20 April 2017

Do we deserve this?

Multi-lane expressways have become a reality. Next generation, powerful two and four wheelers are very comfortable and have considerably reduced the commuting time.

There was been increase in road accidents as well. Reasons are multi-fold and cannot be attributed to any one aspect:

·         Lack of discipline: Majority of us don’t follow any lanes or traffic rules. With these swanky highways, any small mistake can lead to major accident. Speedy vehicles don’t get much time to react. With more and more high power vehicles coming on road, this is only adding upto the problem.

·         Good roads: Its surprising but I feel this is another reason. Do we deserve such roads when we don’t care about traffic rules and road safety. Airbag is still considered a waste of money and available only in high end versions. Helmets on head is due to fear of paying fines. Bad, narrow roads were blessing in disguise. Due to congestion on narrow lanes, every vehicle will struggle at 30-40 KMPH hence chance of accident and resulting impact was less as compared to multi-lane expressways.

Machines and Roads have developed but we as a human need to match up. We need to be more disciplined and take road safety as top most priority. Otherwise, this boon will remain a bane as far as road causalities are considered. 

21 May 2016

Affordable housing- A mirage

Affordable housing is going to be the growth engine in real estate market. Although there has been a constant push from Government to reduce prices, builders have shown their inability.
Input costs have been increasing on a continuous basis. Governments push on infrastructure development is already fueling the demand leading to price rise. Various cartels in these core sectors are making things worse for builders.
With almost no control over the input cost, builders are left with very limited levers to make ‘affordable’ flats a reality. One of the areas which can be worked upon is the open space utilization. Most of the builders are trying to showcase open/green space to attract buyers. Although, this sounds very lucrative to potential customers, builders literally don’t get any penny for this part of the land. These are areas blocked for playground, jogging tracks, tennis court etc. High rise towers help them make money and recover cost for these open areas.
The moment they start generating more revenue per square feet of land, affordable housing can be a reality. After setting aside a certain profit margin, builders will definitely pass on the benefit to customers making affordable housing a reality even in mid and luxury segments.
Big Question- How to make the most of these open space?
  1. Utilize the power of association– Most of the renowned builders are under an umbrella of real estate association. They should use this forum to bring consensus on critical things. Have a common open area for a group of builder/townships. Instead of setting aside open spaces in each and every project, builders of a particular locality should jointly develop the open area either through land pooling or cost sharing basis. Net impact would be, more area available for construction leading to more revenue generation. Common open space shared between 3-4 society will have all the sports facilities and a restricted access, pay and use, common maintenance. These intricacies can be dealt later when these builders work together on such plans.
  1. Involve local government bodies during planning phase– Most the town planning is not done meticulously hence we hardly find municipal park. It may be available in some areas but with very minimal maintenance. These bigger societies are good source of revenue for Government as property tax collection is high and with almost no defaulters. As a group of builders/society, request local municipality to build play area or at least share the cost. An organized approach will definitely help. These new clusters of townships are often seen as a good vote bank. No one will try to annoy these middle class voters.
The above looks very simple on paper but in reality there will be some hurdles and the biggest would acceptance level among prospective customers. Some may not like sharing the open area if another township people. Cost benefit evaluation will largely depend on how much rate cut a builder is ready to pass on to customer making it a win-win for all.

02 January 2014

AAP ke Bandey!

Bala, one of the top contender for CEO post in a big IT firm, has decided to join AAP. 
I am sure this trend will continue and people from big companies join AAP. There is a lot, who has achieved almost everything professionally and want to contribute to society at large. This lot of seniors are financially well secured and their current job does not provide any scope of further growth in professional terms.

Retaining such lot is going to be difficult for employers. They would have never dreamt of such 'poaching' happening from a new 'competitor'.

AAP has provided a platform which such lot was looking for quite some time. Atleast for now, politics is no more a 'Dirty' term in AAP. The road less travelled is always bumpy and I am sure there will be some who will leave politics to join back corporates/ NGOs.  Only time will decide if AAP continue to do politics, the cleaner way.

Very soon you will find employees signing the joining declaration form stating that they can’t join competitors XYZ, ABC and AAP!!!

06 November 2010

Forgotten ally-Russia

Breakup of USSR led to a power imbalance. There was no one to challenge the mighty Americans. India had to re look at her foreign policies and with the passage of time we showed more inclination towards USA for everything right from defence, nuclear deal or complaining the wrong deeds of our neighbors.
But how good is this for India as a country who is sorrounded by 'not so friendly' neighbours. US president will be arriving in India with a long list of demand that includes defence deal worth USD 12 billion plus. This will make US the biggest supplier of arms. Apart from that it will provide the much needed impetus to US economy and supposedly provide employement to 60K Americans.
Giving job to Americans is not my concernce but can we depend on US for arms. In the past we have seen that Americans are the first to pull the strings whenver there is some aggression shown by us on borders. They have the critical technologies which they are not going to share. This makes the deal more vulnerable.US will have the control on the much needed spare parts or the supporting equipments and, they can stop the supply in the event of any aggression from our side.
We should maintain a balance. Although Russia is not that powerful but we can undertake joint arms development. Brahmos is a best example. Together we can develop better weapons which will not only serve the purpose of both countries but help economically grow . India and Russia have recently agreed to co-develop the world’s premier fighter. This will be a step ahead of the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, which currently rules the skies. The deal will get finalised some where in December when Russia's president visits India.
Russia had remain our time tested friend hence in future also i still believe this will be the only country apart from Israel which can help India without asking any questions.
Obama's visit is more like a businessman's trip who will come here and sign some deals or pressurise India to sign. US corporates have a huge say in any policy making and such a strong lobby will definitely ask for more from him.
I dont think the current government is in a position to act . Some times we forgot that we are also an independent nation and no one dictate us. Hey waheguru ji hamarey PM ko sadbudhi dena.

04 November 2010

Hum sab CoRrupt hai

2012...End of the world...Thats what few people predict..इसलिए जी लो ज़िन्दगी...
I am not sure if its gonna happen or not but atleast few(or should i say most) of the netas, babus and some defence personnel have taken this as a deadline.

We are use to these corruption news 'Breaking' every minute on 'Your' Channel. Whether its CWG mess or 2G spectrum allocation in Telecom. Well the list is long and I don't want to waste this space by mentioning the names of Netas as 99% of them are either corrupt or support corruption(inaction against corruption should fall under the same category..hope Dr.Manmohan Singh is listening).

Surprisingly few top Defence officials name too came in some of the scams. Although its a bit surprising as this is the only Organization which Indians are proud of and is known for its integrity.
But I was not surprised by the name which made the headlines. Mr. Kapoor is one of the main accused along with some of his colleagues.
His track record or should i corruptrack record has remained into news. Like any other true Jawan he loves his motherland. But some how the love is too materialistic as far he is concerned. While rest of the Jawans take pride by defending the borders , this guy shows his love by acquiring/grabbing lands and asking favors from netas.
Aksai Chin or POK or even J&K(remember 307 article) में लैंड deal करता तो भी समझ में आता की he is doing it for a cause.
But here the purpose is some what different. अब समंदर से एक दो बूँद कम हो जाये तो किसे पता चलेगा(Defence has a huge land bank across).

I have full faith in our current Army Chief Gen। V.K. Singh who is known for his integrity just like any other defence personnel. I am sure the enquiry being undertaken will definitely help in cleaning this system.

01 November 2010

Its tough man

Few days back only i was discussing with some one that all my leaves will remain un claimed as during Chath puja we are not going to Ranchi. Didnt know that a new visitor will come and eat up all my leaves. Am down with chicken box and currently 'Nazarbandh' in a room to avoid Advik :(
Its becoming difficult to spent time now.
Doctor has advised to take rest for days.
:( its Day3

08 October 2008

Manage the risk…

Current financial meltdown across the globe has been an eye-opener for lot of people. A very strong looking rally has suddenly changed to a bearish trend. Although, it was expected but the impact is beyond any one's imagination.
Big I bankers have either become Bankrupt or are looking for help from the Govt. The ripple effect has gripped Indian market as well. Our financial sector is very much secluded and with quality of credit far better than that of our US counterpart. Still it has impacted not only the Fin sector but reality and manufacturing sectors are feeling the heat.
Till now majority of us have been focusing more on the micro economic factors while investment in the share market. Assuming Indian economy is doing well, if the company has a good management and the sector is performing well, people were ready to put in the money in those stocks. But the current meltdown has changed everything. All the sectors have got impacted. Share prices of most of the scrip have reached near 52 week low mark.

How to survive in such situation
1. It is always advisable to put your money in quality stocks. The prices will crash even for these shares but the recovery will be fast. These companies will try to get the maximum out of the slowing down economy. They will focus on streamlining their process during this phase. Some buyouts might happen as they will get some good companies readily available in the market at throwaway valuation.
Once the economy revives, these companies will lead the pack by giving good returns to the shareholders.
Reliance capital made an announcement to foray into Investment banking and Housing finance on the very next day of Lehman’s bankruptcy. Some might feel that is this the right time for them to make this announcement. Well I feel yes because Interest rates have already reached the peak. In coming few months things should improve and rates will fall leading to a rise in credit off take. As far as I-banking is concerned, the key to success is how well connected you are with the prospective clients. It’s all about relationship which guarantees some good opportunities and hence good business. Timing would not have been better when best of the brains of these distressed companies are looking for new avenues. Reliance Capital will get these top quality people who in turn can help a big bang launch of I banking business.

2. Averaging is a good tool to minimize your losses and increases the probability of faster breakeven. But the only concern is we are not sure when the stock price will bottom out. At times you average out assuming market has already bottomed but the very next day it falls again. It’s better to do it in phased manner based on your risk appetite and how much disposable income you have. There is no full proof way to beat the market but managing the same may be helpful.

3. Commodities can be another option to look into. The nature of the collapse in US is entirely driven by consumer spending. The main beneficiary of the situation is China and the Middle East countries. The appetite for taking huge loans on the part of US consumers driven by very high spending on household needs accounted this downfall.

In the last 9 recessions since 1950, S & P 500 index rose by 30% in the first 12 months once the market reached bottom. Surprisingly in 8 of the 9 recoveries the market reached bottom before the end of the recession.

Whenever such great correction, collapse, recession, war, terrorism, any other natural calamities etc happens …people at large go back to basic which is the old theory. They either keep the money in cash in the locker or they invest in Gold. Gold is one commodity which trades like money and the exchange/liquidity is also very high. Historical events show that Gold is very good long term investment and it has beaten the Inflation number in the last 50 years of history in India atleast.

Price of Gold was Rs. 200 per ten grams in 1968. Today in 2008 the price for the same 10 grams has reached to Rs. 12500 which is 62 times higher than the 1968 price.

Happy Investing!!!