05 September, 2010

Marathi Poems

काही दिवसांपूर्वी संदीप खरे आणि सलील कुलकर्णी यांचा "आयुष्यावर बोलू काही" चा जुना कार्यक्रम टीवीवर बघितला. खूप छान कविता आणि गाणी आहेत. संदीप खरेच्या कविता कुणाला आवडत नाहीत. त्याच्या कवितांचे पुस्तक आहे माझ्याकडे.

म्हंटल आपणही करावा प्रयत्न कविता करण्याचा, मनातील भावना व्यक्त करण्याचा. काहीशी अपूर्ण अशी आणि थोडीशी बोल्ड अशी कविता साधार करतो :


कोणीतरी माझ्या डोळ्यात बघून हसावे, लाजावे
कोणीतरी माझ्या केसांतून हात फिरवावा, कुरवाळावे
कोणीतरी ठेवावा माझ्या हातांवर हात, ओठांवर ओठ
कोणीतरी म्हणावे "तू माझा मी फक्त तुझीच"
कोणीतरी, जिच्यासाठी मी जगावे, मरावे !

18 July, 2010

Comfortably Numb

Have you ever found a place/scene that is similar to something you saw in your dream (that you never forgot) ?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb
(Pink Floyd)

13 April, 2010

Private Companies For Public Transportation

News article :
He said that the company will strive to provide Delhiites clean buses
which arrive on time, better trained drivers and facilities like
automated fare collection systems and GPS tracking.

Announcing the project, Verma added: ‘‘ The funds available with the
government are limited and Public Private Partnership (PPP) is the way
forward. By bringing in private players, we will be able to augment
the city’s public transport.’’

The start of the corporatization scheme comes as a breather for the
city that has around 5,000 buses against the requirement of 11,000.
Sources said the cluster will have a total 573 buses running on 32
routes. Of these, half the fleet will comprise of DTC buses. For its
services, Star Bus will be paid a around Rs 85.77 crore for first year
(Rs 47.4 per bus per km). The revenue from ticket sales on the bus
will go into the government’s kitty.

The operator will bring in all low-floor CNG buses. Of all buses , 20%
could be airconditioned. The entire operation will be monitored by the
transport department to ensure that stringent quality standards are
maintained. The department plans to float tenders for the next 16
clusters from next month and is in the process of making the terms for
the tender more stringent so that it attracts more serious bidders.

Following are my thoughts about this MoU between Star Bus Pvt Limited  and Delhi Govt. 
I assume government traffic department will decide routes and frequency. Private operator will be paid fixed revenue per KM that covers his cost and profit margin. This guarantees profit for private operator (which is okay, public transportation is not anti-business).
Bus Ownership
I assume , that private operator will buy and own (100 %) new buses (all CNG, 20 % AC). 573 buses per clusters. Initially 16 clusters. Later 16 more clusters. I hope and it seems that there is not partial ownership of buses. Existing fleet is and will be owned by govt. and will be phased out. New buses are 100% owned and maintained by private player, to be inducted gradually over a period of time (as existing old fleet is moved out.
Maintenance is prone to corruption, stealing and other in-efficiencies. Private player will be responsible for maintenance of buses and will be efficient for the same reason why people keep their houses clean but not the public place.
Also private player will hire/fire/train employees. Private player is likely to take better care of employees
IT and Software Infrastructure
Govt. is typically not very good in Identifying correct IT applications and buying them. Private player will decide on relevant IT needs and can buy them without cumbersome tendering processes.
Performance Monitoring
Private player and its performance will be monitored by the traffic department. Some kind of service level agreement. Risk of contract abortion will disincentives private player from cutting corners.
Revenue For Traffic Department
Traffic department will get all revenue earned by tickets. Nothing is mentioned about advertising revenues. So all that traffic department has to do is ensure that they come up with schedule, route, trip frequency such that revenue is more than Rs. 47.4 per KM. They pay Rs. 47.4 to private operator and rest is profit. If profit is negative it  would be a subsidy for public transport.
Depot land
There is not mention of depots. I assume relevant govt. agency will rent depot land to private player.

This is a win-win situation. Public representatives and government has full control over routes/schedule and how much they want to invest in bus transportation. They anyway decide FSIs of different areas, so they can decide routes. Every thing that requires engineering, IT expertise, honest employees and fast decisions is done by private player. In fact this will even improve working conditions for employees, so I hope they do not oppose this. Things like health
benefits take too much time in govt., private player can just use industry standard procedures.

Now for places like Pune, where central government has already given money to buy new buses, it is bit too late. Schemes with Partial ownership of buses were proposed but seems to be complex. Perhaps it would have been better if central government had given subsidy, subject to involving private player (who will own and buy buses) and generating certain revenue (that indicate no. of people served). The subsidy could be used to give attractive fixed revenue per KM to
private player. But in future Delhi model could be copied. PMPML could continue to operate some routes, side by side. They have to just make sure that routes operated by private player and PMPML are not overlapping.

Important details are missing in the article, so my assumptions could be wrong. Anyone (journalist, student etc.)  interested obtaining details should contact public relations officers at DTC and Delhi traffic department and obtain copy of MoU mentioned in the news article.



03 April, 2010

shopping in Hyderabad

Went out for shopping. Reliance trends, Shopper's Stop and other shops are Begumpet, just on the sides of the main road, 4 - 5 KMs from Marredpally. Traffic was okay from Marredpally to Begumpet.

Overall shops are less crowded and prices are reasonable. I got Sandals, could not get Eicher map.

Just looked up for FabIndia address, it is in Banjaraa Hills area, so may visit if there is some work in that area.

17 March, 2010

Music Collection Up For Sale

I am selling my collection of original Music CDs and a DVD for less
than 50% of original price. If you are interested have a look at list


Drop me a mail if you want buy any of these items.

15 March, 2010

Good News For Delhi Citizens

दिल्लीमें रहनेवालों, आप के लिए एक बढीया खबर हैं. कुचीह दीनोह पहेले DMRC ने एक अच्छा काम किया है. DMRC के लोगोने उनका पूरा मेट्रो टाईमटेबल गूगलके (सौफ्टवेर की दुनिया में जानीमानी कंपनी)  साथ बाटा है.  गूगल ने DMRC का पूरा Taeemtebal लेकर उनके Google Map http://maps.google.com/ application के साथ जोड़ दिया है.

अगर आपके पास Internet की सुविधा है तो आप गूगल के सौफ्टवेर का इस्तमाल करके फायदा उठा सकते है. नीचे दीये हूए चित्रोसें आपको पता चलेगा की, ये सौफ्टवेर बहूत ही बडीया है. 

DMRC का पूरा नेटवर्क :

आप कोई भी स्ट्येशन को choose करके, उस का टाईमटेबल देखा सकते हैं.

आशा करते है की जादा से जादा लोग इसका फायदा उठायेंगे. आपसे दर्कवास्त की आप अपने विचार DMRC तक पहूँचाये.

14 March, 2010

Job Opportunity at Parisar

When you are young, you tend to have lot of ideas, dreams and raw energy. You want to work on projects that can change the world and make a difference to thousands of people around you. You want to learn new skills and push 
yourselves to limits. You want to have sense of accomplishment. If you are working at big MNC, it is unlikely that you will be part of project that unleashes your full potential (technical, managerial etc.), while you are still young.

So you need challenging problems, interesting projects, experiments, adventures that will test yourself and discover something inside you that will take your personality, confidence, esteem to totally new level, before you get too busy with other responsibilities (spouse, kids, relatives etc.) that comes in course of life.

Personally, since I was 22, I was inspired by free software movement. It convinced me that few people, simple idea and lot of patience can have change the world for better. Recently, I worked for NGO Janwani for few months, and it was trilling experience of meeting great people and realizing that there so many interesting projects without anyone to manage/address them.

Following is an job opportunity at Parisar, an NGO working on various issues that effect every citizen of Pune city. Interested people can drop a mail to : info at parisar.org. If you need more information/advice on working with NGOs you contact me on gmail id : vijay.patil.

Job Opportunity at Parisar

Job Position : Project Manager/Coordinator
Location : Pune, Maharashtra, India
Type : Full Time
Note : Initial 2 months of employment would be under probation period. Your employment will be continued based on your performance.

About Parisar 

Parisar undertakes various activities of different kinds to promote and advocate sustainable transport. These can be classified into three broad categories:
  • Parisar undertakes projects which are either funded by some agency or sometimes without any external funding. These projects are meant to achieve specific goals, such as improving awareness about cycling in certain classes of society.
  • Parisar organizes and participates in events related to sustainable transport planning, policy and promotion.The events could range from cycle rallies to protest marches to workshops on transport planning and advocacy.
  • Parisar also undertakes some analytical activities to measure the impacts of policies and decisions, and suggest ways forward.

For more information visit our website : http://www.parisar.org

Job Responsibilities 
  • Understanding projects/activities planned by Parisar team.
  • Project management, execution and insuring successful project completion.
  • Understanding different government initiatives, policies, laws, budget etc.
  • Interacting with various level of government, stakeholders of undertaken projects.

Required/desired characteristics
  • Good communication and inter-personal skills.
  • Good analytical skills.
  • Basic knowledge of computers. Should be fluent using spreadsheet programs, documents, database, communication tools, email etc.
  • Ability to lead/manage small teams.
  • Sensitivity to the needs of citizens, particularly the disadvantaged, and environmental sustainability.
  • Ability to think out of the box and long-term.

Why work at Parisar
  • Parisar provides a good place & platform for you to understand various challenges in front of cities like Pune.
  • This job is an opportunity and freedom to make positive contribution to build a better society.
  • This job involves working on specific projects and on completion gives a sense of accomplishments - in particular when you see changes on the ground which result from your work.
  • You will get an opportunity to meet and interact with interesting people from various levels of government, leaders, social groups and media.
Contact Us

If you are interested in the job profile please send your resume to : info at parisar.org.

25 January, 2010

Mozillian Inspiration

I attended FOSS.IN conference for the first time in year 2003. I remember attending talks by Miguel, Nat, and Naba. I remember being totally inspired by the talks and people I met.

Next 3 years, I was constantly moving from one place to another, therefore could not get chance to attend the conference. So in year 2007, I was working in Mumbai and I was trilled to know that Mitchell Baker of Mozilla will be giving talk at FOSS.IN 2007. I decided to attend this one and did so.

I had listened to her talk audio at Stanford university's entrepreneurship corner and came to know that she worked as volunteer on Mozilla project when there was no funding. She described the difficulties faced by the team working on Mozilla project, when AOL lost interest in the project (because of IE's market share dominance). She described vision of Internet that provided the motivation through all these years and kept the team going. Talk is still available on the Standford entrepreneurship corner website.

So when I actually attended her talk at FOSS.IN 2007, it was awesome experience. Later I actually met her and told her how her commitment to Mozilla project for so many past so many years inspires me.

I took her autograph and so now every time I look at the autograph it reminds of people who had a vision for open Internet, their struggle through difficult years.

FOSS.IN 2007 had lots of talks on Mozilla Firefox. I enjoyed talk by Chris Hoffman and talk by Myk Melez on how to develop Firefox extensions.

23 January, 2010

मला मराठीत लिहायला आवडते

मला मराठीत लिहायला आवडते. गुगलचे तंत्रज्ञान वापरून मराठीमध्ये लिहणे सोपे झाले आहे. पण अजून blogger.com मध्ये मराठीत टाईप करण्याची चांगली सोय नाही. हिंदी आणी इतर काही भाषा आहेत.

मग मी कसा लिहतोय? गुगलचीच एक सोय वापतोय. आशा करतोय की, मराठीमध्ये लिहणे आणखी सोपे होईल. शेवटी काही गोष्टींवर लिहायला आणी वाचायला मराठीतच मजा येते. समजा मला आईच्या (किंवा तुमची बायको असेल तर)  हातची पुरण पोळी किती छान होती हे सांगाचय? किवा मराठी चित्रपट गीत, संगीत आणि कवितांविषयी लिहाचय? मराठीत लिहायला आवडेल ना !

15 January, 2010

Innovations 2010 : Talk by Sanjay Nayak

Following are my notes at Innovation 2010 keynote speech by Mr. Nayak (CEO, Tejas Networks). Although I do not agree with everything he said, speech was great.

Tejas : A Product Company

Business models of Indian IT services companies (like Infosys, Wipro) are :
Provide IT services to western market. Services that can be done at less cost in India compared to western market. Internet and communication infrastructure makes it possible to provide reasonable quality services from India.

Because of this cost difference between western countries and India, IT services companies have majority of its clients in western countries.

Tejas Networks is a products (combination of hardware + firmware + software) company. Products are developed for telecommunication market, India and outside. Tejas does not actually manufacture hardware, it outsources manufacturing to Electronics Manufacturing Services providers. Tejas designs the hardware and get it manufactured from suitable EMS provider in India or outside India.

India : Emerging Market

In the past, innovative products (New cars for example) are first launched in western markets for high price. Once a product becomes commodity, it is re-launched in third world countries for less price.

However India in 2010 is different and changing fast:
1. New products are being launched first in India.
2. The growth is stalled in western world and happening is in India. Third world countries are now emerging markets.
3. Coming years lot of money to be spend (huge market for telecom equipment) in India and for many other products.
4. Mobile service provider earn profit even for low ARPV in India. Therefore lot of innovation, not on technology front, but business model front, to reduce cost, must have happened.

Following are observation about India for developing products and as a market.

1. Cost of innovation in India is low. So it is possible to develop new products with relatively less investment in R & D. Blended cost (mix of experienced and fresh engineers).
2. Indian customers are demanding. They want world class quality at low cost. This drives you crazy and forces you to provide best at least cost.
3. Consider India as sandbox for your products, before launching in global market.
4. Indian customers comfortable spending on hardware but reluctant to pay for software.
5. There are infrastructure problems in India (24 X 7 electricity supply etc.)

Advice For Start Ups

For start up companies interesting in developing innovative products, following is the advice :

1. Funding : Early stage VC funding is one option. In case Tejas, it was not possible to boot strap. Because of nature of the product they had start with big team of engineers.

2. Focus : Focus on one product area and clear direction.

3. Execute one step at a time :
  • get product working.
  • get 1 customer/user.
  • get 10 customer.
  • think about & beat competition.

4. Team : Strong team with variety of background needed. Complementary skills (Finance, Marketing & Sales) needed.

5. Customer : Anticipate technology trends, understand customer needs before defining the product.

6. Global market : Big companies looking at India for product development. In some cases, Indian companies develop product and is branded by big companies in western market using existing marketing and sales network.

7. Tejas Advantage : Investment in R & D, convert hardware functionality into software. Less time to develop the product.

8. Funding : Take money whenever available. You will need it. Investors in Tejas include Desh Deshpande, Mayfield, Battery, Intel, Goldman Sachs.

9. CSIR : Look at Govt. of India initiatives like CSIR for funding. Be patient.

It was really inspirational keynote.

06 January, 2010

Travel By Bus and Chocolate Mousse

Travel By Road

Yesterday, I was thinking about long distance (200 KMs to 2000 KMs) travel within India by road using bus service.

In most parts of south India, one can travel long distance journeys using buses operated by privates agencies or government agencies (known as State Road Transportation Corporations).

Booking Tickets

There are various ways to book your tickets. 

Visit Travel Agent
Find out nearest travel agent shop. They typically sell tickets for various travel agencies. They make use of phone to call a central place or sometimes computer to reserve your ticket.

Visit Travel Agency Office
You can also visit travel agency's office.

Online booking (Using PC & Internet)

For air travel, online booking facility has been a basic minimal requirement before airlines starts its operations.

Ever since year 2002, Indian railways launched online booking service IRCTC, more and more ordinary people in India are booking tickets online. Nowadays, expectations about ticket booking procedure and quality of service are really high.

Unfortunately, not all transportation agencies have yet realized this trend and taken steps towards providing online booking facility. Perhaps because there are many small players (agencies) operating in the market.

Following are few transportation agencies that seems to have online booking facility :
I have not yet tried any of these websites so quality of online booking application is not known to me.

Is there any website where you could search over services/routes offered by many transportation agencies, compare prices and choose one that suits you best. There is, it is called http://www.redbus.in/. Check it out.

This covers online bus ticket booking options, now there is one last option.

Telephonic Booking 
You could call travel agent or services like redBus and book ticket on telephone and have it delivered at your home

Quality of Service

So how good is services offered by these travel agencies. After all you are likely to spend 5 hrs to 20 hrs in the journey and you want it to be comfortable.

Many of the operators use Volvo buses. They offer both AC and non AC options. Seats are comparable to economy class seats in a plane. Be careful about total seats in the bus, some operators use modified buses with two layers of seats. This could be uncomfortable and unsafe.


So what else passengers expect when they are traveling long distance by bus. How about conducted a survey to find out? Kevin Gomes (who is most talented Guitar player I have met) graciously participated in this survey and also won lucky draw. Notice his choices :

I know that chocolate mousse is yummy.


Well this survey does have sufficient sample size, for us to conclude, but still who is going to stop us? So conclusions :
  • Online booking should be simple.
  • Passenger should have choice and allowed to compare various options.
  • Kevin's request is to reduce travel time and still have safe journey. Quality of road and drivers qualifications need to be considered.
  • Travel time may not be a considerable if passengers are comfortable. How about bathroom inside bus?
Kevin, time to think about this, but before that enjoy your chocolate mousse.