Who Pays Corporate Taxes? Possibly You

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Interesting – you and I may be bearing the ultimate brunt of the income tax on corporate.

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3G Auction: Implications

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The auction for 3G Spectrum was concluded on 19-May-2010 in India. It will fetch the Indian Government Rs.67,710 crores this fiscal. TRAI Chairman J S Sarma, a career bureaucrat, has stated that the bidding has been sensible while the premier Telecom player, Bharti Airtel, has a view that the bids have been “beyond reasonable”, primarily driven by spectrum shortage and auction format. None of the players has managed to acquire a pan-India license, however, some have managed to bid smartly than others. Now that the bidding has concluded what are it’s implications for Telecom players, consumers, future regulation and broader economy.

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Cadbury and Payday Commercial

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Somewhere around the middle of last year, Cadbury launched the Dairy Milk payday commercials (here, here and here) in India. The commercial was done in a retro style with a song – inspired from the 1952 Kishore Kumar pehli taareekh song – and dance routine; O&M are the creative minds behind the campaign. The commercial is an extension of celebrating moments of joy campaign that Dairy Milk has launched over the years – kuch meetha ho jaaye, pappu pass ho gaya, miss Palampur. It intends to introduce another moment of joy in one’s life.

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Consider Returned!

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“Information contained in this document, and in any of the annexed pages, is the intellectual property of ******** COMPANY. If you are not authorized to have access to this document or have received it by mistake, or by deliberation through unauthorized sources, please return it immediately or inform us at the address given below to arrange for its collection.”

We are born to a world, consistently struggling between online & offline communication. All official communication which was once maintained in Hard bound box files now find their place in bright yellow folders on the ‘my computer’ of some shared folder with limited access rights. This however does not mean that the hard bound version does not exist. That too exists, stacked away neatly in labeled files in some Godforsaken ‘file room’ which is occasionally opened to the ‘trying to peep in’ eyes of the employees.

The dilemma extends to online & offline means of communication, online & offline readings, online & offline bills & invoices, and online & offline offs as well. The hitherto well defined line (Format: Thickness – , Color – BLACK, Shadow – NONE) that defines on & off days no longer exists. Sick leave now means a ‘work from home’, casual leave means ‘will intermittently checks mails’, and Trek/Trip means ‘limited access to emails’. This gives birth to amazing creativity to out of office auto reply messages which we shall discuss in another post. People are always under the illusion of being connected and the multiple de-‘vices’ do nothing to improve the situation.

However, this post is NOT about general observations of online behavior. This is meant to address another dimension of online work life called e-mails. There are many aspects of e-mail communications namely:

1. The addressee – Hierarchy of address must mostly be descending, starting with the senior most. Alternately, it could be the other way round. Many a times, the urgency of replying to a mail differs in accordance with the positioning of id in the mail list. The farther the positioning of the name, the farther the priority of replying. The SIN in writing mails is ‘dear all’ and should be used only when intimating & NOT when action is required!

2. The CC Rule – It is mostly considered an insult if bosses of addressed are marked a cc on follow-ups. However, there exist a species of people who refuse to work without a copy to bosses unless their work goes unnoticed

3. The BCC Rule – This one should be a strict no-no. If the boss/colleague is in receipt of a mail where he is in bcc, he would not really not expect you to have more people in bcc when u send him a mail. Basic human tendency! So its best to steer clear of controversy

4. The signoff – Yours sincerely, Yours faithfully, Thanks & regards, Regards, BR, Thanks are all ways to sign off mails and say a lot about the person who is writing the mail. Some choose to even embellish their signatures with quotes (sometimes good) and icons (mostly unneeded unless corporate) However, yours sincerely/faithfully looks odd on an official mail…

5. The mail body – This is the funkiest part of the email. People can take offence for this like misplaced question-marks (how can you ASK me) or ill-placed commas. Typos are a big no-no…and so are incomplete names (such hurry?…I hate mails that call me “Dear Koma” how morbid!)

6. The footnote (read on)

It is important to note that all the above aspects, and importance attached to them are a function of an organization’s culture. (Here is a silent prayer for people on rotation in conglomerates!)

I would urge you to refer to the para where this post began to find out what triggered this post. The funny part is, if indeed I was not the intended recipient, and if by chance I decided to ‘return’ the document, how, in the name of the good Lord would I do it?? Send the soft copy back to the sender saying “consider returned”?

Guess I must just wait, until the transformation is complete…

Source : http://backarapper.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/consider-returned/

Separated, by a mouse click

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There is a marked increase in the number of people online in post work hours & work hours. Over the past years, employers moved from blocking social networking sites on the LAN to now allowing GTalk & Skype to facilitate voice calls over high speed internet thanks to cost cutting initiatives. Even otherwise, sites like meebo.com & the likes were doing the rounds in corporate circles.

A colleague at work mentioned the other day, “One works to put food on the table”; Earn, Learn & make friends seems to be the new mantra for the new age employee who is slowly moving from lifetime employment to lifetime employability. The office-goers who spend the better part of the day in front of their machines re-login from the comforts of their homes to connect reconnect. Sometimes I wonder, where the childhood time we spent playing in the park go. Employee engagement practitioners can sure learn their bit from these social networking giants. After all, they do manage to make us part away with a portion of our ‘me-time’ to indulge in status updates to tell the world how sad or happy or annoyed we are.

Some interesting statistics to note would be:

  1. Number of people online during work
  2. Number of people online post work
  3. The Rising wave of online applications which suddenly see an upsurge in usage patterns among common friend lists. E.g. Farmville, mafia wars, or even the random quizzes. It begins as a contagious fever & spreads through virtual contacts
  4. Swelling number of people on Orkut, fB, twitter (ref: your own friend lists)
  5. Shift towards fB & twitter from Orkut triggered by none other than a common community sentiment that collectively shunned one in the favour of the other
  6. Always online syndrome- the popularity of smartphones, fring.com, data devices for broadband aka Tata Photon
  7. Number of hours spent at work(counting not only the hours of physical presence but also the office thought process that never seems to leave one’s head) & the corresponding need to reach out
  8. LinkedIn & its changing face- Most IT departments do not block this professional ‘networking’ website. LinkedIn on its part is becoming more and more personalized nowadays. What with the latest additions on personal details on professional profiles
  9. Telecom on the go-death of the landline connections (Ref 6. Above)
  10. Home internet connections Homes without internet connections
  11. Fitness fetish for mouse potatoes … How many of you have joined the gym?

Source : http://backarapper.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/separated-by-a-mouse-click/

Dove & Fairness

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Dove, the personal care brand of Unilever, recently launched the face test campaign in India (O&M are the the creative minds behind it). The campaign started off with encouraging women to use Dove soap on one-side of the face and a regular soap on the other. It intends to drive home the point that Dove makes the skin softer than other soaps in the market. In the follow-up, now a commercial has been launched showing testimonials by women about their experience of the face test and display of agreement that the Dove side was softer.

The campaign itself is laudable and best way to convince the customer about the product’s value proposition. However, strikingly and interestingly, all the testimonials are given by women who are gori – ie. they have a fair complexion. More