Wednesday, March 25, 2015

POST OFFICE MIS KILLED….CHIT FUNDS GREW

Over the past 4 years this segment have been killed and today their is no one to hear the pain of the investors who lost their funds doing investments in chit funds.Post office savings have been hammered and the UPA government spoiled and also prospects of growth of small savings. They have promoted indirectly Chit Funds to grow which will capture the small ticket size business. Post Office MIS used to be one of the best avenues for small savings promoting and also a relief for the senior citizens particularly when the bank interest was falling. But with effect from 1st December, 2011 the post office MIS was killed.

The post office agents for whom the Post office MIS was an avenue for earning bread and butter and also they are the key personnel for connecting the rural as well as the aged people with the Post Office MIS.  They connected every common man who was looking aggressively for parking their small savings –post office agents played a crucial role. Further these post office agents used to pick up and deposit the savings for the aged people and provided one of the efficient services to the end user. The whole of India was being served by these post office agents.

Prior to December 2011 these agents used to get 1% as commission for the MIS which was brought down to 0.5% from 31st December 2011. This created great loss for the bread earners and also the new ones who were planning to join –they even dropped down. The service slowly dried away and chit funds became a big player in the market. They took the advantage of regulation and played their won game.

Scams erupted only after 2 to 3 years from the day the commission for Post Office agents were scrapped. The looser at the end of the day is the consumer alone. Those people who knew less about savings and relied heavily on these post office agents were in deep waters once these agents moved out of the post office. Chit Funds came, exploited the market and made millions in their pocket. With the change of government suddenly these scams came into lime light and now the current governments are being blamed.
We discuss about income –inequalities and financial inclusion but how that inclusion would come riding on whose shoulders is never considered. In India we all know that intermediaries plays pivotal role for the success of any business and expansion and maturity of a market. When the government down have his own people to connect the gaps, neither could provide services to the aged and rural people who are less educated about investments and small savings. Then why UPA government did killed the commission system and eradicated a well established business which was promoting small savings and corpus for the government under the Post Office MIS.

Post office MIS agents played pivotal role in financial inclusion. They educated people about small savings and promoted creating large corpus over the long term. We need to bring back the 1% commission regime so that post office MIS gets back its flavour. This will also create independent financial entrepreneurs and would block the loophole of frauds and chit funds.

 Post office MIS is still one of the best avenues for promoting financial inclusion.   Giving lectures on the subject and abolishing the intermediaries is not the solution. One needs to think how this inclusion should be reached. When we start thing why then only we can get into how and where.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Technology Based Agricultural Productivity-Indo-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce

The issue of food losses is of high importance in the efforts to combat hunger, raise income and improve food security in the world’s poorest countries. Food losses have an impact on food security for poor people, on food quality and safety, on economic development and on the environment. Economically avoidable food losses have a direct and negative impact on the income of both farmers and consumers. Given that many smallholders live on the margins of food insecurity, a reduction in food losses could have an immediate and significant impact on their livelihoods. For poor consumers (food insecure or at-risk households), the priority is clearly to have access to food products that are nutritious, safe and affordable. It is important to note that food insecurity is often more a question of access (purchasing power and prices of food) than a supply problem.

Demand of Promoting entrepreneurs in Agriculture sector
Hence its high time that countries across the globe promote entrepreneurship in agri sector. Chamber of commerce plays a pivotal role in bridging these gaps and sharing cross border agricultural production process and knowhow. It will also promote investment climate and also sustainable income generation over the long term for the investors. FDI investments would change the landscape of agricultural production when young educated people will join the framers bandwagon. Well this might sound out of the box but what I am about to discuss here is that over the next 10 years the technology market would change dramatically and we would be data driven economy where everything will be calculated in advance before the human mind could make the decision. We need technology to be engraved within agriculture and then only we will find today’s entrepreneurs become attractive towards the industry.

Why Brazil?
The Brazilian agricultural sector has been transformed from a traditional system of production with low use of modern technologies to a world agricultural leader. Between 1985 and 2006, Brazilian agricultural production grew by 77 percent and Brazil emerged as a major international agricultural exporter. This is the reason why Indo-Brazilian chamber of commerce should be the best game changer for the Indian agricultural industry. With the world’s largest arable land area of 76 million hectares (IBGE, 2010), fi fth largest population base (FAO, 2011), and strong record of agricultural production and exports, the attention focused on the country is not surprising.Brazil’s agricultural development is a result of sustained investments in science and technology that led to a stream of new technologies.

Agricultural farming should be promoted in such a way that young tech savvy generations could easily grab the stupendous opportunity of cultivation. In my recent research I have found that technology based cultivation process could excite the opportunities for young entrepreneurs to come and join agricultural sector. Big data analytics tools and techniques using algorithms could transform the agricultural landscape across the globe. Indo-Brazilian chamber of commerce could create synergies of transforming the knowledge of agricultural process followed with entrepreneurs coming into one platform to create new dimensions to the agriculture segment. My research is focused towards the next 10 years down the line where Micro chips would be the best friend of human mankind. Indo-Brazilian chamber of commerce plays fragile role in uplifting the agricultural productivity landscape of both the countries.

Technology Revolution for Agriculture sector-Indo-Brazilian Support Required
Before we get into the steps of creating growth opportunities for Brazil and India we need to have a quick look towards the history of agricultural productivity.
1700s (Subsistence Farming): Farmers produced the minimum amount of food necessary to feed their families and have some in reserve for the cold winter months.
1800s (Farming for Profit): This era marked the transition from subsistence farming to for-profit farming. This is when the widespread use of barns began, for the purpose of storing tools, crops, and related equipment. These were called pioneer farms.
Early 1900s (Power Farming): At this time, the “power” came in the form of 1,800- pound horses. The farmers used animals for plowing, planting, and transporting crops. The use of animal labor drove the first significant increase in crop productivity.
Mid- to late 1900s (Machine Farming): Sparked by the Industrial Revolution, this era’s farmers relied on the automation of many of the tasks formerly done by hand or animal. The addition of machinery created tremendous gains in productivity and quality.
This shows the maturity of the agriculture market over the last few 300 years and now the time has come to create revolution through inviting entrepreneurs into this platform. Data would be used to enrich a current business process, but not necessarily change the process but Indo-Brazilian Chamber of commerce could strike a deal of change.  Skills advanced proven technological advancements, innovative organic productivity and making the process of cultivation to be data driven and satellite linked based reports. Data should be used as key raw material for increasing the business and making the process of cultivation attractive to budding young generation.

The time has come when I will share few processes of enriched Brazilian and Indian technology and investments initiatives which can be taken to make agriculture to be a tech related job opportunity and entrepreneurship platform.  
If you could understand that how to use geospatial information for enhancing productivity which is a different proposition then this industry would be one of the best industries for the global economy to grow. Remember that agri-income are 100% tax free hence one can measure the cumulative growth of his investments over the long term particularly the entrepreneurs
Few of the key technological based data driven farming process where apiece of a MICRO CHIP plated in the grounds could provide efficient information about soil and plant. This saves cost and also saves humans from the inorganic affects of farming. Now if I tell you few of the systems of capturing the farm data which could improvise the agricultural process of cultivation and making it attractive proposition for entrepreneurs
Yield monitoring: Track crop yield by time or distance, as well as distance and bushels per load, number of loads, and fields.
Yield mapping: Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, along with yield monitors, provide spatial coordinates, which can be used to map entire fields.
Variable-rate fertilizer: Managing the application of a variety of fertilizer materials.
Weed mapping: Mapping weeds using a computer connected to a GPS receiver while adjusting the planting strategy, as needed.
Variable spraying: Once you know weed locations from weed mapping, spot control can be practiced.
Topography and boundaries: Creating highly accurate topographic maps using a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS). This data can be used to take action on yield maps.
Salinity mapping: This is valuable in interpreting yield maps and weed maps, as well as tracking the salinity over a period of time.
Guidance systems: Guidance systems, such as DGPS (accurate to a foot or less) are valuable for assessing fields.
Records and analyses: Large data collection is necessary to store pertinent data assets, along with images and geospatial information. It is important that this information can be archived and retrieved for future use.
Well the above one are the few of the metrics which needs to be adopted into technology based agri-cultivation where Indo-Brazilian chamber of commerce can play a significant role just creating synergies of knowledge and information. Capturing the farm data and using the same through apps and technology based driven process is the key to success of the agricultural output.
But the opportunity does not end here but it starts from here. Lack of digital equipment, lack of skilled technology labor, poor distribution of electricity, and poorly defined processes are the opportunities of creating value by the Indo-Brazilian Chamber of commerce. We need to foreign intellectual capital, investments and innovations process on different climates and lands for the success of bringing change in agricultural productivity.
Developing sensing equipments: Mounted devices on machinery, in fields, or anywhere near crops could be designed to collect/stream data or to control the application of water, pesticides, etc. This could range from instrumented tractors for harvesting to devices to monitor crop transpiration.
Geographic Information System (GIS): GIS assesses changes in the environment, tracks the spread of disease, as well as understanding where soil is moist, eroded, or has experienced similar changes in condition. Once you know weed locations from weed mapping, spot control can be implemented.

This process would drive new shapes and opportunities for cultivations. Real time decision making and also the biggest advantage of control of loss is going to be the key factor behind data driven cultivation. Variable productivity and efficient utilization of organic items would change the efficiency of cultivation followed with minimal loss to the human mankind. Export and interchange of intellectual capital would open new gates for Brazil and India in terms of agri-productivity.

Monday, March 16, 2015

DIGITIZATION OF INDIA ..OPPORTUNITY FOR INDO-BRAZILIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

Our generation is the age of impatience where we spend less time running or waiting for something in our life. We need everything at the speed of optical fiber. The biggest gift of globalization is that knowledge is free and one can use the same to create turnaround in the world economy. This is what we have witnessed in the last 2 decades in India and also on the global platform. But at the same time we find that there is a huge income inequality which is widening every day and after the recession the gap has widened enough. Rural development across the globe is a priority through which one can get growth and can solve the gaps of income –inequality. Chamber of commerce particularly the cross border ones are the best ones to come ahead in this area. I will be discussing the same today here in a broader pattern. One needs to understand the place where one can create difference in the society development followed with revenues.   Entrepreneurship are required by every economy hence cross border chambers of commerce could play a significant role. We need change in entrepreneurship culture.

After the recession of 2008 doing investments in sustainable assets over the long term has become a challenge and an opportunity. What I am trying to figure out is that where and how the cross border chamber of commerce can come together to create global synergies where in-equalities are resolved. Time has come where we need to partner and move aggressively with these cross border Chambers of commerce to drive business and growth. We need to change the landscape of entrepreneurship and opportunities.

If India needs to become one of the 2nd largest economies then one needs to throw a higher challenge to the neighbouring countries simply by connecting the huge population of India. the ambitious ‘Digital India’ drive, Kerala’s Idukki obtained the distinction of being the first district in the country in January this year to be linked to the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) which aims to offer high-speed broadband connectivity in all villages in India. The fibre, laid by the state-run BSNL, is expected to assist NOFN to launch next-gen services and employment opportunities.

What India is doing delay in understanding is that increase in network connectivity would open mass business opportunities.  According to a 2009 World Bank report, in low- and middle-income countries such as India, every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration could increase GDP by 1.4 percentage points. Indio- Brazilian chamber of commerce can come together to bridge these gaps of knowledge and can upgrade the level of society. This same theory has been measured correctly by World Bank.  Indo-Brazilian chamber of commerce could come together where efficient use of technology promoting business opportunities and society development and bridging the income inequality could be used.

In between the smart phone penetration India has spooked another bubbling opportunity to the entire India where everyone is trying to create networks and spread opportunities of growth. Mobile subscribers figures are close to 100 crore and hence stupendous achievement for digital India to take a giant knowledge based hub. But there is question about the content which provides this knowledge since everyone don’t have the same intelligence or power of grabbing the same knowledge. So content of upgrading the information is a big responsibility. Hence preparing and presenting information in an easy format is an opportunity for the entrepreneurs.
Growing technology demand also raises the alarm of high imports of devices and instruments. Currently, India imports electronic goods worth $100 billion every year. By 2020, this is expected to grow to $400 billion. Hence engineering and computer background knowledge fellows have stupendous opportunities for coming as entrepreneurs in these segments. Indo-Brazilian chamber of commerce can easily come together to create India into a manufacturing hub at the same time promoting joint entrepreneurship where India and Brazil both could benefit from the same. Well there is another problem that we need educated investors to grow these entrepreneurs markets and replace India from import to export market of tech products.  This is another core area where Brazilian investors community can easily promote and deployed their capital for creation of long term assets generating sustainable income over the long term. Remember that normal ROI and sustainable ROI are two different things and the later one has more demand currently compared to the former one. Global recession has created this demand. The depth of the immense opportunity lays in the hands of chamber of commerce particularly the ones who are having cross border.

Countries like the US, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and China, Malaysia and Israel run their own fab facilities that continue to contribute significantly to the growth and development of their economies. Hence in India we find there is significant opportunity for this industry to grow and for this extensive technical knowledge sharing followed with investors class who can understand these projects are going to be the key game changers for both the economies to grow.

 I find that Indo-Brazilian chamber can be a game changer since both the economy share common structural problems of economic growth and hence cross border, rural focused investment strategies are going to be the game changers. This will lead to huge employment opportunities and growth due to experts coming from advanced economies.
According to NASACOM-Impact of Digital India by 2019

  •         Broadband in 2.5 lakh villages, universal phone connectivity
  •        Net Zero Imports by 2020
  •         400,000 Public Internet Access Points
  •          Wi-fi in 2.5 lakh schools, all universities; Public wi-fi hotspots for citizens
  •         Digital Inclusion: 1.7 crore trained for IT, Telecom and Electronics
  •         Jobs Job creation: Direct 1.7 crore and Indirect at least 8.5 crore
  • ·       E-governance and E-services across government
  •          India to be leader in deploying IT for services across health, education, banking
  •           Digitally empowered citizens-public Cloud, Internet access

Hence the opportunities are huge for the chamber of commerce to come together.On the other hand up gradation of digital facilities is a challenge and this itself creates more opportunities for the countries to build long term sustainable assets for investments.

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