Digital education

on Thursday, January 26, 2012

Times have come, when classrooms are moving online, so are books, notebooks, papers, quizzes, libraries. Lot of education content is getting digitized day by day. Lots of interactive applications are burgeoning. Form factors of handheld devices are changing. Lastly, data pipes are just getting bigger and bigger to deliver the content.

Let’s just try to analyze the situation critically. From a student’s perspective, it is getting much more convenient;  “I no longer need to get material photocopied, it is just copy and paste. I don’t to carry those heavy bags stuffed with binded books” . Teaching staff and education managers are looking for innovative learning methodologies. “I can reach students anytime, anywhere” Professors has additional source of revenue in terms of selling his knowledge. Entrepreneurs and investor communities are always hungry for new business opportunities. They can create win-win proposition for all the stakeholders in the ecosystem and drive the entire momentum. Having said this, government needs to create a supportive environment.

Education being a basic human need make this space hot. But, will it replace the tradition teaching or it will be complementary to it?

Tablets for you

on Sunday, September 18, 2011

These are fast selling tablets, faster than any of drug tablets. Already, they have flooded Indian market.  iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab on one end and Chinese tabs on other end. Reliance & Airtel have already rolled out tab services in the market. Every other top notch mobile handset OEM is launching their tablet models.  Prices are slashing down with every day. Lots of applications are being developed just for these.  Android tablets are finding more acceptability in the market. Smartphones, Palmtops, Netbooks, Notebooks, PCs, do we have space for another handheld devices?  Can tablets reach masses?

3G life!

on Thursday, July 28, 2011

I am writing after long time. Probably the hecticity in my life or may be laziness, I just lost my notepad.
My life has changed  a lot post MBA. I have been taking on new responsibilities and slowly getting exposed to business traits in mobile VAS industry.  Well, well, well I no longer hold a good opinion about business ethics followed in this space. Our operators are bleeding on low ARPUs and sitting on huge debts. They look at VAS as their savior. Launch of 3G services has fuelled the entire ecosystem. Content providers are always looking to ride on mobile networks to garner additional revenue source. Zillions of third party application providers are flooding the market.
But as it turns out, operators are acting as big brothers in VAS space demanding huge cuts. In this mad race to push these services, customer needs have not been understood completely. We can clearly see that customers are finding themselves entangled. With so much hype created around 3G, customers are not able to realize the value of these services.
The entire phenomenon can be seen to follow a push strategy. Customers are being fooled to try out various crazy applications and services. In order to renew subscriptions, service providers are leaving no way for a customer to find an escape route. The entire industry is suffering from faulty pricing and guidelines. I don’t see any watchdog vigiling these practices. Where is this going to go? Will somebody listen to customer at all?

Leadership and strategic implementation

on Tuesday, July 06, 2010


A good leader creates wonders out of chaos whereas a bad leader turns an amicable situation into chaotic one.

While discussing importance of strategy implementation during our strategy class today, my belief about leadership got reaffirmed. Leadership is supreme above all other pieces of an effective strategic implementation, namely structure, systems, culture, ethics and leadership. Wow!

Time moves, so is the external environment which leads visionaries to devise new strategies. Strategy impacts organization’s structure and systems. A good leader ensures that new strategies are implemented effectively to achieve organization goals. But what if systems are out of place, there is no clear division of work and strategy is half worked? Every chaotic situation is an opportunity for a leader. Good leaders take charge of such a situation and eventually bring harmony in the system. They ensure that organization culture, ethics, systems and structures are well aligned to achieve bigger organization structure.

Leaders or cheaters?

on Monday, July 05, 2010

13,000 crores wiped away in a single day of Bharat Bandh! Violence observed in many parts of the country! Poor of the country lost their daily breads! A black day in the history of modern India where the entire nation was put to shame to pacify a section of clueless political leaders of the country. With no issue in foresight, these illusionary leaders twisted the recent government’s long term gesture of petrol de-regulation issue to build mass sympathy for them. Using power of state government’s machinery, they were able to emotionally arouse people to spread violence in various parts of the government. Now, these ‘so-called’ leaders want to be christened as saviors of the entire nation. Government looks helpless on the entire development and these leaders ‘heroes’ in the eyes of common man.

Who is accountable for this public outrage and loss to the country? Can such massive scale violent strikes address the real problem? Could something have been done to prevent this? Where is our PM in waiting, Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s leadership? Will this day pass and get lost in the pages of history?

We need leaders, not cheaters. A leader can transform a nation whereas cheaters can damage several lives and properties. Leaders inspire others to do great things in life whereas cheaters mislead others to fulfill their personal agendas. Leaders withhold great deal of maturity and take charge of a critical situation whereas traitors call themselves leaders and shy away from responsibilities.

Leaders of modern India should take cues from the acts of father of our nation. They should bring more clarity about the entire issue of fuel prices and raise real issues. People should be discussing about the real problems amongst themselves and with the government. Hopefully, we would see some concrete actions happenings on the ground soon.

Retail organized Indian way!

on Saturday, June 26, 2010

Imagine a rainy sunday evening. You feel like having pakodaas and tea. You checked and found no milk, sugar and gram flour. The nearest kirana store is 0.5kms away. You just pick up your phone and called Service Superstores call centre. A lady picks up the call. You place your order on the call and pay 76 rupees using a simple SMS. The lady transfers this order to your nearest kirana store who recieves your order and address. Within no time, you hear a bell. He is delivery boy of the local store with milk, sugar and gram flour packet. Few minutes later, you recieves a SMS thanking you for the order. You just thank god for the pakdoaas and tea!
What does it take to implement such a useful service. A retail business model working on mobile payment SMS technology (without bank account) involving a organized retailer and local kirana store. Imagine its usefulness for small payments to vegetable vendor or barber. What do you feel about it?

Foreign varsity call!

on Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What is objective of higher education? Research, Innovation, Contribution to Industry or it can be seen as an investment for country’s rapid growth which needs development of educational infrastructure.
Few PhDs, massive student migration to the west for higher education, less number of patents and snail pacing research. It tells the entire story of India’s sad affairs of higher education. Are we working towards improving the situation? If yes, what is the progress? Lately, we have opened up our education sector for private investment. Also, there has been increase in number of government sponsored institutes. Impact, well, it has still to be seen, but yes, there has been improvement in capacity. Quality, I would say has come down. Is this enough to take Indian story ahead?
We need a fillip. Internal, external or both? Looking at state of affairs and options in hand, Indian government needs to call for external participation along with internal development. Will it work? What would be the right model for India? How far an intervention like introduction of foreign education bill could take us?
Taking cue from Chinese experiences and considering effects of liberalization, I could see few positives right at the outset. The entire higher education sector will heat up. There will be sudden flurry of activities to take up the market. A fraction of migrating students will stop at these newly built campuses. The whole educational infrastructure will march up on development path. Are we overlooking negatives?