Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rare Insights!

Q: Take us through some of the investments that you have made while you have been with Rare.

A: As I see it, the company has an opportunity. You have to figure out how the company can position itself well enough to seize the opportunity.

Q: You are sort of looking at different sectors from hotels to media to lifescience companies. How do you sort of sit and figure out which sectors you want to maximise on or the companies that you want to maximise on? How do you actually spot an opportunity and how much of that is gut and instinct?

A: It is a little bit of analysis and a bit of instinct. A lot of decision-making is largely based on betting on the promoter's ability to seize the opportunity. So, the mental process that you go through is the same. The relative size of companies could vary. So, I guess the mental process is the same.

Q: How many of you actually huddle together and make that decision?

A: Three of us.

Q: Does it work like a debating society at that point? Is there one vote that reigns supreme?

A: Not really. There is a little bit of debate. Typically, we look for companies that have a large addressable opportunity and the rest of the things we document it and discuss it out point by point. So, it really doesn't take much time.

-Rajiv Agrawal, a Principal at Rare Enterprises.

Arthur Andersen

The son of a Norwegian immigrant, Andersen was left on his own at the age of 16 after the death of his parents. He worked during the day as a mailboy and attended school at night. Eventually he was hired as the assistant to the controller of Allis-Chalmers in Chicago where he became intrigued with the work of independent public accountants. He received a degree as a certified public accountant at the University of Illinois in 1908; at age 23 he was the youngest CPA in Illinois. In 1917, after attending courses at night while working full time, he graduated from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in business.

In 1913 at the age of 28, he entered into business for himself under the firm name of Arthur Andersen & Co.

Andersen, who headed the firm until his death in 1947, was a zealous supporter of high standards in the accounting industry. A stickler for honesty, he argued that accountants' responsibility was to investors, not their clients. During the early years, it is reputed that Andersen was approached by an executive from a local rail utility to sign off on accounts containing flawed accounting, or else face the loss of a major client. Andersen refused in no uncertain terms, replying that he would not sign the accounts "for all the money in America." Leonard Spacek, who succeeded Andersen at the founder's death, continued this emphasis on honesty. For many years, Andersen's motto was "Think straight, talk straight."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Risk, Courage, Ability, Motivation, Purpose

  • Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.
  • The cynic knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
  • Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
  • What is a friend? I will tell you….. It is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.
  • One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency.
  • However brilliant an action may be, it should not be accounted great when it is not the result of great purpose.

-I liked these quotations from the Sunday Times of India, April 27th 2008.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I need to take my career seriously now. I have been lethargic for a very long time now, since last many years.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

लतीफा ...

एक महिला अपने कुत्ते को लेकर जानवरों के डॉक्टर के पास पहुंची और बोली - ''मेरे कुत्ते को कुछ हो गया है डॉक्टर । यह उठ नहीं रहा है .... । कुछ कीजिये। ''

डॉक्टर ने कुत्ते को टेबल पर लिटाया और उसकी जांच करने बाद बोला - ''आपका कुत्ता मर चुका है। उसकी नब्ज बन्द हो चुकी है।''

महिला कुत्ते को कुछ ज्यादा ही प्यार करती थी। वह इस बात को सहज स्वीकार नहीं कर सकी। बोली - ''नहीं, नहीं डॉक्टर साहब, ये कैसे मर सकता है ? आप किसी और तरीके से जांच कीजिये प्लीज।''

डॉक्टर दूसरे कमरे में गया और एक बिल्ली के साथ वापस आया। बिल्ली टेबल पर कूद कर चढ़ गई और उसने कुत्ते को सूंघना शुरू किया। सिर से पैर तक कुत्ते को सूंघने के बाद बिल्ली कूदकर वापस दूसरे कमरे में भाग गई।

''अब ये पक्का है कि तुम्हारा कुत्ता मर चुका है।'' डॉक्टर ने महिला से कहा। महिला ने अंतत: मान लिया कि कुत्ता मर गया है। बोली - ''शायद आप सही कह रहे हैं। बताइये आपकी फीस कितनी हुई। ''''550 रूपये'' - डॉक्टर ने जवाब दिया। महिला को झटका लगा। ''इतना ज्यादा क्यों ? आखिर आपने किया ही क्या है ?''''

देखिये,'' डॉक्टर ने उसे समझाते हुये कहा '' 50 रूपये मेरी फीस है और बाकी 500 रूपये कैट स्कैन के हैं।''

Thursday, April 3, 2008


"Every major decision point in life usually has multiple solutions — that is what saves us from what would otherwise be a very monochromatic world. Successful people are those who can make career decisions with two things in mind — `Will I be happy at work’ and `Will I be happy at home’. As long as those two questions are answered, things such as what you do or where you work become irrelevant. "

-Murugan Vasudevan, Cisco.

Liked it!

As a youthful MBA aspirant, Madhusudhan Kela was rejected at the interview stage in his first attempt to get into the Somaiya Institute of Management Studies. He scored well in the logical reasoning and quantitative aptitude sections, but had trouble with English.

The interview panel did not take kindly to his replying to every question in Hindi. Far from being discouraged, Kela appeared for the written test the following year. His scoring pattern was the same, but he still made it to the interview stage due to a high aggregate score.

“I don’t see how the outcome can be any different this time; how many times will you keep applying with such poor communication skills?” one of the interviewers asked him. “Till such time you refuse to acknowledge the fact that I have managed to come this far despite my weak English,” Kela shot back.

The panelists were impressed by his impetuosity and granted him admission, but with the rider that he will have to improve his language skills within three months or else quit the course. This is just one of the many instances that reveal the fierce determination to overcome adversities in the man who currently heads equities at Reliance Mutual Fund, India’s number one asset management firm overseeing funds in excess of Rs 90,000 crore.

Source of the article

One more such quote

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Purpose in life

किसी महान कार्य के लिए कड़ी मेहनत करने का अवसर दे कर, ज़िंदगी हमें सबसे बड़ा ईनाम देती है

-शिव खेड़ा, जीत आपकी (Hindi version of "You Can Win")