LinkedIn in a BoxLinkedIn is one of the best Business Networking sites which I have encountered till date.In the Indian scenario,we have TechTribe which is definitely hot among the Indians.

LinkedIn now has gone one step further and this time it has come with the LinkedIn widget which contains your LinkedIn information in a box.The settings of the widget are also configurable and it definitely gives a royal look smile

You can check out LinkedInaBox Official Blog for more information.

Time to see my LinkedIn profile in a box.Just click on the information appearing inside the box and there you can see the entire information in just a small box lol

Just thought of writing this article four days back but had a very busy schedule.So let me go to the past tense and try to recollect my thoughts and put them in this post.

Dated 16th February,2007: It was just a normal working day and guess what “I walked all the way from Koramangala to my house in Indiranagar(which is around 15KM) and this where I tried to recollect some memorable things in my life that have changed my professional and personal life.” and this post was born.So here it goes:

Lesson 1:
It was very difficult getting a good job after passing out in the year 2001.Yes,dot com bust and Y2K were responsible for this and to some extent even I was responsible!!! Imagine a situation where a middle class boy living in Mumbai is not getting a job even after doing his so called (computer) engineering and damn I finally got a job where I was getting paid mere 4000 bucks(there is nothing to hide here).It was in 2003 when I decided to quit my job and move to Bangalore, which was one of the biggest risks in my life and now I feel my life has traveled a full circle.
Learning:
I never thought of having any kind of entrepreneurial skills but this incident made me realize that I can take risks which is in the genes of Entrepreneurs.And yes,this blog has been my friend, philosopher and guide in this journey.Remember “The biggest risk in life is not taking one”.
Did you know “N R Murthy was refused a job in Wipro before he started Infosys

Lesson 2:
This incident would rather seem funny to you but I taken guts to write the truth.The same day,I got a call from Citibank officer for a credit card and he asked my Driving License as a proof(since,every person knows how to drive,isn’t it?).I replied in negation and believe me,he was shocked after hearing this.But this is a truth which I have to accept.I still have to learn driving a car or a bike,but I don’t regret this since,it opens a world of opportunities for me.
Learning:
I like going by bus and also by auto rickshaws since, I get to know more about a common man’s thinking(though I am also one of them smile).You would really know your worth from these people and they are your best teachers.This in turn helps in understanding consumer needs and also helps you building a network which you might have never thought about biggrin. I would be learning driving very soon but even after learning it,would prefer the other mode of transport since,“Business is all about relations,no matter with whom you are trying to get connected to”.
Did you know “N R Murthy of Infosys also doesnt have a driving license and he had publicily announced on TV” and he was never afraid what people would think about it.

Lesson 3:
Be it my job,my blog or playing cricket,I do all the things with full enthusiasm and with a winning attitude.I have one thing in mind “I want to win(but by fair means)”.I have lots of heroes(motivators) from different fields of life eg Sachin Tendulkar from cricket,Sunil Mittal of Bharti as an entrepreneur,Guy Kawasaki as a blogger/VC/entrepreneur but at the end of the day,it is me who has to perform.
Learning:
Enthusiasm is very important for your success.Do everything with a full heart and good results would follow soon.You need to be motivated to achieve something , but the first person with whom you should be motivated is yourself(ie. you need to be self motivated).If you are not motivated, no one else can be a source of motivation for you.
Did you know “Gururaj Desh Deshpande failed in his first venture but he stood up tall and started his next big successful venture Sycamore Networks

Lesson 4:
Everyday,when I look at myself , I feel there are lots of improvements that I need to make and I need to work(a bit harder), in order to achieve my goals.I need to fight against my weaknesses,capture my dreams,work for other’s betterment etc. Improvement is a continual process and would continue until the end of my life.I never thought that I would reach this stage(though I have a long way to go to achieve my dreams) but continuous improvement has helped me achieve it.
Learning:
Success is a journey and not a destination.Take small steps towards improvement and it would lead to a larger improvement(over a period of time).Try to celebrate your achievements but never be satisfied with them and learn from your failures.
Have a look at what Mr Laxmi Mittal has to say “He has not under achieved in life but there are more things that he wants to achieve” and this is what makes a successful person

Hope this post was motivating enough for you and all the best for achieving your dreams.

Finally, it is good news for startups waiting for their registration.A project called E-Biz has been undertaken by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) which would help startups enable their registration through a single website.So, gone are the days when they have to go through multiple steps to complete their registration.

E-Biz that would be started off in four states initially –– Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh –– to enable the user to maintain his profile on one website.

Read the complete article here

Ram Shriram of Sherpalo Ventures emerged as the top ranked Indian(and fourth overall) in the Forbes 2007 listing of the Top 100 people with the Midas touch.The Midas List seeks to identify individuals who deploy venture capital to create wealth for their investors.

Ram Shriram has been an early investor in search giant Google,founder of Junglee.com(which was later sold to Amazon.com) and has invested in Naukri.com,Plaxo, ClearTrip and Mumbai based PayMate

Ram Shriram says “He is not an investment banker who comes with a cheque book but he is more of a technology and operations expert who assists entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses”

Read the complete story here

Adaptive BlueThere are so many extentions to firefox and believe me each extension is better than the previous extensions.
Just happened to see Blue Organizer and it is a great extension to FireFox.

What exactly is Blue Organizer?
The BlueMenu/BlueOrganizer is a smart, context-sensitive menu. It understands what kind of pages you’re on and helps you quickly find what you’re looking for on your favorite sites. Right-click to get BlueMenu for pages, links, selected text and images.

How is it useful?
Imagine you can digg posts,check who is linking to your posts on technorati & google,get videos on youtube,snap links(and much more) on the right click of your mouse.Yes,makes life simple and BlueMenu does much more than what is mentioned here.

There is also a cool feature called BlueBadge and you can find more about its usage here

How useful Blue Menu is?

I have just mentioned some of the features of BlueMenu but believe me,it is so feature rich that it would be virtually impossible to cover BlueMenu in one post 🙂

My final verdict of BlueOrganizer would beBlueOrganizer is a boon to the Blogosphere and it would make life much simpler for bloggers.

I just happened to speak to Alex Iskold,CEO of AdaptiveBlue and he was very quick to respond to all my queries 🙂 This means along with excellent software you can also expect good service.Way to go Alex !!!

You can download BlueOrganizer extension from here

Read more about BlueOrganizer from Alex Iskold’s blog , AdaptiveBlue blog , ReadWriteWeb

I just thought that along with starting “Spawners of the month”,it just clicked me to start one more section namely “Business learning/pick of the month”.Here,you would find an article which I found interesting after reading various business magazines over a period of one month.

This time,I have an interesting article from “Business Gyan” which focuses on role of Assessment Centers,Competency building and how is it important for any organization.This article could not be found online and hence I thought of putting all the interesting things from the article here 🙂

What exactly is the job of an Assessment Center?
Indian organizations employ Assessment center for the following jobs:
a. Recruitment.
b. Selection of the right candidate for the right job.
c. Test an individual’s potential to take a more complex role.
d. Test the viability of an employee continuing in the organization.
e. Focus on competencies that are required for the role.

The complex question,what is competency?
Many people consider competency as building up of skills.But there is more to that.It is the capacity of an individual to perform successfully with all the other conditions remaining constant.It is important to understand how different competencies can manifest differently in different cultures and contexts.

a. Organizational Competencies:
These are the set of competencies that account for the successful performance by an employee at any level in the organization.Organizational competencies can range from Teamwork to innovation to clarity of purpose etc.Apart from understanding the “Organization-fit” of an individual,assessment can help in mapping alignments as well as dissonances on human front.

b. Level Competencies:
Here we have a point:”ALL COMPANIES , ESPECIALLY INDIAN COMPANIES ARE VERY HIERARCHICAL IN NATURE”.Even now,software organizations grapple with the challenge of promoting their most successful technical resources.The traditional notion of “RISING” in an organization is equated over “RULING OVER” the subordinates.”LEVELS” in an Indian organization is a testimony to what a manager is empowered to do in a particular organization.The responsibilities of different levels are:

1. TOP Management:
Envision the future of the organization and engage in thinking that can power the company with the best strategies
2. SENIOR Management:
Map out strategic plans and act as a link between the organization and the environment outside.
3. MIDDLE Management:
Acts as a link between the idea and its execution.Also manage the concept as well as the process flow of the organization.
4. JUNIOR Management:
First line supervisors and manage the activities of the organization.

Each level would place unique expectations in terms of competencies required to perform at that level.

c. Functional Competencies:
They are set of competencies required to perform successfully in that function.Functional competencies help us to understand the utility of proficiency levels.Hence,more you go up the ladder,more functional competency and maturity you should possess.

d. Role Competencies:
Set of competencies that account for successful performance in a particular role(see the difference between role and function).It helps to attenuate the uniqueness of a particular role.While a Sales Manager may need competency of networking to succeed,the HR Manager may possess the competency of Coaching and Mentoring.

Assessment Centers:
After mapping different competencies,next step to design an Assessment Center that can assess the competencies of different levels of employees.Assessment principle should include group exercise,competency based interview etc.

Points to be noted about assessment:
a. It is an input and not a judgment
b. Competencies that are measured are relevant only for a particular time period and context in which it has taken place
c. The assessment can be shared with the concerned employee which would build trust and well being in the organization
d. Assessment centers measure potential and not actual performance on job

In the recent past many Indian companies have gone into the M&A spree.Some of the major acquisitions by Indian companies(as well as other companies trying to enter India) are listed below:
  1. Tata acquisition of Corus
  2. Hindalco acquisition of Novelis
  3. Telecom giant Vodafone’s entry into the Indian market with its acquisition of Hutch
As quoted by MobilePundit, mobile users in India touching 156.3 mn and still rising(day by day), this could be the right time for Arun Sarin’s Vodafone to enter India.

This is what Business Week has to say about India’s growth and its booming economy

India is the world’s fastest-growing economy right now, after China, and this $850 billion-plus machine likely will overtake South Korea as Asia’s third-biggest economy, behind Japan and China, by the start of 2008. True, India hasn’t yet fielded iconic corporate brand names like Sony, Toyota, and Samsung, but the country is home to a gaggle of software, IT and wireless, and industrial powerhouse players with very robust futures ahead of them. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are 10 of the most dynamic companies India has to offer. Most of them trade on India and U.S. exchanges and have been killer investments over the past year.

With such major deals happening in the recent past,Business Week came out with a very good analysis about “Ten Indian Companies to watch out for in 2007”.

1. Tata Motors
Sector : Automobile
India’s biggest maker of trucks and buses has a tieup with Fiat to jointly invest $895 million to develop and roll out passenger cars in India’s fast-growing auto market.
One year total return:22.5%

2. Mahindra & Mahindra(M&M)
Sector : Automobile
M&M is India’s No. 1 maker of tractors and sports-utility vehicles.M&M has tieups with French carmaker Renault and U.S. truckmaker Navistar.Scorpio SUV was a hughe hit in India.
One year total return:65.6%

3. Bharat Forge
Sector : Steel & Auto parts
It is a manufacturer of steel forgings and auto parts such as crank shafts for trucks, which it supplies to global automakers like DaimlerChrysler and General Motors.
One year total return:12.03%

4. Rediff.com
Sector : Internet
It provides news,information,shopping service and recently launced “Rediff Moneywise” targetting the NRI audience.
One year total return:36.11%

5. Infosys Technologies
Sector : IT services & BPO
Needless to say since everyone knows Infosys however,it is India’s second-biggest software company and a major IT consulting firm that generates 60% of its sales in the U.S. market.
One year total return:64.8%

6. Wipro
Sector : IT services & BPO
Needless to say about Wipro as well however,it is India’s third-biggest software company and IT consulting firm is on an earnings tear, with fourth-quarter profits up 40% to $169 million.Azim Premji is definitely hungry for more acquisitions.
One year total return:26.26%

7. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Sector : Pharmacy
India’s third largest pharmaceutical company, reported a tripling of net income to $42.5 million in the fourth quarter and specializes in selling and exporting versions of blockbuster drugs developed by other companies such as Bayer and Merck at much lower prices.
One year total return:25%

8. Bharti Airtel
Sector : Mobile services
After hughe operator base in India, Sunil Mittal headed-Airtel is planning to expand in countries like Africa
One year total return:107%

9. Reliance Industries
Sector : Energy & Petroleum
It is one of India’s petrochemical and energy national champions and runs the third-largest oil refinery. Its new unit, Reliance Petroleum, 5%-owned by Chevron, is building what will be the world’s biggest refining complexes in India later in the decade
One year total return:95.75%

10. ICICI Bank
Sector : Banking
It is a diversified player with 540-odd branches in India, and is particularly strong in retail and corporate banking in addition to providing foreign currency and investment banking services
One year total return:62%.8

Read the complete article here