How comfortable are you to have an uncomfortable discussion?


By Somali K Chakrabarti

Politics, pay and religion make interesting topics for starting a discussion; but such discussions, if not steered properly, can be polarizing and may become awkward after some time.

However, that is not what this post is about.

Uncomfortable DiscussionThis post is specifically about discussions that you might have hesitated to have when you were particularly displeased with some annoying behavior of your colleague, but delayed or avoided telling them as you were not quite sure how they would react to it.

Or perhaps you were caught off guard, when someone told you that you have not been performing up to the mark for a while, so you became defensive downright and started offering a barrage of explanations to justify your actions.

Uncomfortable discussion on issues remains an area that many of us dread to tread, particular when seeking discussion with the person who we believe is causing the issue.

Giving honest feedback falls under the purview of uncomfortable discussions. We often hesitate to give a candid feedback due to fear of being misunderstood or spoiling our equation with the person, particularly if the relationship is an important or a fragile one.

Nonetheless, as one grows in life and profession, one has to get comfortable about having uncomfortable discussions and put across their views in the best possible manner.

Here are some ways to go about it. Read more

5 Things you want to be sure of to make an effective presentation


 By Somali K Chakrabarti


So you have been working hard on collating your data and here is your chance to present it to your boss. You have an hour’s slot. Of course you want to present to the best of your abilities and you want to showcase the amount of efforts you have expended on the exercise. This is your opportunity to make an impression! You are diligently putting all the data in your slides and have come up with this killer presentation. Fifty slides with a number of charts and graphs should be good enough to impress your boss. Or is it?

Hold on. A good idea is to step back, rethink and make sure that you have covered all these aspects.


1. Getting the perspective right

The first step is to make sure that you have clearly identified the message you want to communicate and its relevance to business. For example you may want to show a comparison of the change in sales volumes in different regions after a particular campaign or you may want to convince the management about a reduction in Turnaround Time (TAT) that can be achieved by optimizing the production process. Any information you present and how you present it is successful only as long as it communicates the relevant message effectively to your target audience.

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4 charts show why South Africa earned the reputation of ‘Safe Haven’ for investors



In 2014, South Africa came to be known as the ‘safe haven’ for investors among the Emerging Markets. A comparison of the BRICS nations with developed nations on parameters of corporate governance, as reported in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14, shows us why.

Good corporate governance and ethical practices by companies are considered essential for well functioning capital markets all over the world. Ethical practices, transparency in dealings, better investor protection and efficient boards boost investor confidence and lead to capital inflows in markets.


Ethical Behavior of Firms


Ethical behavior is assessed by company policies on bribery, kickbacks, protection money, facilitation payments, gifts, fraud, money laundering, and political and charitable contributions. Management systems and procedures outlining frameworks for risk assessment, sanctions, whistle-blowing, continuous internal self-review and external reporting also fall under the purview of ethical behavior.

In 2013, South Africa ranked at No37 on ethical behavior, ahead of other BRICS nations, with China at a distant 54th rank. India & Brazil ranked 86th and 87th and Russia ranked the lowest among BRICS nations on this parameter.  

Source : Global Competitiveness Report WEF 2013
Source : Global Competitiveness Report WEF 2013


Strength of Auditing and Reporting Standards


Fair practices and transparency in dealings are critical to attracting foreign investments. The use of auditing and accounting practices ensure transparency against fraud and mismanagement and so are particularly important for investors to invest in foreign markets. Read more

Some facts about distribution of population in the World


11th July was the World Population Day. Here are some facts about population Distribution in the World.

Population Distribution in the World

7.2 billion people are estimated to be inhabiting the earth today of which 1.39 billion people are living in China and 1.29 billion in India.

India Population

If all land on Earth were as densely populated as , entire human could fit in Germany.

World- Relative Distribution of Population

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Six charts that show the state of Innovation in India



Economists, academicians for long have recognized the role of innovation in a country’s economic growth. National innovative capacity is defined as the ability of a country – as both a political and economic entity – to produce and commercialize a flow of innovative technology over the long term.

As India takes on its path to economic recovery, the time is apt to look at the state of innovation in India, reflected in its R&D capability. Though the growth of R & D services has been consistently high at around 20% in the last few years, but India ranks low in its capacity for innovation as compared to developed nations as well as other BRICS nations. In the global gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) of US$ 1.6 trillion for 2014, India’s share is around 3%, which is around five times lower than that of China.

The Economic Survey Report of India 2013-2014 has highlighted the current state of R&D services in India. A look at the following charts reveals the determinants of India’s innovative capacity and the opportunities for improvement in this area.

Capacity for innovation

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14 released by World Economic Forum in Sept 2013, India’s capacity for innovation has been lower than 3 of the other BRICS countries (Brazil, China, and South Africa).

Innovation Capacity
Data: Economic survey 2013-2014

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Nature’s Ingenious Design

Nature’s Ingenious Design


We can never stop marveling at the ingenious and unique ways in which Nature presents its designs.

Translucent ants gain colour of the food they eat


Dr Mohamed Babu, a scientist from Mysore, photographed ants with translucent abdomen changing colour as they sip on colourful drops of sugar. The ants seemed to prefer lighter colours such as greens and yellow to darker blues. Some of the ants  wandered from one colour to another, creating new combinations in their bodies.

Translucent Ants
Translucent Ants


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Genetic anomaly results in visually spectacular butterflies


Some anomalies produce spectacular results!

‘Bilateral Gynandromorphism’ is a Genetic anomaly found in living organisms that results in insects having both male and female characteristics, evenly split, right down the middle. This genetic anomaly results in spectacular butterflies with male & female wings. Read more

Is Corporate Culture Impeding Gender Diversity At Your Workplace?



‘The importance of Gender Diversity at workplace’ is one of those issues that are often spoken about in conferences, reiterated in survey findings, and yet seldom are a priority unless there is a mandatory obligation for companies to comply with.

With the exception of a handful of countries such as Norway, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, Philippines, women are generally under-represented in the corporate sector in a large number of countries all over the world.

Even in the Tech companies that are known to promote employee friendly culture, diversity remains an issue. Google admittedly has a gender gap, so has Facebook. LinkedIn, too would like to improve its gender diversity numbers says the company’s Vice President of global talent, Pat Wadors. Twitter was criticized for filing the I.P.O. without a single woman on the board, subsequent to which it appointed Marjorie Scardino as the first woman director to its board.



What impedes gender parity at workplaces?


Among the factors that hinder gender parity at workplaces, ‘Cultural Inertia’ emerges as a predominant reason that holds back the adoption of gender diversity practices.

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