Recognizing talent

No two people are alike, and some individuals are extraordinarily gifted in particular way. In sports, a brilliant sportsperson, who breaks records earns far more than most individuals. Similarly in the legal arena, a top lawyer commands a premium. In engineering, peers and seniors will recognize a brilliant engineer who can come up with optimum solutions.

 However, in some industries, people fail to overcome their prejudices and recognize talent openly, as a result of which the industry suffers.

KYC verification for Mutual fund investments

Know Your Customer (KYC) verification for mutual funds has been made mandatory for all investments in mutual funds since January 1, 2011. CVL India has appoint several Point of Service centers like Karvy Computershare to whom the investor is supposed to submit the documents
An investor faces several problems such as.
1. The actual verification process can take up to a month.
2. The data captured by the Point of Service center (in this case M/s Karvy Computershare) may differ from the data you have entered in the form
3. Even if you are a lady who has never married in her life, the KYC acknowledgement letter will incorrectly address you as “Mrs” instead of Miss.  Despite making repeated phone calls and sending emails, letters sent by courier and speed post to M/s Karvy Computershare  and M/s CVL India, requested them to send a corrected KYC acknowledgement letter,  there is no reply after 2 months.

Contact details
Mumbai Karvy Computershare Private Limited
DAS Chambers, Ground Floor,
Opp. BSE & next to Corporation Bank,
Dalal Street, Fort,
Mumbai – 400 023
Contact Person: Mr. Sandeep Bhogle
MFS Direct No.: 022 – 66235353
Fax No.: 022 – 66341966
Email : mumbaimfd@karvy.com , sandeep@karvy.com

(No reply from them at all to emails and letters, phone numbers are perpetually engaged)
CVL India
Registered Office
=======================
Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers,
17th Floor, Dalal Street
Mumbai – 400 001
Phone : 91-22-22721383 (D),
Board : 91-22-22723333 Extn. 5869
Email : cvlhelpdesk@cdslindia.com
 Back Office
=======================
I – 202, 2nd Floor (Deck Level)
Tower No.4, Above Belapur Railway Station
CBD Belapur
Navi Mumbai – 400 614
Phone : 91-22-61216908 / 6909/ 6910/ 6911
Email : cvlhelpdesk@cdslindia.com

(More helpful, but these days the numbers are engaged)

Airtel 290603 debit

Like a movie sequel , my Airtel  prepaid balance is  again being debited for  Rs 3  for Thought for the day service to which I have never subscribed.

In June I was facing this Airtel prepaid problem and after repeated follow up, I managed to get a refund.  Now in the space of  30 minutes my account has been debited for Rs 12 for a VAS service to which I never subscribed.  It seems that millions of Airtel subscribers are facing this problem,  if no immediate action is taken, it is better to go to the consumer court. They refunded the Rs 12  initially and  I switched off the mobile.

But now my account has been debited for Rs 45 since then and I continue to receive the unsolicited SMS messages from 290603. It seems all Airtel subscribers are facing this problem.  I have been trying to find out if there is a mobile phone virus which could be causing this problem,  but it appears unlikely since I only have a basic mobile phone model.  I have written to customer support and will publish the correspondence here soon.

Sending an email to the nodal officer is also not of much use. Now I am getting an error message

Your message

Subject: Mobile no **** – Incorrect billing

was not delivered to:

Nodalofficer.Mumbai@airtel.in

because:

Error delivering to Nodalofficer Mumbai/SERVICE EXCELLENCE/Mum/Airtel/BTVL; Router: Database disk quota exceeded

One would have thought that India’s  largest mobile service provider could afford more hard disk space on their servers.  Before buying foreign companies like MTN,  why don’t they put their  VAS  and billing systems in order? I have wasted so much time trying to get a refund and there are so many customers who are facing a similar problem.

Update : After repeated follow up  and sending emails to 121@airtelindia.com , I got 3 refunds of  Rs 12, Rs 45 and Rs 3 each .  I hope Airtel is able to fix this problem permanently.

Lack of diversity

Though India is a very diverse country, one of the things I have noticed is the complete lack of diversity in the employee profile of most software / internet companies in India. Everyone comes from similar socio-economic backgrounds, age and have similar interests. Even bloggers/ websites are very similar in nature and their opinions. One company even stated that they only hire people who stay close to their office!

While this may help when you have to work as a team (for software development), it could also be the reason why there is so little innovation. India has a culture of sycophancy, so whatever the boss says is always right. No one is always right, but if no one points out the flaws or drawbacks at an early stage, you are likely to lose more.

There is very little tolerance for people who do not “belong” to their group. “Outsiders” are often treated very unfairly. The media may give a lot of coverage to discrimination against Indian students in Australia, but how often do they cover the discrimination people face daily in India because of gender,age or family background.

The other casualty of lack of diversity is that since they do not know people from different backgrounds, is that you tend to stereotype. So if your girlfriend / wive / sister / mother is only interested in cooking / fashion/ housekeeping / partying, it is impossible for them to believe that any other lady can be technically competent.

Fed on a steady diet of actresses, models and other dumb celebrities extensively covered by the mainstream media in India today, most young people think that the way a person looks or talks is the best criteria for evaluating an individual. They have closed minds and do not realise how important trust is in the long term.

Corporate espionage

As this article indicates, corporate espionage is widespread in India today , and some Indian companies are very careless about their internal security systems.  With the lifestyle people lead, “integrity is the cheapest commodity that can be purchased in India today” and I will write more about it later.

In the internet sector, you will never experience it if you are:

  • An internet company catering exclusively to the Indian market , with little interest / expertise in expanding world wide.
  • Providing outsourced services like programming, content writing
  • A start up whose main aim is to get (or already have got) funding  from Venture Capitalists (they are your “minders”)
  • In your twenties , incapable of independent thinking, with little exposure to real business , foreign policy, has been brainwashed into thinking that  Google can do no evil and what ever is written on websites like Techcrunch and other similar websites is the only thing that matters.

American and European companies spend billions of dollars every year on corporate espionage. In the past 2 years , I have personally experienced corporate espionage.    At first I did not realize what was happening,  but in the last few months I have got proof of their activities.

The corporate espionage groups can be classified into 3 categories :

  • Group based in Bridgeport, CT, USA  – this group has been tracking my activities for a long time.  They sign up on forums I own, make payments from stolen accounts and generally trouble me.
  • UK based – check out all the content of the websites I own, want me to sell to them cheap, pretend to be false buyers.
  • Located in India – most of them do it for money,  their activities are sponsored by  G* (Giant Internet Company), and  I have a lot of information on them including their phone numbers and address.  They intercept and sometimes alter the content of  my email. ( I have proof of this) . Many work/ have friends in local internet companies.  Unfortunately, they are kites , paid to do the dirty work, tracking the company (or companies) who pays them will take time.

These companies also sponsor organized stalkers/gang stalkers to harass individuals and spread rumors, you can find more information about Organized / gang stalking online, it seems to be a world wide phenomenon, if  you are an outspoken individual.

The companies do this because they are confident they will never get caught or exposed, and I am writing this post to indicate all their activities and correspondence will be content for this and other websites in future.  Stealing secrets only works if your competitor has a similar organization and cost structure to yours.

Digital media

India Today, India’s largest magazine publisher is not going to spend any more money on digital media,  they are not getting the returns they want.  You can make money from  content, but you have to keep your overheads really low.  Most big Indian media companies have plush offices and highly paid employees( very important for “status” in India), with those expenses, it is very difficult to be profitable online with content websites.

The other thing the publisher has correctly pointed out (which you will rarely see mentioned in India’s digital media)  is that Google has a monopoly and often uses the information available to destroy /damage any potential competitor.  I have personally experienced it and at least two of the ad networks I work with have specifically confirmed it.  When the demand for advertising space exceeds supply, Google is happy to have content publishers,  but now when the supply exceeds demand, Google shows PSAs on content websites who use Adsense so that the advertisers spend their entire budget on advertising directly on Google’s own properties.

Smaller Indian content websites can make money online, but few have the imagination, motivation or exposure to really grow big, compete with companies worldwide and beat them.  They are too worried about others stealing their ideas.  Compared to a decade ago, people in their twenties have a lot of distractions and often do not focus or  reinvest enough into their business.

From my personal experience, when you are very small, the damage  the big companies can do is more.  Once you learn to out maneuver them and are more careful,  at least some of them will stop wasting their money and leave you alone.  Others will continue their attempts to damage your business, but just treat it like a game of chess, a form of entertainment.  Lets see who has the last laugh.

IT Companies

Infosys has fired 2100 employees and  a confirmation from ex-Infosys employees about layoffs.  The problem is that when you provide services to only a few major customers, your fortunes are tied to how well their business does.  Compared to developing a product, providing a service is not very risky , but is very labour intensive.  Since there are only 24 hours in a day, at some stage you are forced to hire people to scale and then manage them.

If you develop a technology or even understand it better than others, the entry barriers are very high and it is difficult to replicate it easily.  Indian IT companies have a lot of cash reserves, so could afford to take risks. Unfortunately they did not.

More on the Infosys employee firing technique – in India the employees are forced to “resign” , this is how layoffs are implemented by HR departments.   Feel sorry for the ex-employees, actually rating systems in most companies are not fair,  many employees who are good at office politics often get good ratings, though they do little work.

Google

Though Google’s official motto is  “Do no evil” , they certainly do hire evil employees.  Internet marketer sues Google employee .

When I was using Adsense on my websites , I always felt that the code was used to track the websites  I owned , how I marketed them, how I gathered content for my website and to collect a lot of other information.  It may not be their official policy yet, but they definitely do not have good systems in place to prevent malpractices.

Venture Capital Funding

This post on  Google’s venture capital arm  Google Ventures , summarises what  I have believed for long

Corporate venture capital, according to many, constricts innovation rather than foster it. I’m inclined to go with the view, particularly as speculationGoogle launching a venture capital arm called Google Ventures. The Mountain View, California-headquartered search giant has not yet confirmed these news reports. mounts again about

No matter how it is packaged, the venture investing model followed by the likes of Intel, Cisco Systems, Motorola and so on ultimately exists to serve one purpose — incubate external tech labs with the objective of either absorbing those emerging technologies within the larger company or to simply arrest the growth of a competitive technology

Many of these companies will go to any length to destroy a competitor , from spying on activities to dumping viruses and launching DDOS attacks.  So the less they know about you, the better.