The mother of all rackets in the Indian IT deptt – pay kickbacks to the babus to get your refund

March 10, 2008

It is strange how complacent we have become on certain issues as a nation. Maybe it is because we have developed a state of apathy or maybe  the way the Indian economy is becoming flush with funds, we have reached a stage where we are not interested in changing the system, rather prefer working around it.

It surprises me that the babus of the IT department have so conveniently managed to run the biggest kickback racket in the country…which I am sure from the FM to the media barons to the common man on the street is well aware of but no one decides to do anything…maybe they are all scared of them.

As a legitimate and honest tax payer of one of the largest democracies of the world, it is my fundamental right to ask the government…on what basis do I have to pay kickbacks for the legitimate refund of my tax money. What special incentives is the government providing me that I need to shell out that extra money for its bunch of inefficient and corrupt employees.

What every tax payer whose refund  is more than Rs 50,000 is aware of but will never like to talk about for the fear of the tax babu is that you have to pay a certain perecntage share through an agent to the babus or else your tax refund will either never reach you or even if it reaches…it will be around the time of your retirement!!

Will the honourable Finance Minister for whom I have the deepest respect and admiration please answer to the legitimate tax payers of this country and account for the wrongdoings of his department. Apologies and looking into the matter kind of statements will not work…it is our right to demand action and results and in case the FM doesnt remember it is our time of reckoning this year :)

Which company is the most ethical?

December 24, 2007

This has become a very relative term, with ethics and corporate placed as asynonmous words with each other. The Enrons and Arthur Andersons’ of the world have managed to create perceptions of corporates looking at various dubious means to reach their business ends.

What consists of an ethical company? A company which conducts business in a clean and transparent only or does it also include various parameters like the way it believes in responsibility towards the community at large or even the way it treats its employees in matters of creating a work-life balance as well as dealing with cases of racial and sexual abuse.

Though companies might talk in glorious terms about issues like diveristy and addressal of abuse cases, however when it comes to dealing with real life issues, most of them place their business interests at the forefront. However there are companies like the Tatas Group and Infosys in India who have become trailblazers when it comes to placing the employee interest at the forefront. Whether it was the case of Phaneesh Murthy at Infy or the creation of the Jamshedpur city by JRD Tata, both the companies have shown that when it comes to their employees, bottom lines are just a part and not the entire crux of the business.

However as the world starts getting smaller and flater and companies are no more restricted to their geographies they need to start looking at companies like Microsoft, Citi Group, to name a few. Microsoft in fact can take the credit for being one of the most diversified company on the planet…it has some of the most striking examples of cases of equal opportunity.

With consumers and employees looking at issues such as CSR, transparency as key ingredients for either joining a company or even buying their product it is time that companies seriously started looking at ethics as a key part of their business process and not a talk to be given at trade and HR forums.

Why everyone loves to hate Microsoft

December 10, 2007

For a company which has changed the face of technology, it is an irony of sorts that Microsoft is always the subject of ire and discontent. Its surprising no other company attracts so much hate like the way Microsoft does…

If Halo X Box or Zune are termed successful then there are 20 posts and articles counterclaiming their dudness in the market. If Vista is announced as undergoing new patchwork…there are scatching attacks on how Microsoft is pushing such products down our throats. I have always wondered why is it so? Is it because it has grown too rich too fast or is it because whenever a computer breaks down with some data in it, the frustrated user screams and abuses the software company and thats where the tirade starts. But it isnt the same for a CitiBank which charges you high interest rates or to oil companies who are threatening the ecological balance so why then against a software company which is not physically harming anyone…i am still looking for the answers and am thinking of it as an interesting topic for a thesis….any takers for it?!

Will Middle East create the next Microsoft or Cisco?

December 8, 2007

It may seem so if the new product launched by Dubai based Momenta Global is anything to go by.

One of the hot products which all tech heads need to put on their investment radar for the year 2008 is “Office in a Box” by Momenta Global. A rapidly growing technology, media and telecommunications company in the MENA region, Momenta has got a winner in this product.
It looks as if the product team at Momenta spent innumerable days and nights at the tech support centres of their clients, watching their teething day to day issues like centralized software distribution, office automation applications upgrade, data backup/recovery (e-mail, contacts, and My Documents directories), bandwidth utilization and application response times and end-to-end data security to name a few – to come with a single solutions product which looks at all their IT infrastructure requirements.

Competitively priced at starting at USD 135 per user per month, Office in a Box has managed what hardware, software and infrastructure companies have not been able to group together to provide singly to the customer. Combining both Hardware as a Service and Software as a Service, Momenta has sought to be a single point solution for all its client needs.

For any company looking at investing in the product the business benefits would be many. There would be NO requirements of:
- Capital Expenditure
- Cabling Infrastructure
Momenta has offered to provide:
- Support/Maintenance Team
- 24 x 7 x 365 Support
- Full data backup Servers, E-mails, Local Hard disks
- 30, 60, 90 days Retention Period
- Economical cost per user/month
- Hosted Exchange Server
- Software Upgrade

Though the market will eventually decide on the success of the product in the months to come, but what Momenta has managed is to at least look differently in the way the client needs can be met through a single, collective solution rather than individualized services.

Office in a Box includes:
• Wireless PC
• Windows Vista
• Microsoft Office 2007
• Windows Server 2003
• Exchange Server
• Microsoft Data Protection Manager
• Printers
• WAN Acceleration
• Switching
• Routing
• NAS , SAN
• Tape Library
• Internet Connection
• 24 x 7 x 365 Support


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