Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Update of posts....mid Feb

Books 2 Byte
Dreaming in Code
Scott Rosenberg
Crown Publishers (www.crownpublishing.com)

All bugs are not equal
Time really does seem to behave differently around the act of making software, feels Rosenberg. "When things go well, you can lose track of passing hours in the state psychologists call `flow'. When things go badly, you get stuck, frozen between dimensions, unable to move or see a way forward." This is software time, he quips.
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Communications Law in India
Vikram Raghavan
LexisNexis Butterworths (www.lexisnexis.co.in)
Capacious definition of telegraph
Section 3(1AA) defines the word telegraph to mean, "... any appliance, instrument, material or apparatus used or capable of use for transmission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, visual, or other electro-magnetic emissions, radio waves or Hertzian waves, galvanic, electric, or magnetic waves."
More
**
Books 2 Byte
The Secure Online Business Handbook
Jonathan Reuvid
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

IT infrastructure is like an elephant...
It informs that in 2004, organised gangs of criminals and extortionists regularly used the DOS threat to extract money from companies. The modus operandi was as follows: The perpetrators would overload the servers of a business, such as an online one with no physical retail outlets, with data sent from zombie computers, "and then contact the business and threaten to cause a similar problem again unless the business pays a large sum of money."
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Hands-On Oracle Database 10g Express Edition for Windows
Steve Bobrowski
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Oracle, inside out
Relational databases overcome the weaknesses of the earlier systems. How? "Relational databases are easy to understand, design, and build. Relational databases store and present all information in tables, an easily understood concept. Furthermore, relational databases hide the complexities of data access from the user, making application development relatively simple when compared to other types of database systems."
More
**

Books 2 Byte
Dreaming in Code
Scott Rosenberg
Crown Publishers (www.crownpublishing.com)

All bugs are not equal
Time really does seem to behave differently around the act of making software, feels Rosenberg. "When things go well, you can lose track of passing hours in the state psychologists call `flow'. When things go badly, you get stuck, frozen between dimensions, unable to move or see a way forward." This is software time, he quips.
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Communications Law in India
Vikram Raghavan
LexisNexis Butterworths (www.lexisnexis.co.in)
Capacious definition of telegraph
Section 3(1AA) defines the word telegraph to mean, "... any appliance, instrument, material or apparatus used or capable of use for transmission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, visual, or other electro-magnetic emissions, radio waves or Hertzian waves, galvanic, electric, or magnetic waves."
More
**
Books 2 Byte
The Secure Online Business Handbook
Jonathan Reuvid
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

IT infrastructure is like an elephant...
It informs that in 2004, organised gangs of criminals and extortionists regularly used the DOS threat to extract money from companies. The modus operandi was as follows: The perpetrators would overload the servers of a business, such as an online one with no physical retail outlets, with data sent from zombie computers, "and then contact the business and threaten to cause a similar problem again unless the business pays a large sum of money."
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Hands-On Oracle Database 10g Express Edition for Windows
Steve Bobrowski
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Oracle, inside out
Relational databases overcome the weaknesses of the earlier systems. How? "Relational databases are easy to understand, design, and build. Relational databases store and present all information in tables, an easily understood concept. Furthermore, relational databases hide the complexities of data access from the user, making application development relatively simple when compared to other types of database systems."
More
**
E-Dimension
The Valuation of Businesses, Shares and Other Equity (fourth edition)
Wayne Lonergan
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

`The hypothetical purchaser' is `endlessly wealthy'
In many valuations, the purchaser is truly hypothetical, says Lonergan. "For example, it is often extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find a purchaser for shares in a small private company. Even if such a purchaser did exist, the search costs of locating the purchaser would frequently exceed the value of the shares under consideration."
More
**
E-Dimension
Flying on One Engine
Thomas R. Keene
Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)

Clarity from Wall Street economists
A chapter titled `The global labour arbitrage' by Stephen S. Roach notes that the Internet Age `with its ubiquitous diffusion of knowledge, innovation, and technological change' achieves `convergence of the human capital'.
He speaks of `a veritable renaissance in IT-enabled services — software, business process outsourcing, multimedia, network management, and systems integration — that has enabled India to fill the void left by seemingly chronic deficiencies on the industrialisation front.'
More
**
E-Dimension
Trump Style Negotiation
George H. Ross
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Anything goes in negotiations
Negotiation is the sum of all the ways in which we convey information about what we want, what we desire, and what we expect from other people, defines Ross. Negotiation is not limited to talking, listening and bargaining, he explains. "Negotiation has many other nonverbal forms. If someone is late for an appointment without an apology or doesn't show up at all, this is an element of negotiation as well. Sometimes what people don't do or say is the most telling factor — not taking a phone call, cutting a meeting short, or scheduling a conflicting meeting — these are all negotiation tactics of one kind or another."
More
**
E-Dimension
Creating Value in a Regulated World
Cedric Read
(www.wiley.com)

CFO is `the co-pilot of the CEO'
Hear Jan Hommen, former CFO of Philips, describe the CFO as `the co-pilot of the CEO and the business partner for the rest of the company'. Hommen reminisces how, when he joined the company, finance was `mostly an administrative and accounting function with little real decision-support capability'. Information was inadequate as a base for reliable forecasts, because the focus was backward rather than forward. "There was hardly any coordination across the group on capital allocation, R&D (research and development) investment, systems or marketing. It was every one of the thirteen divisions for themselves — with little or no synergy among them."
More
**
E-Dimension
Innovation Management
Shlomo Maital and D. V. R. Seshadri
Response Books (www.indiasage.com)

The Ec, the Tec, and the Exec
`Management' is as important as, or more important than, `innovation', they insist. How so? Because often enough entrepreneurs who come up with phenomenally inventive ideas fail when they forget to ask three key questions — "How will I build a business around this idea? How will I make money? How will I sustain growth and profit?" Great innovators are good not only in implementing good ideas, but also in rejecting the terrible ones. The latter belongs to the type II error, that is, `accepting a false hypothesis'.
More
**
E-Dimension
Ting
Arupa Tesolin
Wisdom Tree (www.wisdomtreeindia.com)

Intuition is the opposite of effort
Tony wonders if he has to make an effort to be intuitive. "Well, not effort really, it's the opposite of effort," says Hermilla. "Intuition is more about undoing the learned perceptions and seeing what's real. It's very different from thinking. Thinking takes effort." Then comes the next lesson: `Do nothing for five minutes a day.' Pray, why? "Because you've been educated to become a thinker," explains Hermilla. "Intuition is like the high-speed Internet. It's always on. But it would mean too great a change too fast to go straight to this. So we're going to get you started on `dial-up'. It's a little slower but it works." Well, it does!
More
**

E-Dimension
The Emerging Markets Century
Antoine van Agtmael
Free Press

World winners emerging from `new economies'
In the intro, the author reminisces how in September 1981, he had come up with the `positive and invigorating' phrase `emerging markets' as a substitute for `Third World', a stigmatised label that reminded one of `basket case' economies not too different from `volatile casinos'. EM or `emerging markets', thus, had its origins as an elevator pitch to shake off `an image rife with negative associations of flimsy polyester, cheap toys, rampant corruption, Soviet-style tractors, and flooded rice paddies'.
More
**
E-Dimension
Sweet Spot
Arun Sinha
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Get everything aligned

Sinha's second suggestion is about shaping the market by introducing approaches that are indigenous to India, but which can then be leveraged in other countries. "For example, Hindustan lever introduced single-use sachets of shampoos and soap products so that lower-income customers have access to premium brands." And his third suggestion is about the need for a long-term commitment. One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is for the senior executives to make an investment commitment without thinking through the horizon for return on investment, rues Sinha.

More
**
E-Dimension
Made to Stick
Chip and Dan Heath
Random House (www.atrandom.com)

`SUCCES' road to stickiness
Unexpectedness is about surprising people, by breaking their guessing machines. "Common sense is the enemy of sticky messages. When messages sound like common sense, they float gently in one ear and out the other." On the contrary, curiosity is stirred with gaps in knowledge. "Unexpected ideas, by opening a knowledge gap, tease and flirt. They mark a big red X on something that needs to be discovered but don't necessarily tell you how to get there."
More
**
Soft Skills
The Business of Memory
Frank Felberbaum
Rodale (www.rodalebooks.co.uk)

Three steps to a better memory
The second step is visualising, to convert the experience to a form that can be stored. Because "once you convert an item into a visual memory, you're far more likely to retain the memory." To get more from your mind's eye, take care not to push, advises Felberbaum. "The fastest way to short-circuit a visual memory is to force it. Instead, encourage your mind to play freely, following its own natural curiosity. Think of the images you're seeking as shy, wild creatures. If you chase after them, they'll run away. If you become calm and receptive, you allow them to come to you."
More
**
Book Value
The Demise of the Dollar... and why it's great for your investments
Addison Wiggin
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Gold, the ultimate dollar hedge
"Even as our economy burns, our political leaders fiddle. They point to economic indicators to prove that our economy is strong and getting stronger. This information would be valuable... if only it were true," rues Wiggin, talking about the US economy. No different closer home?
The author also laments that few people, `even those who consider themselves to be savvy about finance', understand matters such as `trade deficit, national debt, GDP (gross domestic product), inflation, economic indicators and so on.
More
**
Book Mark
Brand Bollywood
Derek Bose
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Beyond the box-office
Bose concedes that the common understanding of Bollywood is as "a tradition of film-making replete with mindless songs and dances, star-crossed lovers, ostentatious celebrations of glamour and spectacle, lost and found brothers, convenient coincidences and happy endings." But there is more ...
More
**
Book Mark
Brand Rejuvenation
Jean-Marc Lehu
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

On how to stay young
The OCARA principle (observation, comprehension, adaptation, reaction and attention) offers two insights `to protect the brand manager from the ever-present danger of falling asleep on the job,' one learns. The first is that consumer feedback has `to constantly nurture the brand strategy and to allow it to react more effectively. And second, the brand has `to remain vigilant in the fact of the changes that its environment (competitors, consumers, legislation, suppliers, social trends, cultural movements and so on) will be sure to experience.'
More
**
Book Mark
Retailization
Lars Thomassen, Keith Lincoln and Anthony Aconis
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Seven steps for survival
In this era of retail power, the first squeeze of brands is from the retailer. "When only a few retailers control 75 per cent of an individual market and the biggest brands control less than 1 per cent, it is clear where the real power lies." There are other squeezers, such as shoppers, private labels and the media. But first you need to start with `a new way of thinking about retail', to turn the squeezes into your advantage.
More
**
Book Mark
Guerrilla Publicity
Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Lessons for guerrillas
If guerrillas don't show up on your radar, it is quite normal. Because they don't use publicity, thinking that it is too expensive, complicated, and time consuming. Is that right or wrong? Wrong, the authors would say, because guerrillas fail to realise that the media is a voracious giant that constantly devours information. Maybe, you can visualise the media as a giant guerrilla into whose veins runs information! "It needs information to survive, tons of information! The media craves original items and is as eager to tell guerrillas' stories."
More
**
Book Value

Venture Finance in India
Vishnu Varshney
Not easy to foresee in VC space

Started by Gujarat Industrial and Investment Corporation at the initiative of World Bank, with a target corpus of Rs 24 crore, GVFL attracted the participation of thirty private sector companies, such as Arvind Mills, Asian Paints, Hero Cycles, HDFC and so on. One learns that GVFL has raised five funds, including one each for IT (information technology) and biotech. Corpus fund has grown beyond Rs 130 crore, and the company has invested `in 58 technology companies at seed, start up and early stage all over India'. Successful divesting has happened in 47 of the investee companies.

More
**
Book Value

The Kama Sutra of Business: Management Principles from Indian Classics
Nury Vittachi
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Does your project have `legs'?

A chapter titled `The world's first management consultant' talks about Chanakya, the master of political strategy, and Arthashastra. `The first business book ever written,' extols Vittachi. One of the insights of Chanakya, cited in the book, is that the source of wealth is activity. "Lack of activity brings about material distress. In the absence of activity, current prosperity will disappear and there will be no future growth."

More
**

Thursday, February 15, 2007

99% performance begs to be beaten

99% performance begs to be beaten

The first secret of successful companies is to let customers define service value. "Too often, management sets service levels according to its own standards. This standard is rarely defined by the customer's perception of value, or measured in terms of customer satisfaction," rues The Customer Satisfaction Audit, by Abram I. Bluestein, Michael Moriarty and Ronald J. Sanderson of A.T. Kearney, Inc, from Book Land (www.bookland.co.in/audits) .

The book, which is one of more than a score such self-assessment audit titles, offers `an eight-step approach to ensure that your firm stays focussed on customer needs to promote real gains.'

More
Book Mark

From `all-talk' to `a business model'

From `all-talk' to `a business model'

In the world of medicine, referrals happen all the time. The word `referral', for starters, means `the act or process of referring somebody or something to somebody else, especially of sending a patient to consult a medical specialist,' as explained on http://encarta.msn.com. Many accountants too share clients with investment advisers on a reciprocal basis, writes Thomas Grady in Making Referral Relationships Pay, from Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com).

Much of such sharing between practising accountants and others happens `as a professional courtesy, meaning, no compensation passes between the investment adviser and the CPA (certified public accounting) firm when revenue is generated from the shared client', notes the author. A problem with such gentleman's arrangements is that of balance: "More often than not, either the investment adviser or the CPA firm sends fewer referrals through the mutual gate, causing the strategic alliance to deteriorate and finally cease."

More
Books of Account

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

All bugs are not equal

All bugs are not equal

Donald Knuth's famous quote is that software is hard. But "why is good software so hard to make?" asks Scott Rosenberg in Dreaming in Code, from Crown Publishers (www.crownpublishing.com) .

He sets about to find an answer to his question, by tracking over three years `a group of men and women - led by Lotus 1-2-3 creator Mitch Kapor - who are developing a novel PIM or personal information manager named Chandler (as in Raymond) meant to challenge market-leader Microsoft Outlook with elegant innovations... '

Time really does seem to behave differently around the act of making software, feels Rosenberg. "When things go well, you can lose track of passing hours in the state psychologists call `flow'. When things go badly, you get stuck, frozen between dimensions, unable to move or see a way forward." This is software time, he quips.

More
Books 2 Byte

BlackBerry `freedom' and tortured associates!

BlackBerry `freedom' and tortured associates!

"Twenty-eight messages on my BlackBerry this morning," begins a fretful post datelined `Sunday' in `Anonymous Lawyer,' by Jeremy Blachman, from Vintage (www.vintage-books.co.uk) . "The BlackBerry has absolutely revolutionised the way the firm works. It used to be that in times of crisis, associates were tethered to their desks, unable to leave for lunch, or dinner, for the bathroom, or for an emergency appendectomy - for fear that we wouldn't be able to get in touch with them."

Not so with the new gadget. "Now that they can receive e-mail wherever they are, 24 hours a day, their freedom has increased dramatically... It's a great feeling to know that if I have a research question at three in the morning, I can e-mail an associate and expect an answer within minutes."

Who's this `I'? `A hiring partner at one of the world's largest law firms', the Anonymous Lawyer. "Corner office, granite desk, and a billable rate of $675 an hour," runs a description on the back cover. But what can be more interesting is that the book is `written in the form of a blog' to give you an inside look at the `frightening world' of corporate law.

More
Say Cheek

The road ahead for UP roads

The road ahead for UP roads

Over Rs 1,000 crore is `spent' every year for construction of roads in Uttar Pradesh. "But how much is actually spent for the purpose is anybody's guess," frets `Uttar Pradesh Development Report' of the Planning Commission, published in two volumes by Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com).

"It is no longer a secret that in the name of laying of new roads crores of rupees go into the pockets of politicians, officials and contractors — the unholy trinity that works in unison," reads a snatch in the report, citing a news story of 2001.

More

Bring your feminine virtues into play at work

Bring your feminine virtues into play at work

To nervous young women heading to their job interviews, Seema Goswami's advice is simple: "Mask your nervousness and function at the optimum level despite it." Smile confidently, she says, "even if your knees are knocking together and your heart is beating so fast that you are sure everyone can hear it." However, "don't try and hide your nerves behind a bad case of giggles," reads Goswami's practical counsel in `Woman on Top,' from Random House (www.randomhouse.co.in) .

Avoid `some common rookie mistakes' such as extending your arm for a handshake before the interviewer makes the first move. Another faux pas can be to pretend to know what the interviewer is taking about when you haven't a clue. Also, "Don't babble on and on. Keep your answers short and succinct," instructs Goswami.

More
Manage Mentor

Three steps to a better memory

Three steps to a better memory

Pay attention. That's the first of the three steps to take hold of your memory's reins and steer the wagon, says Frank Felberbaum in The Business of Memory, from Rodale (www.rodalebooks.co.uk).
"Walk into every important event with your eyes open and your brain on alert. You'll learn to notice key people, facts, and concepts," instructs the author. "Your mind can operate with all the power of a laser — but you have to focus your brain and bring your mental energy to bear. If you pay attention to the people you meet, the facts you learn, and the words you read, you'll be astounded at how rapidly your concentration grows."

More
Soft Skills

Scanners' favourite food is learning

Scanners' favourite food is learning

Scanners may be the compilations of past question papers that CA students study for exams. But Barbara Sher's definition of `scanners' is different. "Scanners love to read and write, to fix and invent things, to design projects and businesses, to cook and sing, and to create the perfect dinner party," she writes in What Do I Do When I Want To Do Everything? from Rodale (www.rodalebooks.co.uk).


More
Reading Room

`The hypothetical purchaser' is `endlessly wealthy'

`The hypothetical purchaser' is `endlessly wealthy'

A day after Vodafone won the Hutch Essar auction with a $19 billion bid, analysts are busy reworking the valuations of other telecom companies. Dwarfed, in comparison, was Hindalco's acquisition of Canadian aluminium producer Novelis for about $6 billion in cash.

"Overseas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) grew significantly to $7.17 billion in 2006 from $4.4 billion in 2005. In 2007, so far the announced and completed acquisitions have gone past the 2006 mark," notes www.tradingmarkets.com in a February 11-dated story. "It was only a few weeks ago that another Indian company, Tata Steel, won the bidding war to acquire UK-based Corus group PLC for $11.3 billion. But strangely, analysts reportedly believe that the valuation for both Novelis and Corus Group seems to have been overstretched."

Overvaluation is the fear, again, with Fortress, a private equity and hedge fund manager, which soared on debut last Friday in New York, 'nearly doubling in early trading before closing up almost 70 per cent,' as if harking back to `the dotcom frenzy of the late 1990s,' as Ben White reports on www.theaustralian.news.com.au, in a February 12 posting.

"Fortress's closing share price gave it a valuation of about 37 times earnings, nearly four times the valuation of Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, and nearly double that of Man Group, the British alternative asset manager," one learns.

The Australian cites the view of Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida, thus: "Apparently there is huge demand from small investors to get into hedge funds and private equity. And I suspect when other similar funds see this kind of valuation, there will be a rush to the public markets."

Before you catch up with the `rush', read up The Valuation of Businesses, Shares and Other Equity (fourth edition), by Wayne Lonergan, from Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com). "Valuations have the objective of determining the price on which a willing but not anxious purchaser and a willing but not anxious seller could agree in an open and unrestricted market," explains the author. "As such, it is assumed that the purchaser and vendor will both act rationally and without reference to emotion or subjective considerations."


More
E-Dimension

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Find the right poems

Say Cheek
Find the right poems

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you... " Thus, begins a poem titled If by Rudyard Kipling, included in a collection titled A Poem for CRY, from Penguin (www.penguinbooksindia.com) .

"If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too... If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools... If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch... " continues Kipling. "It is a poem that I was given in my childhood and it was a huge inspiration. It carries a beautiful message on life," says Rahul Dravid, about If. Apt for cricket teams, you'd agree.

More

Not easy to foresee in VC space

Book Value
Not easy to foresee in VC space

Technology will continue to anchor venture capital (VC) industry, says Vishnu Varshney in Venture Finance in India. And to those who uneasily remember the past fiascos of technology, the author explains that the past failures of Internet companies were because `the entrepreneurs failed to understand how the Internet affected organisation structures and market'.

Varshney, who is the President and CEO of Gujarat Venture Finance Ltd (GVFL), is confident that the Net will continue to impact the way business is carried out at least for the next two decades. "The networked company will drastically change and make organisation structures, market and business models more complex. This will make the job of venture capitalists more difficult and will require a deeper understanding of business."

More

Beyond the box-office

Book Mark
Beyond the box-office

The extravagantly theatrical Indian motion picture industry. That's how Encarta defines `Bollywood', in an entry after bollocks and bollworm. "The informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry in India," explains Wikipedia. "The term is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to the whole of Indian cinema."

Amit Khanna claims to be the first to have used the word in a news story, in the '70s, informs Derek Bose in Brand Bollywood,' from Sage (http://www.indiasage.com/) . Bose traces the word `Tollywood' back to the '30s in the archives of `Journal of the Bengal Motion Pictures Association', to describe `a certain kind of progressive (read westernised) cinema produced by Kolkata's Tollygunge Studios.' Perhaps, it was a mere matter of time for other `wood's - such as Mollywood (Madras), Lollywood (Lahore), and Kollywood (Karachi or Kodambakkam?).

More

Beyond the box-office

Book Mark
Beyond the box-office

The extravagantly theatrical Indian motion picture industry. That's how Encarta defines `Bollywood', in an entry after bollocks and bollworm. "The informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry in India," explains Wikipedia. "The term is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to the whole of Indian cinema."

Amit Khanna claims to be the first to have used the word in a news story, in the '70s, informs Derek Bose in Brand Bollywood,' from Sage (www.indiasage.com) . Bose traces the word `Tollywood' back to the '30s in the archives of `Journal of the Bengal Motion Pictures Association', to describe `a certain kind of progressive (read westernised) cinema produced by Kolkata's Tollygunge Studios.' Perhaps, it was a mere matter of time for other `wood's - such as Mollywood (Madras), Lollywood (Lahore), and Kollywood (Karachi or Kodambakkam?).

More

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reading list

A Poem for CRY
Anonymous Lawyer
The Business of Memory
Wake up or Break up
Please, Mr Einstein
Woman on Top
Thinkers of the East
The Female Brain
What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?
The Power of You
Plain Speaking: A Sudra’s Story
Planet India
Research by Design
The New Golden Age
Nasty Riches
Fakers, Forgers & Phoneys


(From Landmark www.landmarkonthenet.com)

**

More:

Success Yogi - Hiru Bijlani
Uttar Pradesh Development Report Vol 2 - Academic
Genes are Gems: Reporting Agri-Biotechnology - ICRISAT
Demystifying Kashmir - Pearson

Al-Jazeera - Viva
Islamic Finance - Wiley
An Introduction to Islamic Finance - Wiley
Hedge Fund Risk Fundamentals - Bloomberg
Making Referral Relationships Pay - Bloomberg
The Human Resource Function Audit - Book Land
The Customer Satisfaction Audit - Book Land

**
From Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Financial Risk Management - Dun & Bradstreet
Lessons from the Greatest Stock Traders of all time - John Boik
Streetsmart Guide to Timing the Stock Market - Colin Alexander
Derivatives and Financial Innovations - Bansal & Bansal
301 More Ways to have Fun at Work - Dave Hemsath
Interest Rates and Time Value of Money - Sunil K. Parameswaran
Love It, Don’t Leave It - Beverly Kaye
9 Secrets of Advertising - Ram Sehgal
Indian Advertising - Arun Chaudhuri
Blog Marketing - Jeremy Wright
The Human Factor - Business Essentials Series
Open My Eyes, Open My Soul - King & Tate
The Secrets of Skinny Chicks - Karen Bridson
Presentations that change Minds - Josh Gordon
Finding Forgiveness - Eileen R. Borris-Dunchunstang
Getting Control of Your Anger - Robert Allan
Awaken Your Strongest Self - Neil Fiore
Nurturing Leader: Prathap Reddy - Shrinivas Pandit
80/20 CEO: Vaman Kamath - Shrinivas Pandit
Strategic Thinker: Mallika Srinivasan - Shrinivas Pandit
Lead Like and Entrepreneur - Neal Thornberry
Business Writing and Communication - Kenneth W. Davis
**

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Update of posts....

Say Cheek
The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense
Michael Heyman
Penguin (www.penguinbooksindia.com)


Nonsense is ‘inherently pleasurable’

“The old woman’s grandma-in-law’s five sisters live in brick-a-brac... “ begins Sampurna Chattarji’s rendering in English, from the Bengali original. Another of his, is ‘Idli-Pom’, as follows: “Idli lost its fiddli/ Dosa lost its crown/ Wada lost its wiolin/ And let the whole band down.” Lest you stop laughing, here is something ‘very fishy’: “There was a fish who called himself THANKYOUBHERYMAACH. Till the fisherman caught and salted him and ate him with boiled starch.”

More
**
Books 2 Byte
‘India Rural Infrastructure Report’ of the NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research)
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Call of the village
If you wonder if phones can help the villagers, here is a case study, about Puri Ben, a member of SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association). In her village, Banaskantha in Gujarat, ‘the residents have almost no skills but the women take up embroidery work on a daily wage basis’. They travel to nearby towns to collect orders and to deliver the work when completed, one learns.
More
**
Reading Room
Cases in Alliance Management
Jean-Louis Schaan and Micheál J. Kelly
Sage (www.sagepublications.com)

Managed well, alliances can create value

But not all alliances succeed. Almost one in two fail. “Problematic alliances can be result of many factors, including industry dynamics (for example, regulatory changes), new technologies, new entrants, or economic cycles,” point out the editors

More
**
Reading Room
State Value Added Tax in India
Mahesh C. Purohit
Foundation for Public Economics and Policy Research.

Structure of state indirect taxes
A comprehensive State VAT; excise on alcoholic liquor, a toll tax on new roads and bridges, motor vehicles tax for regulation of vehicles, and a tax on gambling, horse races and lotteries. “Also, the State governments should be authorised to levy tax on some of the localised services, including sales tax related services (such as service component of works contract),” argues Purohit.
More
**

Reading Room
Guidance Note on Audit of Fringe Benefits under the Income-tax Act, 1961
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (www.icai.org)

The heady problem of heads
“As per generally accepted accounting principles and practices, whichever is the policy adopted, so long as it reflects the substance of transaction, the same should be accepted for the purposes of determining the appropriate head of expenditure for forming an opinion whether the same falls within the category of fringe benefits.”
More
**

Reading Room
Start & Run an Event Planning Business
Cindy Lemaire and Mardi Foster-Walker
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Discount with caution
Setting a fee for service is far more difficult than establishing the cost of a product, as there are so many variables to consider, note the authors. They discuss topics such as competitive pricing, hourly fee and daily rates, cost-plus pricing, flat fee, commission and so on.
More
**

E-Dimension
Made in India
Sanjoy Chakravorty and Somik V. Lall
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

Role of economic geography and state policy in industrialisation

Interestingly, the pattern of industrial investment in India is “quite distinct from ‘spread’ or ‘polarisation reversal’,” notes the book. “There is increasing inter-regional polarisation of industry at the same time that there is intra-regional dispersal in the leading regions.” A case of ‘concentration with dispersal,’ or ‘concentrated decentralisation,’ where the new growth centres are in the advanced regions rather than in the lagging ones, explain the authors.

More
**
E-Dimension
Understanding Emerging Markets
Stefano Pelle
Response (www.indiasage.com)
BRIC-work
To guide the wannabe BRIC-goers, the book has a chapter on ‘starting off’, which thankfully begins with ‘common mistakes,’ both in the desk work and in the action phase. One such mistake is the wrong assumption that ‘a successful model in the country of origin could be easily replicated with minimal changes in an EM (emerging market)’. Pelle cites, as example, the case of Fiat Palio, which was launched in the mid-1990s in Brazil, to good success. But problems surfaced when Fiat attempted to replicate the success in India.

More
**
E-Dimension
Environmental Requirements and Market Access
Nagesh Kumar and Sachin Chaturvedi
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

Environment scan
A chapter titled ‘case study of India’ speaks, among other things, about the electronic industry, which used to be traditionally thought of as ‘a relatively clean industry.’ There are increasing worries about the disposal of electronic waste, point out the editors. “In this regard, the EU (European Union) Directives are expected to come into force in 2008 and this will have serious implications on the production process of component manufacturers, exporting to the EU,” foresees the book. “A recent study shows that so far there is very little awareness amongst the Indian electronic component manufacturers about the EU Directives... “ A wake-up call, this is, at least at the eleventh hour.
More
**

Manage Mentor
Love It Don’t Leave It
Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Look inside before you jump outside

There is an alternative, promises the book. “Positive change is not only possible but well worth your effort,” urge the authors. Not just a fond wish but what the authors have discovered after asking ‘over 15,000 people why they stayed in their organisations’. Top reasons for the ‘why’ are five, across industries: “Exciting, challenging work; a chance to learn and grow; great people to work with; fair pay; and a great boss.”

More
**

Manage Mentor
New Age Management Philosophy from Ancient Indian Wisdom
V. Srinivasan
Roli Books (www.rolibooks.com)

Seven-word mantras
“I memorised a number of kurals during my school days, even without understanding their full meaning and depth,” he recounts. Much later, in the thick of business life, Srinivasan found that he could correlate many situations with the kurals sitting at the back of his mind.
More
**
Book Value
The Next Big Investment Boom
Mark Shipman
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Smart surfers vs blinded rabbits
The bulk of wealth is created from investment rather than employment, says Shipman. Therefore, “it makes sense to focus more of your time on where you are going to invest your money than on how you can earn more of it,” he argues. “You owe it to yourself to take control of your financial planning and your financial future,” rather than “burying your head in the sand when the subject of finance or investing comes up.”
More
**
Soft Skills
Getting Heard
David Hill
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

The heart of communication
Eschew spin, counsels Hill. Candour is preferable because “there are now so many people investigating everyone’s every move that finesses and machinations are likely to be exposed.” Therefore, forego spinning a.k.a. ‘image polishing’. Focus instead on communicating your organisation’s character, exhorts the author. “Level with your target audiences. Be real. If you goofed, say, ‘We goofed.’ Nobody’s perfect. Imperfections can be attractive.”
More
**

Book Mark
The Art of Public Relations
Kerman Kasad
Brand Vision (www.usp-age.com)

Relating to PR
Build creativity into campaigns, Veena Gidwani advises the PR clan. Because ‘journalists are more receptive’ to creative ideas. “Three ‘I’s - interest, impact, and investment - brought together by one big creative idea make for a successful PR exercise,” writes Gidwani. An article on sports sponsorship rues that Anju George is a case of ‘classic waste of charisma’. Why so? “George, who could be a perfect role model for women’s health and fitness brands, lacks a sponsor...” Wonder if this, in fact, is the case, because media reports in October 2005 had noted that ‘despite a contract with a global sports accessories major,’ George did not have in place support staff team of ‘a full-time coach, a doctor and a masseur,’ which her competitors had.
More
**

Book Mark
A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Marketing
Jim Blythe
Sage (www.sagepub.co.uk)

Still a young discipline
Such as economics. Blythe discovers ‘the basis of the marketing concept’ in a 230-year-old thought — Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: “Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want ... It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” Thus, the route to marketing success is to consider the customer’s needs, interprets the author.
More
**

Say Cheek
Kama Sutra
Deepak Chopra’s
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Kama Sutra is ‘an antidote to shame’
Stages of romance, as the author of the lore Vatsyayana portrays, begin with eye contact and end with ‘falling sick and dying’. If you smile at the notion that sexual desire can make someone grow sick and die, you may be correct medically, reasons Chopra. “But millions have wept over the death of Catherine Earnshaw pining for Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, not to mention a thousand knights languishing for love in medieval romances and Shakespeare himself complaining of lovesickness in the sonnets,” he cites with literary verve.
More
**
Say Cheek
India’s Political Parties
Peter Ronald deSouza and E. Sridharan
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

We have as many words for protest as Eskimos have for snow
He uses ‘an idiom of mathematics’ to describe democracy as ‘a function of so many factors’. The house of democracy has ‘many mansions and many types of bricks’, he describes. To Narayan, party system is okay, but not parliamentary democracy, which is ‘very expensive and appallingly wasteful’. General election, he avers, “creates unnecessary passion and excitement”, and so should be abolished.
More
**
Reading Room
Handbook on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Institute of Company Secretaries of India (www.icsi.edu)

Get empowered through ADR

“Long before the King came to adjudicate on disputes between persons, such disputes were quite peacefully decided by the intervention of the Kulas (family or clan assemblies), Srenis (guilds of men following the same occupation), Perishads (assemblies of learned men who knew law) and such other autonomous bodies.”

More
**
Reading Room
Guidance Note on Measurement of Income Tax Expense for Interim Financial Reporting in the Context of AS 25
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (www.icai.org)

Tasks in tax computation

It says: “Income tax expense is recognised in each interim period based on the best estimate of the weighted average annual income tax rate expected for the full financial year. Amounts accrued for income tax expense in one interim period may have to be adjusted in a subsequent interim period of that financial year if the estimate of the annual income tax rate changes.” The ‘how’ of doing this is explained as follows: “Interim period income tax expense is accrued using the tax rate that would be applicable to expected total annual earnings, that is, the estimated average annual effective income tax rate applied to the pre-tax income of the interim period.” Usefully, the Guidance Note breaks down the job into a series of tasks.

More

**
Reading Room
Strategic Marketing Management: Text and Cases
U. C. Mathur
Macmillan (www.macmillanindia.com)

Get out of the ‘dog’ quadrant

Firms must decide the proper strategy to get out of the loss-making situation at the earliest, advises the author. He cautions that even in the case of distributor channels making profits, the firm could be spending too much, as for example, by giving high commissions. “Evaluate brand equity and dealers’ reputation to accurately determine the level of dealer commission to be paid.” Marketing innovation is the key to unlocking the mysteries entrenched in buyers’ psyche, entices Mathur.

More
**

Reading Room
Creative Problem-solving
David O’Dell
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Acronyms for automatic application

“The letters stand for the following actions to be performed on your product or problem: Twist or turn, reverse or rotate, adapt, novelise, substitute, fuse, omit, re-arrange, and magnify.” If you think the acronyms tend to oversimplify, the author notes that successful senior managers count simplicity as their strength. Since the acronyms can be remembered easily, they can also be applied almost automatically in everyday situations, reasons O’Dell.

More
**

Reading Room
Keys to Reading an Annual Report
George Thomas Friedlob and Ralph E. Welton
Westland

Reporting variations

“Also, European GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) historically has been established by law in each country and is often detailed and procedural, requiring strict compliance, with little room for judgment.

More
**
Reading Room
Non-violence: The history of a dangerous idea
Mark Kurlansky
Jonathan Cape (www.randomhouse.co.uk)

Power of non-violence

Gandhiji’s practice of non-violence depended fully on the power of truth. “The recent unprecedented fall of oppressive regimes in several parts of the world has demonstrated once more that even decades of repression cannot crush people’s determination to live in freedom and dignity,” is more from the foreword.

More
**
Write Right
How to Read a Novel
John Sutherland
St Martin’s Press (www.stmartins.com)

A sniff test
How long will it take to read them up? Considering ‘a reading career of 50 years, a 40-hour reading week, a 46-week working year and 3 hours a novel,’ the author calculates that you may need 163 lifetimes to read them all!
More

**
Write Right
Practical Journalism
Helen Sissons
Sage (www.sagepublications.com)

Good journalists are badly needed
Sissons interviews practising journalists to find what makes a good journalist. ‘Being a people person’ is the first quality. Journalists should be good listeners and also “good communicators, able to deal with a wide variety of people and situations, from cabinet ministers to homeless people.” They should recognise the news angle and pursue it, but at the same time, “they should be sensitive to people’s feelings and able to win their confidence.”
More
**

Book Mark
The Wal-Mart Way
Don Soderquist
Pearson (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Begin with a dream
“Sometimes the simplest truths are the hardest to grasp because they seem so obvious,” notes the author. “Many bright, educated, articulate people are turned off by simplicity, thinking, ‘It can’t be that easy, or other people would have done it. Where’s the real magic?’ Others dismiss the story as sheer luck. Sam was just in the right place at the right time.”
More
**
Book Mark
Mind Your X’s and Y’s
Lisa Johnson
Free Press (www.simonsays.com)

Cater to the new cravings
The first craving is, ‘Shine the spotlight’, meaning, “extreme personalisation gives marketing a new face.” People are looking for their big break, writes Johnson. “They enjoy being big fish in small ponds.” As a result, “brands that tap into this powerful need with highly creative and customised efforts will get not only some great buzz, but a whole new level of loyalty and brand ownership to match.”
More
**

E-Dimension
The Economics of India’s Space Programme: An Exploratory Analysis
U. Sankar
Oxford (www.oup.com)

When economics orbits space missions
Billed as ‘the first ever economic analysis of the space programme in India’, the book begins from the beginning, that is February 1962, when the DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) created INCOSPAR (the Indian National Committee for Space Research) under the Chairmanship of Vikram Sarabhai. The same year, work began on TERLS (Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station).
More
**

E-Dimension
Indian Economy Since Independence
Uma Kapila
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

Market failure versus bureaucratic failure

“The dramatic events and policy initiatives of the two-year Plan holiday period between 1990 and 1992 demanded a full reappraisal of the planning methodology, and the Eighth Plan represents the first efforts at planning for a market-oriented economy,” recounts Kapila, an economics teacher for 42 years.

More
**
E-Dimension
The Indian Economy
Jayanta Sarkar
Pearson Longman (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Public v. Private Sector
“Most of these lands have ended up in benami possession of the village rich,” writes Sarkar. “A State government report in 2004 admitted that the number of land-owning cultivators had dropped from 38.4 per cent in 1991 to 25.4 per cent in 2001. During the same period, the number of landless households had risen from 41.6 per cent to 49.8 per cent.”
More
**
E-Dimension
Econophysics of Stock and Other Markets
Arnab Chatterjee and Bikas K. Chakrabarti
Springer (www.springer.com)

When nuclear physicists talked economics
Anirban Chakraborti of the Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, ventures to find correlations in stock prices, by applying ‘the dynamics of asset trees’ to ‘market taxonomy and portfolio analysis.’ He says that stocks included in the minimum risk portfolio tend to lie on the outskirts of the asset tree. Such visualisation ‘retains all the essential information of the market.’
More
**
E-Dimension
Swarm Creativity
Peter A. Gloor
Oxford (www.oup.com)

Put COIN to work
The author discusses projects in companies such as DaimlerChrysler, UBS, Novartis, Intel, Deloitte, HP and IBM. He also recounts how Leonardo da Vinci was a lifelong learner, ‘swarming together’ with other intellectual giants. “Luca Pacioli, for example, not only invented double entry accounting, but also worked with da Vinci on his engineering exploits.” The two ‘taught each other in a mutually enriching learning and tutoring relationship.’ The master artist ‘had a whole support organisation of painters, sculptors, and other artists on his payroll.’
More
**
E-Dimension
The Scientist as Rebel
Freeman Dyson
New York Review Books (www.nyrb.com)

Origin of gas and oil
Dyson continues the story, in a 2006 postscript to his original essay. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory were testing Gold’ theory, exposing tiny quantities of materials from the earth’s mantle ‘to high temperature and pressure in a diamond anvil cell.’ The experiment demonstrated ‘abundant production of methane.’ The authors of the experiment sent a message to Gold to tell him that his theory had been confirmed. But he had died three days earlier.
More
**
E-Dimension
Indian Foreign Policy
Arundhati Ghose
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

Three decades since Buddha smiled
Aftershocks were felt in foreign policy, with the US barring nuclear exports to India - till reversing the policy only days ago, provoking comments such as, ‘Interests drive US to back a nuclear India,’ as Somini Sengupta wrote in International Herald Tribune on December 10. ‘India’s ‘nuclear liberation’,’ said Asia Times Online, Hong Kong; and Wall Street Journal called it, ‘Nuclear sense.’
More
**
E-Dimension
The Word Since 1945
Wayne C. McWilliams and Harry Piotrowski
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

The 1998 nuke match
The authors note, “Nehru’s efforts to exert the moral influence of India as a neutral peacemaker in the early Cold War years were noteworthy and gained him considerable international prestige, but they did little to help the country in its troubled relations with its neighbours.”
More
**
E-Dimension
The Best American Political Writing
Royce Flippin
Thunder’s Mouth Press (www.thundersmouth.com)

Fourth Generation warfare
Closer to the nuke discussion is Seymour Hersh’s essay titled ‘The Iran plans.’ He explains ‘one of the military’s initial option plans’ which called for the use of ‘a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.’ Nuke for nuke! “One target is Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly 200 miles south of Tehran,” and 75 feet beneath the surface. The underground floor space can hold 50,000 centrifuges and labs, with a capacity to provide ‘enough enriched uranium for about 20 nuclear warheads a year.’
More
**

Books 2 Byte
The Outsourcing Handbook
Mark J. Power, Kevin C. Desouza and Carlo Bonifazi
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Take guesswork out of outsourcing engagements

Failure to communicate effectively is one of the most commonly cited reasons for outsourcing failures, note the authors. It is important, therefore, to set the communication conventions. “For example, what is meant by ‘urgent’? And if a matter is urgent does one call or send an e-mail; how long should the average response time be; what happens if the primary contact is not available... “

More

**
Books 2 Byte
CWSP, second edition
Grant Moerschel, Richard Dreger and Tom Carpenter
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Auditing tools work both ways

Chapter 1 is on wireless LAN (local area network) auditing tools. Auditing, in the context of network security, means ‘the act of verifying if the configuration of the network is in compliance with policies and provides adequate protection from attackers of both the malicious and unintentional natures.’To perform the many auditing procedures such as ‘penetration testing, configuration verification, and so on’ there is ‘an extensive list of software and hardware tools’. But remember, “auditing tools double as discovery or hacking tools for the attacker or bandwidth thief,” warn the authors.

More
**

Books of Account
Games Indians Play
V. Raghunathan
Penguin Portfolio (www.penguinbooksindia.com)

We thrive on finding loopholes

Chapter 1 lays down three prerequisites that wannabe readers must acknowledge: “One, that there is indeed something wrong with us; two, that there are aspects in our traits that do not seem to sit well in a modern civilised society; and three, that merely because modern and civilised societies, whether occidental or oriental, also suffer from many ills, it does not make our own ills any more acceptable.”

More
**
Books of Account
It’s Only Business!
Meera Mitra
Oxford (www.oup.com)

Roots of CSR
“Both in the early Vedic and later Vedic periods, the work of guilds in wider social development initiatives is evidenced... In the Gupta period, especially detailed rules were set for business partnership and there is reference to chiefs of artisans and trader guilds acting as members of the advisory board of the district administration.”
More
**
Books of Account
The Evolution of State Bank of India
Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Penguin Portfolio

Frauds in those good old days
The Company’s officers made the first attempt to set up a bank much earlier — in 1683, in Madras. “Managed by the members of the Council it was a bank of deposit (on which interest was paid) and discount. Very probably the bank did not issue notes. Not much is known about the later history of this bank,” chronicles Bagchi, citing H. D. Love’s ‘Vestiges of Old Madras’ (1913).
More
**

Book Value
The Trading Edge
Rickey Cheung
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

The market is simple
In chapter 1, you’d meet the novice RC (1985-1990), when he was ‘more like a gambler with little market knowledge.’ This was how, as he explains: “When I saw the market going up a little, I would follow the ‘trend’ and sometimes profit too. Once I had a small profit, I would be content. Since I was afraid of losing the profit, I would take it and quit instead of going for something bigger. I did not know how to use a trailing stop or even a loss stop.”
More
**
Book Value
Instant Analysis
David J. Lieberman
Magna (www.magnamags.com)

Break 100 habits
Break free from ‘the network of conditioned responses’ and ‘the cocoon of fears and beliefs,’ exhorts the author. “When your thinking is not mechanical, your actions are fresh. Awareness breathes life into your actions — habits lose their hold.” An example of a rut is absent-mindedness, dealt with in chapter 7. An inability to recall may be indicative of a cluttered mind, suggests Lieberman. “If you’re preoccupied with something specific or if your mind is just filled with random thoughts and anxieties, then your mind is in actuality absent.”
More
**

Book Value
Investing in REITs
Ralph L. Block
Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com/books)

Route to REIT
“Direct investment in real estate, whether it be a golf course in California or a skyscraper in Manhattan, is not liquid,” says Block. Not so with REITs; investment in these enjoy ‘the benefit of a common stock’s liquidity.’ REITs allow individual investors “a way to buy skyscrapers and shopping malls and hotels and apartment buildings... just about any kind of commercial real property.”
More
**
Manage Mentor
Theory and Practice of Leadership
Roger Gill
Sage (www.sagepublications.com)

Leaders must make change happen

The book devotes chapters to current thinking and redefinition of leadership, leader’s vision and mission, values and culture, strategy and empowerment, motivation and inspiration. To the frequently asked question - whether leadership can be taught - the author’s answer is ‘yes’, but only at the intellectual or cognitive level. “Knowing what to do and how to do it is necessary but it is not sufficient,” says Gill. “Wanting to do it entails ‘it’ making sense both cognitively and spiritually, and there are considerable emotional factors involved too.”

More
**
Manage Mentor
The Well-Timed Strategy
Peter Navarro
Pearson (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Manage ‘polyphonically’

The first set comprises leading economic indicators, as for example, the yield curve, stock and oil prices, and inflation numbers. The second set of tools has the forecasting models. “Economic forecasts deserve to be taken seriously, not necessarily because they promise to be accurate but because they are more useful than having no forecasts at all,” is an apt quote of Peter Bernstein and Theodore Silbert cited in the book.

More
**
Manage Mentor
Score!
Thomas T. Stallkamp
Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.co.in)

End adversarial commerce

“Despite major innovations in data processing, meaningful communication remains poor and spotty throughout many supply chains,” laments the author. A few ‘time-tested adversarial’ ways of communicating are as follows: “Spoon-feeding only information that is absolutely necessary to land a contract; ordering more than planned to get a discount, only to revise the order later under some pretext of change; sending notification that a project has been cancelled just before doing so; and dabbling in all sorts of other mischief.” All, to keep the other party in perpetual tension!

More
**
Manage Mentor
‘Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul
Jack Canfield, Dahlynn McKowen
Westland

Stories of success, failure, courage

“Eliminating the hassles that come with buying a car and giving customers a fair deal makes the car buying experience much less painful,” he observes, about a CarMax, a Fortune 500 company that sold over 2.5 lakh used cars in the US last year. “Selling used cars is like any other retail business, and our innovative idea has fundamentally changed the automobile retail business.”

More
**
Reading Room
The Mathematical Century
Piergiorgio Odifreddi
Universities Press

In mathematics there is no ignorabimus

In the list of ‘open problems’ that he lists is ‘Complexity theory: The P = NP problem’. This is explained through a simple example. “To verify that a given telephone number is actually the number of a certain person is easy, for it is sufficient to look up the person’s name and number in the telephone book. But to find the person whose number is a given number is difficult, for it requires the exhaustive search through the entire telephone book.” That is, if you don’t use a database search on a computer. The theory finds application, among others, in cryptography.

More

**

Manage Mentor
The Tao of Loyalty
Ajit Rao
Response (www.indiasage.com)

The two faces of loyalty
Be warned that employees lacking loyalty can erode your brand equity and drive customers away! Combining the two faces of loyalty, Walker Information has developed a 2x2 matrix to segment employees. The ‘high risk’ category is low on both counts, emotional and behavioural. Those high on emotional but low on behavioural loyalty are ‘accessible’. The opposite, that is, employees with high behavioural but low emotional loyalty, are the ‘trapped’ lot.
More

**
Manage Mentor
Manager at Work
S. Ramachander
Penguin Portfolio (www.penguinbooksindia.com)

Be a ‘learning’ manager, not just ‘learned’
Section four, on ‘developing the organisation’, presents a case for Indian theory-building in the area of company culture. The author urges ‘perceptive and wise HR managers and CEOs’ to “take a leaf from the advertising professional’s book and study the ethnography of the Indian white-collar and blue-collar middle classes, across regions.”
More

**

E-Dimension
The 10 Rules of Sam Walton
Michael Bergdahl

What makes the retail juggernaut roll
The book devotes a chapter to each of the rules, and gives ‘the detailed story behind’ the rules. Thus, you would read about how: The pilot Sam ‘flew out in his own plane almost every week of the year to visit people in his stores’; the hirer Sam quizzed interview candidates ‘to increase his own knowledge of the successful practices of other companies’; and the entrepreneur believed in ‘grass roots philosophy’ — that ‘the people closest to the work in a distribution centre have the most creative solutions to business-related problems.’ The author distils the ten rules into ‘five buckets,’ viz., communicate a clear business strategy and tactics, take care of your employees, control your costs, exceed your customers’ expectations, and challenge the status quo by taking calculated risks.
More
**
E-Dimension
Globalisation of Business: Practice and Theory
Abbas J. Ali
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Keep global backlash at bay
“Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world,” is a line from ‘who we are’ on the site. Another example in the book is about Li&Fung, a 100-year-old Hong Kong-based trading company, which ‘seeks to create a customised value chain for every customer order.’ It purposefully structures itself around customers, explains Ali about the company. “Li & Fung will take advantage of China’s ever-growing consumer market, rising manufacturing standard and improving logistics infrastructure to optimise the country’s supply-chain capability and integrate it with our existing global supply chain network,” announces www.lifunggroup.com, ‘building for the next 100 years.’ Catch up with the ‘seven principles’ of the firm’s SCM on the site.
More
**
E-Dimension
Financial Times Handbook of Management (third edition)
Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove
Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Supply chain asymmetry

One of the laws is on asymmetry — that is, ‘the commercial interests and strategic priorities between entities in the supply chain are never symmetrical.’ A prominent example is of how Wal-Mart progressively builds its position ‘by offering suppliers the potential for huge volume’ and in return demands cut in margins and responsive delivery to distribution centres.

More
**
E-Dimension
Welfare, Incentives, and Taxation
Mirrlees
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

We can tax all of the people all of the time!
The essay starts with a discussion of ‘the invisible hand’ that Adam Smith had described in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. According to Smith, the rich, ‘in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity’, would be “led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants.”
More
**
E-Dimension
Reviving the Invisible Hand
Deepak Lal
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

The Rest can follow the West
Can democracy come to the rescue of development efforts? Doubtful, says Lal. ‘Statistical proxies used for the political variables’ don’t inspire much confidence, he avers, after studying ‘thirty-year economic histories of 25 developing countries’. Rather than the form of government, what matters is ‘the availability or lack of natural resources’.
More
**
E-Dimension
Follow the other Hand
Andy Cohen
St. Martin’s Press (www.stmartins.com)

Magic as a metaphor

“To survive today, you must be able to come up with more than just great ideas; you also need to be able to produce ideas on demand,” insists the author. A new idea isn’t enough, unless it comes ‘with a guarantee that it works’. Explains Cohen: “Creativity is fine, as long as the new ideas are not so fresh and original that they trigger our fear of the unknown.”

More
**
E-Dimension
Measuring Empowerment
Deepa Narayan
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

Empowerment is expansion of freedom of choice
Another challenge is cultural interpretation of empowerment. “In a Muslim society such as Bangladesh, for instance, a woman’s movement beyond her home may be an indicator of increasing freedom, whereas in Jamaica, where women’s movements are not culturally restricted, it has little relevance.” At the time of writing, www.gulfnews.com reports about ‘Muslim feminists from around the world’ vowing to create ‘the first women’s council to interpret the Quran.’ The report cites WISE, the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, for the view that ‘strict Sharia law was created by men and should be changed to incorporate women’s rights.’
More

**
E-Dimension
Desert Children
Waris Dirie
Virago (www.virago.co.uk)

Violence against women
“In my own country of Somalia women are still often regarded as their husband’s ‘property’ because they can be bought and sold like cattle,” recounts the author, who was a face of Revlon skin-care products, and UN’s ‘special ambassador for women’s rights in Africa.’ No different is the situation in Sudan, Congo, or Tanzania, she adds. “Even in peacetime there is a hidden war, a war against women: They are beaten and oppressed. And mutilated.”
More
**
E-Dimension
Heroine of the Desert
Donya Al-Nahi
Anthem (www.manjulindia.com)

Mothers vs fathers
Why should fathers take children away from mothers? Nahi traces the motivation for abduction to the fathers’ wish to take their children back to their own countries. “When young men from good Arab backgrounds travel abroad to study or work they’re overawed by the women they meet... They lose their heads.”
More
**

Say Cheek
Winning: The Answers
Jack and Suzy Welch
Harper Collins

Is there any place for losers in this world?
From Orlando, Florida is this poser: “How can we change things in the US so we don’t have to outsource to India and other countries anymore?” Again, the answer is direct: “We can’t - and we shouldn’t.” Kyon? The question now is not how to stop outsourcing, explains the book. Instead, ask yourself, “How do we use outsourcing to enhance competitiveness in what is, and forever will be, a global marketplace?”
More
**
Books of Account
Market Institutions, Governance, and Development
Dilip Mookherjee
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

Sanitation inspectors, auditors, foremen...
The ‘auditing’ essay, we started off with, seeks to find ‘general conditions under which random audits are optimal’. All audits must be random in any optimal contract, is a key result of Mookherjee’s study. “The intuition for this is that as long as there are non-trivial penalties for those discovered to have reported falsely, an audit probability equal to one ensures that the agent will strictly prefer not to lie,” reasons the author.
More
**
Books of Account
Financial Statements Demystified
David Hey-Cunningham
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Accounting is a human system
The author traces the complexity in accounting to principles and rules, which in turn are the result of ‘academic recognition and legislation, particularly under company laws’. He sees common threads across countries, though the frameworks are varied. “In the last decade of the twentieth century, the internationalisation of accounting accelerated to the point where accounting principles are now more universally similar than business and taxation laws.” Another ‘world uniting influence’ has been ‘the use of the company as a very common legal structure’.
More
**
Book Mark
The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Marketing
Kaleem Mohammed Khan and Mohammed Naved Khan
Response (www.indiasage.com)

‘Exclusive curve effects’ and ‘strip malls’
Rather than fret that your ‘awareness threshold’ needs tweaking, or fume, as when faced with an ‘avoidance-avoidance conflict’, it is better to pay ‘attention’, which is defined as “the selective process of noticing a stimulus or certain portions of it.”
More

**
Book Mark
Ziglar on Selling
Zig Ziglar
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Give your prospects every reason to trust you
A chapter titled ‘The ABCs of Closing Sales’ introduces one to AAFTO, short for ‘always ask for the order.’ Ziglar encourages by saying, “The prospect really does want to say yes, particularly if you are pleasant, professional, and at least reasonably friendly.” The odds are in the professional salesman’s favour, he urges. “So ask for the order, my selling friend. Do it pleasantly and professionally, but ask!” Else, “we miss 100 per cent of the sales we don’t ask for.”
More
**
Book Mark
Manage for Profit not for Market Share
Hermann Simon, Frank F. Bilstein and Frank Luby
Harvard Business School Press (www.HBSPress.org)

Price is the mirror of value

Instead, learn to compete peacefully, exhorts a chapter. “Business and war differ in two critical aspects: first, war always ends, but competition never does; second, there are no customers on a military battlefield.” Business is not a covert operation, remind the authors. “You are trying to attract and keep customers, not capture fugitives or disable opponents.”

More
**
Book Mark
The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Marketing
Kaleem Mohammed Khan and Mohammed Naved Khan
Response (www.indiasage.com)

‘Exclusive curve effects’ and ‘strip malls’
Rather than fret that your ‘awareness threshold’ needs tweaking, or fume, as when faced with an ‘avoidance-avoidance conflict’, it is better to pay ‘attention’, which is defined as “the selective process of noticing a stimulus or certain portions of it.”
More

**
Book Mark
Ziglar on Selling
Zig Ziglar
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Give your prospects every reason to trust you
A chapter titled ‘The ABCs of Closing Sales’ introduces one to AAFTO, short for ‘always ask for the order.’ Ziglar encourages by saying, “The prospect really does want to say yes, particularly if you are pleasant, professional, and at least reasonably friendly.” The odds are in the professional salesman’s favour, he urges. “So ask for the order, my selling friend. Do it pleasantly and professionally, but ask!” Else, “we miss 100 per cent of the sales we don’t ask for.”
More
**
Book Mark
Manage for Profit not for Market Share
Hermann Simon, Frank F. Bilstein and Frank Luby
Harvard Business School Press (www.HBSPress.org)

Price is the mirror of value

Instead, learn to compete peacefully, exhorts a chapter. “Business and war differ in two critical aspects: first, war always ends, but competition never does; second, there are no customers on a military battlefield.” Business is not a covert operation, remind the authors. “You are trying to attract and keep customers, not capture fugitives or disable opponents.”

More
**
Books 2 Byte
IWoz
Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith
Headline (www.hodderheadline.com)
Engineers are among the key people in the world
First get introduced ‘the Electronics Kids’ or the gang of pre-teen boys, who would hang out at Sunnyvale Electronics, get buzzers and switches to work on a secret project: a house-to-house secret intercom system so that the boys could talk to each other in the middle of the night! “We were a group of kids who loved climbing out our windows and sneaking out at night. Maybe it was just to talk, or go out and ride bikes... “ reminisces Woz.
More
**

Books 2 Byte
Business Solutions on Demand
Mark Cerasale and Merlin Stone
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Adopt service strategies

You can transform entire industries with new business designs, demonstrates chapter 2, walking the reader through the frozen food industry in the UK. Learn about how information technology (IT), rather than production technology, played the enabling role in the chilled ready meals sector, where ‘computer-controlled inventory management’ is critical for success.

More
**
Books 2 Byte
Bangalore Tiger
Steve Hamm
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Lessons from Wipro
The first principle is that the chairman is not king. Azim Premji owns a controlling stake in the company, but ‘he shares authority and responsibility with his lieutenants.’ On the second principle, a quote of Premji cited in the book reads thus: “The openness with which we run the company brings politics to the surface. A person can’t outsmart the system. Things can’t be hidden.”
More
**

Books 2 Byte
IT Application Service Offshoring
Mario Lewis
Response (www.indiasage.com)

On shifting the centre of gravity
“Forming an understanding of how to transact with alien cultures takes time,” counsels Lewis. Until the relationship builds up to one based on trust, depend more on formal written communication, he guides. “Relying on formal processes that include written records, minutes of meetings and documented specifications during all stages of deal negotiations, project management and delivery is always a must for overcoming some of the potential difficulties in working with remote staff.”
More
**

Say Cheek
Winning: The Answers
Jack and Suzy Welch
Harper Collins

Is there any place for losers in this world?
From Orlando, Florida is this poser: “How can we change things in the US so we don’t have to outsource to India and other countries anymore?” Again, the answer is direct: “We can’t - and we shouldn’t.” Kyon? The question now is not how to stop outsourcing, explains the book. Instead, ask yourself, “How do we use outsourcing to enhance competitiveness in what is, and forever will be, a global marketplace?”
More
**

Say Cheek
Accountemps (www.accountemps.com)

Hyenas and ghosts, witches and spooks
The first type is ‘the laughing hyena’. A page about the animal, on Wikipedia, explains that the spotted hyena has a distinctive laughing call, ‘used to disorient prey and gather the pack’. As a personality type, the laughing hyenas at work are those that find everything funny, especially their own jokes, says accountemps.

More
**

Bill of Health
H+ (Plus)
Edward de Bono
Vermilion (www.randomhouse.co.uk)

Happiness should be the natural state
Thinking is the most fundamental human skill, says the author. But our traditional thinking habits are judgment based — to recognise a situation and provide a standard answer. “Judgment brings the past into the future.” Instead try design, to bring the future into the present. “You can analyse the past but you have to design the way forward.” Amazingly, “teaching thinking to unemployed young people increased the employment rate five fold.” Also, it reduced the crime rate.
More

**
Reading Room
Mentoring
Sunil Unny Guptan
Response (www.indiasage.com)

Mentors don’t announce themselves or advertise
Having a mentor is not essential to existence and progress, concedes the author.
However, there are many benefits that mentoring can offer, he adds. “Mentors don’t announce themselves or advertise. If you are out to find a mentor for yourself, the best course would be to look for one in the higher echelons of your own organisation or in your profession,” advises Guptan.
More
**
Reading Room
The Theory of Everything
Stephen W. Hawking
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Chandrasekhar limit

It seems Eddington refused to believe Chandrasekhar’s result. “He thought it was simply not possible that a star could collapse to a point. This was the view of most scientists.” Chandrasekhar abandoned this line of work and turned instead to other problems in astronomy. Yet, “When he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1983, it was, at least in part, for his early work on the limiting mass of cold stars,” as Hawking notes.

More
**
Reading Room
You’ve Got to Read This Book!
Jack Canfield, Gay Hendricks, and Carol Kline
Collins (www.harpercollins.com)

Books can stretch your mind irreversibly
The book brings together stories of 55 people about ‘the book that changed their life.’ For instance, to Jim Guy, the chief marketing officer of Cambridge Investment Research, it is The Teachings of the Buddha that marked a transformation. “The First Noble Truth, ‘There is suffering in the world,’ resonated inside me as if I had been struck like a bell,” writes Guy. “The deep simplicity of this statement felt like a solid place to rest, to begin.” And there is more: “Each Noble Truth seemed to propel me into a deeper place inside. Like a massive staircase leading down to a still pool, the steps were wide and required a pause before going to the next one... This book led me to discover the art of happiness and brought me peace.” A book too difficult to put down.
More
**
Reading Room
The Medici Seal
Theresa Breslin
Doubleday

Meet the Maestro

Companions of Leonardo da Vinci rescue the boy. “Maestro, as an engineer, you are under a commission from Il Valentino, Cesare Borgia, to improve his castles to withstand attack,” says Matteo, in one of his conversations with da Vinci. “I know you are also a painter, but that is not the only reason you dissect and anatomise for you seek medical knowledge. Now you declare an interest in plants and rocks. What is your field of study?” The answer is brief: “All.”

More
**
Reading Room
Brainwash
Dominic Streatfeild
Hodder & Stoughton

Truth extraction
Dominic Streatfeild exposes ‘the secret history of mind control’ in Brainwash, from Hodder & Stoughton. “With access to formerly classified documentation and interviews from MI5, MI6, the CIA, the US Army, and British Intelligence Corps, Brainwash traces the evolution of the world’s most secret psychological procedure from its origins in the Cold War to the height of today’s war on terror,” says the dust-jacket. Epilogue, titled, ‘Truth. In the shortest possible time’ speaks of the main quality required of an interrogator: ‘An implacable hatred of the enemy.’
More
**

Manage Mentor
‘Business Environment’,
John Kew and John Stredwick
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Steeple chase
Acronym-watchers know that PEST analysis is about political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological categories of environmental influences. PESTLE was a variation, with L for legal, and the final E for environment, reflecting an awareness of growing regulation and global warming. STEEPLE came up recently, to accommodate corporate social responsibility (CSR) and business ethics; the letters stand for social, technological, economic, environmental, political, legal and ethical.
More

**
Manage Mentor
Creative Leadership
Gerard J. Puccio, Mary C. Murdock, and Marie Mance
Sage (www.sagepublications.com)

Creativity is an essential workplace skill
An interesting example that leaders may find handy is that of Bob Hope, an entertainer who used the ‘dynamic balance’ technique to develop his comedy monologues. “Hope had a staff of writers who would produce his materials. They called themselves the ‘Double Cross and Circle Club’. “Hope would read all of them and place an ‘X’ next to the ones he liked. Then he would reread those jokes he liked and make a double cross on those he still liked.” Comedy is serious business, so “he would make a final pass through the list of jokes, focussing only on those with a double ‘X’ and would circle those that would be performed in front of an audience.”
More

**
Manage Mentor
The Shipbuilder
Jack Myrick did
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Add wind to your sails

The author tells his tale through what Marcus goes through, as a shipbuilder in ancient Greece. “Labour shortages, caused by distant wars, made it extremely difficult to find and keep skilled workers.” And the ship was only half-complete, though ‘weeks behind schedule’. No different from many projects of today?

More
**

E-Dimension
Black Gold
George Orwel
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Reporting oil reserves is a political act
There have been many such ‘gloom and doom forecasts,’ which paint a picture of the end of oil. And, there are the alternative views that we would come up with a solution in the form of additional oil supply. Both these are very simplistic ways of looking at the issue, says Orwel. “The truth lies somewhere in between.”
More

**
E-Dimension
Twilight in the Desert
Matthew R. Simmons

Evolve back to the ‘village’
But, contrary to assumptions of 25-30 million barrels a day, the Kingdom has demonstrated production capacity at less than half that much, says Simmons. “Saudi Arabian officials have enthusiastically encouraged their oil consuming customers to believe this plentiful supply scenario, while at the same time they have resisted third-party verification of their ability to deliver.”
More

**
E-Dimension
Asian Juggernaut
Brahma Chellaney

Geopolitics of energy
The author rues the lack of regional institutions in Asia ‘to avert or manage conflict.’ A challenge he outlines for Asian countries is “to manage their energy needs through more efficient transport and consumption and more cooperative import policies.”
More

**
E-Dimension
Privatizing China
Carl E. Walter and Fraser J.T. Howie
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

What’s happening ‘inside China’s stock markets’?
It was in 1992 that Jinbei Light Passenger Vehicle completed its IPO on the NYSE, thus becoming ‘the first Chinese company in history to list on an international market.’ Five years earlier, when in 1987, SDB or Shenzhen Development Bank made ‘the first major public offering of shares,’ subscription was less than half, from about 7,000 ‘investors.’ At that time, “no one knew what stocks were... and a market did not yet exist.” Fifteen years ago in China, the word ‘capital (ziben)’ was still a dirty word, narrate the authors.
More
**
E-Dimension
Unravelling the China Miracle — A Comparative Study with India (1950-2005)
A. Besant C. Raj analyses
BookSurge (www.booksurge.com)

Advantage India
“The primary objectives of Chinese exports are threefold — first to create jobs for its people; second, to generate value added to its economy on the resources of other countries; and third, to dominate world trade.” At the time of writing, Forbes reports that China’s 2006 trade surplus is expected to hit $140 billion.
More
**
E-Dimension
Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud
Sun Shuyun
Harper Perennial (www.harpercollins.co.uk)

On a monk’s trail
“Lost for centuries, and rediscovered only in 1819 by a British soldier hunting a tiger,” narrates Shuyun. “He saw it going into a cave, and followed it.” A book worth tracking, for the many hidden treasures it can offer! Just the right reads to churn up your China gyan, even as India aims to become ‘a global workshop’.
More
**

Books 2 Byte
The High Performance Entrepreneur
Subroto Bagchi
Penguin Portfolio (www.penguinbooksindia.com)

When and how to ‘seize the moment’
“I have been an entrepreneur thrice,” he writes. “Once, as a small kid, I sold balloons. As a grown-up, at the age of 28, I had my first taste of serious entrepreneurship. It lasted all of three years. At the age of 42, MindTree happened and it continues to happen.”
More
**
Books 2 Byte
The Essential Online Solution
Rick Segel and Barbara Callan-Bogia
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

It’s all about convenience

Clutter kills, watch out! “Word everything at your Web site simply - just like your newspaper, which is written at a fifth grade level.” The authors mention as examples sites that list the steps 1-2-3, as if talking to a child. “It’s okay. People appreciate that level of simplification. After all, isn’t that what ‘user friendly’ means? Remember, it’s all about convenience.”

More
**
Books 2 Byte
Value-Driven IT Management: Commercializing the IT Function
Iain Aitken
Elsevier (www.books.elsevier.com)

Stop managing IT by illusion
The latter “begins by assessing the components and scope of the IT service and the total costs of providing that service over its lifetime.” It then builds up a tariff per ‘service unit’. The former, that is, the cost recovery model, is simpler; it adds up the cost of delivering a service and apportions the same on some reasonable basis.
More
**

Books 2 Byte
Spychips
Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre
Pearson (www.pearsoned.co.in)

A world with no privacy

An RFID-tagged uniform can inform the management ‘who you’re chatting with at the water cooler and how long you’ve spent in the restroom - even whether or not you’ve washed your hands.’ If embedded in passbooks and ATM cards, the bank employees can profile the customers as they enter the lobby. And when school students wear these chip-badges, the system would know who is late for the class, and more.

More
**

Books of Account
Delisting of Securities
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (www.icsi.edu)

Delisting demystified
Six years later, there was another circular on the subject. It laid emphasis on capital adequacy and liquidity, by stating that a company may be delisted if the number of public shareholders fell below five for every Rs 1 lakh capital offered, or if the public shareholding fell below 50 per cent of the public offer.
More
**
Books of Account
Indian Accounting Standards
Ashish K. Bhattacharyya
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

‘Accounting excites me’
Appendices at the end of chapters are of great value, and they contain audit checklists, and excerpts from published accounts (of both Indian and foreign companies). Tyson Food, for example, uses FIFO (first-in-first-out) to value ‘processed products, livestock and supplies’, while Wal-Mart uses LIFO (last-in-first-out) to value inventories. Sears, Roebuck makes use of RIM (retail inventory margin) method ‘under LIFO cost flow assumption inherent in the RIM calculation’.
More
**

Book Value
Seven Years to Seven Figures
Michael Masterson
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Investing money passively is a sign of laziness
Your first step towards financial independence begins with a promise: “That getting wealthy is going to be your top priority.” For a full and balanced life, Masterson urges you to set goals that cover the following four categories, viz. health, wealth, social life, and personal life. Seven figures, he explains, can be $1 million to $9 million of net-worth, that is, ‘the total of all your assets minus all your debts.’ Okay, how much is enough? “Getting wealthy is not such a big accomplishment,” observes the author. “Being content with your wealth — that takes some doing.”
More
**

Book Value
The Power Law of Information: Life in a Connected World
Srinath Srinivasa
Response Books (www.indiasage.com)

Markets as frictionless and non-linear systems
“No matter what block granularity we consider, the average ratio of ups and downs is more or less constant. Whether you look at this dataset week-wise, fortnightly, monthly, yearly or any arbitrary block of consecutive days, the ratio of ups and downs seems to be the same hovering around 1.1,” reads a snatch.
More

**

Book Value
17 Lies that are Holding You Back & the Truth that will Set You Free
Steve Chandler
Magna Publishing (www.magnamags.com)

Discipline problems are not money problems
The author reasons that unexpected horrors befall the ‘lucky’ winners because they try to equate their discipline problems with money problems. “They tell themselves that money is the answer when it’s not. The answer is action. How to develop a reliable course of action that would provide more than enough money. They lie to avoid this action.”
More

**

Book Mark
The International Dictionary of Marketing
Daniel Yadin
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

From ‘attention span’ to ‘zakazukha’

CPT sounds like the new proficiency test conducted by the accounting body; for marketers, though, it is cost per thousand, that is, the cost of reaching a thousand members of the target audience. Another metric is cost per enquiry, which may be calculated for a single ad campaign or for a period.

More

**
Book Mark
The Cult of the Luxury Brand
Radha Chadha and Paul Husband
Nicholas Brealey (www.nicholasbrealey.com)

The ‘unmistakable sign language’ of luxury
Lavishness can also splash about in spas and cruise liners, sports cars and swimming pools and exotic vacations. However, the book focuses only on luxury brands, or luxe, ‘on your person’, because “the face you show to the world counts more than how you live.”
More

**

Book Mark
Steal These Ideas
Steve Cone
Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)

‘Three major feature highlights’ are enough

The first brand warranty application had only two words, ‘sine cere’, tagged onto the marble that Roman merchants sold. The phrase, which eventually formed the root of English ‘sincerely,’ meant in Roman times ‘without wax,’ that is, ‘pure and free from cracks filled in with wax.’

More

**
Bill of Health
Generation Extra Large
Lisa Tartamella, Elaine Herscher, and Chris Woolston
Basic Books (www.basicbooks.com)

Eat with family to fight obesity
The book cites the findings of a study from the University of Alabama thus: “A 20-year-old who is very overweight may expect to live 13 fewer years than someone the same age who has a normal weight.” Another study at the University of California found that “overweight kids have a worse quality of life than young cancer patients.” More than distant worries such as heart disease, it is the present that daunts them. Because “They get called names on the playground. They get picked last in gym. They have trouble making friends. They are bullied or they turn into bullies themselves.” Sadly, most obese kids respond to ridicule with self-loathing. “And their shame rises with the needle on the scale.”
More

**
Reading Room
India’s Time Has Come
Golden Jubilee publication of MMA or the Madras Management Association (www.mmachennai.org)

Proof that private enterprise has to show
“If India continues to grow at the rate at which it is growing in IT and BPO services — around 34 per cent for the next 15 years — we would hit a target of one trillion dollars of exports,” predicts B. Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
More
**

Reading Room
Management Information Systems: Managerial Perspectives
D. P. Goyal
Macmillan (www.macmillanindia.com)

MIS was always there

MIS has been in use since the start of the first business organisation, says the author. Only, in those days, MIS remained ‘manual, very simple, and unrecognised’, unlike today, when it has ‘a well-designed computer-based infrastructure’.

More

**
Manage Mentor
The (un) Common Sense of Management
Sanjay Tiwari
Response Books (www.indiasage.com)

Five skills and a sixth sense
A chapter devoted to ‘creative skills’ explains how creativity lends ‘flexibility’ to our thinking ‘to see beyond the obvious’. Time skills are about planning and keeping. “Planning for time requires the ability to look ahead in time and anticipate likely events,” elaborates Tiwari. “Keeping time requires the ability to manage tasks, activities, and resources in a way that they happen as ‘smoothly’ and ‘timely’ as planned.” Ready takeaways are techniques such as ‘zone of concern’ and ‘prioritising activities’ that the author suggests.
More

**
E-Dimension
India’s Economy
Raj and Uma Kapila
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

Can CEOs make the business of the nation their own?
“At 1.2 per cent a year, per capita GDP takes 57 years to double. A man sees one doubling in his adult life. At 3.9 per cent a year, per capita GDP takes 18 years to double. A man who lives to 72 sees three doublings, compared with the standard of living he saw at the age of 18.”
More

**
E-Dimension
The Rise of India
Niranjan Rajadhyaksha
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Financial health vs financial depth

“One out of every two Indians does not have a bank account,” says Rajadhyaksha. “If one considers a bank account as something like a passport to the modern economy — a basic document — then the paucity of bank accounts means that large numbers of Indians are not in a position to participate in the modern economy.”

More
**

Books of Account
A Study on Anti Money Laundering and Insurance Sector
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (www.icai.org)

On the tainted money trail
There are three stages to the ‘cleaning up’ work — placement, layering, and integration. Placement involves ‘depositing the unlawfully earned money into the financial system’. This is a tiring process for criminals, because of the need to sort money into bundles. “Where the requirements to report the amount of cash transactions above a certain threshold limit exist as per the national laws of a country, criminals resort to a practice called ‘smurfing’, which refers to the process of using multiple cash deposits/accounts each below the designated threshold limit.”
More

**
Book Value
Understanding Financial Ratios in Business
Raghu Palat
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Ratios to relate to
The ‘profitability’ discussion begins with ROTA, that is, return on total assets. The author cautions that since variations in asset and liability amounts during the year can distort the ratios materially, one should base the computations on average assets/liabilities.
More

**
Book Value
The Dilemmas of Family Wealth
James E. Hughes Jr
Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)

Every family owns three forms of capital

Few families are able to pass along their wealth successfully to the next generation, rues the author Judy Martel. The failure is not so much due to ‘poor investments and lack of estate planning’ as due to ‘deficiency of trust and communication among family members, leading to poor preparation of heirs.’

More

**

Book Mark
Marketing Revolution
Paul R. Gamble, Alan Tapp, Anthony Marsella and Merlin Stone
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Try SPIN for better results
The number of products offered has multiplied with increasing segmentation, and there is greater choice to match the customers’ affluence. “People can indulge their merest whim to get the product that most clearly matches their desires.” Traditional marketing models based on “broadcast messaging, product differences, conventional channels and a ‘one size fits all’ mentality” are falling apart.
More

**
Book Mark
Marketing and Branding: The Indian Scenario
S. Ramesh Kumar
Pearson Power (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Unique challenges of Indian markets
While there is an explosion of literature in the West with state-of-the-art concepts, there is very little conceptual awareness closer home, rues the author in the preface. “The Indian context offers unique challenges to marketers,” he alerts in the opening note. “Cultural and economic diversity, a blend of Western lifestyles and strong cultural anchoring, and the rural/urban divide with islands of prosperity in rural areas are some of the critical factors that need specific-context treatment in terms of formulation of marketing strategies.”
More

**

Say Cheek
Travels in Transoxiana
Jaswant Singh
Rupa (www.rupapublications.com)

‘A search for the self’ in the guise of visiting places
The ‘mean question’ gets ‘a dialectical reply’ - that ‘it is a manifestation of bourgeois mentality’. The guide, though, offers a practical reasoning: “Because in a car we go where we like and when we like but a bus may go only there and there and there.”
More
**

Soft Skills
Facilitation Made Easy
Esther Cameron
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Time is ‘gold dust’
Top team workshops need extra preparation. Because these teams bring together ‘bright, successful, highly competent people with strong agendas’, and the agendas can conflict. “A top team workshop involves the most senior managers in an organisation sitting down together, creating a shared understanding of an issue and working towards decisions and action.”
More
**

Write Right
Effective Proposal Writing
Vasudev Murthy
Response (www.indiasage.com)

Get an editor involved
Murthy concedes that in practice, not everyone can write. “Only a few can do it in an organised and logical manner.” Therefore, the one who drafts the proposal may have to interview each expert, elicit their views, and ‘finally get the draft approved by the interviewee.’ Because, “There is no point in forcing someone to write.”
More

**
Bill of Health
Management of Cerebral Palsy
Kate Tebbett
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Redefine achievement

An important read in the book is the list of ‘underlying beliefs about management of cerebral palsy’. The first of these reads, “Individuals should be supported so they are able to achieve their full potential. Professionals should not concentrate on things that these people cannot and may never be able to do, but should let them move on and achieve what they can.”

More

**
Reading Room
Never Be Lied To Again
David J. Lieberman
Magna (www.magnamags.com)

Truth in 5 minutes or less

Another clue is ‘the number zone,’ that a liar resorts to. How so? “All of the numbers he mentions are the same or multiples of one another. This happens because he is thinking fast and is trying to remember what he’s saying. Yet another clue is ‘oh, by the way.’ Means? “When something out of the ordinary happens and the person doesn’t draw attention to it, it means that he/she is trying to draw attention away from it.”

More

**
Reading Room
Fundamentals of Accounting
ICAI

Just about a month to go for CPT

Check if you know the answer to the following: “The balance in the petty cash book is (a) an expense; (b) a profit; (c) an asset; (d) a liability? Which of the following is of a capital nature: Purchase of a truck, cost of repair, wages paid for installation of machinery, road tax paid?”

More

**
Reading Room
Mercantile Laws
ICAI

Law lessons

Good story, but you need to pick the correct statement from four options: (a) B can’t sue A’s father because the contract is void for lack of consideration; (b) B can’t sue under the doctrine of privity of contracts; (c) B can sue for breach of contract; and (d) She can’t sue as contracts made at the time of marriage are not enforceable by law.

More
**
Reading Room
Quantitative Aptitude
ICAI

Go quant

A factory produces 300 units and 900 units at a total cost of Rs 6,8000 and Rs 10,400 respectively. To know how the linear equation of the total cost line will be like, you need to study the Quantitative Aptitude material. Chapters include logarithms, equations, interest computation, permutations and combinations, progressions, sets, calculus, dispersion, probability, regression, index and sampling.

More
**

Reading Room
General Economics
ICAI

Easy economics

Most economics discussions are laboriously long. So, it should come as a refreshing change to grasp knowledge through multiple-choice questions in the General Economics material of CPT. Examples: “Which of the following is not a characteristic of monopolistic competition? (a) Ease of entry into the industry; (b) product differentiation; (c) a relatively large number of sellers; (d) a homogeneous product.

More
**

Reading Room
Start & Run A Retail Business
Jim Dion and Ted Topping
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Professional retailing is a juggling act

They devote a chapter each to ‘seven balls’, viz., basics of retail, merchandising, buying, personnel, sales management, technology, and customer service. An important caveat for wannabe retailers is that they should know where their job ends and where the job of an outside professional should begin, as in the case of ‘negotiating leases and designing ads.’ For, “the more you dabble outside your job as a professional retailer, the less successful your business will be.”

More

**
Reading Room
Reading Cultures: Theory, Praxis, Politics
Pramod K. Nayar
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Film economics

Films with violent themes have been very successful in India, observes Nayar. “There is no real scope for originality, and the genre must ‘reshuffle’ the old and the already existent in order to accommodate the novel.” Music and songs too are key to a film’s success. “Indian cinema’s story-telling can be treated as a mode of creating a narrative community through a ‘narrative contract’,” reads a thought of Ashish Rajadhyaksha cited in the book. “The narrative’s baseline address — the address to all those looking unidirectionally at the screen — induces the viewers to see the camera-projector gaze as theirs alone.”

More

**

Reading Room
Interest Rates and Time Value of Money
Sunil K. Parameswaran
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Real interest in banana splits
For instance, in a section on compound interest, Parameswaran takes us back to 1600, to the days of East India Company. “Assume that an investment of Rs 10 was made in that year in a bank which has been paying 3 per cent interest per annum since then, compounded annually. What will be the accumulated balance in the year 2000?” The answer is Rs 13,64,237.18.
More

**
Reading Room
Doing Business in Singapore
Institute of Company Secretaries of India (www.icsi.edu)

The Singapore secretary
The Institute hopes that the latest CD will help its members in understanding the various legal and procedural aspects of doing business in Singapore and ‘help them provide value-added services to corporates and clients both in India and Singapore’. Wonder if the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) too is planning similar publications for its members.
More
**

Manage Mentor
Purpose
Nikos Mourkogiannis
Palgrave Macmillan (www.palgrave.com)

Purpose is your moral DNA
Do leaders have to invent a purpose? No, they have to discover it, says Mourkogiannis. However, don’t expect purpose to translate into immediate goals, he cautions. For, purpose gives coherence to actions, ‘not just at any given moment, but over time’.
More

**

Manage Mentor
The Coaching Organization: A Strategy for Developing Leaders
James M. Hunt and Joseph R. Weintraub
Sage (www.sagepublications.com)

Employees are ‘human capitalists’
What does a coaching organisation do? It uses coaching, effectively and regularly, “as a means of promoting both individual development and organisational learning in the service of the organisation’s larger goals.” Establish a ‘coaching capability infrastructure,’ exhort the authors. Check if you have a ‘coaching value chain’ in your organisation. It may be a good idea to have a CPM or ‘coaching practice manager’ in your company, ‘to maintain the credibility of the coaching effort’.
More

**

Manage Mentor
The Complete CEO
Mark Thomas
Capstone (www.wiley.com)

Management, leadership are the yin-yang
Thomas tries to find what makes a complete CEO, by looking at a sample of ‘the world’s 100 best-performing large companies’ with market cap of more than £10 billion, ‘based on long-term TSR’. Does the leader have to be ‘a hero, a charismatic talisman’? Not necessary, says the author. “The new leader should be a pragmatic dreamer, a person with an original but achievable vision.” An important role for the leader is to build a team, by creating “a vision so compelling and seductive that the very best people want to be part of its success.” As Bill Gates would say, the secret is “to surround yourself by people better than you.”
More

**

Manage Mentor
Optimizing the Organization
Subhash Khare
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Check your organisation’s metabolism

And the author’s diagnosis is this: If the progress is turning into a liability, it is because your metabolism is low, much like a body converting food into fat! “Continuous and sustained progress is about using capabilities to achieve the results, and converting results into further capabilities.” The former is governed through a well thought out strategy, and the latter has to be more a habit - something that should happen ‘continuously as an institutionalised phenomenon’.

More

**
Books of Account
‘Similarities and Differences’
PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com)

Gaps in GAAP
There is some insight, though, in a Guidance Note on ‘Accounting for Dot-Com Companies’. It says, “Revenue from barter transactions should be recognised only when the fair values of similar transactions are readily determinable from the entity’s history.”
More

**
Books of Account
Reinventing Public Service Delivery in India
Vikram K. Chand
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Service innovations
Revenue model of these centres had three streams: First, transaction-based service charges from each agency. “For example, for every bill collected on its behalf the utility company pays a fee of Rs 5,” explains Bhatnagar. The second component was “a service fee collected from citizens for certain types of transactions.” And third, “revenues from advertisers” for ads carried on receipts issued to citizens.
More

**
Books of Account
The Concise Oxford History of Indian Business
Dwijendra Tripathi and Jyoti Jumani
(www.oup.com)

The India business story

In a chapter titled ‘Merchants during the Imperial crisis’, one reads how large amounts, required to finance military expeditions, were raised as loans from moneylenders and traders. “In many cases, profits from money-lending were reinvested in trade, creating a multiplier effect.” Peshwas fought many wars, and the moneylenders were “an integral part of the administrative apparatus, very often accompanying the army to attend to the financial need of the campaigns.”

More

**
Books 2 Byte
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
John Wood
Collins (www.harpercollins.com)

From Microsoft to the land of monks
Vacation was for people who were soft. Real players worked weekends, racked up hundreds of thousands of air miles, and built mini-empires within the expanding global colossus called Microsoft.”
More

**

Books 2 Byte
Open Source and the Law
Priti Suri & Associates
LexisNexis (www.lexisnexis.co.in)

Open source needs a national policy

The book hopes that open source may hold promise for Indian software companies who find it difficult ‘to come up with innovative products’. Because open source ‘reduces the importance of products by raising the importance of services.’

More

**

Books 2 Byte
Inspired!
Ganesh Natarajan and Manjiri Gokhale
EastWest Books (ewb@touchtelindia.net)

Each question is like a six-inch step...

Fine, but what is inspiration? It is the adrenalin that motivates ordinary human beings to rise to perform extraordinary feats, writes H.V. Goenka, Chairman of RPG Group in the foreword. Inspiration is “the dynamic force that quickens our creativity and kindles our enthusiasm so that we transcend our limitations and accomplish our goals,” define the authors, Ganesh Natarajan and Manjiri Gokhale.

More

**
Books 2 Byte
Enterprise Grid Computing with Oracle
Brajesh Goyal and Shilpa Lawande
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Think grid when IT lags behind
Aren’t our machines working full-time already? The answer seems to be no. ‘The current hardware utilisation at a typical enterprise’ is at less than 20 per cent! Also, enterprises spend one-to-four times the acquisition costs on the ongoing management of these resources, point out the authors. So, we can reduce overall costs by simplifying ‘the operation and management of IT systems,’ they suggest.
More

**

Book Value
Candlesticks Explained
Martin J. Pring offers
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Light on candlesticks
Portia wonders in The Merchant of Venice, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” Quite far, you can also say of candlesticks as charting technique for price prediction. For, their source is Japan; it was in the 1700s, that ‘the earliest forms of candlestick charts were originally used to predict rice price,’ as chapter 1 unravels. “In 1750, a wealthy Japanese merchant, Munehisa Homma, began trading at his local rice exchange in Sakata using his own personal candlestick analysis.”
More

**
Book Value
Ready Reckoner of Leading Listed Companies
Global Data Services of India Ltd (gdsltd@crisil.com)

Financials to flip through
Billed as ‘investors’ guide to financial data of 225 actively traded companies’, the book scores by providing data in ‘a standardised format that is simple and easy to understand’. Writes Madhu Dubhashi, CEO of GDSIL in the foreword: “The book is targeted at investors, who can look at the numbers at leisure, away from computer screens, by simply flipping through pages of the book. The book is also recommended for students to help them get a bird’s eye view of India’s largest companies, before they enter the real world of finance.”
More

**
Book Value
The Management of Equity Investments
Dimitris N. Chorafas
Elsevier (www.books.elsevier.com)

The secret is steady learning
There can be a small minority of the successful to whom trading or investing comes as naturally as being ‘a great pianist or violin virtuoso,’ concedes Chorafas. “But for the majority of competent market operators, the secret is steady learning. Trading and investing are skills one can learn, provided one is willing to do so and has the right methodology.” To help, the book has chapters on capital markets, performance criteria, damage control and investment case studies.
More

**
Book Value
Swing Trading
Marc Rivalland
Vision (www.visionbooksindia.com)

Get into the swing of things

Anyone who is good at playing cards can be a good swing trader, says the author. “The same skills are used, namely drawing inferences from incomplete information.” Look around! “There is an army of short-term private investors who are trading swings, even though some may not realise it.” Also: “Much hedge fund trading is effectively swing trading. The same is true of proprietary trading by investment houses.”

More

**
E-Dimension
The Man Who Heard Voices: Or How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale
Michael Bamberger
Gotham (www.penguin.com)

‘Where expensive is often more cost-efficient than cheap’
Night’s 1999 film The Sixth Sense grossed more than $600 million. Along with a string of other hit movies that he directed for Disney, Night helped bring in over $2 billion dollars. People called him ‘the next Spielberg’, but then he began writing the Lady screenplay, “an adaptation of a bedtime story he had invented for his young daughters.” Because he heard ‘voices.’ Such as, to put up half the budget.
More

**
E-Dimension
Fingerprinting Popular Culture
Vinay Lal and Ashis Nandy
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

The Five-Year Plan hero

A chapter not to miss is that of Harish Trivedi, on ‘All kinds of Hindi’ in movies. “Hindi cinema is now acquiring a new, elite variety of Hindi in Hinglish,” says Trivedi, seeing signs of globalisation spilling over to language. Catch up with ‘the Five-Year Plan hero’ in a different essay, by Sanjay Srivastava. The FYP hero came along with ‘the iconic use of roads and highways in the Hindi films of the 1950s and 1960s,’ he points out.

More

**
E-Dimension
Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance
Noam Chomsky
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Caught between two trajectories
What threat? “The Devil is in their home. The Devil, the Devil himself is in their home. The Devil came here yesterday (laughter and applause). Yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place. This table from where I speak still smells like sulphur... “ reads a snatch of the speech, posted on www.venezuelanalysis.com. No marks for guessing the Devil’s identity!
More

**

E-Dimension
The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth
Benjamin M. Friedman
Vintage (www.vintagebooks.com)

Material positives vs moral negatives

“Will the emphasis we place on growth, or the actions we take to achieve it, compromise our moral integrity?” he asks. It can be a dangerous and incomplete choice to weigh ‘material positives against moral negatives’, cautions Friedman. A chapter titled ‘virtuous circles, vicious circles,’ looks at the mutual relationship between standard of living and ‘openness, tolerance, and democracy.’ What matters is not only ‘the best use of resources’ but also ‘motivation,’ argues the author.

More

**
E-Dimension
The History of Development
Gilbert Rist
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

Is development the opposite of poverty?

The word appears to be a belief, suspects the author, looking at the available definitions. It seems to be ‘a series of practices which form a single whole in spite of contradictions between them.’ Watch out, the belief could be a myth, he cautions. “History has not reached a stagnant end, nor is it triumphantly marching towards the radiant future. It is being catapulted into an unknown adventure,” reads a quote of Edgar Morin cited by Rist.

More

**

E-Dimension

Globalization and Egalitarian Redistribution
Pranab Bardhan, Samuel Bowles and Michael Wallerstein
Oxford (www.oup.com)

The globalisation scapegoat
You can work on poverty alleviation through ‘expansion of credit and marketing facilities, land reform, public works programmes for the unemployed, or provision of education and health.’ And globalisation forces do not block these, say the editors. Needed, instead, are ‘a restructuring of existing budget priorities and a better and more accountable political and administrative framework.’
More

**

E-Dimension
Lives of the Laureates
William Breit and Barry T. Hirsch
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

Fundamental principles of economics can be written on one page

Robinson not winning the prize “may well have reflected bias but not sex bias,” postulates Friedman. On that there can be eternal debate. So too, there can be ‘oh-no’s to the second and third generalisations of his - viz. being a US citizen and going to the University of Chicago. Yet, the 18 essays included in the book are engagingly readable.

More

**
E-Dimension
Mavericks at Work
William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre
HarperCollins (www.harpercollins.co.uk)

Where do great ideas come from?

In a chapter titled ‘ideas unlimited’, the authors ask, “Where do great ideas come from?” Where else but from ‘big thinkers, the eccentric genius, the inspired founder, the visionary CEO’? No, it isn’t necessary that the top man has to be ‘the smartest guy in the room’, aver the authors. A ‘defining’ responsibility of a 21st century leader is “to attract the best ideas from the most people, wherever those people might be.”

More
**
Book Mark
The Consumer in the North-East: New Vistas for Marketing
Kaushik Sircar
Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Aim at ‘winning their hearts and minds’

To help you venture into Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, and understand the consumers there, the author gives a mantra: KAISE. It is an acronym for ‘Knowledge of consumers, Analysis of the knowledge, Internal inputs and intuition, Sampling of the products, and Environmental realities.’

More

**

Book Mark
The Glittering Silver Market
Andre Sekulic
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Catch up with the elderly

The book, authored by Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, the economic advisor to MasterCard, begins with a simple message on living well, from Shigeaki Hinohara, a nonagenarian: “Keep working, keep learning and you will never get old.” Old age can be a window for new opportunities, says Hinohara. “A time for people to be truly free and live for themselves - to be productive for the sake of enjoyment and self-fulfilment - as opposed to just following workday rules and conformity to social norms.”

More

**

Book Mark
Market-Driven Thinking
Woodside
Elsevier (www.books.elsevier.com)

Customers rarely retrieve a store name first
What happens when ‘a customer’s conscious thinking declares war on his/her unconscious thinking’? Or, ‘how do you convince yourself to do what your heart tells you is wrong?’ To handle this quandary, the customer is likely to exercise ‘some mental and physical effort,’ explains Woodside. “Unbalanced situations stimulate us to further thinking; they have the character of interesting puzzles, problems which make us suspect a depth,” reads a snatch from F. Heider’s work, cited in the book.
More

**

Say Cheek
The Power of Charm
Brian Tracy and Ron Arden
Amacom (www.amacombooks.org)

When you pause, three good things happen

Oh no, you may turn away, shunning inputs on ‘table manners, good looks, or being a snappy dresser’. Wait, this is different. The book is ‘about something more profound’. Because true charm goes beyond mere appearance, say the authors. “It’s that ability some people have to create extraordinary rapport that makes others in their presence feel exceptional. Charm has an engaging quality to which we respond powerfully and emotionally, almost instinctively.”

More
**

Say Cheek
Barry Trotter
Michael Gerber
Orion (www.orionbooks.co.uk)

Dedicated to Rowling, ‘with impudent admiration’
“Unlike wizard pipes, wizard cell phones were no better than the Muddle kind,” writes Gerber in a chapter right ‘In the belly of the beast’. What of the phones? “You often had to be a pretzeltongue to decipher what somebody was saying.” Barry crank-calls ‘970-WIZZ’ and hears not ‘that familiar slightly harried Welsh-accented voice’ (perhaps, from a call centre in India?) but ‘a sultry voice’ saying ‘Hi, there’!
More
**

Say Cheek
Untouchability in Rural India
Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande and Amita Baviskar
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Untouchability travels beyond death

Believe it or not, “In one out of 10 villages, Dalits are still not allowed to wear new clothes, sunglasses or chappals, or to use umbrellas and ride bicycles.” But, aren’t roads public sphere, where all are equal? That seems to be true, only on paper, because the book narrates many more shocking instances of prejudice and inequity.

More
**
Say Cheek
The Secret Language of Birds
Adele Nozedar
HarperCollins

Feel lucky to be called bird-brained!

All the while, the birds have been calling and chirping, singing and cooing. If you ‘watch, listen and understand,’ you can understand the secret lingo of birds, assures Nozedar. Take care, however, because the language is “a sort of code, relying on wordplay, puns, coded messages and double meanings, which would appear to give the key to many hidden secrets and mysteries.”

More
**

Soft Skills
Facilitation Made Easy
Esther Cameron
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Time is ‘gold dust’
“When groups of people get together in today’s organisations, time is like gold dust,” points out the author. “We all have to learn how to use this precious time to help people to think imaginatively, communicate clearly, learn from each other and come up with workable solutions to problems.”
More
**

Stories Retold
Market-Neutral Investing
Joseph G. Nicholas
Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)

Barking at cars
Nicholas explains: “The reality of the situation was that the traffic stopping had nothing to do with the dog’s barking and everything to do with the traffic light on the corner. A decision by the city regarding traffic flow had resulted in the removal of the traffic light, leaving the dog stranded.”
More
**

Write Right
Indlish
Jyoti Sanyal
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Be clear, fluent and vivid
The book is a compilation of what Sanyal wrote in the ‘Language’ column of Imprint, the Sunday supplement of The Statesman. Starting from ‘See-sawing to plain English’ and ending in ‘The voice of the narrator’, there are more than 60 chapters, grouped under seven parts. Sarabjit Sen’s cartoons that go with each chapter can pull you out of deep depression and guilt that are sure to be caused when Sanyal shines a torch on all the wrong usages in your writing!
More
**

Write Right
Shakespeare without English
Sukanta Chaudhuri and Chee Seng Lim
Pearson Longman (www.pearsoned.co.in)

The Bard is a global brand
English is now the vehicle of information technology and universal communication, and India, despite being called a non-anglophone country is ‘rapidly turning more and more anglophone’. Trivedi observes, “The English language is spreading faster in the present postcolonial period than ever before... The ‘sheer poetry of Shakespeare’ can no longer ride piggyback on the pragmatic and economic need to know a bare and functional language of contemporary usefulness.”
More
**

Bill of Health
Healthy Thinking
Tom Mulholland
Wisdom Tree (www.wisdomtreeindia.com)

Attitude plus behaviour = goal
What to do if you identify that the thought is ‘unhealthy’ — meaning, it doesn’t assist your enjoyment or ‘lead you anywhere other than unhealthy emotions’? You can elect to stop it, deal with it later, change it, or forget it, counsels Mulholland. “If you want to change it, then you need to understand the following equation: Attitude + behaviour = goal.”
More
**
Bill of Health
Celebrating Success & Failure
Swami Sukhabodhananda
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Adding life to years is growing
With a vision, you will be a winner in life, both inner and outer, assures Sukhabodhananda. “Inner winner gives one satisfaction and outer winner gives success. Success and satisfaction should be the wings of our life. One can be successful but if one is not satisfied then there will be incompletion. To get what you like is success and to like what you get is satisfaction.”
More
**
Bill of Health
The Future of the Brain
Steven Rose
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

Brain, a marvellous product and process
The dominant thinking, following a hypothesis of Donald Hubb, has been as follows, Rose explains: “That novel experience (which is incidental or specifically learned) resulted in changes in synaptic connectivity, strengthening some synapses and weakening others, so as to create new pathways amongst some sets of interneurons, which represents the memory in some way, perhaps analogous to the trace on a CD or magnetic tape.”
More
**

E-Dimension
Explorations in Pragmatic Economics
George A. Akerlof
Oxford University Press (www.outp.com)

Why the standard economist may be the emperor in new clothes

Seeing things with childlike simplicity, Akerlof rues that we have given too much credence to “a version of economics that is sometimes insightful, but also all too often ridiculously at odds with our simple powers of observation.” He concedes that the papers in the book ‘deviate from the standard for economics in many circles today’ — the economics that is characterised by ‘perfect competition, profit maximising by firms, and maximisation by consumers with only economic concerns.’

More

**
E-Dimension
Wake Up!
Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi
Capstone (www.wiley.com)

The ‘Darwinian element’ in supply-demand matters

Worryingly, it is not only planes and terminals that are vulnerable. “The global economy is under threat,” write Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi in Wake Up! from Capstone (www.wiley.com). “The outlook for the world economy is uncertain at best — and dire at worst. In the period 2005-2015, the chances of a positive outcome for economic growth in the rich part of the world are low.”

More

**
E-Dimension
If It’s Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks
Peter Navarro
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

The ‘Darwinian element’ in supply-demand matters

In short, if you want to think big, see big. Go for the ‘macro-wave perspective’ to identify the sectors to invest in or to stay away from; for, it is ‘a powerful trading compass.’ Navarro explains to readers how macro-wave logic draws upon ‘well-established relationships between key macroeconomic variables such as inflation, unemployment, and interest rates
More

**

E-Dimension
Capitalism’s Achilles Heel
Raymond W. Baker
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Capitalism is increasingly operating outside the rule of law

With 4,884 press citations about ‘money laundering’, India ranks fifth, according to the May-July 2006 Money Laundering Global Media Benchmark, from Factiva (www.factiva.com). The first four slots go to China (9,859), Russia (8,512), Japan (5,438), and Canada (4,950). These numbers indicate the extent to which money laundering issues are mentioned in the media of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) countries, and quantify the coverage of high-profile money laundering cases.

More

**
E-Dimension
Traders, Guns & Money
Satyajit Das
Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.co.uk

Capitalism is increasingly operating outside the rule of law

The book is a record of Das’ time in the industry. “No qualifications were required; I just bluffed my way in,” he writes in the preface. In the next about 300 pages, Das puts together “tales about the products, the people and the strange goings-on in the business.”
More

**

E-Dimension
World Migration 2005: Costs and Benefits of International Migration
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com)

The world of those on the move
Mexico was the leading source country for unauthorised immigration with nearly six million residents in the US in 2005, says the August 2006 issue of ‘Population Estimates’ from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics. “However, the greatest percentage increase in the unauthorised immigrant population from 2000 to 2005 occurred among immigrants from India (133 per cent) and Brazil (70 per cent),” even as the total grew by 24 per cent over the period.

More

**

E-Dimension
International Social Work: Issues, Strategies, and Programs
David Cox and Manohar Pawar
Vistaar (www.indiasage.com

The world of those on the move
The book studies varied fields for social work, such as development, poverty, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. The chapters on migration discuss the plight of forced migrants, who may be ‘displaced persons, asylum seekers, refugees, illegal immigrants, and migrant workers.’ The section on illegal immigrants explains how these people “invariably maintain a low profile, avoiding authorities and facilities that ask for identification papers.”
More

**

E-Dimension
Sociology for Changing the World
Caelie Frampton, Gary Kinsman, A.K. Thompson and Kate Tilleczek
Fernwood (www.fernwoodbooks.ca)

The world of those on the move

“What is seldom discussed is the use of undocumented workers to provide a cheap and vulnerable labour supply for industries and as a means to depress the wages and working conditions of local workers,” says Ng. It is not as if illegal migration and human trafficking happen outside the legal institutions and apparatuses of globalisation.

More

**

E-Dimension
Exile and Belonging
Pia Oberoi
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com
The world of those on the move

The book begins on a traumatic note, chronicling the fallout of Partition in August 1947

More

**

E-Dimension
The 36 Strategies of the Chinese for Financial Traders
Daryl Guppy
(www.wrightbooks.com.au).

War tactics for the markets

You may need all the help that he offers because when you trade there are two powerful factors against you. “The first is the market itself. It is the most skilled and audacious pickpocket in the world. In the blink of a computer screen the market can remove thousands of dollars from your trading account,” cautions the author.

More

**
E-Dimension]
Beyond the Random Walk
Vijay Singal
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

War tactics for the markets

“In an efficient market, all stocks should be valued at a price that is consistent with available information.” That doesn’t happen always, so inconsistencies show as mispricing. When persistent and well known, such mispricing is an anomaly, explains Singal. And his book is ‘a guide to stock market anomalies and low-risk investing.’

More

**
E-Dimension
The Power Broker
Stephen Frey

War tactics for the markets

The novel opens with Christian Gillette watching the landscape from his hotel room in Las Vegas. He runs Everest Capital, “a Manhattan-based investment firm that owned thirty companies in a wide range of industries — smokestack to high-tech.”

More

**
E-Dimension
Encyclopedia of the Global Economy
David E. O’Connor
Academic Foundation (www.academicfoundation.com

From ‘absolute advantage’ to ‘Yunus, Muhammad’

It is reassuring to know from Rodrigo Rato, managing director of IMF (International Monetary Fund) that the global economy is likely expand by five per cent, with China and India continuing to be ‘engines of growth’

More

**

Reading Room
Planning & Managing Human Resources
William J. Rothwell and H.C. Kazanas
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Do you have an HR auditor?
The HR workforce analyst studies ‘what kind of people are doing the work of the organisation at present.’ He establishes norms for job selection, devises methods for assessing individual performance, and takes ‘inventory of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of workers in the organisation.’ The HR auditor “analyses what kind of HR practice areas will help match people and work over time.” Practice area, for this purpose, is “a relatively enduring effort, such as recruitment, training, labour relations, and organisation development.”
More

**

Reading Room
In the Line of Fire
Jerry Weissman
Pearson (www.pearsoned.co.in)

You are the tires

You are the tires.” Responses to challenging questions can be ‘defensive, evasive, or contentious,’ in alignment with the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Instead, try the effective route. Two ready takeaways are ‘Point B’ and WIIFY. “The audience in any communication situation begins at Point A, uninformed, unconvinced, and not ready to act.” The presenter’s objective is to move the audience to Point B; that is what you want your audience to do. Then comes ‘why they should do it’ through a focus on WIIFY or ‘what’s in it for you’.

More

**
Reading Room
Managing Your Sales Force
Pingali Venugopal
Response Books (www.indiasage.com)

Respect leads to interest

The author says that salespersons can be efficient if two factors are remembered. One, the company has to have ‘the correct marketing strategy.’ And two, salespersons can perform only if they have the interest to perform, which in turn depends on the respect or importance given to them in the organisation.

More

********

Reading Room
Ethics Incorporated
Dipankar Gupta
Response Books (www.indiasage.com)

Business ethics goes beyond law
Does business ethics imply making no profit? No, says Gupta. “Business ethics demands that profit be made on a sustainable basis by observing norms that respect other people.” Business ethics goes beyond complying with law; it is about raising standards.
More

**
Reading Room
Selling: The Most Important Job in the World
John Fenton
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Four signs of success
In a section titled ‘self-talk’, the author writes that our subconscious listens to everything we say and acts blindly upon the information it receives. “If we tell ourselves that we have a bad memory for names, then we disempower the part of our mind that remembers names. So long as we keep saying this, we keep forgetting names.” According to some estimate, we have roughly 50,000 thoughts a day, and the subconscious records each of these!
More

**
Reading Room
Untouchability in Rural India
Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande and Amita Baviskar
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Plight of the Dalits

In South Orissa, Dalit women who work as agricultural labourers are paid as little as Rs 15 a day, one learns. “In rural Orissa, Dalits are made to wait for several hours before being paid, and non-Dalits place the money on the ground instead of directly handing it to the Dalit worker.”

More

********
Reading Room
Ethics in Public Relations
Kathy Fizpatrick and Carolyn Bronstein
Sage (www.sagepublications.com)

Truth ‘in the marketplace of ideas’
A chapter on ‘truth and transparency’ by Karla K. Gower says that PR professionals should develop strong relationships with the legal and investor relations departments to ensure that the organisation’s communications are integrated to be clear and consistent. Transparency will only be effective ‘when executives have internalised the obligation to disseminate all relevant information in a clear manner to stakeholders’. Vital read.

More

**
Reading Room
Superstar Sales Secrets
Barry Farber
Magna (www.magnamags.com)

FEAR is ‘false evidence appearing real’

Elsewhere in the book, you come across FEAR as an acronym — to mean ‘false evidence appearing real’. Means? “The first step in taming fear is to analyse what is real and what is not,” because ‘fear is what you imagine it to be.’ The great combatants of fear, according to Farber, are ‘preparation and action.’ Energising thoughts.

More

**
Reading Room
Management Control Systems
R.S. Aurora and S. R. Kale
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Organic vs inorganic

“Organic growth is generally slow but the risk attached to such growth is relatively small. This is because the company possesses expertise in the areas that are earmarked for expansion.” The alternative, that is, inorganic growth, involves ‘purchase of other units engaged in related or unrelated activities.’ Behind acquisitions there may be hopes of ‘learning new businesses,’ and ‘eventually adding value to the existing business.’

More

******
Reading Room
10 Natural Forces for Business Success
Peter R. Garber
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Learning from geese that fly in formation
Think of the ten forces as ‘a flock of geese flying in formation,’ he urges. Because geese flying in formation ‘travel about 70 per cent faster than do those that fly alone.’ How so? “They support one another in their flight. When the leader tires, another takes its place. They communicate constantly, honking from behind to encourage those in front. If a goose is injured or ill, others stop and provide assistance.”
More

**

Reading Room
Wisdom for a Young CEO
Douglas Barry
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Secrets that CEOs share

“Find something you love to do. Work hard. Respect others. Don’t be afraid to fail. Protect your integrity. Go for your dreams,” writes Barry in the intro to Wisdom for a Young CEO, from Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com). “Being a CEO is an awesome responsibility. It takes talent to get the job. It takes drive to keep up with the job. But what it takes to be the job is passion,” begins the first chapter.

More
**

Reading Room
My Fight Back from Death’s Door
V. Chandrasekhar
EastWest (ewb@touchtelindia.net)

The power of dream
“I may, despite my best efforts, not reach the goal. But nothing can stop me making an honest effort,” writes Chandrasekhar, about his dream. The Government of Tamil Nadu has allotted four and a half grounds of land at Mogappair Eri Scheme for ‘an ultra modern indoor stadium exclusively for table tennis’, he informs. “As per my plans, the stadium will be available for national and international tournaments all the year round, coaching clinics will be conducted here.”
More
*****

Reading Room
The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing
Thomas T. Nagle and Reed K. Holden
Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.co.in)

Price right to harvest your profit potential
What is strategic pricing? It is “the coordination of interrelated marketing, competitive, and financial decisions to set prices profitably,” define the authors. “Strategic pricing requires anticipating price levels before beginning product development.” If that’s surprising, this could be shocking because it paints the usual scenario: “Abdicating responsibility for pricing to the sales force or to the distribution channel is abdicating responsibility for the strategic direction of the business.”
More
**
Reading Room
Message for Managers
K. Nagarajan
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Forty stories for managers

The cover page illustration appears also in a chapter on ‘Scanning the environment,’ where the author cautions that you watch your step. Because you may suffer a fall even when lost in pondering over strategic plans! Entertaining read.

More
**
Reading Room
The WTO: A Discordant Orchestra
T.K. Bhaumik
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

WTO: Not a jet but a bicycle

An interesting observation that the author makes, in conclusion, is about the pace of progress in the WTO. “At the speed of a bicycle, even as the world around is moving at the speed of a jet engine,” says Bhaumik. And every member seems to have come to accept the fact, he adds on a wry note.

More
******
Reading Room
Building India With Partnership
Sharmila Kantha and Subhajyoti Ray
Penguin Portfolio (www.penguinbooksindia.com)

Peaks and troughs the economy had to endure
In retrospect, that was one of the many troughs the economy has had to endure. “Indian industry has evolved and progressed in all environments. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has displayed an indomitable spirit and fortitude throughout all travails and triumphs,” notes the concluding chapter.
More
**
Reading Room
Risk Issues and Crisis Management
Michael Regester and Judy Larkin
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

For a handle to the future
An issue is “an unsettled matter which is ready for decision,” reads a definition of Chase and Jones. An emerging issue is “a condition or event, either internal or external to the organisation, that if it continues will have a significant effect on the functioning or performance of the organisation or on its future interests.” Issues management is, therefore, about managing change. Essential read, for those looking for a handle to the future.
More
*****

Manage Mentor
How Great Leaders Get Great Results
John Baldoni
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Keep on keeping on

Next comes ‘vision’, because the leader has to ‘point the organisation in the right direction.’ Vision creates expectations, explains Badoni. Think big, he exhorts leaders. Then, focus the vision and describe it in real terms. “Vision is where you want to go. Mission is what you do on the way.” Third essential is ‘alignment’ - of vision with reality.

More

**

Manage Mentor
Silos, Politics and Turf Wars
Patrick Lencioni
Wiley India (www.wileyindia.com)

Silos can wreak havoc
One of Jude’s first assignments is at JMJ, where he identifies ‘a few redundant processes that experienced plant managers had overlooked after years on the job’. Factory supervisors who were more accustomed to ‘cocky management consultants from the high-priced Ivy League firms’ are able to trust Jude because of ‘his willingness to ask simple - sometimes almost embarrassingly simple - questions, and his lack of condescension and pretention’.
More

**
Manage Mentor
Managers Not MBAs
Henry Mintzberg
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

MBAs prepare people to manage nothing
Academic approach in management education is as faulty as ‘trying to teach psychology to someone who has never met another human being’. Why so? Because organisations are complex phenomena, explains the author. “Managing them is a difficult, nuanced business, requiring all sorts of tacit understanding that can only be gained in context. Trying to teach it to people who have never practised is worse than a waste of time - it demeans management.”
More

**
Manage Mentor
The Wisdom Network
Steve Benton and Melissa Giovagnoli
Amacom (www.amacombooks.org)

Knowledge mined ineffectively

As a result people with ‘astonishing expertise and insights’ may be confined to ‘a narrow range of topics’. Can’t KM or knowledge management help? Yes, it can, but sadly KM is often “nothing more than a sophisticated shuffling of electronic data rather than a synergistic exchange of both information and ideas.” On the positive side, however, informal networks arise, ‘sometimes virtually in the form of chat rooms or websites’

More

**

Books of AccountMergerSanjay SanghoeeManjul Books (www.manjulindia.com)Valuation thrillerThe scene shifts to Morgenthal Winters or MW — ‘a white-shoe investment bank’, which was among the top three M&A or mergers and acquisitions advisors. There, the corporate culture was one of respectful indifference, narrates Sanjay. “Everyone knew what they were doing, seldom exchanged advice with their peers, had professional respect for each other, and didn’t give a damn about anyone personally. It was the perfect environment in which to execute high profile deals within tight deadlines.”More

**
Books of Account
501 Questions & Answers for Company Directors and Company Secretaries
Roger Mason
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Education for directors

Here are a few questions, from the remaining 500, in the book: What are the possible consequences if directors act beyond the limit of their powers? Can a board meeting be held without all the directors being informed? Can a formal board meeting ratify the business done at an informal meeting? May a person who is not a director be allowed to attend a board meeting? Are matters at a board meeting settled by a majority vote? Can a shareholder waive a dividend?

More

**
Books of Account
Secret Asset
Stella Rimington
Hutchinson (www.randomhouse.co.uk)

On a mole’s trail

Meet Liz Carlyle, ‘an experienced and extremely talented investigator’ with ‘particular skills in assessing people’. Liz leads a two-person team. To help her is Peggy Kinsolving, who follows the paper trail. Peggy loved ‘the world of print, fact, data, information’. The author describes: “It was her metier. She could disinter information which might seem meaningless and sterile to others, then, like a primitive fire maker blowing on a spark, bring it to life. Peggy saw drama where others saw dust.”

More

**

Books of Account
The Winning Brief
Bryan A. Garner
Oxford University Press (www.oup.com)

Write to win

Tip 6 says, ‘Write a draft straight through, without stopping to edit. Let it sit awhile before editing.’ Benefit from Alexander Pope’s insight: “Compose with fury and correct with phlegm.’ Don’t even take time to pick the right words, urges Garner. “When you learn to write this way, the prose itself takes on a different quality. The judicial reader will probably sense greater swiftness within your paragraphs. They won’t be laborious reading.”

More

**

Books 2 Byte
Offshoring IT Services
Mohan Babu K
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

IT outsourcing trend may be irreversible
The book speaks elaborately about OMF or offshoring management framework. OMF comprises four layers, viz. governance, management, project execution and communication. The key dimensions of ‘offshoring governance’ include definition of an SLA or service level agreement, program and transition management. Governance measures include steering committee, with senior executives delegated from the client and vendor’s organisations.
More

**
Books 2 Byte
Designed to Win
Hiroaki Yoshihara and Mary Pat McCarthy
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Characteristics of enduring business
The book, which is on ‘strategies for building a thriving global business’, speaks of ‘seven characteristics of enduring businesses.’ The first of these is ‘change from the outside-in’. For instance, to Kunio Nakamura, the president of Matsushita, staying responsive to outside changes is important. How does Nakamura ensure this? “He has structured his company to be flat, and as he puts it, ‘web-like,’ with very strong and continuously enhanced IT.” That way, Nakamura finds it possible to work alongside customers around the world, explain the authors.
More

**
Books 2 Byte
Beyond Code
Rajesh Setty
Vikas (www.vikaspublishing.com)

Adapt with agility
“You can start small by introducing some variety into your life - pick up a habit, read some non-fiction, play a game, call a long-last friend, or watch a horror movie. Do something that shifts the context completely.”
More

**

Books 2 Byte
Hard-core Management
Jo Owen
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Technology control is about compliance, not commitment

A vicious swirl can suck you in, watch out. Because, with more information will come the “demand for reviewing, analysing, challenging, checking, and dealing with the information.” As a result, people in the organisation may end up “arguing about the information instead of dealing with the business.”

More

**

Book Mark

QUALITATIVE MARKETING RESEARCH: A CULTURAL APPROACHJohanna Moisander Anu Valtonen Sage (www.sagepublications.com)
Photos never represent objective evidence

Can cultural methods and knowledge help marketers? Yes, “in the systems of representation where the wants, meanings, ideas, norms and values associated with marketplace behaviour are discursively produced,” aver the authors. “Cultural research problematises taken-for-granted ideas, and questions received wisdoms in an attempt to offer new perspectives ... It thus can provide a space for alternative constructions of real-life phenomena or marginal versions of them.” A book heavy on research but worth plodding on, I’d suggest, especially to those who’d love to delve deeper into entrenched habits of marketing.

More

**

Book ValueEntries & Exits
Dr Alexander Elder
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Successful trading is based on three Ms
“Successful trading is based on three Ms — mind, method and money,” says Elder. “Mind is your trading psychology; method is how you analyse markets and make trading decisions; money is risk control.” The formula is also explained as 3 Bs, viz. ‘balls, brain and bankroll’. These are ‘the legs of a three-legged stool,’ because if any one is missing, you end up on the floor!
More

**
Book Value
Futures Markets: Made Easy with 250 Questions and Answers
Sunil K. Parameswaran
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Into the exotic world of futures
A numerical illustration given in the book should make things clearer. “Mitoken Solutions has entered into a forward contract with ICICI Bank to acquire $1,00,000 after 90 days at an exchange rate of Rs 45.50 per dollar,” it begins. After 90 days, “the company will be required to pay Rs 45,50,000 to the bank and in lieu accept the dollars.” And, “as per the contract, the bank will have to accept the equivalent amount in Indian currency, and deliver the dollars.” The underlying asset is the dollar, in this case. The main parties to the deal are ‘long,’ the person who agrees to buy the underlying asset, and the opposite ‘short,’ the one who agrees to sell.
More

**

Book Value
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
T. Harv Eker
HarperBusiness (www.harpercollins.com)

Play the money game to win
Aren’t the laws of money all about ‘business knowledge, money management, and investment strategies?’ They are just the ‘outer laws,’ according to Eker. “These are essential. But the inner game is just as important... It’s not enough to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be the right person in the right place at the right time.”
More

**
Book Value
Street Wise
Janet Bamford
Bloomberg Press (www.bloomberg.com)

Investing for teens
The book is a guide for teen investors. Teens form a powerful group of the population because ‘when it comes to making money by investing,’ time is on their side. “A study by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) showed that Gen X investors (defined as 18 to 34 year olds) make up 19 per cent of investors.”
More

**

Book Value
Technical Analysis for the Rest of Us
Clifford Pistolese
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Why is technical analysis so popular?
Begin, therefore, with ‘basic concepts of technical analysis’ using which you can distinguish ‘desirable, timely investments’ from the rest. “It’s not possible for you to know everything that affects the financial fortunes of a company. However, all that is known about a company’s prospects is reflected in a stock price chart that summarises the results of all the transactions in its stock.”
More

**

Books of Account
Up Against the Wal-Marts
Don Taylor and Jeanne Smalling Archer
Amacom (www.amacombooks.org)

12 financial must-knows
The second way should interest accountants, because it is about reducing costs. “Wal-Mart was able to operate on about half the expense that their largest competitors consumed as operating costs. They passed part of the cost savings along to their customers in the form of lower prices.”
More

**
Books of Account
Directors’ Dilemmas
Patrick Dunne
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Directors in tricky spots
But first, what’s a dilemma? “A tricky spot with no immediately obvious conclusion and where the alternative solutions all involve some degree of pain,” defines Dunne. Alternatives can be more than two, please note. Fundamental drivers that cause dilemmas for directors are four, he lists. First is ‘confusion over the role of the board’. Role evolves, reminds the author. “As the company enters new phases of development in scale, breadth and ownership, the nature of the role of the board will need to change.”
More

**
E-Dimension
In Spite of the Gods
Edward Luce
Little Brown (www.littlebrown.co.uk)

India moving forward ‘on a remarkably stable trajectory’
He opens the book with André, ‘a sixty-three-year-old Frenchman with a greying ponytail and a passion for Vedantic philosophy’ in Auroville, Pondicherry. “India has thousands and thousands of years of practice at harmonising differences and penetrating to the unity beyond,” André tells Luce. “There is an essence to India that other countries do not have, which tells you that behind the diversity of life there is a spiritual reality called unity.”
More

**
Manage Mentor
‘Succeed on Your Own Terms’
Herb Greenberg and Patrick Sweeney
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Find your key strengths
But first, what is success? “The achievement of whatever it is you set out to do,” says Rebecca Stephens, ‘the first British woman to climb Mount Everest.’ That success has less to do with what you have than with knowing who you are is one of the many insightful blurbs in the book. The authors’ favourite definition, however, is this, from Jose Luiz Tejon Megido, a Brazilian author: “Success starts with keeping a sense of youth about you. Keep inside of you an image of the child you were. And make sure the child is always part of who you are and what you’re doing.”
More

**
Manage Mentor
Creativity@Work
S. Ramachander
Response (www.indiasage.com)

There is no formula for creativity
There is no formula for creativity, he says. Nor is his book a toolbox for creative managers. “Creative element requires breaking away from routine, and applies largely to matters where a straightforward, right answer is not ready at hand.” Ask challenging questions, advises Ramachander. “If the trodden path and the status quo were not challenged, very little new would happen.” Also, seek hidden connections, he exhorts.
More

**
Manage Mentor
Purpose
Nikos Mourkogiannis
Palgrave Macmillan (www.palgrave.com)

Purpose is your moral DNA

Managers who want a company built to last should build it on ideas that have lasted, insists the author. “Among these are offering great products, giving good service and focussing on the customer.” The key to purpose is its broad applicability, impacting both the product and the people. “And purpose must be sincere. The wicked but clever need not apply.”

More

**
Book Mark
The Culture Code
Clotaire Rapaille
Broadway Books (www.broadwaybooks.com)

Imprint and its code: Like a lock and its combination

First, what is ‘culture code’? Rapaille defines it as “the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing - a car, a type of food, a relationship, even a country - via the culture in which we are raised.” For instance, the code for Jeep in the US is ‘horse,’ he discovers, and therefore advises Chrysler engineers to replace the square headlights with round ones. “Because horses have round eyes, not square ones.” Also, “The Wrangler needed to have removable doors and an open top because drivers wanted to feel the wind around them, as though they were riding a horse.”

More

**

Book Mark
101 Ways to Market Your Business
Andrew Griffiths
Jaico (www.jaicobooks.com)

Cut the ‘Can I help you?’ question

Small may be beautiful, but the harsh reality is that many small businesses fail within the first few years. Reasons are lack of initial capital and marketing ability, says the author. “People running these businesses work very hard, generally have excellent products and often are completely dedicated to making their business a success, but they just don’t know how to find new customers or keep existing ones.”

More

**

Book Mark
The Giants of Sales
Tom Sant
Amacom (www.amacombooks.org)

Wisdom of four sales gurus
Sant classifies sales methods into four. The first is process-oriented, with “a series of identifiable steps,” by following which the salesperson achieves success. Approaches of this type have dominated the sales training market for the past generation, says the author.
More

**
Book Mark
Living Supply Chains
John Gattorna
Pearson Education (www.pearson-books.com)

Breathe life into your supply chain
Sant classifies sales methods into four. The first is process-oriented, with “a series of identifiable steps,” by following which the salesperson achieves success. Approaches of this type have dominated the sales training market for the past generation, says the author.
More

**
Book Mark
Marketing Metrics
Paul W. Farris, Neil T. Bendle, Phillip E. Pfeifer and David J. Reibstein
Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.co.in)

A ‘dashboard’ of metrics
Begin, therefore, with a study of ‘share of hearts, minds, and markets,’ a chapter that introduces you to metrics such as BDI (brand development index), AAU (awareness, attitudes, and usage), willingness to recommend, penetration, and willingness to search. Before taking a plunge into these, first define your market. Not a trivial exercise, alert the authors. “If a firm defines its market too broadly, it may dilute its focus. If it does so too narrowly, it will miss opportunities and allow threats to emerge unseen.”

More

**
Book Mark
Ten Deadly Marketing Sins
Philip Kotler
Wiley India (www.wileyindia.com)

Why marketing is in bad shape

The first sin, according to Kotler, is lack of market focus. To say, for instance, that you sell to ‘everyone’ is a key sign of poor identification of market segments. “A women’s dress shop might say, ‘We sell clothing to women between ages 20 and 50.’ “ To Kotler, this isn’t acceptable, either, because the range is ‘a pretty large group’ with varying needs. “Younger women are more likely to dress for the social scene while the 35+ group is probably more interested in utility in clothes for work and home.”

More

**
Book Value
Getting Started as a Financial Planner
Jeffrey H. Rattiner
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

How to help the wealthy manage their money
Rattiner offers a method that financial service professionals and also the non-financially trained individuals can use for graduating “from a transaction-oriented business model to one involving a step-by-step process.” The key, as the author insists, is to adopt ‘a comprehensive client-first approach’ so that it is possible to uncover more of what the client is looking for.
More

**

Book Value
Candlesticks Explained
Martin J. Pring
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Many terms used in candlestick method are battle oriented
Portia wonders in The Merchant of Venice, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” Quite far, you can also say of candlesticks as charting technique for price prediction. For, their source is Japan; it was in the 1700s, that ‘the earliest forms of candlestick charts were originally used to predict rice price,’ as chapter 1 unravels. “In 1750, a wealthy Japanese merchant, Munehisa Homma, began trading at his local rice exchange in Sakata using his own personal candlestick analysis.”
More

**

Books 2 Byte
Information Technology, Innovation System and Trade Regime in Developing Countries
K.J. Joseph
Palgrave Macmillan (www.palgrave.com)

ICT as a shortcut to prosperity
Alas, human capital can’t be built overnight; so, the author’s suggestion is ‘a two-pronged action towards increasing the quantity and quality of IT manpower’. One, ‘more targeted policies for attracting investment into IT manpower training’; and two, ‘relaxing the restriction on the mobility of IT manpower.’
More
**
Books 2 Byte
The Art of Technology Management
Carl S. Ledbetter
Vision (www.visionbooksindia.com)

The CTO can be a ‘horizon filter’
“Technology managers get to help make the future, and most often they do that by explaining what technology can do,” he says. Handy insight, that is, when you want to overcome people’s intimidation by technology.
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
John Wood
Collins (www.harpercollins.com)

From Microsoft to the land of monks
“Be in Johannesburg on Friday and Taiwan on Monday, ready to do presentation, take meetings, and do press interviews. The job was financially rewarding but full of high pressure and stress.” It was as if the mantra was, “You can sleep when you are dead and buried.”
More
**