Monday, December 28, 2015


India is a democratic country which means of the people, by the people and for the people. As one would have observed, the definition begins with a crucial aspect–“of”, which means that any democracy is formed by a set of people who decide their own elected representatives. An important and unavoidable reason as to why democracy is not successful in India is because of corruption that has entered and ruined the system of democracy.

More often, elections and election results are wrongly perceived and interpreted. Most candidates are bought; votes and voters are bought, while bribes and materials are given to potential voters to woo them. It is shocking for a citizen to know that in some part of rural areas people are threatened to give vote to a particular candidate. People nowadays do not do politics rather they play politics.

Why one must vote:

 Ideally, as a citizen of your own country, one is expected to vote and participate in the formation of the government. It is an opportunity given to every eligible Indian that one must not miss if he/she wishes to see a particular set of people ruling the country. The fact that you vote is living proof that you, as an individual, participated in the formation of a democracy as huge as India. But, more often than not, this doesn’t work as a sufficient reason to urge voters to come and exercise what is their fundamental duty as a citizen. One needs to be above 18 years of age in our country to be able to vote. But, how many of us actually take that extra effort to get out of the house and vote for our desired candidate? Going by most election statistical figures, average voter turn-out in most Indian states is not more than 60%. By knowing the total population, these figures are a shame.

“How can my one vote make any difference???” is the reason given by most of the highly educated people who do not have ignorance and lack of knowledge for not stepping out of the house to give their vote. One another weird reason given is that they do not believe their one vote can make any difference, or that there aren’t worthy enough candidates who deserve their vote. One token to this is the concept of Negative Vote which is an option given to the voters which is the “none of the above (NOTA)”.  It means that the voter has expressed his/her dissatisfaction with all the candidates. However, it is a very absurd option because, it works in the favor of the candidates. Even if one were to give a “negative vote”, it doesn’t help the situation in any way as one among the given set of candidates would still win, with or without the voter’s vote.

So should voting be made compulsory?

Since the voter turnout is very low, we must ensure that people come and vote. Now, the question arises, how? Well to start with, the entire exercise must be made compulsory for all. But, making anything compulsory nullifies the purpose of democracy.  Handful of experts believe that there is no other way to ensure that everyone votes and one can hope of a more equal and desirable government. Some experts do not believe that making voting compulsory is the right way to achieve the desired goal. While the intention may be strong and truly right, the procedure is indeed questionable. If a person is compelled to vote, he/she will be robbed of his/her own free will.

In countries like Australia, voter registration and attendance at polling booths are compulsory activities and this has turned out to be the reason for largest turnout of voters in the world. But, in country like Brazil, this process has backfired. Making something compulsory does not solve the problem. I personally feel, it’s better to have a 60% turnout when we know that the people who voted did so voluntarily, out of their own free will and choice, than a 99% turnout when we know that more than half of that the huge figure voted out of compulsion and reluctance rather than willingness and choice.

-Ms. Parminder
 Student, INLEAD

A flight that never took off…Air Asia

How would you feel if the onboard announcements go like this, “Ladies & Gentlemen fasten your seatbelts. Okay don’t..ummm… unfortunately we can’t take off.  Very dense Red tape.”

If as a flier you are disheartened, imagine, what would be the plight of shareholders of Air Asia who have invested in Air Asia Bhd. They would surely be shattered and suffering from anxiety attacks.

About Air Asia

Air Asia is an airline from Malaysia, one of the fastest growing, it looked at India as the next frontier. The brand entered India with equity holdings of about 49% by Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia Bhd, 41% by Tata Sons & the remaining by Telestra Tradeplace owned by Delhi based Arun Bhatia. With hopes flying high and a dynamic CEO in Mithu Chandilya, Air Asia was ready to soar in the Indian skies. But fate had other plans, and even after more than 2 years in service the company has only 6 aircrafts and a hold of only 2% of the domestic passenger market.

What went wrong?

Aviation sector in India has a rule called 5/20 which implies that any airline operating in India needs to operate in the domestic territory for atleast 5 years, have a fleet of 20 aircrafts and then only can operate internationally. This rule is now under the scanner and soon there will be some modifications to it, especially after a plethora of objections being raised by other Aviation companies. This served as a major cause of Red tapism & has impeded the growth of airlines like Air Asia & Vistara and prevented them from making money via lucrative international routes. The new rule that could come in place is the DFC or Domestic Flying Credit which requires an airline to accumulate 300 DFC points in domestic circuit before flying in international routes.

As if this wasn’t enough there have been noises from the Air Asia board about ongoing fights between Tony Fernandes, Arun Bhatia & Tata Sons, which has created huge rifts within the organization & has led to many senior executives quitting. A big cause of the company failing has been very little infusion of cash during its inception in India, a mere Rs. 30 crore. Losses are close to Rs. 65 crore.  Tata in another venture has tied up with Singapore Airlines & launched Vistara in India with Rs. 100 crore. Rs. 30 crore pooled in by shareholders apparently is very little, the cash pool has dried and with mounting losses funds are available only via advance sale of tickets. This is truly a dire situation, especially for an aviation company!

What’s the solution

Each shareholder would need to cough up more funds, but while Tony Fernandes is busy with Air Asia Malaysia, Tata Sons with Vistara & Arun Bhatia being nothing but a rabble rouser, there doesn’t seem to be any silver lining at the end of the dark cloud. This could be just another Kingfisher and we may not be able to enjoy the good inflight services of Air Asia any more.

- Monica Mor
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, December 21, 2015

Creating Memorable Guest Experience

“Athithi Devo Bhava”…“The Guest is always right”…“Guest is God” are some of the mantras that the hotel industry stands by and goes that extra mile to ensure that the community follows. It’s a known fact that the guest is the reason why the whole Hotel Industry is in business. The guest has the power to take away business from you by spending elsewhere, so it’s just right that the hotel channelize all their efforts in ensuring that the guest experience should be one of the biggest investments that they make.
The different stages where the hotel can create memorable experiences are:
Though the guest is physically not at the hotel at this stage, but great service begins at the website, advertisement, and social media page, wherever the guest can see or interact with the hotel. The information available must be up-to-date and accurate.
Once the booking process is complete, follow-up is essential which can be either through an e-mail or a phone call. At this stage the guest can be provided with lot of information and one can also obtain information from the guest to make their stay more comfortable.
The best time to hugely influence the guest decision, that they have made the right choice by staying at your hotel. Having a room ready for the arriving guest is one of the most important things during this stage. Getting away from the counter so that the front desk agent is in close contact with the guest, a sit down check-in counter, welcome letter in guest room, pleasant staff and courtesy calls once the guest is in their room all adds to guest experience.
During the stay
Utilize every opportunity to interact with the guest. This need not be just limited to the Guest Relations; staff across departments can also interact with guests for feedback. Addressing a guest by name and creating a comfortable ambience leads to an overall satisfied stay. It is also the best time to ask for a review or a check-in update on social media from a guest. A lot of millennial travelers prefer posting updates during their stay.
Be pro –active, ask guest about their stay, make certain that the departing guests are happy. This is the best time to suggest regarding loyalty programs and if they can do an online review. Collect personal details about the guest like their email id, contact number and social media handles.
Follow up
A mail thanking the guest once they have checked-out will definitely help in converting the guest to a loyal customer. This will help strengthen positive feelings about their stay, therefore resulting in a better chance of a review or a return visit.
Keep in touch

Keep networking with the guests on a regular basis through social network and personalized emails. Let them know about events, packages and discounts prevailing. It would be good idea to wish them on important occasions.
- Ms. Bindu Menon
  Senior Faculty, INLEAD

The saga of Indian policy paralysis

Is politics hampering reform process in India?

It looks like current winter parliament session will also be wiped out due to latest controversies related to congress high commands misconduct. The question is, are our parliamentarians across party lines serious about their basic job of passing legislature, making laws and running parliament for benefit of people of this country. Instead, they use floor of parliament to play their dirty politics. GST, land reforms and numerous other important bills are stuck in the parliament for a prolonged period now. And, the credit goes to two of our major political parties. With BJP in power, Congress has been opposing it and when Congress was in power in Delhi, BJP opposed it.

The great game of politics goes on. Differences are bound to occur on issues but they can be resolved in a logical manner.  Our politicians have converted the well of Parliament into an arena of wrestling and what is astonishing is that they are getting paid for that. A question at this point: can common people of this country even think of getting salaries without work? Crores of Rupees from taxpayers pocket is getting wasted for every unproductive day in parliament. Is Politics is getting bigger than our country’s national Interests, is a question we all need to sit and ponder about.

A peep into China

Take a look at our neighbouring country,, China, which had a GDP like India’s up to 1980s. Despite their communist political system, they have made their progress due to their political leaderships’ decision making ability at appropriate times. As of today, China has a huge first mover advantage over India in the global economy, and India as a nation is many years of progress behind as compared to China. The kind of infrastructure they have built, the kind of trade surplus they have, can India even think of reaching any way close to that level? That too with this kind of politics that’s up for display in our country?

Solution to the policy paralysis

It is, I believe, up to our great Indian leaders to cook up a solution. The need of the hour is to restructure our old parliamentary system. If politicians want to protest they can very well do it on other platforms, online, Jantar Mantar, but definitely not inside parliament.  With due respect to our parliamentarians it is the taxpayers money which is at stake and more than that countries future is at stake! Can India as a nation afford to lose a Golden chance to become an economic powerhouse only due to selfish politics that we have in our country? I leave that to our nation and its great citizens to mull over.

-Shreyas Tamboli
 Student, INBM, 
 INLEAD, October 2015

Continuance of Insurgency in the State of J&K

“A militant was killed and two soldiers were injured in a gunfight in forest area of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir,” read an IANS report of Nov 15, 2015. Such news reports have become a regular feature in India’s news dailies.

"Troops of 41 RR surrounded the forest area following information about a group of militants hiding there," a senior police official told IANS.

The population of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir is over 60% Muslim, making it the only state within India where Muslims are in the majority. The sense of alienation from Delhi is especially to be found among young people in the Kashmir valley, a problem which has been made worse by high unemployment and what many see as heavy-handed tactics from Indian paramilitary forces in stifling their protests.

Signs of improvement

In 2003, India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

 The two countries have since February 2010 embarked on a series of confidence building measures and held regular peace talks. Both countries say that they are eager to end the dispute over the contested Siachen Glacier. Furthermore, both governments face powerful hardline groups within their own countries who will be carefully monitoring the talks to make sure concessions they deem to be unacceptable are not offered to the other side.

Pakistani Ceasefire Violations Along India-Pakistan Border (According To India)
Ceasefire Violations
Ceasefire Violations Along LoC
Ceasefire Violations Along International Border
Source: Rajya Sabha, 1, 2 and 3; *Up to June 30, 2015

With cross-border shelling by Pakistan continuing unabated, trade is likely to be affected in the coming days. Meanwhile, the custodian of cross-LoC trade at Chakan Da Bagh zero point, Mohammad Bashir Lone, said on the 16th of October, “the Line of Control is a major trade point between both the nations and there has not been direct effect upon trade in Poonch district till now”.
"There is insecurity in the minds of the traders. The ceasefire violation between both the nations develops insecurity in traders, employees and all the other people involved - the labours and drivers. But till now, by the grace of Almighty, the cross-LoC trade is good. However, if problem still continues, then it will be affected," said Lone.

Concluding, it could be said that for better social and trade coordination, India and Pakistan should unanimously reach a positive conclusion on the issue of Kashmir. The final process of peace and tranquillity begins if the two involved parties look for the betterment of their citizens rather than shelling blames at each other.

On the political front, a sense of responsibility and accountability needs to be imbibed in the light of not making any defamatory speeches and loose talks. Such incidences have always impacted the summit level talks between two nations and thus reduced the ‘confidence building measures’ incorporated by them.
"Troops of 41 RR surrounded the forest area following information about a group of militants hiding there," a senior police official told IANS.

-Sahil Sangwan

 Student, INBM, Oct 2015.

Monday, December 14, 2015

How credit worthy are you?

Overview of CIBIL: -

India is a developing nation. Everybody wants to do something big in his or her life. To do something big in his life money is highly essential. Those people often take loan from both Banking Financial Institutions and Nonbanking Financial Institutions. They take loans like Education Loan, Agricultural Loan, Home Loan, Gold Loan, Commercial Vehicle Loan, Business Development Loan, Inventory Funding Loan, Loan against Property, etc. Quite often both Banking and Nonbanking Financial Institutions face huge burden of Non-Performing Assets (NPA) & bad-debt. A single person gets funded by multitude of financial institutions and a ripple effect would be hazardous to the economy.

Example: - 

 Suppose Mr Santosh has taken loan from the State Bank of India of about Rs.10,00,000. Let’s say he is very bad customer. His payment track was very bad in SBI loan. After 1 year he applies for another loan in Indian Overseas Bank and the IOB lends him Rs.13,00,000. Suppose again he unable to pay the EMI periodically. So, here is a person who has been funded by many financial institutions. NPAs of the banks have been growing rapidly and in some time these NPAs get converted to Bad debts. Such bad debts amount to losses for the Financial Institutions.

To eradicate such type of losses, Government has formed an Organisation called Credit Information Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL). It keeps all loan payment track records of each & every individual
who may have taken any loan in his or her life. CIBIL was formed in August 2000. It primarily collects and maintains records of individuals’ payments pertaining to loans and other credits. Both Banking Financial Institutions and Nonbanking Financial Institutions provide all the payment track, information of all loans by each individual included in their respective KYC (know your customer) details to CIBIL. Financial Institutions can track the Credit Information Report (CIR) of an individual & find out if he/she has been paying EMI regularly or not, and then arrive at a decision to disburse the loan amount or not based on the candidate’s CIBIL score.

Scores Analysis: -
  • 1 score: implies that the borrower has no previous history of borrowings with any bank or lending institution.
  • 300-600 score: is considered to be credit risk by bank & other financial institutions. Credit Cards & loans will not be provided to people under this score.
  • 601-750 score: is considered intermediate range of scores, and allow an individual to borrow from various lenders.
  • 750 score and above is considered to be good score, and the candidate is considered to be credit worthy.
How a Person can get affected?

As an Applicant: -
The person who is taking the loan is called an applicant. When the applicant is not repaying his EMI, Financial Institutions provide their loan track report to the CIBIL office and the CIBIL. In this report the number of days defaulted is also mentioned, along with the CIBIL score & thereafter the applicant becomes poor credit candidate.

As a Co-applicant: -
Some financial institutions add co-applicants for various loans. The assurance of payment of the EMI thus becomes higher. Both applicant and the co-applicant are liable to close the loan and the EMI. The same issues as above apply here as well and the track record gets noted in CIBIL for both applicant & co-applicant.

As a Guarantor: -
Many a time if an applicant’s CIBIL track record is poor the Financial Institution gives loan only when there is a local guarantor. The person who gives the guarantee to pay off the loan is called Guarantor. Suppose the applicant and co-applicant are unable to pay the EMI, the Guarantor is responsible and liable to do so, as well as to close the loan. If guarantor is unable to make payment, his/her track record too gets adversely affected in CIBIL. In CIBIL report the payment track will show as a Guarantor.

Recommendations: -
·         Avoid late payments.
·         Collect the no objection certificate (NOC) from the financial institutions after closing any loan.
·         Do a fixed deposit and then take a Credit Card against that.
·         Be the guarantor only for those whom you have faith.

Debashish Dash
Student, INLEAD

INBM, October 2015 Batch 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Balancing Act of Life and work

It’s mid of a busy week for me, and abruptly, my attention is diverted towards the thought calendar at my desk. I suddenly realize that it’s been a year I’ve had it at my desk and I forgot to flip the page to today’s date – something I’ve been doing for the last 11 months, without fail. Quite ionically, as I flip the page, it reads – “Let me take a little space and time out of my busy day to reflect, as this will allow me to get more things done”, making me ponder over the deep meaning it withholds. 

We have known the old proverb – “Health is wealth” since time immemorial. But how many of us have ignored it, valuing the latter more than the former by pulling back-to-back all-nighters or forgoing quality time with family and friends for the sake of our careers?

Nearly everyone has, I’d bet. The reasoning is simple; usually it’s “Oh, this is just a temporary thing; as soon as the crunch time is over I’ll spend some time with my family/at the gym/with my kids to make up for it.” And yet there always seems to be another crisis around the corner, waiting for us, making us hedge our promises again and again.  

Stress has become an integral part of our lives, and most of it is induced from the work we do. Our over-indulgence into the never ending rat race of meeting(or succeeding) our standard of living affects not only our relationships with people at a macro level, but also, and more alarmingly so, our health. It only takes a few days for the signs of all late nights, carrying work to home, skipping meals and missing out on leisure to show up on our body. What follows is a series of physical as well as mental anomalies turning the world upside down for us.

Work-life balance is the key solution to this problem. It involves proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development). 
Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that. Life will deliver the value and balance we desire, when we are achieving and enjoying something every single day, in all the important areas that make up our lives. 

As a result, a good working definition of Work-Life Balance is: “Meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment in each of our four life quadrants: Work, Family, Friends and Self.” (Source:

Here are a few tips on how one can lead a healthy lifestyle whilst keeping their bosses happy.

1. Let go of perfectionism
As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive. A healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

2. Unplug
There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment. Don’t text while on a date or watching movie with friends, and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family. Make quality time true quality time.

3. Exercise and meditate
Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a great deal by also putting you in a meditative state.

4. Limit time-wasting activities and people
Identify what’s most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s. Focus on the people and activities that reward you the most.

5. Start small. Build from there.
Our lives run on the habits we have developed. Starting in smaller proportions, embrace the positive habits and eradicate the negative ones from your life.

“Life is what we make it, has always been, will always be.” - Moses

- Mr. Sumit Chakravarty
   Faculty, INLEAD

Images Courtesy- Google Images 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Behind the Scenes at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2015

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, like every year, was held this year too. The only difference this year was, that this time, the atmosphere was even more electric, bigger and better. INLEAD gave us a chance to see the backend operations and organise the marathon as an extended family of Procam (the Organisers for the event).

We reached Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium a day prior to organise and manage the entire marathon. We were given the ID Cards with Full Access to all parts of the stadium along with the course of race. Our excitement quotient was at its all times peek.

After the briefing, we were taken for the entire site inspection and told about each and every aspect, ranging from refreshments to medals and even the celebrity hospitality. We were then divided into different teams taking care of refreshments, race for physically handicapped, senior citizens and the complete course facilities.

After the complete night of efforts, organising for a smooth marathon, finally the time came for the big day, the race.

The atmosphere was electrifying and there was an amazing energy inside the stadium. Watching 35000 Delhites gathered for marathon and racers/Olympians/record holders from around the world was exquisite. Celebrities like Bipasha Basu and Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Vijay Goel etc. were some present there. The loud sound of DJ and the enthusiasm of senior citizens and physically handicapped racers gave us goosebumps. This site gave us an indication that we were not dealing with the event itself but with the emotions of the people as well. Giving them a unique experience was our responsibility which we tried to deliver to the tee.

Our duties included welcoming participants, supervising the entire refreshment chain, course management, marquee management, merchandise management, corporate management and celebrity management.

The refreshment team, continuously distributed refreshments for 2 hours, without skipping even a breath. The team with senior citizens and physically handicapped were very responsible and took care of them in the most effective and patient way they could.

We too, were handled like family by the organisers ie. Procam. Proper lunch, dinner and breakfast was provided to us. We were also given several branded event merchandise like t-shirts, caps, etc.
On the whole, it was one of a kind experience that we experienced and will cherish for a long time.

Climate Change and Development

“Delhi and Beijing have the worst air quality in the world! Nine of the hottest 10 years on record have happened since 2000.” These are some of the headlines that have been widely viewed especially with the buzz surrounding the 2015 Paris Climate Summit reaching a crescendo.

India and many other countries are heavily dependent on thermal energy for electricity and power, which ironically are the largest sources of air pollutant. Going forward we all know that fossil fuels are non-renewable and it would be difficult to replenish them. Before we look into the cause and effect and impact of climate change let’s look at the different sources of fuel available on our planet.

Sources of Energy/Fuel

There are 5 main fossil fuels:

1. Coal: A black or brown sedimentary organic rock, mostly comprising carbon and typically found as layers;
2. Natural gas: A combustible mix of hydrocarbon gases, consisting mainly methane;
3. Oil: mostly known as crude oil and is the source of petrol, diesel, kerosene, gasoline and LPG;
4. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG): LPG is heavier than natural gas and stored under modest pressure in liquid form;
5. Wood: Comprises charcoal and is a major source of fuel in rural parts of developing countries.

Then there are alternate fuels like Shale oil, Biogas, Nuclear energy, Alcohol fuel, Compressed Natural gas, etc.. However, an increasing number of countries are investing in Renewable sources of energy like Wind energy, Hydel and Tidal energy and Solar energy.

Damage to the Environment 

According to NASA global climate change has had observable effects on the environment in the form of shrunk glaciers, rising average temperatures, intense summer heat, flooding and drought. This has raised heated debates among developing countries that are facing the brunt of climate change effects. That humans are adaptable is a known fact, its agriculture that will go through some changes, new diseases will evolve, too much population on Earth will lead to higher carbon emissions, all of which will impact us economically as well as prove hazardous to our health.

Paris Climate Change Summit 2015

A total of 121 nations have converged in Paris to talk climate. India has taken a moral high ground at the Climate Change Summit and has support of all emerging economies, whose contribution to carbon emission is lesser than the developed countries. In view of this, a major paradox has emerged, and this has been the focus of discussion at the Summit. Narendra Modi has been rather upfront in stating that it’s “morally wrong to shift the burden of reducing emissions on developing countries like India, asserting that poor nations have a right to burn carbon to grow their economies”. There have been of course many progressive discussions and negotiations under UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have been rather encouraging.

India’s current power generation capacity is 230 GigaWatts, and is projected to increase to 820 GW in 2030. We have about 400 million people without access to electricity. New Delhi has proposed an ambitious ramp up of renewable energy capacity from about 40GW to 175 GW in 8 years. This implies that by 2030 40% of installed power generation capacity would be non-fossil fuels. New Delhi is also working with 120 nations to form an alliance that will facilitate economic viability of solar energy.

A similar stance taken by other emerging countries that seek technological and financial support for increasing usage of renewable energy will see the Earth become greener. It is a long and arduous journey, but a journey that has commenced and needs to reach its destination sooner rather than later.

-Ms.Monica Mor
 Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Images Courtesy: Google Images 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pray for Paris

A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed scores of people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. President Francois Hollande pledged that France would stand firm against what he called terrorism. Emergency has been clamped across the country. The concern is that France receives every year the maximum number of tourist visitors from world over, and hence the number of casualties of international citizens could be significant.

A total of eight militants were killed, including seven by their suicide belts. Islamic State says France is its key target: “…having dared insult our prophet, having bragged about fighting Islam in France and striking Muslims in the Caliphate with their planes which have not helped them in any way in the ill-smelling streets of Paris. This attack is just the start of a storm and a warning for those who wish to draw lessons.”

French PM, Manual Valls, asserted that Paris attacks were not on France alone but on humanity and human values. He said that, “There is a further fear of chemicals & biological attack from terror groups”. Some 1,500 extra soldiers have been mobilized to guard French facilities and schools and universities are closed because of the country’s deadliest attacks in decades.

French President Francois Hollande has been meeting top government and security officials after suicide bombers targeted a stadium, concert hall and Friday night cafe crowds in the attacks, which killed 129 people & wounded many more. French police has been hunting possible accomplices of eight assailants who terrorized Paris in this country’s deadliest peacetime attacks, a succession of explosions and shootings that cast a dark shadow over this luminous tourist destination. As of present in a raid at properties linked to the attackers about 7 terrorists have been arrested & 2 of them dead, with a lady killing herself.

International Reactions

Germany has offered France the help of its special anti-terror unit in the wake of the Paris attacks. Pope Francis condemned the attack vehemently. India and many other countries have issued travel advisory for their respective citizens. The Belgian PM, Charles Michel, has urged his citizens to avoid going to Paris unless “strictly necessary”. In Belgium, he added that security would be stepped up at public events.

President Barack Obama has spoken by phone to French President Francois Hollande to offer the condolences of the American people for the attacks in Paris. British Prime Minister David Cameron also offered his condolences, saying he was shocked by the ‘brazen attack’ and vowed to extend all help possible. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned ‘the despicable terrorist attacks’. German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement saying she was ‘deeply shaken’ by the horrific series of events and that her thoughts were with the victims “of the apparent terrorist attack.” President Pranab Mukherjee too condemned the deadly terrorist attacks in the French capital Paris and expressed anguish over the incident.

Survivors’ stories

Those who survived an attack on a Paris concert venue physically unscathed have been attached to a special crisis center for psychological support.

Emilio Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at the Carillon restaurant that was targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk, when the shooting started. He said he didn’t see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner, then ran away. “It sounded like fireworks,” he said. Emma Parkinson, 19, from Hobart, was at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan Theatre last Friday when gunmen opened fire on the crowd. At least 89 people were slaughtered in the venue. Ms. Parkinson was shot in the hip by an AK-47 round during the massacre. She underwent surgery to clean the wound and is now out of hospital and recovering.

The Horror

France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died, including the three attackers. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.

This time, they targeted young people enjoying a rock concert and ordinary city residents enjoying a Friday night out. France’s military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past. So are the attackers home-grown terrorists or fighters from the IS group? In any case, what is the solution? And those are the big questions.

     - Paritosh Mallik
       Student, INLEAD

       INBM, July 2015  

Images Courtesy: Google Images 

New Sporting Landscape in India

Think of a sport and it has taken roots in India. Well I ain’t talking about sports that would be unconventional for India like Lacrosse or Rugby. I’m talking about sports which Indian’s have been playing for decades, not necessarily excelling in, but at least their names figure in daily conversations. I am talking about Soccer AKA Football, Chess, Lawn Tennis, Boxing, Wrestling, Table Tennis, Badminton, Kabaddi, our universal favourite Cricket and of course our national sport, Hockey. What has brought about this positive upswing in talks about sports, about career in sports, about winning in international tournaments, about big budget marketing sponsors, etc.?

The Evolution

The narrative for sports has evolved over the past decade or so when the IPL or Indian Premier League revived interest in cricket. It introduced us to a new form of energy in a game that was losing its sheen. The kind of high voltage drama that we started witnessing in every IPL match brought people back to the stadiums and, cricket and cricketers bounced back into our list of favourites. While this tournament has had its fair share of controversies, it served as a harbinger for many other leagues. They may be spawns of the devilish IPL, but they are making just the right noises to encourage interest in other sporting activities.

The Outcome

We see the resurgence of interest in Kabaddi via Pro Kabbadi league (PKL), in Football via Indian Soccer league (ISL), in Tennis via International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), and in Boxing thanks to laudable international level performances of Mary Kom and Vijender Singh. India today is a nation brimming with confidence and ambition with Venture capitalists, businessmen and HNIs who are willing to invest in leagues. We are at the cusp of a Sporting nation were careers in sports is next in line.

Sports Industry in India

India has a $2 billion sports industry aiming towards a $20 billion valuation in 2020. It’s not governmental intervention that has spurred growth in this industry but the participation of private players. The success of these leagues come from the effort and capital put in by venture capitalists, bankers, businesspersons, actors, international technical crew and an evolving media. The various playgrounds, stadia and sporting facilities that already exist would see a higher number of children using them, thereby fostering a sporting culture.

With a population of 1.2 billion, and a mere 5% showing inclination towards sports, we have a vast pool of talent that needs to be tapped. Sports industry will grow in India and we will see a change in attitude towards all types of sporting activities, especially with sponsorship money coming in relatively more easily than before. We would like to witness a fledgling industry which has been primarily cricket based to evolve into a sunrise industry with presence in the capital market as well.

Monica Mor
Sr. Faculty, INBM, 

Images Courtesy: Google Images 

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