Month: January 2010

Weekly Business Quiz #11

1.Which freedom fighter led Tata labour assoc. From 1928 for 9 years and worked towards Indianising TISCO?

Ans. NETAJI SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE

2.Lastminuteinventory.com is an Indian B2B exchange for what product.? 

Ans. Unsold media space or time. Promoted by Dentsu

3. 3 IDIOTS, 2 WHEELS, 1 SMASHING HIT. This is the slogan of a scooter. Name the brand.

Ans. Mahindra Flyte. It figured in the movie 3 idiots

4. Air Deccan was the pioneer and Indigo is  leader now in LCC .Even before Indigo was launched the 2 clashed.Why?

Ans. INTERGLOBE Technologies, the promoter of Indigo, handled Deccan reservation system

5. What does Bt in Bt brinjal or Bt cotton stand for?

Ans.  Bio technology

6. IIMA has decided to use ‘cohorts’ process for placement this year. What is it?

Ans. Every weekend firms offering similar roles and opportunities

7. Celebrity endorsers for mobile services..Airtel-SHAHRUKH, IDEA-ABHISHEK, Reliance- Hrithik, Etisalat- ?

Ans. Aamir Khan

8. The story of Maruti 800 is being written as a book ‘The Maruti story’ by one of the men behind its success. Name the author.

Ans. RC Bhargava

9. Which mgmt guru once said ‘In all of recorded history there has been not one economist who had to worry about where his next mealwould come from’ ?

Ans. Peter Drucker

10. Of which International brand are Jubilant Foodworks, the india franchisees for ? In the news for an IPO.

Ans.  Domino’s pizza

11. Which company owns these brands …Philadelphia.,Maxwell house, Oreo, Toblerone and now Cadbury ?

Ans. Kraft foods

12. Created by an Architect ,Alfred Butts in 1948 as LEXICO. In 1950 it was renamed as Criss-crossword. From 1956 onwards this board game  is known as ……

Ans. Scrabble

– Compiled by G.Mohan

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TN heads the delisted Deemed Universities list

In a bold move, the Centre moved the Supreme Court to withdraw ‘deemed’ university status to 44 universites in the country. A look at the list clearly indicates that Tamil Nadu has the dubious distinction of leading this pack, having 16 in the list. Deccan Herald has also pointed this out in an article

” Almost a third of the deemed universities (DUs) that are to be derecognised by the Centre are from Tamil Nadu.”

A look at the complete list of Deemed universities all over the country in the UGC web-site also brings out the fact that TN also has the largest number of deemed universities. Out of a total of 130 “Deemed” universities, 29 universities are from TN. Whereas, the share of TN in ‘deemed’ universities is 22%, its share in the ‘doomed’ universities is disproportionately large at 35 %.

The neighbouring state of Karnataka is not much better. Karnataka which has the third-largest number of deemed universities at 15, comes second in the list of ‘doomed’ universities having six in the list.

Maharashtra comes out better than TN and Karnataka. Maharashtra has 21 (16%) deemed universities , out of which only 3 (6%)   are in the ‘doomed’ list.

Deccan Herald has pointed out some of the reasons for the rot in TN universities.

In this backdrop, privatisation of higher education in TN began in a small way in the early 1980s. Interestingly, most of the private engineering colleges set up then were by well-to-do MPs from mainstream political parties including the Congress, the DMK and the AIADMK.

Several of the DUs facing derecognition are either owned or indirectly promoted by well-connected political personalities

“What matters is your political clout and hospitality-levels when UGC officials visit these campuses,”a professor at a women’s autonomous college here said.

Despite the ban on capitation fees and the DMK government fixing the fee structure for private engineering and medical colleges, there are fixers who sell management quota seats at hefty premiums. The administration in the DUs are packed with promoters, relatives or people from their own respective caste/community.

It is pertinent to point out here that the Tandon committee, has kept another 44 deemed universities in the watch-list. It is quite likely that many of the well-known ‘deemed universities’ who are also big advertisers like SRM and VIT University are in the watchlist because they also have some of the lacunas pointed out by the committee.

* Undesirable management structure where families rather than professional academics controlled the functioning
* Several institutions had violated the principles and guidelines prescribing excellence in teaching and research and were engaged in introduction of thoughtless programmes
* Little evidence of noticeable efforts in case of emerging areas of knowledge
* Little evidence of commitment towards research
* Institutions increased their intake capacity disproportionately
* Undergraduate and post-graduate courses were fragmented with concocted nomenclatures
* Higher fee structure than prescribed

UGC as a regulator of higher education has failed miserably. UGC needs to be scrapped and a new regulator needs to be put in place, before opening doors for private and foreign universities in higher education. Mr Sibal’s task is cut-out.

Weekly Business Quiz #10

1.What business connects Late Jyoti Basu and Lankan spinner Muralidharan ?

Ans. Biscuit mfg. Basu’s son Chandan and Murali’s family are in this.

2.”Marxist TITAN Basu is dead”. How did the brand TITAN come ?

Ans.Titan JV promoted by Tata Ind (TI) and Tamil Nadu (TAN) govt

3. Interesting coincidence. Current CMDs of two leading PSUs ONGC and NTPC have the same name. Initials and surname. What is it ?

Ans.R S SHARMA

4. After dropping Tiger Woods, ACCENTURE ads have a new model with copy ‘who says you cant be big and nimble?’ Who or what ?

Ans. An elephant. No elephant wil be caught in a sex scandal:-)

5.This beauty modelled for Charmis cream. As a Pan-Am air hostess in 1986 she fought the hijackers and died. Name her.

Ans.Neerja Bhanot

6. Marc Benioff a former Oracle exec has created the first billion dollar business based on cloud computing. Name it.

Ans. Salesforce.com

7. Which first gen entrepreneur’s autobiography is titled ‘ SIMPLY FLY’ ?
Ans. Capt. Gopinath of Air Deccan

8.Aliva, Hippo, Smart chips.Brands of chips launched recently.how are they different from other chips?

Ans. Baked and not fried. Hence healthier

9. As per which law is the value of a network proportional to the square of the number of users ?

Ans. Metcalfe’s law

10. Audi, Hitachi, Samsonite. Diff countries different businesses. What is common?

Ans. Born in 1910.All are celebrating their centenary this year

11.Grammies, Emmies and now Remmies. What are Remmies awarded for ?

Ans. Recruitment ads in the ASCENT, TOI.

12.What is the diff between REPO AND Reverse repo rates. ?

Ans. Repo is the rate at which banks borrow from RBI and reverse repo RBI from banks

Weekly Business Quiz # 9

1.What is quarterly charm deficiency ?

Ans.  A general state of ill mannered behaviour seen in executives near the end of a fiscal quarter

2.With which bike brand is the grand prix champ Valentino Rossi associated ?

Ans. YAMAHA

3.After Jockey and Hanes, yet another inner wear brand ‘american classic since 1851’ has had an india launch. Name it.

Ans.Fruit of the loom.

4.On life insurance industry partners. Tata +AIG, Birla +Sunlife, ICICI + Prudential, HDFC + Standard life . Reliance and ?

Ans.No one. Googly 🙂

5.Which Mulk Raj Anand novel has a title that evokes the tea gardens in Assam where the narrative is set?

Ans.Two leaves and a bud

6.Jack Welch, Jeff Immelt, A G Lafley listen to him. This BHU alum is one of the world’s foremost executive coaches.

Ans.RAM CHARAN

7.Which 2 giants are behind the cash and carry outlets BEST PRICE which has two stores in Punjab ?

Ans. BHARTI & WAL-MART

8.The co calls itself ‘world’s no. 1 fresh dairy co ‘. Has launched flavored milk recently in India. Name it.

Ans.DANONE. Ex Britannia partner

9.Which social networking platform started in the living room of Reid Hoffman in 2002 announced 4 mn members in India recently ?

Ans.Linkedin

10.Connect Beat Spark Aveo Optra Cruze Tavera…..

Ans.Chevrolet models in india

12. Coming in the wake of Auto expo, what did Nobellaureate Ramakrishnan mean “it is the fastest vehicle in the city’

Ans. Bicycle. He has 7 of them but no car

13.1 yr ago when he confessed Ramalinga Raju was chairman&his bro MD of SATYAM. Today who are chairman and MD ?

Ans.Anand Mahindra,C P Gurnani

14.What is GEEK GAP ?

Ans.The knowledge gap between those who approve technology projects and those who have to implement them

15.If kleptomania is addiction to stealing, ONIOMANIA is addiction to ?

Ans. Shopping

16.Where will the world’s first ARMANI hotel open for business shortly ?

Ans.BURJ KHALIFA , Dubai – world’s tallest building- half a mile tall

17.3 idiots. The engineering college and hostel shown in the movie was actually shot in a well known B-school. Which one ?

Ans.IIM-Bangalore

18.Who is a sub-lebrity?

Ans.A non-entity hailed as a star. For example Winners and finalists of reality TV shows

Weekly Business Quiz # 8

1. From 4th of January ,  NSE and BSE will start trading from 9 AM. Why ?

Ans. To compete with Singapore where trading on india’s NIFTY was taking away volumes

2. Who said “Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul.”

Ans.  Marilyn Monroe

3. LAB 126 is the subsidiary of a well known dot com. It designs and markets a gadget , a rage in US. Name the company and the gadget.

Ans. Amazon, KINDLE ebook reader

4. Launched in Chennai 5 years ago.This 4 wheel mini truck has created a new category in which it now has a 90% share. Name it.

Ans.  TATA ACE

5. On decades. After seventies, eighties, nineties. What was the decade that went by ?

Ans. Noughties HAPPY NEW DECADE

6. New year resolution often are about weight reduction.simple one to end the year. expand VLCC.

Ans. VANDANA LUTHRA CURLS AND CURVES

7. On newspaper tie ups. Business Standard-Financial times. Mint-WSJ .Financial chronicle- International Herald Tribune. From JAN ‘ 1 2010 Hindustan times+?

Ans.  Washington Post

8. Who claimed his company was doing “God’s work” ?

Ans. Lloyd C.Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs

9. After losing millions of investor’s ( incl many celebrities)  money, who said ” I am sorry. I know that does’nt help you.”

Ans. Bernhard L.Madoff. He was convicted for 150 years imprisonment.

10. What do economists mean by ZIRP ?

Ans. Zero Interest Rate Policy

11. What is oselatmivir phosphate better known as ?

Ans. Tamiflu ( the drug for swine Flu)

12. Name the IBM computer designed to compete against a human in the quiz show JEOPARDY ?

Ans. What is Watson ?

13. Which company valued at $ 1 billion states “We spend more than we make .”

Ans. Twitter

3 Idiots in 3 cities

The Aamir Khan starrer “3 idiots” has had a bumper opening and is all set to become a blockbuster hit. Interestingly, on the same day 3 friends watched the movie “3 idiots” during the New Year weekend, 2nd week for the movie,  in 3 different cities. One friend watched the movie with his family in a single screen theatre in Bhilai (Chhattisgarh). Another friend watched with his family in a Multiplex -Big Cinemas in Mulund. I  watched with my family, in the Cinemax multiplex at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

Three friends watching the same movie on a particular weekend is a coincidence, but does not deserve a post. The point to note is the ticket prices paid for the same movie in the three places. The friend in Bhilai paid Rs 25 for a ticket. I paid Rs 100 per ticket and my friend in Mumbai paid, hold your breath, Rs 600 per ticket (it was a recliner seat). Same movie, same day, only difference was the location. All the tickets were bought from the counter, hence, there was no ‘black’ component.

This is India for you. The cost structure, the paying capacity and the play of market forces over the last decade or so, has created such huge economic differences even between cities. Development economists and commentators  talk  about “India” and “Bharat” as if the divide was only between the globalising “India” in the cities and the largely agrarian rural India as “Bharat”.

As the above example of the differential pricing for cinema tickets  illustrates even within “India” there are so many economic classes, that treating even urban India as one, would be fallacious.Making a pan-urban India success, is a huge challenge, for any marketer or movie-maker. “3 Idiots” seems to be all set to achieve that feat.

P.S :- In response to the above post several friends called me up or sent me offline emails informing the rates at which they bought the tickets for “3 Idiots”. SV informed that he watched in the INOX multiplex in Kolkata and paid Rs 400 for the ticket. SG watched in Big Cinemas Vashi, New Mumbai and paid Rs 220 per ticket. RK saw “3 idiots’ in Satyam Multiplex -Chenna and paid Rs 120 per ticket.GD informed that Pune Multiplex ticket price was Rs 250 in the New Year weekend. RC informed that she saw the movie in a single-screen theatre in Bhubaneswar, reluctantly sitting in the rear stall, paying Rs 50 per ticket, which included a black component of Rs 25.  VS saw it in Durg in a single-screen theatre and paid Rs 50 per ticket.

 Whereas, the range of ticket price from Rs 25 to Rs 600 as was mentioned in the initial post remains unchallenged, the information about ticket prices in other cities straddles the full range, reconfirming the fact that there are several segments within urban India. The price difference between Mumbai and New Mumbai at Rs 600 and Rs 220 respectively further proves that even Mumbai is not to be treated as one market. 

Creating a product like a movie, which cannot be customised for local markets and pricing the tickets at the highest which the market can bear and making the movie successful across allover  urban India is  ‘3 idiots’ real achievement.