Friday, March 30, 2007

Uncle Sam wants you !

According to this article in Rediff , there has been an increase in the number of Indian immigrants, who want become American citizens once they are eligible for it. No surprises, given the increased rate of immigration since 1998 and the fact that a lot of people got Green Cards issued in 2000-2001 .

With the possibility of a dual citizenship becoming very real , getting a US citizenship is like opening up doors to the employment capitals of the world ( at least for Indians) . There are a lot of people in the queue for getting a GC and follow it up with a citizenship, with some of these people planning in the range of years 2012 -2015. Hmm... I am not if one can predict 8 years down the line...

All this is not easy and requires a lot of planning , luck and resilience ! As a side-note , this benefits all the airlines that fly from India to the US and back, with all these people , their parents / in-laws flying in and out till the time they get a citizenship or just decide to come back !

In my opinion, these are uncertain times. Why ?! Well, to start with the immigration bar has come down, the US needs people, but then there is a huge supply and a subsequent backlog of the people waiting to get naturalized. Two, the US is no longer a destination where the chances of getting a better job are definitely and markedly higher, at least when compared to the situation 10 years ago. Three, with outsourcing and cost cutting and the uncertainty in the US economy, foreign policy the predictability of the future has come down. One can always argue that the standard of life, transparency in public dealings, education system kind of negates this lack of certainity and predictability, but even then the choice between US and India is no longer as clear as it was some time ago !

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cheap Airlines, lessons learnt and a dream lost !

Earlier this week CNN_IBN did another 'expose' about budget airlines 'cutting costs' and 'compromising passenger safety' . While I agree that low-cost or no-cost , one cannot compromise safety , but seriously with atrociously low prices as Rs. 1500 for Mumbai-Bangalore which comes to around $35, how can one expect the airline would make profits ? Well they would do what every business does to make profits when under pressure on margins, cut corners ! On that note I think its high time that we started believing in the dictum, "if its too good to be true, it probably isnt".

If one wants to fly to Mumbai at a price which is Rs 500 more than an AC 3 tier ticket, I would suggest one be prepared for some compromise in quality . We all accept the questionable quality of Chinese good and yet go ahead and buy it because the price is within "our-range". Ask any any dealer about guarantees and he would look at you and smirk "Saab Chinese hai !!" . Middle class India is learning its lesssons !

More on the lessons, I am thinking Sony Entertainment and Pepsi would have learnt some lessons with the Indian Tigers exiting out of the World Cup. The Indian Cricket team is not something that can be banked upon. Amitabh, Aamir,Shahrukh are more bankable anyday !

Its not about talent or potential, its the execution and delivery that finally matters. That's another lesson that the Blue Billion would learn I am hoping thanks to one Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar !

Thursday, March 8, 2007

International Women's Day

I have been away for a while living the "cushy-life" of a techie. I have been a night owl for the last one week and I realized that I am not too good at being one.

Today is a International Women's Day ! I have been seeing a bunch of articles around this and a couple of products empathizing with the Women of the times ! One of them was a prominent builder from Bangalore. I was not sure which "woman" they were empathizing with , the one that takes a hefty loan and pays for expensive apartments that they build or the ones who work on the construction sites . It would be great if these companies provide some extra benefit to these women who work at the sites. There are enough people to take "care" of the woman who takes those loans anyway !