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Economics->MBA->Analyst->Business aaahh... Looks like a damn CV. Let me try again. Foodie-Moviefreak-Travel & Photography enthusiast->and of course a Blogger.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today I am done with the first part of my summer internship. All the initial rounds of moving around in the market, meeting various types and kinds of dealers and trying to connect with them, even though, I sometimes couldn’t even speak their language! Past 2 weeks has been like a continuous war against the summer heat and the laid back attitudes of the small town dealers. I thought marketing is all about communication. But the thought needed a little specification. Communicating in a way, which your target customer understands, irrespective of whether I myself am any good at it. Earlier I was pretty much confident of my spoken English and thought it would be a cake walk talking to the cement dealers. Now I know it wasn’t. When you talk to a middle aged man who has been selling a particular brand of cement since last 2 decades you ought to have something in you. It was never like the usual classroom talking where every kind of bullshit is permissible.

If I were to sum it up in a few lines I can confidently claim I learnt more of marketing in last 2 weeks than what I did in 2 trimesters. And it wasn’t just because I got a chance to move out in fields but more so because my lucky stars got a chance to have a 1 to 1 interaction with the marketing officer of the region who happens to be the best in the entire eastern zone. Probably I might be unable to coin a word for every little aspect I understood but it has given me a kind of confidence which assures me of my capabilities.

The insights which I got about the cement industry and customer behaviour from people who haven’t even completed their graduation but have devoted their 30 years of life helping people to build home is just worth mentioning. I may not take marketing as my majors but there’s one thing I surely learnt. Marketing isn’t about thick fat heavy books by world renowned authors only. It’s more about on the field capability. I used to say this earlier too. But now I do realize its essence.

Now my project will all be about analysis and interpretations and suggestions. Probably here I might need to use all that I learnt in last 10 months.

I am now really happy to have taken up this project. I get to travel, I get to talk to intellectuals, I get to talk to not-so-intellectuals, and I get good food at home!!! After all this is all I need.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It’s not the speed that kills, it’s the sudden stop

As I had nothing much to do today I kept surfing endlessly until I happened to come across a lovely (though not at all encouraging) report on Indian Economic Outlook. As an economics enthusiast I got a real feed in times when I was at a fix whether to sleep or watch a stupid movie.

It talks about the Indian economy in the light of the extra ordinary global financial crisis which is now probably the worst economic downturn after “The Great Depression”. And to add to it this crisis came right when the Indian economy itself was slowing down. Could it have been any worse!

By now even those who know nothing about economics know that the crisis originated from the excessive lending by the commercial/investment banks (which can be traced back to Glass-Stegal Act), under pricing of risk and complete ignorance of regulatory policies. An atmosphere characterised by utter lack of confidence and the “Wall Street Crisis” turning into the “Main Street Crisis” and we still do not know when would the world or atleast India see the bottoming out.

The precariousness of the situation can be well understood if we just have a look at some of the facts released by the IMF which has been constantly reducing the GDP growth rate estimates of the world as well as the developing countries not to forget India too.

A few Horrendous Facts:

· Losses for financial institutions on account of US-based mortgage loans and securities may rise up to US$ 2.2 trillion (last estimate in October 2008 was US $ 1.4 trillion)

· Whopping US$ 7.5 trillion has been shelled out as a rescue plan by the Fed which is being termed as the manifestation of crony capitalism and a step towards a total collapse

· Forbes list of billionaires the total wealth registered was 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars, down from 4.4 trillion last year, marking the worst reading since Forbes began. (If this is with the richest what is it with the not so richest!!!)

· A GDP contraction has been revised from 0.5% in Nov ’08 to 2.0% in April ’09. And the worst is yet to come. (Does this mean the world will see an actual GDP contraction?)

· The exports of countries like Japan and Taiwan have reduced by 40%. (do I need to mention its implication for an export led economy)

To Add to it as usual there are a set of intellectuals who always come with an after event analysis. (No wonder it also serves as a straw to the drowning)

· Many of the financial crises have been seen to be preceded by bubbles in the housing market and huge bullish rally in the stock markets. On an average real housing prices

declined by 35 per cent over six years and the stock prices collapses average around

55 per cent recovering back to normal in more than three years.

· In terms of unemployment they found that the average slump to be around 7 % with recovery normally seen in four years.

· In regard to real GDP per capita they found that the contraction on average is around 9 per cent with an average two year recovery period

Now all this may or may not hold but it does give a broad picture of what might be in store for us.

For one thing I know is that IMF results have truly been increasing my probability of landing in the “no man’s land.”

In September ’08 they said economy would start recovering from April 09

Later in December 08 they expected it to happen by Dec 09 (Coincidently the time when I (we) am supposed to be placed)

Now they say economy would at best recover by Decemeber’2010!!!

Well now what am I supposed to do, or think, or plan. I guess I should start reading the “World Economic Outlook” instead of the “Indian Economic outlook” After all, as one of my professor says we are living in a globalized world and there are plenty of options available. We just need to concentrate & take care of the “CHANGING EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT