Category Archives: Expert Articles

What lies Beneath… The Bottom of the Pyramid

A greater ‘hole in the wall’ you cannot imagine. A small fading sign on the top saying “Cellphoon reapars” barely visible through the street vendors crowding the Juhu Market in Mumbai. On my way to buy a new Blackberry, my innate sense of adventure (foolishness) made me stop my car and investigate. A shop not more than 6 feet by 6 feet. Grimy and uncleaned.

street shop

‘Can you fix a blackberry ?”

‘ Of course , show me”

” How old are you”

‘Sixteen’

Bullshit. He was no more than 10. Not handing my precious blackberry to a 10 year old in unwashed and torn T shirt and pyjama’s ! At least if I buy a new one, they would extract the data for me. Something I have been meaning to do for a year now.

‘What’s wrong with it ?”

‘Well, the roller track ball does not respond. It’s kind of stuck and I cannot operate it”

He grabs it from my hand and looks at it

“You should wash your hands. Many customers have same problem. Roller ball get greasy and dirty, then no working’

Look who was telling me to wash my hands. He probably has not bathed for 10 days, I leaned out to snatch my useless blackberry back.

” you come back in one hour and I fix it’

I am not leaving all my precious data in this unwashed kid’s hands for an hour. No way.

“who will fix it ?”

‘Big brother’

‘ How big is ‘big brother?’

‘big …. umm ..thirty’

Then suddenly big brother walks in. 30 ??? He is no more than 19.

‘What problem ?’ He says grabbing the phone from my greasy hand into his greasier hand. Obviously not trained in etiquette by an upmarket retail store manager.

‘Normal blackberry problem. I replace with original part now. You must wash your hand before you use this’

What is this about me washing my hands suddenly ?? 19 year old big brother rummages through a dubious drawer full of junk and fishes out a spare roller ball packed in cheap cellophane wrapper. Original part ? I doubt it.

But by now I am in the lap of the real India and there is no escape as he fishes out a couple of screwdrivers and sets about opening my Blackberry.

“How long will this take ?”

” Six minutes ”

This I have to see. After spending the whole morning trying to find a Blackberry service centre and getting vague answers about sending the phone in for an assessment that might take a week, I settle down next to his grubby cramped work space. At least I am going to be able to watch all my stored data vanish into virtual space. People crowd around to see what’s happening. I am not breathing easy anyway. I tell myself this is an adventure and literally have to stop myself grabbing my precious blackberry back and making a quick escape.

But in exactly six minutes this kid handed my blackberry back. He had changed the part and cleaned and serviced the the whole phone. Taken it apart, and put it together. As I turned the phone on there was a horrific 2 minutes where the phone would not come on. I looked at him with such hostility that he stepped back.

‘you have more than thousand phone numbers ?”

‘yes’.

‘backed up ?’

‘no’

‘Must back up. I do it for you. Never open phone before backing up’

‘You tell me that now ?’

But then the phone came on and my data was still there. Everyone watching laughed and clapped. This was becoming a show. A six minute show.

I asked him how much.

‘ 500 rupees’ He ventured uncertainly . People around watched in glee expecting a negotiation. Thats $ 10 dollars as against the Rs 30,000 ($ 600) I was a about to spend on a new blackberry or a couple of weeks without my phone. I looked suitably shocked at his ‘high price ‘ but calmly paid him. Much to the disapointment of the expectant crowd.

‘do you have an Iphone ? Even the new ‘4′ one ?

‘no, why”

‘I break the code for you and load any ‘app’ or film you want. I give you 10 film on your memory stick on this one, and change every week for small fee’

I went home having discovered the true entreprenuership that lies at what we call the ‘bottom of the pyramid’. Some may call it piracy, which of course it is, but what can you say about a two uneducated and untrained brothers aged 10 and 19 that set up a ‘hole in the wall’ shop and can fix any technology that the greatest technologists in the world can throw at them.

I smiled at the future of our country. If only we could learn to harness this potential.

‘Please wash your hands before use’ were his last words to me. Now I am feeling seriously unclean.

Credits Mr Kapoor

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A Success Story

A jobless man applied for the position of “office boy” at Microsoft. The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test. “You are employed” he said.” Give me your e-mail address and I’ll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start”. The man replied “But I don’t have a computer, neither an email.””I’m sorry”, said the HR manager, “If you don’t have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn’t exist, cannot have the job.”….

The man left with no hope at all. He didn’t know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than 2 hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60.
The man realized that he can survive by this way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled everyday. Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles. 5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US. He started to plan his family’s future, and decided to have a life insurance. He called an insurance
broker, and chose a protection plan. Wen the conversation was concluded, d broker asked him his email.
The man replied, “I don’t have an email “. The broker answered curiously, “You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can u imagine what you could have been if you had an email? !!”
The man thought for a while and replied, ” Yes, I’d be an office boy at Microsoft! “
Moral of the story
1. No one qualification is the solution to your life.
2. you may not have what they need, but you have all you need to succeed.

Major Reasons for Rejection in a Preliminary Interview

  • Poor personal appearance.
  • Inability to express him/herself clearly. Poor voice, diction, grammar.
  • Lack of planning for a career; no purpose or goals.
  • Lack of confidence and poise; nervous, ill-at-ease.
  • Overemphasis on salary.
  • Unwilling to start at bottom; expects too much too soon.
  • Makes excuses; evasive; hedges on unfavorable factors in records.
  • Lack of tact. Lack of courtesy; ill-mannered.
  • Condemnation of past employers.
  • Fails to look interviewer in the eye.
  • Indecision. Merely shopping around.
  • Sloppy application.
  • Over-elaboration of details of experience.
  • Wants job only for a short time.
  • Little sense of humor. Cynical.
  • Lack of knowledge of field of specialization.
  • No interest in the company.
  • Emphasis on whom he she knows.
  • Flexibility

Before You Judge!

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hang the wash outside. That laundry is not very clean, she said, she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap. Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

image

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look! She has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.”

The husband said: “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows!”

And so it is with life:
“What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look. Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask ourselves if we are ready to see the good rather than to be looking for something in the person we are about to judge.

Know Thyself!

A Tibetan student was practicing meditation in his cell when a spider descended from the ceiling and hung suspended in front of him. It slowly spun around, attached to the end of its web, until the novice tried to catch it, at which point it raced back up to the ceiling in a second.

Every day for a week the student’s meditation was disturbed by the spider. It even seemed that it was getting bigger, that it was becoming more adventurous, and sometimes tried to swing back and forth in front of him, with all its legs spread wide. “This spider is bothering me,” thought the novice, “and making fun of me. I’ll catch it one day, I know will!”

He became so upset that he went to ask the advice of his Spiritual Master.

“I hid a knife in my sleeve while I was meditating,” he said. “I wanted to kill the spider when it came down, but I didn’t succeed. It disappeared the moment I thought about catching it.”

“Replace your knife with a piece of chalk,” the Master replied, “and make a cross on the spider’s back each time it disturbs your meditation. Come back and see me in a week.” A week later the novice returned to his Master’s cell and knelt down before him, his head lowered.

“Lift your robe and look at yourself,” the Master instructed.

To his great surprise, the novice saw a big X drawn on his own chest. This short parable may seem absurd, and yet it contains a profound truth.

The spider that disturbed the novice during his meditation was his own bad conscience, which always surfaces when we are most relaxed. And what do we do? We accuse it of trying to harm us, we say that it is someone else, we seek a threatening monster to fight with. But the monster, the spider, is our own self. We have to be able to look at ourselves objectively in order to overcome our worries, before they assume a form that we have not chosen.

And That’s what the storm is all about!!!

storm
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

An interesting read…. who needs help?

I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my husband to get out of work.Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”

“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought. He didn’t. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.

After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said.

I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came.

As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true to the inner voice.

“Do you need any help?” I asked.

He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.

I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.

“Don’t we all?” he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun.

Don’t we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I
needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.

We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.

No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.

Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that…… Appreciate And Validate

The Secret behind the Best of Relationships

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm.This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.

So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

We are What We Think!

A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in the nest of a backyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.All his life the eagle did what the backyard chickens did, thinking he was a backyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” he asked.

“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth–we ‘re chickens.”

So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was!

Buddha says,” We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

So often we come across people who live aimlessly, without realizing the potential  within. Aim High, Believe in yourself.. The SKY IS THE LIMIT

 

Thought for the day! Ignore Negativity!

There was a hunter who came into the possession of a special bird dog. The dog was the only one of its kind, because it can walk on water. One day he invited a friend to go hunting with him so that he could show off his prized possession. After some time, they shot a few ducks, which fell into the river. The man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. The dog ran on water to fetch the birds. The man was expecting a compliment about the amazing dog, but did not receive it. Being curious, he asked his friend if the friend had noticed anything unusual about the dog. The friend replied, “Yes, I did see something unusual about your dog. Your dog can’t swim!”

More than 90% of the people that we face everyday are negative. They choose to look at the hole in the middle rather than the doughnut. Do not expect compliments or encouragement from them. These are the people who cannot pull you out of your present situation. They can only push you down. So be aware of them, spend less time with them, and do not let them steal your dreams away from you.

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