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Tanuj Khosla
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Give and take during Indian weddings

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It is currently wedding season in India and not surprisingly almost everybody I know back home in Delhi is attending two or three wedding functions a week. The number shall only go up in the days to come and I am sure that on some days there shall be multiple functions to go to in two completely opposite parts of the city! Consequently I couldn't think of a more opportune time to write a piece on a topic that I quite strongly feel about - the system of laen-daen (give and take) in Indian weddings. I won't single out any particular community here because it happens in most of them, maybe more in some than others. As unbelievable as it may sound to some readers, marriages in a sizeable percentage of middle class and upper middle class families (especially business families) are conducted like deals with a lot of....

Friday , July 12, 2013

Spare me the horror: pseudo-intellectuals and misinformed argumentative egoists

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'Any fool can know, the point is to understand' - Albert Einstein This is probably one of the most relevant quotes of our times where 'perception management' and 'public image' are the buzzwords and consequently we are surrounded by pesudo-intellectuals who metamorphize into Misinfomed Argumentative Egoists (MAEs) at the drop of a hat. Everywhere you look these days, you can easily find 'gurus' who regard their two cents as gospel. For example, I work in the field of finance where day in and day out I meet people who read news on Bloomberg and CNBC and then repeat the same like an expert! Question them about a conceptual link between two related developments in the markets and their discomfiture is worth watching. Many of them are involved in making investment recommendations to their clients but would never put their own money where their mouth is. ....

Thursday , June 13, 2013

'Package Kya Hai'

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Someone once said, 'Never ask a girl her age and a boy his salary'. I have no clue about who it was but I can say one thing with certainty - he wasn't an Indian. This is because almost everybody in the great Indian middle class thinks it is his/her business to know what each of his/her cousins, colleagues, seniors, and even chachi's brother's son's best friend is making. Anyone who has worked abroad or even in the Indian subsidiary of a MNC would know that such topics are considered personal in other countries and cultures and it is downright rude to venture into that territory. But for a lot of us in India, subtle emotions like intrusion of privacy are alien concepts. 'Kya hua, apna dost/bhai hee to hai' is the common refrain one gets if he confronts somebody about his/her unhealthy inquisitiveness. I don't even have....

Monday , February 18, 2013

The flipside of Facebook: Part 2

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I got a lot of feedback (both positive and negative) when I wrote a piece on 'The Flipsides of Facebook' for 'Straight Talk' over a year ago (for those interested, the link is http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/tanujkhosla/3024/63070/the-flipsides-of-facebook.html). That article had talked about how Facebook was altering the behavioural pattern of people who are going to extreme lengths to project pseudo-identities on the social networking website as well as using it as a medium to stalk 'friends'. A recent study conducted jointly by two German universities found that witnessing friends' vacations, love lives and work successes on Facebook can cause envy and trigger feelings of misery and loneliness. The researchers further found that one in three people felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives. Quite Frankly, I was not surprised on reading this. In a world where most people in the 15-40 age bracket are grappling....

Friday , June 15, 2012

VJD System definitely deserving of a fair chance

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A few days ago, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that it was sticking with the Duckworth-Lewis rule for deciding rain-affected matches after V Jayadevan, an engineer in the south Indian state of Kerala, put forward a replacement method, the VJD system. Interested, I read a description of the VJD system on Wikipedia. As someone who deals with numbers and curves on a daily basis, I followed the logic of the method from an intuitive standpoint but am definitely in no position to comment on its merits against the DL system. One comparison I would love to see though is a table showing three columns for weather interrupted international games in the last six years:- - The revised target/par score as per the DL method - The corresponding target/par score as per VJD system - The score actually achieved by the team batting second In technical terms, we call....

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Young adult fiction in India: losing direction?

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Life seems to have come a full circle for young adult fiction in India. In 2004, Chetan Bhagat burst on the scene with 'Five Point Someone' and almost overnight created a huge market for young adult fiction which even forced the big publishing houses to shed their cloak of elitism and churn out mass market fiction written in easy vocabulary with plenty of local references and flavours. Hundreds of young adult titles by hundreds of first-time authors have hit the shelves since then. However, going by the recent trends, the readers seem to have reached a saturation point. The reason is lack of differentiation between these 'semi-autobiographical' young adult novels. Even a price of 100 bucks (even lesser if you buy the books online) doesn't seem to entice many readers into purchasing some titles due to this. They do have a point. Most of the recent....

Thursday , April 12, 2012

Winning is not the only thing for IPL franchises

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Most people I meet generally have two kinds of queries regarding the commercial aspects of IPL. Some wonder how the franchises, which dole out millions of dollars to 'buy' star players, make money. Others are intrigued by the sky high valuation of these teams quoted in the media. Well, valuation, as any MBA student shall tell you is the present value of future cash flows, which put simplistically are nothing but projected revenue minus projected expenses. I attempt to give a brief breakdown of both. Revenue sources for IPL franchises - Share TV broadcasting rights: This is a huge source of revenue for the IPL franchises. Broadcasters have acquired the global broadcasting rights of the IPL for ten years at a cost of well over US$ 1 billion (the broadcaster then re-sold parts of the broadcasting rights geographically). A major chunk these proceeds is equally distributed to....

Monday , April 02, 2012

India's ODI batting line-up: A problem of plenty

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India's ODI team, the reigning World Cup holders, failed to reach the finals of the last two multi-team tournaments they played in. Whole the bowling has been our perennial weak link, it was the batting that seriously disappointed in Australia. There is plenty of talk these days about India's batting line-up in Test cricket after Rahul Dravid's retirement. However, I am rather intrigued by our batting options and line-up in the ODIs. Before we go further, let's take a look at the players currently in the fray in ODIs: Openers: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir Middle order: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina Lower middle order: Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja Please don't blame me if a few more names get thrown in this mix in June 2012 after some stellar performances in IPL 5. I am sure the selectors shall be keenly observing....

Thursday , March 08, 2012

Four questions for Greg Chappell

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Greg Chappell has again done what he is pretty good at doing - piss Indians off! As if his well-publicized showdown with one of India's favorite sons, Sourav Ganguly, and flipping the middle finger at the Indian public a few years ago weren't enough, 'Guru Greg' has gone ahead and made the following comments about the Indian culture during a promotional event for his book, Fierce Focus, at the Adelaide Writers Week. "The culture is very different, it's not a team culture," Chappell is supposed to have remarked. "They lack leaders in the team because they are not trained to be leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions, their schoolteachers make their decisions, their cricket coaches make the decisions. "The culture of India is such that, if you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head off. So they....

Monday , March 05, 2012

Warning for aspiring authors: beware of fake literary agents

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Followers of Indian publishing world are only too aware of the boom that has taken place in the industry, especially in mass market fiction, since investment banker Chetan Bhagat churned out a bestseller in his college days in 2004. The book captured the imagination of almost every age group and catapulted Bhagat into instant stardom. It made every second English-educated person in India believe that he/she had a best-seller in him/her. Since then over a hundred such first-time authors, who had full-time jobs, have gone on to write their debut novel on anything from school days to college life to experiences at workplace. Many of these books have been resounding commercial successes thereby inspiring thousands more. However, while all this is good news for aspiring authors, publishers and readers, the trend has had one negative side-effect - birth of shady literary agents in India. In the West, most....


More about Tanuj Khosla

Tanuj is an MBA by qualification and currently works at a hedge fund in Singapore. Prior to this he was a banker in India. Tanuj has written guest columns for finance journals like CNBC, The Asset, The Hedge Fund Journal, Institutional Investor, Risk.net etc. in the past and was also a regular columnist with The Wall Street Journal. He can be followed on Twitter @Tanuj_Khosla. Alternatively he can be reached at khosla.tanuj@gmail.com.