Tag Archives: Ashu Bolar

TEDXGateway 2018

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TEDXGateway | Sunday 4th February 2018 | 9.30 AM onwards | Dome@NSCI, Worli | Silver Zone

It was a Sunday well spent. And I am thankful to my friend from IIM Indore PGPMX Batch, Lalita Chandel, who had motivated me to join her in this event. If I would have not, then I guess I would have missed something big time.

Seated in the B row of the Silver Zone (tickets when we registered were Rs. 2500 per person), with Gold and Platinum Zones priced on the higher side; and considering the NSCI seating arrangement, Silver Zone was good enough.

The event started at 9.30 AM with performance by participants as young as 5 years and as old as 60 years – a mix of Mallakhamb by boys and Aerial Rope Gymnastics by girls—a beautiful rhythmic visual delight! And then the host – Rives – one of the best hosts I have come across, ensured no matter what, but the audience remains engaged and entertained.

There were many speakers – almost 30, including the host and the Chris Shedrick’s video talk. I may not remember all speakers in sequence but will try my best from as much as I can recollect, in this article. And it went something like this…

Dr. Anne Madden – a session on Microbiology and role of microbes in the environment
Take Away: The invisible microbes can break an make depending how we use it for the benefit of our planet, our environment.

Dr. Shelja Sen – A talk on Child Psychology
Take Away: No child should be left invisible – normal or specially-abled. WOW could be the way…
W – Your are Worthy as you are
O – You are Original
W – You are Welcome

Dr. Arun Sundarajan – A description of Interactive Digital World as a growing and connecting Media channel
Take Away: Content is king and with the constant use of the Internet, everyone today is a Media Channel. Thius, contact plus connections you make values in the Digital world. News today is a hub to spoke model—trackable hub to spoke model and vice versa, where spoke to spoke interactions are possible. For growth, innovate. For exponential growth, connect. Success today comes from understanding people better not just by creating content or new technology.

Prateek Sharma – On pollution and why use NasoFilters
Take Away: Delhi/Mumbai pollution cuts life by 50 minutes. From among the top ten most polluted cities in the world, four are from India – a list not to be proud of. Particulate pollution is rising on the city roads. PM2.5 in lungs can be dangerous. Every 23 second a person dies in India of air pollution. And it is not just outdoor; indoor is five times more polluted than outside air. Therefore, there is a need for NasoFilter that can stop the inhalation of particles as small as PM2.5 micron particles. NasoFilter, by NanoClean Global, is a nanosolution by India for a massive global problem of Air Pollution. (And there was a sample NasoFilter in the kit provided!)

Dr. Bronwyn King – A Radiation Oncologist on knowing where you invest
Take Away – Majority of the banks and insurance companies invest in tobacco company. That means we invest in tobacco companies. And tobacco is the main culprit behind the rising cancer cases. Tobacco is a major cause of cancer, leads to 50% of deaths in India. About 19700 deaths a day are due to due to tobacco consumtion.So do you really want to make long term investments with good profits by investing in tobacco companies? A matter to think. So, be a heath hero. Invest in company that have tobacco free investment plan. Investment shapes the world. Is investing in tobacco shaping the world? (Think it over people!)

Dr. Jimmy Lin – A Geneticist on the future with advanced Cancer Diagnostics
Take Away: Cancer is a haunting word. Cancer Genomics, Precision Medicine, Immunotherapy – play a significant role in the early detection and treatment of cancers. Medical procedures, Medical Biomarkers and Medical Imaging are important when it comes to detecting cancer. What if from only two vials of blood, we could detect all cancers? It is a possibility in the near future. Early diagnosis means better prognosis. With Targeted Therapy and many ongoing researches, there is a hope and yes, good days are coming soon enough.

Anushka Naiknaware – On managing chronic wounds
Take Away: Chronic wounds…like say diabetic ulcer. It can be debilitating…could lead to amputation. The timing for the change of dressing is important and to know the right time is a possibility. By overcoming all scientific and social hurdles, being just a 14 year old girl did not matter as I got support from the established in the scientific community.

Tharanga Goonetilleke – Opera and Passion…
Take Away: Opera…My Passion…
Passion is a Parasite. Passion sucked the hatred out of me. And the world appeared beautiful.
Passion is an Opportunist.
Passion is a Realist. A small country (Sri Lanka) I come from, does not mean I am a small person.
Passion is a Taskmaster. Passion is a Mentor.
Pride is toxic. Humility is essential.
And With Passion I Fly…

Linsey Pollak – Flute and Music and Music and Flute…
Take Away: Music is the real joy, so play, share and keep playing.

Ajit Narayanan – On visual speech for the Autistic and Beyond…
Take Away: Visual speech, a FreeSpeech app for the autistic. It is impactful in kids with learning disability. However, it can also be used to teach other kids a second language. Uses skill engine algorithm. A useful, impactful tool in giving an artificial voice to those in need of it.

Manisha Mohan – On on-body safety via the seamless integration of wearables into users’ existing clothing
Take Away: Choose between embracing silence or roaring. World is full of emotional, physical and hierarchical domination. It is difficult for a woman to survive without being taken advantage of at some point in life. Sensitive receptors in the clothes connected to mobile technology helps a person even in shoc to connect with friends in time of need (like sexual assault). It gives voice to the silent me-toos. How important is a voice to protect a community, society at large, and the world together? Every voice against sexual abuse matters. Embracing silence is not the answer; learn to roar.

Rothna Begum – Human Rights of Immigration Workers in the Gulf
Take Away: There is an immigration risk working in the Gulf especially among the labour class. So one must be aware of the risks as well as the benefits of the human rights. With the changing laws in the Gulf, in the future, the scenario would be different, a better scenario for the immigrants.

Bharat Anand – Internet Government versus Real Governments and Democracy
Take Away: Citizens of Google, Federation of Facebook…the Governments of the Future…
Key words: Censorship, algorithm, artificial intelligence, democracy – How to deal with these abd your own privacy? By demanding…Transparency with Algorithm fairness + Data Property Rights + User Inclusive Decisions + Due power – one must insist on it. Inspire, as without a user, any digital platform is helpless. Design your own reality. Democratize your own platform.

Prof. Shubha Tole: On Neurons, Neuron Regeneration, Neuroscience and Behaviour
Take Away: The more you activate your grey cells, the more neurons you grow. So grow neurons by having a learner’s attitude that will help develop a better society, a more tolerant society.

UnErase Poetry = Simar Singh + Priya Malik + Anuj Kumbhat + Ramneek Singh + Joshua Thomas – One of my favourites from the event!
Take Away: There is an artist inside all of us. But why is that Art has no gender, but an Artist has? Why is it a writer, who happens to be a female, is mentioned as a female writer? Is just being a writer not enough? What role a gender plays in profession? Blackboard – makes rules and teaches many things, but is itthe backboard teaching what you want or what others want you to learn? Go forward, and then rewind – learn from the past and change your mind to suit the best for the present and for the future.

Ricky Kej + Darlene Koldenhoven + Hai Phuong + Ron Korb + Mehmet Ali Sanlikol + Rajesh Raman Aka Blaaze + Manoj George + Muthu Kumar + The Raveolution String Section + The Raveolution Choir – On Climate Change and its Impact
Take Away: Climate change will be submerging many island nations.And there will be a rise in a new set of immigrants – the climate refugees. Two songs – Song of the New Beginning and Love Divine ending with National Anthem conveyed a deep message to the audience.

Jagdish Mahapatra – On Cybersecurity…
Take Away: To avoid hackers constant efforts to hack your system/device…Change your passwords on the Home Internet. Do regular Cybercheck. Delete the unwanted apps on your phone. Backup every device, every day. Home is where we are most vulnerable; so protect your devices, protect yourself.

Tashi & Nungshi Malik – The twin sisters on mountaineering and girl rights
Take Away: Unlike humans, mountains do not discriminate any gender. There are visible mountains that you can climb, but many invisible dark mountains of discrimination are yet to be fought and invaded.

Joseph Redmon – On Computer Vision
Take Away: Computer vision can save lives. YOLO (You Only Look Once) algorithm has a simple goal: to deliver image recognition and object detection at a speed that would seem science-fictional only a few years ago. With application of such solutions, car accident numbers can go down. And lives can be saved. This is just an example. There can be numerous other fruitful and useful applications of this algorithm.

Shriva Shrinivasan – Bharatanatyam, Proprioception and Prosthetics
Take Away: To dance, and to enjoy the dance of life, one must feel. Are the current amputation surgeries and prosthetics good enough? The answer is ‘Yes’, there can be better ways of dealing with lost limbs and then connecting them to robotic prosthetics to make the person feel. Feeling is fundamental to our existence. It is just the beginning; with ongoing research, there is a long way to go.

Dr. Saurabh Rane – An XDR TB Survivor on Tuberculosis…
Take Away: Change starts with us. TB is treatable, but the stigma associated with it isn’t. Along with medicines, a change in thinking is the need of the hour to treat and support a TB patient.

Richard Browning – Gravity, Anti-gravity…Human propulsion…Humans to fly…a possibility!
Take Away: Have a big vision, work on it, be prepared to fail, be prepared to learn from failing, work on them, bridge the gaps, win, and change the world.
And the demo in the end of the event was worth it. I felt for a moment I was looking at Tony Stark in a different Iron Man outfit. To watch the demo click: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1555229751197267&id=113501915370065

Akash Manoj – On Cardiac Biomarkers to detect onset of Heart Attack
Take Away: How cardiac biomarkers can help in the early detection of Myocardial Infarct, of about 6 hours earlier from the time of onset of a Heart Attack by using FABP3. Aim in making the current healthcare system, which is more of ‘Sick’ Care to an actual ‘Health’ Care scenario.

Washington Wachira – Bird Watching and Bird Learning
Take Away: Birds are intelligent creatures and there is a lot to learn from them. From nesting to feeding to mating to migrating to flying and flying higher – every species narrate a beautiful story.

Afreen Khan – The Ultimate Storyteller…Yes, she is!
Take Away: Child Abuse is not a matter to be taken lightly or ignored. It is a serious matter and a matter of concern. We can’t change corrupt minds, but we can teach our kids the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. So yes, all the closed drawers have to be opened, and all the suppressed voices have to be heard, to put an end to this grave crime and to save many innocent minds.
I speak Urdu, but I had no idea that in Urdu a matter as grave as Child Abuse could be narrated with such an effect, without a tinge of vulgarity, yet describing the entire episode, conveying a complete message, bringing tears in the eyes of all those heard the story, and creating an impact that subtly, yet confidently, expressed a very Big Message. Yes, Afreen and her narration in Urdu on the story of a young 11 years old girl, Alia, who was molested by her step dad, indeed deserved a standing ovation from the audience!

I doubt if I have missed any of the speaker or mentioned any wrong speaker name. In case I have, then apologies as every speaker deserves a correct mention.

Organized in collaboration with Aditya Birla Group, JSW, Infosys, Rustomjee, BASF, Facebook and Qatar Airways, I liked the kit which I received, especially the Orange Stole from Liva by ABG.

A perfect blend of Science, Medical Science, Technology, Arts, Music, and Social Cause, TEDXGateway2018 was indeed a memorable event.

Some links for reference…

Speaker list: http://www.tedxgateway.com/speakers/all-speakers/

Event Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/events/884339795047184/
and https://www.facebook.com/TEDxGateway/

Some of my clicks…

Special thanks to Lalita, to whom goes the photo credits as well!

…Ashu Bolar

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Budget 2018…hmmm…

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So the Budget 2018 is out. As always, it was eagerly awaited. For some reason, I was super busy yesterday at work, so I kind of missed watching or reading live updates, but my dear friend Appy – an engineer by profession but an excellent Investment Planner by interest, barraged my phone with Budget messages. I did not check it until later in the evening, and when I did, I just could not stop laughing out loud. Her anger had taken a very different shape and angle – humour and sarcasm on herself plus hilarious comments on the probable future.

I decided to call her; when I spoke with her, oh my…there was anger, anxiety and sadness in her voice to the extent half the time either she sounded stern or tried to choke back tears. Post her MBA from a very reputed academic institute, she has put her heart and soul into investment planning, not just for herself, but she helps her entire friend circle making the right financial and investment decisions.

And the budget says – LTCG on equity 10% tax applicable on above one lakh investments.
Hmmm, no wonder Appy and many like Appy were in tears.

So far from whatever I have read, discussed and understood, the Budget no doubt appears to be good at macroeconomic level. However, at individual micoreconomic level, it looks difficult for any common average salaried middle class Indian citizen. Challenges that I have personally faced are…

  • First of all, it is extremely difficult to get a good job.
  • Second, considering the economic scenario despite you have the best of qualifications and experience and repeatedly proving yourself, to get a great CTC is very difficult as companies talk about economic scenario, possible crisis and proactive solutions.
  • Of the CTC (Cost-to-Company) you get, the limit under 80C section (PPF, Life Insurance, Fixed Deposits, etc.) to invest is only INR 1.5 Lakh – not enough to save for the future when you will be aged, cost of living will be higher, and there still will be many many bills to be paid.
  • Considering investing in other sections – 80CCC, 80CCD, 80D, etc. like Medical Insurance, Medical Bills, National Pension Scheme, Home/Education Loans, etc. – still, there isn’t enough provision for a salaried person to save money.
  • So the best possible safe (or say low risk) way to increase money was Long-term Capital Gains (LTCG) in the form of mutual funds and various other SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) that so far had no tax on income earned.
  • However, with this Budget, now that gain is a once-upon-a-time-story.
  • Demonetisation and GST (Goods and Service Tax) application had already taken a toll on many, and now implementation of tax on long-term investment gains…hmmm…doesn’t look and feel very good.

So coming back to Appy, she has started exploring other options for profitable Investments.

As for me, I am an Indian who wants to see my country developed – ‘develop’ with an ‘ed’ not ‘ing’.

If the Fiscal Deficit will go down, if the farmers will benefit, if rural India will develop, if health and education will be made available to all, if country will be technological enabled in beneficial ways, and if the tax I pay from my hard earned savings will be utilized without it falling in the trap of corruption, then yes, I support the Budget.

…Ashu Bolar

Healthcare Sector in India

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For the past ten years, I have been working in Healthcare Media and Communications Industry. However, every time I ask a student or a colleague, “What does the healthcare sector in India comprise?”, the answer generally surprises me. People do not think beyond hospitals, nursing homes, private practice, pharmaceutical companies, various medical specialities, chemists, diagnostic centres, alternative medicine…that’s it. The list generally ends here.

Healthcare Sector is BIG. HUGE. with a lot of scope to develop further, and you can be a part of this developmental process.

As per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare sector is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022. Rising income level, greater health awareness, increased precedence of lifestyle diseases and improved access to insurance would be the key contributors to growth. (Source: https://www.ibef.org/industry/healthcare-presentation)

This is what I meant when I wrote BIG. HUGE. with massive opportunities.

Below is my interpretation of the ‘Healthcare Sector in India’. Readers, please feel to share your thoughts and opinions. I will be more than happy to revise the flowchart to ensure it’s complete.

HealthcareSectorInIndia_Panorama_AshuBlogs_AshuBolar_Jan2018

I will be back soon with more information on this topic!

Till then, happy reading!

…Ashu Bolar

Hello 2018!

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Hello2018_GSH_AshuBlogs_Panorama

Dear Readers,

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, filled with pleasant surprises, good luck and cheerful laughter!

This year I will be adding three new sections to Panorama…

A. Date with Dia – Dia, a very dear friend, who is blessed with unique special powers – a Super Girl!

B. Healthcare Marketing – as I think, by now I have enough experience and knowledge to write on this subject–a subject on which someone has to write, so why not me!!

C. Bombayccino (read Bombay-chino)- my fashion centric blog, but I have realised it is not possible to manage two blogs, therefore, I am introducing it as a sub-section here with link to the main blog. It will have conversations on style over cups of cappuccino in Bombay…Mumbai…Meri Jaan, My Life!!!

Hope you will enjoy reading Panorama…

Till my next post, take care…

– Ashu Bolar

How Am I Living?

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Yesterday morning, I got a WhatsApp message, a video. Generally I tend to ignore video forwards, but the person who sent was not the one who would forward anything for the sake of it. Therefore, I made a mental note to watch it in the evening, when I am at home…and it was totally worth it.

I wanted to know the name of the speaker and thanks to Google Search; today it is easy to find details on almost anyone, anything on the Internet.

Dr. Rick Rigsby…Sir, what a speech! Never heard something like this one before,  and I am glad that I did…very motivating.

Here’s the video link from YouTube…a must-see…

My favourite lines…

Oxymorons: “Jumbo Shrimp”, “Fun Run”, “Wisest & Dropout”

“…combine knowledge and wisdom to make an impact.”

“…I have never allowed schooling to get in the way of my education.”

“…be a man, not a black man, not a brown man, not a white man, but a man.”

“…I don’t have a problem, if you aim high and miss. I gonna have a real issue if you aim low and hit.”

“…you are what you repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence ought to be a habit not act.”

“…always remember to be kind.”

“…ego is the anaesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity.”

“…pride is the burden of a foolish person.”

“…you want to make an impact? Find your own broom. Everyday of your life, you find your own broom. You grow your influence that way. That way you are attracting people, so that you can impact them.”

“…if you are going to do a job, do it right.”

“…shoot the stars, to the best…good isn’t enough if it can be better, and better isn’t enough if it can be best.”

“…wisdom will come to you, in the unlikeliest of sources, a lot of times through failure.”

“…just stand. You keep standing. No matter how rough the sea, you keep standing.”

“…it doesn’t matter how long I live. What matters the most to me is how I live.”

“How You Living?”

“…you would not judge…you would show early…you would be kind…servant’s towel is huge and used…if you are going to do something, do it the right way…it is never wrong to do the right thing…and how you do anything is how you do everything…in that way to will grow your influence to make an impact…in that way you will honour all those  who have gone before you…who have invested in you…”

“How Am I Living?”

Yes sir, I will ask myself every night…”How am I Living?”…Not all bad, but the servant’s towel is still not huge enough…got to get that fixed.

Mm..hmm…there is still a lot of scope to improve, to learn, to grow, to influence and to make an impact!

Thank you sir!

…Ashu Bolar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kokani Hapus

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Kokani Hapus

An engineer with a successful professional life, my very dear friend—Prashant Narvarkar—whom I met at SPJIMR while pursuing Project Management Program, now has an interesting concept called Kokani Hapus – Royal Fruit for Royal Taste!

Here are some excerpts from our conversation on Kokani Hapus, the very famous Alphonso Mangoes from the Kokan Belt of Maharashtra, India.

ASMA: Prashant, why a business in Mangoes? What made you think about this interesting concept?

PRASHANT: It’s not just mangoes; it was the feeling of doing something apart from the monotonous 9 to 5 job. Something that will give me satisfaction of doing something and concept of any business gives me sense of attraction.

Mangoes…because I know this fruit since my childhood. There are so many childhood memories and I know about mango plantation in detail, so there was no doubt on the quality. I knew it’s going to stand out in market where sellers sell any mango in the name of Hapus. I was confident that people going to love mango from my native place.

ASMA: What is the story behind introducing Kokani Hapus?

PRASHANT: Well, how I began Kokani Hapus…my distant uncle is in this business since last 15 years or so. However, the scale of the business there is larger with a list of privilege customers. I have seen closely how he cultivates and takes care of the mango trees throughout the year. He has taken efforts in growing mangoes in a natural way as he has academic knowledge on agriculture and regularly visits agricultural college in Dapoli to stay up to date on the latest information on the management of mango plantation. He was my advisor and mentor in this business as well as supplier of mangoes.

This is the second season for Kokani Hapus. Besides, my uncle, my dear wife has been a great help in supporting me and yes, I do share the remuneration gained with her.

As of now, I am not a big organization with mission and vision. However, I had a small target of 1 lakh rupees this year, which I have successful achieved.

ASMA: Where are these plantations located and how are they managed?

PRASHANT: The mango plantation flourishes not very far from Kokan Sea Shore, i.e., at round distance of 1 to 2 km from sea inside the villages of Maharashtra, India. Prominent locations where Kokani Hapus grows are Harne, Hadkhal, Palande and Karde. These villages are few kilometres away from Dapoli District, which is well known for its Agriculture College.

Kokani Hapus grows in red soil of Kokan that is rich Iron, so the fruit gets iron naturally from Kokan soil. Red soil is the type of soil that develops in a warm, temperate, moist climate under deciduous or mixed forests and which has thin organic and organic-mineral layers .All these parameters help mango to be rich in nutrition value.

Kokani Hapus is fed with decomposed Cow Dung.  The cow dung used is decomposed over 2.5 years to make it rich in nutrition value before utilizing it as a fertilizer in our plantation. The soil is also fed with Cow Urine (Gau Mutra) because it acts as a disinfectant.

Furthermore, to make mangoes nutritious, Kokani Hapus plantation is fed with calcium and phosphorus in small amounts as they are essential micro nutrients. This process is done manually.

The plantation is protected from fruit bees in a very innovative way. Small pieces of cakes are hung to the tree, which have the scent of female bee; male bees get attracted to this scent to this piece of cake and get stuck to it. These are later removed, thus, tree is kept safe from bee attack.

Some anti fungal and small amount of sulphur containing disinfectant is sprayed on the trees in very early days. All the spraying of natural fertilizers and disinfectants is done in the monsoon season. These are fed through spraying and by mixing in the soil.

The area near trees is cleaned and dried. This creates certain strain on the roots, which catalyzes the growth of the mango.

The growth of the fruit is judged by its roundness of shape—a little oval in shape indicates mango is ready to ripen on its own. We never use any external factor to ripe the mango faster or in any unnatural way.

Mango that are have stains due to bee attack or because of friction caused by the branches, are separated from good ones.

Finally, mango is weighed and categorized depending on its shape. We ensure export quality mangoes to all our customers.

And yes, after all the hard work, Kokani Hapus is ready for its lovers to relish!

ASMA: Prashant, how does one get to relish Kokani Hapus?

PRASHANT: By connecting with me at +91 9870385821.

Or by liking Kokani Hapus Facebook Page; link as below.

https://m.facebook.com/Kokani-Hapus-465832766944725/?ref=m_notif&notif_t=feed_comment_reply

So, friends who have tasted the royal fruit with royal taste will know what Prashant is talking about. This year, I did get the royal taste and I was a very happy and satisfied customer. For those, who are in love with Alphonso mangoes now know the way to get Royal!

Thank you Prashant for your time! And here are some pictures of Prashant and his wife (whom he fondly calls as WiFi 🙂 ) at work while promoting and distributing Kokani Hapus in and around Mumbai…

Kokani Hapus Contact

…Ashu Bolar