Friday, October 17, 2008

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

A fitting “self-help-book” or maybe I need to rephrase the line as: The PERFECT Fable for those who want MORE from LIFE; both personally and professionally.

Robin Sharma the acclaimed author (a former lawyer too!) of this bestseller shows us the path that helps one move towards living a SIMPLE LIFE with joy, balance, strength and a positive attitude. The book in itself does not boast of giving us something new in terms of concept/ideas/thoughts etc. (you would have heard many of the concept shared by Sharma at some time or other).

What makes this book stand out is the refreshing fable format that the author has adopted for conveying the message (though we maybe familiar with most of the anecdote) with an impact that cannot be ignored and lingers for good.

The book introduces these concepts through the life of Julian Mantle—a lawyer by profession who is facing a spiritual crisis in his life and his will/spirits are at the lowest ebb. Julian embarks on an odyssey that Changes his life (and ours too) when he discovers the ancient culture of India.

The JOURNEY teaches him lessons that are priceless, he learns to value time as the most imperative product in ones life, nurturing relationship’s and the art of living one-day-at-a-time.

The fable is narrated through eleven meticulously laid out chapters which have the quality to stand alone (as individual stories) and yet the chapters meticulously come together as a fable that would change the life of the reader.

Julian is an extremely successful and famous lawyer. He earned a salary that provided him with all the comforts and commodities that one only dreams of. He owns a grand mansion; the neighborhood is inhabited by celebrities, a summer home on a tropical island, a private jet to take him to greater heights and above all—a Shiny Red Ferrari his most prized and loved possession. One fine day when he least accepts it…he is made to come to terms with the unforeseen impact of his disturbed existence.

John a friend colleague of Julian narrates the story of his flamboyant life and his courtroom theatrics make him a regular feature of newspapers and magazines.

One day Julian collapses in the courtroom; his obsession with work has caused a heart attack. His life changes that day forever. One day he sells all that he has…even his most loved Shiny Red Ferrari. After recovery he embarks on a journey of finding himself…he tells no one of his destination and leaves without a trace.

For three years he explores the mystical India meets the sages of Sivana a small place located in the Himalayas the land of roses, placid blue water with symbolic white lotuses floating. The discovery of this place changes him forever for better health, peace of mind and soul. When he returns to his homeland he goes to meet his old friend John who is now a cynical and frustrated man. He starts telling him his experiences that John later shares with the readers.

The crux of the book is its “Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning” that Mantle reveals one-at-a-time, these are:
1. Master your mind
2. Follow your purpose
3. Practice kaizen
4. Live with discipline
5. Respect your time
6. Selflessly serve others
7. Embrace the present

What those life changing experiences are? To give away the details would be colossal mistake because we all need to embark on our odyssey to seek a better way of life…so take out some time for you own self and read this book. What I can promise you is that it will definitely leave you enriched and wiser…

I remember this beautiful couplet by the philosopher/guide Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching that’s sums by this philosophy of the fable skillfully:
I take no action, and people’s contention dissolves by itself
I enjoy stillness, and people rectify themselves
I do not interfere, and people enrich themselves
I have no desire, and people return to simplicity

P.S. Robin's books have been published in over 50 countries and in 60 languages
For more information about the author/his books/general interests etc. visit the following link:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spice to increase 'Hotspot' retail stores to 700 by year-end

IN: Hindu - Chennai, India
October 16, 2008

New Delhi (PTI): Spice Televentures, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the BK Modi Group plans to increase the number of its 'HotSpot' retail outlets to 700 from the current 400 by the end of the year.

"We plan to increase the number of outlets to 700 by year-end from the present 400. After that, we expect to set up 50-100 stores each month starting next year," Spice Televentures CEO Dilip Modi told reporters here.
Hotspot is the multi-brand technology retail chain of the Spice group.

Organised retail is expected to constitute about 30 per cent of the total sales in the mobile space, he said, however, refusing to give details of the Capex earmarked for the expansion plan. "The average size of the stores will be around 350-400 sq ft," he said. The company also plans to market its content through these stores.

"With our relations with companies and through group company Cellebrum, we plan to make available content through HotSpot Retail but this will be done only early next year," Modi said. Last year the company had announced USD 100 million investments spanning over the next two years for expansion of its 'HotSpot' retail outlets.
The retail outlets offer products such as mobile handsets, accessories, airtime connections, recharge vouchers, gaming devices, direct to home television services and other such telecom related products.


Modi to lead largest onshore domestic BPO

SPICE Televentures Ltd, which is part of the $1.5 billion Spice Group, Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Limited, recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create India’s largest onshore domestic BPO. The JV will see the merger of three leading domestic BPOs in the onshore space, comprising Omnia BPO Services Ltd (a Spice Televentures subsidiary) and Bharat BPO (an existing JV of Omnia and Spanco Telesystems) and Spanco BPO Services.

The new entity will provide voice- based backoffice and contact centre services to clients including customers across diverse segments in banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), telecom, travel and eGovernance in the country.

“The joint venture reveals,” Dilip Modi, chairman, Omnia BPO Services Ltd and chairman of the new JV, ”will see an investment upwards of Rs 500 crore in growing its presence across India over the next two years.” From having 7,000 seats in 18 centres spread across 10 cities including NCR Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, it plans to take it to 15,000 seats by March 2010 with a focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities going forward, says Modi.

Modi says that they will have an edge over the competition because they can provide end-to-end solution to customers.

October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Connecting citizens to strategy makers to fight corruption

G2C project will offer services for Redressal of public grievances pertaining to education, checking land records online as well as publishing and monitoring tenders.

A bid to improve public services, the Madhya Pradesh government, in association with Omnia BPO Services Limited, plans to launch a government-to-citizen (G2C) project -- a helpdesk for its citizens. The project intends to strengthen governance and combat corruption.
G2C project will offer services for Redressal of public grievances pertaining to education, checking land records online as well as publishing and monitoring tenders. This portal also supports employment advertisements and provides information about various government schemes.

The whole idea of implementing the interface is to eliminate the digital divide and to seamlessly connect citizens to strategy makers. It also aims to make people aware of governmental help provided to them. Citizens just have to go to the G2C kiosks and register their complaints there. Kiosk managers help them log on to G2C website and post their complaints. Citizens have to pay a nominal fee to the kiosk manager.

The entire process is transparent. One can, at any point of time, check the status of a complaint and easily identify whether the complaint has been acted upon or not. It helps administration streamline its operations and expose bottlenecks in the internal processes. This will help put pressure on non-performing officers, whose lax response to petitions and grievances have been made obvious from the outstanding petitions that the officer has to work on. This will also help kiosk operators earn more.

The government would become more approachable to citizens who earlier had to forgo their wages to stand in a queue just to file petitions. In the past they would have had to follow up with several government offices to find out the status and outcome of their petitions.

Omnia BPO Services Limited is a part of SpiceCorp Global group of companies and is a leading On-shore BPO providing high quality Customer Life Cycle Management services. Spice Mobile, Spice Telecom, Hot Spot Retails, Spice Net and Cellebrum are other prominent members of the Group.

Omnia BPO provides both Inbound & Outbound customer support and telemarketing services to AIR INDIA on a nationwide basis. It also provides entire gamut of Call Centre services to Idea Cellular Limited, MTNL, Spice Telecom, DISH TV and Max New York Life Insurance Company and is the process of implementing an important G2C project Citizen Helpdesk for government of Madhya Pradesh.

Omnia BPO plans to be 5000 seats On-shore BPO by the end of this year, with an annual turnover of over Rs.250 crores with major focus on Travel, Telecom, e-Governance and BFSI segments. Retail segment has also been earmarked as potential area for future growth.

Having bagged the contract of Indian Railways for operating Integrated Train Enquiry Services (ITES) all across the country, a company under the name of Bharat BPO Services Limited has been promoted to implement this project. Zonal Call Centers for this project are located at the 4 metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata the four Regional Call Centers are located at Noida, Ahmedabad, Mysore and Kolkata to begin with.

This operation, not included in the statistics of OMNIA BPO, has been started with about 700 seats and 2000 persons and is poised to scale up to 2000 seats and 5500 persons in a year.

It is already handling about half a million voice transactions every day and this volume is expected to cross 2 million transactions a day by the end of year 2008. The services being provided to the Telecom segment include complete Customer Life Cycle Management, right from Welcome Calling to First Bill ( Hand Holding ) call to dealing with customer complaints, handling Complaint Escalation Process, Payment Reminder and Follow up Calls. In Telecom segment we also handle Out-Bound calls in Life Cycle Management Process including Relationship Building, Value Building, Retention and Loyalty Management calls.

In BFSI segment, the company has started with handling Out-Bound calls for client verification, collecting relevant information from already existing clients, payment reminder calls for existing clients, calls for revival of lapsed policies and has also taken up a process for Direct Marketing of policies to new clients starting from acquisition of data base to collection of payment for the policy.