For the Love of writing...
Saturday, May 31, 2008

Every time I read about Infosys on some news websites there are a handfull of stupid cynical people who call it all crap and then go on to boast of facts that have no standing or no proof. And then we have quite a few politicians who blame this company in a rouge attempt to garner votes. They make their mightyfull yet wasted attempts at criticizing the company, their founders and whatever little things their small knee-cap fitted brains can figure out.

So those people who hate Infosys or for that matter its much celebrated typical middle class Indian looking founder Narayan Murthy, I can take a bet that if you are a software guy then you might have been rejected by Infosys in a job interview. Else you are one of those who have little understanding of the bigger dynamics of this world and keep on ranting with your frog in the well view. And India has lot of guys like you. And you are what NRN managed to break out of and build this company and a brand for India in this world. Whatever people like you may say but NRN's contribution to this country is unfathomable; something that cannot be quantified on status rating, Forbes richest list, or for that matter the number of votes he may have secured had he contested for the presidential post or for anything. Hats off to a guy like this. India is proud of you sir...

Infosys is one great company that has created a name for itself and for the software industry as a whole. It employs 80,000 people all of which are good paying jobs. (Compare it with you’re your parents earned when they were 25 and discount it for inflation, if you can do that, and then say that these are not good paying jobs.)

When a company like Infosys creates a good job it is not just a single job created. It leads to what is called as Intrinsic Growth in the economy.

See it as I see the world.

When Infosys adds 25,000 jobs this year it means 25,000 new homes will be bought by these new employees, 25000 new mobile phones, 25000 x 4= 100,000 well fed people shopping and buying goods and stuff and services. These people will hire 25,000 maid- servants for their comfort. Another 100 malls will be opened to enable these people to spend their money. This creates job opportunities for the under-educated mall attendant or for the uneducated maidservant whom they hire, who otherwise had little hope for themselves thereby kick starting the economy on a whole. This is intrinsic growth. This is called wealth generation.

These software companies bring foreign currency into India, of which we have today more than $200 Billion, but a day when we had less than $20 million. Without these huge amount of reserves could it have been possible for the Tata’s to think of buying out Corus or for the innumerable small and mid sized companies from various sectors to forward and backward integrate their business by picking up controlling stakes in their foreign counterparts.

For the uninitiated people about the greatness of this company, the man behind it and his sacrifices, I advice you to read a few things and then comment. For anything that you say wrong or false, whatever religion you belong to, God will not be forgiving towards you as you are raising a finger against a pious soul.

Yes, you may call him a communist turned capitalist. You may criticize him for
whatever you want, for that is what our great democratic country bestows upon you as your fundamental right. Yet you may not alter facts and create stories out of the blue and say anything that comes to you mind.

I genuinely feel one thing. If there is a father of the nation, it is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. If there is a father of the IT Industry, it is Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy.

He brought about concepts like democratization of wealth, which were not existent a decade ago. Imagine the circumstances that might have existed when the company started when they would have to go to New Delhi to secure permission for a telephone connection.

Imagine a man keeping his wife’s ornaments as a guarantee to secure the payment of the monthly salary for his employees. Imagine yourself in his shoes. Would you have the guts to do that? If you did, would your wife let you sleep peacefully at home? Yet they did. Sudha Murthy didn’t object and N.R.N had no qualms about doing so. This is sacrifice. These are values. And above all this is true Love, something that has gone unnoticed for a decade and a half. Read Sudha Murthy’s writings if those interest you. N.R.N.’s article in the Economic Times where he talks about the three most important moments in his life is definitely a must read for all his fans.

For people who criticize him for making money for himself, though I do not have the actual statistics, the company gives sufficient amount of money for its social development schemes. And this is corporate social responsibility.

Look at the company financially. The company has grown from a small home run company without an office to one of the geographically well spread organization creating quality software. Growth has come at an annual average of 30% or more for this company for a sustained period of 15 years. Show me such an example other than the Microsoft’s and the Google’s of the world. That is where this company ranks.

People who have read biographies of entrepreneurs know very well that each of the very successful companies were started by 2 or three people as the founding members. Infosys would stand out in this respect and could possibly be the only company that had 7 founding members. However, for each of the founders, their unanimous leader was Narayan Murthy. This speaks more of his leadership skills and the belief that people had in his values than what I can write about.

Guys my only heart felt pain is that there is so much negative sentiment all around the world. Let us all at the very least feel good about something. About something great that has happened in India. We lost our Kohinoor. The BBC and Discovery create more features on Dharavi- the biggest slum in Asia than the Taj Mahal. We have been known as a place of Sadhu’s and snake charmers. Infosys and the software industry was the first time when the world stood up and took notice. The Tata Nano was the second time when the world realized that the so-called Third world countries are not Third World anymore. They are raring to be the First World ones and their Elephants are trumpeting against all the injustice that has been written on their history books. It is time we are conquering the world. And the world is taking notice of the men at the forefront. It is we who need to give them their much deserved respect and gratitude for what they have done for this country.

As a part of an Final disclaimer I would like to tell you that I am neither a relative of Narayan Murthy, or for that matter any of the people associated with Infosys. I have never been on the payrolls of Infosys (even though I would have loved to…)

I am a writer…a computer program writer. And when my heart feels pain it gushes out through my veins to my pens and then this is what I write. A heart felt writer and this was straight Dil Se...

Saturday, May 17, 2008
  The Life of a Stock Market trader... and his imminent death.

Fear and greed are the two basic emotions in the stock market. However the most important thing affecting the trader is discipline. Yes. Discipline. Without this no trader can survive in the market for a sufficiently long period of time without his capital being completely wiped out.

A typical trader begins with a set of resolutions which he says are going to be his rules for his trading game. All these rules when on paper appear as if to generate a decent and a guaranteed profit, and he begins to dream of how he is going to spend he money made this way.

The market is generous for his first set of moves. I feel Benjamin Graham has done his greatest work by coining the epithet Mr. Market. This Mr. Market rewards him handsomely for his first few trades as much so that a false feeling of being an infallible grips the trader. He feels he’s born to win and win large. So his confidence level is high and complacency at its highest.

It’s time for Mr. Market to strike now.

He then makes a small loss. Unperturbed this trader goes out into the market thinking that this was a one off and you can’t be winning all the time, just contradicting his mentality of infallible that he developed some days ago.

His trades go on…some short…some long…and he continues in tit bits. After a period of time he thinks its time to reflect on the past and take a look at his profit and loss statement. Yes it’s a profit overall. He’s made decent amount of money and he is happy about it. But then he begins to think that this pace or conservativeness isn’t going to take him anywhere. Forget about the 4 wheeler dreams that he must have seen for himself, he wouldn’t even be fulfilling his 2 wheeler dreams.

Mr. Market is now sharpening his weapons for the strike.

So this trader unaware as to what Mr. Market has decided for him begins a rethink of his strategy. He says to himself that now he’s got a decent grip of the markets and now is the time to make it big. Let me increase my volumes a little bit so that my profits increase and I get to my goal a bit faster. Greed grips him and he fails to see that an increase in volume not only increases his profit potential but also his risked loss. He becomes greedy when he needs to be fearful. He says I’ll work hard. So if he watches CNBC for 6 hours a day he thinks he’ll work hard by watching it for 9 hours a day so that he can catch every bit of news. He wants to tame the pulse of the market. He thinks the time has arrived for his big trade. His heart swells by pride that the world is going to discover a new king being born tomorrow. A new badshah of 9:55 to 3:30.

The day arrives.

He has done all his analysis for this day. He has studied a few extra charts too, which he normally wouldn’t do and has heard a few extra analysts on TV giving their opinions. He likes those that support his view. He puts in his trade. His volume a 10 times higher than his usual one. He is nervous. Obviously he will be. And he keeps his eyes fixed on the screen. If some doctor were to perform a cataract operation on his eyes he could do it easily this day for he doesn’t even wink his eyes. Mr. Market is generous. The first few moments his trade is going all correct. He feels good. Should he book his profit now? No. He thinks he should wait as he would want to make his killing today.

And then Mr. Market strikes.

The markets turn against his call and move in the opposite direction. And the movement is fast enough for him to be undecisive during that period. How could he go wrong thinks the perturbed trader. He had done all things write. He watches the prices with agony. Even a small movement in his direction fills him with ecstacy and a warm feeling fills his heart. He thinks he has to be brave for kings have to pass the toughest tests of bravery and have to prove themselves. The day slowly comes to an end. Thankfully for him, that’s what he thinks. It was not his day. He has lost a whopping sum of money. He may have lost all his months of profit and only a miniscule amount remains. He goes home. He can’t get his brains out of the market. He reflects back and relaxes. He concludes. This was just not his day. It was a day when things just go wrong. Everything goes wrong. And such a day it was. No problem thinks he. There is always a tomorrow and he will strike back.

Mr. Market has done what he does best. Killed greed and a greedy trader.

I am not dead still thinks the trader and goes back the next day. Now this time he is overly cautious. He doesn’t want to make any mistake. Rather he cannot afford to make any. He puts in his trade. Similar volumes like the earlier day. An effort to make a killing. And as the previous day, he fails. He fails miserably. His trade is all wrong, once again and maybe for the last time. His large volumes ensure that he’s lost another whopping amount of money. It’s more painful than the earlier day. He stares at the market with anger in his heart. What the hell had I done to you that you are doing this to me. As the trades go even more against him his anger turns to cowardice. He pleades with the market. Ohh…please. For once do me a favour and move in my direction…Little does he realise that Mr Market is deaf. He listenes no none and is a slave to none. He is the king. Mr. Market is the king. And this trader wanted to dethrone him. The fatefull day draws to an end, maybe his broker counsels him to take rest for a few days. The broker is happy for his large volumes have generated enough brokerage for him and an even larger amount of money if he has carried out a dabba trade for this trader.

This trader has lost all his capital and will have to dip into his savings account to repay this loss. Virtually till the next time he brings in more capital he is dead. He is dead for the market and all this just within a few months. All his resolutions are falsified and his theories of market rejected.

Over a period of 7-8 years when I was involved in the market I have seen enough people go through this phase and be wiped out completely. Some get in more capital and continue to trade. Some learn and add discipline to their trades with things like stop losses and stop profits. Some learn to control volumes. But a majority of them pass through the same grinding cycle again and again with a few variations. And some like me write on their experiences.


April 2008 / May 2008 / July 2008 / September 2008 / April 2009 / October 2009 / February 2010 / April 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / June 2011 / August 2011 / October 2011 / March 2012 / November 2012 / September 2016 /

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