Monday, May 25, 2009

The dust is settling down

The world as I know it seems to have cooled off its recent hectic activities and is beginning to offer some quantum of time to sit back and think, maybe bask in the glow of what it has achieved in the past few months that have sped by. While I was never a very prolific writer, this blog did allow me to explore and keep in touch with my English and its nuances of grammar and sentence construction.

As time goes I have begun to realize more often than not that I personally become very conscious of what I say, not just the syntactically but also semantically. That I believe has helped me in my communication with my customers these past few months. Of the many design documents and the follow up discussions mails that have been exchanged nobody has said "Could you explain ?" In fact, there have been commendations on the economical use of words and the lucidity of language. For those who are not aware, I quit my previous large organization and joined a services startup, where our current business model focuses on generating revenues first and then channelizing those into in-house products to give that fillip to the revenues. Given all the market scenario and the negative spiral ( tailspin, perhaps ?), it so far has been good going. Things are looking steady so far, and we are now planning to look at more avenues for growth. Let's see what comes along.

Speaking of the world of markets, while the general markets are still in bad shape - thanks to all the dole that these governments have been giving out - and may continue to do so for some more years, the capital markets have at least shown some signs of hope, maybe lesser despair to say the September - October time frame of last year. That was an awesome time - a time to understand and appreciate behavioral finance as a respected field of study. There are so many biases that an investor holds - confirmation bias, hindsight bias, anchoring bias. From what little I know of the actual finance industry it looked like the hotshot big bosses went through at least some or all of those. In fact I am pretty confident that the ordinary conservative Indian investor did better. My Dad, with his fixed deposits, definitely did better for sure. And I for one have learn some valuable lessons that will last me my lifetime. Couldn't have come at a better time as I have just begun my investment journey and am yet to have invested large sums. In retrospection things look rational - the markets rewards only the rational investor over the long term. That apart the best investment is the investment in oneself and in one's career.

To help the Indian capital markets come out of its despondency vis-a-vis other world markets, along came the endgame of the Indian Political Theater - the five-yearly General Election and the Election Commission behemoth. At the cost of sounding much too cliched, the world watch as we did the dance of democracy and elected our representatives, lawfully and peacefully to a large extent. And the citizenry did quite a good job of getting convinced massively by the arguments of the Grand Old Party. Kudos to the strategics in their camp to have devised whatever they did and to have come up with such numbers when all and sundry to bet on haggling and horse-trading post elections. Thankfully that did not happen. What happened instead is that the party seems to have found some spine on its own in the way it is dealing with its current allies. Hopes are up that the disinvestment process that had been stalled, thanks in no small measure,to the Left, will be renewed and the fiscal deficit will go down. Now all that we need are a few more honest-to-self ministers and things would start to look pretty good. Looks like steps are being taken in the right direction when we consider that the party-and-family loyalist Arjun Singh has not been honored with ministerial berths. I am also hoping others like Kamal Nath also make way for better people. These two guys top my list of personal peeves in politics. All this 5-week long election and threw up quite some interesting tidbits of voting patterns, mindsets, etc, etc.

There are other places also where the dust has settled - Indian Premier League. Apart from the elections if there is one topic which occupied the mind and heart (o yeah, the heart too!), it has been this. The drama has been never ending. But the best comment was from a local spectator in the field - "I don't understand cricket. I came here to watch the cheerleaders." I like it !!! And in all this I also discovered a few good places in Bangalore where they broadcast matches for the public and serve nice drinks too !!! Obviously you need to pay.

Anyways, things are cooling down all around. And as the dust settles the leader starts to prepare for the next boom cycle.

Cheers !!!
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