Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ai Dil hai Mushkil Jeena Yahan...

This post comes straight from my Bihari heart

ai dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan
zaraa hatke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan
ai dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan
zaraa hatke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan

kahin Sena,Kahin MNS, kahin Manoos kahin Patil
miltaa hai yahaan sab kuchh ik miltaa nahin dil
insaaniyat kaa nahin kahin naam-o-nishaan
zaraa hat ke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan
ai dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan
zaraa hatke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan

kahin bomb blast,kahin baarish, kahin vidhan sabha main thappad kahin kursi ki race
kahin daaka, kahin faaka kahin thokar kahin thes
Gundo ke hain kayi kaam yahaan
zaraa hat ke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan
ai dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan
zaraa hatke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan

Hindi walon ko bhaiyya yahaan kahte hans hans
Unko roz maare kahe isko business
rajniti ke hain kayi naam yahaan
zaraa hat ke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan
ai dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan
zaraa hatke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan

Bharat main rahkar bhi Baharwala tu ban
Mazhab aur bhasha pe baatna ye yahaan kaa hai chalan
Bhaichara aur deshprem nahin milne ke yahaan
ye hai Bombay nahin nahin yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan
suno mister, suno bandhu
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan

ai dil hai mushkil jeenaa yahaan
zaraa hatke zaraa bach ke
ye hai Mumbai meri jaan

ai dil hai mushkil jeenaa yahaan
ai dil hai mushkil jeenaa yahaan

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Democracy or Dumbocracy

I have often taken pride in the fact that democracy in India has not only survived but flourished against all odds.The Maharashtra elections though have shaken the foundations of these very beliefs. Is democracy really the boon we claim it to be or has it become a statistical tool to win elections? It amazes me how a party which ruled for 5 years and had large doses of corruption,maoist terror,hate crimes,the worst terror attack in Indian History,farmer suicides,train bombings etc be reeleceted ? Have the people of India really misunderstood the meaning of democracy? Even after 60 years of independence are we still in a hangover of slavery?Are the politicians the new royalty?How can so many sons and daughters of politicians win in these elections?Why was the only new issue (marathi manoos) of the election as old as the patriach of the weak opposition? How can a ruling party get rewarded for its non governance or am I wrong ?Does the common Indian not care about bomb blasts and internal security or farmer suicides? have we become so self absorbed that we have become immune to the misfortunes of others?Was the so called "spirit of mumbai" a synonym for "Ï care a damn " ? Questions questions and so many questions but I dont see any answers in sight. When I look at the development and the discipline and the security and the efficiecny with which things are done in Oman ,I often wonder if maybe democracy wasnt that great a thing to happen to India.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

EDMS in the Insurance Sector

The insurance sector is overwhelmed with paper documents. The storage and retrieval of these ever increasing documents pose a serious challenge. In this sector all documents, like policy terms and claim documentation, need to be stored for long periods of time to mandate government regulations. The access and retrieval of these documents hinder and delay customer service and prolong the customer acquisition process. Digitization of these documents provides Insurance companies a competitive advantage. Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) allows companies to digitize, store and retrieve documents easily and allows them to increase productivity and improve efficiency.

Insurance Document Management System
It's important to maintain documents to get to them faster, and easily. EDMS solutions provide easy maintenance of policies, endorsements, quotes, binders etc. Templates are designed in common word processing tools, and the document management system will integrate and process these templates to generate and maintain documents. The documents can be retrieved at any time and are indexed in a database for quick searches.

  • Insurance Document Management System is a secure file upload management system with built-in audit tracking.

  • Customized reports and Ad Hoc reports are generated from the system.

  • Admin can set the access of all of the reports generated.

  • This System will maintain the generation of the various reports which will be provided to the users as per the requirement.

  • The reports like Modification Report, Policy Management Report, Payments Received Report, Agent commission report, etc.

  • A Document is generated at every step of the system.

  • These documents are then displayed (for eg on an intranet portal)for authorized staff to review and download.

  • This System is designed to create an audit trail of all document uploads, manage the process of document approval, and track viewer profile attributes.

  • Each group can have different criteria defining their document upload screen, such as document type, document size, upload time frame, and facility type.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sach Ka Saamna - An Inconvenient Truth

The furore caused by the new game show Sach Ka Samna ( desi version of The Moment of Truth) in India raises the age old question of modern India - What is the definition of Indian culture ? In a rare show of Unity , politicians from all the parties stand united against the broadcast of this programme as they feel that it is against the basic fibre of Indian Society and culture. I wonder how a participant admitting an extra marital affair or for that matter any other personal kinkiness affects "Indian Culture". The sach behind these protests is that it actually has no link to culture. The fact that its the politicians who have a problem and not the junta is itself an indicator that there is more to than meets the eye. The use of the Polygraph test though not admissible in court is often the norm in most of the police investigations. Now imagine a celebrity on national TV under the same test making an outrageous statement against the lords of this country ( read politicians) and it be proved true. It will open a can of worms and the Netas are running scared.Its high time the citizens of our country decide what to watch and for politicians to spend the tax payers money in finding solutions to issues like deaths due to malnutrition rather than waste it on such meaningless issues.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tolichowki to Chennai

The Telugu film industry nowadays is known more for producing politcal leaders than superhits. Amidst this gloom like a beacon stands our very own Yuva ratna (Youth gem) Balakrishna. Balaiah as he is popularly known has decided to break all filmy records by joining the "remake" bandwagon.Last heard he was remaking Chadni Chowk to China in telugu..aptly titled Tolichowki to Chennai.Its said to be a magnum opus in the making and narrates the story of Balu a bumbling tiffin center cook who as luck would have it bumps into the mystical old man Arengetram(Amitabh Bacchan ,first time in a telugu movie). Arengetram reveals that in his previous birth Balu was a famous bharatnatyam dancer from Chennai and was beaten by a cruel crude dancer , prabhu deva in a once in a life time role.Chennai has been under his spell ever since . Like a south Indian Yoda Arengetram teaches our idly dosa making cook the intricacies of Bharatnatya.WIll Balu succeed ? Will he be able to beat the break dancing deva? Will Chennai be finally rid of the weird moon walks? Am waiting impatiently for the start of this momentous adventure.Tolichowki to Chennai is definitely goin to be the biggest grosser of all time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life ,Luck and Laughter

It all began on a bright sunny morning. I was strolling towards my house,humming aimlessly,about to acknowledge the smile of a neighbour,when a streak of red 'swooshed' past me and I was drenched in puddle water.The car driver waved sorry,the neighbour smiled sympathetically and I stood there thinking "not again!!".The drenching of me,the third time in the week ,made me inquisitive,Was I unlucky?was there really such a thing calle bad luck?Was I an incarnation of charlie brown?the more I thought about it the more my mind wandered into the annals of the past,where I had so often been the hapless victim of fate.From the time in kindergarten where i used to be bullied by the gilrs in my class to the time I was in college where inadvetently I would end up as the only guy with a spelling mistake in my name in my degree certificate.Now come to think of it whenever a situation demanded finesse I end up making a faux paus.like the time in a restaurant ,having chicken and clumsy as I am with a fork and knife ,launched a meat ball into orbit and watched it,helplessly and in vain,as it landed in the plate of another customer ,who as it turned out was a hardcore vegetarian .I still start sweating from the palms when I reminisce what followed suit.
It always rains when i plan to go out .the electricity always goes 'kaput'when i am all set to watch a movie on television.the girls in my class used to beat me literally at all the sports.I have never won a lottery in my life.I always end up with just one number to go whenever i play tambola.I was the only guy in my school who sepnt his entire teenage without ever going out on a date.The mike always develops a glitch when i am on stage to address an audience.The list goes on and on.Is it bad karma?Is God playing tricks on his worthless creation?Could some fatidic individual please tell me when luck would finally smile at me.As a myriad of questions flitted thru my mind I caved in ,I gave up and thought what the heck if I was created to provide laughter to the 'one' above who was I to complain.Luck has taken a long divorce from me and I am sure the only people who will ever read this piece are my wife and office mates ,but hey atleast I know it is not my fault,it is my stars,all skewed and out of orbit.so the next time you feel cheated by fate.you aint seen anything my friend,you are way down the list.rejoice,be happy and laugh,cause I am luck's least priority.Oops my IT manager just caught me blogging in office...bad luck strikes again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Must Read - Winning by Jack Welch

"Winning" is one of my favourite books. It offers deep insights,original thinking and nuts and bolts advice that will change the way people think about work. One of the concepts discussed is the 4- E framework. The 4E framework states 4 things which an employee should have to become a successful, trusted part of an organization

  • Positive Energy
  • Ability to Energise others
  • Edge - The courage to make tough yes or no decisions
  • Execute - The ability to get the job done

The book is a must read and has really helped me in my professional life.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Employee Rewards and Recognition

Employee Rewards and Recognition
By Srikant G

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.”—Mark Twain
How do you keep an employee motivated? The answer to this question is as complex as the origin of life. Most companies have adopted rewards and recognition schemes as a tool to motivate employees. Every company has a plethora of awards – Star of the month, star of the week, fortnight hero, quarterly champ etc. But do these rewards really lead to improvement in morale? Unfortunately the answer to this question is as foggy as Delhi on a winter morning. In most cases rewards and recognition programs are major failures; in fact they often lead to discontentment in the team. The greatest challenge for any such scheme is the nomination process. How do you nominate a “star”? There have been cases when an employee has been the star of the quarter but has got a poor performance rating. Does this mean that employees cannot be motivated? Is it the death knell for employee rewards and recognition? Fortunately there is still hope. The problem of recognizing or rewarding an employee for exceptional performance is not wrong; it’s the implementation that’s flawed. The Human Resources team should be thinking of new ideas rather than adopting the tried and tested methods. What works in MacDonald’s will not work in Mauruti Udyog.
Rewards Vs Recognition
Though often used inter changeably rewards and recognition programs should be considered separately. Reward systems refer to programs set up by a company to reward performance and motivate employees on individual and/or group levels. They are normally considered separate from salary but may be monetary in nature or otherwise have a cost to the company. Recognition programs are generally not monetary in nature though they may have a cost to the company. Recognition elicits a psychological benefit whereas reward indicates a financial or physical benefit.
The key to developing a rewards program is as follows[1]
Identification of company or group goals that the reward program will support
Identification of the desired employee performance or behaviors that will reinforce the company's goals
Determination of key measurements of the performance or behavior, based on the individual or group's previous achievements
Determination of appropriate rewards
Communication of program to employees
Types of Reward Programs
The following are the regularly used rewards programs
1. Variable Pay
2. Bonuses
3. Profit Sharing
4. Stock Options
Recognition Programs
Recognition programs must be separate from the rewards programs. Recognition can have a monetary value (gift certificates, plaques etc) but money should not be given. Glasscock and Gram[2] noted in National Productivity Review that effective recognition methods should be sincere; fair and consistent; timely and frequent; flexible; appropriate; and specific. They go on to explain that it is important that every action which supports a company's goals is recognized, whether through informal feedback or formal company-wide recognition. Likewise, every employee should have the same opportunity to receive recognition for his or her work. Recognition also needs to occur in a timely fashion and on a frequent basis so that an employee's action does not go overlooked and so that it is reinforced to spur additional high performance. Like rewards, the method of recognition needs to be appropriate for the achievement. This also ensures that those actions, which go farthest in supporting corporate goals, receive the most attention. However, an entrepreneur should remain flexible in the methods of recognition, as employees are motivated by different forms of recognition. Finally, employees need to clearly understand the behavior or action being recognized. This is ensured by being specific in what actions will be recognized and then reinforcing this by communicating exactly what an employee did to be recognized.

Recognition Programs
There is a sincere need to look beyond the obvious when it comes to recognition programs. Here are a few ideas, which can truly motivate an employee
Peers Recognition – The true worth of any employee is known by his or her peers. The nomination for any award or recognition should be made by the team members rather than the supervisors.
Send a hand written note – The greatest recognition that an employee can get is direct recognition from the top brass. Supervisors should request the company bosses to send a hand written note to the deserving employees. The note needn’t be elaborating even a “thank you“ from the company MD means a million bucks to the employee.
Applaud – If anyone does anything worthwhile give the person a standing ovation at your next team meeting.
Reward Effort as well as success – All ideas need not be successful but ideas need to keep flowing in. Initiate an award for the best ideas that failed/could not be successfully implemented. For eg 'the best idea that didn't work' award. This stimulates positive behavior and innovation.
Create a culture of informal recognition – Recognition like leadership can be displayed at and by all levels of the organization. Create a culture where teams openly appreciate each other’s successes.
Enjoy Work – Each and every achievement of the team should be celebrated. Introduce concepts Like “Pizza Friday” or “Saturday Matinee” (Every Saturday one employee of the team gives a small presentation- fifteen to twenty mins - on a topic which is totally unrelated to work for eg a review of a favorite book or a movie)
There are millions of such ideas. The HR team needs to take the initiative in unearthing the recognition program best suited for their organization. The first step towards this is to conduct employee surveys (Appendix 1) .A sample survey is mentioned in the Appendices. Before commencing recognition program the management should ask a few questions regarding its feasibility (Appendix 2). To have an unpolluted environment we need to grow trees similarly to have a stress free, motivated environment in office we need to grow people. It is difficult but not impossible to motivate employees all it needs is a little effort.

Appendix 1 - Sample Template
Sample Attitude Survey
(Introductory Statement -- make specific to department)Before we implement a recognition and rewards program in this department, we'd like to get an idea of what kind of program our employees would like to see and how it could be positively implemented. This survey is intended to be anonymous, but you may add your name to the bottom of the questionnaire. Please return your completed questionnaire to ________________ by _________.
1. Do you receive positive feedback from your supervisor on a regular basis? Does your supervisor thank you for the work you do? ______Mostly yes _____No, or rarely
2. Have you ever wanted to be able to recognize good work done by co-workers? ______Frequently _____Seldom
3. Would you prefer to receive recognition initiated by supervisors and managers or by your peers? Or both? (Check all that apply.) ______ Managers _____Supervisors _____PeersKeeping in mind that this program is intended to involve “non-cash” tangible rewards, please respond to the following:
4. What kind of “rewards” would you like to see given? ______ Mugs, other items with a special department or University logo______ Flowers______ Certificate of appreciation______ Catalog gift certificates______ T-shirts______ CDs______ Parking pass______ Transit pass______ Dinner gift certificate______ Tickets to events______ Other: list suggestions below
5. How could we be sure such a program would work effectively and positively?
6. What drawbacks do you see to such a program?
7. Would you be willing to participate in a workgroup to implement a program?

Appendix 2 – New Recognition program checklist
Description of the practiceBenefits of adopting the practiceHow this practice worksWhat you need in place to replicate this practice Funding and top management support is needed.
Tangible improvements to the department as a result of adopting this practice.
Why this practice was so successful and is worth replicating

[1] http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/Di-Eq/Employee-Reward-and-Recognition-Systems.html
[2] Glasscock, Sue, and Kimberly Gram. "Winning Ways: Establishing an Effective Workplace Recognition System." National Productivity Review. Summer 1996

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First Look - Harry Potter and the Deathly hallows

The wait is finally over,well part of it atleast.The cover of HP-7 has been released.The American edition has Harry standing in front of an orange sky,the British edition has the three protagonists jumping out of a treasure chest and the adult British edition has a locket with intricate carvings.
Desperately waiting for 21-July-2007

Quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre and that I am therefore excused from saving universes.
--Life, The Universe and Everything

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
--Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

The history of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now so complicated that every time I tell it I contradict myself, and whenever I do get it right I'm misquoted. So the publication of this omnibus edition seemed like a good opportunity to set the record straight--or at least firmly crooked.
--Douglas Adams

You barbarians! I'll sue the council for every penny it's got! I'l have you hung, drawn, and quartered! And whipped! And boiled...until...until...until you've had enough. And then I will do it again! And when I've finished I will take all the little bits, and I will JUMP on them! And I will carry on jumping on them until I get blisters, or I can think of anything even more unpleasant to do...
--Arthur Dent

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continuously stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right?
--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it?Ford: We're safe.Arthur: Oh good.Ford: We're in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.

Charming man. I wish I had a daughter so I could forbid her to marry one...
--Arthur Dent

He was experiencing the aural equivalent of looking at a picture of two black silhouetted faces and suddenly seeing it as a picture of a white candlestick. Or of looking at a lot of colored dots on a piece of paper which suddenly resolve themselves into the figure six and mean that your optician is going to charge you a lot of money for a new pair of glasses.

Now it is such a bizarrely impossible coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God. The arguement goes something like this:
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't though of that" and promply vanishes in a puff of logic.

Arthur: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.Ford: Why, what did she tell you?Arthur: I don't know, I didn't listen.
"Please relax," said the voice pleasantly, like a stewardess in an airliner with only one wing and two engines, one of which is on fire, "you are perfectly safe."

THE UNIVERSE:4. Population
It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.
--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Don't you want to interrogate the prisoners, sir?" he squaled.
The Captain peered at him in bemusement.
"Why on Golgafrincham should I want to do that?" he asked.
"To get information out of them, sir! To find out why they came here!"
"Oh no, no, no," said the Captain. "I expect they just dropped in for a quick jynnan tonnyx, don't you?"
"But they're my prisoners! I must interrogate them!"
The Captain looked at them doubtfully.
"Oh all right," he said, "if you must. Ask them what they want to drink."
A hard cold gleam came into Number Two's eyes. He advanced slowly on Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent.
"All right, you scum," he growled, "you vermin..." He jabbed Ford with the Kill-O-Zap gun.
"Steady on, Number Two," admonished the Captain gently.
"What do you want to drink?!!" Number Two screamed.
"Well the jynnan tonnyx sounds very nice to me," said Ford. "What about you, Arthur?"
Arthur blinked.
"What? Oh, er, yes," he said.
"With ice or without?!" bellowed Number Two.
Oh, with, please," said Ford.
"Yes, please," said Ford, "and do you have any of those little biscuits? You know, the cheesey ones?"
"I'm asking the questions!!!!" howled Number Two, his body shaking with apoplectic fury.

Number Two's eyes narrowed and became what are known in the Shouting and Killing People trade as cold slits, the idea presumable being to give your opponent the impression that you have lost your glasses or are having difficulty keeping awake. Why this is frightening is an, as yet, unresolved problem.

Fruit and berries on strange planets either make you live or make you die. Therefore the point at which to start toying with them is when you're going to die if you don't. That way you stay ahead. The secret to healthy hitchhiking is to eat junk food.
--Ford Prefect

He picked up the letter Q and hurled it into a distant privet bush where it hit a young rabbit. The rabbit hurtled off in terror and didn't stop till it was set upon and eaten by a fox which choked on one of its bones and died on the bank of a stream which subsequently washed it away.
During the following weeks Ford Prefect swallowed his pride and struck up a relationship with a girl who had been a personnel officer on Golgafrincham, and he was terribly upset when she suddenly passed away as a result of drinking water from a pool that had been polluted by the body of a dead fox. The only moral it is possible to draw from this story is that one should never throw the letter Q into a privet bush.
--The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The New Age Extinction

The last dozen years or so have seen India evolve into a beautiful butterfly.We are catching the developed nations at warp speed.Yesterday, I realised that we are fast approaching the end of an era for a lot of "taken for granted" everyday items.The type writer has already made a place for itself on the dusty shelves of the national museum and the friendly neighbourhood post box is the latest in the list titled "Soon to be extinct".
When Nal asked me to post a letter for her on Saturday I was surprised on two counts ;one that she wrote letters in this mobile age and two, even if she did she wasnt using courier.
What started as a daily chore turned out to be a Bin Ladenisq search.I scanned the streets on my bike...man and machine working as one ....we tried in vain to detect one red cylindrical post box.I asked the traffic constable I asked the unassuming pedestrians but to no avail...finally I rode the seven odd kilometers to the general post office and dropped the letter.On my way home I realised another thing-forget post boxes ,Hyderabad did not have pavements but again thats another story for another post..