Tag Archives: Ireland

June 4, Wednesday: Catch up on Gratitude and Memory

June 2: Gratitude:

1. Ireland
As I realise I have spent over a decade here, I have to thank Ireland for the love, the welcome, the journey, the good times, the tough times, the lessons and the life it has given me!

2. Good Times
One can quite easily forget how lucky we are to be able to enjoy the good times we do. I often do. Spending hours talking to old friends, laughing with new friends, converting strangers into friends and waking up with a pain from all the laughing are all signs we have had a bloody good time!!

3. Excitement
When was the last time you did something so exciting you felt them butterflies?! I am going through a VERY exciting period and I am loving it all!!!

June 3: Moment

As I am looking for a place for me to move into, I can’t help but remember the first few times I shared. Having never shared my room before, I was so excited about having a roomie though that died soon after- despite all the fun times.

Sharing a room taught me about the personality clashes, the differences amongst people, how different people prioritise different things and life in general. Thank you lady for being part of such a fun and learning experience!

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Filed under Weekly Gratitude, Weekly Memory

The state of Ireland…

For those in Ireland, we all know we are f*cked.
For those not in Ireland, you know we are f*cked.

Enjoy these- ‘cos though they are funny, they actually may turn out to be true!!

For an Indian, this is even funnier:

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Guilty EVEN when proven innocent!!

The other day, I had to make my annual pilgrimage to get my visa sorted. I find that a simple 20 min task to get both immigration and visa sorted spans over 2 days and is bl**dy painful.

Simple changes could really make things SO efficient:

  • Have one window do both the tasks- so what if they are 2 different departments?!
  • Get people to book appointments so they can do other things and don’t spend hours sitting there
  • Provide desks for those who want to work on the move so the productivity element can carry on
  • Why have someone stand there to hand out tickets? If they are checking the documents anyway, maybe they can figure a quicker way of processing them too?
  • Why not let someone be efficient by giving them a ticket while they go get a postal order- saves them time and has people out quicker- win-win!
  • Why not accept credit cards and not make people waste money on getting a postal order?
  • Allow the visa and registration to last longer than a year
  • Make the long-term visa quicker to get so people don’t have to do this annually
  • Make it possible to renew online
  • Treat people with respect- if they are in the immigration office, they are either working, married to someone who is working or studying here and therefore, in all instances, they are bringing money into the economy!
  • Maybe have a separate process for the different stamps or priority queues or something
  • And why oh why close the office of the second step so much earlier than the first step- it means, people have to return the next day and therefore, need 2 days away for this bureaucratic sh!te!!

Worst thing is the way the people treat you in there- even if you have all the paperwork, you have everything done right, you are treated with disrespect and piece of sh!t- it’s as if you are guilty despite having been proven innocent and it’s as if you are worse than scum.

Basically, it’s a horrible experience and one I truly dislike, especially since it could be so quick, so efficient, so pleasant for all involved. Is this what I pay my taxes plus the f*cking expensive registration fees for?! I mean, I paid a HUGE amount for a green card, and then I have to pay for registration and finally for a visa- POINTLESS!!!! Do it in one go and charge me an extra 50- the saved time is well worth it or rather, don’t charge SO much every single time.

 

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Filed under Management, My Day, Ramblings, Travel

Businessmen are politicians too

If the past few weeks have taught me anything, it is that politics is a part of our lives more than we realise.

There is politics everywhere- whether it is the politics of sucking up to a boss, the politics of smiling when angry, the politics of being seen to do the right thing, the politics of being at the right event, the politics of living- no matter where one is, we are surrounded by a certain politic!

And often I have wondered why certain competitions care about who we are, who we hang out with, who we date, who we share houses with, where we live, where we went to school, what have we faced in our lives, what we need to more etc etc etc and realised that it is primarily because if you are a leader/ if you are in the public eye, no matter whether you are a public servant or not, you have certain responsibilities and you have to adhere to them!

Ah well, lesson learnt, I just need to be more careful, esp in Ireland, where the business community is small and I stand out for being different… So much for thinking I could be the first generation in years to stay away from politics!

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Happy Diwali!

There are few things in life that are as beautiful as a festival that brings everyone together, makes them laugh, smile, make memories and be merry- Christmas, Eid, Hannukah etc- they all do that- bring people together and make people share their love for each other… but for obvious reasons, my favourite is Diwali. Holi is the one I enjoy the most but there is something magical about Diwali.

Every year, my celebrations start off at Dusshera which marks the beginning of the financial year in my community- it implies new shoes, new financial budgets and a day with the family. As kids we used to always end up going to see the Ravana burning but as we grew older, that charm became lesser but it is still a great day- especially as it signals the start of teen-patti, our version of poker.

The 3 weeks leading to Diwali from Dusshera are full of parties, card games, family catch up, celebrations, candles, nuts, crackers, beauty and though the roads are crazy busy, one gets no sleep, everyone is tired, the mood is almost always very uplifting and everyone is joyous- no one cares of religions, no one cares of caste differences, no one cares of anything but wanting to have a good time… it has been 2 years since I was at home, with my mother, with my family for Diwali and I really miss it.

So this year, even though I don’t manage a game of teen-patti, I can’t give my mum a hug, I have no space to make a rangoli of flowers, I am lucky enough to have a few friends coming to spend the evening with me- so far only one, but it could be more.

While doing the weekly grocery shop today, I bought the house knives to mark Dhanteras tomorrow. On Thursday, to mark the occasion I am going to see Alpha & Omega 3D- what better way of doing something than seeing the fruits of the labour by my aunt, brother and the rest of their team before coming home to light a few diyas to mark Chotti Diwali. I have even convinced Ryan that on Saturday, we should go to the office for Goverdhan puja– now I will not be going the whole hog but an agarbatti or two, some dhoop and a teeka on the till should atleast get us blessed by Lakshmiji! But sadly, nothing can replace the hugs from my brothers, the kheer with the family, the jokes, the madness that makes Bhaidooj the festival it is- the only upside to it is that I don’t need to starve myself till I feed my brothers!

In this global world, one has to be thankful for the love of friends, the joys of the internet (to get me images of Laxmi and Ganesh), the telecommunication possible and for all the tiny blessings one has.

Happy Diwali to you. Here’s wishing you a very prosperous year.

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Filed under Culture, Family, Friends

Pocketful of rainbows, heart full of love

So, living in the country where it rains constantly, rainbows become quite the regular occurrence but sometimes, one needs a pocketful of rainbows and this ad is all about that heart full of love!

And it makes my city look SO pretty!

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Here’s a little bit about the making of it- great to see that in this world of technology, something’s are still done the old-fashioned, simple way!

Talking of simplicity, I am well-impressed by this non-Irish dude who works in Temple Bar- while all the Irish are trying to come up with these techie ideas and make their big buck, he has a simple ply board with the Irish flag, leprechauns and beer glasses and 3 holes for faces, clicks a pic for a fiver and since he’s printing about 400 pics a day, he is looking at about 10k for 5 day’s work- how cool is that?! Simple and effective- now, that’s what I call getting out there and just doing it.

While on the topic, my top 3 of the week:

  • Didn’t burst into tears at the last class night out last week- seriously proud of myself for that one!
  • Balance between work and college and life was amazing and I even managed a good amount of sleep.
  • I brought a smile on 20 faces at least when I gave them a card summing the experiences we shared together.

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Filed under Management, Ramblings, Weekly Achievements

Some Amazing Advice

Over the last 2-3 days, I have been VERY lucky to have had some amazing conversations, met some really cool people and learnt some sound advice, especially on what to bear in mind when in a startup.

The 2 people whose advice I am capturing below are some amazing individuals:

  • BM: A venture capitalist specialising in technology startups. Best known for his/ his company’s involvement in eBay and Bebo and for missing out on Skype.
  • SM: A very out-there sort of a guy whose passion lies in connecting culture and businesses together. He now heads a non-for-profit organisation to bridge the gap between the 2 sides.

Both of them are amazing people and have some awesome ideas, thoughts and experiences, some of the key points are captured below:

  • Know when to replace the entrepreneur with a CEO
  • Have a clear exit strategy- i.e. go public or sell- have a timeline in place
  • Know your cash flow- on a daily basis
  • Have an amazing board that are not involved everyday
  • Let there be NO surprises
  • Have a strong understanding of the different stakeholders and create the organisational identity based on that
  • Collaborate, don’t compete
  • Constantly be aware of the changing landscape around you

On a completely unrelated note, I met up with TS last night and we have both agreed that the timing sucks for us- with him being out of the country so much, and me being out of the city as much and us being together so little but to continue spending time together and hanging out and seeing how it goes. I am absolutely delighted. The others are still on the scene and this party of 4 is certainly very interesting but I am having a great time… Either which way, I hope TS and I can overcome these obstacles because he is still leading my a long shot!

Enjoy the weekend folks- if you are in Ireland, do head towards Dun Laoghaire for the brilliant festival of food, music and good times! Maybe I’ll bump into you there- hopefully the weather will hold!

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Filed under Culture, Dating, Management, My Day

Heya all!

So I just had a few moments today to just sit back and reflect on so many things happening in my life and here’s my week so far- pretty charmed life, I lead eh?

On Monday, I got offered the role of a CEO of a SME in Ireland- now that’s pretty darn cool, in my opinion! And then I spent the rest of the evening with close friends just chuckling, smiling and having a good time 🙂

Tuesday was a quite day with alot of visits to the toilet and knowing I have a doctor mate who dropped by to check up on me, with a bottle of wine in tow, made me laugh! I mean seriously, doc, I haven’t even in 24 hours and you want to pop open some wine to celebrate? You went with non-bubbly ‘cos of my health- oh how nice of you! Thanks for the laugh doc 🙂 [Incase you are worried, it turned out to be 7up in the wine bottle and he was troubling me but hey, it was amusing]

I went for a tour in the Convention Centre Dublin on Wednesday and wow! What an amazing building- completely carbon neutral, a PPP that seems to be favoured towards the public while still making a profit for the private entity and 8000 capacity on the 5 floors! I am blown away with the way everything was so high-tech and all- maybe in the years to come, it wouldn’t remain so good… but for the moment, I can see a lot of potential to it. My biggest issue is the lack of connected hotel- when I go away for conferences and such, I tend to prefer staying in the same hotel than commuting… I know they are connected to Ritz Carlton in Powerscourt but that’s gonna be not easy!

And today, I was reminded of an old song I used to love- there was an Indipop version of it too but for the life of me, I cannot remember it- so if anyone could tell me where I can get either the French or the Indian version of the song, I would be very grateful- it’s a very soothing tune. I also learnt a random fact that there were over 2 billion videos viewed on YouTube yesterday- that’s some traffic!!!

Some interesting links I enjoyed reading today:

Big hips on women = potential memory loss!

China is STILL trying to control its people’s thoughts!

What a way to start what you’d hope to be a lasting relationship!!

Opening wine by using a shoe- certainly wouldn’t manage that in heels!

Indian Rupee has its own symbol now!

The potential of social media marketing (McKinsey Quarterly report)

Testing your decision making gut (McKinsey Quarterly report)

And when to trust that gut? (McKinsey Quarterly report)

And the BEST smile of the day- TS mailed me a reply to an email I sent him on Tuesday because he had promised to do so. He mailed me at 3 am because that’s when he finished work- now, how cute is that? You gotta adore someone as sweet as that 🙂 *Swooooooooooooooooooooon*

And you know what- we are only half way through the week- how cool is this?! Wahay, I love life!

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Filed under Dating, Friends, Management, My Day

Customer Intimacy = Success?

Ok, so theoretically speaking a company can focus on 3 axis:

  • Product Leadership
  • Operational Excellency
  • Customer Intimacy

(This diagram explains the theory further.)

Lately, I have been seeing amazing examples in how Customer Intimacy actually seems to drive long term sustainable growth. I am gonna take a few random examples from my own personal life and this is not based on any theory or study but just my instinct!

  1. Mark Geary– one of my favourite singers- pretty big in US/ Ireland/ Eastern Europe when it comes to singer/ songwriters. He reaches out to his fans through facebook, through myspace and becomes friends with them. Whether it’s an email to help me deal with a sh!t day or a surprise CD to acknowledge my love for his music, he is always there. There is no “I am the star” attitude. There is no “I don’t care for you” feeling. It’s all about a hug, a smile, a pint and a shared connection. Marky, you are my hero! Thanks for your music.
  2. The Bikini Shop– saw them on TV3 Expose yesterday and decided to check out the website. Now I am lucky or unlucky to have a figure that’s not the usual one and I don’t always get my size. Unfortunately the combination of sizes was not on the website so I decided to call them- and they gladly took my size, my preferences and are looking to help me get the bikini I want. Now, that’s service- this feeling of wanting to help me makes me want to go nowhere else- especially since no one has my size anyway!
  3. My local printer- As a photographer, I am constantly printing pictures, getting them framed, and as such, a frequent visitor to the local shop. Now, yesterday I was feeling sick and had absolutely no energy to go anywhere even though I needed to collect a commission from the shop that was due for delivery. So they called me, since they knew its importance to me and when they heard I was unwell, they even asked if they could bring me some groceries and medication. Now, that’s service!

I mean everyone has good products, maybe they have good lean operations (that’s more a cost management internal thing that a customer cannot judge externally) but if the products are comparable, who do you go for?

So if we convert our product focus to service, is it an automatic recipe for success… I truly wonder?

And is this something about the company culture, the training internally or is it just I have been luck to have come across the right people?!!

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