Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mallu union in Singapore

I know its a gap of around 3 months since I scribble something here. Though i have an inner urge to post something, my laziness create major bottleneck to do something creative. Now, I found some time , by somehow...and thought i would write about a very nostalgic story that happened during my stay in Singapore.

I used to visit terminal-1 of Changi Airport for having my dinner from Pizza Hut. It usually be once in a week , may be on sundays. One such sunday, I met a guy there, showing feminine charecteristics but very friendly to his customers. I noticed him in the first week itself, and this time, got an opportunity to talk to him as well. I told him to bring some sauce, and when he brought that to my table,he started asking questions. Where are u from ?. where are u staying etc etc.., all basic questions... from the accent I could understand he is a typical mallu. But i kept mum. Then he fired me a question ,, Are you a malayali ? I got surprised, and with a smile , i agreed. Ohh My God !!!, shouldve seen his face !!!! turns red , with happiness , started talking nonstop, within 2 minutes , his family background, singapore stories, past jobs etc he told me. I was amazed, how Antony, (thats his name) an unknown waiter in a Pizza hut at Changi Airport , became a friend of me within a very short span of time!!! When I finished my dinner, he patiently came to my place and wished goodnight in malayalam. Generally the pizza hut staffs are very energetic, this incident helped Antony more energetic :-) Infact he was telling me, in the past 1 month, He met only 3 Malayalis there (he was checking indeed!!) and I was the third one.

My next visit to Pizza Hut was after 2 weeks, and by the time I was about to travel back. I wanted to tell him bye and if possible to give him some tips too.
But when I reached there, I could not see Antony there. I asked the other staffs about him, and they told me , he had already been transferred to another branch with a permanent post there. (He was a trainee in that changi Branch !!) Perhaps his energetic relationship skills would be the reason by the management to make him permanent very fast... He was just 2 months old in Pizza Hut and 3 months in Singapore. He reached Singapore by marrying a nurse from Kerala working in Singapore. Previously he was working with a construction company in Dubai...

Though he is mediocre in his education and humble in his background, he is able to create a huge impact in my heart (like many others would ve felt like that as well !!). Once again, its a usual story of any Mallu in foreign land (not in his own place )

Maru nadan Mallus .... Neenaaal vazhatte !!!!

(Let the expat Mallus long live !!! thats the literal translation :-) )

Catch u later for another story !!!



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Singapore Diary

My Singapore trip !!!! that was a biggest joke in last 12 months, may be ever since I joined in my present company. Since one of my main jobs, is to "Transform" and "Transition" the business, the travel plan was inevitable. But due to many reasons (as usual), it never happened, but the whole world knew that am ready for a travel.

So finally after 12 months later, I landed here. Though personally not interested to be here (due to project reasons), coming back to Singapore, after a gap of around 2.5years is surely a nostalgic one. And I realised , how fast the city is changing. I think they are giving an extreme competition to US and Europe interms of modernism, development and technology !!!

Watching Youth olympics opening ceremony from Marina Sands Sky Tower was an awesome experience. 200 Meter high, they have created a amzing world of Restaurants, Swimming pool, garden and rooftop view.... Its just amazing.!!!! No words to explain.

I could see a very clear cultural convergience also . To explain, I stay in a hotel inside the Airport itself, (not intentional, but due to company policy and the result is even drinking water is extreemly costly!!) So often i come to the Indian Veg Restaurant -Anand bhavan to have my food. There I could see chinese and Malays waiting for Thosai(Dosai), Masala Thosai, Idli, Vadai Sambal (Sambar) etc. Similary, If we go to Chinese Restaurants, you may find Indian Couples, girls,families etc would be rushing for food joints,as normal like a typical chinese (girls with mini skirt aaahhh :-) )

After all .. its okey lah... neh mind lah... cultural barriers lah....needs to overcome all these.. Am happy to see this, and We Indian needs to learn from all these things. And while writing this, I saw an amazing view. Husband (an Indian origin) waiting in the Anand Bhavan, and his Wife a Chinese, come to reception, order typical South Indian dishes, for both of them , and having so comfortably....
Truly globalisation impact :-) Its just like the whole world is eating Pizza or Burgers....

Baaki, Later... time to go for sleep !!



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Promotion,Increment and responsibility -A paradigmshift

In our professional life, these are the buzz words anyone would go through every day. The bosses would use these terms conveniently to get the work done. Your clients would strategically use these terminologies to make things happen by hook or crook.What more to say, you and your peers (we all :-) ) would use these to convince ourselves to the reality that we are always underpaid and always underperformed against the targets.

Yet , all are unhappy and disappointed (perhaps most) when the annual salary increments and appraisal results announced. Recently, when I had an opportunity to travel with one of the top guns of a company, was telling me that the system should be fair and Just to most.Exceptional cases are always addressed. I am very much with his thought of being Just and Fair, else an organisation of such large scale cannot survive in this highly complex -competitive world.

The fact is, companies are trying new ways and methods to attract talent, so forced to pay more when they join. However, once they joined , further improvements, promotions, career upliftment etc are just a secondary activity for the HR . (Nowadays HR team is working like a sales department with full fledged targets to meet monthly!!!)

Every company has their own appraisal system where in it will make you, as embarassed as possible and will convince you " Not fit for an increment" every year. May be this is one way of doing revenge to the person who negotiated highly and join with an uncomparable salary with the peers. He has to undergo a series of mental torture , when he completes one full cycle of evaluation. In IT industry, the disparity on salary and increment is very high. Unlike other industries like banking., the uniformity in similar grade is clearly missing, which is resulting very high dissatisfaction among the peers.

Another interesting fact is , the person negotiated high and average ones, is not much differentiating on his/her work. Perhaps the average person would show more commitment on his work as he has a target to chase the higher salary :-)

Certain companies have a peculiar progression system, wherein you may demand for more work and present your facts to a group of panelists. If they accept your case, your may be eligible to move upwards. Even if you may not get progressions or increment, this would guarentee you,higher responibilities matching your level that you attained.

What a strategy sirji !!!!!. Getting more jobs, without paying anything extra!!!

So, according to me, the present system of evaluation, salary structure, increment schemes and career advancement etc are inadequate to nurture and retain the real talent in every organisation. As long as the think-tanks are not taking an open minded -bold steps , the free flow will continue and look for greener pasteurs.

And ofcourse, the other side is always greener !!!!!!

Cheers !!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rejuvaneting Trips

Recently, I have done two travels, one to North east part of Karnataka and the other one to the extreme south of TamilNadu. Both are two different extremes. The culture, people, tropical conditions and the geography all are extremely different and shows the diversified culture of India. But I could find one thing in common.The influence of Malayalam and malayalis are pretty much in both the places, though two classical languages - Kannada and Tamil rule the world here.

I went to Kasargodu-Neeleswaram to attend my class mate's wedding. It was indeed a nostalgic and refreshing experience. The stay in Nalanda Resorts, House boat expeditions,Viju's house -wedding reception, I was looking back to 4 years where my wedding took place....running through my mind.... though the bus journey was strenous, return trip through Bakkel fort, beach etc was too kool to be cherished.

Last two days , I had another trip to Nagercoil, purely for a business purpose. My Friend took a resort in Kanyakumar, exactly in the beach , was a beautiful one to stay. He showed me different places in an around Nagercoil, Valliyoor, Tirunelveli, the places he acquired recently to develop his real estate business. All the places are very flat, premitive stage, although the roads are amazing. Proximity to Nangunery SEZ, NH-007 (Golden Quadrilateral-corridor) and Innumerable educational institutions etc gives an exponontial potential to his target locations. I was impressed all the locations especially , the one near to the hill area. He recently registered a nine acre land near to a hill which can provide amazing brand name for his projects. I felt so impressed , just about to tell him, could u give me a villa here ???
Anyway, the preliminary objectives are met, and now need to talk to my friend for a good deal :-) Let me also try my luck in this looming business !!!

Indeed my last two trips were highly rejuvenating and rewarding !!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Are you a sellable commodity in the job market ?

After the great recessional years in 2008-2010, the jobs are available in the market again. Companies started their hiring plan again. Bonus are declared with increment in salary. Some even declaring this with arrears.

Now the people who are stagnant in their current companies also started thinking, why can't I try in the market so that I can improve my earnings substantially.

Even I have received couple of resumes whom wanted to cash in this opportunity.

However unlike previous year maddening recruitment spree, now a days companies are lil more cautious in recruiting. They are willing to spend like anything (any extreem) for the niche skilled/ quality resources. Where as the average and non sellable resources are treated with average or No Pay. And the monitoring policies are even more stringent inorder to filter the unwanted elements.

That is why I put a Question: Are u sellable in the Job market !!! if you dont upgrade your skills, with the supportings of certifications, or some thing else, you may be disappointed.

Hence I am preparing my first ever certification course for the year... A journey just begins....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mobile "fone"- Greatest revolution of the century

Why have I chosen this subject to talk now!! Yes, I strongly believe, Mobile
Pf)hone is the greatest revolution in this century. Not that some other stuffs like revolution in automobile, agriculture, banking etc are forgotten, but this has given a huge value addition to our day to day life.

I still remember during 95-96 period, BPL launched their premium pre-paid services in Kerala by introducing a very heavy mobile instrument. So as Escotel (Now acquired by Idea I think!)
Those days, an Incoming call would cost you in the range of Rs 18- 25 per minute. Forget about the outgoing call costs as it would be even more costly. Hence owning a Pre-Paid mobile was considered as very pride for the people and it is a thing for the Niche market ONLY.

This trend continued till 2000, (I think so) and later, mobile companies are forced to revamp their tariff rate with the launch of multinationals, TRAI influence and Govt of India's measures.

While we are in 2010, I don’t need to explain the revelations.......Incoming is completely free. Even with roaming, the rates are drastically reduced. ISD rates are coming down. Gone are the days of heavy mobiles, a wide range of beautiful handsets are in the market. What more, to replace the Laptop market, there are blackberrys,
I phones and Google Phones are available.

Now let me share a live example, how it is revolutionalising the common man's daily life and how it becomes the greatest (in my opinion atleast) revolution.

Last time when I went to my native place, a small village in Kollam District, Kerala, I was travelling in a private bus. Suddenly I saw the cleaner of the bus(That’s considered as an esteemed post as far as kids, students and girls concerned due to many Skill sets which a Cleaner requires to !!! ) got a phone call (the music was awesome !). He took a sophisticated Nokia mobile and started talking. He was fixing a business deal for the same bus on the next Sunday for a wedding party. He gave me a smirk on his face after ending the call as if it is BAU(Business As Usual) for him !!

I was lil' embarrassed (rather amused) on the whole episode but the shock of the life yet to come!.

Suddenly an old lady (probably older than my mother who is at 60 now) picked up her cute looking Samsung mobile fone from her bag (it was also ringing with melodic music!) and started giving direction to someone. She handled the entire conversation so efficiently and ended the call with a "Thank You”. By looking at my amusement, She also gave me a smile and told , "Am very relaxed as am able to give exact direction to my Son and also told me , this is a boon to people like me at this old age....

Look at the change done to the Bus Cleaner and an average old lady on their day to day life!!!!!

The whole night I was thinking about that , and finally I decided to declare this tp the world; "Mobile fone is surely the greatest revolution of the century!!!"

Do you agree ????

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Year 2010- Actions and responsibilities

Last year, i wrote 2009 would be the year of new hope . This year it would be the year of actions and more responsibilities.

I have taken some commitments (as many do !!!) for this year for my personal and professional improvements. I would spend more quality time with the family and would try to attain some certifications for my professional improvement.

Many would take such commitments in the beginning of every year. Let me see how many commitments would be able to achieve by the end of this year 2010 !!!!