Moved to my Home Page

26 08 2009

Finally, I integrated this blog with my home page. Please visit to continue reading my thoughts…

Thank you ….

What is Twitter for me?

17 08 2009

Twitter, has been a much acclaimed tool for most of us today. Professionals, Technology Enthusiasts, Media, Famous Personalities, Actors, Politicians etc are all getting on to twitter to make their Social Presense felt across.

I joined the Twitter Bandwagon around one and half years back and since then, it has become one of my everyday addictions. I use twitter to keep in touch with my friends, know what my clients are doing and learn new things which spread like wildfire in News and Technology.

I keep twittering, but only dedicate around an hour every day (30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes before I go to bed) to read through all tweets posted by whom I am following. If there is any interesting read, I favorite the tweet and re-visit when I get more time. I do not want my timeline to be cluttered with any unnecessary information and hence I protect my tweets and ensure I cross check if anyone requests to follow me.

Here is a synopsis of whom I follow:

44% of whom I follow are my friends. In this category, I include people who have requested to follow me or I request to follow even though we do not know each other personally and it is just mutual interests which bring us together.

I work in the HealthCare domain, and my clients are Hospitals and Clinics. (Most of the Hospitals I follow are my clients)

@harinathpv Twitter Statistics

@harinathpv Twitter Statistics

10% of whom I follow share the same hobby with me (Photography, Technology, Gadgets, Innovation etc).

12% of whom I follow are into Market Research across the world.

Remaining are interesting personalities from whom I can learn one thing or the other.

Its a long way to go, but am on my way of using Twitter to keep my passion going and learning…..

Understanding Social Entrepreneurship

25 07 2009

Last week, I wrote a small article for They featured this article as Understanding Social Entrepreneurship and Characteristics of Social Entrepreneur.

For regular readers of my blog, here is the same article…

We use the term “Entrepreneur” for a person who has created something which has a value preposition to the stakeholders in big/small way. Now, I am not going deep into defining Human Entrepreneurship, however, will stick to getting more understanding of “Social Entrepreneurship” over the course of this article.

There are three key “parameters” to the Entrepreneur – Problem, Solution, Value – what I call PSV.

Problem – Every Entrepreneur has identified a problem and wants to provide the most effective and efficient solution to the Problem.

Solution – Is it the most effective and efficient solution to the identified problem is what defines the success of the “Entrepreneur”.

Value – Does the solution create value to its Stakeholders (Self, Investors and End-Users)

Ensuring a “right angled triangle” ensures the success of the Entrepreneur and the Solution. Look at any example from JRD Tata to C.K.Ranganathan (CavinKare). Every person and every organization has brought a great value preposition to their/it’s “entrepreneurial” skills.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

This topic has been visited by many eminent personalities and I am no authority to define this again. However, let me link you to the well-accepted definition and also few of my analogies.

Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition published by Stanford Social Innovation provides an in-depth understanding of the subject.

In this paper, the author drills down the meaning of Entrepreneurship and quotes quite a few names that go synonymous with the word “Entrepreneur”. Entrepreneurs have existed since the time life came to earth. If you go back to the beginning and the most accepted names of the first life – Adam and Eve are definitely Entrepreneurs. Everything what Adam and Eve did was Entrepreneurial! Eating, Sleeping, giving life, living a life and eventually death. Every thing and every aspect is Entrepreneurial. Each one of us are Entrepreneurs in one way or the other. Then what is different?

The term “social” has been pre-fixed to “Entrepreneurship” long ago. The best and great example of Social Entrepreneur is Mahatma Gandhi. There can be no other best synonymous personality to attach the definition to. What is the difference you see in Mahatma? It is very simple,

  • Problem – Free India
  • Solution – Non-Violent fight to ensure that the British Rule ends
  • Value – Value for Stakeholders and Time

Stakeholders – Citizens, Rulers, Self. In this case, the Investor and End user are the same (Citizens of India).

Time – ~40 Years

Just look at how the problem has been addressed – Gandhiji never retorted to any violent act and always sticked to his principal of non-violence. He “enrolled” his stakeholders (citizens of the country and also the Rulers) to arrive at the solution.

Result – The Rulers went back and the Citizens achieved their freedom. What did Gandhiji get? The satisfaction of the solution to the problem he identified and also setting an example of solving life problems with peace.

This is exactly what Social Entrepreneurship is all about. Here, the entrepreneur identifies a “pain point” and continuously works on providing a solution by refining the solution time and again. This is what happened exactly in the “freedom struggle”. We saw many protests, freedom walk, showing our displeasure with silence etc etc. All these are the parameters and factors where the methodology went through many cycles of refinement before the end result is achieved.

A social Entrepreneur works on the similar aspects. He/She does not mind the time and effort, but works only towards refining the solution to the problem identified.

I would like to touch upon few classic examples and I urge you to research more into how the solutions were derived (the scope of this article would not allow me to go into deep of each of the solutions)

Jaipur Foot, ITC’s e-Choupal, Trichy Police (A classic Example of Social change in a short-span of time) and Dr. Sudharshan of Vivekananda Trust are just few to mention. There are many other eminent personalities working for the change they believe in.

And if you want to look at Technology Social Entrepreneurs we have Orlando Rincon Bonilla of PraqueSoft, based in Columbia and Saloni Malhotra of DesiCrew, based in Chennai.

If I keep listing down, the names do not end. What do they do different and How do they do it? You have to really understand their ideologies from the bottom see how they changed lives of many people around them.

Characteristics of Social Entrepreneur

  • The usual ideologies and principals do not holdback social Entrepreneurs. They are always looking at breaking them.
  • Social Entrepreneurs are impatient. They do not go well with the bureaucracy around them.
  • Social Entrepreneurs have the patience, energy and enthusiasm to teach others.
  • Social Entrepreneurs combine Innovation, Resources and Opportunity to derive solutions to Social problems.
  • This should be first in the list, Social Entrepreneurs DO NOT loose their FOCUS anytime.
  • Social Entrepreneurs always jump in before having their resources in place. They are not traditional.
  • Social Entrepreneurs ALWAYS believe that every one can Perform and have the capacity to do so.
  • Social Entrepreneurs ALWAYS display DETERMINATION
  • Social Entrepreneurs can ALWAYS measure and monitor their results.

There are many other unique characteristics, but the above stand out.

In their book “The Power of Unreasonable People“, John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan mention that Social Business can be categorized in three models:

  • Leveraged Non-Profit Ventures
  • Hybrid Non-Profit Ventures
  • Social Business Ventures

A Leveraged Non-Profit Venture focuses on addressing a Social Problem, which might benefit the Economically Vulnerable.

Classic Illustration of this kind of venture is the Barefoot College.

A Hybrid Non-Profit Venture focuses on delivering goods/services to the section of the population which has been ignored or left out by the mainstream products/services.

Classic Illustration of this kind of venture is Arvind Eye Clinic.

A Social Business Venture provides goods/services with a specific mission. This venture makes profits by providing its services, but the focus is not in making more and more profits, but to ensure the good/service reaches as many as possible.

Classic Illustration is the Grameen Danone and AMUL.

Where do we go from here?

The concept and subject of Social Entrepreneurship is most astonishing. There are loads to do and very less people and time. Today, there are Universities and Educational Institutions teaching Social Entrepreneurship. Can you learn Social Entrepreneurship in class? I am not highly qualified to comment on this, but the essence of Social Entrepreneurship is the PASSION, DETERMINATION and FOCUS. What you learn in class are just instruments for you to change the world…

Best Social Enterprises of 2009

26 06 2009

Check out the best social enterprises of 2009

Sony PRS 700 Vs Amazon Kindle

11 06 2009

Well .. Well, I might not have extensive technical research on the two e-book readers in the market, but have done a decent study. Off late, I am getting more passionate to buy one of them as I can save space at home. Today, its fine, but when I think of life ahead, I will need to move to electronic book reader, rather than keep buying books and fill the house…

Currently, there are only two e-book readers available- Sony PRS 700 and Amazon Kindle (as I know, and if you know more, please let me know) and both of them have their own monopoly. Binding their customers to themselves and not providing much of flexibility. Also, I tried quite a few online book stores, and no one sells e-books 😦 What if i just want to buy an e-book and read it on my laptop? Unfortunately, no one can help me with this.

I live in India and so, my options are much narrow. Well, for ease of supporting my current decision, look at the table below.

Features Kindle Dx Sony PRS-700
Display 9.7″ 6″
TouchScreen Yes Yes
Built in Reading Light Yes Yes
Search Yes Yes
Annotations Yes Yes
Highlight No Yes
Text Adjust Yes Yes
e-Book Stall? Yes Yes
Formats Supported Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP PDF, Doc, BBeB, Txt
Battery Life (Single Charge) 2 Weeks 2 Weeks
Wireless Yes No
Horizontal View Yes Yes
Expand Memory? No Yes
Inbuilt Capacity 3,500 Books (4 GB) 350 Books
Read-to-me Yes No
Audio 3.5mm Jack No
Built in Dictionary Yes Yes
Music and Podcast Yes No
Sold in India No No
Price $489.00 $349.99
INR Rs.23,299.94 Rs.16,676.37

The above prices are on the day I compiled this post (not posted).

Guess what I have closed in as of now? None other than the PRS700. Why? It is simple, even though Kindle provides more flexibility, there is no point in buying it because Amazon does not allow me to buy a book, download into my Amazon account and then transfer to the reader. I can order on the web, but the book will be directly delivered to the reader through the wireless and for this you need to be only in US. There is no point in discussing this gadget anymore.

Coming to PRS 700, this is not sold in India (also I checked with Sony India if they can bring it for me, but they bluntly refused). Here is the list of key differentiators as to why you need to buy PRS 700 if you in India…

  1. Sony e-Book store delivers to your account and you can transfer the book to your device through USB.
  2. You can also transfer PDF files easily.

After posting this post, I stumbbled upon few interesting links for e-Book readers, do check them out…

e-Book Reader Matrix, Hardware e-Book Readers, Where to Buy

World of Ideas…

17 05 2009

I was recently reading an interview of Mr. Narayana Murty on Rediff and decided to write this post. Mr. Murthy, in his interview touches upon few key aspects of today’s living – Education (Why half of India’s Engineering Graduates are not getting employed) and Politics. In one line, I 100% agree to what Mr. Murty is saying about Politics and Government – That the Government should concentrate on providing basic education, primary healthcare and create a conducive environment for living and the remaining would fall in place as and when required.

The aspects I would want to touch upon a bit more in-detail is about education and HealthCare with my experiences and exposure.


I will not go deep into the primary education sector, but touch upon what the readers of this blogpost have been through. To begin with, let us look at our syllabus. Even though we are one country, every state has its own course structure and mode of delivery. Why? Is this not creating a disparity in the intellectual learning of individuals?

I graduated in 1998 in Economics and Computer Applications. At that time, Andhra University was offering this course and I was in the second batch. I was very clear that I am going to be in the IT field and hence choose this course. Most (well, almost everyone) of my school classmates took up either engineering or medicine. Hardly one or two of my classmates are currently doing what they specialized in their Engineering. A person who has specialized in Civil Engineering, is now a Java Programmer and if I continue my examples, I have many more. Why? Is it because working with computers is more lucrative or provides opportunities to work/live/travel abroad? Well, I would need to narrow down to this reason if I look at the bigger picture.

What I am saying here is not that it is wrong or one cannot do that, but what I am only trying to say is that the Investment of time, money, resources is going waste for learning what we are not going to use in our career.

Our education approach has always been to just study and get good grades. One gets 90%, then the person is very intelligent and elite, but the student is not taught on how to implement what they are studying, rather they are just told how to implement. We have a proven algorithm and we use that to solve problems. Is this correct? What we need to learn is to understand and articulate problems. If the student questions or proposes a new way of solving a problem, he/she is the most discouraged – “Do what is said, do’t try to act smart” is what is the usual reply.

As part of my job, I take campus interviews for recruiting members to our teams. Many a times, when I ask a question out of the text book, I do not get an answer, instead I get to hear that it is not part of they syllabus or it is not discussed in class or they are not aware of it. I interview Engineers from Tire B/C Engineering colleges and many(not all the time) a times I get to hear only this answer. Why? This is because, the student is not provided an opportunity to go out of their way and research on understanding the concepts. Engineering colleges are becoming like schools where text books are provided and students are just made to learn and complete their exams. Engineering needs a technical bent of mind and out-of-the-box thinking, which I personally feel is missing in most of the engineering graduates (please do not take me offensive, this is just based on my interaction with people). There are very few (you can count on fingers) students who go out of their way and learn something more than what is actually taught in the class. Let me tell you, these are the killers. They aspire and achieve what they want.


Again, we are one country, but there is a huge disparity in HealthCare infrastructure. Let me quote one of my favorite examples here. Let us consider Uttar Pradesh, one of the biggest states in India and Kerala, one of the smaller states.

Few key statistics:

Population: UP (190 Million) & Kerala (31 Million)

Literacy: UP (57%) & Kerala (91%)

The number of registered primary/secondary and tertiary HealthCare centers in UP is between 900-1200 and the same in Kerala is around 2,500. What a disparity? Do the numbers match at all?

Well, this is what is missing today. Many private HealthCare facilities are being setup across the country, but end of the day, they are either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 cities, where only 30% of India’s population lives.

Close to 50% of Medical graduates, graduating in Indian Medical Colleges, are going out of the country for better infrastructure to learn and practice medicine. Money is not the only reason, but most frequently, we also hear that the infrastructure does not provide opportunity for them to learn and practice. Where are we going wrong?

My above thoughts are mostly generalized. What we need today is out-of-box thinking in providing solutions to the problems.

Troubleshooting Apps on MaC

27 04 2009

This might not be a path-breaking post, but wanted to share how I troubleshooted Firefox not running on my MaC.

Recently, I began to see that my Firefox browser has not been working on my MaC. I removed the application (moving it to trash), reinstalling it etc. But the problem still persisted. As per the MaC, if the application is moved to trash, the same would be completely uninstalled. But, this did not happen. When I downloaded and reinstalled Firefox, the problem persisted and continued.

I used AppZapper and uninstalled Firefox. Then I understood that few of the DLL’s were struck and the whole application was not unistalling completely.

Now I re-installed Firefox and it is working like a zoom… 🙂