The ANALyst

Leverage, optimise, synergise

Writing the B-School Apps

Is this process insane or what?

Why do I need to bare my soul in front of the B-schools of the world? Where do I fit the essay writing process into my 18 hour workdays? Can’t they just take a peek into my mind and figure things out for themselves (and they claim they are smart)? Oh and I haven’t even started about the GMAT. In the midst of all this you want me to….what….write an exam???

This is preposterous! How dare you ask the advisor to CEOs; the mentor to aspiring consultants; the protege to world leaders; the superman of Powerpoint; the conqueror of Excel; and the saviour of the Emerging Economy to prove his mettle in trivial algebra and punctuation? Never have I faced a bigger insult…ever!

What??? You want me to get you letters of recommendation? Don’t you ever watch CNN you imbecilic moron? If you don’t know me already, your school is not a place I want to be!

That was the ANALyst’s two minute rant on the mountain of work that lies in front of him as this bedouin tries to prepare for the next step in the journey called life.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | General Rambling | 9 Comments

Venus Strikes!

Over the past month and a half, I’ve been settling in to Emerging Economy, as you very well know. The transition hasn’t been the smoothest. There have been issues to deal with, from the bureaucratic to the cultural. Having overcome all those obstacles, just when I thought I had properly settled into the Emerging Economy, another issue has arisen. See, this is that type of issue which you never budget for; usually do not plan for; and hence when it does occur you are completely and utterly lost.

Enter exotic girl in foriegn land!

I guess you are beginning to see the point – the sheer magnitude of the dilemma.

While her ancestors referred to the Emerging Economy as their homeland, the girl herself does not reside within its territorial authority. In fact she now calls the Old World her home.

It all started about eight months ago, at a casual meeting, at a friend’s place. At that point, the thought that I would ever interact with her again, let alone fall truly, madly and deeply in love with her had never crossed my mind. Being a consultant, I was taught that the word “Network” is more important than the word “Mom”. Adding acquaintances to my Facebook account then, was only natural. Facebook then (eight months is a long time in tech parlance), was merely a social networking portal, not a part of your life. That happened later, when Zuckerburg decided to add the chat feature. This was May 2009. That chat feature is the source of my troubles!

What should never have been anything more than a “Hi, remember me?” type of conversation four months ago has now turned into an obsession where I can’t sleep if I haven’t spoken to her at least twice a day. To be frank, even then I can’t sleep! My mind seems preoccupied with her thoughts all the time. You see that’s not it, weirder things have happened to me. I do not notice other girls anymore; I do not go to clubs on Friday nights anymore for the fear of getting hooked to another female; and what’s infinitely worse is that I’ve been told that I am so lost in my thoughts that Salma Hayek could walk past nude and I wouldn’t notice!

The funniest part is – She (exotic girl in foriegn land) talks to me everyday, twice a day, but has no idea that I am truly, madly and deeply in love with her. I haven’t told her yet because:

  1. I wish to do so in person.
  2. I am not sure how it is possible to fall in love long distance with a girl living 7904.7 kilometers away, on Facebook!!!! Ever heard of that???
  3. I am still not sure if it’s love. But then again, if something forces me into celibacy with every other chick, then it has to be love, hasn’t it?
  4. I haven’t yet found a powerpoint deck which tells me what to do in this situation!

So in the twenty something years of my existence, having traveled to over a 100 cities in 20 countries; having advised executives at various companies on problems that seem impossible to solve; having jumped out of aircrafts at 15,000 feet with nothing but nylon to keep me alive; having acquainted myself to exotic females in five continents; having quit my job and relocating to the other side of the world on a whim; and having survived through obstacles most people can only dream off; I fear I have now been thrown a problem that I have no idea how to solve!

Before I close this post, I shall leave you with a short incident that took place yesterday. Usually, I take all my calls at my desk – the effort required to find an empty meeting room is too discouraging. I even make personal calls from my desk phone – they aren’t more than 30 seconds long anyway. Yet when I felt the urge to talk to her last evening, the first thing I did is booked a meeting room for thirty minutes and then dialled her from my cell. Why? Because

Cost of dialling from my desk phone = $2

Cost of dialling from my cell phone = $10

Having your private space in the midst of 5000 people = Priceless!!!

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Life | 5 Comments

ANALysis of the Emerging Economy

Perhaps I should clarify that this is an analysis of my company only and not the country as a whole. Before I begin, let me ask you a question:

What if Superman never ever realized he had special powers?

The question above seems to best summarize the situation at my new company (referred to as The Company henceforth). The Company is basically an offshore office of a large global entity, as is common in the Emerging Economy. It was initially setup with the idea of reducing costs – surprise surprise!!!

However, in the years since the office was setup, two important things have happened:

  1. People in the Emerging Economy have picked up vital skills, so much so, that they could replace any of their counterparts in the west. And given that there is no shortage of people here, it means there is no shortage of skills.
  2. People in the west, seeing that a lot of their work can now be done by cheaper resources offshore, have moved away from developing skills in these areas. Which means, fewer skilled people in the west.

These factors combined with the global financial crisis have resulted in the offshore office becoming a key strategic partner of the wider organization – you would think this puts the offshore delivery center in a rather envious and powerful position, doesn’t it!

It does – only, no one here seems to realize the leverage they hold. The idea of taking control does not seem to have occurred as of now. The idea that their position allows them to do truly wonderful things and become something like a power sharing center, just hasn’t occurred. Now don’t get me wrong – I am not suggesting a mutiny or anything silly of that sort – but I am saying that knowing what you are capable of and where you stand not only allows you an advantage compared to the rest of the organization, but also against your competitors. This benefits The Company as a whole.

The other thing that seems to lack here is innovation. Innovation, not in terms of work delivery, but innovation in terms of really designing and coming up with revenue generating opportunities. Somehow, the people here tend to believe that all the thinking must be done at the mothership. Reality check – new ideas don’t necessarily come from the 60 year old veterans but from the young people coming out of college – does not matter where in the world they happen to be located.

Much as I love the Emerging Economy, and I think this place has great potential (for my wallet too), I am a bit frustrated at how little the people here work towards empowering themselves. If only they knew what they could do – the world as we know it would change significantly!

It’s as if Superman hasn’t yet been enlightened!

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Emerging Economy | 6 Comments

The Eagle has Landed

Sorry for the hiatus ladies and gentlemen, but the transition to the “emerging economy” did not go as smoothly as anticipated. Silly bureaucratic glitches have made life a tad harder for the last couple of weeks. Add to that a severe bout of flu decided to attack and decimate me. I have just about won the war with the flu though…I think!

Some initial observations from the “emerging economy”

1. This place is just buzzing with people. If you thought NY was busy, take a look here.

2. You will be completely hypnotised by the sights, smells, sounds and colors. It’s weird and beautiful at the same time.

3. This place works 24×7. That’s right – this place never sleeps – literally. Thought shift work was only for back office service centers – think again!!!

4. Decades of underinvestment in infrastructure has resulted in complete chaos. Demand is crying out for supply. Roads, airports, houses, sewers – you name it, they need it. (Hint: Buy shares in infrastructure companies in this emerging economy.)

5. It is still incredibly cheap to live here. House rent, servants to do your cooking and cleaning, all under $300 a month. Wow!!!

6. While renting in some places maybe cheap, don’t even think of buying a pad in the more expensive areas. It will make Manhattan real estate look reasonable in comparison.

7, 8, 9 and 10. Food, food, food……..

Anecdotes coming up soon. Stay tuned!

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Life | 6 Comments