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Posts Tagged ‘India’

I’ve been to India 8 times in first 40+ years of life and 8 times in last 3 years now that I have a job that requires frequent travel to India.      In all of those trips and now reinforced more than ever, it is the sound of India which is most embedded in my mind whether the 1980’s in Mumbai or 2016 in Hyderabad (picture from below – December 2016).

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To me, India is: (more…)

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In a previous posting, I wrote about my observations of China from my one week stay in Beijing.   Earlier in the year, I visited India after six years, spending time in Hyderabad and Kerala—you can read my observations from that trip here (or click on the links to the side under the heading India Trip Observations).    During my stay in China, I found that 1) my pre-conceived notions of what I expected China to be often was based on my experiences in India and 2) internally, I would often compare my China observations to my India observations for a particular attribute.    The reason for this is based on the parallels of significant growth that China and India have been both experiencing over the last decade, the wide media coverage of both of these countries which often compares them to each other, as well as their common status as the most populous countries in the world.

Given that, here are my armchair comparisons of India and China in a few areas and more specifically Hyderabad (population approximately 4 million and Beijing (population approximately 12 million (metro) , (more…)

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I recently read the excellent study by Freedom House which measured Internet Freedom in 2007 and 2008 across a sample of 15 countries in 6 regions.  The study is available here–(March 2009- Freedom on the Net, A Global Assessment of Internet and Digitial Media)– would highly recommend reading this free report.   The methodology they used includes factors such as the country’s telecommunications infrastructure, government policy towards access to technology, regulatory policy for service providers, censorship and content control, legal structure and surveillance practices along with the independence and dynamism of new media in the country.   Here’s a graphical depiction of the results (Green implies free, Blue is partly free, and Red is not free) (more…)

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I recently read the wildly entertaining book, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a fiction book, but semi-autobiographical, based upon some of Roberts’ real life experiences as a fugitive from an Australian prison who flees to Bombay and has a wide range of experiences there including living in a slum, joining the Indian mafia, fighting in Afghanistan against the Russians, and acting in Bollywood movies.

In one passage in the book, he writes about the Indian gesture, the head-wiggle (also commonly called the head bobble).

From Shantaram

“No discovery pleased me more, on that first excursion from the city, than the full translation of the famous Indian head-wiggle.  (more…)

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Is it possible that wrist watch production and sales could actually be growing?    Conventional wisdom is that the always with you devices such as cell phones and ipods have driven down demand for watches, particularly in the younger generation who have grown up with cell phones.     Data from 2003-2005 supports this premise– here are some key stats from a Wall Street Journal article in 2005. (more…)

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Continuing my India trip observations, the next set of observations relates to lifestyle and consumer characteristics I noticed.   Parameters surrounding my observations are documented in this initial posting

Lifestyle

Various tidbits related to the changing lifestyle that I noticed in the cities I visited.

Consumer Products and Technology

  • Consumer technology advances are quite evident.  For example, Tivo like home devices are being advertised more regularly and visible on busy roadway billboards and television ads.
  • Satellite and cable television have been a staple for many years, but the number of channels, and western channels, continues to increase.

(more…)

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Continuing my India trip observations, the next set of observations relates to the tourist industry, primarily in Kerala.  Parameters surrounding my observations are documented in this initial posting.

Tourism

  • Our experience with the tour operators of Kerala was exceptional.    We found a Kerala tour operator/travel agent while still in the US who arranged for our 6 day stay in four different locations in Kerala- Cochin, Alleppey, Kovalum, and Trivandrum.   She planned everything meticulously and truly exemplified service.
  • In Cochin, we stayed in a home-stay, a growing tourist concept in Kerala; basically a home where each room is rented to guests who are served meals together; similar to a bed and breakfast.    (more…)

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Continuing my India trip observations, the next set of observations relates to environmental aspects of society.   Parameters surrounding my observations are documented in this initial posting.

Environment

Before the trip, I was warned about the pollution in Hyderabad and that I should try to stay inside during the day.   Furthermore, you often read today about the level of consumption increases in places like India and China and the corresponding impact to the environment related to that consumption.   Given this, I tried to keep heightened awareness of the environmental and energy practices around me during my trip.

  • I found the pollution in Hyderabad not to be as bad as I had expected. Of course, during the day, I was primarily inside a car or indoors, but the times I was walking around during the day, I was expecting that I may cough or be noticeably bothered by the air. Fortunately, I didn’t find that to be the case, but I suspect if I was out walking for extended periods of time daily, my experience may have been different.
  • I did, however, notice a few, but not many, motorcycle drivers or passengers wearing a scarf or handkerchief over their mouth and nose due to what I assume was the pollution. Given, their exposure to the open air and the growth in vehicles on the road all around them, the motorcycle drivers seem to be taking the brunt of the pollution. Again, those wearing scarves were clearly the minority, but I suspect this trend will increase over time. (more…)

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Continuing my India trip observations, the next set of observations relates to primarily Hyderabad’s IT industry.     Parameters surrounding my observations are documented in this initial posting

IT Industry

Hyderabad has an active hi-tech scene and after Bangalore, is likely the second largest IT center in India.  Below are some observations relating to the hi-tech industry in primarily Hyderabad.

  • Six years ago, I noticed many more posters, signs, and billboards advertising IT skills programs teaching .net and java and other technology programs than this year.
  • While the number of IT training course signs looked to be fewer than years ago, I noticed many more signs promoting Animation and Visual effects courses in Hyderabad and even Kerala.  One of the first animated feature films was released in India and it appears animation is becoming a blossoming industry in India. (more…)

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Continuing my India trip observations, the next set of observations relates to globalization.     Parameters surrounding my observations are documented in this initial posting.

Globalization

  • Signs of globalization were everywhere; for example, the sheer diversity of automobile brands was much greater than 6 years ago.   I saw American brands of Ford and Chevrolet, European brands of Volvo and BMV, Asian brands of Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai.  Of course, the Indian brands of Maruti, Tata plus the traditional Ambassador vehicles still make their presence.   Even noticed a couple of luxury Porsches.
  • Brand diversity in food was also quite evident.   McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Hut, Pizza Corner, Dominos, KFC, Baskin Robbins, and a coffee chain called Coffee World all have multiple locations in Hyderabad.  Six years ago, majority of those brands were not in Hyderabad.  However, in the smaller cities in Andhra Pradesh, I did not see the global food restaurants yet.   This time, I even noticed a couple of Mexican, Thai, and Italian restaurants, which I had not noticed in the past.   Pizza seems to have become much more popular; a pizza from Pizza Corner (owned by a Swiss parent company) tastes somewhat like a pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, which they will deliver directly to your home.  A medium vegetarian pizza was 245 rupees (about $5.30). (more…)

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