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From the CEO's desk

Asset, Liability and Nuisance of the human society during Corona pandemic

27th MAY 2020

Hello Everyone!

Hope you are tortured enough by the lockdown and are willing to fight Corona by getting out of your (un)safe homes. It is now clear that Corona is not as deadly as its reputation created through all kinds of media. The best known remedy of Corona as of now is the Corona itself. i.e. getting infected by Corona and letting our immunity develop the antibodies. For the ones who get convinced only if the rhymes match - in Hindi reversing the letters of Corona (कोरोना) says “ना रोको” i.e. “don’t stop it” (especially when you are incapable of stopping it without creating new bigger problems). Based on this fact, we can categorize humans of the world into 3 categories -

  1. Asset
    Humans who are recovered from COVID. Now they won’t spread the disease and they won’t get infected either (from the data available and findings so far). On the contrary, these humans can continue working and supporting the economy. They can also donate their plasma for the treatment of COVID patients.
  2. Liability
    Humans who aren’t yet infected by Corona, mostly due to successfully managing to run away from the virus, so far. They can anytime get infected and pass the disease to others. They cannot even continue working normally to support the world with their full capacity. The government has to keep taking care of these people, with the tax collected from everyone.
  3. Nuisance
    Humans who take unscientific, idiotic measures to combat Corona causing trouble for others (many times going against the government’s directions in order to ease back into normal). Such measures include complete lockdown, denying entry to the housemaids, etc. Measuring body temperature of the visitors and feeling safe is the funniest bit (the WhatsApp University graduates cannot know that most of the COVID patients don’t show any symptoms, besides a high body temperature could be caused by hundreds of other reasons). It has now been proved that there is no proof of the effectiveness of the current kind of lockdown in combating Corona, on the contrary such unscientific measures definitely cause a lot of trouble and losses to the wealth as well as health of many.

All the best to everyone for getting into the “Asset” category at the earliest!

Thank you!

Corona lockdown - a solution looking for a problem

25th APR 2020

Hello Everyone!

I would like to bring to your notice the following points regarding the lockdown policy and implementation.

  • On one hand, saying don't crowd in shops, on the other hand, instead of the usual 12 to 16 hours, now keeping shops open only for 2 hours will certainly increase crowd at the shops, how will it get reduced? The simplest solution is to keep the store open for as long as possible, 24 hours if possible, and ensure that there is always ample supply and then develop a simple SMS based technology which will automatically give the requester a random slot through the server (without human intervention) e.g. You can go out on Monday 11 to 1, Wednesday 3 to 5, Friday 7 to 9. Police standing in the street will have the facility of automatic verification of this SMS.
  • At present, the most effective way to combat Corona is through human immunity. The proof is that 83% of Corona sufferers in Maharashtra do not show any symptoms. To maintain this immune system, fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, etc. should be abundant and supplied daily to everyone, especially where there is a high prevalence. Those who cannot afford these items should be provided them free of cost. But the reality is that all shops and deliveries, including essentials, are being closed. It is also important for a person to be happy in order to maintain a good immune system. Happiness is far from the people due to the bondage and fear of lockdown, on the contrary won't many lose the desire to live seeing these dead cities and dead villages?
  • If the experts say that lockdown can only slow down the rate of Corona proliferation by 20-25 percent during its peak, it means the proliferation will happen sooner or later. The purpose of lockdown is only to buy time to enable the health system, it cannot be a cure. So, if the health system has been enabled (to the extent possible for us) in the time bought so far, shouldn't we plan to lift the lockdown completely instead of tightening it further? Wouldn't it be a better strategy to allow herd immunity to develop as soon as possible? Doesn't lockdown interfere with herd immunity? Similar to Gabbarsingh's dialogue in Sholay, "Only one man can save you from Corona's anger - Corona himself". So-called green zones might be green because they have not been adequately tested, if life there can continue normally on the basis of immunity, then what is wrong if the same policy is followed everywhere?
  • No one in the world at the moment can say what percentage of the Corona spread was actually reduced due to the lockdown. But everyone can see the economic, social and mental crisis that has befallen everyone due to the lockdown. The basis on which the usefulness of lockdown is estimated is a theory. The reality is quite different. A true lockdown is not possible in today's human society, even more impossible in a country like India. Cases are increasing every day where there is lockdown, whereas cases are not increasing where there is no lockdown; which means lockdown doesn't make much difference to the Corona spread. However, the businesses and people are shut down while the Corona virus remains free. The world has noticed the biggest lockdown in India but Corona does not seem to have noticed it. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a surgical strike, not a terrible cure like this lockdown. The decision-making task force should include not only doctors and financial experts but also ordinary people, industrialists, small business owners and workers so that the holistic thinking happens and a practical way is found.
  • In India, an average of 26,000 people die every day, so how big really is the Corona crisis? In a country like India, wouldn't the crisis of lockdown be bigger than that? To understand the exact number of infected people, we have to test everyone and maybe every few days, which is not possible. In Italy, when the outbreak of Corona was at its peak, testing all of the residents in one city revealed that 3% of the population was infected. Based on this, about 4 crore people in India could be infected. According to point no. 2 above, if 1% of them became critical and unfortunately died, the number would be 4 lakh. Assuming this happens in about 3 months, still this figure is much lower than the usual mortality rate (26 thousand x 90 days = 23.4 lakh). Also among these 4 lakh, the ones who died due to Corona alone and had no other illnesses - such cases will be very less. Knowing that this arithmetic cannot be done in such a simple way, it would still be more appropriate than the frightening reality of lockdown and the available options.
  • Since it is not possible to test all of them frequently and many deaths are still happening outside the hospitals today, no one knows exactly how many people are infected and how many died due to Corona. In order to provide accurate statistics, sewage testing is being carried out in developed countries to estimate the number of infected people in a particular area. We can also estimate this wherever possible and then comparing the usual mortality rate with current mortality rate during the same period of the year could give us an estimate of deaths due to Corona. Of course, public life has to be restored first, otherwise the reduced number of deaths during lockdown due to reduced road accidents and many other causes will cause errors in the calculation. Or more accurate predictions can be made even today by considering factors like accidents etc. in this formula. From such an estimate then the necessary measures can be taken in a way that is better and really useful in the area where it is needed.
  • With all the attention being paid to the Corona alone, the number of deaths from other diseases has skyrocketed. Some say the increase is more than the number of deaths caused by Corona. Private clinics are closed in the lockdown, hospitals are reserved for Corona, therefore other ailments are not being treated in time. Not only that, the lockdown also delays the patient's arrival at the hospital. In China, where the current lockdown originates, the government is used to surveillance and imposing restrictions on citizens. They have developed the necessary capabilities for that. Citizens are also accustomed to a lot of government restrictions. Hence it would have probably been possible to shut down a city there and get the expected results. But it should also be kept in mind that other countries might not be able to get the results by blindly imitating them. Every time when man made a mistake by interfering with nature, it created bigger problems. Can Corona be seen as cycle of nature and not a disaster?
  • Along with death, the DALYs, meaning "years of life wasted due to illness" should also be considered. Roughly speaking, if 130 crore people in India were not able to live a normal life for a month, it would be equivalent to wasting about 15.5 lakh lives.
  • Most of the residential complexes have banned entry to the domestic workers, cooks etc. For many, those services are essential, yet it has not been considered. As a result, both, those who need these services and lakhs of domestic workers, are starving. (Further, the feeling of going to the hometown as there is no work left for them in the cities, has increased among these housemaids and their families.) On the other hand, in direct violation of the government's order, the residents of the complexes jog, gather and so on and children play in the complex's premise, every morning and evening. Will the government solve this entanglement of self-proclaimed housing society regime's Talibani rules created out of the natural selfishness of humans?
  • Corona will leave today or tomorrow but it will take longer for fear of Corona to go away. When and how will the businesses be streamlined by bringing back those who went to the village due to bad experience during lockdown or those who will go after the lockdown? Corona infected and cured are being outcasted. If so many problems have arisen due to the Corona bugaboo, how many of them can the government solve?
  • We have a retirement age of 58-60 years. Most of the people working in the industry are young who are at low risk of Corona. If they take proper care when entering the house after going home from work and pay close attention to the health of the elderly in the house, the life can be restored immediately with a controlled death toll. Even today the police or many other people who are working outside are living by taking the same precautions, so how can it be assumed that it will not be possible for others?
  • On one hand, consumers are not getting fruits and vegetables, while on the other hand, farmers are having to bury standing crops. Farmers who are already suffering, now have lost all their current crops and are contemplating whether to take the next crop or not. This will lead to shortage of supply as well as there will be demand for financial assistance to farmers. Demands for help from sunken industries and workers will come forward. Since all sources of revenue are closed, how will the government get all these out of the financial pit? Lockdown has started a vicious cycle.
  • Considering the real public welfare and scientific way, rather than political inevitability, the lockdown needs to be ended immediately and public life needs to be restored. It is not possible for anyone to meet the current conditions for resumption of business, so everything has to be restored without any conditions. You have to believe that people are wise enough to take care of themselves. Though some of the decisions made previously in the country seemed appropriate at first, after realizing the consequences, most agreed that they were wrong. The same is likely to happen in the case of lockdown. In fact, it seems that this is the last blow to the Indian economy and the masses. The confusion and coercion in the implementation of the lockdown has also led to growing public anger at the administration and thereby the government. Overall, it won't be wrong if we say - the lockdown is a solution looking for a problem.

Thank you!

कोरोना लॉकडाऊन - समस्येच्या शोधात असणारा तोडगा

२५ एप्रिल २०२०

नमस्कार!

किचकट होत चाललेल्या लॉकडाऊन धोरण आणि अंमलबजावणीबाबत खालील काही मुद्दे आपल्या लक्षात आणून देऊ इच्छितो.

  • दुकानांमध्ये गर्दी करू नका असं एकीकडे सांगताना दुसरीकडे दुकानांची वेळ एरवीच्या १२ ते १६ तासांऐवजी आता केवळ २ तास करण्याने गर्दी वाढणारच, ती कमी कशी होईल? यासाठी अगदी सोपा उपाय म्हणजे दुकानं अधिकाधिक काळ, दुकानदारांना शक्य आल्यास २४ तासही, उघडी ठेऊन त्यामध्ये मुबलक पुरवठा सदा सर्वकाळ राहील याची दक्षता घेणं आणि मग एक साधी एसएमएस बेस्ड टेक्नॉलॉजी बनवून विनंती करणाऱ्याला सर्व्हर द्वारे ऑटोमॅटिकली (मानवी हस्तक्षेपाशिवाय) रँडम स्लॉट मिळणं उदा: सोमवारी ११ ते १, बुधवारी ३ ते ५, शुक्रवारी ७ ते ९ तुम्ही घराबाहेर पडू शकता. रस्त्यात उभ्या पोलिसांना या मेसेजची ऑटोमॅटिकली सत्यापन करण्याची सोय असेल.
  • कोरोनाचा मुकाबला करण्यासाठी सध्यातरी सर्वात प्रवाभी ठरू शकेल ती म्हणजे माणसाची रोगप्रतिकार शक्ती. याचं लक्षण म्हणजे महाराष्ट्रातील ८३% कोरोनाबाधितांना कोणतीही लक्षणं न आढळणे. ही रोगप्रतिकार शक्ती उत्तम ठेवण्यासाठी ताजी फळे, भाजीपाला, दूध इ सर्व वस्तूंचा मुबलक आणि दररोज प्रत्येकाला, विशेषतः जिथं जास्त प्रादुर्भाव आहे तिथं पुरवठा व्हायला हवा. ज्यांना या वस्तू परवडत नसतील त्यांना त्या मोफत पुरवायला हव्यात. परंतु प्रत्यक्षात मात्र याउलट म्हणजे जीवनावश्यक वस्तूंसह सर्व दुकाने आणि डिलिव्हरीज बंद करण्यात येत आहेत. रोगप्रतिकार शक्ती उत्तम ठेवण्यासाठी माणसाचं आनंदी राहणं देखील आवश्यक आहे. लॉकडाऊनच्या बंधनामुळे आणि भीतीमुळे आनंदी राहणं दूर उलट मरणासन्न शहरं आणि गावं पाहून काही माणसांची जगण्याची इच्छाच संपून जाणार नाही का?
  • जर तज्ज्ञांचंच म्हणणं असेल कि कोरोना प्रसार शिखरावर असताना कोरोनाग्रस्तांची संख्या लॉकडाऊन मुळे फार फार २०-२५ टक्क्यांनी कमी होईल, म्हणजेच प्रसार आज ना उद्या होईलच. लॉकडाऊनचा उद्देश केवळ आरोग्य यंत्रणा सक्षम करणं आहे, तो इलाज असूच शकत नाही. तर मग आजवर मिळालेल्या वेळात आरोग्य यंत्रणा (व्हायच्या तेवढ्या) सक्षम झाल्या असतील तर आता आणखी कडक लॉकडाऊन करण्याचं नव्हे तर ते संपूर्णपणे उठवण्याचं नियोजन करायला नको का? हर्ड इम्युनिटी लवकरात लवकर विकसित होऊ देणं हे अधिक चांगलं धोरण नसेल का? लॉकडाऊन या हर्ड इम्यूनिटीच्या आड येत नाहीये का? शोले मधील गब्बरसिंगच्या डायलॉग प्रमाणे "कोरोना के ताप से तुम्हे सिर्फ एक ही आदमी बचा सकता है - खुद कोरोना" असंच म्हणावं लागेल. सो कॉल्ड ग्रीन झोन्स पुरेश्या टेस्ट्स केल्या नसल्याने ग्रीन असावेत, तिथे इम्युनिटी-भरोसेच जनजीवन सुरळीत सुरु असेल तर मग सगळीकडे हेच धोरण अवलंबल्यास काय वाईट?
  • लॉकडाऊन मुळे कोरोनाचा प्रसार खरंच किती टक्के कमी झाला हे जगात या क्षणी कुणीही सांगू शकत नाही. पण लॉकडाऊन मुळे जे मोठं आर्थिक, सामाजिक, मानसिक संकट सर्वांवर कोसळलंय ते सर्वांना दिसतंय. लॉकडाऊनच्या उपयुक्ततेचे अंदाज ज्या आधारे वर्तवले जातात ती थिअरी आहे. वास्तव त्याहून अगदी वेगळं आहे. खरा अपेक्षित असणारा लॉकडाऊन करणं आजच्या मानवी समाजात शक्य नाही, भारतासारख्या देशात तर त्याहूनही नाही. लॉकडाऊन जिथं आहे तिथं केसेस दररोज वाढतच आहेत, याउलट जिथं लॉकडाऊन नाही तिथं केसेस वाढत नाहीत; म्हणजेच लॉकडाऊन असला काय आणि नसला काय कोरोना फैलावला फारसा फरक पडत नाही. उद्योगधंदे आणि माणसं तेवढी बंद होतात, कोरोना विषाणू मुक्तच राहतो. भारतातील सर्वात मोठ्या लॉकडाऊनची दखल जगाने घेतलीये पण कोरोनाने घेतलेली दिसत नाही. त्यामुळे या अश्या लॉकडाऊन सारखा भयानक इलाज नव्हे तर शास्त्रीय सर्जिकल स्ट्राईक करणं गरजेचं आहे. ज्या टास्क फोर्सच्या सल्ल्याने निर्णय घेतले जात आहेत त्यामध्ये केवळ डॉक्टर आणि आर्थिक तज्ज्ञ नकोत तर सर्वसामान्य माणसं, उद्योगपती, छोटे व्यावसायिक, कामगार असेही लोक घ्यावेत म्हणजे सर्वांगीण विचार होऊन व्यवहार्य मार्ग सापडेल.
  • भारतात दररोज सरासरी २६ हजार लोकं एरवीही मृत्युमुखी पडतात, अश्यात हे कोरोनाचं संकट खरंच किती मोठं आहे? भारतासारख्या देशात लॉकडाऊनचं संकट त्याहून मोठं नसेल का? कोरोनाग्रस्तांचा नेमका आकडा समजण्यासाठी सरसकट सर्वांची आणि कदाचित दर काही दिवसांनी टेस्ट करावी लागेल, जे आपल्याकडे शक्य नाही. इटली मध्ये कोरोनाचा प्रादुर्भाव शिखरावर असताना एका शहरात अशी सर्वांची टेस्ट केल्यावर तिथले ३% नागरिक बाधित असल्याचं समोर आलं. त्याआधारे बोलायचं झाल्यास भारतात साधारण ४ कोटी लोकांना याची लागण होऊ शकेल. वरील क्र. २ नुसार त्यातले १% गंभीर झाले आणि दुर्दैवाने मृत्युमुखी पडले तर त्यांची संख्या ४ लाख असेल. साधारण ३ महिन्यांच्या काळात असं घडेल असं गृहीत धरल्यास एरवीच्या मृत्युदराच्या (२६ हजार x ९० दिवस = २३.४ लाख) तुलनेत हा आकडा बराच कमी आहे. तसेच या मृत्युमुखी पडलेल्यांपैकी इतर कोणताच आजार नव्हता पण फक्त कोरोनामुळे दगावले असे खूपच कमी असतील. ही आकडेमोड अगदी इतक्या सोप्या तऱ्हेने ढोबळमानाने करता येणार नाही हे माहित असूनही लॉकडाऊनच्या भयावह वास्तवापेक्षा आणि उपलब्ध पर्यायांत ती योग्यच ठरेल.
  • सर्वांची टेस्ट वारंवार करणं शक्य नसल्याने आणि अनेक मृत्यू आजही हॉस्पिटलच्या बाहेर होत असताना नेमके किती लोक बाधित आहेत आणि किती कोरोनामुळे दगावले हे कुणालाच माहित नाही. आकडेवारीचा व्यवस्थित अंदाज वर्तवायचा असल्यास प्रगत देशांमध्ये सांडपाण्याचं टेस्टिंग करून त्या भागात किती जणांना लागण झालेली असू शकते याचे अंदाज काढले जात आहेत. असा अंदाज शक्य आहे तिथे तिथे आपणही काढून मग एरवीच्या मृत्युदराच्या तुलनेत सध्याचा त्याच कालावधीतला मृत्युदर किती आहे, या आकडेवारीवरून कोरोनामुळे किती मृत्यू होताहेत याचा अंदाज लावता येऊ शकतो. अर्थात यासाठी जनजीवन आधी पूर्ववपदावर आणावे लागेल, अन्यथा लॉकडाऊन मुळे रस्ते अपघात आणि इतर अनेक कारणांमुळे होणारे मृत्यू कमी झाल्याने असा अंदाज चुकू शकेल. किंवा अपघात वगैरे फॅक्टर्स या सूत्रात पकडून अधिक अचूक अंदाज आजही काढता येईल. अश्या अंदाजातून मग आवश्यक त्या उपाययोजना आवश्यक त्या भागात अधिक चांगल्या प्रकारे आणि खरोखर उपयुक्त ठरतील अश्या पद्धतीने करता येतील.
  • सर्व लक्ष केवळ कोरोनाकडे दिल्याने इतर आजारांनी मृत्युमुखी पडणाऱ्यांची संख्या अचानक वाढलीये. या वाढीची संख्या कोरोनामुळे होत असणाऱ्या मृत्यूंच्या संख्येहून अधिक असल्याचं काहींचं म्हणणं आहे. लॉकडाऊन मध्ये लहान मोठे खाजगी दवाखाने बंद आहेत, हॉस्पिटल्स कोरोनासाठी आरक्षित झालेत, त्यामुळे इतर आजारांवर वेळेत उपचार मिळेनासे झालेत. इतकंच नाही तर लॉकडाऊन मुळे रुग्ण दवाखान्यात पोचायला सुद्धा उशीर होतोय. मुळात सध्याच्या लॉकडाऊनचा उदय जिथे झाला त्या चीन मध्ये सरकारला नागरिकांवर पाळत ठेवणे आणि बंधनं आणणे यांची सवय आहे. त्यासाठी आवश्यक ती यंत्रणा, साधनसामुग्री आणि क्षमता त्यांच्याकडे विकसित झालेली आहे. नागरिकांनाही बऱ्यापैकी सरकारी बंधनांची सवय आहे. त्यामुळे तिथे एखादं शहर संपूर्णपणे बंद करून नेमके परिणाम साध्य करता येणं शक्य झालं असावं. पण त्यांचं अंधानुकरण करून तसेच परिणाम इतर देशांना मिळू शकणार नाहीत याचाही विचार व्हायला हवा. निसर्गाच्या आड येऊन प्रत्येक वेळी माणसाने चूक केली आणि त्यामुळे अधिकच मोठ्या समस्या निर्माण झाल्या. निसर्गनिर्मित कोरोना ही आपत्ती नसून त्याकडे निसर्गचक्र म्हणून पाहता येऊ शकेल का?
  • मृत्यू सोबतच DALYs म्हणजेच "आजारपणामुळे वाया जाणारी आयुष्याची वर्ष" हा देखील मुद्दा विचारात घ्यायला हवा. ढोबळ मानाने बोलायचं झाल्यास भारतातील १३० कोटी लोकांचा सरासरी एक महिना सामान्य आयुष्य जगता न आल्याने संपूर्णपणे वाया गेल्यास ते जवळपास १५.५ लाख आयुष्ये वाया गेल्यासारखं आहे.
  • बहुतेक निवासी संकुलांनी घरकामगार, स्वयंपाकी इ. ना प्रवेश बंद केलेत. खूप साऱ्या जणांसाठी त्या सेवा जीवनावश्यक आहेत, तरीही त्यांचा विचार केला गेलेला नाही. त्यामुळे या सेवांची गरज असणारे आणि लाखो घरकामगार अश्या दोघांचीही उपासमार होत आहे. (त्यातून मग कामं बंद झालीत गावाकडे चला अशी भावना या घरकामगार महिला आणि त्यांच्या कुटुंबीयांमध्ये वाढलीये.) याउलट शासनाच्या आदेशाचा सरळ सरळ भंग करून दररोज सकाळ संध्याकाळ या संकुलांच्या आवारात येथील रहिवासी, लहान मुले एकत्र खेळतात, जॉगिंग वगैरे करतात. माणसाच्या नैसर्गिक स्वार्थीपणातून निर्माण झालेल्या स्वयंघोषित सोसायटी राजवटीच्या तालिबानी नियमांचा हा गुंता शासन सोडवणार का?
  • कोरोना आज ना उद्या जाईल पण कोरोनाची भीती जायला अधिक काळ लागेल. लॉकडाऊन मधील वाईट अनुभवाने गावाकडे गेलेल्या किंवा लॉकडाऊन संपल्यानंतर जाणाऱ्यांना परत शहरांमध्ये आणून उद्योगधंदे कधी आणि कसे सुरळीत होणार? कोरोना बाधित आणि बरे झालेल्यांना बहिष्कृत करण्याचं प्रमाण वाढलंय. अश्या असंख्य समस्या कोरोनाचा बागलबुआ झाल्याने निर्माण झाल्यात, त्या सर्व समस्या सोडवण्यासाठी शासन कुठे कुठे पुरं पडणार?
  • आपल्याकडे निवृत्तीचं वय ५८ - ६० वर्षे आहे. उद्योगांमध्ये कार्यरत असणारे बहुतेक तरुण आहेत, ज्यांना कोरोनाचा धोका कमी आहे. त्यांनी कामावरून घरी गेल्यावर घरात प्रवेश करताना व्यवस्थित काळजी घेतली आणि घरातील वृद्धांच्या आरोग्याकडे बारीक लक्ष ठेवलं तर जीवितहानी बऱ्यापैकी नियंत्रणात ठेऊन जनजीवन देखील आत्ता लगेच पूर्वपदावर आणता येऊ शकतं. आजही पोलीस किंवा इतर असंख्य लोक जे बाहेर काम करत आहेत ते देखील अश्याच पद्धतीने काळजी घेऊन जगताहेत, तर मग इतरांना ते शक्य होणार नाही असं कसं गृहीत धरता येईल?
  • एकीकडं ग्राहकांना फळे, भाज्या मिळत नाहीत तर दुसरीकडे शेतकऱ्यांना उभी पिकं गाडून टाकावी लागत आहेत. आधीच मेटाकुटीला आलेल्या शेतकऱ्यांचं यंदाचं सगळं पीक वाया गेलं आणि पुढचं पीक घ्यावं कि नाही या विवंचनेत ते आहेत. त्यातून पुरवठ्याचा तुटवडा निर्माण होण्याबरोबरच शेतकऱ्यांची आर्थिक मदत करण्याची मागणीदेखील पुढे येईल. बुडालेल्या उद्योगधंद्यांची आणि कामगारांची मदतीची मागणी पुढे येईल. महसुलाचे सर्व स्रोत बंद असल्याने सरकार या सर्वांना आर्थिक गर्तेतून बाहेर काढणार कसं? लॉकडाऊन मुळे एका मोठ्या दुष्ट्चक्राला सुरुवात झालीय.
  • राजकीय अपरिहार्यतेपेक्षा खरा लोककल्याणाचा आणि शास्त्रीय मार्ग अवलंबून लॉकडाऊन तातडीने संपवणे आणि जनजीवन पूर्वपदावर आणणे गरजेचे आहे. उद्योगधंदे पुन्हा सुरु करण्यासाठी सध्या टाकलेल्या अटी पूर्ण करणं कुणालाही शक्य नाही, त्यामुळे तश्या कोणत्याही अटी न टाकता सारंकाही पूर्वपदावर आणावं लागेल. स्वतःची काळजी घेण्याइतपत लोकं शहाणी आहेत यावर विश्वास ठेवावा लागेल. देशात यापूर्वी घेण्यात आलेल्या, सुरुवातीला योग्य वाटणाऱ्या काही निर्णयांचा प्रत्यक्ष परिणाम लक्षात आल्यावर बहुतेकांनी ते निर्णय चुकल्याचं मान्य केलं. लॉकडाऊन बाबतीतही असंच होण्याची शक्यता वाढलीये. किंबहुना भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्थेच्या आणि जनसामान्यांच्या पेकाटात घातलेला हा शेवटचा दणका ठरतोय कि काय असं वाटू लागलंय. लॉकडाऊन अंमलबजावणीतील गोंधळामुळे आणि सक्तीमुळे लोकांचाही रोष प्रशासन आणि पर्यायाने शासनावर वाढू लागलाय. एकंदरीत, लॉकडाऊन म्हणजे समस्येच्या शोधात असणारा तोडगा आहे, असं म्हटल्यास वावगं ठरू नये.

धन्यवाद!

A wise customer

14th MAR 2020

Hello Everyone!

Most of us often play the roles of customers as well as vendors. When we are customers, we are likely to make the same mistakes which we see as mistakes of our customers while we serve them as vendors.

  1. Guiding an expert
    Hiring the experts and then guiding them about their craft is one of the most common mistakes. This does not only spoil the end result but also wastes the fees paid to the experts. It also kills the expert's sense of responsibility.
  2. Not targeting the audience
    When we are getting something made for our business, we must make it useful for the target audience. Our personal tastes and needs could be totally different. E.g. many film stars might not like to watch their own super hit movies.
  3. Conflict of interest
    1. Validation from inexperienced
      We often tend to validate the work or ideas of an expert from a person with less or no experience in that domain. It is a natural human tendency to give suggestions. They want to prove their supremacy, especially when we put them in a higher position by asking to validate somebody else's work. Therefore these inexperienced persons usually end up giving their feedback full of disastrous suggestions in just a few minutes, to improve (?) the craft which took weeks or months for an expert to create.
    2. Bias
      Human brain is wired for survival. In-house experts or existing vendors see someone else's work as a threat to their own survival hence their brains naturally produce biased opinions.
  4. Expecting too much in too less
    Any product or service, especially a service, will always lose its quality if we always pay less and expect more. A quality product or service takes wholehearted efforts, quality time and skillful people - all of which has a high cost. If it is a onetime job then we must focus on quality. Cutting down one time cost generally increases recurring cost.
  5. Going halfway
    Not considering end to end solution is another mistake. A poor latter half wastes all the money spent on the first half. E.g. buying a quality product and using it inefficiently OR getting a good logo made form an expert and applying it incorrectly on the collaterals designed by inexperienced workers.

Wise customers and great leaders know the above, therefore they do all their research before hiring an expert. But once hired, they give the expert full freedom. Further if the expert's creations repeatedly fail to bring the desired end results, a wise customer simply finds another expert!

Thank you!

Use less social media marketing

7th JUL 2019

Hello Everyone!

Brands/businesses maintain their social media business pages, often by outsourcing the activity to social media marketing agencies. These agencies are a dime a dozen and they make good money by fooling the business owners. Typically they consist of graphic designers who can use graphic design software, content writers capable of regularly writing for brands/businesses created by others and irrespective of the business domain, and social media experts who recently completed a 72-hour social media marketing course. Usually these agencies have no clue about how social media algorithms work, how user behavior is changing and how does the future of social media look like. In case they know this even roughly, they don't share it with their clients for it would instantly make them jobless.

Organic reach of business accounts on social media doesn't bring in any business in most cases today. With organic reach of business pages dropped to 1% - 2%, only business owners and their employees feel happy seeing their fancy business page which is reaching to the same set of 50 people weekly and sometimes receive 20+ likes. When it comes to generating business (which is the purpose of any publicity), having a business page on social media and not having it, are the same. In fact a public business page is like a public toilet where displeased customers and trolls shit freely.

Social media platforms have gathered a lot of data about users, therefore occasional targeted marketing with paid ads can be helpful. However with more businesses bidding for the limited ad slots - CPM, CPC are increasing by the day. According to recent reports, FB CPM median is $8.4 (approx. Rs 0.5 per impression).

In short, business pages should be maintained by business owners or by people involved in the business, to share their experiences, once in a while, or as per their expressive appetite. Paid campaigns can be used when required. While organic reach of business accounts continues to decline, personal profile pages have always been and will remain the backbone of social media. Therefore for regular organic reach - an out of the box method of reaching out to the end consumers through the channel partners' personal profile accounts on social media and messenger (such as WhatsApp) groups, is the only practical solution at present. Do visit www.polipics.in for a proven cost-effective organic reach solution OR contact www.studiod.co.in to know the right social media strategy for your business.

Thank you!

Long live democracy!

13th MAR 2019

Hello Everyone!

"Oligarchy" is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

"The iron law of oligarchy" is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties. It asserts that rule by an elite, or oligarchy, is inevitable as an "iron law" within any democratic organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of organization.

Michels's theory states that all complex organizations, regardless of how democratic they are when started, eventually develop into oligarchies. Michels observed that since no sufficiently large and complex organization can function purely as a direct democracy, power within an organization will always get delegated to individuals within that group, elected or otherwise.

(The above excerpts are from Wikipedia)

Democracies will remain oligarchies till they are controlled by humans. I believe - unbiased Artificial Intelligence, to some extent, has the potential to solve this problem of democracy. We need to identify and elect that particular human who has vision and courage to apply Artificial Intelligence to the Democracy.

Thank you!

A Good, Bad and Worse DESIGN

14th JAN 2019

Hello Everyone!

Steve Jobs used to say "Design is not just how it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." What he meant is, the user-friendliness and usefulness of the design of a product (a hardware or a software, a brochure or a website, a logo or a building) is also as important as how it looks like. To understand this correctly, one needs to first pass the basic stage of a good looking design. Something that appeals to the eyes and to the senses (and makes sense as well). Most of the times, that's where a potential customer interacts with the product/service/brand for the first time. Good taste matters a lot here. And the good taste develops with relentless exploring, studying and experimenting; fueled by one's natural obsession for the best.

Neurologically humans are attracted towards beauty and smartness. Neuroaesthetics, a sub-discipline of empirical aesthetics, uses neuroscience to explain and understand the aesthetic experiences at the neurological level. Some areas of brain play role in aesthetic responses to artworks or appraisal of objects of evolutionary importance, such as the desirability of foods or the attractiveness of potential mates. Hence it's no surprise that often a good design, be it the design of the product itself or design of its visual communication, helps selling the product much faster; whereas a bad design makes it difficult. Finally the quality of the product/service matters the most. However the first point of sell, in most cases, remains - the visual communication design, which includes identity, collaterals, web presence etc. Most of the customers in this IT age are well aware. They have smartphones - a free visual gateway to the world's best brands and best art. Seeing best content repeatedly makes their brains associate best brands with good design. Therefore, they reject a brand/product/service merely by seeing its visual communication design, as it doesn't fit their idea of an upmarket or trustworthy brand. Hence typically bad design is actually worse than not having any visual communication. And a good design is always something that looks, feels and works well - for majority of the target audience, and in the present era.

Jobs created the world's first trillion dollar company with his hunger and taste for great design. It reflected everywhere - from his computer's motherboard design (which is not even a visible aspect of the product!) to the patented staircase design of Apple stores. He had a rare appetite to pay Paul Rand $100K for creating 1 visual identity design concept (i.e. logo) for his company NeXT, 3 decades ago. Today in a world without Steve, we have a few companies with the taste for (good) design. Rest of them still consider it to be secondary and settle on either having no visual communication design (bad) or having a bad visual communication design (worse). Thanks to the neuroaesthetically evolved and wise decision makers, more and more companies are shifting from worse/bad design to good design!

Thank you!

Reverse engineering the sentiments (& results) through social media

30th MAY 2018

Hello Everyone!

Why is social media so powerful in influencing the masses? Our research and experiments reveal a few key reasons.

Though Facebook's financial ownership is with Zuckerberg & team, its inventional ownership is with the 2 billion (and growing) active users. As a result, companies like FB are forced to take efforts in restricting undesired usage of their platforms. However, winning supporters/ customers through social media doesn't necessarily be via the 'Cambridge Analytica' way.

Beliefs are brain tattooed through social media naturally during the process of defending a posted thought. Therefore a user who initially posts something randomly, is likely to end up becoming a hard core believer in what he posted. Once we understand this fact, the strategies of winning supporters/ customers/ channel partners OR making the existing ones more loyal, become clearer. (Check the interesting results by making a chain smoker regularly share anti smoking posts on his social media page.)

While experts worldwide are looking for better ways to market, sometimes by cheating the algorithms, a fair, centrally controlled mass-personalized method of campaigning through channel partners/ volunteers/ customers in the organization's own network seems to be far more effective and 90% cheaper. One of our ideas - 'polipics' (a platform to control who in the organization's network says what and when and how, on social media; without special training to anyone) gives an opportunity to any business/ political party/ government to reverse engineer the desired results. Unsure if the EVMs are hacked, hacking (nurturing) brains with the right (correct) technology is easier for sure.

Hope the information is useful.

Thank you!

Flawless cyber crime investigation method for Digital India

12th MAR 2018

Hello Everyone!

All of us have been witnessing the ICT growth in India. Email, Social media, VoIP, IoT... Technology is becoming accessible to more people by the day. However we also know that along with great benefits, this (haphazard) growth brings some natural problems with it. One of them is - increasing cyber crimes.

Many of us have observed that cyber crime doesn't harm only the victim but the lack of instruments to solve cyber crime cases also harm innocent citizens who have absolutely no connection with the crime. There have been incidents in the past in which the IP address based investigation method had led to spoiling lives of innocent citizens.

Current investigation method followed by cyber crime cells often depends on the vague / incomplete / unreliable data provided reluctantly by social media platforms and telephone / internet companies. Experts would know that a new IP address is allotted automatically, dynamically and frequently without any choice to the internet user, almost every-time when a user connects (or reconnects internally during a session) to the internet. In case of poor network (which is common in our country) this IP allocation / reallocation frequency increases drastically. In such a scenario IP address used by a criminal can be randomly allotted to anyone who has no connection with the crime, immediately before or after or for some time during the crime. In other forms of crimes the inquiry would happen of a person who has at-least some connection with the criminal or with the victim. Whereas here virtually every internet user is at the risk of getting trapped as a suspect in a cyber crime case. When police call innocent citizens for inquiry, such inquiry itself becomes not less than punishment for them. It is needless to say that this situation can also further be misused to target someone.

If this continues and when many innocents start suffering, there is a possibility of people fearing to use internet - which can be a setback for the nation. This can be avoided with easy techno provisions and solutions designed in collaboration with telephone / internet companies and social media platforms. It would help in reducing cyber crimes and further in identifying cyber criminals more accurately and in less time by saving resources of investigation agencies.

If you are one of the persons who makes / executes the law or advices the law makers, you might have already thought over this and evaluated better solutions. I just humbly wanted to bring this to your notice once again to help Digital India head in the right direction.

Thank you!

Online grocery in India crashed (?) after the recent take-off

2nd MAY 2016

Hello Everyone!

If you are in touch with Indian eGrocery - you must have heard many talking about failed online grocery start-ups. The recent shutdown of PepperTap (one of the top 3 eGrocery start-ups based on funds raised) instigated these negative discussions. Just one year ago, a couple of big deals in eGrocery (followed by the fascinating number of daily transactions) had made majority of the "experts" confident about the segment.

If you ask the "Vasco da Gamas" of eGrocery, who have given precious years of their youth for this unknown segment with their own unique models (including the founders of failed start-ups) - most of them still talk positive about eGrocery. Then why do they fail so rapidly? The reasons of failure of eGrocery start-ups include - lack of focus & perseverance, often the consequences of early funding!

While offline organized grocers are still struggling to make profit, the eGrocers have no choice but to invest a long time in their model until they find the way to profitability/sustainability. (Unlike VC funds, this doesn't come complimentary with an IIT/IIM degree.) As they move forward with the aim of sustainability, the fancy models start turning realistic. Facebook likes, app downloads, media coverage don't remain the focus anymore; rather they become reciprocations of a useful service, hence more "real".

"Inventory-less or Inventory-led" had always been the subject of debate. Those who back inventory-led and criticise inventory-less, have come across only the wrong inventory-less models. And if they base their judgement on the failing inventory-less models then they should be reminded of Webvan. With the recent clarity on FDI norms by DIPP, 100% inventory-led is absolutely illegal. Though smart founders will find work around, they should not forget that there are smart people with the policy makers as well. In addition to being illegal and capital intensive, there is no innovation in an inventory-led model. It's not difficult to get high fill-rate, accuracy, timely delivery when you have your own dark store. The innovation is in getting the same results with someone else's inventory. The greatest advantage of technology is cost saving, hence eGrocery has to offer products at prices lower than offline stores and still earn profit for their investors (It is too early to convince an average Indian customer to consider cost of his time and efforts saved due to eGrocery). The good news is - this is possible!

While profitability is the ultimate goal, most of them fail to basically create an errorless eGrocery service. eGrocery is more complicated than it looks. Displaying the accurate product information (the ever-changing weights, packaging, prices, stock), product picking (toughest job for human biological brain), delivering goods and managing payments (received from customer and paid to supplier(s)) - all are complicated and highly error prone activities. Smallest error at any of these levels is sufficient to kill profitability. Different models involve different degrees of complexity of these activities. While a right model can reduce these complexities, it is not possible to bypass them completely. Technology proves to be the saviour in this situation. The challenge is - there are no readymade affordable technologies available to handle this. One has to develop them as per his customized requirements.

It took 3+ years for MileStores to design the right technologies and processes, though the model had been almost the same from day 1. This simply means, any start-up can create a sustainable eGrocery model + technologies and process, provided the founders have previous experience of developing IT services for the Indian masses and then for next at-least 3 years they devote every hour of their life to this one mission of getting good unit economics. Being a "technology & business model start-up" (and not an eGrocer), all this while MileStores had only been enhancing the unit economics through optimization, and identifying the right opportunities to apply eGrocery. This has made MileStores a readymade solution for wholesale and retail grocers who want to scale-up online without spending years in crash-proofing!

Thank you!

Online grocery in India finally takes off

1st October 2015

Hello Everyone!

Hope you are watching the amazing growth of online grocery in India. If not, then below are few updates -

"The world has changed radically for online grocery startups in India. Three to four years ago the buzz was around grocery sites shutting down. Now, the survivors and new entrants are thriving. The VC backed five online grocery startups in India have collectively raised over $120 million just this year." - reads a 2 days old news article. To understand this better we need to have a look at current figures and targets of well funded startups.

As per various reports - The online grocery startup Bigbasket was clocking approx 4,000 orders/day at this time last year and today they are getting 20,000 orders/day. It took 3 years for them to reach at 4000 orders/day and then just 1 year to reach at 20,000 mark (the run rate of ~Rs 1,000 Cr). They expect $1bn (Rs 6,200 Cr) revenue by the end of FY 2017. Of course they can do it easily with approx $110 Mn funds received so far + $150 Mn fresh funds target for their investment bankers. In terms of valuation 1 year ago it was Rs 1,000 Cr for Bigbasket and in their recent round of funding it was valued at $400 Mn (approx Rs 2,500 Cr).

"Hyperlocal" is the new buzzword in Indian online grocery. The Model (inspired by Instacart - the recent highly valued online grocery startup in the US) in which they procure groceries from local retailers and deliver to households. Hyperlocal startups PepperTap and Grofers have got approx $45 Mn each so far. PepperTap raised $36 Mn a couple of days ago from existing and new investors including Snapdeal, and is about to raise $20 Mn more in next few weeks. After just 9 months of its launch PepperTap claims to have similar number of customers and daily transactions which Bigbasket has after 4 years of operation. The exponentially rising number of smartphone users (apart from the flat 20% off weekend deals!) in India has fueled this growth.

Among different models, inventory-led is the model followed by Bigbasket, which has high setup cost but offers better control over the inventory. Inventory-less model which is followed by all hyperlocal delivery startups and few others including MileStores has less setup cost, but often it is challenging to run on someone else's inventory if there is lack of technology & processes, which is often the result of lack of experience that comes from lack of dedication and patience - in this complex, execution oriented business. While the hyperlocal model of PepperTap and Grofers has some fundamental flaws in it, at present they don't seem to be addressing even the basic operational complexities of online grocery. They might have to change their models drastically in future when they would want to see profits. How customers respond to their changed models in future will be interesting to see.

Though funds are essential to succeed, just getting funded is no guarantee of success. The market and business models are evolving and it is tough for a VC to identify the right model. It is always the situation in hyper-growing markets and that's the process of ultimately discovering the right models - which sustain due to the strong foundation laid during their initial years of operation.

With close observation of the market, daily track of different startups and own operating experiences - MileStores is by the day becoming more confident of disrupting the online grocery market with its strong business model, innovative technologies and processes - which is the result of 3 years of persistent efforts in this segment. The consistent support from our "sourcing partners" has certainly played a great role. With the support of all we have reached at the inflection point and are hopeful to surprise everyone soon with the amazing potential of MileStores!

Thank you!

Zaheer Inamdar. CEO, MileStores.