Thursday, July 11, 2013

Obesity of nations (?) - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization study.

Source: FAO

I am quite surprised to find a mix of wealthy and poor nations at the top. Most of these nations are from Americas or Middle Eastern countries. Could be due to diet habits which used to be high on carbs, fats with little work.

Ofcourse, I did expected India, China and other South Aisan/East Asian countries to do well in this area. South Asia mainly because of "average out" reasons (i.e. India has got too much obese folks compensated by too poor people who can't afford a good meal or simply malnutrition), while East Asia due to their food habits.

Anyway the PDF file can be downloaded from the above website but I've copied it to Google Docs in Excel format for easier sorting. (hope it's not illegal...If it is plz let me know through comments section and will remove it.)

Google Docs Link

Google is killing Latitude

Source: Google

Google Latitude will be retired on August 9th, 2013. Products being retired include Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at

Guess, Google is killing all those apps which are 'cool' but doesn't make much money to them. Reader was gone and now Latitude. Don't know but being a loyal fan of Latitude I am gonna miss it. I've started using Facebook locations (private checkin) especially to keep the record of specific locations, interesting places at new destinations etc.

May be time to look in to Google+ when it's available on iPhone. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Singapore TDSR Rules impact on your property purchases.

I don't know whether the TDSR rules would have an impact on the market. Seems I am surrounded by cash rich millionaires who are on a spending spree. The property values almost tripled or doubled across the country. I saw a document in Today which tried to do a simple calculation on the TDSR. So I thought I'd help the author/today by adding a excel file.

So here is the Google Docs link.

This is shared as a public link so you can use it. Of course usual disclaimer applies. I am not a financial expert, and this is purely for a very very basic understanding. You should talk to a financial planner or bank to get a clear picture. the data is only a very high level estimate and i may be totally wrong with my formulas.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

ITES Industry woes in India - Now the low end 'moat' is gone and it is a matter of time before it hits other areas.

Source: CNA

Here is the summary:

India was, at one time, considered the call-centre capital of the world, but it has since lost its status to the Philippines. Some analysts are of the view that India can regain its status, with government support and by giving people the right training.

Now, the big challenge is not really due to the "government support" but more structural issues. Whether it's the non-stop growth in wages in the last decade, or almost nonexistent infrastructure, or the people attitude of get rich quick which, or near zero growth in productivity, or the overall experience or blame the acceleration in globalization bringing more nations to the market, end of the day the market is in dire state. 

Based on Assocham numbers, the new jobs generated dropped by 2% in April-June quarter to 125,000. This is 4.3x the time of Singapore with a net 28,900 addition on Q1. Well, I don't know about numbers from USA or China or Philippines but the number looks dangerously low. It could be only the number from 'tracked' industries or specific cities, which I am not sure but still based on the details in Assocham press release this shows across all metro's, tier-2, and even tier-3 cities.

In my opinion, the key problem is productivity, lack of innovation and more importantly the "service culture & professionalism" which unfortunately not well maintained in Indian industry these days. The "chalta hai" attitude is not only killing the public sector but started to show the dangers in private sector. What we need from industry bodies like FICCI or ASSOCHAM or NASSCOM is to bring back the professionalism and show the value to the Customer. Then all these short falls associated with culture or accent will disappear without any issue.

Philippines, you guys have done a great job. The best thing is we can see it and experience it. Be it the simplification of VISA, or the industry or the regulation. Ofcourse, there are plenty of things to improve but the initiation can be seen and it is good news for all pinoy folks. Cheers..