Month: July 2010

Weekly Business Quiz # 37

Q1. What is Gompertz law given by mathematician Benjamin Gompertz in 1825?

Ans. An actuarial law that says chance of dying doubles every nine and  quarter years

Q2. Which country proposes to levy a tax on obese people to cover the extra costs in healthcare. ?

Ans. Germany

Q3. Name the totally Indian browser launched recently that has Indian language transliteration capability.

Ans. Epic

Q4. Facebook has recently imposed a limit on the no. of friends a user may have. What is the limit ?

Ans. 5000

Q5. UNIQLO which derives its name from ‘unique clothing’ is the largest clothing brand of which country ?

Ans. Japan

Q6. Who or what is a mousewife ?

Ans. A housewife who spends a lot of time on the Net

Q7. ‘I am as pure as 24 carat gold’. Which iron-ore don has the gall to say this?

Ans. Gali Janardhan Reddy

Q8. As per the new SEBI take over code the open offer trigger kicks-off at what % ?

Ans. 25% against 15% earlier

-Compiled by G.Mohan


Weekly Business Quiz # 36

1. Out of 1.3 million ideas generated in the LAYS contest which flavour given by Sagar has been voted by public as the best ?

Ans. Mastana mango

2. Which indian ultra rich businessman has been named in the UN MDG advocacy group that looks at poverty and other issues?

Ans. Mukesh Ambani

3. Which co has launched a 3 door fridge with an ad film made on 3 D ?

Ans. Whirlpool

 4. Instead of stopping immigration, now Singapore is welcoming foreign workers. What has caused this change ?

Ans. Last Qtr GDP grew at 19 %

5. Which book has the dubious record of being the most stolen book from public libraries?

Ans.  Guinness book of world records

6. Which co is credited with bringing out the noise cancelling headphones that uses adv micro circuitry to cancel ambient noise ?

Ans.  Bose corp

7. Which brand of cream is getting flak on Facebook , where users can make their photos fairer ?

Ans. Vaseline

8. Who is the designer behind the Rupee symbol selected by Indian Govt ?

Ans Udaya Kumar from IIT Mumbai

9. ITC Limited had the co name changed thrice in ‘70,74 and 2010.

Ans. Imperial Tobacco Co to Indian Tobacco Co, then to I.T.C Ltd and now ITC Ltd

10. Who said ” Business opportunities are like buses; there’s always another one coming.”

Ans.  Richard Branson

11. What is the new name of YMCA ?

Ans.  The Y

12. What is the Kerala connection to the ‘Jabulani” balls ?

Ans. Enkay supplies bladders to Adidas. Rubber for bladders sourced from Kerala

13. What is the prize money recd by Spain and Netherlands for being winner and runner’s up in the FIFA Cup?

Ans. Spain- 30 Mn $ & Netherlands 24 Mn $

Should Infosys get into Banking ?

Infosys Technologies (Infy)  is the bluest of the bluechips in the Indian IT sector. It is usually the first company to declare its quarterly results. The results and guidance given by Infy sets the mood for the earnings season. Like every quarter, Infosys declared its results for the Q1 2011 on the 13th of July.  The market was not enthused as there was a dip in the profits and the guidance is nothing spectacular.

It now appears that Infosys has become a prisoner of its own success. It has become huge with a turnover of nearly Rs 25,000 crore and a workforce of 114,000. Just running this large enterprise and maintaining the profit margins in a volatile environment seems to be keeping the top team entirely occupied. The business model of the company remains largely unchanged in the last 15 years. US (67 %) continues to be the major market. Insurance,  Banking and  Financial services remains the biggest vertical, accounting for  35% of all business. Application Development and Maintenance, ADM accounts for about 40 % of all the services. These % have remain largely unchanged. Consulting and BPO businesses may provide them the breadth of services, but they remain small. Unlike, other Indian IT companies, Infy has not made any major acquisition in India or abroad.

What was a growth stock is slowly becoming a dividend-yield stock. With no major growth plans or big ideas, it will be diffcult for the Infy stock to keep its P/E ratio at 25-30 that it commands today.

Now here is a piece of unsolicited advice to the management of Infosys. Enter the Banking Business, by getting a new banking licence, about which RBI has said they would be releasing a few licences as per the new policy. They could also be looking at acquisition opportunities for the old private banks which may come up for sale. Given their conservatism/arrogance the second option looks unlikely.

Here are a few reasons why Infosys could get into banking :

  • Infosys is a big brand and a solid reputation as a respectable and ethical company. Infosys Bank should command a lot of goodwill from customers as well as investors from Day One.
  • Infy would be having good knowledge of the Banking and Financial Services processes  worldwide thanks to it being their major vertical. Infy also has its own Core Banking Solution Fiancle which may be deployed in the new bank. This would bring down the investment cost significantly. The BPO arm of Infosys can handle a part of the customer service.
  • Infy being headquartered in Bangalore, availability of experienced bankers to handle specialised positions should be easy. Karnataka is home to several banks and bankers. Banking is in the blood of Kannadigas. Mohandas Pai , though Director HR, is basically a Finance person and handles the HR function like an accountant. He could be an asset for the Infosys Bank.
  •  K.V.Kamath, the man who transformed ICICI Bank is already on the board of Infy. He could be given a special assignment to set up this new bank. Great professionals don’t retire. Look no further than E.Sreedharan who took up the Delhi Metro assignment, after being well past 70 years of age.
  • Infy already has its first set of customers. It has 113,000 employees.
  • Infy has a huge cash balance of nearly 15,000 crores. Instead of keeping them as FDs with State Bank and other PSU banks, it could easily deploy a part of this for its Banking business.
  • Infy Bank may not require a public issue. But if its IPO  does come out, it can command a huge premium and will be a sell-out.
  • The promoters are occupying the top job by turns. How about the promoters’ children ? They would be ready for jobs now. The Infosys Bank could well be a place for them.
  • Financial inclusion is one of the stated goals of the UPA govt and PM. Infosys could easily deploy its Foundation to get a lot of ‘aam aadmi’ to open accounts with the Infy Bank and thereby improve its CSR image further.

If all the above reasons are not convincing, then here are a couple more. Infosys may have technology in its name, but it is hardly a technology company in a classical sense. It is a huge and efficient bureaucracy where the bean counters rule. For such a strength, banking is an appropriate business.

If banks can start IT and BPO companies, like ICICI Bank had setup ICICI Infotech, (now 3i infotech)  and First Source, why the reverse cannot be done. An IT company like Infy setting up a bank.  

I am waiting to open an account in Infy Bank.

Weekly Business Quiz # 35

Q1. What is the full-form of the word ‘snafu’ which comes from the US Army in WW II ?

Ans. Situation normal: all fouled up ! (sanitised version)

Q2. Name the 3 fastest growing intl airlines from the Gulf, also known as super connectors .

Ans. Emirates, Qatar airways and Etihad

Q3. Who is credited with coining the term , ’emerging markets’, a positive term for developing world, in 1981 ?

Ans. Antoine van Agtmael

Q4. What is the major function of software utlilities like Freedom, Think, Isolator etc. ?

Ans. Blocks internet & other distractions to conc on work

Q5. As per a Deloitte study, only 2 out of the big 5 football leagues in Europe make profit. Which 2 ?

Ans. German Bundesliga and Eng premier league

Q6. Henry Ford said ” You can have any color as long as it is black” is well known. Why black ?

Ans. Black paint dries faster. hence more output

Q7. In a recent survey in US for the most unpopular corporates, BP was 2 and Toyota 3. Who was rated No 1 ?

Ans.  Goldman Sachs

Q8. Dean Kamen invented a device about which Steve jobs said ‘ as big a deal as the PC’. It failed. What device ?

Ans. Segway scooters

Q9. Pele, Maradona and Zidane appear together in an ad for a designer brand. Name it

Ans. Louis Vuitton

Q10. Which tycoon is setting up a university in Karnataka, named after him, on studies and research in education and development ?

Ans.  Azim Premji

Q11. What new model of VW was launched with the gimmick of a car climbing a tall building vertically ?

Ans. VW Vento

– Compiled by G.Mohan

Weekly Business Quiz # 34

Q 1. With whom has karan Johar tied up to promote IHLS where the protagonists appear in the covers of these stories ?

Ans.  Mills and Boon

Q 2. Kiva,, Dhanax are a few online crowdfunding sites. What is crowdfunding ?

Ans. Raising small amounts from many for microlending

Q3. Which Indian icon is shown in ads for SWISSCOM’s blackberry service with the msg ” To spread the good, was never this easy’?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi

Q4. After Fardeen, Saif Ali Khan who is the new face of Provogue ?

Ans.  Hrithik Roshan

Q5. Christy branded towels used in Wimbledon are made in India. Who makes them, where ?

Ans. Welspun Vapi Gujarat

Q6. What drink is being promoted as India’s first caffeine -free cola ?

Ans. Cloud 9 cola

Q7. Connect Bank of America to HSBC in India ..

Ans. BA was sold to ABN, ABN sold out to RBS, now RBS has sold out to HSBC

Q8. To mark what occasion is Infy giving free shares to its employees ?

Ans. 30th anniversary of the company

Q9. From July 1, RBI has asked all banks to announce a base rate for lending. What was the earlier rate called ?

Ans. Benchmark Prime lending rate

Q10. Italian mfr Magni makes Gyrocopters that has a range of 500km and top speed of 150kmph. What is it ?

Ans. hybrid between plane and helicopter

Q11. What is the name of the retail store from the co INDUS mobile ? Clue Madhavan


Q 12. Which is the only Indian product kept in the Museum of modern art in US?

Ans. Hawkins pressure cooker