Friday, 23 June 2017

Is it NOW or NEVER ?

That is the question that Shri Nitin Gadkriji must be asking himself , after reading the following news report which appeared in New York Times , yesterday

Or , would like to ask Elon Musk , in connection with his tweets re setting up an electric car plant in India

But Shri Gadkariji holds a TRUMP CARD ( pun intended ! )

He can tell Elon :

“ Look , to set up a plant in China , you must have a Chinese Company as your JV partner and you cannot hold more than 50 % equity in the JV

No such conditions in India  !

On top of that , we will match all the other concessions / amenities that the Chinese offer you

And , we will allow to participate in the tender for 3 million EV for the Central / State governments ( to replace the existing petrol / diesel fleet , by 2019 ) , as long as 50 % of value addition takes place in India , under Phased Manufacturing Program “


Shri Gadkariji :

In your dream to electrify India’s 200 MILLION polluting vehicles, by 2030 , this could well be the “ TIPPING  POINT 


 Tesla Motors is in discussions to establish a factory in Shanghai, its first in China, a move that could bolster its efforts in one of its major markets even as it further lifts China’s position as a builder of electric cars.

In a statement on Thursday, Tesla said it needed to set up more overseas factories to make cars that customers could afford. Such a strategy is a must in China, which charges steep tariffs for imported cars.

“Tesla is working with the Shanghai Municipal Government to explore the possibility of establishing a manufacturing facility in the region to serve the Chinese market,” a company spokesman said. “Tesla is deeply committed to the Chinese market, and we continue to evaluate potential manufacturing sites around the globe to serve the local markets.”

“While we expect most of our production to remain in the U.S., we do need to establish local factories to ensure affordability for the markets they serve,” the spokesman said.

China accounted for about 15 percent of Tesla’s revenue last year, nearly double the percentage it contributed in 2015.

Shanghai city officials did not respond to requests for comment. Bloomberg News reported earlier that Tesla and Shanghai had signed a preliminary agreement.

Tesla’s negotiations do not guarantee that a plant will be built. Under Chinese law, such a project would require Tesla to find a Chinese joint-venture partner. While China is full of Chevrolets, Fords and Volkswagens, most are made in factories jointly owned by a foreign automaker and a local company.

The City of Shanghai controls the SAIC Motor Corporation, one of China’s largest automakers and a partner for General Motors and Volkswagen. It was not clear whether Tesla’s negotiations with the city government would steer the company to negotiate with SAIC. Calls to the Chinese automaker were not returned.

Tesla could get around the joint-venture requirement by building a wholly owned factory in a foreign trade zone in China. But it would still have to pay the 25 percent import duty for cars sold in China, as the factory would be treated as outside China for trade purposes.

Further complicating matters, China recently announced that it would issue no more business licenses to make automobiles, including electric cars. Tesla does not have a license, although it could form an alliance with a company that has one.

These are formidable obstacles. But some in the Chinese auto industry say that the economics of producing in China — a low-cost supply chain, especially for electric cars, as well as the ability to bypass the import tariffs — make the proposition attractive.

For China, a domestic Tesla factory could represent a big symbolic victory. Spurred by incessant pollution and increasing dependence on foreign oil, China for the last several years has pushed to be a leader in electric car development.

That has raised concern in Western countries. In March, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China complained that Chinese law requires manufacturers who set up shop in China to transfer crucial technology to their Chinese partners.

The complaint coincides with a broader debate over China’s plan — called Made in China 2025 — to become self-sufficient in some technology industries. That plan has led to concerns that China will nurture and subsidize domestic competitors to Western companies.

Still, it is not clear what arrangements Tesla would make in China. The battery is central to electric car technology. Tesla has already invested heavily in its huge, $5 billion Nevada factory, called the Gigafactory, to produce batteries.

23  June  2017

A Chatbot to drive away Blues ?

A few days back , I saw an info-graphic in DNA with title :


Your Next Doctor may well be a BOT

Following was an example that got cited :

 US's WoeBot Labs debuted on FB Messenger , a Chatbot offering " cognitive behavioral therapy " , for people wary of the stigma of seeking mental healthcare 


Apparently , I was not far off in imagining a such a bot in :


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Share - Your - Soul / Outsourcing Unlimited

Business Line ( 23  July , 2016 ) carried an interesting report re mushrooming of " Rent-a-Friend " services in Japan, where you can " rent " ( on hourly basis ) , a fake friend , a family member or a companion for various occasions

One Nashimoto even " rents " himself out for " conversation " to 30 / 40 clients a month ( 70 % women ), for $ 10 per hour . He has an online service .

All kinds of people ( young and old / rich and not-so-rich ), engage him for reasons ranging from,

*  lack of family support / keeping company ( physically or online )

*  social isolation / detachment from society

*  desire to speak out freely without inhibitions

*  advice on dealing with bosses..........etc

Now , online space is overflowing with some genuine ( and some , otherwise ) , " Escort Services " in many countries ( including , in India ) , which are very expensive

And for every rich person in need of such an escort service , there are a hundred , not-so-rich and needy persons , who just need someone online , from time to time , to pour out their hearts !

I believe , thousands of educated / unemployed Indians are well placed to render such " Listening " services to needy persons all around the World , remotely , using Skype / FaceTime

Here is an outline of my suggestion , re how young / educated / unemployed Indians can offer such service :


    This strictly " Online " service will have a platform called ,  ( supported by a Mobile App )


    There will be two kinds of users who will register on this site , viz:
    *  " Talkers " , who want to engage someone who will listen to them / sympathize with them
    *  " Listeners " , who will  listen patiently / ask occasional question / offer advice - sympathy - empathy


For both type of users , the Registration Form will require to submit following details :

*  Personal Details ( Name / DOB / Gender / Nationality / Bank Account No /  Photo / Short Video etc )

*  Family Details  ( Who are members of immediate family ? )

*  Contact Details ( Address / Mobile No / Email ID / Skype - FaceTime ID / WatsApp..etc )

*  Social Media Footprint  ( Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter : No of Friends - Contacts - Connections - Followers )

*  Cultural Exposure ( Countries visited / lived-in , with stay-periods / Foreign friends )

*  Educational Details ( Degrees / Colleges ) . Listeners having degree in Psychology will get ranked higher !

*  Language Details ( Languages spoken / fluently - reasonably well )

*  Experience Details ( Where worked / for how long ) . Retired / Worldly Wise , Listeners get ranked higher !

*  Availability Details ( Available from - to / GMT- Local time )

Based on the completeness of the Registration Form Details , a software will rate and rank the Listeners , which will
 be visible to the Talkers

There will be facility to update / edit the data submitted

Upon registration , users will be assigned USER ID and PASSWORD

In addition , Listener will be assigned a unique COUCH / INTERVIEW-CABIN number


    Talkers will be able to search the database of the registered Listeners , except for their " Contact Details "

    Talkers can , then select / shortlist , a few listeners of their preference


    Talkers will pay $ 2 per hour to the portal , which will credit this amount to the Bank Account of the concerned
    Listener , after deducting 10 % as its own commission


    Using online payment gateway , Talkers will deposit a minimum of $ 20 , on the portal as PRE-PAID amount

    As Talker continues using the service , credit balance will get displayed ( in and in " Hours " terms )

    There will be facility for online ( or through Mobile ) re-charging of the account


    A Listener can login anytime and occupy his own virtual COUCH / CABIN ( " I am now available for listening " )

    As soon as he does , a GREEN light will shine on the CABIN , showing the online availability of the concerned
    Listener . 

This green light will tell the Talkers : " Welcome ! I am ready to listen "

    The light will turn RED , as soon as a Talker walks into Listener's CABIN ( " I am engaged right now " )

    Any time a Talker logs in , he will find if any Listeners ( that he had previously shortlisted ) are available online

    If he finds one , he simply CLICKS on the CABIN icon and enters that VIRTUAL cabin !

    Simultaneously , both the Talker and the Listener , turn on their Skype ( on Mobile or Tablet ) to start the talk

    Remember , Skype ID of neither the Talker , nor the Listener , is ever visible to each other !

    All conversation / transaction , can ONLY take place through ( no bypassing ! )

    The entire conversation will get recorded ( Video + Audio ) and can be downloaded by the Talker ( but not by
    the Listener ) , if he so desires

   Portal will be obliged to make this recording available to a Court of Law , in case of any litigation

   Portal will carry a WARNING that it reserves the right to remove any Talker or a Listener , if it finds that its
  service is being misused / abused ( will need defining , in detail )


    At the end of each " talk / conversation " ,  Talker will be obliged to " Rate " the concerned Listener
    on a 5 point scale ( Excellent > Horrible ) . 

Cumulative / Average " Rating " will be prominently
   displayed for guidance of all Talkers . 

Of course , a Listener can see his own rating as soon as he logs in

   At some future date , it should be possible ( through appropriate software ) , to introduce following variations in

   pricing of the service ( ie ; Hourly Rates ) :

   *  Surge Pricing ( depending upon the DEMAND  of any given Listener ) ie: No of Talkers waiting for a given
       Listener at a given point of time

   *  Reputation Pricing , based on points accumulated by a given Listener from all past ratings


    For each user ( Listener or Talker ) , there will be a Usage History page of all the past transactions / talks ; as
    also Credit Balance ( for the Talker ) and the Earnings ( for the Listener )


    The portal will NOT reveal any info / data ( including Audio-Video recording ) of any user to anyone else.

    However , portal will reserve the rights to subject those Audio recordings ( but not Video recordings ) to
    an Artificial Intelligence ( AI ) software , which can , over a course of time , come up with a SOFTWARE ROBOT
    that can take over the role of the HUMAN listeners !  If you have any doubts , ask Ray Kurzweil  !

    When that happens , this portal may morph into a PPO ( Psychology Process Outsourcing ) !

    The portal will also reserve the rights to use the Audio recordings for offering Voice-to-Voice language
     translation mobile app for the benefit of world-travelers


     To an extent , the portal may affect the jobs of local Psychologists / Psycho-Analysts who offer low level
     consulting in any country. They will be in danger of being " Bangalored " ! So , it is bound to face resistance
     from those vested / threatened interests !

     But foreign Hospitals / Educational Institutions / NGOs / Medical Colleges , etc could be targeted for promoting


    Business Model will be in the nature of " Sharing Economy " , where those owning / possessing " Idle / Spare /
    Under-utilized " assets / resources , will offer the same to those in need / when in need , for a price


    Millions of private car-owners use their cars for ( may be ) two hours per day . Uber aggregates this spare
    capacity and makes it available to travelers who do not own ( or wish to own ) their own cars

    Both parties benefit . Economy also benefits by fuller utilization of the spare/surplus capacities of millions of

23  June  2017 / blogs

Thursday, 22 June 2017

How to Rank Resumes ?

In an email to Prof Rahul Deshmukh ( IIT – Mumbai ) , I had suggested following approach :

Feb 18 , 2013

Dear Team

Google calls it PageRank – to decide the importance of a web page – then use this number to decide the rank ( position ) of that page within the search results

Let us follow Google ( very safe ! )

And call our “ Ranking Mechanism “ of any given resume , a “ Pa-Rank

Then arrange all arriving resumes ( in the mailbox of a Recruiter or on our web site ), in the descending order of their Pa-Rank

Highest ranked at the top

So , the Recruiter need to open / read only the top 5 - 7  !  No  more  !

In much the same manner that 95% of the searchers never go beyond the first 3 pages of any search-result despite millions of pages

Just imagine how much time it will save the recruiters to zero-in on the best candidates from amongst hundreds applying for any given job

This has the potential to revolutionize the On-line recruitment industry !

How can we determine a candidate’s Pa-Rank ?

Just like PageRank , which takes into account,

#   No of Incoming links to a given page

#   Importance of each incoming link ( based on its own incoming links )

No doubt , Google’s actual algorithm must be very complex – and continues to evolve

Thru our mobile app , “ Resume Blaster “ ( and someday , thru app “ My Jobs “ as well ), we pick-up the “ Contact List “ ( of mobile nos ) of say, Ajay ( a user registered on our site )

These are his “ Primary Incoming Links “ – say , 40

Out of these 40 , say , 10 have also registered on our site AND , are also using our mobile app “ Resume Blaster

In turn , these 10 have , between them , 600 contacts ( “ Secondary Incoming Links “ )

So , for Ajay , total Incoming links =  40+600 =  640

Now , if Ajay thinks he has figured out how our software computes Pa-Rank then he will somehow find out the mobile number of Mukesh Ambani , and add into his “ Contacts “ – assuming that at one stroke ,he can add ONE MILLION incoming links to himself !

But , we know that such high-flying executives are unlikely to have registered on our site – much less , to be using our app , “ Resume Blaster “ !

Hence we treat this as a “ Dead Incoming Link

On top of that , we can further refine our Pa-Rank based on,

#   The frequency with which Ajay keeps calling each of those 10 persons ( who have registered on our site AND are also using our app “ Resume Blaster “ )

#   The duration of each call ( or even text message ? )

We can multiply / sum-up / find average ,  etc of such “ exchanges of messages – both ways “ and arrive at some “ FACTOR

Then multiply the “  Total No of Live Incoming Links “ with this “ FACTOR “ , to compute PaRank

Looks crude , no doubt !

But Google has proved that it works !

What PageRank is for all the web pages in the World , someday , PaRank will be to all the resumes ( which too , like any web page , are documents ) , in India

We must do it !

On internet , “ Ideas are dime-a-dozen “

But elegant executions are rare !

8 years earlier ( on 21 Dec 2005 ) , I had sent the following proposal to the Shri Ashish Kashyap ( the then Country Manager - Google India ) :

It was only this week that Google launched “ Google Job Search “ ( for USA jobs )

I am sure someone in Google will read this blog – then implement it to change the rules of Online Recruitment Industry !

23  June  2017