Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Movie....which side are you.....

I would admit that leaving aside the hectic schedule and odd working hours, the saving grace about my current profession is that i get the opportunity to meet a lot of  budding entrepreneurs. Though I don't have the resources to fund them but at least I am able to help them structure their proposition in front of Investors. In short create a compelling story, perhaps this is what Investment Bankers are paid for.

Having said that, I feel some times that being on the other side would be more exciting. Not talking about being an investor but rather being an entrepreneur. The kind of challenges these people face are fraction of what we can ever imagine. There I was meeting someone whose half the team comprising of 10 people was poached by a rival. It takes a lot of grit and determination to overcome this jolt and get back on your way, but this entrepreneur did it in 20 days flat and now he is up and running. This perhaps is an iota of difficulties that an entrepreneur faces.

They have to focus on each and every aspect of their business be it sales, strategy or doing number crunching. I am amazed how easily they get command over their financials in spite of having no professional education, perhaps you don't require that. Constructing Balance Sheets, Profit & Loss Statements is all about thinking in a structured and logical manner which they all are well accustomed to. Their day to day challenges teach them how to think quickly and re align their business with the changing environment.

Today perhaps represents the best opportunity for someone to start on his own, it has two pronged advantages one you are in control of your own destiny and secondly you provide employment to other set of Individuals, not forgetting the fact that you learn all the traits of life by doing this. People always talk of Savvy Investors but they are forgetting the fact that investors only come to being when we have spirited entrepreneurs who make it possible for them to invest. As one Fund Manager told me it's like watching the movie but to feel the pulse and adrenaline you have to be in the movie.

This sentiment / feeling is being reflected in today's environment where a lot of Fund Managers themselves are leaving to start their own ventures. They all say that people they have funded have made more money than their standard carry fee would ever make for them. Not all ventures are successful, out of the 5 we talk about 95 have already bitten the dust. But these 95 entrepreneurs never loose hope and always rise up to start a new one. We mortals being on the sidelines can only imagine the fun and excitement we are missing out.

In short, perhaps it's time to take the plunge and make life more exciting and lastly "Be in the Movie"........

Time for some action.............. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Final

It's that time of the year again, when my mom thinks that my behavior is on the border of Insanity. No it's nothing to do with the hot weather, but it's the last week of May the time when close to 100 million passionate supporters spread across different time zones gather to watch the spectacle called Champions League Final. 

Critics would still say that it's the league title in one's native country that would provide most satisfaction to a club's loyal support base, but there's something magical about this whole format that brings together the best teams across europe. Given that most of the world's top footballing talent is display in leagues across europe , it shouldn't be a surprise as to why it is a marquee competition.

Enough of the praise for the format / players, it's time to get back to business and time for some serious hardcore analysis ( this is what I bankers are paid for). So it's the re run of the 2009 final when Barcelona seemed to be the only team playing at san siro. If rumors are to be believed it was the after effect of guardiola's brilliant pre match strategy of showing a video based on gladiator theme to his players ( Gosh!! what can one expect in england). Barcelona thrashed manchester united that night, if i can remember they were not even able to string together a sequence of more than three passes in the mid field. But when you have magicians like Iniesta  and Xavi controlling the midfield, I would not have given the hapless red devils an iota of chance.

This final would again be a contrast of two playing styles, the beautiful and free flowing football played by barcelona. As the saying goes practice makes one perfect, it shouldn't be a surprise that what is taught in their training academy is replicated on the playing field. Contrast this to manchester united's style of playing that demands that one wins at any cost. So their strategy revolves around stifling their opponents, closing down the flanks and attacking them on the counter attacks. ( Don't think they can beat barcelona at their own game). I am no expert to talk about players combinations (4-4-2, 4-5-1) but both teams are certainly spoilt for choices, when it comes to alternatives for each position on the ground. Still it would be Messi Vs Red Devils XI, considering how the argentine has become the pivot around which the whole team revolves around. One should never forget barcelona's great mid field but the magic of little man overshadow's them all.

Now coming back to saturday's match  it's gonna be a great spectacle with most of the Wembley chokker block with english supporters. Perhaps it would be the best chance for manchester united to win this one, considering they are accustomed to these conditions. But my sentimental favorites would still be barcelona, they have promoted a brand of football over the past 3 years that makes you watch this game, how magically they are able to weave their web around the opponent and then literally walk the ball inside the goal.

One off final's do have there share of surprises as its the performance on that night which matters, frankly if barcelona were to play manchester united 15 times a year their record would be 14-1. That apart it would also be a fight between two tacticians Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiol, with Ferguson being the master at this one. 

Saturday's final might not live upto it's expectation as one never sees free flowing football on big match occasions. Whatever the outcome it's going to be a grand spectacle with 100 million zombies like me glued to the idiot box. Perhaps it would be interesting gesture to wear that barcelona jersey and watch the match amongst manchester united's supporters in the "Man Utd" Cafe at lower parel. Any one game for this ?

Saturday, January 01, 2011


I guess it's not a good omen for  my limited followers to start their 2011 with my rant, but unfortunately they have no choice. There is a lot i wish to write about the past 6 months, but have learnt that brevity pays in the long run. Listing down random events that have transpired in this period.

  • November brough a sudden change to my career path, moved base to mumbai to begin my journey in the world of I-Banking. The move was not done in a hurry, but had put in lots of thought behind it, life had become too monotonous back in Delhi. The world out here seems to be more professional ,have learnt that it's important to put one's though clearly across the table. In short practiscing the art and nuances of deal making
  • Thoroughly enjoyed my mid - week social get to gethers with my friends. But the joy may be short lived as the larger fraction would be moving out of Mumbai. I guess i can't hold them according to my wishes, everyone has a life of their own.
  • 10 days spent in Hyderabad on the back drop of ICM (Maths conference) were amazing, had a chance to interact with some of the legends in the field of mathematics and computer science. In short the experience was overwhelming.  Planning to be in Seoul in 2014.
  • Gave sort of my first talk sometime in september this year. Had a chance to visit calcutta after a long time. The city has not changed much, but i gotta chance to explore new townships on the outskirts of the city.
  • Turning back to I Banking, have been living on the cloud :) since i had started out here. There's too much use of jargons out here but have realised that its important for you to sell. Have explored the intricacies of many sectors and there's lot to learn.
  • Long hours at the office can have some side effects, bulging waistlines to start with a few. Have forgotten some important dates which i should never have. Perhaps ,i have to stop thinking what others would feel about that and move on with my life.
  • Turning into more of a capitalist nowadays, thinking about profit, feasiblity blahaaa..... another side effect of the career shift
  • I am realsing that's quite diffcult for me to make acquintances with new people, can be quite deterimental for my carrer. Have to improve this qaulity of mine.
 To sum it up, the changes happening over the past 2 months have been great. Hope I 'll be able to stick to the path i have taken.

Just before i end some maths gyaan on the first day of 2011. Realised 2011 is a prime number and amazingly it can be derived by  summing up 11 consecutive prime numbers ....  Some food for thought

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A world cup too far...

So the party is about to begin in less than 24 hours, the greatest sporting event that takes place every 4 years is about to unravel. It truly is a world cup unlike the cricket one, where a handful nations are competitive enough. So what's different about this cup, brazil aren't the talented team they used to be. They seem more to be a well oiled machine rather than the flamboyant and brilliant team we all had recognised it to be in the past. Argentina is still an enigma..despite the forward lineup consisting of greats like messsi, tavez, higuain, tevez and milito..their temprament is a problem. Azzzurri have grown too old and england still suffer from the hype associated with EPL. Thus it would be like another cup except the "fact" that it's the first time that the dark continent is the host and what better place than south africa to host the cup.

World cup is expected to be different with the profound impact of the Vuvuzela on the players and visiting spectators. Some call it irritating, but then you have to accept it as part of the local culture. The success of the cup depends on the local population as much as it depends on spectators visiting from other countries. Unlike europe where there's equal participation among indiviiduals from different nations, the success of this cup depends upon the support of the local population.

Going by the response... the hype and enthusiasm seems to be missing. There could be many reasons for it...some find the tickets to be steeply priced or the mode of disbursement absurd where majority don't have access to credit cards and thus the online access to them. But aren't we missing the real fact... football traditionally game of blacks in south africa should have been welcomed with great enthusiasm which is missing. Flash back to 1996 when rugby a game considered to be of the elite population had such a profound impact on the population there. The country had recently come out of the apartheid when Nelson Mandela used the event to bring harmony among the black and white. He found it to be a instrument which could help overcome the racial divide among it's population. People were made part of the event, unlike the 2010 world cup where shanty's and local population have been forced to move out of their present locality for the cup.

One major factor which can be attributed to the difference between 1996 and 2010 is the leadership at the helm in South Africa. 1996 was when Mandela made an impact not only on the nation but a sporting event as a whole. His clean image and struggle to end years of discrimination had paid dividence and he used the rugby world cup to bring people close. Fast forward to 2010 when the man at the helm Jacob Zuma is the opposite of what mandela was, neither is he consdered honest nor his off the work news held him in the highest regards. He has failed to bring his population together for the cup. His appeal and charisma is pale when compared to madela. Sporting events are no showpieces, there influence on the population today and generations ahead can be profound if handled the right way. What's important is the after effect they leave behind on the people. Rugby world cup in 1996 helped remove the animosity among it's population. I am afraid too say this one would just pass as another sporting event leaving behind white elephants unless the local population is made part of the event.

Do we want africa to loose it's best chance to host a cup....which would have no impact... the question seems to worry me a lot...perhaps the start in another 24 hours could answer my worries....

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Rooh ka banjara re parinda
Chhad gaya dil ka re gharonda
Chhad gaya dil ka re gharonda todke
Re gharonda todke, gaya chhodke

Je naina karun band band
Beh jaye boond boond
Tadpaye re, kyun sunaye geet malhar de

Bemalang tera iktara

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Not Connected...9920******

The decision came sooner than i had anticipated. The mobile companies just lost one subscriber...perhaps it does not matter to them when you have 600 million of them.

Designing and writing algos for them is different, still remember those my undergrad years when i was fascinated with the architecture of GSM...their data structures and how they manage to transfer calls from one Base Station to another...the security protocols and the encryption algos....

the choice was rather personal..... have decided not to carry one for the foreseeable future...... hope to find more solace with my self.... hope i stick to it....

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today after much deliberation, i have finally deleted my facebook (suspended) , orkut and yahoo account (broke the final connection with my alma matter). These would remain cached as long as Google wants them, but some day they would disappear for good. I only have a google and a twitter account as of now.

Did some final weeding in my gmail...deleted my chat list, removed those fancy labels, filters are gone and i finally unsubscribed every damn magazine, newsletter and other event list. Pruned most of my cell contacts, created a backup of those silly photos and videos and archived them for good. The cell phone would be gone by sometime next week ( I am not ready for the 3G revolution!!!). I have a feeling that people would be better off without these distractions, as they were in the past.....and ya after backing up ....the blogger would also vanish....... and so would my footprint on the WWW.....