Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tools for technical drawings

Books 2 Byte
Mastering AutoCAD 2009 and AutoCAD LT 2009
George Omura
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Ribbon facility

Autodesk releases new versions of AutoCAD every year, and the latest version has a new tool panel called the ‘Ribbon,’ informs George Omura in Mastering AutoCAD 2009 and AutoCAD LT 2009. This includes the most common tools needed to produce technical drawings of all types, he adds.

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Proposal for the dropouts

Books 2 Byte
Gujarat: Perspectives of the future
R. Swaminathan
( http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Computer study as a dropout antidote

In Gujarat, the dropouts betweens standards 8 and 10 (not appearing for the SSC exam), in the age group of 15-18 years, add to more than 2 lakh. If you add the number of students who are not able to clear the SSC exam, the number of those discontinuing studies between standards 8 and 10 mounts to 4,50,000. “These dropouts are potential entrants into the labour force and thus are important from the point of view of foundation for building the superstructure of qualified manpower in the economy,” avers an essay in Gujarat: Perspectives of the future, edited by R. Swaminathan.

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Avoid the risk of alienation

Books 2 Byte
Recruiting, Retaining and Releasing People: Managing redeployment, return, retirement and redundancy
Adrian Mackay
(Elsevier)

Guard yourself against ‘infomania’

Mobile technology is already revolutionising working life, and whatever one writes about it is out of date as soon as it is published, observes Adrian Mackay in Recruiting, Retaining and Releasing People: Managing redeployment, return, retirement and redundancy (Elsevier). While the ability to access e-mail during downtime spent travelling or waiting for meetings can bring vast time savings and speeds of response to busy managers, there is a worrying trend, the author alerts.

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‘Uncontrolled transaction’

Books 2 Byte
Guidance Note on Report on International Transactions Under Section 92E of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 (Transfer Pricing)
( http://www.icai.org/)

Transfer pricing guidance

AE1 Ltd, an Indian company manufacturing CD writers, supplied 10,000 nos. of the product to AE2 Ltd, a related foreign company, at Rs 2,000 a unit, and 200 nos. of the same product to AE3 Ltd, a related Indian company, at Rs 2,750 a unit…
This is one of the examples, on ‘the application of comparable uncontrolled price method,’ in Guidance Note on Report on International Transactions Under Section 92E of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 (Transfer Pricing).

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'Prestige rewards, hard to undo'

Books 2 Byte
Reward Systems: Does yours measure up?
Steve Kerr
Harvard Business Press

Reversible compensation

We are so used to ‘ctrl+Z’ — the keyboard shortcut to undo and backtrack — that we take the reversal facility as almost a given, in any situation. Alas, it may not always work with employee compensations. You may be able to reclaim the company car from an employee, strip him of his title, or take him out of the partnership; but increasing the base pay may be a one-way route, warns a forthcoming book from Harvard Business Press. “Prestige rewards, too, are often hard to undo,” adds Steve Kerr in Reward Systems: Does yours measure up?

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Monday, November 24, 2008

'Techno-lust' can motivate technology

Books 2 Byte
Change Management in Organisations
Mark Hughes
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Technological change

Technology may be regarded as part of a spectrum ranging from hardware to social and organisational structures, says Mark Hughes in Change Management in Organisations. Citing published works, he writes how technology has been explained using metaphors — such as “machine, organism, and information-processing brain.”

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Corporate response to climate change

Books 2 Byte
Climate Change: What’s your Business Strategy?
Andrew J. Hoffman and John G. Woody
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Big Blue’s green strategy

Generally, we all have survival strategies to handle the exigencies of weather. But, to help ensure the planet’s survival, do our organisations have a climate change strategy? Here is an example of how a corporate responded to climate change. In 2007, IBM announced a plan to redirect $1 billion a year across its businesses to dramatically increase the level of energy efficiency in information technology, inform Andrew J. Hoffman and John G. Woody in Climate Change: What’s your Business Strategy?

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Ready-to-implement tips for the time-hassled

BookValue
Stress at Work: Management and Prevention
Jeremy Stranks
(Elsevier)

Prioritise, allocate time

Many people suffer stress through their failure to effectively manage their time, says Jeremy Stranks in Stress at Work: Management and Prevention (Elsevier). Check if these situations sound familiar: “Last minute crises because a report has not been finished on time, travel arrangements have not been made for an impending business trip or too much time was spent doing a task which is enjoyable at the expense of another task considered a chore.”

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China's investment in the developing world

BookValue
Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power is Transforming the World
Joshua Kurlantzick
( http://www.oup.com/ )

Frantic shopping spree

China cannot yet match American or Japanese or European investment in the developing world, writes Joshua Kurlantzick in Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power is Transforming the World. “In Singapore, one of the most open and business-friendly economies on earth – and a state that has encouraged mainland Chinese companies to enter its market – American companies have invested more than $40 billion,” he informs.

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Risk management triangle

BookValue
Operational Risk Management
S.K. Bagchi
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/ )

Understanding operational risk

Apart from credit risk and market risk, an important arm of the risk management triangle is operational or transaction risk, says S.K. Bagchi in Operational Risk Management.

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Market failure is actually a human failing

BookValue
The Best Book on the Market: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy
Eamonn Butler
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Markets are only human

It is easy to turn away from the depressing charts and fret about the fickleness of markets or argue why at all we should be putting faith in them. But then markets are only human, reasons Eamonn Butler in The Best Book on the Market: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy.

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'Your voice is your ambassador to the outside world'

Mentor
Everything you Wanted to Know about Radio Jockeying... but didn’t know whom to ask
Noel Keymer
(http://www.magnamags.com/)

Tips for a healthy voice

Visually conscious people spend hours at the gym to keep their bodies in shape so that they look good, but singers, actors and RJs (radio jockeys) need to work out their voices to sound good, says Noel Keymer in Everything you Wanted to Know about Radio Jockeying... but didn’t know whom to ask.

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Agree with the 'criticiser'

Mentor
The How to Easily Handle Difficult People Handbook
Murray Oxman
( http://www.wileyindia.com/ )

Tackling tough people

The phone rings and the caller is a salesman who wouldn’t take a ‘No’ for an answer. For instance, you say, “Thanks, but I’m not interested,’ and he says, ‘Would you please tell me why?’ Not keen on being rude, you continue the conversation but you are burning inwardly. “Maybe you even bought what he was selling, something you really didn’t want, out of guilt over feeling resentful.” Watch out, this is ‘the persister,’ cautions Murray Oxman in The How to Easily Handle Difficult People Handbook.

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A few strategies to deal with hecklers

Mentor
Speak Easy: The essential guide to speaking in public
Maggie Eyre
(http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Stay calm when heckled

As a speaker, do you find that some people either disagree with what you’re saying, or just want to disrupt your speech or show off? You are not alone. Even the best presenters have to deal with hecklers at times, says Maggie Eyre in Speak Easy: The essential guide to speaking in public.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Technology of a firm is the production function


Books of Account
Microeconomic Analysis
Hal R. Varian
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

Cost function

The cost function is the single most useful tool for studying the economic behaviour of a firm, says Hal R. Varian in Microeconomic Analysis, third edition. The cost function summarises all economically relevant information about the technology of the firm, he argues.

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Reliable report

Books of Account
Perspectives on Development
V.V. Bhatt
( http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Data bank

The Reserve Bank of India is known for meticulous collection, analysis and dissemination of data on various aspects of the Indian economy, and these are published in the Currency and Finance reports, reminisces V.V. Bhatt in Perspectives on Development.

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'127, the winning slide count!'

Book Mark
The Madness Starts at 9
Vinay Kanchan
( http://www.cinnamonteal.in/)

Deliriously hilarious

The ‘pitch’ is a process, during which an ad agency approaches a client with the intention of acquiring his business, usually marked by ‘environmentally friendly activities’ such as recycling research, strategy, and creative,defines Vinay Kanchan in The Madness Starts at 9: Life and Times in an Ad Agency.

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'Turn off your defence mechanism'

Book Mark
Dealing with Difficult People
Roberta Cava
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Survival tips for frontline staff

How to deal with nasty customers, demanding bosses and annoying co-workers? Here’s help from Roberta Cava’s Dealing with Difficult People. “Companies usually forbid their employees to retaliate when faced with client’s negative behaviour. The result is often frustrated, stressed-out employees,” she writes, in a chapter on dealing with difficult clients.


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Branding amounts to getting consumers’ attention

Book Mark
Branding Only Works On Cattle
Jonathan Salem Baskin
( http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/)

Branding doesn’t work anymore

We can keep talking about brands and how they work till the cows come home, but this one line from Jonathan Salem Baskin can hit you like a tonne of bull waste: ‘Branding doesn’t work anymore.’ In all likelihood we may have to be si tting back and watching consumers produce ads and then sell to themselves, he foresees. Maybe it isn’t enough to deliberate on how to brand, but rather if it’s reasonable to expect to brand at all, wonders Baskin in Branding Only Works On Cattle.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Deliberate practice with passion leads to great performance

Manage Mentor
Talent is Overrated
Geoff Colvin
( http://www.nicholasbrealey.com/)

Creative achievement and intrinsic motivation go together

Deliberate practice, which leads to great performance, is hard, which is why no one can do it without the benefit of passion, argues Geoff Colvin in Talent is Overrated: What really separates world-class performers from everybody else.

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‘Five rules to lead by’

Manage Mentor
The Leadership Code
Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood and Kate Sweetman
Harvard Business Press

Proficiency, the ultimate rule of leadership

Shape the future. Make things happen. Engage today’s talent. Build the next generation. And invest in yourself. These are the ‘five rules to lead by’ says The Leadership Code by Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood and Kate Sweetman, a forthcoming publication from Harvard Business Press.

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Rapid prototyping

BookValue
Executing for Results
Jeffrey Pfeffer
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

The knowing-doing gap

It is not always that we apply things we know. To bridge the gap between knowing and doing, you must begin by understanding the source of this gap, says Jeffrey Pfeffer in one of the essays included in Executing for Results.

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Take your brain for a walk

BookValue
The Power of Creative Intelligence: 10 Ways to Tap into your Creative Genius
Tony Buzan
( http://www.thorsons.com/ )

Walk it out

Want to solve a problem? Go for long walks, advises Tony Buzan in The Power of Creative Intelligence: 10 Ways to Tap into your Creative Genius. The Romans had a special phrase, solvitas perambulum, which can be roughly translated as ‘solve it while you walk,’ he narrates.

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Lessons for investors

BookValue
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
Roger Lowenstein
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Long-Term lessons

Alan Greenspan’s serious and long-running error was to consistently shrug off the need for regulation and better disclosure with regard to derivative products, rues Roger Lowenstein in When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management.

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The Great Depression

BookValue
The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets
Peter D. Schiff
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Are stocks really a reliable inflation hedge?

The situation we currently face is of a magnitude comparable to the Great Depression and the next worst bear market, the stagflation period of the 1970s, says Peter D. Schiff in The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets: How to Keep your Portfolio up when the Market is Down.

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'Migrating' villagers

Mentor
Droughts and Integrated Water Resource Management in South Asia
Jasveen Jairath and Vishwa Ballabh
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Drought impact

What happens when drought hits villagers? Here is an account from Srinivas Mudrakartha in one of the essays included in Droughts and Integrated Water Resource Management in South Asia: Issues, alternatives and futures, edited by Jasveen Jairath and Vishwa Ballabh.

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Soil study

Mentor
Environmental Studies
S.N. Chary
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Restoring land’s health

Every wasteland cannot be reclaimed to an agricultural land; some can be restored for agro-forestry (trees, crops and fodder all together), and some only for forestry, writes S.N. Chary in Environmental Studies.

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The three costs of MFIs

Mentor
Technical Guide on Accounting for Microfinance Institutions
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/ )

Accounting for MFIs

Microfinance institutions normally incur three types of costs while delivering financial services, viz. operating costs, risk costs, and cost of funds. Thus informs Technical Guide on Accounting for Microfinance Institutions.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Translating with a cultural approach

Book Mark
International Management: A Cultural Approach
Carl Rodrigues
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

When language crosses cultures

When Coca-Cola Company initially introduced its beverage in China, a hurdle it had to cross was the translation of the product name into Mandarin. Local vendors used Mandarin characters to phonetically spell the sound of Coca-Cola, but there was a problem. “The characters the vendors selected actually meant ‘bite the wax tadpole,’” narrates Carl Rodrigues in International Management: A Cultural Approach, third edition.

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Marketing, not an expense in the budget

Book Mark
Marketing Calculator
Guy R. Powell
(http://www.wiley.com/)

A marketing-effectiveness culture

Initiatives such as total quality management and continuous improvement take a U-turn at the door to the marketing department, laments Guy R. Powell in Marketing Calculator: Measuring and Managing Return on marketing Investment. “Unlike the rest of the company, most marketing departments don’t have an infrastructure and culture of measurement and continuous improvement built into their DNA.”

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Six powerful ways to make a positive first impression

Book Mark
The Nonverbal Advantage
Carol Kinsey Goman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Making the first impression

First impressions are more heavily influenced by non-verbal cues than by verbal cues, says Carol Kinsey Goman in The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work. “Studies have found that nonverbal cues have more than four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.”


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Monday, November 10, 2008

Not a ‘glass ceiling’ but a ‘concrete wall’

Manage Mentor
Gender and Diversity in Management: A concise introduction
Caroline Gatrell and Elaine Swan
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Velvet ghetto

Although women may be well qualified, and might work in organisations purporting to have policies which offer equality of opportunity, the career ladder for women in large companies is often foreshortened, while the male ladder extends to the top of the career tree, observe Caroline Gatrell and Elaine Swan in Gender and Diversity in Management: A concise introduction.

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Be a 'hungry' leader

Manage Mentor
Launching a Leadership Revolution
Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward
( http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/)

Three Hs as ‘raw material’ for a leader

Hungry, hone-able, and honourable. In these ‘three Hs’ Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward capture what constitutes the ‘raw material’ for a leader. “It is futile to proceed in leadership development without these cornerstones,” they declare in Launching a Leadership Revolution.

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Foreseeing the next decade

Books 2 Byte
Futurecast 2020: A global vision of tomorrow
Robert Shapiro
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Burst of growth and development

In parts of Latin America, in areas of Africa not torn by civil conflict, and in India, Robert Shapiro foresees a ‘burst of growth and development’ over the next decade, driven by ‘the convergence of mobile telephone, mobile Internet, and inexpensive laptops,’ and the welcoming of foreign companies to build the networks and provide the hardware/software, and to invest in education. “But the prospect of widespread Internet access will present a problem for China’s leadership, who consistently work to restrict their people’s unfettered Web access,” Shapiro writes in Futurecast 2020: A global vision of tomorrow.

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‘A soaring view’ of the software!


Books 2 Byte
3ds Max 2009 Bible
Kelly L. Murdock
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Firing a cannonball

Kelly L. Murdock is aware that buyers of 3D animation software are driven by a variety of motivations. Such as, ‘to make money, claim a tax write-off, earn a way to Hollywood, or impress your girlfriend or boyfriend…’. Keeping all those considerations aside, Murdock locks into one goal, of creating something cool, and so he launches off with a bang, almost quite literally: his book 3ds Max 2009 Bible opens , with ‘Firing a cannonball’ to help you get ‘a soaring view’ of the software!

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IP for resiliency and fault tolerance

Books 2 Byte
Authorized Self-Study Guide: Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager Part 2 (CIPT2)
Chris Olsen
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Annoyed passengers and dropped packets

We use IP (Internet Protocol) networks almost all the time, so it may come as a surprise to many that these networks were not originally designed for carrying real-time traffic. Instead, they were designed for resiliency and fault tolerance, writes Chris Olsen in Authorized Self-Study Guide: Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager Part 2 (CIPT2).

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A 'flexible' software

Books 2 Byte
Innovation Power Plays
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

SAP makeover

Search for ‘Agassi,’ and the first find among the 3-million-plus results on Google is about the ‘Andre’ icon in tennis. Second comes Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place, which is planning to launch an AUD$1 billion electric car infrastructure project in Australia, working along with AGL Energy and Macquarie Capital Group.

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Mobilising human resource in a planned way

Books 2 Byte
HR Forecasting and Planning
Paul Turner
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Manpower planning, a dynamic activity

Manpower planning has a long history, traces Paul Turner in HR Forecasting and Planning. The ability to mobilise human resource in a planned way was even a feature of the success of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago, he writes.
“So much so that when Hannibal arrived at the gates of Rome, he found three armies in order of battle prepared to receive him. This was in spite of other military campaigns elsewhere.”

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'It is difficult to buy back lost loyalty'

Books 2 Byte
Information Systems Project Management
David Avison and Gholamreza Torkzadeh
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Risks of offshore outsourcing

Decline in employee morale tops the list of ‘risks of offshore outsourcing’ in Information Systems Project Management by David Avison and Gholamreza Torkzadeh. The authors concede that it is difficult to assess and measure the risk related to employee morale; however, they group the impact under two broad heads, viz. reduced employee loyalty and diminished work quality.

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The private equity fund

BookValue
India’s Financial Markets: An Insider’s Guide to how the Markets Work
Ajay Shah, Susan Thomas, and Michael Gorham
( http://www.books.elsevier.com/ )

How markets work

The professional private equity fund is a relatively recent phenomenon in India, write Ajay Shah, Susan Thomas, and Michael Gorham in India’s Financial Markets: An Insider’s Guide to how the Markets Work.

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Tax tips

BookValue
Taxation of Capital Gains
George Koshi and V.K. Subramani
( http://www.taxmann.com/ )

Tax-planning ideas

Transfer of shares in a company in exchange for shares in the amalgamated company is not regarded as transfer if the amalgamated company is an Indian company. However, for the shares exchanged the consideration must only be in the form of shares in the amalgamated company,” reads another tip in Taxation of Capital Gains, based on a verdict delivered in the Gautam Sarabhai Trust case.

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Stay well informed about your financial matters

BookValue
Entrepreneur Power Plays
Greg Norman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Your money, your destiny

Take control over your own money, your own destiny. This is an important lesson that Greg Norman learnt after paying the price for not giving closer attention to how other people handled his affairs. “It’s fine to delegate, but if you don’t stay well informed, especially about your financial matters, you put yourself at risk,” advises an essay about Norman in Entrepreneur Power Plays: How the World’s Most Dynamic Thinkers Reach the Top of their Game.

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'Evaporation’ of liquidity

BookValue
The Gods that Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets has Cost us our Future
Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Lid off the modern Pandora’s box

August 9, 2007, was the date on which the lid came off the modern version of Pandora’s box, write Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson in The Gods that Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets has Cost us our Future. That was when the financial markets wobbled, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing almost 400 points, the authors chronicle.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The 'champion clients'

Book Mark
Savvy Networking: 118 Fast & Effective Tips for Business Success
Andrea R. Nierenberg
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Create clients for life

Invite your ‘champion clients’ to serve on your board of directors. Spend thirty minutes each day talking with two existing clients. Connect your clients through common interests. Invite clients/customers to test a new product or servicebefore you offer it to the public … These are among the many suggestions that Andrea R. Nierenberg offers in Savvy Networking: 118 Fast & Effective Tips for Business Success.

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Textile ad revolution

Book Mark
Market ing Successfully: A Professional Perspective
A. Nag
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Media mix vs model fix

How was the textile advertising scene in the 1970s? Almost all the textile manufacturers, with a few exceptions such as Raymond, were trying to create an image by heavily depending on the models they were using, writes A. Nag in Marketing Successfully: A Professional Perspective.

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Sales strategies

Book Mark
Sales and Distribution Management: An Indian Perspective
Pingali Venugopal
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

When an MNC went to auto mechanics

Why did ‘ACC ki Duniya’ initiative of the company to sell its branded product through exclusive outlets fail in the mid-1980s? Because the product was then undifferentiated and any brand of cement was acceptable to thebuyers, reasons Pingali Venugopal in Sales and Distribution Management: An Indian Perspective.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Women managers in Indian organisations

Manage Mentor
Gender Stereotypes in Corporate India: A Glimpse
Sujoya Basu
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Women, the safer managerial material

It may take ages for the discrimination against women in Indian organisations to end, rues Sujoya Basu in Gender Stereotypes in Corporate India: A Glimpse. Any remedy would need large doses of awareness, apt legislation, and a general change in societal mindset, she suggests.

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'Behaviour that is praised is likely to be repeated'

Books of Account
Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible tips and scripts for perplexed parents
Betsy Brown Braun
( http://www.harpercollins.com/ )

Truth lessons

Learning to be a moral person takes maturity, experience, and time, writes Betsy Brown Braun in Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible tips and scripts for perplexed parents. Like all other aspects of development, it is a process that is complicated and requires a parent to be consistent and patient, she explains. “Learning to tell the truth is just that… a lesson to be learned.”

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The maritime history of the British Empire

Books of Account
Madras: Tracing the growth of the city since 1639
K. R. A. Narasiah
( http://www.nhm.in/ )

Spice trade

One of the nodal points in the maritime history of the British Empire involves the establishment of a commercial venture known as the East India Company, which was founded on the last day of 1600, writes K. R. A. Narasiah in Madras: Tracing the growth of the city since 1639. “Its original name when founded by a royal charter was ‘The Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies.’

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From Malabar to Rome

Books of Account
A Splendid Exchange: How trade shaped the world
William J. Bernstein
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Pepper riches

“What investment banking is to the ambitious and the acquisitive today, the pepper trade was to the Romans — the most direct route to great riches,” writes William J. Bernstein in A Splendid Exchange: How trade shaped the world. Alas, the Romans suffered a big fall, and so have the investment bankers. Yet, the book is an ideal read for those who would like to bask in the history of commerce, and know about things such as how the new luxuries such as Chinese silk and Indian wildlife, borne on the trade winds, electrified the Roman Empire’s affluent.

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