January 28, 2009

Aval Vikatan

Aval Vikatan [needs registration] is a popular women's magazine in Tamilnadu. The current issue has an article on the impact of recession on IT sector in chennai. It is OK with me, if few issues are hyped and exaggerated for reader attraction, but this one went over the top. An IT guy went to his ex- Project leader's house who was given the pink slip. It seems the PL's family was reeling in abject poverty and had not eaten for the past three days. As though this was not enough, some more sympathy factor was thrown - the PL's wife was pregnant. Come on.. how more ridiculous it can get.
There should be some journalist ethics while drafting an article. Journos just get carried away, not realizing that many people actually believe what is written.

Apartment Syndrome

Sunlight is the only source of Vitamin D apart from mother's feed. Now, with babies being raised in closed a/c comforts of apartments Vitamin D deficiency is on the raise. As exposure to sunlight is reduced, the bones are affected. The irony is Chennai sees just hot, hotter, hottest climate.
More about Apartment Syndrome

January 21, 2009

Chennai Sangamam - 2009

Had been to Nageshwara park in Mylapore on the penultimate day of Chennai Sangamam - the annual gala of folk arts. The mood was clearly one that of joy and merry making. The park was teaming with the affluent and the common man too. Gypsy song & dance [Narikurava koothu] was going on, I must admit that was a not a pleasant one on the ears ;-( but had a feast for the taste buds ;-). Coimbatore, Madurai and Kumbakonam food specialities were on the offering. To my surprise, the area was clean and the food was hygienic. Then noticed that the stalls were from the likes of Taj, Raintree etc. Kudos to the people who are organizing this massive festival. The popular face behind is Kanimozhi, the now famous daughter of CM. Congrats to the organizational committee for this mammoth effort.[Managing thousands of artists, huge crowds across the length & breadth of chennai is not an easy job].

Anyways looking forward to the next edition.

January 17, 2009

Sanjay Dutt, the politician

On his decision to join SP and contest polls ,
Sanjay Dutt said, "Samajwadi Party offered me the ticket first."

When was the last time you heard such candid statements on political aspirations and principles..Amazing! But he is atleast being honest!

Hail Tamar people

Shibu Shoren's Shameful saga continues..[this post was written way back in 2006...]
But some faith in democracy has been restored by the Tamar assembly constituency people. That by-poll defeat was a grand kick in the butt. After dilly dallying for more than 5 days, he has finally put in his papers. But the issue is yet to settle down...more drama is expected in the next few days.

January 07, 2009

'No' Satyam

Absolute Fiasco at Satyam Computers.

Trying to acquire family company can be an error in judgment, but systematically manipulating the profit numbers is criminal activity.
Giving details of the financial irregularities, Raju said the company's balance sheet as of September 30 carries "inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balances of Rs 5,040 crore (as against Rs 5,361 crore reflected in the books."

The balance sheet also carries "an accrued interest of Rs 376 crore which is non-existent, an understated liability of Rs 1230 crore on account of funds arranged by me (Raju), an overstated debtors position of Rs 490 crore (as against Rs 2651 crore reflected in the books," Raju said. He further said that Satyam reported a revenue of Rs 2700 crore (Rs 27 billion) for the September quarter and an operating margin of Rs 649 crore (24 per cent of revenue) as against the actual revenue of Rs 2112 crore (Rs 21.12 billion) and an actual operating margin of Rs 61 crore (3 per cent of revenue).

"This has resulted in artificial cash and bank balances going up Rs 588 crore in Q2 alone," Raju said. "The gap in the Balance Sheet has arisen purely on account of inflated profits over a period of last several years (limited only to Satyam standalone, books of subsidiaries reflecting true performance)."What started as a marginal gap between actual operating profit and the one reflected in the books of accounts continued to grow over the years," Raju further said.

"It has attained unmanageable proportions as the size of the company operations grew significantly... The differential in the real profits and the one reflected in the books was further accentuated by the fact that the company had to carry additional resources and assets to justify higher level of operations thereby significantly increasing the costs," he said.

"The aborted Maytas acquisition deal was the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones. Maytas' investors were convinced that this is a good divestment opportunity and a strategic fit. Once Satyam's problem was solved, it was hoped that Maytas' payments can be delayed. But that was not to be," he said.

Should wait and see as to what will happen next. Another thing, if manipulation of this magnitude can happen in Satyam, it is time we have a look at corporate governance of other companies too.

p.s: I actually liked the way the disaster was put in words .."It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten,"

Subhiksha..not so subhiksham

Went to Subhiksha store on TTK road, within seconds, I was outside. The store was full of empty racks with two or three sober looking staff. Subhiksha grew very rapidly and what a fall it had to face. The shopping experience was never great but their discounts were of high value. They made quite an impact in mobile selling also. Alas, they couldn't sustain the growth.
A good business opportunity gone bust!