Power of web will democratise the system

December 13, 2007

This post is just to make you realize the power of web. How can one leverage web to communicate his thoughts and thereby fight effectively against the system. The system could be any entity: political, non-political, business organizations or any individual. This post is all about how we can take better decisions and learn from each other mistakes. Web as a medium fosters faster communication at a wider audience with less transmission loss. For Example, the rating of a new movie is known instantly . People have the liberty to judge a movie without needing to visit the theatre. IMDB – Internet Movie Database has the ratings for all the movies. It also includes reviews written by movie-goers. Thanks to the evolution of web from 1.0 to 2.0 . Web 1.0 was all about displaying static content. Web 2.0 is all about of social networking. It defines how group of people communicate to take informed decision and share information for each other’s benefit

I will quote few instances where i used social networking to make informed decision. The objective of this post is to make you embrace the power of web2.0 for the betterment of society. In March 2006 I had planned to buy a bike. In this age you are spoiled for choices. To choose one that best fits you is a tough proposition. I bumped on a website called mouthshut.com . This site has rating of all the products on earth – you name and it is there. You can find the reviews posted by users of the product. And you can also rate the reviews posted by other users. You can build a network of trusted users and set aside the untrusty ones. You can add products to your wishlist and can receive notifications whenever any user adds a review of that product. And now that is really cool. By the way you can find my review of indiaplaza.in at here . When it comes to rating restaurants, i look upto burrp.com – A social networking site built to specifically rate restaurants, hotels in your city. Such sites makes business organizations to be on their toes. They are aware that any mistake they make has a lot of repercussions. Corporates are infact using the same medium to attract customers too. Mouthshut has introduced a new feature called Corporate blog through which corporates can get first hand info about how customers feel about their product. Social networking is going to redefine how we buy and how companies sell their products. I ll definitely encourage you to be a part of this redefinning process.

Another such instance of my brushes with web2.0 is the creation of this blog. One of the reason why i decided to blog was to share information to a wider audience who can benefit from it. And with this post i have started my initial albeit small baby steps towards that goal [:)]


Time for Tax planning

December 1, 2007

In the past few days, i have been thinking about my tax planning for this year. I generally invest my money in ELSS apart from PF (which is mandatory for everybody to invest money in). The other investment options like PPF, NSC, Govt Bonds don’t generate good returns although they are less risky. ELSS are basically mutual funds that invest money in Stock markets. The catch here is they have a minimum lock-in period of 3 years. On an average they have generated 30% profit, which is commendable compared to what other tax saving investments offer (max 8.5%). Few Funds have given 1-year close to 80% . ELSS are a must to invest in for any investor in his 20s since the long-term benefits outweigh the risks involved. So my next step was to analyse all ELSS funds available in the market and decide on 3-4. I spread my investments over 3-4 mutual funds as diversifying has its own advantage. Some of the websites that i surf include moneycontrol.com and valueresearchonline.com . Both the sites have different ways to grade MFs and hence present a problem of their own. MFs selects those MFs whose recent run in stock markets has been phenomenal whereas Valueresearchonline selects those MFs who have a long standing record (say for min 3 yrs) in investing in stock markets. So that boils down to betting on funds that are new kids on the block or Funds that are old horses. Any risk averse investor should prefer betting on track-proven funds and any investor capable of taking risks can bet on the risky ones. Given my risk profile i would choose 3 risky funds and 1 track proven fund. Moreover based on my experience, those funds who have given very good 1-yr return had fallen down as time passed. Hence it takes a lot of time to optimise the right mix of funds.

I went through the reports of both the sites and at last narrowed on 4 ELSS. I have chosen one proven fund in ELSS – SBI Magnum Tax gain. One other fund is of a risky nature – Principal Tax Savings. The rest two have been around for quite some time. They are Birla sun life and Sundaram PNB tax saver. SBI magnum Tax gain has been given 5 star rating and the rest of them have been given a 4-star rating (Source:Valueresearchonline.com ). The mix of their portfolios rightly suits my profile too. SBI Magnum invests primarily on Large cap stocks that provide both value and growth. Prinicipal Tax savings invests in midcap stocks that are growth oriented. hence risky in nature The rest two are safe bets – they invest primarily on large cap stocks that are growth oriented. While investing in ELSS, one can choose 3 options namely growth, dividen-payout and dividend-reinvest. i wouldnt suggest anyone to choose dividend-reinvest as the units bought at the time dividend was announced can be sold only after 3- years .Just check this blog site for more info. Now that i have decided which ELSS to inves, i need to decide the time frame when i ll buy these units. The Stock markets have been hitting new highs everyday. I m planning to invest when the markets undergo correction. Now when will the markets correct is a million dollar question ? Do you have the answer ? 😛

Let me know incase you do

Till then,

Happy tax saving,



Remote Debug a web application using eclipse

November 26, 2007

Eclipse has become the defacto IDE to develop enterprise applications in java. The architecture provides capabilities to support new features by adding plugins for the same. And there are host lot of plugins available for eclipse. For more info click here . Inspite of providing lot of features, developers are not aware of them and hence dont use them to simplify tasks. One of the important aspects of enteprise web applications is debugging. This post will tell you on how to debug web applications using eclipse. The Application server used for this example is JBOSS 4.0.2. I hope the steps specified here would be similar when used with other applications servers.

First specify a breakpoint at which you want the run time execution to stop. You can do this in eclipse by double clicking on the left pane of java editor. Next go to JBOSS_HOME\bin. Open the run.bat file in notepad and search for “8787” . You would hit at a line like this

JBOSS run.bat

Delete the REM statement at the start of the line. By doing this you are enabling JBOSS to run in remote debug mode. Build your war file using MAven/Ant and deploy it in JBOSS_HOME\server\default\deploy folder.Save the run.bat file and double click on it to run JBOSS.

Now come back to eclipse. Once you have configured breakpoints in eclipse. Click on Run->Open Debug Dialog. Right Click on Remote Java Application and choose new. A new application based on the class name that contains break point is displayed. Now in Connection properties (right pane) specify the port 8787. A typical configuration for remote debug in eclipse looks like this :

Remote Debug Configuration in eclipse

You are done with all the settings. You just have to click on debug to start remote debugging your web application. Open the debug perspective if eclipse prompts you so. You can add break points dynamically, know values of variables at run time by right clicking on that variable and selecting watch. Remote debugging is very useful for a newbie in a project to learn about the flow of web application. Hope you find this post useful for your day-today project work.

TitBit to deploy web applications using maven : Developers need to redeploy their war files to JBOSS\..\deploy folder whenever they make changes to the code. This manual operation is tedious as the developer has to do three operations : Build the war file, copy to JBOSS\..\deploy and start the JBOSS server. The last two operation can be done through maven 2.x plugin for JBOSS. For more info about the plugin visit Maven-JBOSS-Plugin


Rumblings about indian business

October 30, 2007

Hmm .. Good news . Mukesh Ambani declared as the world’s richest person beating Software Czar Bill gates. Thats a real good news. Thanks to the Indian Stock markets, they have been scaling new heights creating a lot of wealth on their way. But more than this, it also signifies a BRAND NEW INDIA. India traditionally referred as a poor developing country has prouduced the richest person. (Well its still a developing country and so is mexico to which carlos slim – one of top 5 richest person belongs). This is the changing face of india and has made the world to wake up and take note of it. Mukesh Ambani’s three group companies namely Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure have businesses that span over petroleum, chemicals, polyester, retail, textile and infrastructure have largely participated in the current bull rally propelling his networth to $63.2 Billion(Courtesy : Economic times ). But this post is not about signifying the fact that an Indian- Mukesh Ambani has become the world’s richest person but about another 1st generation entrepreneur whos been creating waves in the Retail industry. Yep you might have guessed it by now. Its Kishore Biyani – Retail King of india. I believe in calling him the next ambani of india. His Flagship company Pantaloon has been doing pretty well. But thats not it. Hes rightly positioned to capitalise the retail boom thats sweeping indian economy whereas other players like reliance retail, Bharati walmart are yet to make significant presence in the retail industry.

I happen to have a close watch on this man and what he is upto and in the process have become a great fan of him. Reading his book – It happened in india only reinforces my respect and admiration for him. He has been successful in creating retail formats for a whole-lot of General merchandised products. His Big Bazaar is the defacto shop people go to buy any item. It houses all the items a person would need it, at a reasonable price offering (with freebies and discount) and expected quality. He has been successful in scaling up this business by opening number of stores, creating logistics to transport bulk items at low operational costs and maintaing a profit margin albeit selling it at a price less than his competitor.He has replicated the same model in different industries like fashion clothings, Sun glasses, Watches, Furniture, Food, Books, Electronics, Home,Health and jewellary. Pantaloon caters to selling fashionable clothing to people of all ages. Brand factory is targeted to the brand-concious youth. ‘ALL’, a company serving a niche market of fat people (They call it as 40+ size). Top 10 – another company serving a niche market for people who keep up with latest fashion trends. Fashion station – another player selling fashionable clothing to mass market. Note it that all the companies i was talking here are engaged in selling clothing. we will move out to his other business example furniture. Kishore biyani has been successful in creating Furniture mart – a market player attempting to sell furniture to mass market and Collection i – another market player in furniture targeting high end customers who are concious about trendiest furniture designs available in market . i refer to them as class market.

Kishore biyani has struck gold by selling products targetting them for two different markets – Mass and Class. Be it furniture, Fashion. Home or Electronics. The names that he has chosen for his companies have a lot of connotation.Any company targeting the mass market ends with bazaar or mart Ex, Big Bazaar, Furniture Mart etc and any company marketing products has classy names namely Collection i, Top 10, Central etc. I really admire this aspect of him a lot.

I would really suggest you to visit his other line of business here . although i m no expert in finance or MBA nor have i gone through his P&L statements, i can see that his group of companies (Future Group) has been making excellent sales. I myself shop/buy at any one of his group companies – Big Bazaar, Central, Pantaloon, Brand Factory. And I must say i have been satisfied with product quality and price. And no matter what time of day you reach his shop, its always been crowded.I m suprised at the amount of marketing his companies spend. Its huge. His company is on its way to create the wealthiest brand in india. Given his success rate in booting up new ventures i can see this man creating a big name for himself in the retail industry. And thats one of the reason why i believe that he could be the next ambani.

That said some of the richest person alive are not from the IT/Software industry except for Bill gates. Does that mean the software industry is not suited for those whom dream to become the richest person in the world. Time to ponder ????


Back with vengeance

October 24, 2007


I m back to writing my blog. Not the first time that i have created a blog. I did create one, long back at blogspot.com but was so lazy to update it regulary. So here i m trying my second attempt at creating a blog and more importantly promising to update it regularly. What all will i be blogging here ? Hmm….Technology, Open source – Ubuntu, Movies, Music and tips on wealth and career management. This is just a medium to share my insights and experience that i had acquired all these years. Hope it helps few people in shaping themselves for the better.