Saturday, April 12, 2008

Failing to plan lead to rise in Food Prices?

Sometime back there was a discussion in this blog only, about the issue – “ That if you give a person , you feed him for a day and if you teach him to do fishing you feed him for all life time “. There was a discussion followed to it. My logic was that if we focus on agricultural productivity and try to create a level playing field for it rather then doing some short term exercise to gain popularity looking at the ballot box, and then our agricultural sector will experience sustainable growth. And that time, I predicted, on response to a Comment of Anthony Mitchell, that if we don’t follow this policy, we will soon lead to food security issues.

It is very surprising, that within a month, we have started facing the problem of food crisis which lead to rise of food proces. I have predicted, that, as an outcome of present agricultural planning .

We have to take bold steps now in the direction of agricultural productivity . Export barrier might be a short time solutions for handling it . But it is not going to work in long term to manage the supply side constraints.

There is requirement of new line of thought , that how should we gain agricultural productivity.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Global food crisis – what’s wrong in our food planning?

UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization commented that , 36 countries are currently facing a food crisis — 21 of them in Africa.

So, that says that we are in the middle of a global food crisis. The estimated production of rice and wheat for 2007-08 is much below the actual consumption, and as a result the global buffer stock has depleted substantially.

What’s wrong with our food planning?

They say that the contributing factor is . “A number of wheat and rice exporting countries have introduced measures to discourage export and in some countries exports have been banned altogether .Egypt has banned rice exports from April. But the deeper cause remains again the way we are not giving the due importance to agricultural sector .

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Indian Planning Experience of last 50 years

The Planning commision of India published a document. Indian Planning Experience for last 50 years. The document is very statistical in nature and less analytical . However on the 26 pages it covers most of the macro economic aggregrates - like Gross Domestoc Product, National Incomes, Per capita Income,Share of public and private sectors in Gross Domestic Capital formation. Though it carries most information upto the period of 1999-2000. It would give an positive experience in terms of statistics. Seeing the document, it seems that we have a come a long way from our independence, and shown some growth, on selected conventional measurement criteria's. You can find the document clicking here .....

The question still to be asked is ... have we really grown ? Quantatively it shows .. that yes we have grown on terms of those assement criteria .

What about qualitative growth ?

This answere can be given by you only.

I can just put some key assement criteria for qualitative growth -

1) Growth of respect in our culture
2) Growth of respect in the 10,000 years tradition of India
3) And finding out that whether every people in the country carries the character of the nation , or they are divided into their local , regional and individual character.

I think , the third point is very important , which only can reflect our overall growth .

What is a character of our nation ? and who carries that national character ? How do we know that national character ?

Does every Indian carries the character of India ?

If it is so, then we have definitly grown as we have gone beyond the barriers of individual , local, social and state and become a citizen of the nation.

Researching on Research

I have always wandered, that can there be any particular method , to find an orginal thought which can be supported by some original data . Recently , a client came to me for a extensive market research project . While , trying to create a practicle proposal for him , I found that only combination of quantative and qualatitive research can satisfy his needs reflected on a wide variety of reference terms . Infact, on the date collection end also , it requires a combination of primary and secondary data to make something very justified on terms of cost and quality .

As market research is a very close partner of Business plan , there has been common debate , that what is the best way, to develop a business plan . Will it start from the emotional quotient of entreprenuer, and focus on what he desires to do and then it would meet in the end to an market need which was unaddressed . This can be ideally referred as inside-out approach . Where you have already build the hypothesis and you want to prove it by facts.

Or, it would start from a unaddressed market need. And then it would be outside-in . Where you will collect the data , and according to the analysis and insight on the data , would build the hypothesis ?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Demystifying IPO Process

Recently there is a trend, which I am seeing in the companies who are coming for Business Planning services . They all wanted , that a future provision of IPO, remains on the plan . It seems there is an IPO craze now and there is mystic glory assoiciated with the word IPO. Let me try to demystify it litlle.

Initial public offering (IPO), also referred to simply as a "public offering," is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately-owned companies looking to become publicly traded.

The IPO process would start from assitant service taken from underwriting firm , before going to the relevant regulatory authority for an issue. Underwriting firm, will help to determine what type of security to issue (common or preferred), best offering price and time to bring it to market.

Underwriting refers to the process that a large financial service provider (bank, insurer, investment house) uses to assess the eligibility of a customer to receive their products like equity capital, insurance, mortgage or credit to a customer.So , if you look at the underwriting process , which is basis of going for an IPO an approaching an regulatory authority , then it is evident that , putting it right in the Business plan , makes a lot of sense as management can then put an strategy in place to work out successfully the IPO game.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Business planning approach -Outside-In or Inside Out ?

I was in a teleconference last Saturday , where there where people, from three countries participating in the conference.

It was the prelude discussion, with my recent Business planning work on raising fund for building a telecom setup in Middle East . The execution of the plan would require huge amounts of funds to be there.

“ So, what do you think would be the components of the plan ? – a question thrown towards me.
And the discussion headed around the key issues, which a business plan could address.

However, they are different from the issues, which a Business plan should address.
A business plan could address the technology structure , architecture and implementation and marketing of the technology .

What a business plan should address, is the Business DNA (the core value proposition ) , the long term viability of that value proposition and expansion of that value proposition to different categories or management functionalities.. like Finance , Marketing , Talent Management , Operation , Business organization .

Can you understand the difference between , what a Business planner is perceived to do and what he really does.?

Infact , he is perceived to take a outside-in approach and cut and paste all details and organize them in a proper document structure.

In reality ,to make a successful business plan , the planner should understand the core thought of the Business – i.e .. what does the business stands for ? and then extend that understanding to diversified group of business functionalities and process, that the business will undertake.

And then only , the process of collecting information and oragnising them in a document structure could work very well.

Infact a good business plan is created by a combination of inside-out and outside-in approach .