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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

West Bengal, Mamati-di and NO-NO

Posted by abyjain on August 31, 2008

So this whole Nano nautanki has been going on for a few days now and Tata’s have even asked the workers to stop reporting for work. Of course, these are high stakes games and one cannot predict how it will end and who will blink BUT …

However much you try reading in the mainstream media, there really isn’t any fair comment or on-the-ground news about what is right and wrong with both the sides. I’m a firm believer in “there’s another side to it” and I would like to know both. Also, knowing that Mamata is a politician and Tatas are Tatas, I tend to give the T’s the benefit of doubt.

At the end of the day, this fight against industry is NOT going to be very good for all these states. I understand that there might be genuine problems and there may be foul play by these very industries and the vested interest parties but why don’t we ever come up with an optimal solution?

Does anyone know of any articles or pieces available online which gives a fair picture of the situation on the ground in Singur?

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Posted in India, Investment, Politics, Progress | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Blame it on the … Chindians!!

Posted by abyjain on June 8, 2008

Highly opinionated! That’s what I am.

One of those opinions being – The west is too obsessed with itself, and knows too little about the rest of the world. What they think they know, is surprisingly inaccurate and misinformed.

Only to prove this point, the western media and the officials of Public or Private Service keep going on and on and on about how China and India are responsible for all the ills that the world is facing today.

On the Commodity pricing front – They keep going on about how the fast increasing demands of foodgrains and energy fuels is igniting the price of commodities all over. Of course, some bit of it is our contribution, but… but… but…

a) I am sure speculators and all these traders on energy and commodity exchannges have a HUGE part to play

b) Actually, per capita consumption of foodgrains is HARDLY going up in India, even in comparison to the US. Especially if they consider how much they are now converting into biofuel etc. Some big names, who keep passing the buck to Chindia like the man known as Bush, just love leading the public down false paths. Obviously he has all the information and all the data… but of course the American people like to hear that someone else is responsible for all the so-called misery.

On the energy and fuels front, of course there is growth in India, but does anyone BOTHER to check what is the per-capita consumption in the west and what it is in India. If not that, have they checked what is the TOTAL consumption of western economies or America as compared to India???

On the global warming and emissions front – has anyone checked what is the total emissions of the US against the total emissions of India? Forget per capita, that thing is not even worth mentioning. Every leader is convinced that the environment cannot be helped unless the “fastest growing” economies come on-board, but has anyone thought how much emissions can be controlled if the US emissions went down by 5% or 10%?

The west has been polluting and developing at this pace for the last 50 years. They are enjoying the living standards and the economic conditions for which the price has already been paid. Now they should be the ones making up for it. Give these new economies a chance to flower.

I would sincerely advise these leaders to stop misleading their vote-banks and take some hard decisions. Of course no one likes to say/hear the truth, but blaming it all on Chindia will not help. Even the most logical person will neither expect the Chindians to keep living like the scum of the planet and nor will the Chindians pay the price for all the havoc the west has wreaked on the planet. We will drive gas-guzzling SUVs too and we will eat junk food and becomes obscenely fat like American kids too. If you’re hurt that the government subsidizes gas prices, then you should read the fine print and know that they tax us back and make gas still MORE EXPENSIVE than it is in the US.

Stop crying babies! The real growth and transfer of power is yet to come.

Posted in Global awareness, India, Mindsets, Politics, Progress, World | Leave a Comment »

Crying, whining investors in India

Posted by abyjain on January 23, 2008

Mathematically if,

DD – domestic demand; FD – foreign demand; SP – stock price

then SP is in equilibrium with DD + FD.

SP = FD + DD (simplistically put)

When FD goes down, SP also has to go down unless DD makes up for it. But of course, we Indians are masters of “follow the leader” and when FD goes down, DD goes down by 1.5 times of FD. So what do we expect? Chidambaram should take care of the SP!!!! Crazy fools I say.

There are tons and tons of articles in the print media and on the TV about how families in Gujarat have been wiped out and how angry protestors outside the BSE were shouting slogans against the finance minister of India. I have a few points to raise to this:

a) When the Indian markets have been going through the roof for the past n number of months, how many of these protestors sent flowers or roses to the finance minister. Of course, none of these jokers was making money in the markets during all these days!! Most of the people I know closely are all still holding positive positions in their portfolios. So I would really like to meet the people who had a bad enough investment strategy to “wipe out their family” due to a correction which takes you back to levels seen just a few months ago.

b) Most sane investors would still have positive positions in the market if they have been investing regularly and not only in the last 6 months. The only real losers in the market today would be people who thought there was a quick and easy way to make money in the equity markets. These people were either leveraged (using money that was not theirs to risk) or foolhardy (jumping in just to make a killing). If these people do not understand that the markets follow a simple risk-reward philosophy then there is no one to be blamed.

c) Most of the stock prices will come back close to their earlier levels sooner or later. Investors who even invested at the lows of 22nd of January have also MADE a lot of money within this correction. The only stocks that will not come back to erstwhile levels are the ones where the most foolish people were treading. You cannot fault the SEBI or the finance ministry for that.

d) There is a lot of comment about how the FIIs come in to India, make money and leave! How crazy is that. If we used our own brains, and instead of selling stocks at moments like these, bought them and then sold them when the FIIs are back, then who would be the one making profit. We don’t lose money cos of the government or the FIIs, we lose it because we are following the FIIs in buying and selling instead of leading them.

I could go on and on, but the moot point is that the India story really is intact. Indian companies really are growing and no consumers income has gone down due to a stock market correction. Since all this demand is continuing to grow, Indian markets will keep growing. I would request our whining friends to stop making a political issue out of a worldwide correction and instead focus their attention on which are the right investment strategies for the future.

Edit:

US and Europe fell again after trading hours in India – Does this mean we’re in for another fall investing opportunity tomorrow?

Posted in India, Investment, Money, Politics | 1 Comment »

Decoupling and all that!

Posted by abyjain on January 23, 2008

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about decoupling in the worlds economic markets and how Europe or China or India are not going to be affected as much when the US goes down.  And now, as the whole world catches a cold, there are more comments of how that is not true. To me, both of these versions are flawed. It is obvious that it is neither black nor white. Anyone in the world can not claim to be not affected when the US economy goes down, but, what we can definitely say is that businesses are on the whole far more “insured” today as compared to 10 years ago. On the one hand, every market in the world will swing wildly when the biggest FIIs start pulling money out of investments, but on the other hand companies (especially in India) will still march onwards to stellar growth and results. It is the panic of the domestic investor that is causing them to lose money. I’ll write more on that in another post, but basically my point is:

a) Decoupling is true, and more so for India than most others, in the sense that we are not so export-dependent as China. The biggest companies in the sensex will go on doing amazing business and keep growing in spite of what happens in the US. Of course there are some export oriented segments or US oriented companies which might suffer in the process. The fact that stock prices have gone down does not mean that the companies have just become unprofitable, or not-so-profitable or anything else. Its just a case of demand and supply of the shares – it’ll change again soon enough.

b) Decoupling is NOT true in the financial or equity markets. Today money flows almost freely from one country to another. But of course we are going to see a fall in Indian equities if the institutional investors are all pulling out money. Moreover, this decoupling will never happen and more in my next post.

Posted in Global awareness, Guide, India, Investment, Money, World | Leave a Comment »

Price of property is too high…. NOO..OOT

Posted by abyjain on January 20, 2008

The price of property is just never high enough. In my short adult life, I have always thought that the price of property is just too high whenever you find something that you actually want. The first (out of 1.5) apartment I have ever bought was bought at a price of INR 1750 psft. This was to change to 1900 psft the next day itself. Whew, so thankfully I went ahead and booked it and closed that transaction. WOW, I look back at that transaction and wonder why I did not buy 5 of them then. It is another matter that I could not sleep that night and wondered if I had made the right decision. Today, from that price of 1750 in April 2004, the price is roughly 5000 psft. Thats a return of 185% profit in 4 years. And trust me, its not too good if compared to the peak performers.

Looking for property in Dubai, it is impossible to believe that there is nothing to buy that you think is wirth living in for less than INR 20000000, or about AED 2M. And that would be a 1 bedroom. Not so long ago, this was maybe 1M and people thought it was a bubble then!!!

Old age wisdom says – Property seldom lets you down. Of course there can be bubbles, and of course there can be wars or bomb blasts… but in the long run, or on an average – if you can qualify for a loan – then buy a property.

At the same time, unwise and purely speculative positions are something that I would now stay away from. As noted in my post earlier, TDI Kingsbury at Kundli seems right now to be quite an unwise move, especially considering they DID charge quite an amount for the vision they showed. Now god only knows where they will take us, or more importantly – WHEN!!

Posted in Dubai, India, Investment, Money, Real Estate | Leave a Comment »

Indiatimes.com

Posted by abyjain on January 17, 2008

As the weeks go by, I notice that Indiatimes.com is going down a slippery slope pretty fast. Its sad as it is when TV channels make a mockery of a news channel by having breaking news every hour that involves flying cows and trapped children but Indiatimes really does take the cake. The photo galleries have now pretty much gone degenerated into the “topless and hiding assets” mode and are definitely soft porn for the Indian masses. Not that I am into forcing morality (haha! yeah I know) but an organisation so big! I mean rediff could have gone into the porn business decades ago if thats the way forward for a responsible news corporation. What is wrong with Indiatimes. Just doesn’t smell good and I had to say so! Do go and check them out. I don’t know if Indiatimes is going to sue me as it is or not for my opinion (though they will definitely get a stick from a number of fronts if they try to rake this up), so do not want to post some pics from there as well.

Oh, I do so wish I could put some of them up here, but anyway – being in Dubai, my blog will probably get banned if I did that. 😦

Posted in India, Internet | Leave a Comment »

Force India in F1 and the issue of the No. 1 driver

Posted by abyjain on January 11, 2008

There has been a little bit of a debate in places on

* Vijay Mallya’s acquisition of an F1 team

* Then calling it Force India

* Then getting non-Indian drivers

Just wanted to come out in support of this flamboyant personality who does what he does with style and also ends up making money in the process. As 1% of the 3 readers who read my blog would have noticed, I’m already ecstatic at this development. More so now, when Mr. Mallya has increased the budget of the F1 team from $70M to %120M. He says his aimis to be on the grid by 2010 when F1 should be coming to India. We’ll see about all that but the fact that he has this vision and that he can capitalise (I mean literally in $$$) on such an opportunity is brilliant. There are some people who have been commenting that calling it Force India and then packing it with International drivers makes it un-Indian. Obviously these people have little Idea about F1. F1 is a very intenational sport where teams are formed across nationalities. Yes, he calls it team India, and the ownership alone or even the name alone should be enough to make us get up and support it. If NK or KC were driving a McLaren any other F1 car I’m sure all Indians would support it as much and make it OUR team. Don’t go after Mr. Mallya, if he’s taking us another levl up on the international arena, let him do so in peace, if not with all our support.

Go Force India!!!

On the issue of the No. 1 driver – I really don’t know why people except for the teams at the top like Ferrari or McLaren (well – at the top by cheating) even think about the No. 1 driver. It’s not like it makes any difference if Adrian Sutil is No. 1 or Fisi… he should know enough that he’s not really No.1 at anything if all he could do was come to Force India after these seasons at Renault where Alonso made his career a goldmine. At all of these teams, people will anyway know sooner or later who the better driver is – its usually quite clear and then all this talk only comes back and bites you. So just drive, and stop this debate over who is the No.1 driver. If one is good enough, they will anyway get the opportunity to show it.

Posted in F1, India, Progress | 2 Comments »

F1: Spyker to be called Force India in 2008

Posted by abyjain on October 20, 2007

Originally uploaded by abyjain

And one more “Happy to be an Indian” moment has just come in for me, thanks to Vijay Mallya, who incidentally was also my host for the 2006-2007 New Years eve bash at his palacial residence in Goa.

As per the latest news, emanating from Brazil, Vijay Mallya wants to rename the Spyker team Force India in 2008. That is so amazing. I also wonder, that alongside his party/glamour side which seems to have taken Vijay Mallya into F1, it might even turn out to be a phenomenal money spinner for the beer man. The obvious thing is, there is so much ad-money available in India looking for suitable avenues to spend it on. Now with the whole India concept coming in to F1, with the track in Delhi coming on as well at the end of the decade, this will be a huge opportunity for advertisers.

On top of all this, if the team/Mallya can secure enough money and talent to make it one of the leading teams in F1 (I’d agree that the chances are remote), then I am willing to contend that F1 will only be second to cricket in terms of commercial success in India. The more I think, the more I am inclined to equate this whole operation with genius. It’s creating an opportunity of a lifetime out of nothing to start with. Well done Mr. Mallya – can I have some super VIP passes for your team-truck?

The original article where I got to read this news is available here.

Posted in F1, Formula 1, India, Progress | Leave a Comment »

Citizen Journalism & the auto-wallahs of Delhi

Posted by abyjain on October 6, 2007

There is a new site up, called Purdafash, started by someone from IIMC. Of course, we all agree that citizen Journalism is a good thing and helps to weed out a lot of protected and hidden flaws of society, but does it really help if these are issues that we all know about. I went to the site, and read a couple of articles there. One was about the fare charging policies of the Delhi auto-wallahs and the other about a traffic cop taking a bribe. Forget knowing about it, I’m sure, just about anyone in Delhi has undergone both of these experiences themselves. So we’re not really uncovering something new here. What is required for these issues is “execution” and “punishment”, not exposure. They’re exposed enough. Though, I definitely might be striking a wrong chord. I appreciate these efforts, and sincerely hope that as more and more people take to these media, the quality as well as the effects of these sites and operations would start coming into view. Why can’t we just have one head of government who is, for just this once, obsessive about rooting out corruption. Just one such person, and I’m sure so much of a difference can flow from the top.

And, on the point of the auto-wallahs, one recipe did come to mind. What if the passengers always approach the auto with a mobile-camera or any other camera in recording mode, with the number plate scanned and then ask the auto-wallah on video to go wherever they want to go. If the auto-wallah plays smart, he could be shown the evidence and threatened with some action, whatever be it. Possibly some of them might melt. And possibly some others may have to face some legal sanction… what think?

Posted in Cheat, Corruption, IIMC, India, Money, Net news | 1 Comment »

Twenty20 World Cup India… Yuvraj… and my predictions…

Posted by abyjain on September 21, 2007

Wow! Like so many Indian fans going through their short-lived memories, I can’t remember the last time India got into a late stage of a tournament feeling good about themselves. And of course, being the betting man that I am, I’ve been trying to think if I can predict whats going to happen in the semi-finals or the finals. In line with what one would expect, I’ve got some thoughts, in fact I’ve got many, but I doubt if any one has the time to read them… but some things I’m thinking:

a) India is going to win the semi-finals and the finals – yeah, thats a lot of optimist in me too.

b) Yuvraj is not going to play any more match winning innings in this tournament.

c) Sehwag, Pathan, R P Singh and Gambhir are going to deliver for India

d) It’s going to be an India-Pakistan final.

If 3 out of these four predictions come true… Ferrari are going to win the drivers championship in F1 as well… keep watching!

On one of the betting sites I checked, the last odds were as follows (while the India game was not finished yet, I bet that changed soon after):

Australia – 6/5

South Africa – 11/4

Pakistan – 7/2

New Zealand – 13/2

India – 10 (this later became 6/4 after India threw SA out)

Imagine… and now South Africa is out of the Twenty20 world cup. HA!

And by the way, here are the six sixes by Yuvraj Singh on youtube…

Posted in Cricket, Formula 1, India | Leave a Comment »