+971 4 8831 303 info@cssdubai.com


November, 2018

Businessmen And Investors

Who came first? The chicken or the egg ? The egg cannot “come” so it obviously was the chicken. The centuries old question has been solved.

Ok lets try another question. Who came first, the son or his father? Its son because only after he was born, did his father become a father.

If you notice, the world is no longer “confused.” Its very clear on a lot of things. Well only in the talking aspect of things. We have learnt to have quick answers to so called tough questions due to the art of articulation and not necessarily having a proper answer.

Talking is free. So it really doesn’t matter these days on what one says. But in this whirlpool culture, the ones who have been caught on the wrong side and are “paying “for it are the businessmen or entrepreneurs. Let me tell you how.

A humble Indian guy became a barber. He was good at his work and slowly gained prominence in his field and was going steady till “ They” came to him one day. They now sold their “dream” template to him, as they do to several innocent businessmen. They are the powerful liquidity carriers and dream sellers called Investors. Suddenly he came up with several barber shops, added more through franchise model, added top line to his business, did a brand valuation and voila was ready for an IPO ( initial public offering or share issue ) of 600 million Indian rupees. His name is Javed Habib. God knows about the IPO but his dreams still live on as long as some private investors keep coming in and out of his balance sheet.

A small retailer of flavoured milk in Delhi had these investor visitors one day. From selling nice fresh Delhi milk in several flavours, he has now become what we call “Keventers” today. Valued recently at 1100 Indian crores.

By the way if you sell a single finger on your hand for 1 million, both your hands are valued at 10 million and the entire body at 1000 million, this is how “Value” is decided these days.

So several businesses, which needn’t have any scale in themselves, are scaled up through liquidity. Barber, milk seller are examples I have used above. But the real issue is that today, with this becoming common knowledge to all, most businessmen have started to dream this big valuation theory, forgetting that hot money that investors carry can pull down the business if we dont focus on what the business needs and do what the investors need. Let me give an example:

Indian Banks.

The banking story is such that investors earlier took “Loan Growth” as a parameter to judge a banks performance and valuation. So banks stopped seeing what needs to be done with their own banking business and rather wanted lofty valuations for themselves and their owners for which they incessantly went on lending lending lending to match the criteria of the investors “ Loan Growth Valuation Theory” Now, because they didn’t do what the business needed, which is loan disbursement diligence, suddenly we have a banking crisis. Look here what happens, the same investors suddenly pull out the hot money from such banks and deploy it to banks where there is lesser loan growth but asset quality is good. Which means HDFC bank is the clear winner because it never went into the wholesale loan business inspite of the world doing it at the cost of its own growth. It did what the business needed and here you are today. India has a 12 lac crore banking NPA crisis. So see how investors changed their parameters overnight, This is the caution that businessmen need to take.

Work for the needs of the Business and not the Investors. They will follow you as long as your business is right. Never forget this mantra ever. You don’t chase investors, let them chase you.

In our logistics field, the investors have made “top-line” as a parameter today. In E-commerce and logistics, they say, profit is not important, top-line is everything. And we are all swayed by the glamorous stories of loss making dot coms who have sky high valuations. Logistics companies having 3-4 % PAT levels but market caps decided by top-lines. Top companies have even given internal long term messages on “top-line” sales like 2 billion ( those who know will know which company i am referring to).

To aid this top-line growth, balance sheets are being loaded on the debt side. Equity is being diluted. Bad customers are bought into the system. Systemic risks are created due to easy terms to customers. The party is on and the valuations are on the books and exchanges. But I can assure you that every businessman true to his heart will never like it deep within him. He knows well that what he is doing is not good for the business, its only good for his valuation. The parameter given by the Investors. Let him not forget that hot money has no loyalty to anyone. Be loyal to your business and its goals and do what is needed to be done. Not what they want us to do. I am sure the day is not far when all eyes will open and the parameter changed to : Bottom -line” Till then, keep swimming.

September, 2018


Its a dark night. The nascent moon is deeply hidden by the dark cumulonimbus clouds forming over Mumbai. Heavy rains have lashed the city. Nothing is visible outside the glass window of the hospital guest lounge overlooking the Arabian sea. The relatives are waiting with bated breadth for the doctors to come out of the diagnosis centre to get an update on the patient. Their worst fears haunting them. And then , the doctor comes out and nods his head in affirmation. He has confirmed the disease. Another chip down to this deadly new disease: OA/OD. She has consumed most of the world and almost every 2nd person is inflicted.

I remember distinctly that each decade throws up a new disease which leads the charts for a long time till something better and newer emerges. So the period of the 1980’s belonged to Tuberculosis. TB as we know it by its nick name. The 1990’s belonged to Heart disease. Attack aayega toh? (hindi for : what if one gets an attack?). This fear ruled this period. The 2000’s started with cancer raising its ugly head. And cancer went all over the place. Disease had gone global with the world economies going global. A heart attack would mainly relate to the heart. But cancer was more cosmopolitan. It could affect any part from your brain to your liver to your breast to your prostate. I reckon it had a larger reach than even the best logistics companies like DHL, UPS, Fedex etc. Another reason why these diseases ruled in their times as the undisputed leaders of human body misery was the fact that they captured the creme de la creme of the world like celebrities in movies, business, politics and fashion.

So Nelson Mandela had TB.
David Letterman, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Walters had heart disease.
Bill Clinton had heart disease. Common, even the Clintons have it.
Hugh Jackman, Sheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong were caner survivors.

Back home in the Indian subcontinent, our very own Amitabh Bachchan had TB. The founding father of our neighbour Pakistan ( love thy neighbour said Jesus, anyway) had TB. The tallest leader of the universe The Thalaiva Rajnikanth had Chronic Bronchitis and believe it or not Viral fever. What a shame. And then Yuvraj Singh and Lisa Ray are the cancer survivors we know.

It has also been observed that as you go up the value chain in the economy and as your individual wealth and nation wealth increases, you qualify for better diseases which is why the poorer nations get TB even today, slightly more wealthy ones get Cancer and Heart Disease. But then all of the above does not cover the disease which I want to talk about. OA OD. The disease that is the ruler of the information age. Took birth around 2010 and then onwards at its peak today.

Over Analysis ( OA) Over Discussion ( OD) . OA OD.

In textbook parlance , the situation in which the tongue and brain make an unholy partnership and the ears sign off on a pilgrimage is called OA OD. In this disease, the tongue keeps saying something on the brain impulses and one talks and discusses on topics ranging from politics, national interest, sanitary pads, cricket, economy, logistics business, trade wars, GDP, baby burps, yawning, size of the male ….. ego, god, religion, buildings, cars etc
It is important to note that ears need to be logged out and you need to have ZERO listening skills or minimal listening. The environments in which the disease grows is social media, conference rooms, meeting halls, forums, news rooms etc The person discusses everything yet achieves nothing. In the end, what comes out is only “Khichdi” ( Indian staple diet of lentils metaphor for gross confusion) In a chartical representation, I enumerate that the stages of human growth are as follows:

a. Talk
b. Think , Talk
c. Listen , Think , Talk
d. Listen , Think
e. Listen

When you reach stage E, you are up there. OA OD entangles you at stage B or stage C.

I have written several paragraphs on this disease. Do I have the symptoms? God save me.

July, 2018


The criteria for education in today’s times is only one thing: How much of a profiteer you become. Development of virtues like integrity, character, persistence, commitment which are intangible are not even counted since the ultimate parameter of evaluation has become profit, Nothing else.
As I famously tell people: Cost price is the truth and Selling Price is a lie. The difference between truth & lie is called profit.
So, without getting into the morality of education, let us extrapolate on the reasons why everyone is after education these days and how it will create serious labour issues in our world going forward.
If you see the pattern of education, it is primarily to bring you to the work desk. After that, only work skills and domain experience matter. But a dangerous trend is emerging, especially in countries like India, where everyone wants to be “educated” And that is a serious problem. So, watchmen, electrician, plumber, driver, maid, cleaner, mechanic all of them are in a race to educate their children. This primarily emanates from the need for dignity of labour which has been lacking with these skills for decades. But here is the catch. Their time has come now. Because the educated space is getting congested by the day. Jobs are being chased by millions. Anyone will tell you that price corrections in salaries have already happened for graduates & engineers who are queuing up for the same jobs and creating a huge supply – demand gap.
Compare this to a truck driver. An interesting incident happened last month for us and give us the jitters for completing a very important project shipment. We had scheduled pick-ups in trailers but there was a severe shortage of drivers. This is unique and unheard of in so many decades. Due to several overlapping reasons there was an acute driver shortage. On engaging further with transporters, we also learnt that these days drivers make more money than the transport owner himself. Because they are in shortage and therefore command a premium.
Ask any Indian household. They will tell you that the most important service provider in the house is the maid. In urban cities like Mumbai, not an inch can move without them. It is common to see maids being treated at par with the house owner’s family. Taken to parties and even vacations. A car mechanic I know for many years now said he is saving to make his son educate himself. One thing I have seen is common. No one wants their children to be in the same profession. I asked him to make his son a mechanic because education will only put him in a queue which is congested. But the future will have no mechanics compared to the demand. So, his earnings will be much higher. But he might privately think that I am not his well-wisher for giving such an advice.
But this is what I call a classic curse that the poor carry. Their time has come now but they are moving towards education which will keep them poor again. Only if they see that continuing the same profession will lead to enormous wealth for themselves along with the dignity that these scarcities will bring for them. But no, they want their kin to study. Study makes one a smooth talker but talking alone does not run the world. Look at your own self. If every body part wants to be the head, what will the head stand on? We need feet for sure. You may not give feet the dignity that you give the head. I have not seen people shampooing their ankles and feet more than their head and faces. That will always remain. But the feet are feet and we need labour class to run our world.
Look at the developed world too. America and Europe. They had this 100% educated population and had issues growing their societies too. So, they made immigration policies and labourers from across the poor countries moved to these nations and helped build them. Even today the taxi drivers, grocers, cleaners, newspaper boys, truck drivers, forklift operators etc are mainly immigrants. The problem is with growing wealth across the world and across classes, who will be left to do these jobs? And the generations of skills that they carried will be lost. They should know that we live in a pyramid model society where people at the bottom provide the foundation and support to people at the top. If everyone is the top, it becomes the bottom.

May, 2018

Asking or Telling ?

The more you know things the more you are confused. In fact, being confused is a sure sign of being on the path to know more. Do you know why I say what I say. Read on.

We all know that there are seven colours in the visible spectrum ( that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum which is visible to the human eye).

VIBGYOR as we call it. Violet Indigo Blue Green Yellow Orange Red.
Now if I ask you why is something of a certain colour, what would your answer be. Example – If I showed you a RED rose and asked you why is it red in colour, you may say because it has the colour red in it out of these 7 rainbow spectrum colours.

But am afraid, the answer is something else son. The correct answer is that the rose contains all other 6 colours except RED. A yellow table has all colours expect YELLOW. A Blue whale has all colours except BLUE. And so on. The rules of the universe are that any thing or object reflects / projects only that which it doesn’t have in it. So what you SEE is actually what is NOT PRESENT i that object.

This is not fiction. When I first heard this, I was startled and goose-bumped. But then , the mind helps you and you can decipher things beyond the information you have. So I thought of it further and a few more examples cropped up.

Like snake venom. And its antidote.How is the antidote or anti venom made. You first need the venom, inject a small portion of it in an animal and the animal produces some antibodies which are collected to make the antidote. So the antidote comes from the venom. Think more.

Have you realised that when a person undergoes a health issue, most of the times he blesses others for their good health. So what you lack is health. And so what you project is health for all.
In acts of philanthropy, it has been observed that the poor are more giving than the rich. They share a part of their small fortunes easily than someone who has amassed a lot of resources ( money as we call it ) has major issues within himself to give away. Not always the case but sum of probabilities are higher. For the relatively poor, the motivation to give is the hope to get someday.

Have you ever read stories of super rich businessmen across the world ? The one common aspect is that most of them started with very low and humble backgrounds. Well that in itself is the motivation to go up. Being down. In fact it is the only motivation to keep accumulating more. Always feeling poor. If you don’t feel poor enough, why would you want more. In fact the joke is that children born to rich and average parents never really go THAT HIGH because they don’t know poverty well and therefore have no motivation to go all out for wealth. In fact abundant families often see children spending away or giving away in charity easily. Because they are high there, they want to go a little lower.

Balancing forces within us keep playing all the time. We humans too, therefore, project what is actually the opposite of our internal overpowering state of mind. When the state within is of total wisdom, total innocence is projected. In that context, a child is actually the most wise person always.
Facebook is a very easy method of knowing a persons state of mind. Lets say someone keeps projecting his wealth through pictures and updates of cars, vacations, phones, airplanes etc chances more are that the guy feels poor within. If a couple keeps projecting bliss and happiness in their relationship , chances are that everything is on the rocks already. The largest corporations have average websites and really average corporations have large and grand websites.

So do you see that colleague who projects arrogance and hate always. Chances are that he is full of love and compassion deep within and is just balancing it out. Or do you see that holy cow who always smiles, is nice, courteous, chances are the opposite of that is manifested within him somewhere. We are all playing the balancing act. Which brings me to the metaphor of the inverted banyan tree, as told by Shri Krishna, that this imperishable tree has its roots upwards and branches down and the one who knows this tree knows it all. What we are viewing in the world is actually a reflection of the reality. Today, after writing this article, it makes it even more relevant.

March, 2018


All of us live on planet earth. On observation and extrapolation, I have noticed many similarities between the planet we live on and the body we carry. Let us today see the similarities to try and decipher many challenges we face as a race and find possible solutions to it. Or to put it more correctly, rather than finding solutions, we can understand that things which we define as problems, are not problems in itself so no solutions are required.

Earth is 70% water, 30% land
Human body is 70% water, 30% mass (representing land)
– Most of us know this.

The earth and its ecosystem have mainly 5 elements:

Water (the water within)
Fire (the various fires within at the different chakras)
Air (the air within)
Earth (the mass of earth which makes the body)
Ether (the blue sky colour or the colour of the human soul)

The human body is also divided into 4 zones:

a. The head – which is the Brahman (learned and realised) or the originator of all action/reaction
b. The heart , lungs and stomach region – which is the Vaishya (businessmen) or the day to day executors of all action/reaction
c. The arms – which is the Kshatriya (warriors) – which help protect the body
d. The legs – which are the Shudras (workers) on which the entire system stands which carry the weight and do all the hard work.
(As per ancient Indian social system, people were divided into four classes, based on the duties they perform)
Now, with this basic premise, we can also go deeper and see that the different continents or countries should represent the various body parts.
So let’s extrapolate and see the characteristics of various countries and see where they fit or what body part they might be

a. The USA – which is the unsaid leader of all countries – through its approach, demeanour and actions, makes me think that it is the HEAD.

We also feel that the USA interferes a lot with the other countries – example in Vietnam, Afghanistan etc but doesn’t that is what the brain does? If there is a pain in an ankle or finger or intestine, the brain sends its army of WBC’s and RBC’s to fight the infection and heal it. Just like the US does. Just thinking!

b) Many Indians say that whatever you do, it always feels unclean and chaotic here. So I think somewhere that India is the stomach or intestine. It is chaotic but most essential to digest and run the world.

c) I think Africa are the legs of the world. Europe represents the heart & lungs region. I am sure some country is also the liver, some the pancreas, think about it.

Also, most organs below the naval and above the naval have different environments. Below the naval deal with carbon dioxide mainly. Above deal with oxygen. It makes me think that Canada, Europe, America, Australia belong to the zone above the naval. Asia, Africa, Gulf below the naval. And then what country or geographical point is the navel?
So when we start thinking like this, the first debate of who is superior ends because all body parts are important and interdependent on each other. The head must know that it cannot have any position unless it has legs to carry it.
Also, since the moon and other planetary movements affect the oceans and their currents and also seismic activity, it is safe to say that this validates the whole concept of astrology where the planets and moon should also affect the individual human also.
By reverse inference , I would also keenly want to know what is the blood of the planet earth, what represents a human hiccup, what is the spine of the planet etc, readers are welcome to think and share views.

January, 2018


Your loved one returns home every day at 7 pm. Today it is already 11 pm. Not returned. The phone is not reachable. No message. What are you probably thinking? Is he in trouble? Is he in an accident? Is he dead? The first thing that occupies you is: Fear and you think about “BAD”
A noble man had great thoughts. He practised good deeds all his life. One day he made a grave mistake. And everyone forgot what good he did. The mistake hounded him. It attracted all the attention. It overshadowed all his good actions. Bad for him but again: BAD won.

Recently, the license of a hospital in Delhi was cancelled due to negligence (accusation not verdict). The hospital has so far treated over 50,000 patients successfully. It never got any award, reward, tax break, appreciation from the authorities. But 1 incident and boom: License cancelled. The hospital is in hospital now and is recuperating to get back its license but here too the “BAD” over-powered.
Many of us watched the successful movie “Sholay”. It had Jai, Veeru, Sambha, Kalia, Basanti, Dhanno, Mausi, Thakur etc. All played by stalwarts and tall characters in themselves. But whom do you remember: The goon called Gabbar played by newbie Amjad Khan.
Vijay Mallya is a successful Indian businessman. In fact he created the world’s 2nd largest liquor company United Spirits and world’s 2nd largest selling beer company United Breweries. Both were divested to get partners such as Diageo (world’s largest liquor company making labels like Johnny Walker) and Heineken in the respective businesses. The UB group is also the largest investor in sports businesses in India. They own top teams in IPL called RCB, Mohan Bagan in Football, Force India F1 team (1st for India), and India’s top Derby. These businesses were invested into way before their time under the sun. Also, a world class airline was created called Kingfisher which failed. Everyone forgot everything else and only thing they know is he is a fraud etc. (accusation not verdict)
In fact, it was his “Bad” side of perceived women & wine & lavish lifestyle that attracted the brand value to his businesses. I remember people fornicating in their mind after having flown Kingfisher. I know today that people sip the beer Kingfisher thinking they are getting a pie of that bad. And now that single bad failure is overpowering all the lesser bads that people loved.
So it is to be noted that “Bad” or “Negative” or things which we consider averse are very powerful and attract all the attention.
In fact, it takes a lot of gut and character not to fall for the “Sins” or “Bad” things in life.
But the main problem is that we have made “Bad” a bad word. It is our own limited thinking and the problem of being stuck in our own ego and morality that we fail to understand life in its entirety. The darkness in the universe is omnipresent and we need stars like the sun to show light for some time. When we begin to realise this and expand our own thoughts, breaking away and beyond morality & judgement, we see that a whole new dimension opens up. In fact it is the duty of every human being to see the other side of the pendulum too.
Think about it: Human Beings are more powerful than God or Devil. How?
God cannot become the Devil.
Devil cannot become God.
But only human beings can become both, when they want.
Speaking of bad, let me also discuss the nature and food of “Bad”
Bad is very cunning. It has assured its own longevity be making itself of a certain nature. Its nature, if you observe carefully, is that it thrives on its opposition. Opposing Bad is Food for Bad. The more you oppose it, fight it, and go against it: it gets its food and thrives more. It has created this anti-climax kind of personality for itself.
My sense is that the only way to kill it is to IGNORE it.

Let me give examples:
Your objective is that your child should not have chocolate so that he has healthy teeth.
Now you set out and there are 2 ways:
IGNORE this pursuit of yours to defeat chocolate. See, it will die its own death if you do “Nothing” sometimes, doing nothing is doing everything.
The other way is:
You tell your child that this is chocolate and that it is not good for teeth and don’t have it ever.
You just did three things:
Showed him the product called chocolate and created awareness.
The awareness leads to curiosity about the chocolate
Said “don’t eat it” and created a challenge in your child’s mind – let me see what bad will happen if I eat it.
Now somehow he ate it.
Again, you can IGNORE. He might not try it again possibly. But if you scold him. And then sleep. Or go out of the house. Or he goes out of the house. HAHAHA – the chocolate is back between his lips.
So my friends , I know it’s easier said than done but make your effort and let the power of BAD be with you always 🙂

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

November, 2017


I am sure all of you have sent and received several messages on Diwali.
A small rule on wishes. You can give only what you have. So when you wish health wealth happiness to someone, make sure you have enough of it yourself.

The world has reduced everything to a Happy something – which is the 1st level of experience of anything. There are deeper levels that exist. If you think of it:




And so on… we don’t even know how many layers are there but all will agree that they exist because we have felt them. So here below I present a small story on the festival of Diwali. When you read, you will listen, which you will think of, which you will feel and experience it on many layers.

Once there was a king who had 7 beautiful daughters.

One day, he asked all,

King: Who is it that feeds you?

The first 6 daughters said in praise of the king: It is you father, the greatest king, who feeds us.

Only the 7th daughter said: It is god who feeds us all.

The king got very angry. He married his 6 daughters to handsome rich princes but got the 7th one married to a poor and leprosy inflicted person.

The 7th daughter was very happy in her life however. She told her husband never to come back empty handed when he came back home from work every day.

So each day he would bring some fruit, vegetables, wood etc. back home.

One day he went to the jungle but couldn’t find anything to take back home, but found a dead snake, so he took that with him. When he showed to his wife, she asked him to throw the dead snake on their hut’s rooftop.

Meanwhile, the king of the state where she was married had a wife, who went out bathing one day to the riverside. At the riverside, she kept her expensive diamond necklace on the banks while she bathed.

Suddenly an eagle snooped down and took the necklace with it. She was heartbroken.

The eagle meanwhile realised it is of no use to him and saw the dead snake on the poor 7th daughters huts rooftop , so it snooped down and kept the necklace and took the dead snake which it could eat.

The king meanwhile announced that whoever finds the queens necklace would get a reward he desires.

The 7th daughter asked her husband to take the necklace to the king and whispered in his ear what to ask.

The king was very happy and asked the man: “What do you want?” He said nothing. The king forced him. He again said he wants nothing. The king ordered him: Ask you must, what is that that I as king can do.

He then told the king that his wife has a wish that on Diwali, no one light any diya in the whole town except for their hut. The king thought about it but for his word, said yes to it.

So on Diwali, the whole town was dark (being Amavasya, a no moon night) except for the poor man’s hut where the diya was lit.

So when Goddess Laxmi arrived, she saw that its dark everywhere and so went to the poor man’s hut and knocked on the door.

The 7th daughter, the poor man’s wife, asked: “Who is it ?”

“It’s me, Goddess Laxmi”

Wife: “Why do you need to knock, please come inside”

Goddess Laxmi walks in and is very happy and asked them: “What can I do for you, you are the only ones who lit a diya for me”

The wife said: “Now that you have come, never leave, stay with us”. And with that, she shut the door.

And Laxmi stayed there forever.

And so friends, with this small longish story, I wish you all a very happy Diwali. It is the feeling you invest into mythology that connects us from the material world to our souls. It tells us that with internal grit and determination and planning, even the gods can be captured by overcoming all our obstacles. It is not mere sweet eating and cracker bursting and bhajan singing, it is basically invoking the powers that lie within all of us. To invoke the powers, one needs concentration and for that one needs seclusion from external gimmicks.

September, 2017

What’s Your Business Type?

Rahat Talreja
Vice President – CSS Central India

As I write this article, the news of the moment is the resignation of the Infosys CEO. A lot of analysts (which is surprisingly a big job these days, in grounded part of India we call it “Bol Vachan”) are giving their views that the per employee revenue is up, the new technology verticals under innovation& automation are shaping well etc.

But the real issue (which basically means ‘my point of view’, people add the word real to assert their own point) was that the standard of governance in the board was down and investors (including the marquee promoters) had lost trust in the working of the board.

Now I don’t want to talk much on it except the point I am making through the headline of my article, what is your business type?

Let us see what the levels on which these evaluations are done are:

a) Value based analysis
b) Financial analysis
c) Hybrid model of the a + b

Value Based analysis

Hello Old school: I think you already know this word and its meaning “Values”

Hello New school: Don’t know this word? No problem carry on..

In this, the prime importance is laid on the values on which the business is run and the clear, defined & written policies which form the benchmark for any evaluation.

Financial Analysis

This is the most important criteria in our times. But most have different understanding of financials and therefore the analysis may not be absolute, it is always relative. Let me illustrate.

We have all seen the recent emerging market rallies wherein even India and its benchmark indices are all lifetime highs. Most common reasons coming out are that it is a liquidity rally since other asset classes have lost relevance and printed money of the central banks didn’t trickle into real economies, so liquidity in the system went into equities the most besides other financial assets and instruments like bonds and debt market. The main point to note is that earnings growth has been flat to negative over the last 4 years.

In this bargain, even a lot of non performing companies have seen their valuations run up. And this is exactly what happens when businesses are liquidity driven and not profit driven.

See in our industry for example – the consolidation, forwarding and logistics industry. Even if you lose a million rupees a month, you need at least 5 years to blow up a meagre investment of example 5 crores. And the best part is you never have to pay those 5 crores. You only need to pay 5 lakhs interest on it each month.

So many in our business run it on liquidity. The moment the liquidity dies, they either raise new funds or run helter skelter looking for newer options.

This is a business where if you run it on profits, you don’t need any investment from day 1. And let me assure you that a lot of people hide behind this liquidity survival for many many years in the industry and get away with it.

Hybrid model

This is obviously the model that most are trying to follow today. At least trying.

The crux of the above segmentation is that we need to see what our real business type is. Are we emphasising focus on volume, value, profit, liquidity or nothing. You may think you are focusing on profit but your actions maybe not in line with achieving it.

Illustratively, one should always focus on rich clients. And what is the definition of rich? Not that the client has a lot of wealth, his cars, his phones, his properties etc. This is the start of wrong analysis. Rich for us is the client who has rich thinking. A thinking where he is rich to think that after he has made all that money , his long term vendors also deserve their pie under the sun. And you will see majority of them are more miserly for others once they have achieved their financial goals.

Their vendors keep visiting them in the same train, same bus, from the same house etc. but the clients keep getting richer, getting into bigger cars, bigger homes etc. These are absolutely poor clients let us first understand that. In fact most shun their own business and start focusing on what you do. So they will call for quotes from 10 different forwarders, squeeze all, delay payment and have all the fun.

Shift gears to rich clients. The ones who value you, your time, your effort, they are certainly not big themselves. They are rich for us. They are loyal, let you earn, pay you on time, give you respect when you visit them, value your relationship.

So friends, I used a few analogies so that we all realise that our analysis should be real, in line with our goals and only then our actions will help achieve those goals. This is the best way to move forward in my view and lets answer the first question in that direction today – what’s your business type?

July, 2017

Why All Cars Below 25 Lakhs Need To Be Banned In India

First, this is an impossible task. Let’s say a member of parliament (MP) proposes this in a meeting, his own colleagues will shut him up. Let’s say for some reason, his colleagues (Other MP’s agree), then the parliament may not pass the bill in both the houses. Several back door reasons will play. Who will consume commodities, metals, labour, capital – auto industry in India is one of the highest consumers of these inputs. Indian manufacturing will lose its sheen. All companies will lobby against the same. Most of all, the public will oppose it strongly. India being a strong functional democracy will find it impossible to pass this.

So let’s say this is a fictional article because it can’t be converted to reality.

Now, I am not the “banning” types. I just say it for getting the basics of life back like clean air, space, safety etc., and more so for aesthetics back in urban areas. This is also not classist because most of us including myself will have to weight options if cars cost above 25 lakhs.

Let me give some facts:

1. In 1995 , there were mainly 2 categories of cars – 1 sedan – Maruti esteem and 1 hatch – Maruti 800

Esteem was priced at 6 lakhs and 800 was priced at 2 lakhs

In these 22 years since 1995 – everything in India is up 20 times at least. The inflation index says that the median rise in price is 16 times

So by this simple reverse math, the 6 lakhs esteem cost 1.2 crores today and the 2 lakhs Maruthi 800 cost 40 lakhs today. So it’s not that cars were available at 5000 etc in 1995. The point is that a car is a car. It should be priced at a premium and only those who can afford it should buy it.

2.  Now if you disregard the economics above, let me show you around. Look at the road around you and see. Maximum cars are below 25 lakhs and look at them. It’s a shame on the aesthetics if they matter. We have 39 hatch back cars now named funnily but just look at them. It’s a box of metal masquerading as a car. Vomit. Think of that favourite hatchback or sedan. Think rationally. India is a country of immense beauty. So you have a sense of beauty. Now think with this sense. Vomit.

3. Most of these cars are sold with jingles and advertisements where it’s shown screeching, twisting, turning etc., and that is exactly how the owners of these cars drive them. Whatever happened to safety? These cars have very basic safety features but who cares for the drivers safety because the drivers themselves (due to their unprofessional driving) are the real threat on the road. The safety needed is not for passengers but others on the road. Airbags should be placed outside the car and not in it.

Now think of a scenario where all cars below 25 lakhs are banned and imagine the road. You will remember your city as it looked in the 90’s. Clean, expansive and beautiful. Open space, few cars, people walking, what fun!

But we need a solution as well, correct? Taxi network, and again all expensive long sedan taxis. All costing more than 25 lakhs. Not the lame duck ones with a touch screen mobile on its windscreen. Driving like nincompoops.

Now any person who can buy a car worth 5-25 lac can surely afford a taxi anywhere and pay 1000 bucks so what ? Also all drive ring licenses should be with strict tests like in Dubai. And voila, long, swanky, sexy looking sedans on the road dropping people. And I firmly believe that most people just wander around just because they have a car. Once they don’t, unnecessary wandering will stop for sure. What’s the need? Sit where you are duffer.

I think it’s not increasing hospital beds, its reducing patients, if there are no hospitals, i think lesser people will fall ill. If there are lesser restaurants, lesser the people will eat out. It’s the supply that is creating the demand. Not that we want it. But someone thinks you need it. I strongly feel that if there is no jail, crime will be lesser. Because it is there, some people go for it. This is all in the subconscious world of human beings. You act out of presence of supply.

Side effects of the 25 lac & below car ban will be:

  1. Unemployment
  2. Lack of demand for metals and plastics
  3. Stock prices of many companies will crash
  4. It may look unpopular
  5. It may look like favouritism to the wealthy
  6. Cribbing by the masses

But in 6 months, everything will settle down. Solutions will come up. Just imagine that clean, wide road. Also the municipality will not be blamed for bad roads because most won’t be driving on them. Less clutter on Facebook, whatsapp etc. No sarcasm. I won’t honestly do it if I could. Imagine a life without names like Dragon R ( why not Dragon S), Bravio, Shitwft, Lasoon Go, Hi ten, Hi twenty, kitna Hi karega, Polio etc wink – I think you know what I am saying.

Signing off and rushing back in my Gonda Cheaty

March, 2017

Seeking What We Can Never Receive and Receiving When We Stop Seeking

Rahat Talreja
Vice President – CSS India

This article is not about business or economics in its conventional way. But the world is run by people and so whatever is going on within people affects commerce and trade as well. So this is my license to write this article in a business journal.

What is it that you always seek?
Peace or Stress ?
Sorrow or Happiness ?
Poverty or Wealth ?
Love or Hatred ?
And so on ….
Ask yourself.

The conventional and obvious answer is the “ better “ looking feeling wether Peace, Happiness, Wealth, Love etc Don’t you remember the several messages you receive and forward on occasions like Diwali, Eid, Christmas seeking the above for you?

But now ask : Which is more powerful and Think. ( this is keeping your mind silent and tongue silent and letting your mind and energy go on a deeper plain ) the definition was important because we are talking more and thinking less these days

The more powerful thing is the one which is omnipresent and the one we are seeking is eluding us always or not visible.

So Stress is present always, peace is to be found
Sorrow is a larger reality, happiness is a wish
Let me give you an example.

All religions, leaders of peace, humanity etc always talked and worked for “ Equality “

Many centuries have passed. Is the world equal ? Need I answer this no brainer? Can I actually say that inequality was always there and is there and will always be there. What happens is that we make the omnipresent reality a bad word and then seek the opposite of it always

But lets be humble to accept that “If the maker of the universe thought that inequality was not required, it would not be there. Simple. Period.”

So if equality is not there – it had to be like this. The issue is our doubt and distrust and non acceptance of the realities around us.

People may argue that what ought to be there, wouldn’t always be.

But just do simple observation. No intelligence required.

The maker didn’t want a cat giving birth to a human, does it ? it doesn’t

The maker didn’t want the ocean to cross its line at the beach, does it ? it doesn’t

But unequal – it wanted . And it did. We cant decipher why so we keep seeking the other end of it. And fail. Till date.

No eye image, no thumb impression, no toe print in the world is equal. So what else should be?

So i come back to the main point of this article. By illustrating the example on equality, I want to simply say that what is present is actually the powerful reality and not the opposite of it. The issue is we make a bad word out of it and keep trying to rotate it. We are actually masters at making bad words out of situations. The two eyed approach. The dual aspect approach.

Without realising that:

Only after stress, deep stress, the peace is recognised – the absence of stress.

Only after sorrow, deep sorrow, happiness is recognised, the absence of sorrow.

The stress is the womb on which peace grows

The sorrow is the womb on which happiness grows

So now I request you all to stop making bad words out of realities.

And accept reality.

And then see what happens.

Once you are ok with stress, the value of seeking peace will go away.

Once you are ok with inequality, the value of seeking equality will go away.

And as every aspect of reality is accepted in its own form, the effort, pain and journey to make the opposite happen will end. Because your starting and ending point will be the same. You will be the 1st and last in the race because the race will never happen. Because now, you have stopped judging everything in dual aspect.

I remember a hilarious situation. Just before a company’s results are out, there are analyst expectations and then if the results are lower than that, people react negatively to it.

But the result is the reality, the expectation is above it. Funny isn’t it.

Another example is in eating. Rich food and Poor food. You eat as you can afford. But what does it result into? If you eat the food of the poor you never get the diseases of the rich. But one strives to get from poverty to richness and misses the mirage.

The article needs to end like this. Understand carefully.

In continuation to my own point that the actual reality is omnipresent and we make a bad word of it and seek the other opposite end. ( Inequality the reality and equality the opposite)

But the reality is also that we do it. This making a bad word if it and seeking the other end. So if it is like this, so be it. My article and its points stand validated only if they stand cancelled. I hope the confusion has bought you clarity on a deeper point.

If not, turn the page and ignore this article, its as simple.


Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter, Lighthouse

© 2018 Lighthouse. All rights reserved. Designed and maintained by NetVenture Digital Solutions Pvt. Ltd.