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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trouser Manufacturers get Clever (eNidhi India Research Article !)

In this post I'll show some simple tricks adopted by trouser manufacturers which make alterations impossible so as to ensure higher sales.

Before buying anything we look for durability. We try to assess how long we can use it. (Be it a footwear, mixer grinder or a trouser, we don’t usually throw it away on the first instance it stops working/develops a problem- we try to get it repaired and use for some more time.)

Talking in specific about trousers, (informally known as Pants) Indian men usually use dress materials for years. If it doesn’t fit anymore, we try to take it to the tailor and try to make some alteration so that it can be used for some more time. For that to happen there has to be some provision in trousers which will facilitate the alteration (read: increasing waist size, length etc).

But obviously it is not in the interest of apparel manufacturers that we use their product for several years. They want us to throw the old one as early as possible and buy new one. How do they ensure that? Simple-ensure that the trouser can’t be altered

See the images below:

The brown coloured one is a tailor designed one. Observe the circled space-you see some extra cloth material. This extra cloth has a purpose-Suppose you want to increase the waist size of your trouser tomorrow, your tailor can remove the stitches and re-stitch the trouser for a higher perimeter (by pushing the extra cloth outward)

Now see the white trouser below, which is a branded one (RUGGER).

If you notice here, there’s no extra piece of cloth. There’s no way you can increase the waist size when your belly outperforms rest of your body in growth…:)

Also observe the front button:

The extended portion gives a provision that the hook/button underneath can be repositioned such that perimeter increases increasing the waist size.

But most of the branded trousers won’t give that provision at all, again prohibiting any alteration of increasing waist size.

Another factor is length of the trousers, which should be flexible enough, but the tailor at the shop often chops off the extra cloth instead of folding it inwards…

I checked several brands for above parameters- Most of them were not flexible enough to facilitate alterations. But few brands such as Louis Phillipe, Van Hussein and few variants of Arrow were an exception.

Also read: Supermarket Super savings- a word of caution

Mginger Feasibility Study | An analysis of Dell's Business Model

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sevanthi ಸೇವ೦ತಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಚಲನಚಿತ್ರ ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ

This post contains movie review of Sevanthi Sevanthi, a Kannada movie released few months ago. Non Kannada readers may check my Jan 2008 archive for more interesting articles.

By default ನಾನು ಜಾಸ್ತಿ ಸಿನೆಮಾ ನೋಡೋನಲ್ಲ... ಅದರಲ್ಲೂ ಥಿಯೇಟರ್ ಗೆ ಹೋಗಿ ನೋಡೋದು ತು೦ಬಾ ಕಡಿಮೆ (ಇಲ್ಲಿ ತನಕ ಲೈಫ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನು ಸಿನೆಮಾ ಮ೦ದಿರಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದು ಲೆಕ್ಕ ಹಾಕಿ ೮ ಸಲ. ಈ ಬ್ಲಾಗಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಪ್ರಾಡಕ್ಟ್ಸ್ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಬರದಿದ್ದೀನಿ ಆದರೆ ಸಿನೆಮಾ ರಿವ್ಯೂ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ಕಡಿಮೆ.
Anyway ನಾನು ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ನೋಡಿದ ಸೇವ೦ತಿ ಸೇವ೦ತಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಚಲನಚಿತ್ರದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸೋದು ಈ ಬರಹದ ಉದ್ದೇಶ.

ಸಿನೆಮಾ ಬಿಡುಗಡೆ ಆಗಿ ಎಟೋ೦ದ್ ತಿ೦ಗ್ಳಾಗೋಯ್ತು, ಈಗೆ೦ತದು ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ ಮಾಡೋದು? ಅ೦ದ್ರಾ? ಇರಲಿ ಓದಿ...

ಕತೆಃ ಮಾಮೂಲಿ ಲವ್ ಸ್ಟೋರಿ. ನಾಯಕ ಕದ್ದು ತಾಳಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು, ಮತ್ತು ಉಳಿದ ಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಆ ತಾಳಿ ಸುತ್ತ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು ಈ ಚಿತ್ರದ highlight. ಮೇಲ್ನೋಟಕ್ಕೆ ಒಪ್ಪಬಹುದು ಅನಿಸಿದ್ರು ಎಲ್ಲೋ ಒಮ್ಮೊಮ್ಮೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಜಾಸ್ತಿಯಾಯ್ತು ಅನಿಸತ್ತೆ. ಯಾವನೋ ಕದ್ದು ತಾಳಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ ಅ೦ತ ಹೇಗಾದರು ಸರಿ ಅವನನ್ನ ಹುಡುಕೇ ಹುಡುಕ್ತೀನಿ, ಅದು ಯಾರೇ ಆಗಿದ್ರು, ಹೇಗೇ ಇದ್ರು ಮದುವೆಯಾಗ್ತಿನಿ (ಅಥವಾ ಕೊ೦ದು ಹಾಕ್ತೀನಿ) ಅ೦ತ ನಾಯಕಿ ತೀರ್ಮಾನಿಸೋದು ಬಾಲಿಶ.

ತಾಳಿ ಕೇವಲ ಒ೦ದು symbol ಮತ್ತು ಅದನ್ನ ಕಟ್ಟೋದು ಒ೦ದು ಆಚರಣೆ. ಆಚರಣೆಗಳು ನಮ್ಮ ನ೦ಬಿಕೆಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಮೌಲ್ಯಗಳಿಗೆ ಪೂರಕವಾಗಿರಬೇಕೇ ಹೊರತು ಆಚರಣೆಯೇ ಸರ್ವಸ್ವ ಎ೦ಬ೦ತೆ ವರ್ತಿಸುವುದು ಮೂಢನ೦ಬಿಕೆ. (Rituals and symbols should complement our beliefs, values and trust and not dictate them -Shrinidhi :) )

ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿ ಮ೦ಗಳಸೂತ್ರಕ್ಕಿರುವ ಬೆಲೆ, ಮರ್ಯಾದೆ, ಪ್ರಾಮುಖ್ಯ ನಿಜವಾದರೂ ಒ೦ದು ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕ ಸ೦ಬ೦ಧ ಇಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ ಅದು ನಿರರ್ಥಕ. ಅದನ್ನ ಯಾರೋ ಹುಡುಗಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿರಬಹುದು, ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಟ್ರೈನಿ೦ಗ್ ಕೊಟ್ಟರೆ ಒ೦ದು ಕೋತಿ ಕೂಡ ದಾರದ ಗ೦ಟು ಹಾಕಬಲ್ಲದು. ಅದನ್ನ ಯಾರೋ ಮದುವೆ ವಯಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಬ೦ದ ಗ೦ಡಸೇ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾನೆ ಅ೦ತ assume ಮಾಡೋದು baseless ಅಲ್ವಾ? ಉಳಿದರ್ಧ ಕತೆಯನ್ನ ಈ ಸಣ್ಣ ಘಟನೆಯ ಮೇಲೇ ಬೆಳೆಸಿದ್ದು ಸಿನೆಮಾ ಅ೦ತ ನೋಡಿ ಸುಮ್ಮನಾಗಬಹುದೇ ಹೊರತು ಪ್ರಾಯೋಗಿಕ ಅನ್ನಿಸೋದಿಲ್ಲ. (ಅದರಲ್ಲೂ ಬೀದಿ ಮಧ್ಯ ನಿ೦ತು "ಯಾವನೋ ಅವನು ನನಗೆ ತಾಳಿ ಕಟ್ದೊನು?" ಅ೦ತ ರಮ್ಯ ಅರಚೋದು ನೋಡೋಕಾಗಲ್ಲ) ಸೆ೦ಟಿಮೆ೦ಟ್ ಆಧಾರಿತ ಈ ಸಿನೆಮಾವನ್ನು ಹಳ್ಳಿ ಜನರನ್ನೇ ಟಾರ್ಗೆಟ್ ಮಾಡಿ ತೆಗೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಅನ್ನೋದಾದ್ರೆ ಕಮರ್ಷಿಯಲ್ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಿ೦ದ ಪರವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು.

Pratham motors in movie advertising in quite evident. (Displaying Pratham motor on front windshield, which normally people won’t do) I am not sure why they allowed rival Toyota quails to be used in few frames.

ಸಿನೆಮಾದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ ಕೆಲವು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಜಾನಪದ ಗೀತೆಗಳನ್ನ ಅಳವಡಿಸಿದ್ದು ಕೇಳಲು ಇ೦ಪಾಗಿವೆ. (ನಾಗತಿಹಳ್ಳಿಯವರು ಪ್ಯಾರಿಸ್ ಪ್ರಣಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಡಲ್ ಕುಣಿಗಲ್ ಕೇರಿ ಹಾಡನ್ನ ಬಳಸಿದ್ದು ಬಿಟ್ರೆ ಸಿನೆಮಾಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಜಾನಪದ ಗೀತೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಮರು ಜೀವ ಕೊಡುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ನಡೆದಿದ್ದು ಕಡಿಮೆ)

ಆದರೂ ಭಾಗ್ಯದ ಬಳೆಗಾರ ಹಾಡನ್ನು ಇನ್ನೂ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ತೊರಿಸಬಹುದಿತ್ತು ಅ೦ತ ನನ್ನ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ. (I liked the original music than the one used in sevanthi sevanthi) ಹಾಡಿನ ಚಿತ್ರೀಕರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಬಳಸಿದ ಮಾಮೂಲಿ group dance ತು೦ಬಾ ಸಪ್ಪೆಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಬಹಳ ಸು೦ದರವಾದ ಗೀತೆ ಅದು-"ಬಾಳೆ ಎಡಕ್ಕೆ ಬೀಡು, ಸೀಬೆ ಬಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬೀಡು", "ನವಿಲು ಸಾರ೦ಗ ಕುಣಿದಾವೆ", ಮು೦ತಾಗಿ ತನ್ನ ತವರೂರನ್ನು ಅತ್ಯ೦ತ ಸು೦ದರವಾಗಿ ಮದುಮಗಳು ವರ್ಣಿಸುತ್ತಿರಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಅದನ್ನ ಸಮಾನವಾದ ತವರೂರಿನ ಪ್ರಾಕೃತಿಕ ಸೌ೦ದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ತೋರಿಸುವುದರ ಮೂಲಕ ಬಿ೦ಬಿಸಬಹುದಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಬದಲಿಗೆ ಮಾಮೂಲಿ ಜೂನಿಯರ್ ಆರ್ಟಿಷ್ಟ್ ಗಳನ್ನು ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ತುದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಣಿಸಿ ನಿರ್ದೇಶಕರು ಒ೦ದು ಅಮೂಲ್ಯ ಅವಕಾಶವನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊ೦ಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. [Related: Bhagyada balegara lyrics and translation]

ವಿಜಯ್ ರಾಘವೇ೦ದ್ರ ಮತ್ತು ರಮ್ಯ ಅಭಿನಯ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ. ಅವನಿಗೆ ಹಾಡೋದು ಇಷ್ಟ, ಇವಳಿಗೆ ಹಾಡು ಕೇಳೋದು...ನಾನು ವಿಜಯ್ ರ ಬೇರೆ ಯಾವುದೇ ಸಿನೆಮಾ ನೋಡಿಲ್ಲ...ರಮ್ಯರ ಕೆಲವು ಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದ್ದೀನಿ ಅನಿಸತ್ತೆ, ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ನೆನಪಿಲ್ಲ...ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ಅವರ ಅಭಿನಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಜಾಸ್ತಿ ಬರೆಯಲು ಆಗುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ...ಪ್ರಪ೦ಚದ ಅರಿವಿಲ್ಲದ೦ತೆ ಕಿವಿಗೆ ಇಯರ್ ಫೋನ್ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿಸಿಕ್ಕೊ೦ಡು ಕುಳಿತರೆ ಏನೆಲ್ಲಾ ಅನಾಹುತ ಆಗಬಹುದು ಅನ್ನುವುದರ ಒ೦ದು ಉದಾಹರಣೆ ಚಿತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ತೋರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.

ದೊಡ್ಡಣ್ಣ, ಮುಖ್ಯಮ೦ತ್ರಿ ಚ೦ದ್ರು ಮು೦ತಾದವರು ತಮ್ಮ ತಮ್ಮ ಪಾತ್ರ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.
Locations ok... ವಿಶೇಷ ಏನು ಇಲ್ಲಾ. ಅನವಶ್ಯಕ ಹೊಡೆದಾಟ,ಮಸಾಲೆ ಇಲ್ಲ. simple, straight forward ಕತೆ, ಸರಾಗವಾಗಿ ನೋಡಿಸ್ಕೊ೦ಡು ಹೋಗತ್ತೆ. ಮು೦ದೇನಾಗತ್ತೆ ಅನ್ನೋ ಕುತೂಹಲವಾಗಲಿ, ಯಾಕೆ ಹೀಗಾಗ್ತಿದೆ ಅ೦ತ ಗೊ೦ದಲವಾಗಲಿ ಎಲ್ಲೂ ಬರೋಲ್ಲ.

ಬೆಣ್ಣೆ ಕಳ್ಳತನದ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಷ್ಟಿಷ್ಟು ಹಾಸ್ಯ ತುರುಕಿಸಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.

eNidhi India rating: 2.5/5 (ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾದರೆ ಒಮ್ಮೆ ನೋಡಿ, ಇಲ್ಲದಿದ್ರೂ ಓಕೆ.)

Related: Corporate (Hindi) movie review | Some more movie reviews * 16 in one movie reviews ( Jan-Oct 2008) * Maithri review

Are Handicaped people allowed to drive?

Author has recalled his opinion stated earlier on this post. Just leaving behind an image and an extract from Motor Vehicles Act.

Motor Vehicles Act 1988 Section 186

186. Driving when mentally or physically unfit to drive. Whoever drives a motor vehicle in any public place when he is to his knowledge suffering from any disease or disability calculated to cause his driving of the vehicle to be a source of danger to the public, shall be punishable for the first offence with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees and for a second or subsequent offence with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.


Interpretations/Conclusions at the sole discretion of the readers.


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Friday, February 22, 2008

Launching Mobile Version of My Blog

I am glad to inform you that Mobile version of my blog is now been made ready.

From your GPRS enabled mobile you can click http://m.enidhi.net and you’ll see the title of around 10 latest posts. You can click on the title and see a brief summary. If you like it you can click on the link and see full version.

Mobile version of Shrinidhi hande's blog

Why a separate mobile version?

Mobile users access web pages on a small screen and are usually interested in main contents only. They do not wish to see side bars, header images and other not so critical parts of your website. They wish to see maximum information possible on their small screen and proceed with specific content only if they like it. Also since GPRS costs heavily they wish to avoid heavy elements like images, videos etc. So a simple version which gets them a list of latest posts and its summary will be extremely useful for them.

How to make a mobile version of your blog?

There're many websites which help you get a mobile version.
I have used www.mofuse.com to create mobile version for any feed URL (like http://enidhi.mofuse.mobi which is the actual URL of my mobile blog) and then created a sub domain in your custom domain, if you own one. (http://m.enidhi.net, m. is the popular convention for mobile version of websites worldwide, and use URL redirection to http://enidhi.mofuse.mobi)

If you don’t have a custom domain http://yourblog.mofuse.mobi will be URL of your mobile site.

So now you can access my blog on the go. Hope you'll make full use of this new feature.

If you face any concerns let me know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is Hyundai i10 Car of the Year ? ? ?

Car maker Hyundai is running heavy campaigns stating that BSM (Business Standard Motoring) has rated its i10 as Car of the year (COTY) 2008. [Details]This post shares a small thought in this regard.

Is it possible to declare a particular student as rank student for this academic year 2008-09, as soon as classes start in first semester (say during June 08)? A student can be declared rank student, or topper etc on either of these two conditions: 1. he/she can be declared rank student for academic year 2007-08 based on the marks secured in 2007-08 exams, or 2. has to be declared topper for 2008-09 only after annual exams for 2008-09 are held and scores are evaluation is complete. In other words, you can’t select a student as topper for the given academic year at the beginning of the academic year.

Having said that, my concern is, how can someone call a car as car of the year 2008 at the beginning of the year 2008?

We’re still in Feb 2008, 10 more months to go, so many cars are to be launched in coming months, so how we can award COTY award to any car so early?

If it was Car of the year 2007 then it would have made sense, but I don’t see reasoning for calling it COTY 2008, because year 2008 is not complete yet and there’s every chance that some cars may hit the market this year which might be better than i10.

Same with bikes...

This trend is more in auto industry than anywhere else. What is your view? Is it not misleading the consumers?

Image from Hyundai website.

Related post: (Manually linked, high relevance)
1. Why blame TATA NANO for traffic mess?
2. Hyundai gifts 100 Accent cars to Chennai Police
3. Fancy Number plates
4. Predict trajectory of this car accident

Monday, February 18, 2008

Make the Best of IT-12 things to do while on bench

"Bench" is a dreaded term for IT employees...Its a phase where an employee is paid to do nothing. Often employees complain that they're made to sit on bench...
bench
Below is a list of initiatives you can take while on bench. An employee may pick one that best suits his/her interest/skills. If you can think of some more, please add a comment.

1. Learn a foreign language
French, German, Chinese, Japanese...I don’t have to stress on the opportunities it may bring if you know one or more international languages.

2. Start building a website
Pour your creativity and imagination and build a website. You may buy a domain name and host or start off with any of the freely available sub domains. You can start with basic HTML and go on improving the design and adding new features. There’s no end. Who knows? Couple of years down the line Google or MS may offer couple of billion dollars to acquire your website...

3. Technical Certifications
You know what they mean and the importance of such certifications in your resume.

4. Educate yourself financially.
Financial education doesn’t mean knowing how to swipe your credit card. Learn what all expenditures and savings are tax exempted, find out which Mutual Fund has been performing well consistently for past few quarters, try to follow stock market and see if you can predict the rise and fall or identify at what level a particular scrip can be bought or sold-all these can be extremely rewarding. You will be able to save a lot of money as you’ll know how best to handle it, and may be end of the year, your whole team might approach you for advice.

5. Learn a bit of law.
What are the regulations involved in buying a land? What are the guidelines to be followed while constructing a house? What is de-notification? What are the fees to be paid for various registrations? Whom to contact if there’s a violation of IPR? This knowledge can save you from frauds and cheatings.

6. Attend learning activities
Enroll to various learning activities being conducted by your organization. enroll and learn few new things, (proposal writing, business communication and so on) You may not necessarily need them right away but even 10% if you’re able to retain that can come handy at times.

7. Gather some functional knowledge related to one or more verticals.
Besides technical skills you might be good at why not learn more about few industries? What is PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in pharma industry? What are their legal obligations and why they are so persistent on extensive documentation? What are ISBN 10 and ISBN13? (Publication and ecommerce) What do they mean by upstream, midstream and downstream in Oil business? How Hybrid engines work in a car? Can you think of any ways how sulekha.com can redesign their website to offer better user experience to end user and show more relevant ads in each page? What does a day book contain? What is underwriting and how it is done?

8. Build some applications-Can you come up with a face book application? Or write clients for some web services (Google, yahoo, Amazon...) and use them in your application?

9. How about Learning applications like flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver?

10. Creative writing
Try writing something. You may begin with blogs but objective should be writing something (story/article/poem etc) which a newspaper (state level at least) can accept for publishing. Seeing your name in print will surely motivate you. See if you can think of a novel...

11. Volunteer for charity works and social service.

12. Do some correspondence courses

I understand there’re concerns (such as non availability of systems) because of which some of the suggestions might not be possible. At least one or two of the above listed activities must be suiting your interests, skills and feasible to undertake. The idea is, it is possible to keep yourself occupied, with tasks which result in some value that can be leveraged in future. You may wish to stay focused on your core competency (say coding in .net) and may feel you’ll lose touch if you deviate attention to other activities. Trust me, all above tasks will complement and supplement your primary skill set and is unlikely to subtract anything from it. No harm knowing few more things than necessary and sometimes it is good and safe to stay diversified.

Image from www.morleyfield.com

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Running for Traffic Awareness

A leading Indian IT company held a run in Chennai Mareena Beach this Saturday (16th Feb 2008) to celebrate 20 years of value creation and to increase traffic awareness among public.

Below are some photos taken during the event with quick captions.
1. The sunrise at Mareena Beach. Approx 7.15 AM
The sunrise at Mareena Beach2. The number of participants was decent enough
Participants of marathon3. The Banner for Traffic Awareness
Banner for Traffic Awareness
4. However Pilots were found not wearing helmet, an essential safety equipment and mandatory as per law. However on last moment this mistake was rectified and both riders were given a helmet each.
rally Pilot bikes
5. Expressions: Observe each face carefully. You can notice different expressions-anticipation, excitement... (click on the image to enlarge it)
Facial Expressions of participants
Baloon Boy- He was running too, for a totally different cause-to collect as many baloons as possible...
Boy collecting baloons at Mareena Beach
Few more photos from the venue...
2. Looks like Chennai Police are maintaining their Hyundai gifted accent cars well. (Read for details: Chennai Police get Hyundai Cars)
Chennai Police hyundai Accent patrol car
Police Bike
Chennai Police Patrol Bike
Mirror Image
photo taken on Innova's mirror
Special Guest at the venue...
goat
A family is having good time.
A family in their car

The band team was not necessary...No one were interested in their music...

Close look at their hats
hats of Music Band
Bharat Music Band
As the start was delayed due to late arrival of chief guest, they went for a break leaving their equipments behind.
Music band equipments

Disclaimer: This post only portrays some photos taken in public place and doesn't reveal any proprietary/sensitive/confidential information.

Related: Hyd 10k run 2006

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why fixed week timeshare is better than floating type

If you're familiar with floating model you can jump directly to fixed week concept

eNidhi India had been a severe critic of timeshare Industry in general and Club Mahindra in particular. Timeshare industry in India appears to be in a mess, mainly because of following reasons:

Timeshare companies enrolling members far beyond the capacity of their resorts, resulting in several members not being able to get accommodation despite planning months in advance (for 7 days an year membership, for each resort unit time share company shouldn’t enroll more than 52 members. If they do, 53rd member onwards are guaranteed to get rejected, never mind how early they plan-this is simple mathematics)

Strong marketing tactics by sales team which makes unrealistic promises to un-suspecting customers and tempts them to sign up on the spot, leaving such members at the mercy of timeshare company, when they realize that ground reality is totally different than the picture created by sales staff.

You may read few articles by Outlook Money in support of above opinion-"Will timeshare work for you"| Happy Holidays| Beware of those time bombs|

While the above is called floating model of timeshare, there is a concept called Fixed Week Timeshare wherein a member gets a unit designated to him for a specific week every year (unlike floating type where member needs to approach the company every year and fight with rest of the members to get confirmed accommodation)

Before we discuss fixed week timeshare, let us look at the currently used model of floating type timeshare
*A timeshare company sets up few resorts (say 10 resorts), each resort having 100 number of units (Approx)
*For 10x100=1000 resort units, company should not enroll more than 52000 members (If each member is promised one week of holiday every year), but aggressive sales team doesn’t cap memberships to 52000 but enroll far more members than that.
*A prospect buys timeshare membership “assuming” that he/she will get to take one week holiday every year. But Rooms are “subject to availability” and there’s no commitment from Timeshare Company in with regards to availability of rooms or compensation if the company fails to provide accommodation. But member is forced to keep paying money “irrespective of usage”.
*Because there’re more members than resort capacity a bunch of members are denied booking every year-resulting in increased disappointment and bad name for the company in particular and industry in general. Members won’t have a peace of mind since their chances of getting an accommodation depends on how early they plan, the preferences of other members, luck and several other factors which are totally beyond their control.

So despite paying lakhs of rupees members has no control on the resort unit he is supposed to be owning and every year he/she is at the mercy of so many factors to get a booking.

Fixed Week Timeshare concept, if implemented, will resolve above issues and make timeshare much more meaningful.

How?

First, timeshare company shall assign a specific unit to each member for the entire duration of membership between specific dates every year. Example: When I enroll for membership I get to choose a particular room (unit) (let us say Room no. 301 at Jujuba at Club Mahindra’s Coorg Resort) for next 25 years between Jan 1st to Jan 7th every year. In other words, whatever happens I own that room between the given dates for next 25 year. Similarly each member gets permanent ownership of a specific room in one of the resorts for seven specific days every year.

Q: Does that mean a member is stuck with a specific resort for his entire membership tenure?
A: No. These members can then exchange the units among themselves and stay at different resorts. They need not be at the mercy of Timeshare Company to get the booking and exchange among them at par, for premium or for discount (as per demand/supply). Timeshare company needs to provide a platform for its members to trade/exchange their units.
Benefits:
For members
1. Timeshare company cannot enroll members in excess of the resort capacity as they need to assign a physical unit to each member while sign up.
2. Eliminates dependency on Timeshare Companies to get accommodations. Which room a member owns in which resort is well known.
3. Full control on the unit they own-Exchange with other members or sell it in open market, gift it to someone etc.
4. Guaranteed holiday every year and full peace of mind. They own a specific unit every year between two dates-No need to worry about possibilities of not being able to get a booking.
5. The days of ownership are well known-So it is easy to plan the vacation.
Creates a perfect investment platform. Easy to trade units like stocks-Buy a good room at a good resort for a popular season and sell it later for premium in open market.
6. Protection against change of seasons (Timeshare companies usually have a tendency to increase Red weeks (popular seasons) over a period of time-if you buy weeks during less popular seasons chances are that your options come down every year, as a number of blue and white seasons are silently converted into red season)
For timeshare company:
1. Members can’t complain that they are not able to get reservations.
2. Focus can be diverted from marketing strategies to maintaining the resort and providing good member services.

Risk factors:
Not being able to exchange units with other members-if you happen to own a least popular week, there is a remote probability that no one will be interested in exchanging their units with you. This may force you to holiday at same resort every year or sell it for heavy discount.

Friday, February 08, 2008

How to make children save money?

This post is in response to a topic raised by Ashwini, a member at our MoneyTalk India Finance Forum (MTIFF) who sought help how to cultivate a habit of saving in her brother who spends all his pocket money in no time and keeps asking for more money.
I thought about it a bit and here are some tips I could think of, which if used effectively can make youngsters understand the importance of savings.

Tip 1: Reward
Promise to contribute to the savings made by a child – If he/she saves 100 Rs by end of the month add Rs 100 from your side. This reward should encourage him to save more. (Downside: The child should not borrow from elsewhere and show as saving- opening a minor bank account in his name will be very good idea.

Tip 2: Online financial games:
There are some free games online using which one can do virtual trading. Teach him some basics of trading and introduce him to this game-it will be as good as trading in real market except that profit and loss will be virtual. Such games will make him understand the value of money and how markets operate. If he likes the game chances are he will develop a sense of respect towards money and its value?

Tip 3: Mandate book keeping

Insist that the child should give daily or weekly account of all expenditures. This will increase accountability and we’ll be able to identify what expenditures were avoidable, for what there were better alternatives etc and over a period of time it should be possible to improve the spending habit of the child.

Try 4: Running competition among siblings-
If there’re two or more children at home run a competition as to see who will save more. This should encourage them to cut unnecessary expenditure and try to save more.

Tip 5: Provide them with interesting alternative:
Suppose the child is insisting that he needs that overpriced remote control car which is unlikely to last beyond few weeks. Try to trade that money for more meaningful alternative- say I will take you to that amusement park this weekend instead of this toy, or why don’t you try this children laptop instead etc. This will show the child that there’re more meaningful and valuable things which can be secured for same price.

Tip 6: Attribute your success to savings-
Suppose you got a diwali bonus and you’re taking family for dinner-Instead of saying “I am taking you out because I got a bonus” say “I could take you out for this dinner because I have been saving Rs. 250 every month for this” This way a child will realize that small amount when accumulated over a period of time can be exchanged for bigger rewards.

Tip 7: Practice instead of preaching:
Children learn a lot by observing. Control your spending habit and make your child understand that you’re saving regularly for a better tomorrow. Do not indulge in excessive shopping or activities that involve flaunting your wealth. Be a role model by yourself and that should help a lot.

Tip 8: Never give a credit card to kids-

When there’s a need (say when he is staying at a hostel and may need to have some money of his own for emergency needs) stick with debit card. You can always transfer money to his account if there’s a genuine need to spend more.


Cross published on Mouthshut, Desicritics & Indimag

More tips: Saving money while fueling | Caution to be followed in supermarkets |Do travel sites really offer cheapest airfare?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Book Review-A Man Called Bapu

All of us have written several pages long essays during our school days about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. But tell me how much can you recall about Bapu today? An almost forgotten personality, no doubt brought back to limelight recently by Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Mahathma Gandhi’s principles and values are seldom given any consideration by youngsters today.

A recent survey conducted in Britain says teenagers there feel Mahathma and Churchill are imaginary characters…[Details]
A schoolboy reading excerpts from the book, a man called BapuWhy am I writing all these? Because I happened to read a copy of the recently released book, "A man called Bapu" written by Subhadra Sen Gupta, a prominent author of children books and illustrated by Neeta Gangopadhya and published by Pratham Books, Bangalore.

The book, priced at an extremely affordable Rs 25, is well written and gives an almost comprehensive coverage of Gandhi’s life. The book is meant for Children but makes a good reading even for adults, because of simple English used and the interesting way in which several incidents in Bapu’s life are narrated.
Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur releasing the book
I spent some time reading the book and it made a good read. Other than school textbooks I hadn’t studied any book on Gandhi in detail, mainly because reading books hundreds of pages long takes time and sometime may not be interesting. This book was short, sweet and to the point. I liked the extract on page 26, which quotes the instruction given by Gandhi to villagers during Dandi march.

Right: Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur releasing the book. [Media Report]

The book doesn't say much about Bapu's family matters,(not a good thing to write about, certainly not in a children book) for which you may better watch the movie produced by Anil Kapur.

Besides outlining chronicles of Gandhiji's life, the book also gives brief account of few other eminent personalities like Abdul Gaffar Khan, Martin Luthar King Jr, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. The book is available in multiple languages and makes a good buy. You can read it yourself once and then may be gift to some youngster in your family.

Pratham Books an NGO and leading publisher of children books, have wide range of children books in their catalog (covering different age groups and in multiple languages). You can have a look if interested.

Other Book Reviews: It Happened in India (Kishore Biyani) | Not a Penny More Not a Penny Less (Jeffrey Archer)|The 3 Mistakes of my life-Chetan Bhagat| Merchants of Deception- Eric Scheibler * Zero percentile by neeraj Chhibba * 2 States-by Chetan Bhagat

Monday, February 04, 2008

About Fortune Tellers and Astrology

Few small incidents, observations and comments related to Astrology and fortune tellers... Not that I am making fun of these professions, just not comfortable the way our thought process is influenced by these elements

Case 1: Approx an year ago-Necklace Road, Hyderabad

A parrot reader approaches me offering to tell my fortune for just Rs 10. I do not believe in non scientific predictions so offered him a challenge: I pulled out my wallet and asked him to tell me how much cash is there inside. (Something which can be instantly verified to the satisfaction of both parties). He simply asked वो कैसे बोल् सक्ता हु साब | (“who kaise bol sakta hun saab”). I replied “you can not count something right in front of your eye (of course enclosed inside a wallet), what future are you going to predict?” He silently left.

The zodiac signs columns in newspapers, astrologers, parrot card readers- always make generic statements left best to the discretion of the believer.  For example, one statement can be “today you’ll be very happy”.. Chances are that out of 100s of incidents that happen that day few incidents might give you happiness. If you believe in the predictions you can always associate that with whatever it was written and feel good that predictions came true.

Case 2: Year 1997, Pandhana, Madhya Pradesh.

I was studying in 9th standard there and had a postal subscription of kannada weekly magazine, Taranga. In one of the issues Taranga predicted that there’ll be a devastating flood (mahaa praLaya) during march 1998 and a majority of earth will be wiped out.  This topic became a sensation and magazine minted huge money. This article was quoated by media all over India including few Indore based newspapers. My classmates in MP came to me seeking explanation. I had tough time explaining them I do not know on what basis the magazine has predicted.

The flood never came and I don’t think there was any explanation from Taranga as to why they created an unnecessary tension all over without scientific evidence.

Case 3: 2007:

Karnataka BJP Leader Yadiyurappa changes name hoping to become Chief Minister, because an astrologer told him, he would become CM only if name is changed. Had that astrologer also told that Yadyurappa will become ex-CM within a week probably it would have been good.

Problem is, everyone want to know what will happen in future and want to use that info for their personal gains and few have mastered the art of predicting the future to the satisfaction of those who believe in it.

What is your take on these issues? Do you rely on things like these for taking key decisions? Probably once upon a time all these predicts had some backings of scientific studies done by our forefathers but of late everything is about making some quick money

Saturday, February 02, 2008

www.eNidhi.net-eNidhi India's new identity

F

inally it has happened. As most of you have noticed this blog has been moved to www.enidhi.net from the earlier http://enidhispeaks.blogspot.com

Since enidhi.com was not available next best options were enidhi.in and enidhi.net. '.in' extensions were not available with Google backed eNom and I made a mistake of trusting a wrong person for advice and bought it at Sify, only to end up with ownership issues with the same. I would regret that for long. Also Sify doesn’t give a basic feature like adding CNAME alias unless you buy their hosting service (which you don’t need if you choose to host it on blogger itself. More about this in some other post.

The new URL is shorter, sweeter and will be easy to remember and type. This all new identity will help eNidhi India stay distinguished from the crowd of free blogspot subdomains.

My readers working in companies where all .blogspot.com urls are banned should be able to read my blog without any hassle now (of course unless their companies choose to add enidhi.net to banned websites list, like as happened with Shande) For near future I do not have any plans of moving to a own host and this blog shall continue to be hosted on blogger-Blogger being free and with very good uptime, reliability and easy interface I don’t have any serious thoughts of moving away.

Along with domain name I got an option to create upto 200 user ids with custom email address (say xyz@enidhi.net ), add n number of sub domains etc, which is quite cool. Anyone who wish to move their blog/site to http://yourblog.enidhi.net can contact me

Reading few other blogs I was thinking traffic may drop for few months after migration. But Google has handled the transition really smooth and there’s been no dip in daily traffic during and after transition. Almost everything was taken care by Google and blogger, I only had to pay and watch the transition. Wherever I had given manual links I had to edit them on my own and had to submit the new URL to Google for inclusion in search engine. Besides these, everything else was automatic, including redirection, feeds etc. Technorati rank has dipped but that is fine-It hardly generated any traffic for this blog so far.

However there’s been some dip in the position of this blog in search engines. For example for Club Mahindra this blog was in number two earlier but now the position has dipped to number 5 and it may go down even further. Since the new domain name has a pagerank of absolute Zero it will take substantial time to recover to PR4, the rank outgoing enidhispeaks.blogspot.com had. While most of you have edited your blog rolls and linked to new URL it might not be possible to ask few admins and site owners to edit their age old posts to give correct link. Other bloggers and site admins will have their own SEO strategies to gain higher position and fight will be really tough, if not impossible. (Related: SEO Fundamentals)

So I may have to forgo certain considerations and may never be able to recover some key positions I enjoyed in search engines. But that should be fine. The change (migration to custom domain) was inevitable and had to be executed sooner or later.

If you’ve linked to my earlier URL please take this as a personal request to edit the same and link to my new URL. Thanks in advance.

Thanks to the immense support given by all of you- My dear readers and visitors, because of which I was motivated to spend money on this domain and work towards giving better content and user experience to you. Assuring you of my sustained commitment towards quality blogging.


Other Quick updates:
1. If you haven’t noticed, this is 200th post on this blog. (Infact I have written more than 200 posts so far but decided to delete some of them due to wide range of reasons, 200 out of published but not yet deleted posts)

2. We’ve also started a Forum called MoneyTalk India Finance Forum (MTIFF).The idea is to facilitate discussions related to wide range of personal financial matters. I couldn’t come across any such good community for Indians hence decided to launch one. Will write about it in detail later.

You’re welcome to register there. http://moneytalk.enidhi.net As of now we have got around 21 users within first few days, which is quite a good sign.

3. I spent some time and revised many of my old posts. realized that I'd made several silly spelling mistakes at many places (comparision instead of comparison, offence instead of offense etc) Corrected most of them, except few errors which were induced exclusively for SEO reasons. Also happily added nofollow tag for most of the commercial websites I had linked to.

4. Also tell me if you're comfortable with the new background colour I've kept. If you feel uncomfortable I can revert to earlier white.

5. I'd deleted the chatbox sometimes back. have re introduced it


October, November & December 07-Summary of posts

October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 |Jan-March 07 |April-June 07|July-Sep 07| Best of 2006|

 December 2007-17 Posts in total
TitleCategory No. of Comments/Popularity
Pizza Review: Domino’s Stuffed Crunch Pizza
A quick review of a new Pizza flavor launched by Pizza major Dominos during November 2007. Around 17 Comments.
Product Review 17
e-निधिइंडिया New Year Resolutions A bunch of resolutions made by eNidhi India CBO for new year Humor5
Indian Railway goes Crazy-Adds Extra Berths
Railways plan to add an extra berth inbetween two side berths to increase capacity by 12%-This post lists pros and cons of the same.
Opinion8
New idea: fingerprint authentication for bikes Sharing an idea suggesting that bikes should have fingerprint enabled igntition Innovation 4
Coorg Trip posts:
Interview with Club Mahindra's Sr Manager, Marketing. Interview 14
CM's Coorg Trip for Travel BloggersTravel5
Omkareshwara Temple, Madikeri Travel 0
Abbi Falls, Madikeri, Karnataka (ಅಬ್ಬಿ ಜಲಪಾತ Travel 2
'ತೀರ್ಥ' Holy Water in Whiskey Bottle Observation 0
Resort Review-Club Mahindra Coorg (Kodagu Valley)Review6

October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 |Jan-March 07 |April-June 07|July-Sep 07| Best of 2006| TOP
 November 12 posts in total
TitleCategoryNo. of Comments
Few personal experiences related to journalism
Experience5
My blog was discussed at Barcamp5 @ BangalorePublicity10
Few personal childhood experiences related to saving money
Experience 10
Explains why I had to adbandon my BSNL connection and switch to airtel.
Experience 8
Local buses in coastal Karnataka have started placing multiple TVs inside the bus to entertain passengers...
Humor 0
A staff puts pricing stickers in such a way that customers may feel they are paying more than MRP for thr product.
Marketing7
Co-optex released perfumed cotton shirts. I bought one such shirt and wrote about it. In brief, the shirt smells good for sure but the impact is negligible as frangance is very weak.
Product Review 2

October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 |Jan-March 07 |April-June 07|July-Sep 07| Best of 2006| TOP
 October 2007 - 16 Posts in Total
Title Category No. of Comments
How do you ensure commuters dont travel on foot board? Simple. Remove the foot board-Simple and effective Idea by TN MTC....
Travel4
Bekal Fort is a favorite spot for film makers, even since Maniratnam Shot Bombay here. Located few kms from Kasargod, Bekal Fort is an excellent picnik spot...
Travel 0
A detailed analysis of Zest Breaks, a new holiday brand launched recently by Mahindra Holidays
Travel15
My article on Club Mahindra secured over 164 comments so far. This post is a quick analysis of the comments received.
Analysis 3
Why Vinay Sehgal ignored some simple alternatives?
Movie Review 6
How do you display your ID card? Check various options and preferences
Study6
States some key differences to be noted while writing for search Engines.
SEO5
extrabed.in is a new concept where you can request for accomodation/offer accomodation to fellow bloggers...How do you like this concept?
Travel 6
Compares various operators plying between Hyderabad and Bangalore and lists the pros and cons of each operator. Also lists various third party ticket booking websites for bus journey and briefly covers Hyderabad-Chennai sector also.
Travel 16
Few photos of pathetic state of Ganesh idol after the festival
Festivals 5
Lists pros and cons of various notebook brands
Laptops 11
Few Videos taken @ Ramoji Film City Travel0
Read to know more...
observation12

October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 |Jan-March 07 |April-June 07|July-Sep 07| Best of 2006|TOP