Indian Innovators in the Fore-front of Green Technology

March 7, 2010

Following link points to a good article by Thomas Friedman on serial innovators K.R. Sridhar and Vinod Khosla on their Green Startups.

Dreaming the impossible Dream

The article talks about how America even in the times of recession provides scope for innovators to dream their dream.

Reading the article I felt really proud for the two Indians, on what they have accomplished. The whole world is talking about green energy and green tech, these gentlemen have done something incredible with doing much talking.

Vinod Koshla’s startup Calera converts CO2 (Carbon-di-oxide) generated by power plants to CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) bricks, avoiding the CO2 emission to the atmosphere.

K.R. Sridhar has been on news after he featured on 60 minutes. His start-up Bloom Energy, has a green solution called Bloom Box. Bloom boxes generates electricity at 8 to 10 cents a kilowatt of electricity using Natural gas or Bio-gas.

I wish them a grand success in their endeavors. We’ll need many more such innovation to save our planet and to provide everyone clean and affordable energy solutions.


Jyoti Basu: An Appraisal

January 26, 2010

Jyoti Basu: An Appraisal

Reading the above article makes me wonder, how well people remember every close miss, mistakes, follies one makes . With out giving credit to his contributions.

Image via wikimedia

Image via wikimedia

I’m no great fan of CPI(M) or Jyoti Basu, however the way the article is written intrigues me. If Jyoti Basu knew he would be remembered this way (as described in the article), would he have served people for 23 years !! I seriously feel the man deserves more respect.

What is Micropayment

September 8, 2009

So, what is a micropayment? It is a non-cash transaction — using mobile phones or swipe cards — involving payment of less than Rs 250. The basic objective is to enable small purchases without using cash. For example, a villager buying soap worth Rs 20 should be able to pay for it from his mobile. Here is how: a user registers with a micropayment provider by sending an SMS. Post-registration, he recharges his micropayment account using a coupon. He can then go to any merchant registered with that provider, and make purchases by sending SMSes. In such transactions, the profit margin is very low, to the tune of 1.5-3 per cent, which is why companies need massive volumes to run their businesses profitably.

The article gives a good idea of what is micro-payment, and its current state in India. In case of India this seems to be a good idea, if people are educated about it and if the service is marketed well.

There is a huge % of population who do not hold a bank account and can be benefited by this, especially in rural India. To make micro-payment profitable, companies should partner with FMCG companies and concentrate on rural India more than urban India, I feel. FMCG companies have a great supply chain, they reach even the remotest corners on India. This penetration should be capitalized on along with the mobile companies.

Micro-payment becoming a threat to Credit cards, I don’t see it happening in near future. The awareness of micro-payment is very very low, in its current state people would go for credit cards, any day.

Hillary’s new agenda 3.0 for India with caveats

July 23, 2009

Every deal with the US comes with a set of cons. US is now a depleting power house, but still it always manages to get squeeze more out of every deals (at-least with India). Civil nuclear agreement is good for India, however there are fears that we might be force to sign NPT or CTBT.

The recent Hillary Clinton’s visit is seen with lot of optimism, there again US has dropped its caveats read on…

Clinton Urges Stronger U.S.-India Ties –

The United States generally reserves strategic dialogues for major countries like China, so this is a symbolic acknowledgment of India’s rising role in the world. Mr. Krishna said the dialogue would set a “new agenda for India 3.0” — an allusion to India’s high-tech prowess.

Behind the high-flown talk are some obvious economic considerations: the United States won India’s agreement to allow it to monitor the “end use” of military equipment and technology sold to India, to ensure it is not diverted to other uses or sold to other countries. The provision would pave the way for a proposed sale of 126 advanced fighter jets to India.

India also confirmed the two sites, in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh States, for nuclear power plants to be supplied by American companies. The contracts, worth billions of dollars, are a key benefit of a civilian nuclear deal with India signed in the last days of the Bush administration.

The American companies, however, will not sign contracts until India agrees to shield them from liability above $450 million in the event of catastrophic nuclear accident. Indian officials told Mrs. Clinton they would press for the protection in the next legislative session.

2009 Election : A $3 bn Celebration

May 15, 2009

India’s National Election Spreads $3 Billion Around –

Candidates and parties spent $3 billion on everything, including transportation, advertising, celebrity endorsements and cash bribes over the course of the campaign, according to economists and political analysts. In comparison, the last United States presidential campaign cost an estimated $2.4 billion.

The campaign, which will wrap up Saturday with a final tally of the votes, is trickling through the economy and plumping earnings at television stations, advertising agencies, florists, airlines, car companies and gas stations. It is adding to the business for sweets manufacturers, priests and astrologers.

The programs are so extensive that the amount of money spent in India will give a 0.5 percent boost to the country’s gross domestic product for two quarters of this year, says Kotak Securities, a brokerage firm.

Indians are masters of spending and displaying grandeur be it any kind of celebration marriage, diwali, holi or the elections (celebration of democracy). Its a different topic to discuss if the spending is justified or not. Looking at the voter’s turn out 2009 elections were mere celebration for the political parties and candidates not an ideal exemplification of democracy.

10 Companies gain Rs 66,000 Cr in MCap

February 2, 2009

Amid these troubled times Indian economy is going great guns. Last week the country’s 10 most valued firms witness an addition of over Rs 66,000 Crore in their market capitalization. It included 6 public and 4 private sector companies. Reliance Industries again hit  Rs 2 trillion valuations.

Read the entire story

Credit crunch boosting ‘lipstick effect’

December 23, 2008

The recent global meltdown has seen an upswing in what is known the “lipstick effect”, as sales of cosmetics are rising with more women trying to cheer themselves up by spending in make-up rather than cars, holidays and kitchens.

Economists have said that due to the financial crisis, people are steering away from making extravagant purchases like cars, holidays and kitchens and are instead spending their money on small luxuries like make-up.

And the sales figures from some of the world’s big cosmetic companies – LOreal, Beiersdorf and Shiseido-reflect the theory.

Credit crunch boosting ‘lipstick effect’