Indian Reality TV

No, I’m not talking about the latest Indian reality based programming, but what is turning into reality for many Indian TV viewers – multiple options. Just a year back you had two options for programming: 1. OTA (over the air) via an antenna, but that limited you to programming by Doordarshan – which loosely translates to “boring and stale programming offered by the government of India” 2. Cable connection offered by the local cable provider. I’m venturing to guess there are more cable providers in Bombay then all of the world and yet not of them compete with each other. Each cable guy has his territory and does what he wants. Service is shoddy at best and was really your only option Enter a new era, in the past couple months DTH (direct to home) satellite providers have been aggressively pushing their products and behind the scenes the IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) providers have been busy with trials. The DTH guys are: 1. Tata Sky – obviously run by the Tata Group one of India’s largest business conglomerates. Tata Sky has been plastering Bombay with ads all over the city and doing demonstrations for large building complexes. I had a chance to sit through one of them and was impressed with it’s offering. 2. dishtv – backed by Subash Chandra of Zee Telefilms Limited and Chairman of the Essel Group of Companies. Subash is known for bringing to India the first private satellite television channel named Zee TV in October 1992. The IPTV folks have been much more quiet but Reliance has a trial going on at Petit Hall apartment building which is located on Nepeansea Road in South Bombay. The feedback from someone I know who lives there is that the “Triple Play” (voice, video, internet) service is good. MTNL has been in the press lately as signing up content providers for their upcoming launch of IPTV. In the end, with all these choices the consumer is going to be the winner.

Hitler in Bombay?

A friend of mine from LA, sent me the link to this article and asked “Are people in India really this ignorant?” The answer is yes, some people are so out of touch with reality that they have no clue how insensitive they are. The link mentioned “A NEW restaurant in India’s financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler…” Yes, Bombay is the financial hub and to be more specific the real action is in Nariman Point. However, this restaurant is in New Bombay (aka Navi Mumbai) and is NOWHERE near the financial hub. To sum up the difference between Bombay and New Bombay is the difference between the 310 and the 909, for all you LA folks! The owner is a complete moron in todays local paper he said the restaurant concept was copyrighted and they are looking to expand…what’s next after India…Israel? Final note, what the fu!#$ are hookahs doing in a restaurant named after Hitler.

UPDATE – Aug 28th, 06 – The place has been renamed The Cross Cafe – I’m quite sure I will still never venture to New Bombay.

Infosys founder retires

In a much anticipated move NR Narayana Murthy stepped down from Infosys at the company mandated age of 60 today. The story of Infosys has been told many times and is quite an inspiration for any entrepreneur. However, less talked about is Murthy’s wife Sudha, the sister of Jaishree Deshpande (wife of serial entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande of Sycamore Networks fame). She came across a job advertisement in February 1974, which said Telco (Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) wanted bright young graduates. But it stated “female candidates need not apply” she than shot off a ‘postcard’ to JRD Tata asking him how a leading and progressive house like the Tatas, “which always thought ahead of time, could put such a restriction.” She went on to become the first lady technical officer at Telco (now Tata Motors). She now runs the Infosys Foundation with the sole objective of uplifting the less-privileged sections of society.
Mr. Murthy’s Milestones:
1967 – Receives Bachelor of Engineering from University of Mysore
1969 – Receives degree from IIT-Kanpur, joins Patni Computer Systems
1981 – Starts Infosys with Rs 10,000 in Pune with 6 other people
1983 – Gets first customer and moves headquarters to Bangalore
1987 – Opens first US office in Boston
1999 – USD 100 million in revenue, first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ 2000 – USD 200 million in revenue
2005 – USD 1 billion in revenue 2006 – USD 2 billion in revenue

Bombay Burrp!

Looking for unbiased restaurant and club reviews in Bombay? Then Burrp! is the answer. The guys that came up with the idea probably felt the same way I felt a year ago when I first got to Bombay. Currently, there are loosely 3 ways to get information on restaurant reviews:
1. TimeOut Mumbai – However, I find the reviews highly biased and more focused on the up market segment
2. Newspaper – this is even more biased towards people that pay to get placement
3. People – the best way to get unfiltered reviews but only if you travel in the same circles

Burrp! has taken #3 and put some structure around it and making it accessible to a large audience of people. Their only competition might come from TimeOut Mumbai who might build up their web presence and add something similar to Burrp! As Burrp! would say – Upwards and Onwards.

Apple Store in Bombay?

Yes and no. Yes, there is finally an Apple store in Bombay, it’s located in the Atria mall on the 3rd floor which is located in Worli. No, it’s not owned by Apple. I was able to speak with Rupesh Pandy the Managing Director of imagine – the Apple Premium Reseller who is authorized to sell Apple products and services in Bombay. He said that Apple uses resellers in Asia to sell and service Apple gear. I was quite impressed with the store, exacting to worldwide Apple standards and the guys were knowledgeable. I had a brief discussion with Rupesh about setting up the Mac mini as a home theater PC and he was able to guide me on several components and even sold them. Check it out next time you are in the area.

Engagement party in Bombay

Hey folks, as many of you know I got engaged a couple month backs. We finally had a party to celebrate the occasion, it was on July 20th at Blue Sea which is located on Worli Seaface. Great venue, it had all the essentials – dinner, drinking and dancing. This has to be the first time that my mom’s family was outnumbered but there is always the wedding. The pics are from my camera and as you can imagine i didn’t get a chance to really use it, waiting for some other pics as well…stay tuned.