Can we fill & take our own water bottle ?

Have we moved away from the question “why there are no clean drinking water facility?” to  “Why we purchase bottled water?” to “Which brand of bottled water to buy?” No one knows whether bottled water is safe for drinking or clear of source of the bottled  water and conditions under which water packed.

There are very few times we have bought water and mostly, we  avoid purchase of bottled drinking water. At times my daughters do not want to carry their own water, I or my wife carry water. My second daughter asks me “while others purchase water, why we carry water from home?”

I want to remind that school children have habit to take water bottle to school every day. The children have cultivated a habit to carry their own water. Do chilren cultivate a conflicting habit when they consume purchased bottled water?

We started to carry water for our children from home when we leave home. Today, my daughter is 13 years old and the practice still continues. When we go on long time vacation, we check with hotels for aqua-guard water and carry water for the whole day.

You see that hotel bearer does not ask me whether I need water, instead asks whether I need bottled water. We respond that ” We drink the same normal water that he drinks. The children drink from their own water bottles.”

Today travel takes time with long transit hours,on the way from home to work or work to home, either in car or in bus. When I travel by bus,  I carry water. On bus, I carry bag with pouch for water bottle and at times carry a separate bag for water.  I would think it is easier for people who leave their homes or work to fill bottle with water.

Today, when I go to office and ask for water, I am provided with sealed bottled water. Very rarely water is provided in a glass or tumbler. When I refuse to take bottled water and ask for glass of water, others express a surprised look. Some times, people provide me a glass to pour bottled water, assuming that I am looking to pour and drink. What is difficulty for business offices to have water glasses?

May be people sip water from glass keeping their mouth, may lead to diseases. I find some office follow a practice where fresh bottle of water filled by office boy is kept at every employee’s desk before start of work day. Companies project reason to keep bottled water is to ensure that employees, less sensitive to  hygiene and health care are taken care

When I go to mall and not have my water bottle, I have to purchase water or go to restroom that is far away from food court or shops to get water. It looks that mall setup has been developed to induce or make sure that people purchase water. I can observe urge in me to purchase water or another drink and avoid trip to go and get water.

When you go to Tamil Nadu, we need Amma neer. Why is government not thinking of having a good number of drinking water outlets and maintain them clean? Seems they are more busy to decide brand of water bottle and the business around the same.

When I go to Railway station, there is Rail Neer. Facilities to get drinking water are less in number compared to shops that sell Rail Neer. Some people point out that the water is unhygienic and they purchase water. What stops from bringing water from their home?

When we are  more concerned about bottled water brand, we have already moved ourselves far from both the water and the menace of plastic water bottle that we have created.  I think awareness to water and waste created from water bottle needs to happen at home, at community places and at our offices.


Privacy Vs Security In A Big Data World

[Copied article contents Privacy Vs Security In A Big Data World for my reference]

What I do know, however — and I thank him for this — is that Snowden helped bring the discussion of big data privacy and security to the public square — and not just the American public square, but the global one as well. This is a good thing, because in this era of big data, not to mention the Internet of Things, we can no longer relegate this discussion to the privacy freaks and security geeks in the back room. It’s a discussion in which we all should participate.

To understand it better, let’s take a brief look at some of the privacy and security issues in the context of the (big) data lifecycle.

In data security circles, the six stages of the data lifecycle are well known: create, store, use, share, archive, and destroy. While these six stages have a strong foundation in security, an interesting thing to note is the fact that the two privacy-related stages — use and share — are situated squarely in the middle. Is it just a coincidence that privacy is at the heart of the matter?

If data is not collected and/or created, there is no need to secure it. This may seem obvious, but it’s astonishing how many websites and apps forget or disregard this point. They collect it all “just in case” –- with little consideration on how the data may be handled downstream.
Why this matters: Data security begins at the point of creation or collection. Organizations need to be deliberate in the data they request or receive, and individuals should be mindful of the data they’re sharing — whether it’s sensitive data on a financial site or a viral video on YouTube. If this data is not secured, it could end up in the wrong hands.

With the volume of big data being generated these days, it’s not just a question of what data to store, but also how to store it all without blowing the budget. Open-source big data technologies are helping to greatly reduce the cost of data storage, both on-premises and in the cloud.
Why this matters: If an organization creates or collects data, it becomes their responsibility -– not the individuals’ -– to secure and protect it from corruption, destruction, interception, loss, or unauthorized access. Some organizations take this responsibility more seriously than others.

When an individual sets up a new account with an organization through its website/app, the individual is asked to read and agree to the terms of service and/or privacy policy. This legal contract typically defines how the individual’s data will be managed and used inside and outside the organization. Granted, few people read this legalese, but our expectation is that the organization will use our data “responsibly,” and when this usage changes, we expect to be notified.
Why this matters: It’s the usage — not the collection or storage — of data that concerns most people. It’s this stage where individuals want to be in control. For example, they want to set the dial on how public or private their data should be, who can access their data, and whether their data (aggregated or not) can be sold or rented to third parties. In this big data era, when organizations don’t provide this level of privacy control, they risk losing the loyalty and trust of their customers and users.

Organizations continue to share data between internal systems and external partners, but with the advent of social networks and “smart” devices, sharing data has become a public pastime — even to the point of “selfie” narcissism.
Why this matters: On one hand, individuals want control on how their personal data is being used. Yet some of these same individuals show little to no constraint on what personal data they’re sharing. Even though it’s the responsibility of the organization behind the website or app to secure users’ data and respect privacy settings (if they exist), it’s up to the individual to determine what and how much information they’re willing to share. If you put it on the Internet, it’s not a question of if, but when, your information may be used in unintended ways.

Between big data technologies and the cloud, it’s become relatively cost-effective for organizations to store data for longer periods of time, if not indefinitely. In some cases, regulations stipulate how long certain data will live — like in the US financial and health industries — but, in most cases, the budget and space constraints are being alleviated.
Why this matters: Being able to store more data for longer periods of time at a fraction of the cost is an appealing proposition for organizations. The more exciting proposition, however, is the ability to analyze even more data over greater periods of time to discover new questions, patterns, trends, and anomalies. The gotcha here is: The more data an organization stores and archives, the more data it has to secure.

If and when data is tagged for destruction, the question is to what extent. For example, if a website user requests that his account be deleted, what does this mean? Is it just the access to his account/data removed (so that he can request access later if he changes his mind) or does a deletion request trigger the destruction of all his data, including archived data? The answer most likely lies somewhere in between for most organizations.
Why this matters: Regulations and governance policies will dictate the extent to which data may be destroyed for many organizations. The data that does not get destroyed must then be secured. So using the example above, if a website user requests that his account be deleted, and he receives an email notification to that effect, what he doesn’t know is what personal data, if any, still exists in the organization’s systems. He may still be vulnerable to a potential data breach, long after he’s been deleted.
It cuts both ways
While a citizen’s right to privacy and freedom from government surveillance has been top of mind for Edward Snowden, national security has been top of mind for the US government.

And therein lies the rub: security cuts both ways. On one hand, it’s the responsibility of an organization to secure and protect any digital information it collects, stores, and transmits. But on the other hand, our governments are knocking on organizations’ doors demanding access to this protected information — all in the name of preserving national security.

Buy Cotton Cloth to Stitch,TailorKraft

If one wants to purchase cotton shirts, please visit TailorKraft and one can purchase your personalized dress. Wish TailorKraft provides cotton trousers and khadi shirts in stitch and buy approach.

From 2016, I decided to purchase khadi clothes and wear khadi clothes. I want to move away from brand clothing and fashion clothing.  When I visit my parents, I purchase khadi dresses and started to wear them to work also.

My inital feeling was  different and had question of how others would perceive me wearing this attire and how apt my dress would be in conference and busines meetings. I decided to ensure that I would wear them after getting them ironed.

Another challenge was fitment of khadi clothes for me. Shirts  purchased from khadi shops fitted me well and there was limited space for air circulation and made me sweat more.  My search for more airy loose shirt  had no luck in Khadi shops. I continue to wear them inspite of constraints.

During my search, I found this young startup TailorKraft. They allow people to select fabric and they take measurment and stitch and deliver shirt home. I shared to them that I would do this with only cotton shirt and they have cotton shirts.

The founder came hoem and took measurement. My kids chose the color of fabric for my shirt and we ended paying online to purchase 2 cotton shirts last week. They arrived through courier after a week to 10 days. Wearing them made me fee very comfortable. They were airy comfortable and also looked rich.

Wearing cotton and khadi shirts took  my mind to wander to my troursers and found all of them are branded jeans and branded trousers.  I have never seen any one wearing khadi trousers. Have you see khadi trousers?

My mind also wandered to Gandhi who in his later years decided to be without shirt. Can I atleast promise to myself to  wear cotton only? Trying to reach a self resolution that I would buy khadi or cotton shirts only and continue to wear branded shirts till  worn out.

Can  technology enabled e-commerce empower khadi shops and cotton mills to reach more people to puchase personalized things straight from manufacturer?



When did you visit tailor last time?

Till completion of school in 1993, I purchased cloth in shop for pant and shirt. We visited tailor shop . The tailor took measurments of you and stiched clothes. There were uncertain and  challenge times across Diwali to get dress stitched. Schools published school uniform color and parents purchased uniform cloth and got the same stitched at tailor shop.

Today, all dresses are mostly purchased as ready-made.  Schools provide already stitched uniforms for students to purchase. While there is no  wait in tailor shop, people have moved far from the entire process of making dress. We are  5 position of separation from basics of clothes

  1. Make process to make shirts and pants,
  2. Make process to stitch clothes in to dress,
  3. Make process to weave thread in to cloth,
  4. Make process to extract thread from cotton or poly products
  5. Farming process to grow cotton or jute.

While distance from basics of clothes increases, distance from design and brand of clothes decreases. Arrival of e-fashion sites increases distance from going to shop to purchase ready-made wear.

One can also observe that we have moved away from Khadi -handspun and handwoven cloth. While Mahatma Gandhi started his movement to elevate spinning and weaving as an ideology for self-reliance and self government. We have moved far away from Khadi.

How to Make World Do Work for You

[ Copied from equitymaster email on investment, as it applies to a wider horizon]
Have you ever tried to make a toddler listen when they’re cranky? Trust me, there’s no more difficult job on planet Earth. No matter how hard you try, everything will come to a naught if the kid’s mind is made up.

But what really gets my goat is when the mother comes up, indulges the kind in some sweet talk and voila, the kid is literally eating out of her hands. Instructions, any mother will tell you, never work with a child. You can never expect a child to do what you want him to do. If you really need him to comply, first, be really patient. And second, clearly spell out what’s in it for the kid. Unless the kid sees some benefit in what we are asking him to do, you’ll never get anywhere.
This makes a lot of sense. In fact, it has much wider implications. It will not only help you persuade a child but also achieve success across many walks of life. Joseph Tussman, the prolific American educator, is responsible for one of my all-time favourite quotes:
What the pupil must learn, if he learns anything at all, is that the world will do most of the work for you, provided you cooperate with it by identifying how it really works and aligning with those realities. If we do not let the world teach us, it teaches us a lesson.
The success mantra
So, what’s the mantra for success? The idea is to find rules that tell us how the world really works and build models around them. You see, there are general principles that have consistently given the desired results going back thousands of years. These are timeless rules that can help us make better decisions. 
If your principles aren’t in sync with reality, you are unlikely to be successful. All you’ll end up with is failure and frustration, like when you give instructions to recalcitrant toddler without explaining what’s in it for him.

Are you protected from monopolies?

Attended  a good talk by Joseph Siglitz , followed by Branko Milanović as part of lecture series organized by Azim Premji Foundation on Wednesday. Thanks a lot Azim Premji Foundation to bring eminent personalities and organizing public lectures in Bangalore.

Explanation by  Branko how countries calculated global inequality was an eye-opener. Prior to 1980s,  global inequality seems to be studied in limited fashion without proper mechanism to collect data across countries. For example, to know average price of commodity, first we need to collect average prices of all countries, incorporate differences due to currency valuation and arrive at average price of commodity.

Yes, monitoring inequality was not easy task with less computer penetration, my curiosity brought to question ” Will Adhaar help to reduce economic and other inequalities ?” then I reminded myself Adhaar is already getting implemented like monopoly.

Key message from eminent speakers was close to “Will Foreign investment drive down prices and shift production to outside country?” I already observe that Indian suppliers are challenged to compete with foreign firms and may be this will  increase inequality.

Here are interesting facts in economics I learnt in session, written  down for my reference. Also recommend reading article OF THE 1%, BY THE 1%, FOR THE 1%.

Monopsony is a market similar to a monopoly except that a large buyer, and not seller, controls a large proportion of the market and drives the prices down. It is sometimes referred to as the buyer’s monopoly.

American Belief: Americans are die-hard optimists and believe that things are going to become better tomorrow. Today Americans are continuing to feel good, Are they really good?.

Trickle-down economics: Throw money at the top and benefits will trickle down and all people get benefited. This is not working anywhere including USA. Median income of common people is stagnant and working hours have increased. Looks that people are well-off as they worked harder. With increase in productivity, why wages are not growing? Should they not go up together?

Obama Administration pumped money in to economy and that did not trickle down to people in need and went to banks and bankers salary. Is the increase of inequality after 1990 a result of change in politics?

Multiple dimensions of growth in inequality

  • More money at top
  • More people in poverty
  • Reducing of middle class life expectancy
  • Inequality in wealth
  • Inequality in health
  • Inequality in access to justice.

Open Indian marker to Walmart to learn about corruption. When income stagnates, social pathology sprouts up.

Inequality in opportunity

While we talk that USA grew to current stage in 100 years and China did the same in 30 years, Can we start asking our-self. “Why only parts of country or small percentage of population have grown fast, while  the same growth is not shared by the entire country?”

Newspapers do not write what happens every day. They write unusual scenarios” For every one person who moved from inequality to equality, there is large section of population that has not been able to make this transition.

Children of the people who are impacted by inequality continue to be impacted, as education which helps in transition comes with baggage ” The education of child continue to depend on education of parent”. If inequality depends on parent, Can you choose the right parent when you are born?

Agriculture Developed or Advanced countries are keeping agriculture outside of free markets. Why are they not getting rid of agriculture subsidies?

Shared that Brazil sued USA on cotton subsidies.  the subsidy was neither reduced or removed. Instead USA gave money to Brazil and in return, Brazil was asked not to raise issue. He asked “Why does India not sue USA on cotton subsidies?” 

Agriculture labor is unskilled. Decreasing wages for unskilled workers and increasing returns to skilled workers. While average salary wages get calculated , the average wage is taken based on salary of skilled and unskilled workers. What does increase of average wage means? Inequality exists between skilled and unskilled. Is globalization good or bad for unskilled workers?

In addition to describing the root to create inequality, the speakers explored alternatives that can be explored to come for approaches to reduce inequality.

When question becomes “Can you Choose right country to be born to move away from inequality”, the real question is not any more in economics, it is in politics.  Already impacts are observed retirement security, child education and ability to own a home.

  • Decisions today will affect inequality decades later and hence the key is to rewrite rules of governance again.
  • Inequality has been a choice,we choose to live with. This is result of how economy has been structured via tax, legal and expenditure policies at governance level.
  • Equality and economic performance are compliments. You can get both. Needs awareness of inequality in society and focused working to reduce existing inequalities and stop further rise of  economic and other inequalities.

Can we redefine that development is to increase income for poor people irrespective of where they are, in their countries of birth or elsewhere? The speakers touch based following that I was not able comprehend fully.

  • Introduce concept of Citizenship rent : Every citizen gets before you were born in country.
  • Changes to concept of Migration and concept of national welfare state. Where you live is the most important determinant of your income that can reduce , Can we allows people to choose the right country to born, or at-least to live?

Focus on where the real value is

Read this blog contents in article as guidance for existing financial or banking firms interested to  take advantage  of Digital banking. Copied generic part of articles here for my reference( forgot the actual source. Sorry!)

Focus on where the real value is Launching a successful new business requires complete clarity about what its value drivers are. While this seem like an obvious point, we find it is often overlooked. Instead, there is a temptation to copy or replicate existing models.
Constantly test to refine the customer experience Launching a successful new digital-banking business requires a marriage of traditional consumer research and a deep, real-time understanding of the behavior and pain points of individual customers. This means a constant and rapid stream of prototypes starting with the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and subsequent iterations in order to figure out what will make the customer experience superior across all touch-points. This sort of “real life” testing is critical for identifying what customers actually value as opposed to what they might say they value. It also yields up to 70 percent fewer defects and errors.
Organize for creativity, flexibility, and speed Building a business using a constantly iterative approach requires a way of working that banks typically aren’t used to. There are three areas where a different way of operating needs to be nurtured.

  • Cross-team collaboration. The core group building the digital bank should have a solid understanding of not just the new technology architecture, but also of the bank’s design and brand and the economics of its business model.
  • A ‘garage like’ working environment. While an actual garage isn’t necessary, a physical space that provides a nurturing environment for creative thinking and prototyping is. This means open spaces, plenty of whiteboards and worktables where people can congregate and work together, as well as habits that foster innovation, such as so-called sprints
  • A central ‘control tower’ team. Launching a digital bank is a juggling act, with multiple miniprojects running at the same time. It is the job of the control-tower team to make sure all these projects are coordinated by moving resources to necessary teams quickly or prioritizing initiatives so that timeline targets can be met. The team must work to identify bottlenecks and then either quickly resolve them or refer the problems upward to the CEO or the board.

Create an ecosystem of partnerships Successfully launching a new digital-banking business requires quickly acquiring a critical mass of customers. Two industries with large amounts of digital customers who can help the process are e-commerce marketplaces and telecommunications.
Build a two-speed IT operating model To implement the test-and-learn approach and short release cycles that are so critical for launching and operating a competitive digital bank, two different yet integrated IT systems are needed: the traditional, slower, secure and stable, transaction-focused legacy back end and a rapid, flexible, customer-centric front end.
Get creative with marketing To communicate such distinct selling points cost-effectively, banks must cultivate word-of-mouth recommendations and feedback through social media