10 Key Facts about India’s Economy in 2014

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

The year 2014, has been an unprecedented year for India in terms of election results. In the last quarter of the year, here are some key facts about India’s economy.

 

1. India ranks 10th in terms of nominal GDP

 

Nominal GDP Ranking 2013

India’s nominal GDP has been stuck in the USD 1.8 – 1.9 trillion range for the last three years, and is expected to cross the USD 2-trillion mark this fiscal, according to a Nomura report. Nomura expects nominal GDP to reach nearly USD 3 trillion by FY17.

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Why society should accept Alternative Sexuality

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Alan Turing, whose pioneering work laid the mathematical foundations of computer, was convicted for homosexuality and subjected to chemical castration that drove him to suicide. His suicide prompted the British government to amend laws concerning homosexuality.

~ Aamir Khan on ‘Accepting Alternative Sexuality’ episode of his show Stayamev Jayate that touched upon the sensitive issue of the rights of LGBT community to live freely and openly.

Alan Turing was the British mathematical genius, logician and cryptanalyst who had invented the Turing machine, which laid the foundation for creation of modern computers. By cracking the German military’s secret code, Turing had helped the British Navy defeat Hitler’s U-boats and win the Battle of the Atlantic, in the World War II. He was a marathon runner too, with world class time, and was named as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, by TIME magazine in 1999.

 

Alan Turing
Alan Turing

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Why the World is more Indian than you think

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

China targeting Indian wedding market                                                                                                                                                               –  The Economic Times on 18th Oct, 2014

This catchy headline in ‘The Economic Times’ was hard to miss. On reading the article, I found that the glamour of Indian weddings has allured the Chinese, and they see a lucrative market and viable business opportunity in the lavish wedding celebrations.

Here’s an excerpt from the article.

Impressed by the lavish Indian weddings, Chinese Consul General Wang Xuefeng said his country was aggressively marketing several of its cities like Kunming, Lijiang and Dali as attractive wedding destinations.

Many Indian families are now going to Thailand, Dubai and Mauritius for weddings, but now they are also looking towards China which has several beautiful cities like Kunming which is called the city of spring for its beautiful weather, Lijiang as the city of romance and Dali famous for its pagodas,” Wang said on the sidelines of a programme.

Wang said talks were on with Indian companies and tour operators for collaborations with their Chinese counterparts for organising the weddings in China.

So, as some Indian couples plan for a grand wedding in China, China is setting up several restaurants to dish out Indian delicacies.

Indian Wedding
Big fat Indian wedding

‘Apt time to write this post!’, I thought.

With the Indianness quotient increasing by the day, it is apparent that:

The world is getting more ‘Indianized’ than we think

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Break the Worry before it breaks you

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.  ~ Alain de Botton

We know that some people have a naturally strong mental built, and there are others who are inclined to worry more.

While each individual, in any capacity, needs to cope with anxiety, but the ability to overcome anxiety is absolutely essential for any leadership role. During prolonged  periods of uncertainty, leaders must manage their own anxiety as well as the anxiety of their team.

Anxiety may be due to various reasons ranging from environmental factors, to medical condition, to genetic conditions or substance abuse or due to a combination of these factors.

Each of us would have experienced those moments, when we felt our palpitation going up, a strange churning in the stomach, or sweat on the brow just before an important meeting, or an exam, or before getting a medical report, or on any other occasion.

Whatever be the reason for anxiety, it depletes a person of his/her strength.

  • Continued anxiety causes excessive worry.
  • You suffer from a victim mentality and believe that nothing ever works for you;
  • You are restless most of the time, feel irritable at the slightest provocation.
  • Your concentration suffers and sleep is disturbed and as a result you tire yourself out very easily.

Those with an anxious disposition, can blame it on their mental constitution, their genes, their fate or can work upon it.

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Kolkata in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’, is a city with a glorious past!

For those who live there, Kolkata is also about its alluring spirit, emotions, heightened sensibilities and creative energy. It is a city with fabulous heritage architecture where the old merges with the new.

Going back a bit into the history of Kolkata (previously Calcutta), we find that Calcutta was developed by the British by merging three villages – Kalikata, Sutanati and Gobindapur. Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1772 and was the capital of British India, from 1858 to 1911, before the British relocated their capital to Delhi.

The 19th century saw a socio-cultural resurgence and intellectual awakening in Kolkata, known as the Bengal Renaissance, which continued up to the early 20th century. During this time prominent literati of the city contributed immensely to the art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy.

Charles D’Oyly, (1781–1845), a public official of the British East India Company, and painter from Dhaka produced numerous images on India. In 1848, Dickinson & Co., London published his drawings of Calcutta in a large folio-size book titled Views of Calcutta and its Environs.

Here are some vintage pictures depicting the landscape of Kolkata from the 19th century.

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ON THE RIVER – INDIA , by Sir Charles D’Oyly ca 1815

ON THE RIVER - INDIA 1815

From ‘Views of Calcutta and its Environs’

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How to be tactful in dealing with people

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~ Winston Churchill

As easy as it is to speak your mind out, doing so tactfully requires that a person acquire some distinctive skills. Tact is the talent that allows you to gracefully convey what you stand for and make your point without ruffling feathers.

Tact or diplomacy is needed for managing a vast gamut of relations – ranging from personal relations, to relations with co-workers, to business relations, to national and international relations. Parents need tact to deal with their children, as much as teachers need tact to deal with their students. You need to act with tact while dealing with your boss, your partner, your spouse, and even your friends.

Your ability to get along with people, while maintaining your individuality plays an important role in determining your success path.

In business, tact is absolutely essential when it comes to managing diverse group of people. Leaders, with the use of tact and conviction can get people to willingly do what they want them to do, in a manner so convincing that they relate to the leaders’ idea as their own and feel motivated to work towards it. With the increasing degree of complexity and stakeholders, leaders need to act tactfully at each and every stage to influence, persuade and align people with their objectives.

Tact

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Why do we procrastinate and how to stop procrastinating

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.  ~ Christopher Parker

Procrastination is too familiar a tendency that we all give in to at some point or the other. If you think of those several occasions when you waited till the last moment to do your work, it won’t take much for you to realize that procrastination is more of a behavioral problem than a time management issue. There would be instances when:

  • You managed to complete your assignment just at the nick of time.
  • You were so lost in surfing the net that you ended up doing a report past its deadline.
  • You did not pay up the bill till the last moment and then paid the fine for it.
  • You did not leave on time and turned up 15 minutes late for the urgent meeting.

Mostly you would be aware of what you should be doing and when, and yet you simply can’t get yourself to do certain tasks. As you postpone your work and leave it for the last second, many things that were not so pressing before, suddenly become urgent and call for your attention.

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Here’s how 3 Brands created an Emotional connect

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

A brand is an emotion your customers have associated with your company.

Emotions, it is said are more psychological than logical.

In the fiercely competitive market, where consumers are spoilt for choices owing to the presence of a number of companies that sell similar products, it is only natural that all brands vie for attention.

Yet, amongst the several brands that scream out loud to make their presence felt, there are still a few brands that quietly sneak in into your lives and intertwine with your good memories.

Here’s how 3 brands, instead of imposing their products upon people, chose to form their marketing strategy around the people to create an emotional connect.

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1. Creating good memories

TATA AIGFestival times are generally associated with fond memories. These are also the times when many companies expend a chunk of their marketing spend.

Most of the big Navaratri, Durga Puja celebrations are usually sponsored by companies, ranging from jewellery, to real estate, to insurance policies, and a host of others which capitalize on the marketing opportunity for exposure before the huge number of people who join the festivities.

During my visit to one of the Durga pooja celebrations at Andheri, what caught my interest was the different approach of Tata AIG.

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