Thursday, January 29, 2009

Etiquette Tips

Hi Everyone,
This is the Ist time I am writing on Obelisk Blog and will try to be a regular. I think it’s a good medium to share our views about any subject which we think matters us and our organization.
Continuing to what Danny has on Etiquette. I noticed that we as Indian don’t have a habit or Etiquette of wishing or greeting each other even though greeting people when you meet is the base level of politeness irrespective of you know them or not. All around the globe I have seen people wishing each other even though they have never met them or known them, may it be in the staircase, lift lobby and even on the streets. let start doing it in Obelisk. I have obsereved that our co-workers just enter the office go to our respected desks, logging and start working.
I think we should inculcate the habit of wishing people in Obelisk. I think same one can apply at his/her place aswell.
I would like all of the people to respond and act on the same.

Small is the new big



Big used to matter. Big meant economies of scale. (You never hear about “economies of tiny” do you?) People, usually guys, wanted to be CEO of a big company. The Fortune 500 is where people went to make… a fortune.

There was a good reason for this. Value was added in ways that big organizations were good at. Value was added with efficient manufacturing, widespread distribution and very large R&D staffs. Value came from hundreds of operators standing by and from nine-figure TV ad budgets. Value came from a huge sales force.

Of course, it’s not just big organizations that added value. Big planes were better than small ones, because they were faster and more efficient. Big buildings were better than small ones because they facilitated communications and used downtown land quite efficiently. Bigger computers could handle more simultaneous users, as well.

Get Big Fast was the motto for startups, because big companies can go public and get more access to capital and use that capital to get even bigger. Big accounting firms were the place to go to get audited if you were a big company, because a big accounting firm could be trusted. Big law firms were the place to find the right lawyer, because big law firms were a one-stop shop.

And then small happened.

Big computers are silly. They use lots of power and are not nearly as efficient as properly networked Dell boxes (at least that’s the way it works at Yahoo and Google). Big boom boxes are replaced by tiny ipod shuffles. (Yeah, I know big-screen tvs are the big thing. Can’t be right all the time).

Today, little companies often make more money than big companies. Little churches grow faster than worldwide ones. Little jets are way faster (door to door) than big ones.

Today, Craigslist (18 employees) is the fourth most visited site according to some measures. They are partly owned by eBay (more than 4,000 employees) which hopes to stay in the same league, traffic-wise. They’re certainly not growing nearly as fast.

Small means the founder makes a far greater percentage of the customer interactions. Small means the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them, quickly.

Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs.

Small means you can tell the truth on your blog.

Small means that you can answer email from your customers.

Small means that you will outsource the boring, low-impact stuff like manufacturing and shipping and billing and packing to others, while you keep the power because you invent the remarkable and tell stories to people who want to hear them.

A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big. So smart small companies are happy to hire them.

A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name.

A small venture fund doesn’t have to fund big bad ideas in order to get capital doing work. They can make small investments in tiny companies with good (big) ideas.

A small church has a minister with the time to visit you in the hospital when you’re sick.

Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big.

Don’t wait. Get small. Think big.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Republic of India

Ever since I can remember, I have been watching the Republic Day parade every year on the Doordarshan Channel of our TV. It has become like a ritual now to get up in the morning and watch the show of strength by the India Armed forces and the colourful tableaux of various states.
Never in my lifetime I have got bored of watching the same parade year after year. In fact quite contrary to the that I feel a greater sense of pride for my country when I see the soldiers marching by the Rajpath and the final culmination with Fighters from the Indian Air Force fly by.
The Republic day for me always starts with the waving of the our National Flag and the National Anthem being performed by a group of children (I used to be a part of these groups too before I got "MATURED") in our neighbourhood. Though I have moved to a new neighbourhood with different neighbours who are busy in their corporate lifestyles, it is always a pleasure to see everyone gather on this day and pause to take pride in their country's strength and culture.
The only thing that changed for me this year was that I was accompanied by me 1 year old son during the waving of the tricolour. Even though he does not understand much of what I say yet, I kept whispering in his ear about our national flag and the national anthem, hoping that he would grow up to with the same sense of pride for the country. He was a little confused looking at everyone stand in silence when the Tiranga was waved and the national anthem played, but after a while he lay still in my arms looking at the our flag reinforcing my belief that the coming generations would definitely take our country to new heights imagined by our freedom fighters.
LONG LIVE INDIA!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Obelisk Stands Tall


I am sure a lot of you witnessed the oath taking ceremony of the 44th President of United States of America - Barrack Hussein Obama.

Along with 2 million people at the Capitol Hill, billions around the world saw the beginning of this new era, one striking feature that caught my fancy was the Obelisk standing tall complementing the Capitol Hill.

The Obelisk next to the Capitol Hill was built to commemorate the first US President, George Washington in the 19th century. Although the only thing common between that Obelisk and our company is the form, I still felt a sense of pride looking at the structure which symbolizes our company too. A structure, admist a sea of people, that stood taller than the most powerful man of the world, has witnessed many powerful men come and go. Our vision should be similar to create and Obelisk which stands tall in it's industry and grows stronger and taller with passage of time, irrespective of our adversaries.

Monday, January 19, 2009

US - Sales

Hi, just wanted to update everyone, that starting this New year, Obelisk has added Sales teams for all the 3 major regions of USA.
The East coast region would be covered from Boston, Massachusetts. The person doing sales for us there is an experienced architect and have been working the in the US for the past 5 years.
The Midwest region would be managed from Detroit, Michigan, by an architect with 25 years of experience in the US.
The West coast region would be covered from Los Angeles, California, by an MBA professional, who has worked with big names in the Outsourcing Industry.
With these 3 positions in place we would be able to look forward to effective sales all over US.
Best of Luck to all of them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TRIVIA

Which famous ancient european monument are the tourists walking up to?
video

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The "GOOGLING" effects




Imagine world without "INTERNET". We all are so much attached to it that we cannot imagine working without it, as this is an INTERNET ERA.
And guys!! what comes first to your mind when you are searching for anything on the internet.................. m sure this blank (by 99% of people) would be fill in by just one name.


Think of internet we think of GOOGLE.


Instead of memorizing or listing the websites we rather search/“GOOGLE” it. Folks, it is now so popular that the entire terminology of searching has been converted to GOOGLING. As also rightly mentioned by Tanveer in her blog post “If you Google "Public Speaking" you will see an innumerable sites pop up” , the ORKUT Story also must have been GOOGLED ( right Mohit? ) which clearly depicts Google popularity.


All of us want a quick, easy and readymade list of services where we can work efficiently to generate output rather than wasting time to maintain database of websites.
Today in every large or small scale Corporate environment we all are just dependent on this powerful tool which can be either for a technical guy or an amateur surfer. Right from searching a smallest detail to the heaviest Software Google has been an eminent tool.

To sum it up INTERNET ERA is incomplete without Google.

Now adding up more to your information BLACKLE is another attempt of google to save energy you can just type












http://www.blackle.com , has the same benefits as Google plus saves energy.

KEEP BLOGGING!!!

KEEP GOOGLING!!!

Public Speaking-OBELISK Open House

My main purpose for this topic is to encourage my team mates to speak up more openly in the coming open house meeting. In my last meeting with Maneck I had a small discussion about public speaking and how even I have had this public speaking phobia from school. I never wanted to take part in any public speaking event. But since the time I have started working I feel I have to overcome my fear and be more active in heading meetings, presentations and associate myself with various other activities at work to be a more confident person.
If you Google "Public Speaking", you will see an innumerable sites pop up. And all of them begin by saying how public speaking fear is rated as one of the biggest fears people face. It’s even ranked higher than the fear of dying for some of us. My natural reaction to this is that either these websites are trying to make us feel dependent so we feel no option, but to enroll in their courses and hence make their bottom line figures more appealing. Or it could be another way for these companies to feed in on our anxiety and fear.
Public speaking fear to me has nothing to do with speaking at all. If you could walk a stage to deliver a speech in-front of a large unknown audience and confidently remain mute just staring at the audience, you could have delivered the best speech ever. The key point here is to have so much confidence in you that you feel you can take everyone staring at you and still utter nothing.
As long as you have spoken with more than two friends of yours deeply engrossed trying to put your point across, you have delivered a speech.
Language has got nothing to do with public speaking. You could deliver your speech in any language which will make you feel confident. It’s just a platform and we can customize our platform the way we want to. Even if anyone of us is comfortable in speaking in Hindi then one should go ahead with that. But since English has become the language of business, globally, it’s a good idea for us to start practicing English.
And remember everyone makes mistakes, logically or grammatically. . It’s ok to make mistakes and I sincerely wish I had been more active when I was in school so may be someone had noticed my mistakes and corrected me.
I plan to take up the next open house as my opportunity to overcome my fear and I expect rest of my colleagues to do the same. When we have an introduction session or any discussion then it would be great if everyone can speak up and put their point of view across. Trust me more than making our open house a good event it would be you who will benefit with this initiative of opening up and speaking their minds. Every one of us should keep making an effort to improve ourselves and I feel we have ample opportunities being in obelisk to do so. So let’s not lose out on this chance.

Monday, January 12, 2009

GO GET THEM...

I’m sure all of us agree how fortunate we are to be walking this planet in the age of the Wikis and Googles. Information is just a mouse click away so we don’t have to shed any tears!! (remember the fairy godmother from Shrek? Happiness.... just a tear drop away!.. sorry Parool i can’t forgive you for asking "what is that? Shrek?")

The other day a guy walked in for an interview. His reason for quitting his present job was the fact that he was not getting to learn anything new. On grilling him further (and believe me guys i hate doing this) he came up with things like his present job requires him to work on limited aspects and the seniors around him are not interested in sharing their knowledge with juniors. Believe me it was only this guy who was responsible for his plight... neither his job nor his seniors. I wish this episode is registered by all of us as one that inspires us not to look out for others to help us out but to be able to find our own path. If that cant probably this will.... compare the story of this young guy with another...



This guy lost his girlfriend in a train accident.... but the gal's name nowhere appeared in the dead list. This guy grew up and became IT technical architect in his late 20’s, achievement in itself!! He hired developers from the whole globe and plan to make a software where he could search for his girlfriend through the web…Things went as planned... and he found her, after losing millions of dollars and 3 long years!! It was time to shut down the search operation, when the CEO of Google, Larry Page had a word with this guy n took over this application, This Software made a whopping 1 billion dollars profit in its first year, which we today know as ORKUT



The guy's name is ORKUT BUYUKKOTEN.... Yes its named after him !!
So let nobody come in the way of your dreams…. Just GO GET THEM

START SHARING.... START BLOGGING!!

Well now that we have a blog we better start blogging!
As i went about telling the entire Obelisk team about our newly acquired tool i realized how sometimes it becomes difficult to give words to try and explain the commonest of terms used in the daily lingo. My spontaneous reaction was to see what the Wiki had to say about blogs and i quote....
“A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video”
Thank God we live in the age of the Wikis and the Googles!
The other evening Vikas was surfing the web trying to research the BRT. After having downloaded a truckload of valuable info he sat back and marvelled at the amazing potential of the internet! And we all agree, the internet is ‘the most powerful’ invention by civilized mankind. What needs to be seen here is that the internet is essentially a big pool of organized information with references to each and every topic under the sun. What most of us forget though is the fact that the internet is just another platform for sharing knowledge with those around us.
And believe me knowledge has got nothing to do with what we read in books, its more about the experiences we gather as we lead the journey of our lives. I’ve recently come across people who love to read but prefer to shy away when it comes to writing! Isn’t it selfish then not to be sharing what we have registered ourselves?
So people lets stop being selfish.... START SHARING.... START BLOGGING!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dodgy Indians - The Satyam After Effect

I am sure everyone would be aware of the Satyam story by now. I am not going to post the details but we all know what has happened to the company and how it has crumbled after it's chairman B.Ramalinga Raju resigned earlier this week.
The title of this blog is from an email I received from a contact in a foreign country with the subject Dodgy Indians. Though the subject was more on the lighter side, it has made me sit up and think, would the after effect of this turmoil have far greater reach than we had earlier imagined?
Would the world now think twice before interacting with Indian companies especially the ones which have still to establish a name?
Would this become an excuse to avoid doing business with Indian companies?
I could be thinking a little on the extreme side, but these thoughts do scare companies like us who are trying to make a global presence. I certainly hope the investigating agencies would come out with the truth soon and this particular episode would not be singled out by the rest of the world.

Office Etiquettes

Respect colleagues having lunch at their desk.You're sitting there quietly eating a sandwich and perhaps reading a book or a newspaper, when someone decides to come up and ask work-related questions. Treat others on their lunch break as you would like to be treated on yours.

Monitor your speaking volume.People always tend to speak louder than necessary when on a mobile, so make sure you pipe down or go into the corridor/ quiet place such that you do not disturb anyone else. Surely not many people will be interested in your converstions with anyone else on any matter.

Be mindful of others needing the printer and the washrooms/ restrooms."Printer etiquette" is a phrase used widely in South Australia. It refers to giving preferential treatment to workers printing only one page at a time, ahead of those using half an hour and half a forest to print out large documents.

Be sensitive about smells. Limit strong perfume, excessive body odour, and very fragrant flowers -- all of which can offend others. Hot take-away food and instant soups can also be very unpleasant, especially if you're certain number of floors up and relying on air-conditioning rather than being able to open the windows.

Be tidy in the kitchen, pantry areas and work spaces. Remember when your mum would say, "Do you think this is a hotel?" Similarly, at work, no-one wants to have to tidy up after your mess. Don't leave food on the counter or dirty dishes in the sink for extended periods of time.

Keep your music to yourself. Not everyone at your office will be keen to hear your latest discovery, so keep the volume non-existent by wearing headphones.

Stay home with the sniffles. You may feel you should be applauded for bravely soldiering into work when ill, but no-one else will. If you absolutely must appear, be considerate and use tissues and wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of germs.

Ask before borrowing.Like Gareth in "The Office", some people are fiercely protective of their office supplies. How many times have you been on a scavenger hunt to track down borrowed pens, staplers and scissors?

Be on time. According to a report by the BBC, two-out-of-three people regularly turn up late for meetings. What message does it give to people if you're always late, cancel at short notice or chat with others while a meeting is going on? Showing respect and tact in the workplace will help you build productive relationships.

It looks professional and respectable when people turn out in office smartly and neatly dressed, instead of shabby, torn, dirty clothes and unkept appearances. You would attract more attention and work by being presentable than otherwise.


Office is the second place, after home, where you spend the maximum amount of your time. Thus, to keep yourself up the whole day, it is very necessary for the surrounding things to be in place. One of the things topping the list is a clean and healthy bathroom. Just imagine what would happen to your day, if you enter the office bathroom early morning to realize you are standing in a trash container. The mere sight of a filthy bathroom is enough to mess up your mood as well as your day. So, to ensure your morning is as rosy, when you first set out from home, do make sure everybody around, including you, follows the bathroom etiquette given below.

Do not conduct business or chat loudly on the phone in the wash room, as it might disturb other people.
Always tidy up the bathroom after use. This includes throwing away your trash, wiping excess water from the countertops, etc.
Do not sprinkle on the seat and lift up the lid after use.
Do not forget to flush. Do make sure the pot is rendered clean after flushing.
Do not keep the bathroom busy for long, as people might be waiting.
Treat the office bathroom just like the one at your home, leaving it clean for others.
Do not gossip in the bathroom with your colleagues.
Do not forget to wash your hands.
Do inform the concerned authority, if the supplies are out.

Let us make our workplace fun and enjoyable.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

REVIT - Do we really need it?

Early this week I got a call from one of our Australian contact who has invited me to speak on Revit Implementation from the point of view of a Knowledge Partner. For this I have to submit a paper for approval from their panel. As I sat down to write my thoughts the first question that has come to my mind and from the feedback I have got from our clients over the past year is,
Do we really need Revit Implementation?
Our team has been really aggressive about Revit and how it is contributing to the BIM industry? We are personally marketing the use of the software with great belief because it is already changing the Construction Documentation process in the firms. Those who have started using it and have tested it capabalities swear by it. But, I have realised it's still a small percentage of the architecture firms and the industry has a long way to go. Brings me back to my question do we really need Revit?
Let me know your thoughts on it and how your firm has been taking to the software, I am sure your suggestions would help me with my paper ..........

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year post by Obelisk team



A great effort by the obelisk team to create this greeting and I congratulate everyone for the effort.

Maneck

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Hi, Welcome to Obelisk's official blog. I wish everyone a Happy 2009 and I am sure everyone at obelisk would be using this blog to submit their ideas and suggestions. I am sure we would be looking forward to some interesting posts.

Happy Blogging !!!!!!!!!!!