Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tribute to a Rationalist - Dr. Narendra Dabholkar

On 22nd of August, I came home pretty late from office. It was a heavy work day. Immediately sat for dinner as a habit switched on the TV to check out news on Hindi News channels. While channel surfing a newsline on one channel,  caught my attention "Activist Narendra dabholkar shot dead in Pune". News was unexpected. It was great Shock as Dr. Narendra Dabholkar is well known person in my home town. so I switched to Marathi news channel to see details. Obviously for Marathi Newschannels, it was big breaking News as Dr. Narendra Dabholkar seems to be well known figure in Maharashtara. From Reactions coming from Various parts of Maharashtra, It seemed like, whole of Maharashtra was in shocked state.

 I felt proud to see, such a simple man getting so much support from people due to his work and his thoughts. Otherwise why would be Big city like Pune's core area will go for Band on their own without being forced on them.

Who was Dr. Narendra Dabholkar? WHy was I so concerned?
If you are resident of India, you would know who is Narendra dabholkar as His martyrdom got such a coverage from national media, which even any very famous politico or Bollywood would not get.  Answer to other is, I have heard this name since my childhood, He was known personality in my hometown, Satara. Anti superstition knowledge were common to us and very uncommon to have for a students in small school in small town back in 1990s. But Thanks to Narendra dabholkar and some of our teacher who was assisting Dabholkar in his AntiSuperstition movements.  Though I am not in the fortunate once who got to work with him.

Great Sports Person!I heard his name for Anti-superstition movement but few months back I amazed to see his name being referenced in Sports news section. There was big kabaddi event in Maharashtra and People were getting crazy about a guy for "Hanuman Udi" (Hanuman Jump).  Newspaper and Many sportsman remembered "Dr. Narendra Dabholkar" for same thing. I was amazed and amused knowing about all roundedness of this man.  These guys fired on his back like coward, I still imagine if these assassins have had come from front, even at his old age, He would have easily dodged bullets and would have helped in nabbing these criminals But May be these guys too have known this.

His efforts in various fields did help Maharashtra to be progressive state.

I am not finding proper words for writing about this Great Man but with Heavy Heart I say Good bye to such a great man. His work is totally inspirational and he would be great role model for anyone wants to contribute to societies well being without expecting any return but goodwill.

I hope to take inspiration from him for his rationalism and support any movement which will help India to go next and Will not fear about talking against any irrational thing I do see.

I would ask readers of this blog to take 5-10 minutes of your time to read a bit about Dr. Narendra Dabholkar's Mission and Contribute your bit, by Speaking Against any wrongness or Blind Beliefs you see.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What is Software or IT services Company?

India is considered as a  exporter of Software & Services. Considering figures published by NDTV, its $68.02 billion for year 2011-12. Refer  There is no doubt that major percentage of this revenue would be contributed by Software services company. and Indian product companies would be contributing in minor way.

Now What generally a Software Services Company do?
Broad answer to this is:
1) They do maintenance of softwares built by companies in US.
2) They do resource extension - Supply trained professionals to work on client site, who know abt software.
3) They take up configuration projects for big products like SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.
4) They provide support for Softwares to answer the queries.

Software service company's 80% workforce is software engineers/IT engineers or people who can do some support activities around software.

If you see major In-College Job Placement Scenario,  Majority of jobs were and are offered by IT Services companies like TCS, Infosys, HCL, Cognizant. Apart from these big names, Lots of mid and small services companies are there who are working on small scale projects and earning livings.

How do they earn revenue?

These companies normally takes project from US & Europe. They charge from $10 to $1000 per hour (or more) for work done by an employee. It means ~INR 500 to INR 50,000. More the number of hours estimated for a project, more is the revenue. Whatever revenue they earn from customer, they charge some fixed amount to employees. For Example. If an employee in XYZ company is working on a project for a month. His total work days would be ~20 days. If we count 8 hrs of work every day. It would come to ~160 hrs. Normally a company charges $50 or INR 2500 per hour. So monthly they would get arnd Arnd 4,00,000 or whopping 4L rupees. while company normally pays arnd 40k Rs to an employee as monthly compensation. So Company earns arnd 3.6 Lakhs per employee per month.

What is on Bench?
As companies do outsourced work and business is generally profitable when employee is working on some project. so These companies need to constantly
hunt for projects. Sometime a projects get over and company doesnt have any other project for an employee to work on. So they ask employees to wait or sit on bench. He is not allocated any computer to work on. They do pay salaries without him to have to do any work. Its loss for company certain period.

What are challenges?

Although it looks all is well and very goody-goody affair, but it may not for some companies.

There are certain challenges in running business

1) They need to find Projects and Negotiate on per hour and Total Project Duration.  Sometimes for acquiring projects, sales guys give less cost and less duration, Which may result is more stress on end workers who are software manager, engineers.

2) Retaining employees - During onbench period, Its hard to retain good people.

3) US/UK visa - Many times client demands that they need employee work from their premises. For this companies need to enable visa's but Visa processes have become more stringent day by day.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Evolution of Communication Channels

Communication is a basic need of human being.

Human being is a social animal. They need to be in a group, in touch with other human beings. They want acknowledgement from fellow beings, wants to interact to achieve their goals. Communication is a basic need. To serve this basic need, lots of inventions has been made throughout the history.

And its open ended problem, many are still working on it in present, to make it much better for future. Lots of communication channels has been discovered, used extensively.

Existence of different languages in different part of world supports this assumption. Language is base of communication pyramid. People discovered languages, they standardized language, a education system evolved around this standardization process.

Then came the need of storing spoken communication so scripts were invented. With scripts, came paper communication media like newspapers, books.

As world expanded, people traveled around. People wanted to be in touch with people from differen geographies, But either these people are far away and means of transportations are not evolved and time & cost were not affordable. So People started sending letters to people, they want to communicate. In 19th century, Political history can be tracked from Postal communication between political leaders. There was need for quicker channels for communication.

Telecom Revolution

Alexander Bell invented Telephone in 1974, and enabled the world. Discovery of Telephone is one of the biggest on in the field of communication. People could now talk with each other. Quickly & reliably connect with. It was the hottest area of the research.

After 1874, world got new toy to play with. It started era of telecommunication. The geographical & political situations at that time made it spread quickly to most of the part of world. People started using fixed line telephones to communicate with each other. Any from US can communicate with person in UK.

In 1973, The first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola, using a handset weighing around 2.2 pounds(1kg). A decade later, a first commercial mobile phone was launched. [wiki]

From 1990 to 2011, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 6 billion, penetrating about 87% of the global population and reaching the Bottom of the economic pyramid.[wiki]

Businesses & Telecom

Throughout the history of mankind, Businesses/Enterprises/Need of people to get rich, acted as a major investor for fueling inventions. They consumed, supported inventions. Business problems became a thought starters for many of new Ideas.

In terms of Communication, Business has obvious need of communication. In fact they gave birth to new paradigm of 1 to many communication. Peer to peer communication is personal need but Business to peer communication is business need. They seek major support from Telecom and fueled lots of evolution. Telephones were used by businesses for internal as well external communications.

“Having Telephone numbers for Business is Primary or Basic Need for any Business”

Anyone seeking new service/product/support from a business, were provided with facility of contact numbers which they can call to. Telecom made support & inbound lead generation process easier, affordable and manageable. Lots of tools like IVR systems were used by businesses to serve inbound queries, requests in automated way. 

SMS - Short Messaging Service

The first SMS message was sent over the VodafoneGSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992. [wiki]
SMS is the most widely used data application in the world, with 3.5 billion active users, or 78% of all mobile phone subscribers.The term "SMS" is used for all types of short text messaging and the user activity itself in many parts of the world.[wiki]
With wide spread of sms usage for short and asynchronous communication, businesses adopted SMS and started usign VMNs, shortcodes, Longcodes so that Mobile users can send text messages to them. As SMSs are text messages, lots of automation can be placed in the system.


Era of Internet

The Internet was commercialized in 1995. Since then Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information and knowledge, commerce, entertainment. With Demand from business to have access of internet on Mobile devices, Telecom is empowering infrastructure to support Internet over Telco network.

 This will further fuel growth of Internet. Comparing Openness of Internet with Government controlled Telecom industry, It became major source of Consumer oriented discoveries. Voice over IP was being provided by Telecom companies but It was not satisfactory for business communication so adoption was low although cost was lower.

Year 2000 Internet bubble played major role in setting of internet infrastructure across the world. Although Telecom was 150 year old company, It failed gave cost benefits to people. Telecom costs were quite high for consumers when they wanted to communicate long distance.

Convergence of Telecom And Internet

Skype tried to solve this problem for internet users so they can connect with peers with minor or free cost. Lots of consumer world who were on internet adopted Skype with much excitement and skype and similar companies are keep growing. Skype is used massively even by lots of businesses for internal communication. WhatsApp has changed whole peer-to-peer messaging paradigm with its mobile app.

Communication and Collaboration is still the space or vertical to target for budding entrepreneurs. Many more discoveries/inventions are yet to unfold in coming decades.

Fortunately I am part of the startup, Screen-Magic, working on some of the interesting problems in Enterprise Communication domain.

Lets Wait and Watch for Interesting things.