Travel and Culture

Hampi – City with a Iconic Heritage

By Somali K Chakrabarti It was 1 PM in the afternoon. After lapping up all there was to seen in Pattadakal and Aihole, we proceeded towards Hampi, which is at distance of around 150 km from Aihole. The stretch of road between Aihole and Hampi being smooth, we had an easy drive. On the way, as we passed through Kamalapur, we saw a lake in which the water had a pinkish tinge, appearing as if it had borrowed its shade from the nearby reddish hills.

Travel and Culture

Pattadakal and Aihole – Cradle of Indian temple architecture

By Somali K Chakrabarti Pattadakal, a small village in Bagalkot district of Karnataka, is a name that I had not heard of till recently, but after seeing the place enroute to Hampi from Badami caves, I was so enthralled by its beauty and richness of art that if I have to describe the place in one word it would be ‘mesmerizing’. This small village, situated on the bank of Malaprabha river, is a UNESCO World heritage site with a cultural legacy dating back to the 6th century BC. Starting out from Badami, in the morning at around 8 AM, we reached Pattadakal in less than an hour. On entering the heritage complex, I found a picturesque site of ancient stone temples in sprawling green lawns with palm trees lined on the sides, and with light red sandstone hills in the backdrop.  

Travel and Culture

Badami Caves – Splendor in Rocks

By Somali K Chakrabarti Diwali, is the festive time that brings in happiness and cheer. It is also the time, for long weekends. To make good use of this long Diwali weekend, we started out on a road trip from Mumbai towards Karnataka. My endless fascination for rocks, caves and historical monuments drove us to the heritage sites of Badami and Hampi. Starting out in the morning at 7.45 AM, we drove to Pune via Mumbai Pune Expressway and then took the National Highway NH4. By the time we reached Belgaum, it was 5.30 PM in the evening. We had decided to stop over at a hotel in Belgaum for the night. Next day morning we took the Bachi – Raipur state highway upto Lokapur, and then hit the road to Badami. This stretch of the road passes through the countryside. It is best covered during the daylight as it can get confusing for travelers who are not familiar with the route. Relying heavily on the Google Maps we drove by. A few marigold and sunflower fields on the way presented a pretty sight.

Brand Quiz
Mixed Bag

What makes PM Modi’s speech stand out

 By Somali K Chakrabarti Nobody can question the talent of our people…especially after yesterday  said PM Narendra Modi in his speech, at the launch of Make in India campaign. What could have been a better timing to kick start the Make In India campaign, than the day after India got a big shot in the arm, with the success of ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), as Mangalyan entered the Mars orbit on 24rth Oct! The PM’s speech at Make In India campaign was certainly much more than a business pitch, with all ingredients of a powerful speech made by a leader aiming for holistic development. A general observation is that mostly in all his speeches, PM Modi manages to get the attention of the listeners, to get his message across. Here are some elements that make his speech stand out:


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,…


Bottlenecks plaguing the coal sector in India

The import of coal has been one of the significant factors contributing to the Current Account Deficit (CAD) in India that touched 4.8 per cent (approx USD 88 billion) of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012-13 period. Rising imports, coupled with fall in value of rupee, resulted in a drain of foreign exchange from the country. It is surprising to note that although India has the fifth largest reserves of coal in the world totaling up to 235 BT in 2011, the gap between production and consumption of coal has been increasing over the years from 72 MT in 2009 to 82 MT in 2011.   India imported around 135 MT of coal in the 2012-2013 and is currently the second larger importer of coal after China. Here we look at some of the issues pertaining to the coal sector in India. Issues related to import of coal India needs to import substantial amount of coal from countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Indonesia. Indonesian coal accounts for a bulk of India’s thermal coal imports, while steel-making coking coal is imported largely from Australia and South Africa. Owing to the increase in environmental concerns, coal exporting countries such…

Markets And Economy

Currency crisis in the Emerging Markets

. The year 2013 has seen a global sell off resulting in the fall of currency in most emerging markets including Brazil, India, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey. The charts below show the currency movement of the emerging nations versus the US Dollar in the last 5 years. (Source: )         Brazilian Real has fallen more than 14%  against the USD.       Indian Rupee has fallen about 20% against the dollar in 2013 and hit a lifetime low 68.85 per USD.       South African Rand hit the R10/$-mark for the first time since 2009, the lowest value in four years as poor economic data and labor market tensions weighed on sentiment.        Indonesian Rupiah has slid nearly 12% in 2013.           The Turkish Lira has fallen to a record low of 2 to the US Dollar, the lowest level record since 1981.   

Personal Effectiveness

Norms and Stereotypes in Corporate India

. India is fast emerging as an innovation base and presents a large market opportunity to companies that are creating economical products and solutions for the country. At the same time, India also has its share of challenges in terms of lack of adequate infrastructure, bureaucratic bottlenecks, complex labor and taxation regulations etc. But besides these major policy or investment constraints, there are these few other norms & stereotypes typical of the Indian corporate culture, which though are commonplace for most of us living in India, but if changed will work towards projecting a much better image of Indian businesses.

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