September 12, 2010

F1 car in the streets !!

I had always been amazed at the engineering marvel of the Formula 1 cars….. always wondered if any part of the development carried out in F1 would be transferred onto the commercial road vehicles. Many of the auto manufacturers on the F1 grid like Maranello Ferraris, Woking McLarens, sometimes Enstones Renault and very few times Toyota have managed to translate the on-track developments to on-road vehicles.

The Maranello has quite always been ahead of the pack… and the latest 2010 Ferrari 599XX very nearly puts a F1 car in the streets….just to get your attention, some facts-

· Number of cars to be made - 29

· Comparitive speed - bloody 10 sec faster than Ferrari Enzo

· Engine - V12 producing 720bhp@ 9000rpm

· Speed achievement - 100kmph in 2.9 sec

The icing on the cake…. It costs just a fortune of $1.8mn

For more inputs see this article

Or you can get better info right from the creators at their homepage for FERRARI 599XX

August 20, 2010

Perfection….. Discipline

These two words ‘are’ sufficient to describe this country. These guys thrive on living by & perhaps even dying by these two, quite simple words …which in actual are quite difficult to be adhered to, under varying circumstances and possibly at various stages of one’s life

In manufacturing space or as is the latest trend in s/w industry too, people take pride in 6-sigma (highest standard of quality- 1 error in 1 million cycle) being implemented at the work places. There are teams entrusted with the job to actually ensure that it is followed. Now, for a change think about having such a process being implemented across not one or two locations of a company but across towns, cities, metros …actually the whole country. For such a thing to happen one can imagine the indefinite numbers of check points and SWAT sort of teams required to ensure this ‘process’ is adhered to……

But, surprisingly no such mechanism exists in this place, and still my dear friends this country has managed to pull out amazing results in 6-sigma scores—scores that might put quite a few global giants (in manufacturing space) to shame. The desire to follow a process should come from within an individual and the guys over here follow them like a ritual- being it as simple as crossing road, stopping at red light to designing their own life, prioritizing tasks at hand and still finding time to take time to do their fav past time. If asked how they do it, they might come up with the

“ofcourse I don’t look busy, ‘coz I did it right the first time”

Just imagine if this small country is able to top the charts with such a small set of ppl (population), what a country of 1 billion like minded people can do, by following the two simple words. Imagine what good use the man power could be put to if ‘citizens’ could KISS (keep it sweet & simple) things… but we always find ways to blame it on someone else.

I guess the nature too has got used to this discipline and hence one can find seasons starting and ending like clockwork each year. On a lighter sense, with more of ‘us’ coming here, the seasons too have gone for a toss…perhaps they are taking a break by following ‘our’ ways …. J

August 19, 2010

Ph.D is nothing but... a dent u make!!!

I was as usual doing nothing during the most fruitful time of the day—the sweet gap between munching lunch and about to fall asleep!!! Ultimately landed this particular page of Matt Might who is an Asst. Professor at University of Utah…….

He defines Ph.D in simple pictures all but conveying a tremendous message to the fresh batch of Ph.D students…… wish someone could have told me so, I might have been in a different line altogether !!!

This is what he’s been explaining to the students… message

July 30, 2010

Who is your tomorrow's competitor??

This seems to be a nice little essay on how competition can dawn upon one from the unexpected quarter….
[Management Views from IIMB is an exclusive column written every two weeks for by faculty members of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.]

Who sells the largest number of cameras in India?
Your guess is likely to be Sony, Canon or Nikon. The answer is: None of the above. The winner is Nokia, whose main line of business in India is not cameras but cellphones. The reason is that cameras bundled with cellphones are outselling standalone cameras. Now, what prevents the cellphone from replacing the camera outright? Nothing at all.

Try this. Who runs the biggest music business in India?
The answer is Airtel. By selling caller tunes (that play for 30 seconds) Airtel earns more than music companies do by selling albums. Airtel is not in the music business. It is the mobile service provider with the largest subscriber base in India. That sort of a competitor is difficult to detect and even more difficult to beat. By the time you have identified him, he has already gone past you. But if you imagine that Nokia and Bharti (Airtel's parent) are breathing easy, you couldn't be further from the truth.

Nokia has reportedly acknowledged that it missed the smart-phone bus. It admits that Apple's iPhone and Google's Android can make life difficult for it in the future. But you never thought Google was a mobile company, did you? If these illustrations mean anything, it is that there is a bigger game unfolding. It is not so much about mobile or music or camera or emails.

The "Mahabharat" (the great Indian epic battle) in this context is: "What is tomorrow's personal digital device?" And, a related question: "Who is my competitor?"

In 2008, who was the toughest competitor to British Airways for international flights in India?
Singapore Airlines? Indian Airlines? Maybe, but there is a more interesting answer: The videoconferencing services of Hewlett-Packard and Cisco. Senior information technology executives in India and abroad were compelled by their headquarters to use videoconferencing to keep travel costs in check. Of course, there could be a rebound in travel. But to think that the airlines will be back to their previous business post-recession is something I would not bet on. In the short term, yes. In the long term, it is a resounding no.

Remember, if there is one place where Newton's law of gravity is applicable besides physics it is in electronic hardware, where prices consistently fall. Between 1977 and 1991, prices of the now-dead VCR crashed to one third of their original levels in India. PC prices also dropped. If this trend repeats itself, then videoconferencing prices will also crash. Imagine the fate of airlines then.

India has two passions. Films and cricket. The two markets were distinctly different. So were the icons. The cricket gods were Sachin and Sehwag. The film gods were the Khans (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan etc). That was when cricket was fundamentally test cricket or at best 50-over cricket.

Then came the Indian Premier League and the two markets collapsed into one. IPL brought cricket down to 20 overs, reducing the game to the length of a three-hour movie. Cricket became a competitor to film. Desperate multiplex owners requisitioned the rights for screening IPL matches at movie halls to hang on to the audience. If the IPL were to become the mainstay of cricket, films would have to sequence their releases so as to not clash with IPL matches. As far as the audience is concerned, both are a three-hour "tamasha" (entertainment). Cricket season might push films out of the market.

Look at the products that vanished from India in the last 20 years. When did you last see a black and white movie? When did you last use a fountain pen? When did you last type on a typewriter? The answer for all the above is "I don't remember!"

One final illustration. Some 20 years ago, what were Indians using to wake them up in the morning? An alarm clock, that monster of mechanical springs. It had to be physically wound up every day. It made so much noise that it woke you -- and the rest of the colony. What do we use today? Cellphones!!
An entire industry of clocks disappeared without warning thanks to cell phones. Big watch companies like Titan were the losers. You never know in which bush your competitor is hiding! On a lighter vein, who are the competitors for authors? Joke spewing machines? (Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, himself a Pole, tagged a Polish joke telling machine to a telephone much to the mirth of Silicon Valley). Or will the competition be story telling robots? Future is scary!

The boss of an IT company once said something interesting about the animal called competition. He said "Have breakfast …or…. be breakfast"! That sums it up rather neatly.
—Dr. Y. L. R. Moorthi is a professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. He is an M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a post graduate in management from IIM, Bangalore.

May 10, 2010

Pleasure to watch “the king”…Schumi

Another round of F1 passes by, though BORE-Celona GP lived up to its expectations (virtually no over taking made by the TOP players), it did produce quite a few moments to treasure. In short, the whole GP can be described as- an untouchable Webber, unlucky & lucky fellow Vettel, Hamilton- whose fortune conspired against him, lottery winner- Alonso (drove a perfect race, not just luck) and the stunning return to form of “the king”- Schumi.

The rule of pole sitter takes the win at this GP proved true, the Red Bulls ran away from the pack as the lights went green. The first 6 positions didn’t change not until Lap 16 when the King pitted. It was Lap 17 and the place was turn ‘1’. Button had a slightly bad pit stop and he came to join the track, schumi whizzed past him- from the outside!!! N forced Button to take a defensive line!! The wily old cunning fox, was at his prime in that moment- ruthless, precise and pure n pure gut feel drive (the old schumi).

Little before this at the same corner, relative newbie’s in the form of Hamilton & Vettel fought for track positions but only this time the guy on the inside (Hamilton) was able to force Vettel off the track. I dreamt about what could have had happened had Schumi been in place of Vettel!!!

From Lap 17 to until the end of race, Schumi showed his class and kept Button behind him. The aspect to watch was the way in which he would defend his position given he had a relatively slower car going into straight line speeds. Loong before the cornering, he would run off the racing line forcing Button to opt for the inside and as corner approaches, he would cover the whole of inside in one swishing move… mind u a driver is allowed to defend his position through one move alone by swaying into the path of his pursuiter!! He did that until Button’s tyres wore off, his car’s downforce took a beating and then Button was forced to look after his tyresfo rest of the race.

One special mention for Alonso, for his relentless pursuit of the TOP 3 in front of him, even though Ferrari’s lacked the pace and boy-o-boy Vettel, for driving the last 17 laps without BRAKES!!!! This GP managed to catch some attention even without the special effects of earlier races (RAIN!!!)

Looking forward to the next race….the street race of MONACO!!!!

April 2, 2010

Cultural Shock !!!

Hey buddy, lets catch up over a coffee near theatre @5PM!! Ok…and the usual turning up time would be, naah ‘WILL BE’ anywhere around 5:30 n in some cases may be worse…. Unless ofcourse we have given time to a gal, one eventually turns up earlier than the discussed time!!!... gals as usual have the exception of making it late to the meet everytime ;)!!! Well I presume that back home, we strictly believe in the PHILOSOPHY that-“Punctuality is the virtue of the bored!!” …. N we usually don’t leave enuf time for oneselves to get bored to the point of becoming PUNCTUAL :)

If one has made some observations around at workplaces (centers of learning apart from professional course ;) which don’t fall under this category) those who are actually ‘ON TIME’ are those who commute by COMPANY BUS :) n seldom having n alternate (or wanting to choose one) and the rest of the rajas’, ranis’ n to forgot those maharajas’, make their gala entrance at their convenience ……

And here, they adhere to the clock as if life will cease to exist if they get delayed by a ‘moment’, so it means that the above mentioned philosophy if applicable inadvertently proves beyond doubt that these guys here are bored… bored to death!!! :)

It doesn’t mean that I am amidst zombies…. I am amidst ROBOTS :) … these guys are organized, so very organized that they could pass off as the latest A.I. achievement of Japanese - ‘Robots’….. it’s like every damn thing ranging from daily chores to office work, social gathering all n all have been programmed into their brains as if ‘god’ made some extra effort to write-in a few more line of codes in this version of humans :). Recently, one of my colleagues at workplace was enquiring if I wud be free on 3rd Saturday of next month…. I put a dumb face at him, barely would I be able to guess what I might do this weekend or may be the next and this guy was asking about my schedule a month in advance….. later I came to know that he wanted to organize a get together n he was going around finding ‘convenient’ dates….

Everything that we can see around is planned to the precise moment, the bus timing, train arrivals, planes, meetings with people, swimming pool timing, car parking time and even the time at at which a shop closes…. Damn these guys, they close the shop even if u wanted to buy an item :( …. No wonder one wudn’t find many people at stations waiting for their bus/ train; for they know the exact minute when it would arrive…. But there is a flip side to everything and the perfection wasn’t an exception. I got to take a bus at 6:01PM & being from our placepredicted the bus might come a bit early and went to the stop 5 mins ahead of time (with my watch being 5 min fast I was actually 10 min ahead) .... on top of it these guys failed for the first time and at the wrong time….. first up, the bus came 7 mins late and the worst, I had to wait for the entire time at a bus stop without shelter and in freezing temperatures (it was around -9 deg) …… it’s entirely a different part that I was hopping, jumping, running aroung, rubbing my hands and doing all that I could to keep myself warm!!

There is nothing in this world from which we can’t learn anything…..believe in the saying-“Make every experience a worthwhile lesson” …… There are many a things that we could learn from here- punctuality.