Friday, December 31, 2010

The Economics of global warming & climate change!

     Way back in 1896 Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist gave the greenhouse law:
"if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression."
Little did he know that the human growth story painted on the Global canvas, shall have far-reaching consequences. World Health Organization figures conclude that as many as 350,000 lives are being lost each year from climate impacts now, and shall rise to one million per year by 2030. The effects of this imbalance shall be on Food Supply,Health, Biodiversity & Extreme weather. Conflicts shall arise due to scarcity of water resources and large scale migration and Disease.

Of the 50 countries judged as "acutely vulnerable" include many of the world's poorest, including Burma, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Niger and Senegal. Needless to say China and United States the most developed countries are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
I think it was time when the BIG guys took some responsibility and the Cancun summit just did that.

     Its less than a month past since the UN climate change conference at Cancun,Mexico concluded.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, concludes an yearly event where all nations of the world meet to make some headaway.Many of you might have got the highlights of the draft decision at the meet from local/international media, and how much is IN there for your respective country!
     Well this is the link to the real stuff: "Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention."

A brief of the highlights are: 
  • Guidance/policy/incentives on reducing emissions from deforestation, conservation & sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
  • Body for Scientific & Technological Advice work on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation.
  • The Green Climate Fund intended to raise and disburse $100bn a year by 2020 to protect poor nations against climate impacts and assist them with low-carbon development.
  • Composition and mandate of an elected Technology Executive Committee.
Also simply to say "There's enough in it that we can work towards next year's meeting in South Africa to get a legally binding agreement there." (Tara Rao, senior policy adviser with environmental group WWF )

     For all of you those who were not aware of such a meet or were too caught up in something more important, let me tell you one thing:

     All the awareness about which I am talking about is not about painting our desks green or about holding a banner that we need to do more, its not even about making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating or about suggesting that the Second World War concept of rationing be practiced as Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research suggests. But its about developing,nurturing and fostering a new economy,a new lifestyle and a new world based on Clean Development mechanism.
Its about learning and imbibing the Economics of Global Warming.To try fill in the knowledge/technological/political/economic gaps by taking a risk or else paying a price. And believe me there is a great career, growth, money,credit and a powerful life experience worth exploring!

And for each of us MBA aspirants...well there is decent list indicator words in italics, even if you don't think of the BIG PICTURE!
Further affirms

If the last century had a beginning in the two world wars, which changed the fortunes of few generations, many countries and countless people, we have something bigger, more challenging at hand. Let "the beacon of hope be reignited."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tough nut to crack!!

Guys its been a while that I have been practicing for GMAT, and although I am able to crack the easy to crack nuts, the challenging ones still pose a challenge. Being always on the lookout for tough problems I linger around on forums, especially BeatTheGMAT, I like the way people post questions and there is a good amount of discussion and expert replies..

Say for example.. I am excellent at exponents and good at permutations, but was totally taken aback by this problem of the BeatTheGMAT practice questions.

How many integers between 1 and 10^21 are such that the sum of their digits is 2?

now how do I approach this problem?
should I even care to write 1 and 21 zeroes behind it to have better clarity of the problem.
I guess not.
We can have a case where we have 1+1=2 and 19 zeroes
21C2 which shall give 21*20/2 =210
and another set of numbers which has just the value 2
now this is where I faltered... I calculated the wrong number of zeroes.

If an integers is between 1 and 10^21 so 2* 10^21 is out of question,
there can be only 21 such numbers..
so in effect its 210+21 and not 210+22.
Just when I had thought the tough part in the problem the permutation was over and I kind of relaxed mentally, this problem shook me... I got it wrong!

Well.. while practicing such multi-layered tough problems, I have come to realize a few things...
Firstly... never relax in between a problem
Secondly..They just dont test only the basics in GMAT (as per my past GMAT experience, they try and make problems more and more complex and also try to trick you into making a mistake)
Thirdly.. never give up  ( I was around 720s in practice tests but in the real GMAT I scored a 670)
Finally...practice only on GMAT like material.

The first three points can come as a second nature to you after some practice, but the last point is of importance.Manhattan is great for Sentence Correction and PowerScore cricitical reasoning bible is a must do.But till date I haven't found much success in getting a good theory material for the Math section.
As far as the practice material is concerned there is TONNES of crap material (read 1000 series and similar material) available but its waste of time and energy and is not than useful. I guess OG11 and OG12 is a must.
Among the new materials I am referring to the practice questions of BTG is really good.
( especially the RC,SC and Math part.

I am glad to share this news with you all, well I was among the lucky few to win these questions in the 100k challenge.
The thing which sets it apart from other materials is it also give the Avg%Correct and Avg Time.
It gives me an overall idea as to how I fared compared to others, on any question.
Since GMAT also uses the same percentile standing, its good to have such an idea.
I wonder how in the good old days without internet, how people used to manage their studies,
decide when to take the test and know where they stand?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reflections from a day of Festivity and thoughts about "The Statue of Unity"

Navratri or the "Nine nights" festival is and ode to Goddess Durga,
a Hindu deity who killed demons and brought peace and prosperity to India.
The festival is marked with rituals & prayer offerings to the Goddess.
In the western part of India especially in the state of Gujarat this nine week festival is celebrated by the traditional dance festival, the 'Garba'.
Here Navratri and Garba are synonymous. This popular dance festival is not only performed by the classes, but is widely popular in rural and urban masses.
Its an occasion for young men and women to socialize and meet, its an occasion for roadside kiosks to big businessmen to do brisk business, its an occasion for people to pray and cleanse their past sins and its often an occasion for politicians to forward their agenda. None the less whatever be the reason for majority of the people to participate in this big cultural extravaganza, its something nobody is going to miss.

This year on the state tourism department organized the "Vibrant Gujarat Navratri Festival" in its biggest city Ahmedabad.
Yes, with atleast over 1 square kilometers of area, the huge Garba grounds did provide the youth a chance to mingle and dance to their hearts.
Over 200 shops did provide for brisk business to the rural craftsmen and urbane entrepreneurs.
The larger than life idols and miniature temples did inspire people to worship as well as get themselves clicked on their mobile-phones.
The display was also of strength of India in general and Gujarat in Particular.

The State Government showcased its ambitious plan to build the world's largest/tallest Statue, "The Statue of Unity".
The Statue is of "Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel" the Iron man of India. "The Statue of Unity" has been correctly named so as it was Vallabhbhai who had pioneered in unifying India on its Independence in 1947. The fate of the 182 small princely states was sealed by this one man and his work can be paralleled to that Abraham Lincon during the Civil War.
Standing at 182 meters the statue shall be as tall as a 60 storey building and taller than the tallest Statue in the world  of Buddha at "Spring temple" China.
The monument shall be two times as large as the Statue of Liberty and 5 times as large as the redeemer and the tallest in the world.
Standing in the Sardar Sarovar dam's basin it would be 1.5 times higher than the Sardar Sarovar dam, India’s largest dam.
It would provide a view which can be paralleled to that of Niagara Falls.

The plan first time unveiled to the general public brought in long queues of viewership and gained more popularity than the Garba festival itself.
The best part is that the plan is permitted for the common man.. and in that sense, the politicians owe it to their taxpaying public.

This display reflects the Indian Mindset. "Megalomaniac" Biggest, Largest, Tallest!!!
The recently concluded Common Wealth Games too showed the same kind of mindset.
But in its pursuit to show that it is the best, should it not work on being the best?
Is INDIA forgetting what it should also invest in?
i.e. in Better Education, Nutrition, Security  & Climate ?
After all can the public live with the best figures in illiteracy, poverty, economic disparity, crime, malnutrition and pollution?

Perhaps more and more young people like us MBA aspirants should work more towards the betterment of the society, to try and apply ourselves each day to better the Climato-Techno-Socio-Politico-Economics of the society, country and the world. And perhaps that day we could live each day as a festival, without guilt.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

SME rankings make me smile

     Today going through the headlines of the frontpage article of a national daily,something made me smile.
It read "Ahmedabad No.1 among 100 cities for small & medium enterprise". It was not part of the once too often regional jingoism we come across. It was a well established fact published by none other than E&Y.

Here are the rankings:
1. Ahmedabad
2. Banglore
3. Mumbai
4. Hyderabad
5. Delhi
6. Chennai
7. Surat
8. Faridabad
9. Jaipur
10 Gurgaon

Well its not that I liked the article just because it praised Ahmedabad.
The city where I was brought up, did my schooling and completed my under grads.
It was because I was linked with almost all of the cities......and the one city left out...gave me a SIGN......

  As I said earlier, I did my schooling from Ahmedabad, my Alma mater was St.Xavier's High School.
I could see that people here were enterprising right from childhood, I guess it was in their blood.Kids as young as 10 would start their book club, not only foster their own learning, but also make a quick buck!I did my engineering from L.D. Engineering college, one of the oldest,world renown, government engineering college, a part of the Gujarat University.Now this university did not just have a prestigious Engineering college, but also had a multitude of technical graduation courses, the B.Scs & the ITIs among other courses.
You won't imagine college passouts, rather guys who have not even passed out of college setup their own small scale industires. Small plants manufacturing industrial goods, machinery, chemicals, Engineering equipments and God knows what not. I guess they start off young and their backgrounds give them a risk taking appetite. Not to mention the general honesty and work ethic of Gujaratis.

 When I mention Gujarati, I would mention another city from this state, Surat, which is ranked 7th. I happened to work in Hazira, Surat for 6 months. I worked as a the sole procurement personnel for Electrical for the setup of a new plant for ESSAR Steel. I bought stuff worth Rs. 10 Crores way back in 2003, not to mention numerous, revised & improved rate-contracts with existing vendors. Although many quick purchases were made from Surat city itself,because Surat was primarily a textile city & had textile entrepreneurs, most of the purchases were done from Mumbai,Maharashtra,from where we could claim ModVat/CenVat.

 Not only did Mumbai, which is ranked 3rd in the tally, have hundreds of manufacturers of industrial equipment, especially electrical, but also it provided me with 4% Excise instead of 6% GST.  I visited Mumbai often as well, to meet relatives; these visits gave me a first hand look at the enterprise of the Mumbaikar: hardworking, methodical & calculative.

Come 2004 and I decided to join the IT Bandwagon. Leaving behind greener pastures to try something new. I joined TCS in Gurgaon, which is ranked 10th in the SME rankings. Gurgaon is actually a part of Delhi-NCR. Thus Delhi(ranked 5th),Faridabad(ranked 8th) & Gurgaon can be looked at as one region. Each of these cities though have a different speciality though. While Faridabad is primarily a hub of small scale manufacturers of automobile spare-parts, leather and other manufactured goods, Gurgaon is known world over for it BPO/KPO & IT industry, not to mention the prior established Electronic and automobile plants, & Delhi being a big commercial hub, nothing in this world can beat the enthusiasm of a Sardar selling stuff!Although I worked in Gurgaon now for quite a while, I still fondly remember my summer vacation visits to folks back in Delhi.

I used to work for a strategic business unit, TCS-Financial Services, a product arm of the Company which was primarily into IT Services.Imagine 1/50 of the people (3000 of 1,50,000) generating a quarter of the revenue. Imagine that TCS-BaNCS became the no.1 Financial product in it domain within 3 years,this all happened after TCS's public listing in late 2004.Yes I was among the ones who had seen it through. The SBU is headed by N G Subramaniam, based in Banglore(which ranks 2nd in the SME list.) Now Bangaluru, is the IT capital of India. There are thousands of startups in Banglore, not to mention small,medium and large size companies.People from all over India, come here to kick start their careers in IT, as well as Companies from all over the Globe come here to take advantage of the large pool of talent and the IT infrastructure. This explains its high SME ranking.

 When we tend to work hard, we like to party harder. And thats where I will mention Jaipur(ranked 9th), a weekend getaway, at a 5 hr journey from Gurgaon.The Jaipur city palaces are a must watch! Jaipur, primarily dependent on tourism, has a lot many people who have developed various businesses around tourism.

 I can explain my connection to Chennai(ranked 6th) as well. My father was an aeronautical engineer from IIT Madras. This explains my roots to this city.

The only city in the ranking, with which I cannot explain my direct connection to, is Hyderabad.
As an ISB aspirant shall I take this as a SIGN ?
Afterall how could HE leave out Hyderabad......I hope Buddha will smile with me, for me!!

Friday, August 13, 2010


A lot depends on how you look at the SIGNS!!
A lot depends upon able to identify the short term changes from long term trends.
Since a past few months have have been getting to see these indications.

Observing some patterns:
I read a couple of articles in newspapers and news-websties,

-> India lowers growth targets of 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) in march 2010 from 9% to 8%

->The European Union crisis in May 2010

->Chinese stocks falling since June 2010

-> Yuan Slides Most in Seven Weeks August 2010

->The US unemployment rates remain high at 9.5 percent , now for more than a year - August 2010

->India’s industrial output grew by a lower-than-expected 7.1 per cent in Q2 2010. - August 2010

-> "the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated" - Fed warning - this August
The US Fed  holds on at near-zero intrest rates, and is left with little options.

Simply to put it the indications of CEOs resigning is also not good.

GM CEO - Ed Whitacre , steps down on cusp of IPO filing.

Ranbaxy Q2 net dips 48%, CEO Atul Sobti to step down

I have not put HP's CEO ( Mark Hurd )resignation or call for BP's CEO(Tony Hayward) resignation,
in picture as these are short term,little or no impact items on the larger picture of the world economy

When I connect the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, I believe

Was the June 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto a way that richer countries huddles together to make a consensus as to when, in which quarter to declare a recession? Remember that interest rates to keep the economy liquid were revised soon after the vist. I believe the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister knew that more liquidity would mean more washing away of money from the government coffers.

Q3 is going downwards and Q4 we'll see a global recession!

Now unlike seeing this like a premonition lets see it in a technical way.

Yesterday 12 Aug 2010, All global markets closed in Red.
However Indian markets opened and closed at the same or nearly the same level
Infact of the two major indexes, one rose a bit and one fell a bit.
SENSEX 18073.90 +3.71‎ (0.02%‎) 
NIFTY    5416.45    -4.15 (-0.07%)

This is a Doji Signal (Candle stick formation)

An unprecedented number of companies in India with capital posting huge profits to jack up the costs, after which a slump will be seen.
With sensex at 18073 with its way higher than it should be.

Remember the indications of a worldwide recession were coming from August 2007,
where as the sensex closed at its highest in Jan 2008 at 21078 ?

The poor investor is going to lose trillions of Dollars,Pounds,Euros,Rupees.

In fact I don't understand the concept of  P/E ratios greater than 12.5

Should not the price of a share not be equal to the potential dividend it can earn?
See for me the formula is fairly simple, the average growth is around 8% then

Price or share(take it as 100) /earning per share (as per organic growth 8%) = 12.5

Growth is no magic and a higher P/E means that the price is bloated,they are selling you a dream....
The more widely shares are held, the higher is the risk to the individual who hold the share when the bubble bursts and the price of share normalized.

What I could have done??
well....I have gradually switched from equity stocks to Gold and Gold related stocks.
Carefully watch how I spend every penny in my pocket.

But the big ticket things pending in my life
should I plan to delay ? or let it take its own course??
I guess...I will go ahead with the former, no matter what, the latter can wait for later!!
After-all even our Finance minster P. Chidambaram is an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

To Moon and Back!

Just pains as I sit back and listen one controversy after another about the CommonWealth Games to be held this October in India's capital New Delhi. The latest blemish,
A Helium baloon costing Rs. 40 Cr. another Rs. 10 Cr. to transport and inspect it.
I am still wondering is this the same India that launched the moon mission for just about Rs. 386 Cr. ?
A Creative Country which Could Cut Costs could be so Corrupt as well...

And as it pains, I sit back and listen to 'Savage Garden'
(a name so ironic)  To Moon and Back....
I feel we had reached the pinnacle and now back in the dumps!
A song so apt for the occasion.

She's taking her time making up the reasons
To justify all the hurt inside
Guess she knows from the smiles and the look in their eyes
Everyone's got a theory about the bitter one
They're saying
Mama never loved her much
And daddy never keeps in touch
That's why she shies away from human affection
But somewhere in a private place
She packs her bags for outer space
And now she's waiting for the right kind of pilot
To come (and she'll say to him)
She's saying

I would fly you to the moon and back
If you'll be if you'll be my baby
Got a ticket for a world where
we belong
So would you be my baby

She can't remember a time
When she felt needed
If love was red then she was colour-blind
All her friends they've been tried for treason
And crimes that were never defined
She's saying
Love is like a barren place
And reaching out for human faith is
Is like a journey I just don't have a map for
So baby gonna take a dive and push the shift to overdrive
Send a signal that she's hanging all her hopes on the stars
(What a pleasant dream) just saying

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Latest version of GMAT Audio Revision.

I am planning the latest version of GMAT audio revision, I have been focussing on niche areas like "Tone of the Author" , BoldFace CR and Yes... Grammar rules which I have collated over a long and arduous journey!

Changed the dates...

Changed the GMAT date to 6th August. I hope to crack it this time....
RC questions - tone of the author
CR questions - Boldface
SC questions - modifiers which change the meaning subtle meaning
are the areas which I score poorly and these areas are essential for a high score...
Will work hard on Math too... as I have seen, the difference between a 50Q and a 51Q is BIG.
I hope to go for the KILL!

Friday, July 9, 2010


I wanna hit it! Bullseye!!  But GMAT is not taking aim and shooting in one deft stroke...
It checks if your nerves are of steel and  that you have prepared well.
I can do with what God has given for the former but thinkin...
Thinkin hard, how I can do better with the later? How can I break the barrier?
4th July it was 710 on Manhattan 48Q/38V today 9th July was the decider I score a poor 680 48Q/34V.
I am gonna reschedule my GMAT,don't know by how many days..
Areas to work on timing,pacing,focus,accuracy,consistency is there anything else?? 
I guess yes... a 730 or 730+ to land in top B-Schools.. gonna accept nothing less....
Will ambition drive the passion or whether passion will drive the ambition?
Don't know.. only time will tell.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Some relief

Last month (28/5/2010) I got  610(44q 31v) on a Manhattangmat test in timed conditions...
The score was not as I would have had liked, not inspiring at all.
Now after a month of intense practice and training I got a 710(49q 38v) on a GMATPrep.
Not bad... ehh?? well.. good for confidence,but not good enough to gauge performance....
Seems it?? well...
Firstly, GMATPrep Math is easier compared to the real stuff..
Secondly, there are a few repeat questions in the verbal section which i could recognize...Especially the Reading comprehension passages are so much easier when you have read the passage once...
Finally, The AWA sections did not go well... i was short of time...and short of ideas... need practice and need to have a look at the templates.
 Well.. whatever... as now i sit and relax... listenin to "Aye khuda...mujhko bata...tu rehta kahaan...kya tera pata.. hum toh yahaan pe musafir dhoonde apni manzil ka pata..."
Since its just 19 days to the test... I have to plan the next 20 days... work even harder... 1000SC 1000RC OG10 OG11 OG12 , MGMAT tests once again, Kaplan tests and kaplan premier program book. Revision each day with my notes & GMAT Audio revision and yes...AWA practice!!
 Got any recipes for success...??

Saturday, June 19, 2010

GMAT audio revision- FIRST cut

Guys the first cut... quite delayed from as promised!!

The first cut contains only grammar, mostly from Manhattan resources.

Over 30 minutes of audio time, in mp3 format.

More to come.. CR, AWA, Idioms, more grammar, formulae...

Feel free to share with one and all... Please do preserve the credits.... "Arora Inc."  Cheers!!

Feel free to give feedback.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

GMAT audio revision

Guys I had a “Eureka moment”!! :idea: This morning when I was in the loo (I get all the wackiest ideas when I am busy with my morning ablutions), it struck me that I should start utilizing my time more appropriately. With the GMAT approaching in mid July I need to daily revise vital preparatory notes. Would it not be wonderful if I could listen to them rather than read them through ??

Yeah 8-) I have decided to record all my notes in the wav format. I give my self a couple of days, to prepare what would be the first version of the audio recordings(10th june 2010). I would be glad to share it with one and all.

I am weak in verbal and have prepared some notes which primarily consist of extracts from the CR Bible and Manhattan SC and beatthegmat & gmatclub forums. I plan to add some math formulae along with the verbal stuff.

Would be glad if you could give some suggestions, I would also like to add miscellaneous stuff you pass on which would be worth revising.

I would also like to share my story and strategy. Well... have failed badly a couple of times due to verbal section and the hectic schedule at work. I also amount this to the exhaustion in a 4 hour long test. I firmly believe that physical endurance is necessary for the physical and mental fatigue one faces in GMAT exam. I am in the mode of building my mental and physical stamina, I am also trying to get my basics right this time and use my time efficiently. Each morning I go for a 30 minute jog/walk (to build my stamina). I plan to listen the GMAT audio revision from now on .

Monday, June 7, 2010

40 days to GMAT

Arora's log - Stardate 08-06-2010
Location: H.L. Center, Ahmedabad, India.
Date: 17th July 2010 , 10 A.M.
count down: 40 days

Beam me up,Scotty!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I cannot be more thankful to anybody than GMATClub, after all they kept their tests free for all on Memorial day. Although I could only attempt 3 verbal tests, I got ample practice and time to think a successful strategy. I had a dismal performance of 18 correct(39 attempted) in the first verbal test, thanks to the rusty brain and my inability to complete the stipulated 41 questions in 75 mins. Before the second test I made up my mind, that i would rush through the last few question when time would be running out. Again my score was bad! I wondered why i was scoring low. The reason could not be just bad basics, the approach was poor too. I was also wasting too much time re-reading the answer options especially in CR and SC.My game-plan was to attack this weakness. I decided to mark the choices as not possible, good possibility, remote possibility. See the figure.

e marked by good possibility
b & d marked as remote possibility.
a & c marked out.

I saved time in re-reading the two choices. The quick phonetics I used as symbolic indicator,helped me point out the possible answer choices. I did not have to trouble myself to paraphrase and remember the answer choices. Every possibility with its respective weightage was in front of me to make the decision.
This time I had 30 answers correct. I had to quickly scamper through only 3 questions, compared to not reading (8+2)10 answers.