28 January 2017

India's Top 10 Trade Partners

If you are preparing for GD, Essay Writing (WAT) and Interview at India's leading b-schools; this is especially helpful for IIFT.

14 January 2017

The Best Way to Crack GDPI

My last two posts focused on General Topics for GDPI and Economic Issues for GDPI

In this post, I will dwell on the other important aspects that you should focus on:

(a) Academics
  • Study your graduation subjects.
  • If you have favourite subject(s), you must be comfortable with almost everything related to this subject.
  • Also, throw a glance at your project(s) work and paper presentation(s).

  • Think about long term plans (even if not concrete);
  • Get a hang of things in your chosen line of activity; 
  • How your mental strengths and current skill set match your choice of career, and 
  • Also, think about Plan B, i.e., what if Plan A (of doing an MBA and later career choices) does not work out. 

 Personality-related Questions
  • Hobbies;
  • Mental strengths and weaknesses – think of instances where they came into play; 
  • How a particular strength helped you become better;
  • What are you doing to overcome/tackle any weakness, and
  • Information about home town/state – uniqueness, history, cuisine, comparison between home town and town of employment (if different from home town).
(d) Work-related 
  • Current work profile;
  • Company profile – financial figures, names of top executives, nature of business, strategy;
  • Current state of the industry, and 
  • What did you learn from work, etc.

 Also, prepare for questions on 
  • Why management career;
  • Why MBA;
  • Alternate career plan; 
  • What other calls do you have, and
  • Which school will you join (in case of multiple calls). 

Be invested in your future. Be passionate. Work hard. Keep learning!

12 January 2017

General GK topics for GDPI

Preparing for GDPI (also called GWPI)? Focus on the following general knowledge areas.

Global political & social issues
  • Donald Trump & American politics
  • Russian role in U.S. elections – hacking, funding
  • China – South China Sea, political & military muscle-flexing; 
  • Syrian crisis – civil war, Islamic State;
  • Israel-Palestine imbroglio;
  • Rising authoritarianism in Turkey
    • Failed coup
    • Purge against followers of Fethullah Gulen
    • Stand on Armenian genocide
  • Korean peninsula
    • North Korea’s nukes, missiles, nature of state; 
    • South Korea – corruption scandal, impeachment, leadership crisis, business scandal (Samsung)
  • Terrorism in Afghanistan & Pakistan;
  • War in Yemen
  • Cyprus
  • Refugee crisis in EU and changing attitudes towards refugees. 

National political & social issues
  • State politicso   Assembly elections in five states 
    o   UP political dramao   Changes in TNo   Delhi & AAPo   Drug crisis in Punjabo   Chit scams in Bengal
  •  J&K   Article 370 Jammu-Valley tussle;
  • Naxalism – origin, ideology, reach, methods;
  • Cauvery & other river water dispute
  • Sport o   BCCI & Lodha Committeeo   Poor governance, infrastructure & performance o   Social Media - freedom of speech & curbs;
  • Gender-related issues, including safety issues, and
  • Religion – conversions & reconversions debate.

    Also read Economic Issues for GDPI. 

11 January 2017

Economic Issues for GDPI Prep

If you have secured or are expecting an interview short-list from a b-school, you should now focus on your preparation for the highly competitive and rigorous stages like GD, Essay (variously called Written Ability Test or Writing Test), and Interview (GWPI).  

To put in a great performance in GWPI/GDPI, please focus on the following global and national economic issues: 

Global economics

o   Slow global economic recovery;
o   U.S. economy – recovery and growth pangs;
o   Japan and Abenomics;
o   Economic rise of China, and
o   BRICS – why Russia and Brazil are in recession.

Indian economy
o   Current state of the economy;
o   Demonetisation
§       why
§       impact
§       likely outcomes
§       what other steps can be taken to tackle black money and fake currency.

    o   Digital payments
§       E-Wallets
§       UPI
§       AEPS
§       USSD
§       Bank Cards

o   Budget provisions
o   Infrastructure bottlenecks, including in railways;
o   FDI (especially in multi-brand retail, aviation;
o   NITI Aayog;
o   SMART Cities plan;
o   Swachh Bharat, and
o   Make in India and industrial clusters.

 Next part: General GK for GDPI

08 January 2017

The Explainer: List of disputes between U.S. & China

A seemingly innocuous phone call between the U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen ignited a war of words between China and Donald Trump.

In a series of short articles, I will focus on the historic and current status of the relationships between the U.S.-China, U.S.-Taiwan, and China-Taiwan.

The following are the major issues that characterize the uneasy relationship between the U.S. and China. 

(a) Tibet and the Dalai Lama;
(b) Taiwan, especially arms sales to the island nation;
(c) Xinjiang and Uighurs;
(d) China's claims over the South China Sea;
(e) Beijing’s abysmal human rights record, including denial of political freedom to political dissidents;
(f)  disagreement over climate change, especially on measures to tackle it;
(g) trade-related disputes like currency valuation;
(h) China’s behaviour in international forums, like in the UN on the Syria issue;
(i)  Chinese espionage, especially industrial and defence, and
(j)  cyber-attacks on American corporations;.

Of the above, there are two that cause China the greatest discomfort: Tibet and Taiwan. In the coming series of short posts, I will explain some of these disputes.

04 January 2017

Should Apple get tax breaks in India?

Apple is the world's biggest technology company by revenue. The company has, because of its tax-avoidance approach, often got into regulatory crosshairs. In August 2016, the Cupertino, California-based tech behemoth was ordered by the European Union to pay a fine of euro14 billion for breaking tax laws.

Source: Economic Times
After years of neglect and if I may say, marketing myopia and downright arrogance, Apple has evinced interest in setting up production units in India. It won’t directly own the production units; rather, they will be set up by Wistron, a contract manufacturer of electronic devices. Also, it won't export its made in India phones and other devices!

In India, a single brand retailer has to source 30% of the stuff sold from local business units; this, the Government believes, will give impetus to local industry to invest better technology and thus enhance overall manufacturing ecosystem and higher employment generation.

About six months back, Apple asked for a waiver of this 30% local sourcing clause and the Government of India agreed to it on the condition that such waiver will be for the first three years only. Now it is asking for more in terms of tax breaks and other concessions. I think the government should not concede any more concessions than are available to all such companies in the sector. I am sure giving into Apple’s demands will create a lot of heartburn and set a bad precedence.

Read more here.

01 January 2017

Infographic: How to be a Google Power User

Happy New Year!

I have resolved to blog on a regular basis, starting with this infographic from here