meet their water needs. Every drop of fresh water is expensive to make and even then its not the very best quality of water and its at times cheaper to get gas for your car than to buy water.

India lies somewhere in the middle of these 2 countries - we neither have abundant water nor do we have no water. Its just that we manage to politicise the issue of water. Whether it is water sharing agreements between states or the price of water in the urban areas its all politicized and this trend is dangerous. Serious effort should be made to manage the water we have and use it efficiently or else our future generations are going to pay a severe price for water.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Golconda Fort - Hyderabad

Pictures of the fort

Panoramic pictures of Hyderabad city from atop the hill on Golconda Fort.