On business

I have reason to celebrate my blog today! WordPress.com has endorsed my blog for the keywords “business” and “gprs”. Thank you, whoever you are, bot or other wise.
The occasion reminds me of a quote I picked up from the movie Layer Cake.

The art of doing business lies in being a good middle-man“.

How do you interpret it? I would love to hear from you.

Other posts on business on Sukshma.

Other posts on gprs on Sukshma.

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Indiagames sells 51% for over $14mn

UTV Software communications ltd made a huge purchase – 51% stake in Indiagames, a mobile gaming company and also a 70% stake in UK’s Ignition entertainment, an online gaming company. More details on Indiagames financial past on Contentsutra.

Writing and exporting games from India still seems to be a very serious proposition.

What does the UTV acquisition mean?
It’s a large deal. What we are trying to do is to create a large gaming entity out of India. The acquisition of Ignition brings in the console gaming capability. We bring in the online and mobile gaming capability. It’s also a sign that how serious gaming business is becoming. UTV is launching a channel for youth, and from that perspective their investment in Indiagames is very strategic. UTV is also very strong in bollywood space, and they are going to help us a lot on creating great content. They understand the broadcast technology and the youth market. So there is a lot of synergy.

UTV also has a very large animation business. Adding Indiagames and Ignition to this portfolio, it gives a complete picture of growing a very large company in gaming. And UTV is known for delivering shareholder value.

Filmiholic and The Namesake

Came across a great blog on the desi-videsi movies genre. It’s called Filmiholic. Filmiholics claim to fame in my book is that it captures the less popular but equally enthralling independent Indian cinema very well.

Another blog worth mentioning is Kal Penn’s blog on the new Mira Nair movie “The Namesake”. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar…) plays the son of Indian immigrants to America in the movie. The blog is about his stay and shooting of the movie in India.

Dor: Nagesh Kukunoor perfects the art of story-telling

Dor opens with Gul Panag playing Zeenat, a character defined by a strong sense of honesty, determination, and self-will. The focus is on Zeenat’s serene profile. If your looking for any sign of make-up – you won’t find it. Meera, the other protagonist is played by Ayesha Takia.

Dor is a story of the two women, Zeenat and Meera. Their lives are inextricably linked by a certain sequence of events. At no point are the events incredulous or unbelievable. Also, the events themselves will not dominate your thoughts, rather it is the lives of the two women after these events that will leave a strong mark in your mind. At the risk of oversimplification, you will experience what the majority of women are up against thanks to Indian society and traditions. You will learn that there is at least one solution.

The talented Shreyas Talpade plays the role of Behroopiya. His entrance into the movie is almost an assurance that Zeenat and Meera will find a way to untangle the events. Shreyas’ brand of comic relief is not annoying or repetitive.

Last night, I watched the movie in a packed Multiplex-screen in Pune. Surprised? Even more so when you will learn the show was a late-late show (11pm). The movie had just one dance number (and that too, the number is set with Kajra Re from Bunty aur Bubli). Dor is shot only with the beautiful Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan’s arid backdrop. I am so sure that India (urban and maybe even rural) will accept different cinema.

I admire Nagesh’s work. He has perfected the art of presenting a story to bind the movie-goer. The most memorable scenes have shades of surprise, uncertainty, despair, and hope all painted into brilliant depictions that are alive. I highly recommend Dor if you enjoy watching a rich story unravel. In Nagesh’s own words “The story wrote itself”.

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Quotes to begin the Hindu New Year

While scanning the papers today, I came across some excellent quotes from the current generation of Indian entrepreneurs.

One needs to be “obsessively passionate”, as passion can vary, but obsession can’t. It’s the distinguishing factor. One must be restless all the time to do what one wants to do.

Dilip Chhabria, Promoter – Dilip Chhabria Design. Dilip turned down a lucrative offer from GM, USA to satisfy his desire to design cars. He has worked relentlessly for an entire decade to establish his design studio. I remember seeing his early concepts in auto-shows back in the late ’90’s.

How can one confirm that spark of passion in entrepreneurs? Last night at a family get-together, a close relative of mine explained in the following inexact words,

I want to see if he is passionate about his immediate family. Experience teaches me that a deep sense of passion and attachment towards family is a very positive indicator of passion, commitment and therefore success in other areas of life, including business.

Unlike academics, where you know you have a fixed time window to acheive success in the form of a degree – life offers you a misleadingly long window; you have only your own lifetime to succeed. Indeed, commitment is crucial.

Finally, better believe it – your TIME is now! Doesn’t matter who or where you are.

Chill out Saturday

It is raining outside. Pune is very drippy. What else but Reggae for today? I thought I would share with you the works of Max Romeo. I recommend a popular track of his – “Chase The Devil“. I got here when I heard the Grand Theft Auto “San Andreas” Soundtrack. The other trippy reggae numbers on the GTA soundtrack include “Armagideon Time” – Willie Williams.

Listen close & take care man! πŸ˜‰

Related Links:

Rediff: BlackBerry Connect for the Nokia 9300 now available through AirTel, India

Article: “Airtel’s BlackBerry: Not too hot” – Rediff.com, Dec 16th. 2005.

My take, author’s spelling – not too hot! But then let me not miss the real theme of the article. The author is not the only one to complain about the poor memory available on RIM devices (I believe he is talking about permanent storage memory). BBConnect devices are one way to get around such limitations. Surprisingly, India got BBConnect before the US did. Could it be that the outstanding case with NTP is delaying BBConnect’s introduction to the U.S. mobile market? There are also a few standard BlackBerry features missing on the BBConnect device. For example, wireless synchronization of your contacts and calendar.

Indian Food

My sincere advise to those who find themselves handicapped in the Kitchen πŸ™‚ stay away from communities like “Indian Food” and “Pakistani Food”. If you do disregard my advice, you will suffer the ignominy of hundreds of people dropping names of delicous indian dishes πŸ™‚ and causing your tastebuds to overload :).

Nothing like desi food :), moghlai, southie, sindhi, punjabi, love it all.

The Irony…

In the past week tech news has confirmed what everyone in the world of programming has feared. Programming is now a commodity and not an art only for those gifted in math and logic. Last week, Microsoft announced that it was moving 800 jobs to India, Yahoo announced that it would shift it’s entire research and development wing to Bangalore, India. Finally, IBM joined in the fray and announced it was moving jobs over to India slowly and steadily to as many as 60,000.

This brought on an entire wave of paranoia in the development community at large in the USA. Suddenly, everyone is comparing the entire direction the tech industry is taking to that of sweatshops. As always, the news brought out the best in some developers and the worst in others. One comment on Slashdot pointed out that it was inevitable that this should happen and that the USA should (and will) stay ahead through innovation and true high tech. On the other hand, others blew their lid off at how so many GA’s/TA’s were from India at US Universities and how the US tax-payers were footing the bill to educate the developers who were finally taking away the jobs too (What about the Kalpana Chawlas I would have asked, but I wanted to moderate the discussion :S not participate).

The facts are of course, that the Indians are doing a good job in the area of development. There is also the immense savings. On average, an Indian with 2 years of solid professional experience will get around $8000 a year, while the same kind of experience here demands several 10’s of thousands in US Dollars.

It’s true that the american way of life costs, but it also demands innovation. The circumstances bring out this truth in the open, assuming of course that the sweatshop trend will settle in. At around the middle of year 2002, when things began to go really sour, lots of Indians predicted this, saying that the crunch on finance in the high-tech industry would result in a trend of this sort. However, the current movements are not a result of just sorry finances, we are talking major high-tech firms affirming their faith in the Indian Tech Industry.

Strangely, it also brought out good humour, someone asked, why not out source management too? Someone else pointed out that now Americans could migrate to India and open convenience stores for the Indian programmers πŸ™‚ of course don’t be surprised if they make fun of your american accent ;). To apprise them, we don’t have convenience stores, well not many really. We do have kirane wallahs and as the people of Lullanagar and Aundh will point out, that has been out-sourced to the Biharis already.

I believe that the future holds prosperity for the Indian tech. Industry. I just pray we don’t get too caught up with the business of tailing when we can lead eventually. I want to be surprised when I say that the best innovation can come from us too.

My sup. in Persistent once said, as long as Indians are there in tech, quality will remain absent… “Chalta Hai” !! This is an opportunity to prove otherwise…