Friday, June 23, 2017

Independent or dependent on servants

Women should be treated equal to men... women of this age are independent.. + 10 other feminist views that all of us (or at least I) have educated at some point of time. But do we really understand what it truly means? Somewhere between all this hype around feminism modern generation women have taken things differently. We feel much more powerful (and more = man) when we perform in a work environment but feel shameful when its a household task. I have seen many who doesn’t even know basic things like cutting a fruit or making tea. The worst thing is they feel proud about it. Why not they are so called “Working independent women” and there are lot of services available in the market who will take care of all these basic necessities “if you are ready to spend”. Big basket will deliver freshly cut fruits and vegetables, Swiggy will deliver cooked food, housejoy can send people to clean your house and what not. These startups have tapped into the right market of laziness and arrogance.
I am not saying that only women are expected to know household stuff. These skills are equally important for male and female to survive alone. I remember my father always helping out my mom whether it be cooking food or washing clothes (because my mom had 4 kids to take care of). When my father got transferred to a village, my mother stayed back in Kota for 15 years so that she can make 4 IITians out of us. All this was possible only because my father knew how to take care of himself without being dependent on anybody. This is called being an Independent person. We cannot call ourselves “Independent” when we are so much dependent on others to do the task for us.
There are characteristics of a women that differentiates them from men. And one of them is the nurturing nature. All mom/ghar ki yaad videos get a lot of attention these days but have we ever thought how our kids will deal with daily stuff when we are so much “Dependent” on our servants.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Big Data and all the hype behind it

Big Data – the biggest big deal created after internet and mobile, and the year 2014 – the year when many companies will be reaping the benefits of high investment they did in this data analytics in 2013. Big data has become like a basic necessity for most of the companies like LinkedIn, Google and Facebook these days but it is not only these big brand companies that are utilizing it. Recently I read an article about how even a used car auction company, Manheim is using big data to decide on its selling price and the target customers. It really amazes me how big data has become a mandatory investment in some of the industries just like setting up a telephone connection or creating a website.
What are the reasons that led to such massive data generation? The simple reasons – technology. With the easy access to internet people have readily available facts about almost everything. There are people who use this knowledge and hence there are people who are producing and making this knowledge available. Everything can be now used to generate data with the onset of Internet of Things, cloud computing and mobile phones. Past 2 years has been like tsunami of data generation. In fact, the world generated 90% of the total world’s data in last 2 years and is estimated to produce 300 times more data by 2020 than we had in 2005
What is the impact of so much data lying around? Data scientists around the world have already started using this data in lot of money generating and useful applications. However, there is lot more to come. If we go by the trend right now, we can say that big data will become the inseparable part of most industry operations. As more and more companies will see benefits in utilizing the data, more technologies will be developed to harness the data. However, the important point in future about big data will not be just to utilize it, it will be more about making sense out of it. The data is not just about the volume, variety and velocity with which it is produced, but about the value that it can create.
How big data can be used? It can be used almost anywhere and everywhere provided we know how.
 Manufacturing industries can use it to determine the best suppliers, improve production efficiencies and understand the customer demand
 Advertisement agencies can use it to design a more effective ad campaign, select the right time slots on television or right magazines and targeting right customers
 Pharmaceutical companies can use it to determine their key market, improve efficiency of R & D and testing processes and selecting right customers (Of course!)
 Nike can use it to stock in right clothes/shoes in the shop and while deciding on the discount offers to give customers
 Telecom industry can use data to decide on the data packs, call rates and deals, and to extract all the buyer surplus while giving out the offers to customers
These are only few examples of big industries but big data can also be used by small industries like a bakery, grocery store or a salon. Big data is definitely a key to increasing competitiveness and productivity. However, we also know that ‘If it was that easy, everybody would have done it’. It’s not that easy obviously. The data is massive (as I said earlier) but we need to know firstly, the exact question that we want to figure out  the right subset of the data set that need to be analyzed to get that
answer  the value that will be generated from that answer  the money that we need to invest to conduct the analysis  Is all that investment > the value generated from the data.
But excess of everything is bad! So what are the drawbacks of this massive datafication? The answer is “Many Social and Privacy threats”. Big data means large data and when this data is collected people often do not know what means are used and how this information will be used. For example, a collected at a super market can be further used by store manager to know how much time you spend in a super market. This information can be further used by the online stores or by the thieves. You can never know. Big data can also increase social stratification in society as it gives more means of knowing the information to the richer section as opposed to poor section who do not have access to all the information. As we say in economics – In case of asymmetric information, the one with the higher information is always benefited. Further the datafication is leading to increased cybercrime. Recently a smart refrigerator that could automatically connect to internet was hacked and used to send lot of spam messages. This is just an example but if we keep on connecting everything to the internet, just to satisfy our urge to create more and more data every second, we could lead ourselves more harm than good in future.
Apart from social and privacy impacts, the data also have some technical drawbacks. Firstly, the data is massive so lot has to be invested in assimilating and storing it. Secondly, the current analysis techniques like simulation and optimization can often produce misleading results with the big data. For example, there are lot of parameters in the data and sometimes normal simulation techniques can lead to false correlation between parameters. Hence, the companies can be at high risk of taking the wrong decision based on the data. Before utilizing the data the need is to understand the analysis methods and to take the decision only after weighing it with the actual business scenarios and not just on the numbers.
In conclusion big data is a source of all hidden and non-hidden information. Information leads to good and better decision making in any given constraints, better decisions lead to best results, be it related to world, business, politics and social life, poverty eradication, selling or buying.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New life - I don't know good or bad. Ni hao Shanghai

After struggling with my frustrating life for about an year I finally got admit to one of the prestigious MBA institutes and here I am at my first stop at Shanghai. I had my own apprehensions when I made my decision to finally leave my country INDIA (which I love too much). I was scared and depressed about leaving friends and family behind but at the same time I was too excited to start this new life. After all to visit places outside India was my dream since I was 10 so it was kind of super big thing for me. As the day to leave country was coming closer my fears were getting stronger and stronger but since the fee was already payed so there was no turning back now. 

My parents came to leave me at the airport. I sat in the plane and 6 hours later I could see Shanghai from above the clouds, It was around 8 pm in China. The city looked huge and sparkled like it does in India on Diwali. I got an adrenalin rush. A Chinese family came to pick us up. 

So this is how it feels in a foreign land where you do not any one. Super scary and exciting at the same time! Next day I woke up early because I have to go to the college for registration and other formalities. Got dressed and left the dormitory. The road were filled with Chinese people talking to each other in Mandarin, of which I could not even catch a word. The streets had name plates in Chinese. God! this is weird. Somehow one of my colleague and I reached the building. We tried to stop some people in the way to ask about the way but no one knew English. Chinese have really preserved and protected their culture from the outside environment. Its amazing that they use Chinese everywhere at work, home, public places and at schools. 

The first day in China and I have already started learning mandarin because its a must thing because need it even if you have to buy water. So 'Zaijian' now. I will keep updating my blog and my survival story in Shanghai.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ज़िदगी और उड़ान



ज़िदगी में बहुत से लोग मिलेंगे
कुछ संग कुछ छोड़ चलेंगे
सपने सजेंगे और उम्मीदें टूटेंगी
पर क्या ये ज़िन्दगी इसी क सहारे थम जाएगी?
ज़िन्दगी तो एक मस्त परिंदा है
हकीक़त सुहानी या सपने बेगाने
ये फैसला तो बस हम ही को निभाना है
और इसी ज़िन्दगी के संग पंख फेलाए उड़ते चले जाना है
                                                      --- अंकिता


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Old things but with a new perspective - 3

An old lady sitting by my side in the park was turning back again and again, and was searching for the society guard. She looked like a smart and beautiful woman. I strongly felt like talking to her and I did. She told me that she lives alone in an apartment in this society. Her husband died 3 years back and now she has blood cancer. I had tears in my eyes the moment I heard that and was also shocked because while talking to her I never felt like she had any regrets with life or God. She was in fact a very lively person and reminded me of my grandmother who passed away few days ago also of cancer. We talked for a while and then she left after inviting me to her place to play Ludo with her. She left me thinking. The woman has seen so much in her life, been through so much and after 75 years of her life she was alone but not sad. She had no son but 4 daughters and she was very proud of all of therm. I could see her eyes beaming with proud when she was telling me about their accomplishments and how well they took care of her. I wonder will I be that happy and proud at her age. I wish I am. I would do anything to get that satisfaction and patience out of my life.