29 July, 2018

A little poem on HUL Q1 2018 results

This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. 
Synthesize financial results in the form of a poem. 
So here goes my first.. Of the company I work for. 

The management's optimism is legit
With the three divisions growing in double digit

Ebitda majestically up by 100 bps
Where to invest needs no tips

The trajectory in tea
Continues to  defy gravity

Improved performance from dove and pears
Personal care handsomely allays all fears 

Homecare showed great growth
Domex and Co happily adding more froth

Ayush rocking in the south
Means that the graph moves north

No way stingy on promotion 
Its key to deliver on the mission 

The C4G strategy continues to deliver
Awesome results are here to stay forever

12 June, 2018

An Act of cowardice?

I for one, used to believe that
Suicide was an act of cowardice
By someone not brave enough to face the world
Or brave enough to face consequences of an act

Slowly, I began to feel that it could be
A state of mind, where others see doors
While one sees just walls

It is not about the world view anymore
It is just about what one sees in the mirror

Mental well being can’t be stressed enough
And While I have nothing against visiting
 A psychiatrist or the cooler term ‘therapist’
For I have also used their services

Just like physical pain, the recovery path
Is outside the clinic.
Make use of the prescription, apply it well
But remember, just like in case of physical well being
Prevention is better than cure

We live in a world where happiness is
No longer a state of mind
It is an industry
Be conscious of what we are pursuing
Happiness or greed masquerading as happiness

instagram shows the choicest of foods savoured
Not the instakilograms It builds

Facebook may show the best vacations
Not the emi calculator

There may be times when we choose to introspect,but
Let each of us be conscious of whether
We are choosing to be aloof, alone or lonely

Conformity and compliance builds reverence
But they are not great ingredients for building memories
Sometimes, a bit of cheekiness, happy over right
Will help one live as a character, though not entirely in character

If there is one thing that will make you sleep
As soon as you hit the bed
If there is one thing that will Wake you up
Without a snooze on the alarm clock

You are here to stay
You are here to thrive
You are here to live

10 June, 2018

Outsourcing acceptance

When even a film producer refuses to see the film
Through the eyes of the critics
Why do parents choose to see their children through the lens of the society
At the time of holding the baby for the first time
All that matters is that connection
Between the parent and the child
Till the relatives and friends around
Start the guessing game
"The baby looks more like dad or mom?"
Well, the baby looks 100% like itself.
And when as parent there is no patience
To understand the child for what he or she is
Comparisons provide the easy way out
Doesn't matter the duration of the game
Doesn't matter even if the kids are playing different sports
Doesn't matter what arenas they choose
The easiest way out is to find the least common multiple
And compare and contrast
If the child is looking forward to
" i am proud of you" more than
"I love you" , time for a course correction

01 May, 2016

Just like that.....

Meine socha ki humein baandha hei ek gaada dor
Till, one day you lovingly showed me the door

Yakeen tha ki yeh rishta jeeyega saalon hazzar
Not once did I know that this feeling is a hazard

Jab bhi hum the saath bas rahe sukh aur chein
Our journey together was quickly pulled by a chain

Saath mein the tho lag raha naache saare mor
And just like that, it all disappeared wanting no more

Ek hi naam jisko sunte hi machi kushi ka shor
All dreams of being together was washed ashore

16 June, 2013

The curious case of Infosys and its Founder

I had the privilege of attending the 32nd Annual General Meeting of Infosys at Bangalore yesterday. As usual, the extremely well-orchestrated event was attended by the Board, the Executive Council and a spectrum of share-holders.

Now, back to the headline grabbing agenda item of the AGM- The reappointment of NRN as a Director thereby paving the way to formally become the Executive Chairman of Infosys. The voices that supported the move certainly outnumbered the ones that wanted to reject the appointment.

NRN has been stating that the move from the Board offering him a seat back at the helm was both unexpected and unusual. Would have loved to hear something more. That it was unacceptable as well.

There were rich references to the Indian ethos; it is the duty of the father to do a course correction when the kids need help. Yes, it is the duty of the father to advise the kids and be a MENTOR. When the son fears failure in exams, he can ask his father to spend some time with him to understand the subject better. You just can’t ask your father to appear in the Board Exams for you. I am afraid at this rate, NRN may be asked to code as well before his five year term ends.

As an accountant, I always believe that debits and credits always match. What is with the Airtel video equivalent annual remuneration? Is the work of turning around a $ 7 Bn enterprise trivial or is this charity at its peak. I am sure a lot of us know that there is no such thing as a A Free Lunch.

As far as my assessment goes, it could well be the cost of guilt of not creating a true leader before the first call of retirement beckoned. By not letting the next gen to take decision and make mistakes and so that they could learn faster, he has taken it on him to execute the course correction all by himself again.

I am afraid history will repeat itself in a few years. These five years should be spent on nurturing leaders and not create a coterie again. We know that he is the best man to do the job, but again it looks like Infosys and its shareholders would be happy with fish for dinner and not the fishing rod that will be able to feed them for a lifetime. I am afraid this knee jerk reaction will end up creating an eternal Re 1 pension for the founder.

And if there is an emotional connect that drives him back to Infy which he claims rightfully as his middle child, why would his son also have to tag along at Re 1 per annum. Or Is it a case where the third child bears the burden of the failure of an elder sibling? This is one Bollywood potboiler waiting to unfold in all its splendor over the next five years.

Disclosure: I just hold a single share of Infosys and that is for two reasons. One- it is like a memento of the institution where I spent well over five years of my professional life. The second is a little less sentimental; I get a lavish wedding reception-like snacks once a year for the rest of my life.

05 September, 2012

Malini Miss...

Rajam Miss expressed her sadness when she had to hand me over from 1E to 1B. Pramila Miss was the class teacher in Class 2B and the stand out incident as far as I was concerned in that class is thankfully not widely documented :)

3A – My favorite teacher till date took Maths classes for us. Malini Miss. The warm smile on her lips looked like a permanent fixture. Thinking back, it sure looked like an expression of someone who just loved her profession and was unconditionally happy to be amidst children and impart some Maths and a lot about enjoying school

4A- As the school opens after the annual leave each year with us wearing the new school uniforms to school, the biggest game was to guess who the Class Teacher would be. As far as my friends and I were concerned, it was more a prayer than a guessing game.

As Malini Miss entered the class wearing the predictable crisply starched saree, our prayer was answered. Not sure what it meant then, but I guess it was just a simple feeling of reassurance that we were going to be in safe and caring hands.

As Class 4 drew to a close, the fad for getting autographs of teachers and friends had just begun. So when me and my friend Prem went running to her to get her signature, she was amused and told us it made little sense, for that was not the end of schooling and we were all going to meet again in less than three months. Never the less, she did oblige.

There have been countless teachers whose classes that I have been fortunate to attend. Some were very good in the subject they taught and some adept at tackling the adolescent minds in High School. But I can boldly say, there is no other teacher who has left such an indelible mark in my mind. Though I don’t know where I kept that autograph book, what will stay as vivid in my memory as her saree prints, would be her smile and the sense of reassurance we derived in her sheer presence.

Miss, you still bring a little smile on my face whenever I think of you!

07 August, 2012

Education, the fishing rod to secure India's future

Welcome back to 'Just Like Us'. In this concluding part, I am happy to present to you, my conversation with Prasad Revuru - An affable software professional with the mind of a scientist, head firmly on his broad shoulders and a heart of gold. Prasad and I got to know each other thanks to an ERP rollout project we were part of, representing different entities.

Arun: Prasad, let us get straight to the achievement of yours that I admire most. The school. What is it called and why did you choose Nellore as the location for the school.

Prasad: As of now we are supporting govt schools and colleges in rural area villages in four mandal in Nellore Dist. We, Visista Grameena, are open to work anywhere in Andhra Pradesh. But due to lack of volunteers in other places we primarily focused in Nellore Dist only.
Now-a-days, even in mandal headquarters, many educational institutions are coming up with fancy names like concepts schools, IIT schools, techno schools, digi schools, international schools and list goes…  All these schools are specially designed for economically well placed people in the society. At the same time the rural area education system is being ignored by all of us. But the students who join in govt. schools are from either backward cast or financially challenged families. And those schools are being gradually ignored by the major communities in the society.
Visista Grameena takes up this point as serious problem and started working with the Schools and communities. We aim to take care of the rural education system through ‘Vishysta Grameena Vidya Samrakshana – VISHY eduCare‘. We are providing an environment that encourages overall growth and development of rural area schools

Arun: What are the various initiatives that your foundation undertake at this point?

Prasad: Active Programs:
Ø  Utukuru ZP High School Adoption
-          Provided additional teachers in the year 2009-10
-          Provided free books, cloths and other stationary
-          Schools outings
-          Awareness programs
-          Financial aid for merits for further studies
Ø  School competitions in four mandals in Nellore Dist
Ø  Important day celebrations like teachers day, Independence day, Mathematics day etc
Ø  Awareness programs like choose your career, ICET, MSc, IT awareness programs
Ø  Financial aid for merits who finished schooling in govt high schools – for intermediate education
Ø  Scholarships for poor and needy students.
Ø  Adopted an orphanage student in 2012  and planning his career

For more details, visit http://vishy.org.in/activities.html

Arun: What all the readers would like to know, how did a school feature in the agenda of a software professional?

Prasad: As I came from a small village, I studied in rural area govt schools and colleges.  I faced lot of problem like lack of awareness in job opportunities, higher educational opportunities, communication skills and so on. Even today students who study in rural area college are not aware of many things. For instance, many India based companies like TCS, CTS, HCL, Wipro, Infy etc… hiring BSc graduates as Software Professionals. How many colleges/students know about this?

Arun: How important do you think education is in a middle class scenario?

Prasad: In Rural Areas, education should be self-supporting, to know the better life, farming, better marketing. They don't know about the govt schemes and programs which are actually planned for them.
For students who want to go for higher education, they should know about the career opportunities and current job market trends. Present education system is not enough in this scenario.
We, Visista Grameena, come forward to show a difference in their lives with our programs and activities.

Prasad, thanks for sharing the activities of your foundation and your thoughts on education.