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Dial INDIA… It’s Diwali

Goddess Laxmi – Photo Courtesy:

Many folks see the merit in large corporations investing to grow their business in India, but what are the prospects and potential for mid-sized overseas corporations to do so? Do they have deep enough pockets to ride the roller coaster and  survive long enough until the end of the “samudramanthan,” to taste the fruit (I spoke about this phenomenon in my earlier post, Whither India)?

But first, as with all things good in India, it is important that we herald all beginnings as an auspicious occasion. And what better time than Diwali, the “festival of lights” which Hindus celebrate this month. Diwali symbolizes the victory of righteousness. This festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing a 14-year exile. Diwali is also considered to be the festival of the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Laxmi.

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Big Data: A Profound Influence on Our Lives

Big Data is a topic set to make one of the most profound influences on our lives…We have witnessed several waves of change in the IT landscape: mainframe, mini-computers, PC/microprocessors, client servers, cloud computing and now– Big Data. Though I am sure that most of you are familiar with the term, Big Data relates to the process of capturing and analyzing large amounts of data to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information. The results are tremendously influential, not only to businesses but also to our society, as I will uncover.

The difference between traditional analytics (which have been around for years) and Big Data lies in three key areas: data volume, data type and processing speed.

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Friday the 14th

Finally, the Big Bang did happen. And what a date to pick! What timing, with the government announcement being made less than a week before Ganesh Chaturthi, the Hindu festival that marks the day Lord Ganesha bestows his presence on earth. Lord Ganesha is the “ remover of all obstacles” and all events and happenings begin by chanting his name. The benefactor obliged and the roadblocks began to be removed and dismantled.

Ganesha Chaturthi

So, what did the government of India actually do a little more than two weeks ago? To start, it made a few bold moves to address key issues relating to fiscal deficit and restarted the reform process. To me, this is just the beginning and a lot more will follow, contrary to popular belief.

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The Art of Being a Good Business Leader (Part II)

Penny Webb

Penny Webb, Familias and Company

What makes a good business leader? What skills, qualities and attributes help business leaders succeed? Penny Webb, Founder and Managing Director of Familias and Company, shares her insight into what qualities are needed to succeed as a  business leader (Penny has consulted and coached 65% of the FTSE 100 CEOs, as well as executives across Europe, Middle East, Asia and the US).

  1. Create Alignment: Good leaders are able to ensure, on a continual basis, that every level of the organisation understands the strategy and their role in its execution. Penny says, “Often we ask employees, management, and board members to articulate the firm’s strategy and the lack of alignment in their responses is telling.”
  2. Appreciate Cultural Differences: Good leaders need to recognise that what works in the West doesn’t necessarily work in the East. They also understand the need to not impose their views on others. They tailor their messages and moreover, seek ways to learn from those who are different. “Think about the number of firms who have sought to invest or develop outside their home country? It doesn’t always work well,” Penny suggests. A leader must ensure that sufficient due diligence is done to assess a firm’s readiness to work and succeed in a different culture. Read more »

Investing in China

Phil Groves, DAC Founding Partner

DAC is a privately held investment manager and advisor focused on special situation investments with an absolute return objective. DAC sources, values, and manages Asian investments including single and multi-credit non-performing loans, distressed real estate, and distressed equity and structured financings. The firm was founded in 2002 and currently manages more than $400 million (US) across two funds (22 investments), several separate accounts and numerous investment-specific engagements across five countries in Asia. It is considered to be the largest buyer of mainland non-performing loans, having bought more than 45,000 soured loans from mainland China lenders since its founding. Phil Groves, DAC’s founding partner, shares his insight on DAC and the overall investment state of China.

What is the State of China’s Economy?

Is it headed for a major correction? Eventually yes, but not for the next couple of years, due to the regime change and its unique economy. So nothing drastic will take place. The key is for the leadership to control social unrest by implementing sound economic policy. Also, keep track of the savings rate, which has been very high, in part due to a lack of investment alternatives for the average Chinese national. If it decreases, it will certainly impact domestic investment as well as China’s appetite for foreign sovereign debt.

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