Tag Archives: Ashu Bolar

Sing Singapore

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Sing Singapore

Oh yes, it has been six months and I am still singing Singapore, well not literally, but virtually. My social media pages still have images from the trip and I guess it will be so until my next trip. 🙂

I can go on writing about this trip, but will try to keep it as crisp an account as possible. I am hoping this will be a point-to-point guide for anyone visiting to Singapore, especially to those from the upcoming batches of IIMI PGPMX.

Why Singapore?

In my executive management program, there was a compulsory International Immersion session and IIM Indore has collaborated with NTU – Singapore for this five day program. This was last year, in the last week of November.

Well, I decided to be a student and a tourist, so I spent last two weeks of November 2017 in Singapore. Thanks to my friend Hema, who was my tourist companion and photographer (Ok, she is terrible in clicking pictures, but as if I had an option 🙂 Sorry Hema! Can’t Lie! )

Jet Airways is what we choose, a late night flight. Good experience.

At Singapore Airport, breakfast at Hello Kitty Orchid Garden was excellent! My type of place, colorful interiors, little girly, but great menu and awesome service, worth it!

What we bought at Changi Airport?

The package offers to the Singapore Zoo (zoo visit, river side boat ride, river safari), Jurong Bird Park, Wild Night Safari and Gardens By The Bay. (We did it all. Pictures will speak volumes!) And metro-bus card (validity three days). For two, if I remember correctly, all of these together had cost us slightly over SD 400.

From airport to hotel, we opted for Uber car. Prompt service, very helpful drivers. (This is year 2017 I am talking. I think it is only Grab now.)

Stay was at ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson. For a day or two stay, this hotel is good. But for two people sharing the room for five days, it is not a great option. The breakfast menu is same every day—two days I managed, third day on Orange Juice, and fourth and fifth day, I skipped the Breakfast, which was a part of the package.

All right, now coming to places visited in these five days…

Jurong Bird Park + Singapore Zoo (zoo visit, river side boat ride, river safari) + Wild Night Safari—all can be visited in one day provided you make a move early in the morning around 9 AM.

  • Singapore Zoo – River Safari was a great experience!
  • Jurong Bird Park – clicking picture with birds was cool.
  • Wild Night Safari – I loved it! Tramp ride I went for it twice; thrice was also okay with but it was closing hours so yeah I couldn’t.

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Sultan Mosque + perfect for souvenir shopping in the area around + Lunch at Rumah Makan Minang (a resto for seafood lovers) – excellent day spent!

Yueh Hai Ching Temple, at Raffles Place, surrounded by all tall buildings that probably are addresses to various successful commercial settings. So yes, every landmark tourist destination is at a walking distance from here. All three wharfs – Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay on the Singapore River are around.

We chose River Cruise from Boat Quay jetty. This cruise acquaints you with all the iconic landmarks during. And, of course, Chilli Crab at one of the Quay Side restaurants (food for two with drinks SD 110) is way too tempting! Followed by evening at Clarke Quay!

Now, Iconic Landmarks…

Marina Bay Sands— not-to-miss…Ce La Vi Restaurant and Skybar (entry fee SD 20 per person, food for two will cost about SD 100) and The Shoppes

Marina Square has many dining options. We had visited for currency exchange (Money Changer). But we enjoyed the great ambiance and were guided by very helpful staff. And yes, it was close to Christmas time, so yes, there were ongoing fun activities.

Merlion Park (free entry); Enjoy J-cone ice cream Korean dessert – unique experience as you got to balance ice cream at both the ends of the J-cone which melts at a great pace. But yummilicious!

Gardens by the Bay – nice, but chilling cold. Wear appropriate clothing. Waterfall is something unique. Night view of Super Trees is beautiful. Don’t miss the Garden Rhapsody Show. There is a McDonald’s if you are hungry. And many other restaurants. Rooftop Drinks at SuperTree by IndoChine gives a beautiful view of the city (entry SD 20 per person).

Singapore Flyer (entry fee SD 33 per person, I think, plus additional SD 25 or 35 for the picture if you choose to click inside). I loved this place. Just loved it. Sunset is an apt time as you can see the city bustling in light and then glowing in the dark. There is a lot to explore around besides the Flyer.

Little India: We visited Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Mustafa Centre here.

Museums (entry fee SD 8 per person in each museum): ArtScience Museum (Near Marina Bay Sands) and Asian Civilizations Museum (Empress Place) we missed other museums due to time constraint.

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Streets: Bugis Street and Orchard Street. Intercontinental Bugis is a great place to visit. We had been there to have dinner at Nandos, and got all excited at Charles & Keith store – good collection. I love the bag I bought.

A day trip to Sentosa: Since we had not pre-booked online, it was kind of expensive SD 90 for Aquarium + Trick Eye Museum + Laser Show. We missed Universal Studios, again due to time constraint.

  • Fort Siloso – cool to click aerial views
  • Co+Nut+Ink ice cream – not to be missed Coconut Icecream
  • Beach walks can be cool, but we did not have time for that.
  • Lunch at Hard Rock Café was yummilicious. Fish & Chips and onion rings – not miss it!
  • To move within Sentosa, there is free bus service or you can opt for car but that is not free. 🙂
  • From Sentosa to city you can opt to go via Bus, Cable Car, Monorail or Car (all paid services).
  • S.E.A Aquarium, a section is shut down, but whatever is functional is worth it.
  • Trick Eye Museum – you can click weird pics, with weird poses.
  • Wings of Time, the laser show – oh my my…Mesmerising! I love Shahbaz!

And the next six days I was at Nanyang Technological University, NTU-Singapore campus. Smart campus, excellent facilities, amazing staff, great 3D research unit, and as a participant you experience lively knowledge exchange sessions with the faculty. Single room accommodation at Nanyang Executive Centre was totally worth it. Breakfast Buffet menu offers a wide range of options. I should have opted NTU instead of IBIS. Well, a lesson learnt.

Note: If you want to buy NTU merchandise, budget that amount as it is not available online. From SD 7 to SD 100 and beyond – there are several products you can purchase; from badge to t-shirt to jacket to stationary to coffee flask, etc.)

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At Changi Airport – Chocolates was a must buy for me. And back to India via Jet Airways.

Some Clicks…Singapore…Night & Day…

 

All in all a superb trip, and I cannot stop singing!

– Ashu Bolar

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Tempus fugit…Time flies…

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Sunday, 4th October 2015 was my first day at IIMI Mumbai Campus as a participant to the PGPMX Batch-5. And Wednesday, 28th March 2018, in the 19th IIMI Annual Convocation, I graduated–one journey ends and another begins.

Time flies…so what do you do? What do I do?

I can’t clench it, I can’t catch it, I can’t cage it.
So I fly with it, matching its pace as far as I can, as long as I can.

Some great people have said…

  • Life is too short to worry about anything, you had better enjoyed it because the next day promises nothing. (Eric Davis)
  • Life is too short for long-term grudges. (Elon Musk)
  • Life is too short to do anything that’s not challenging. (Michael Mayer)
  • Life is too short to have anything but delusional notions about yourself. (Gene Simmons)
  • Life is too short to spend hoping that the perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart. (Kevyn Aucoin)
  • Life is too short to blend in. The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. (Paris Hilton – this one, I take it very seriously 😉 )
  • And I loved what was said by the Chief Guest, Mr. Aditya Ghosh (President and Whole-time Director, IndiGo Airlines) during the Convocation speech
    “Don’t be prisoners of your mark-sheets.” An A-grade doesn’t mean there is no scope for enhancement and a D-grade doesn’t mean end of the world.
    Life is too short to be a prisoner of your mark-sheet. – Well, that’s my conclusion.

I have been blessed to be associated with the best of best educational institutions. One being IIM Indore. And every convocation, the words from my favourite book echoes in my mind…

“It is a far far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.

It is a far far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”

– A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Yes, being a part of every academic institution was indeed a better thing that I did, than before.
And every time when I share the knowledge gained, it gives that rest, that peace, than I have ever known.

I know for sure all the graduates will be successful, some sooner, some later in life. Thus, I wish every participant, of this, and all the future convocations, best wishes to be a good citizen and a great human being. Achieving goodness and greatness is a learning process, sounds easy but in reality it is difficult.

Siddhi Moolam Prabandhanam – The Root of All Achievement is Management – that’s what the IIMI crest reads.

And I believe with management, it is possible to achieve both goodness and greatness.

Tempus fugit…time flies,
therefore, Carpe diem…seize the moment
because Que sera, sera…whatever will be, will be.

All the best. God Bless. Jai Hind.

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– Ashu Bolar

IIMI Plexus Conclave

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Alumni Meets, a very interesting concept. You meet and greet professors, senior and junior batchmates, peers, friends, once-upon-a-time/ongoing frenemies, batch-competitors (read rivals), some good characters, some annoying-species. But all in all, it is a great networking opportunity.

I have been lucky in life to be an alumnus associated with many academic institutes, but this year, for the first time, I attended IIM Indore PGPMX Alumni Meet scheduled on Saturday, 24th February 2018 at IIMI Mumbai Campus and Park Hotel, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai.

The event initiated at IIMI Mumbai Campus with the inauguration of PGPMX (Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives) Batch-9 followed by PGPMX Alumni interaction with the IIMI Director, Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan and Professor Kajari Mukherjee, Chair – PGPMX, IIMI.

There was an interesting and informative session (as always) on ‘Indian Economy – the present and the future’ by Prof. Ganesh Nidugala, Faculty – IIM Indore. He is the favourite economics professor of almost everyone. I doubt if anyone could have taught International Finance as best as he did – at least to me – because being a medical graduate, and yet I understanding International Finance means some great job done!

Professional Trainer’s Team from SAS Institute enlightened the alumni with a bird’s eye view on Business Intelligence & Business Analytics through application of SAS. Technology can do miracles. And every data narrates a story. Connect the two and one can be a modern day magician.

Later in the evening, at Hotel Park, all participants experienced an ice-breaking and engaging Plexus Conclave – thanks to Dale Carnegie Training Team for all those intersession activities! The conclave had two illustrative sessions by IIMI Faculty members – Professor Abhishek Mishra and Professor Omkar Desai and two intriguing sessions by Industry Guest Speakers – Mr. Sushil Borde, Head, Reliance Innovation Leadership Centre and Mr. Tushar Pradhan, CIO, HSBC Global Asset Management.

And the evening concluded with photo session, all alumni receiving a box containing Indore Sweets and Farsan, as well as a handy IIMI branded Leather Organizer, and of course, all of us relishing a delicious dinner.

Thanks to Sanjay Gupta (PGPMX-1) for all the coordination and to the IIMI Student and Faculty teams that contributed in making this event a success.

Some glimpses from the event as below and more can be read on the webpage: https://www.iimidr.ac.in/news-events/first-pgpmx-alumni-meet-and-conclave-plexus-held-at-mumbai/

Looking forward to Plexus-II…

…Ashu Bolar

‘I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.’

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Every Women’s Day reminds of the karaoke scene from the movie – Sex and the City-2.

‘I am Woman’ – a song written by Australian-American artist Helen Reddy and singer-songwriter Ray Burton – a beautiful song with lovely lyrics!

What is there to write, when the song says it all. Here are some of my favourite lines…

I am woman, hear me roar,
In numbers too big to ignore,
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend,
’cause I’ve heard it all before,
And I’ve been down there on the floor,
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again.

Oh yes, I am wise.
But it’s wisdom born of pain.
Yes, I’ve paid the price,
But look how much I gained.
If I have to, I can do anything.

I am strong STRONG.
I am invincible INVINCIBLE.
I AM WOMAN.

I am woman, watch me grow,
See me standing toe to toe,
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land.
But I’m still an embryo,
With a long long way to go,
Until I make my brother understand.

Oh yes, I am wise.
But it’s wisdom born of pain.
Yes, I’ve paid the price.
But look how much I gained.
If I have to I can face anything.

I am strong STRONG.
I am invincible INVINCIBLE.
I AM WOMAN.

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(I like Samantha’s lines, sung confidently, following the karaoke session: “I am a woman. I am at that table.” Wow character she is!)

So today, as I work, my day goes humming these lines…

And to all ladies out there, wishing you all a very Happy Women’s Day!

Hugs and Kisses to all the Carrie-Samantha-Charlotte-Miranda’s in my life!!!

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…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

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.

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

Till then, happy reading!

…Ashu Bolar