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Showing posts from June, 2006

Yipee, Bombay Will Have A Metro, In 2021

A friend just told me I should be happy because Mumbai will finally have its metro. She said, I carp and complain all the time. Okay, I am happy. And yet, in my happiness and joy, I am compelled to pen a few points.

1. This is Phase I which will end in 2009 end or so. While I have greater faith in Reliance's (the company who has bagged the contract) execution abilities, this is not a purely private initiative. Purely private initiatives (including levelling entire mills in weeks) are capable of immense execution focus. Am not sure about public-private. Mumbai airport's new arrival terminal is a case in point. Its considerably delayed the chap doing it is `private'.

2. Phase I is a east-west connector in the north of the city. Very useful for those who are living in those parts but zero impact for anyone else.

3. Phase II and III are what will really matter because they will connect the city's north-south axis. Targeted completion is 2021. Without revealing embarassing det…

Fighting Government To Survive: The Bangalore Story

I am now of the view it should now be a global term for a situation where a politician holds a democratic state to ransom. Or when and his his cohorts emerge in brazen public eye to railroad anything that comes in their way of personal material upliftment. So, guess who has been Bangalored recently ? Well, its Bangalore !

The present war between politician and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and NICE, the promoters of the Bangalore-Mysore expressway project is downright sickening. And its a scar on democracy, even what we know of it.

The Indian Express ran a story last week which exposed the fact that Gowda owned a 47-acre piece of land off the expressway.And because he couldn’t use the land (allegedly) the way he wanted, he was stalling the project big time. Actually, better still. He was getting the state Government to do it. What was suspected all this while or known but not said is now in the open.

Gowda then proved his intentions by getting the Government to engineer a `hosti…

Can India fix its `Macro' ?

The ISB-IIM battle seems to have hotted up a little, going by the furious exchanges flying around. I wonder why..a friend whos familiar with the turf says its because students have returned to their colleges. Ah, the privileges of being one !

Am tempted to throw some fresh fundas into the fire (like who the hell cares anymore) but will desist for a day or two. Meanwhile, am posting a column that appeared in Business Standard this morning !

China Will Fix Its Micro, Will India Fix Its Macro ?

What does the average Chinese businessman think of India ? I put this question two months ago to an Indian trader I met in China’s textile capital Shaoxing, some four hours south-east of Shanghai.

Over a vegetarian pizza, he told he that most of his Chinese clients considered India with respect, some even with fear. After all, Indians were teaching otherwise crafty Chinese entrepreneurs a trick or two about the textile trade. And then there was the tale of a school teacher's son and his six colle…

Rescue Us From Bombay's Mis-Managers..

Wednesday last, I spent roughly 2.5 hours on Lady Jamsedji Road in central Bombay. No, I was not shopping for vegetables or the like. It was a traffic jam and a heinous one at that. Reason: rains. And I left my office in Worli (central Bombay) thinking it couldn't be that bad. I mean sure it would take half an hour to 45 minutes more than the usual 1 hour (which is half an hour more than the earlier usual) but still.

Well, the roads were paralysed, the traffic had come to a standstill. To top it all, most of this arterial road was without power. And the water was rising, steadily. Actually no, but it looked like it would. For the moment, it was a steady drizzle, the downpour stopped a little while ago. And guess what, no traffic policemen. Or any policemen.

They had dissapeared. Like they did the last time I was stuck on this road for this duration. Would you like to know when that was ? Well, it was July 26, 2005, more fondly remembered as 26/7. When our car approached a traffic j…