Monday, July 7, 2014


V 3 was launched by Motorola in the third quarter of 2004 and by March 2007 this model sold more than 100 million sets making it the best-selling clamshell phone in the world and continues to maintain that record.

When Motorola launched the V3 in the third quarter of 2004 it was the thinnest phone in the world.  Yesterday my elder son Ashwath wrote to me that V 3 is  now 10 years old.  Time flies and so soon we have spent 10 years from the time this wonderful device was launched.  It changed several things across the globe and more importantly it changed my life.

Though I am a finance man, I moved into Dealer Sales and later into Trading in Mobile Phones because of the phenomenal success of this device V 3.  I have personally sold thousands of V 3 Phones during 2006 and early 2007.  The entire range of phones in the Motorola line up crashed in the second quarter of 2007 due to wrong pricing decisions.  What seemed a long run of success was very short lived due to one bad decision on pricing.

I have used the V3 and V3i for a long long time and it was an amzing phone.  The feel of holding the phone and the ease of using the phone made it an incredible success.  V3 is the most comfortable phone that I have ever used in my life.

Motorola then launched the V3 Gold with co-branding with Dolce and Gabana and that was again a huge hit in the market particularly in Middle East and Europe.

The colour variants in the V3 and V3i continued with black, blue, silver, pink and so on.  When the pink was launched I thought it will not sell well but my gut feel was proved wrong by the market.  V3 Pink used to be a most soft after model and we had to run around Motorola for the allocation of stocks in those days.

V3 became the lifeline for several traders around the world and calls kept pouring into my end for deals.

The software, language pack, charger pin, manual though were all standards features in any box containing a mobile became crucial factors.  Depending the region to which the phones were shipped one had to be clear about these details and carefully conclude the deals.

I learnt a lot on trading, deal making, stock management, pricing, logistics, cash rotation, and the the list would go on.  It was an amazing once-in-lifetime experience dealing with the huge success of V3 particularly during 2005 and 2006.  I sincerely thank Mr.Rajkumar, Neal Barros, Bahjat Mirza for all the experiences, knowledge, challenges, learnings and the wonderful memories.

I am wonder struck at how the fortunes of the company changed dramatically due to one successful model V3.  I am equally wonder struck as to how the company lost that golden opportunity and slipped from a high pedestal overnight due to one bad pricing decision.  It calls for a Case Study for the Management Schools and I shall write the case study some day in the future.

V3 is not a phone it is phenomenon.  Long Live V 3 and its Success Story.

Dubai, U.A.E.
7th July 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014


A Barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of the data relating to the object to which it is attached.  It is a very easy way of representing compled data like product number, description, manufacturer, price, year of manufacturing, etc.
The barcode is an advanced way of identifying a product and its price and is now used virtually on all products in the market.  The Barcode was first used 40 years ago and Wrigley Chewing Gum was the product that had the barcode commercially used in 1974.  As a technology the barcode scanning and use of barcodes on products has improved over the years.  In recent times we find that there is barcode on every product.

The teacher in me was looking for a short lesson on Barcode and I found a nice video which explains very clearly the way the barcode works:

While the use of barcode has been rampant in the recent times it is really amazing to learn that this system is now 40 years old.  We have now recently graduated to the next level of technology which is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags which is based on the Barcode Technology.

The retail experience has changed so much over the last few years because of the extensive use of barcode.  The barcode sticker has become essential on all products and it is so widely used that there is hardly any store in Dubai where they do not have a barcode sticker on the products.  There are big hypermarkets like Carrefour, Lulu, Spinneys, etc. which will not accept a product from the supplier without a barcode.  Even Government Departments are using the barcode system to track and retrieve documents.  Hospitals are using barcode to track the patients and their records.

The initial barcode scanners were fixed and now we have wireless scanners.  The extensive use of barcode with mobile application can be seen in the Courier Industry.  In addition to the ease of operation at the retail store, government department, hospital, factory, banks, courier companies, airports, etc., the Barcode has helped us to save billions of dollars every year. 

Barcode is used in companies for tracking the Assets, for warehouse management, for inventory control, for display of the prices of products and so on.  The application of the barcode is wideranging and its use has made both recording, tracking, retrieving and analysing of data so much more easy over the years.

There are other developments which has happened with the barcode like the Aztec Code, QR Code, Qode, etc. for the two dimensional/two way representation of information.

There are several uses, advantages and applications that we have seen with the advancement of technology and in my opinion the Barcode is one of the most significant development.  I read recently in a report that world over there are about 5 billion barcode scans each day and it is increasing day by day.

Long live Barcode technology.  I wish the Barcode Technology happy 40th Anniversary and will many more happy returns of the day.

Dubai, U.A.E.
30th June 2014.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Kaviyarasu Kannadasan and Mellisai Mannar M.S.Viswanathan are both born on 24th June.  Kannadasan has written some unforgettable songs and M.S.Viswanathan has composed some unforgettable songs.  Both are legends who have contributed a lot to the Tamil Cinema and they will be remembered as long as Cinema is remembered.  While Kannadasan was born in 1927 our Mellisai Mannar was born in 1928.  They both shared a great relationship and were very thick friends.

Kannadasan has written some memorable songs and through his style of lyrics he created a benchmarking which several others have followed over the years and will continue to follow in future as well.  From Vali to Vairamuthu and later to Na Muthukumar everyone who has written film songs have been influenced a great deal by Kannadasan.

Kannadasan wrote several novels and also wrote the "Arthamulla Hindu madham".  He was a strong believer in Hindu religion and suddenly became an atheist and again started believing in God.  When he was an atheist he was researching to prove that there is no God but ended up believing more in God.

It is very very unfortunate that he died when he was only 54 years of age.  If he had lived another 30 years he would have probably written atleast another 1000 songs for tamil films.  Several good poets have come to the tamil film industry over the last 100 years and have written some very good songs.  However, Kannadasan is the only one who will always be known as Kaviyarasu (King of Poets) as he continues to live in the minds of people as the King of Tamil Film Songs.

While he has written songs which is still inspiring people the fact is he wrote those songs when he personally experienced things in his life.  Many of his popular songs emanated through his own life experiences and personal situations.  He has written songs to suit several situations whether it is joy, courage, sorrow, love, motivational, devotional, etc.  He has captured probably every single mood that normal human being would go through in life and has written very appropriate songs with beautiful and meaningful words.  The highlight of his style is the use of simple words.

Vali was frustrated in not getting any chance in films after trying for several months.  He had decided to pack his bags and go back to his hometown Srirangam.  He heard two lines of Kannadasan song in a tea stall which made him stay back in Chennai.  The rest is history as Vali went on to become one of the greatest song writers in Tamil Cinema and has written some memorable songs for MGR.

"Unakkum keezhe ullavar kodi ninaithu paarthu nimmadhi naadu":

The last song that Kannadasan wrote was for his daughter and it was featured in Kamal Hasan movie Moondram Pirai -   "Kanne Kalaimane".  He also knew that he will live in this world forever through his songs and wrote it in one of his songs:

One of the best songs of Kannadasan is "Ullathil Nalla Ullam" in Karnan:

Mellisai Mannar has created so many tunes that has inspired lot of music directors and will continue to inspire them for another few centuries.   He gave a definition for film music and has given some incredible compositions.  He has done all genres of music and for music lovers and music students his compositions will be a great inspiration and learning.

Viswanathan Ramamurthy have given some extraordinary music from 1952 to 1965.  It was very unfortunate that at the peak of their career they split.  MSV never gave up and went on to compose music for another 1000 films over the next three decades.

He used more than 70 violins for the song "Enge Nimmadhi":

The composing of songs for MGR and Sivaji was unique to their films and their personalities and it is still a wonder as to how MSV managed this unique differentiation.  The songs for MGR and Sivaji were both composed by MSV and were all sung by TMS who again gave it a different flavour and style for each of them.

Listen to this composition of MSV with Ramamurthy for MGR and sung by TMS:

There is one song in which you can the great legend MSV in full action:

If one starts research on the Songs written by Kannadasan and the Music composed by MSV for various films, I think one life time is not enough as they have created a huge ocean of music between the two of them.

Listen to Kannadasan's description of how devoted MSV is to his Music:

Me and my close friend Sriraj have heard this Kannadasan speech more than 100 times when we used to travel by car.

We can never forget these two legends as long as we live in this world as one is the King of Light Music and the other is King of Film Songs.  These two legends will remain the Kings for every in Tamil Film Industry.

We are fortunate that we are able to swim comfortably in that ocean of music created by these two legends.  Today is their birthday and we should be proud that we have lived in the period in which these two legends have lived in this world.  Long live Kannadasan Songs and Long Live MSV and his mellisai.

Dubai, U.A.E.
24th June 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Pele is the king of Football and the most popular player in the world.  He is extremely talented and within a microsecond he used to come up with an improvisation.  His ability to improvise on the field was always an element of surprise for his opponents.  He invented several shots and the reverse somersault with which he scored a goal is the best of all.

He was moving like a leopard in the football field and there was very little chance for the opponent to block his moves.  He wore number 10 jersey and the number 10 on the jersey became a super hit because it was used by Pele.

It is difficult to express in words all the shots played by this great legend.  The statistics of how he performed on the filed speaks a million words.  He scored his first international goal when he was only 16 years and 10 months old which is an incredible record.  Thus he became the youngest player to score an international goal.  The very next year he scored his first World Cup Goal while he was only 17 years and 7 months old thus becoming the youngest every player to score a World Cup Goal.

He has scored 543 league goals and in total of 1363 games that he played he has scored a total of 1281 goals.  His strike rate in terms goals to matches is 94% which means in almost every single match that he played he has scored a goal.  This by itself is an unique record.  These goals also got him into the Guinness Book of World Records for highest number of goals scored by a player in his career.

He has represented Brazil in 92 matches and has scored for his country 77 goals which includes the 12 celebrated world cup goals.  The Brazilian team has won the football world cup several times and Pele has been part of the team on three occasions, viz., 1958, 1962 and 1970.  Playing in three world cup winning teams is yet another unique record that Pele is holding.

According to Pele the 1970 world cup winning team of Brazil was the best ever team as it was very well organised team.  He has been part of the national team of Brazil from 1957 to 1971 which is quite a long career.

Brazil is hosting the Football World Cup 2014 and the name Pele is synonymous with the country Brazil.  We will be having some great matches to watch from 12th June 2014 onwards in the World Cup 2014.

Chennai, India
4th June 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Which country Passport do you carry.  Does it matter?  Yes.  It does matter as you could get easy entry in other countries depending on the Passport that you are holding.  Travel around the world has become so easy and common these days.  I have a friend, in Dubai Mr.Syeeduddin, who has travelled to all the Cricket playing countries and has watched a match in each of these countries.

The technological advancement in the last 20 years has been phenomenal and when the Internet boom happened we thought the travel will come down.  On the contrary over the last 20 years while we have advanced in technology the air travel has increased manifolds.

If we like to travel to different countries and explore, it is important for us to know whether we need a Visa to enter that country and how easy or how difficult it is to get the visa?

For instance out of the 218 country passports, the passport holders of Finland, Sweden and United Kingdom can have easy access and Visa-Free travel to 173 out of the total 217 other countries in the world.  Is that not incredible that you are having a comfortable and easy arrival into so many countries by virtue of holding a passport from one of these three countries.  They do not have to apply for visa in advance and they can just land up in any of those 173 countries and at the port of arrival they will be issued a visa to enter the country.

The second place is occupied by USA, Denmark, Germany and Luxemburg as these passport holders can have hazzle free and visa-free travel to 172 countries in the world.

The third place is occupied by Belgium, Italy and Netherlands as these three passport holders can land up in 171 countries of the world without a visa.

Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal and Spain are joint fourth as they can easily travel to 170 countries in the world.

At the fifth place is Austria, New Zealand and Switzerland having easy access to 168 countries in the world.

The list goes on and I was keen to run through the entire list as I was looking for my status as I hold an Indian Passport.  My curiosity was quite high as I wanted to know if I can travel atleast to about 100 countries in the world without having to apply for a visa in advance.  I ended far lower in the list and finally found the name India along with Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan at Rank No.74.

For instance if you have Indian Passport you will have visa-free access to only 52 out of the 217 countries and India is on par with Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan.  Dominican Republic has a population of under 10 million and Uzbekistan has a population of just over 30 million.  In contrast to these two countries India has a population of more than 1.2 billion.

The only consolation for me when I went through the entire list is there are 93 ranks and India is in 74th Rank which is 19 ranks ahead of the last rank.

Whether the visa is applied in advance or on arrival we are not going to reduce our travel and let us enjoy travelling to various countries.  It is good to explore and understand different cultures around the world.

Pack your bags and head out for Summer Vacation.  Enjoy your holidays.

Dubai, U.A.E.
29th May 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014


The First Digit Law is an old theory which states that the number of times that 1 will be the first digit number in any random selection of numbers will be the highest.  The chances of the first digit being 1 is 30%.  Number 2 would occur on 17% of the cases.  The number of times that 9 will occur as the first digit is said to be only 4.6%.  The most interesting feature of this theory is that the chances of the first digit keeps decreasing from 1 right upto 9. 

Frank Benford stated this in 1938 and thus came to be known as the Benford Law since then.  He tested the theory on 20 different sets of data and came up with the finding that the first digit occurs more with smaller numbers.  However this has been previously propounded by Simon Newcomb in 1881.  Simon Newcomb said the earlier pages of a logarithm table were more worn than the later pages.

The Benford's law can be applied in real life situation for forensic accounting and auditing.  In the USA it is accepted by the Federal Courts when evidence is based on the Benford's Law.  Scrutiny of election results with the Benford's law has helped to find frauds in some countries.  When data is presented to us we can apply the Benford's Law to test if the data is reliable.

This theory can be applied to a wide variety of data like electricity bills; stock prices; national data on births/deaths, etc.  In the present world we are over loaded with data all the time and on many occasions I have wondered if there is a way of quickly checking the authenticity of the data.  The answer lies in the Benford's Law.

Dubai, U.A.E.
26th May 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Instinct is sometimes natural as in the case of a new born turtle which moves towards the sea.  Instinct is something which is done without any previous experience.    Whether right or wrong and whether we like or not we have a tendency to follow the instinct.

The new born goslings follow the mother wherever she moves.  This is the natural instinct of goslings.
The instinctive behaviour sometimes is also weird and hard to explain.  For instance see this extraordinary video of how the group of bulls are running behind a remote control car:

We are all born with certain inner instinct.  Have you ever tried to bring out those instincts?
In sports, we often hear this phrase "killer instinct", which is used when the aggression required to take control of the game is not found in the player.

We need to create space for ourselves and find the time and concentration to bring out the innate capabilities and innovative thinking which is deep inside our mind.  In the modern world where we are controlled and consumed by digital devices and gadgets, the human mind is diverted and distracted very often.  It is upto us to find the time and move away from the gadgets to think.

I remember a caption that was on the T shirt of a dear friend of mine "When I knew all the answers they went and changed the questions".  You can still find the answers for the changed questions if you have the ability to think and use your natural instincts.

Dubai, U.A.E.
22nd May 2014