Giving this Diwali

Admiration, respect, possibly adulation or envy are the emotions that pop to mind when people talk of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, who are not just among the world’s richest men but among the most philanthropic.

Yet fear or trepidation seems to have been the emotion stirred, if we are to believe the media, by these two men when they took their message of giving to China and are rumored to be bringing it to India.

Even before the Joy of Giving week rolled out at the end of September, newspapers in India and elsewhere were talking about “…concern among some of China’s wealthy that they would be pressured into contributions” and of Gates and Buffett’s dinner plans in India.

Are you a pushy Asian parent?

“How can I help you?” The principal was polite, but somewhat reserved. This was our first meeting with her. Contrary to what my wife and I had heard from other parents, she was neither fire-breathing nor scary. Sure, with her hair in a tight bun, a somewhat conservative raised-collar white shirt and severely cut skirt,…

Getting rid of our Sir-ji culture

“Saif sir and Shah Rukh sir, I appreciate your question…” I had turned on the television soon after getting home from work in the hope of wiping out a rough day. The FilmFare awards — Bollywood’s tribute to its own – were on. The speaker was Neil Nitin Mukesh, an up and coming heartthrob in…

Are Marketers Leading us off a Precipice?

We’ve all heard the story of the boiled frog. The one that’s so comfortable in a pot of water, that’s being slowly heated, that it cooks to death. Wikipedia claims that the scientific evidence for such a boiled frog scenario is contradictory at best. But the metaphor’s worked well enough for innumerous editorial writers, from…

3 Steps to Improve Our Hiring Situation

“Can you please talk to my father? I had just finished explaining the offer of a full-time job we were extending to one of our contract engineers. “Your father? Why?” I asked. “That way I can honestly tell my friends, who want me to take another job, that my father insisted that I take this…

Indian Standard Time Warp

“I’ve already spent more time on this than this deal is worth to me.” That’s what a prospective business partner said to me, complaining about the 45 minutes we had spent in a meeting together. I was taken aback. I had just flown most of the previous 20 hours (from Bangalore to Chennai to Frankfurt…