Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What'd you do with my money?

Just for the record, this is not an America bashing blog. I just like to share interesting facts that might change opinions that people have about the "world superpower".
BBC reported today that 96% of the 9 BILLION dollars that the US government awarded to the Iraqi government in reconstruction efforts is unaccounted for. A whopping $8.7 billion dollars goes missing and no one knows where?!
You would think that with all the corporate big whigs and great financial cream of the crops that exist in that side of the world, the American defense would hire a decent accountant to handle this job diligently.
Of course, all the funds were spent during the 2004-2007 time frame. Hail Republicans!! Isn't this the very party that promotes freedom of capitalism and a non regulated government? Oh why yes it is! Of course they would want deregulation in all sectors concerned with any kinds of financing. They are incapable of handling the tax payers money in a responsible manner. I am infuriated that they vote against government aided programs for the unemployed and needy of their own country when they have little value and show utter recklessness towards public funding.
Most of Obama administration critics have a problem with his policy because they believe in respecting corporate privacy and don't believe that government should be completely transparent.
Well, I think we can all see what that leads to. I paid thousands of dollars in taxes in that time period just like millions of Americans, and I deserve to know, what'd you do with my money Big Brother?!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WANTED: Entrepreneurs!

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page. These billionaire entrepreneurs all had one thing in common: they lacked a formalized business education. They also had in common a genius idea combined with excelling in their field of interest and an ambitious entrepreneurial spirit.
It is commonly and wrongly thought by many people that in order to succeed in a business, it is necessary to have some sort of a business administration degree, or graduate in a field related to business. However, looking at teenage and young successful business owners, it is safe to assume that it takes not that but indeed a much more specialized understanding of their own field (whatever that might be)and a strong ambition in order to do gain financial prosperity through business.
A formalized education does many things: it enhances your analytical ability, creates more useful, intelligent people, and creates workers, not necessarily employers.
America might lack a lot of bullets in their educational system, but somehow or another, they manage to vest in their students the ability to dream big. They promote taking risks and don't shun overwhelming optimism. Indian schools are quiet reverse in this aspect. They respect (and most of the time unreasonably)pieces of papers known as degrees and view them as a guarantee to attaining success. In reality, those who graduate with the most difficult degrees are the ones that are grossly underpaid for their labor, and has caused ingrained pessimism when it comes to future plans. What classrooms here need is to instill in students the possibilities they can pursue once they realize a great idea. We need to promote the risk taking, go getting attitude that correctly enforces that being successful is not denoted just by graduating from a good university, but from excelling in your field of interest and enhancing people's lives through a business idea that promotes these skills.
Including an entrepreneurship course work based curriculum starting from 7th or 8th grade can promote the "out of box" thinking that is the key to being a successful business owner. The heavy coursework and endless curricula that is the current standard in Indian schools might not have the space and time to include such activities, but undoubtedly this is the most important gap that needs to be filled in order to produce the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs. All in all, aren't the entrepreneurs of tomorrow in schools today?
That is the exact message that Indian schools need to incoporate in their curriculum today. A program that casually teaches young students the possiblities of dreaming big and using their ideas in a commericial theme so that they can acheive economic as well as personal success and satisfaction. It's time that we catch up with our American counterparts. Teenage entrepreneurs are growing in numbers everyday simply by employing the principles taught in this program. Let's get to business, already.

:Good riddance:

It's extremely hot
It smells weird
There are numerous homeless people
The traffic is insanely chaotic
The pollution is out of control
The population is not in control either

And the list can go on, as to why India isn't the most ideal place for so many people...But there is another list that is often overlooked

People have high hopes
Even a homeless person has sparkling eyes
Multiple religions coexist in the same city and region
There are over twenty different languages with more than ninety dialects
A dollar to charity will go further here than in any other Western nation
There are more opportunities to benefit the greater good
Being here makes you realize the small idiosyncracies that make our life convenient are actually all unnecessary and just fringe benefits

I've been in India for about two months now, and I've had plenty of people ask me "why in the world would you move to India from the States?" It is very difficult for me to answer this question, mostly because it is going to be biased, and also because I don't want to do injustice to either of the two countries. However, one thing I will say is that even through the numerous inconveniences that exist with living in a third world country, there is a weird sense of 'homeness' and 'belongingness' that lacks in Western countries. Even though there are times when I get frustrated with the everyday annoyances, I have never questioned my decision to move to India on a permanent basis.
I have learned more about myself, people, life, relationships, culture here in the last two months than I have in all my years combined so far. Perhaps it is because I was too young or naive to realize this earlier, or maybe I have too much time on my hands here (ha), it has been a very interesting transition and has met all my expectations so far.
If you're reading this note and haven't ever stepped out of the Western cocoon, I really suggest you do so. Moving to another country is not necessary to learn these lessons, delving in it for a few weeks will suffice. It might change your life in bigger ways than you think. Seriously.