Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last post of 2016 on the last day of 2016

It's been a very interesting year and how do you spend the last of the 365 great days of the year? I carefully chose this quiet evening to slow it all down and reflect on the year that is almost over and the one which is knocking on the door.

1. If I can make a list of events in the order of importance, this is where I will agree with the editorial panel of the world's most renowned magazine. USA choosing Trump as the next POTUS simply trumps all other events. I did follow the long election campaign throughout the year and the conversations around it were greatly intellectually stimulating. The new found love for the American politics was a result of a mix of the personality of Obama, Trump and Sanders, US visit and a number of very casual conversations that I was having with my US colleagues at Xerox.
2017 is going to be an exciting year because the world will get to see a CEO style of leadership and it will affect everyone directly or indirectly.

2. Switching from Xerox to Seagate

Today (31st Dec) also marks the end of the Xerox Services as a business experiment which started with the acquisition of ACS by Xerox and finally spinning it off as Conduent, under an Infosys veteran Ashok Vemuri. My switch was triggered by this announcement of this split and with the current role and responsibility at Seagate it's turning out to be a good decision.

2017 is already promising to be an eventful year with two exciting projects in both India and world level. I am determined to make the most of each of them.

3. Britain's exit from the EU.
I will have to admit that I expected a major impact on the global and Indian economy because of this major decision. But all I could sense so far is the talks of global economic slowdown and may be TATA in India got hit in some way.

4. Meeting "The One"
Now this is special. 2016 will go down as a year I will frequently revisit to cherish this special and life changing event.
2017 will get you more details on this...

5. Summer Olympics 2016.
A rather disappointing show by India except for what PV Sindhu was able to achieve by winning the silver in badminton's singles event.

6. Get-togethers - Guwahati - Chandigarh - Pune - Bangalore
Guwahati happened, thanks to Alokojjwal and what a get together it turned out to be. Meeting Arun, Yesin after like ages was very refreshing. Chandigarh proved to be the perfect Punjabi Wedding and long due young guns get together. Pune, though an official trip helped me connect with very special friend and the year ended with another lovely surprise in Bangalore.

7. Demonetization
And yes, on 08 Nov 2016 the honorable PM of India announced an unprecedented move to cancel the legal tender of all 500 and 1000 rupees notes (which were at that time 86% of the currency in India). Throughout the world, all major business specialists and economists were taken by surprise by this bold move.
Whether this will work and achieve it's intended goal is what will take years to uncover but the way indians have received this across the nation is going to be a case study in itself.

2017 is going to be the year when I settle down and start the new journey with a life partner and I am so looking forward to it.

Whatever is being written here are the personal views of the author and are subjected to agreement or disagreement. And a request to all members, Please share your views !!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Reverie Soul

Chapter 1:

"Do I know you"
She said as i choked out on my grinning smile. She turned away by giving me a look which took the very soul out of me.I tried not to look at her again but you know i had to and then I noticed her ID card and it suddenly struck me ...
I was awestruck seeing the organisation see was working for as much as I did seeing her.
She was not just another person that you come across everyday......
I wonder why was she traveling in a rustling metro when she could have easily got all the luxuries of the world at her disposal.
My inquisitiveness was sky high that day. The more I saw her the more I wanted to know about her.
As usual, I had my daily scrum call that day ..... Had some pending assignments from the week before for which I had to think of some excuses
The appraisal was round the corner and I didn't want waste it like last year......
But that day I did something that not many would recommend....
“Why don’t you carry the umbrella…. Why do you skip lunch everyday….Look at you…..why don’t you shave”….. I wish I had listened to my mom that day. It was raining cats and dogs…. The city was under water, making the headlines for all dailies. But not even the rain God could stop me that day…..
“Doors will open on the right…….please mind the gap”….. a known voice cautioned everyone on board. Usually, I don’t get perturbed by that voice. In fact I have heard and known this automated voice so much over the last couple of years that it has started haunting me in my dreams .
But I was alerted by the voice on that instance….No I didn’t reach my destination but I saw my mystery girl approaching the door on the right …. She unplugged her ear phone and put it inside that massive back pack. I knew she was about to get down. She took out a pink hair band from that bag and made a pony tail. That was the first time I could see her face properly. She had put on a long pair of earrings. She organized her pink ‘dupatta’ with her supple fingers and moved forward. I was so mesmerized by her looks that the word beautiful would be an understatement.
Finally, the train stopped and she got down. Gradually, she was disappearing away from the vicinity but I was still able to see her while seating on the seats reserved for the elderly. I thought …. “Ok! That’s it. This is how it’s going to end”. My logical mind reminded me of the three critical bugs assigned to me and the ever assertive manager. It was also the last day for investment declaration. So, I decided to sit back and proceed with the rest of the ride……. Or did I …….

Chapter 2:

I was standing in foot high water. With a hustle I folded my trousers up to my knees. I was feeling so wet. In a desperate attempt to keep myself dry I hurriedly took out my handkerchief from my pocket and put it on top of my head. But all in vain! The heavy down pour had completely drenched me. I knew the investment proofs in my back pack were long gone. So were my newly bought shoes. Once again my logical mind came to my rescue and I took cover under a metro pillar. But I didn’t let her go off my sight. Yes, I did get down at that station with all my curiosities, in search of some unfurled answers to the mystery……
Before I could take a breather under the pillar, the phone rang. I took it out from my soaked pocket and saw a known but unsaved number. Oh! It was from the conference room from office….someone from the scrum call had called me. Reluctantly, I picked it up. It was Ravi, my buddy, the geek, the ‘follow the rule book’ guy and my all time savior. He asked me my ETA to which I gave an arbitrary figure. He briefed me about the MOM of the call. So, instead of three, I had four critical bugs to solve today. QA had reopened a bug which I closed last week citing environmental issue. Before I could explain him about my case he hanged up the phone…….

I quickly put my phone back to my drenched pocket and started scanning around till my sight went. Where did she go ..where did she go .. Damn that call.
And suddenly i saw that bag pack .. Oh there she is .. Thank god .. But where is she going . I had to know . I had to follow her. I didn't care about the rain.. I started following her .
Seems she was drenched too even though she carried a yellow umbrella.
In my mind the same picture of her tying of hairs was played in loop. I think its a parallel for loop from 0 to infinity . Wait ..that's the solution to that bug ,there must be a loop which is causing that issue..god i am smart!!
She just entered Starbucks. Oh damn what should I do . Should I follow her... Maybe she is bit drenched and wants to have coffee.. No that cant be right ..why am i being so optimistic . I should bury my thoughts beneath my soul and go back.
Someone must be waiting for her. Yeah that should be it.
But then I thought let me at least look at the jumping jack black who she is sitting with which will make me hate myself . So I walked pass the door and from corner of my eyes saw she is sitting alone .....

Chapter 3:

I went to the counter and look up at the menu. Oh Jesus! Everything was so overpriced. Three hundred bucks for a cup of coffee !!! They were looting the people. But it seemed nobody present there actually cared. I guess people come to places like this to hang out with friends or with that special someone and that is what matters to them. Then why she was sitting alone, I wondered!
I tried to do a quick bubble sort on the menu based on the price tags and found a name, a name I had never heard before. I went to the lady standing behind the monitor and asked for my item with a purposeful look as if I went there to have nothing but that. She asked me a serious of follow up Questions but never waited for me to answer and then asked me to step aside. Within a minute my order arrived. I took my cup, left the tray there and was looking for a vacant seat from where I could see my mystery girl. I saw a couple getting ready to leave. Both of them were good looking. They probably went there for a date. The guy was crying and had a teddy bear on his lap. This girl was ignoring him and had her ears phones on. I could see her playlist from a distance; she was listening to a Rabindra Sangeet. Oh, a Bong, I sighed. The whole episode was a bit confusing but I wasn't there to solve their problems.
So, once they cleared the table, I waited for the housekeeping to clean the table, gave him a courteous look once he was done and then finally took my seat. I had the best seat in the world now! I have fought a numerous battles for a seat ... Starting from the last bench in school to the seats in a metro but I was never happier before than I was on that occasion. She was so close to me that I could Even smell the perfume she was wearing and tell you what .... It was really exotic.
She took out a device from her bag and pointed it towards the items she had ordered for her. An intense beam of laser came out of the device and started scanning those items on the table. Within a few seconds a matrix popped up on her cell phone screen. The matrix had a number of details which were not legible to me from that distance but I could see the unique green vegetarian logo on top of the screen. The device certainly had something to do with food quality. Wow!! I have never seen such thing before. No wonder she was from the Immortals......the biggest and richest pharmaceutical company in the entire planet. More importantly, she was wearing a red tag, a tag given only to the top ten research scientists of that organization and she surely has to be the youngest of all. Very recently this company made the headlines when they claimed to find the cure to auto immune disorders and AIDS. The company had said that the initial trials on mice had shown promising results and they were planning to initiate human trails very soon. Buy why would someone of her capacity be in a place like this... A place amidst one of the largest slums of the continent...... Something that I had to know.....


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Life moves on and Change is the only constant...

Infosys Limited to Xerox Business Services to now Seagate Technology

And they asked me, "How does it feel in the new organization?"

I mostly answer with a smile, or at best a customary, - "Good", "I Like it". What went behind the scenes and how I finally landed here is a different story all together. While Infosys will always be cherished for the spectacular campus, excellent team bonding and lifelong friends and mentors, Xerox was more of an experiment with the reality in the outside world on Learning & Development and also on a personal front. The learning curve at Xerox was at two extreme ends, very slow in the first year and suddenly it almost pushed in a different orbit in the second one. Guess a good manager is always so important and it's destiny.

The only reason I decided to move on from Xerox was because of the sudden lack of job security environment which was created due to the inevitable split announced earlier Jan 2016. By the time I was serving notice period, the division was formalized and the new name and the new CEO was announced as well.

Thanks to my mentors, I wasn't going to wait for the tide to turn this time and decided to take a proactive step towards guiding my own ship. I was lucky both in terms of the offers which were available in the market as well as the sound mentors I had who helped me sift through those opportunities.

With about 50,000 employees and $15B Revenue, Seagate still is the smallest company I have worked with so far, and in a lot of ways I can feel the difference both in terms of the approach and the organizational culture of a product based company. Guess to early to say that, and as the Regional Lead for India I will have my task cut out along with my team at the Global Learning & Performance team.

But you know what, I really like this place. Product companies are good, systematic and predictable; which is so good for business.

Whatever is being written here are the personal views of the author and are subjected to agreement or disagreement. And a request to all members, Please share your views !!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Blogging And Cricket. Ind vs Aus. Mohali

The game is on. Australia has won the toss and elected to bat first. Indian captain looked at ease with not having to decide what to do in the current scheme of things. This World Cup in India has been different in the sense that most teams aren't sure about what can be a good target to set and hence been confused in their approach towards batting.

Nehra bowling a rare first over and LOC group getting ready to type it all out. The other which makes its presence felt while a match is on is the YoungGuns. It almost feels as if we are watching the match together.  Nehra goes for a boundary first ball and then comes back strongly with some swing in the first over. Bumrah still recovering from what happened against Bangladesh is being taken to the cleaners. Australia is off to a swift start and India needs to bring spin to control the run flow.
Mohali is a fast pitch and full of runs, which is good news for the strong Indian batting line up but in a knockout match like this it just makes the task so much difficult as the pressure makes sure hat the margin for error is so low. Aus going after Ashwin and 22 runs in his over has to be a record. Nehraji draws the first blood for India but not before Khwaja dented a good blow to India's morale.

India started as a favorite to win the World Cup and now struggling to keep alive. I think Dhoni summarised it well the other day when he said that there are no scripts in a game. When the match starts there are no favourites, there are no contenders.
After 7 overs, Aus still ahead by a huge margin and India need to continuously and slowly pull it back. They need to believe. They have the skills and the temperament to defeat this strong Australian team.
The groups are keeping silent as India is slowing it down, pegging the opposition down. There are so many of them in this Aussie batting line up.

Yuvraj Singh brought into the attack and he gave India reasons to smile with his first delivery. I am pleasantly surprised by Pandya's economical over.
93/3 in 12 overs. This is unofficially the mid point of the innings and Aus will look to double the score but Pandya is delivering another decent over. If your opposition gets a boundary after 5 overs in a 20 overs match you are doing well but... There's a big but because the players are Finch and Maxwell. Pandya removes Finch, the best ranked batsman in the world after being hit for a boundary. Yuvi on a roll in the first game he is bowling in this tournament. India keeping pressure on the current  ODI champs and this match is now evenly balanced.

The match will be decided by the team which will assess the pitch better than the other.

What looked like a team rocketing over to well above 200 runs which could have been above par score has been restricted to 160. As I type this Pandya gave away 15 runs to tip the score to 160.

Okay, now we begin the chase. I wonder if Rohit and Dhavan ever told each other, "Let's go out and win this one without losing any wickets."Rohit started with a single while Dhavan drives it to the boundary. Aus seems to missing on the X-factor when it comes to the bowling department. India has beaten them in 5 T20s in a row and this one is also looking good for them. 7 of the first over and with blood circulation going with running between the wickets it will help them settle down into a rhythm which is so important in such games at such a stage.

While a rare silent over slipped in by Courtenile, we got cracking with a intriguing question on YoungGuns what's app group. One of the Young Guns wanted to know what would a batsman do when needs to go to the loo in middle of an innings. While we solved her query, Dhavan gets into the act and puts Hazlewood sailing into the crowd. India after seeing off the first couple of overs now slowing opening up and hitting the ball with greater control. Rohit Sharma hits a six but Dhavan succumbs to the short ball in the same over to concede the advantage back to Aus.

Over the years, Kohli has grown into stature and have filled the biggest shoes in world cricket left behind by Sachin. Arguably a better chaser than even the god of cricket and the man to depend on when it matters. He starts off in his natural flair with couple of boundaries and the match is back into India's control. Key to India's success is to keep Kohli in the middle as long as possible while other batsmen can build the winning strategy around him. Rohit is also due for a long time and he should join the party tonight.

The match may prove to be the last one for Shane Watson, i.e. if India goes on to win, pushing Aus out of the WorldCup. He's been such a influence in the IPL and in so many ways on Indian cricket as well. And he does it again by bowling Rohit Sharma who looked like he was bored with the way things were going; tried to do something special and perished in the attempt. With Raina gone as well, Watson is showing that he's not done yet and willing to play another couple of games to have the last hurrah!

India inching towards the target but not in a comfortable way. Yuvi just twisted his ankle and his struggle in his home ground is now compounded. After 9 overs Ind is doing just okay but may be lost a wicket more than they would have loved to.
Raina not doing a favor to his supporters by continuously missing out the opportunity to score important runs.
As Yuvi denying some tight and crucial runs with Kohli, Kohli is getting a lesson in patience. He is at times not looking at Yuvi and that can't be good for India. Kohli goes after Maxwell and a miss hit goes to maximum both to the surprise of batsman and bowler. Yuvi goes with India still needing over 11 runs an over for next 6 overs.
Dhoni and Kohli- the masters of the chase are in the middle and since it is going to be close, I am taking off from here. Before I sign off let me predict this.... India will win this close encounter.

Whatever is being written here are the personal views of the author and are subjected to agreement or disagreement. And a request to all members, Please share your views !!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Argumentative India in the Digital Age

Recently if you have been following news in India and the politics you would have noticed some unprecedented polarization in various segments of the society. Media is divided, Lawyers are divided, even the mass populace seems to have ‘strong’ opinions about issues like – election results, government policies, the great intolerance debate, nationalism issue and numerous ones in between.

It’s easy to be discouraged by the passion which these arguments bring. Never before young mid 20s and 30s  population got into ‘intellectual’ and seemingly ‘boring’ and ‘unrelated’ policy discussions. And I say discouraged because we aren’t used to debating ‘intolerance’ or ‘nationalism’ in our drawing rooms or as part of our ‘water cooler discussions’. Everything said and done, we love to argue, we love to take sides, find faults in other’s arguments – technically or sentimentally and we are good at that. In the digital age the scope of these deliberations has expanded to unimaginable breadth. Social networking sites and applications which can spread word around faster than the blink of an eye are doing a great service to the quantity and quality of the conversations happening all around the world and for all democratic reasons this is a very good sign for the flora and fauna. Think about child labor, clean India, traffic rules, human trafficking, international relations, epidemics spreading across the world, terrorist attacks around the world, democratic uprisings, general elections in some countries, world economic health, price of oil and other commodities – even if you don’t know everything about all of them, there is a good chance that you know something about each one of them.

I chose to write about two aspects of the debates I have observed being conducted formally and informally around me. First one is about how we secretly enjoy it and outwardly resist (read desist) or feel guilty about it when it’s (partially) over. Second one is a more important issue. It calls for caution in terms of what we read, watch or spread or shall I say what we believe.

Incessant love for debates.
You pick a topic. Any topic. Start with international issues if you are globally aware citizen of the world, or pick a national issue, perhaps a state issue? How about local ones? State of traffic, road conditions, waste management in your region. If none of these interest you, then let’s talk about homely issues, food, upbringing of kids, choosing your career, kids’ schooling, or how to spend the next extended weekend. Cliché – ‘Man is a social animal’ should be changed to ‘We all love to argue’ about something or the other. Only the topics change depending upon what clicks for you. We love to deliberate, talk about them and more often than not get back to usual routine. In line with what has been happening throughout human civilization, a handful of us take the concern seriously enough to start doing something about it. Without taking names, there is an endless list of great people(proven examples) and work in progress ones, and I am not even talking about people in social space. Consider those who created business empires (not that their goal was to do that in the first place) around a problem they were trying to solve, or gave up (significant sometimes) part of the wealth they have amassed for the good of the people.

Bottom-line is – keep arguing. Keep questioning. Encourage your kids to ask questions, try answering them. Ask questions yourself, try getting the answers. It is in line with the human nature and is for the benefit for the society that we keep questioning everything and everyone (Don’t take it literally). It keeps things in check. Let me back track a bit here. Let me not say that everyone should keep questioning everything/ everyone. What I imply is that keeping an open mind is the important essence here. Keeping an open mind is as much about being okay with new answers as it is about finding alternate to the existing ones.

The Caution and the need for it.
Another cliché in the new age is around how the social media has changed the world. It has indeed. I am tempted to use the name of a particular messaging app and a social networking site (both under same flagship). But this blog-post is not about them. It’s about the people who use them and how they use them.

This is the year of presidential election in the US. I get to talk to some of my colleagues there. I know politics doesn’t feature in the list of topics you should converse on with your office colleagues but it comes up every once in a while. I mention this because of the one thing which is common in the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest one is the anger and frustration which the common people have. While this is the first time we are getting the opportunity to get first hand/ or filtered information in real time, it is also the first time when we can vent out our anger and share our views and it is out there in the open. There is nothing wrong with that. It just calls for a little caution.
Please keep in mind that the venting which you are doing over the internet is out there in the world for everyone to see. This is a fantastic thing and many great ideas have come up when people collaborate. Internet is a great place for unprecedented scale of collaboration happening. On the other hand there are people who have the capacity to harm others when they take in those sentiments seriously; it creates havoc in the society. There seems to be some investment in this field where some serious stakeholders are trying to make the most of this opportunity to sway the emotions of people in their favor, or may be deflect the attention from what’s more important.

I know I can go on and on this… but as good things end, this one will as well. ;)
Passion is good, so are the arguments, or having opinions, defending them, taking it to the larger masses (like I am doing right now) but as a superhero once said (in a Hollywood movie) – “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” I think this is the time to show some restraint and be a little more responsible. Don’t trust everything you hear or see, don’t jump the gun to verdicts and conclusions. That’s a lot of serious talk and ‘gyaan’ as my friends call it. Just follow the beautiful vision of this great nation which is relevant beyond timelines – ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ – ‘The world is one family’ and you can agree, disagree with your family but not harm them.

Whatever is being written here are the personal views of the author and are subjected to agreement or disagreement. And a request to all members, Please share your views !!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 1 2016. Blog 1.

Hello friends,
Day 1 of the New Year gives me a unique opportunity to reflect on how things were in the past and how they need to evolve as somebody who believes in the idea that 'measuring is growing'.
Having said that, I have been working on the list of resolutions for this splendid year 16 for the past one week and now I think I need to take it slow and not plan to do a lot of things. Need to take it easy and spend more time going out and soak in life.
The year was special one for a lot of us who got to the major milestone in life and got married, while another group who reached the milestone of the first year of bonding. Congratulations to all of you for keeping the spirits up and connecting in various ways. Few things which come to my mind are Rai, Mnx and Gokul's wedding, AD being there and about at each and every major event.
On a personal front, 2015 was a year of fitness and a debut in terms of the foreign trip. Running has now become an integral part of my daily routine and while trips within the countries are frequent, international trips is part of the plan/ resolutions for 2016. Was able to meet Ari, Basu, Sachin, Poly and it seems just last day Rai was here in Town and we had some interesting conversations on a range of topic.
Needless to say that people have a range of emotions for the 2016. For some it's a reason for celebrations and a fresh start while for some feel it doesn't change anything and it's only a number. As I sit here thinking about how I am going to approach life, and the best songs of 2015 (playlist) setting the tone for the super year it's going to be, can’t stop thinking about this great group we created some 8 years back. Wish you all a great 2016 and I can say this without a shred of doubt that for LOCians are in a unique position to start or continue with the momentum to continuously grow and strive for happiness or keep it.
As I close this first note, I urge all of you to think about two lists. If making lists work for you it will be easier for you to do it, but if lists are not your thing, just take two blank sheets of paper and title them bucket list and list of 2016. Don’t restrict your imagination and go ahead and write down what you want to do. If you are someone like me, you will get stuck at being clueless about what is that exactly you want to do in life and that is ok. Just start small and write down things like visiting places and meeting people. Things like calling someone, regularly or just once will also be a superb item in the list. And you don’t have to prepare the list at one go, keep it handy and keep editing the list.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy! You get to live just once, make the most of it.

Whatever is being written here are the personal views of the author and are subjected to agreement or disagreement. And a request to all members, Please share your views !!

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