Being a Contrarian, I battled the markets and accepted defeat. Timing or judging the markets is highly impossible and reverting to fundamentals when markets are in a bull run is a grave mistake. I had taken some big losses on some steroid driven high growth stocks but I know for sure stocks eventually will have to gravitate back to fundamental valuations. Alas! time lost is money lost. I’m learning but still repeat the same mistakes. Though the battle is lost, I still have faith that one day I’ll emerge victorious. I’ll stick to my game plan and re-calibrate my strategies to be prepared for my big move…Until then I’ll stay focused on my winners and try not to lose…
Mon 14 Jan 2013
Finally after launching Siddhi Investments LLC., I’m realizing how hard it is to make investments decisions. When you have limited funds and are donning the role of a portfolio manager, the stakes are completely different. The race is to have a well diversified portfolio with the right mix of investment strategies that leverage both traditional and alternative investments and provide consistent returns that beat alpha. My journey had just begun and I’ tremendously enjoying every part of it.
Sat 26 May 2012
I haven’t been able to cool down my passion for investments. I always thought of making a livelihood dealing with securities and real estate. My recent MBA has given me the framework and the experience required to be a successful investor. After dredging through multiple alternatives, I finally decided to start my own private investment firm to manage family investments in real estate, securities and other potential lucrative deals. I will soon come up with a name for the firm – one that resonates with my investment objective – to eke out opportunities that provide tremendous returns. For the near term, the firm will set returns that beat S & P return. Apart from securities, the firm will look out for real estate investments, both in commercial and multi-family units. I know consistently beating market returns is not easy, but not impossible. The investment style must be proven, can survive and provide positive returns even during severe market downturns. Predicting and beating markets is not an easy game, but given the determination and focus, employing right strategies supported by extensive research is an achievable goal. Wall street firms with their army of researchers and traders, live and breathe in these markets every day, but with open markets everyone has the opportunity to make their mark. It is the intelligence, the research and the swift response to events that makes the difference. It’s a new start and I hope the success of the firm will be a reflection of my performance in achieving these investment goals.
Sat 26 May 2012
I always thought that the new job will provide me opportunities in the areas of IT strategy, Organizational transformation, Business process re-engineering, Analytics and Project management. Unfortunately I haven’t had any luck with any of these interesting areas. I’m back doing the same SDLC, design & development, dealing with regular on-going operational issues with some involvement in infrastructure upgrades. That’s not what I intended to do. Aligning oneself with a progressive firm would open the flood gates of influential opportunities. To my dismay I found that was not happening. I may have to re-think my strategy for now. One thing I realized, always go into a job that provides you the role and the authority to make change (with consensus) , provides the power to question existing inefficiencies and has the management support to try new ideas and alternatives. For now, I’ve to stay focused, imbibe the functional knowledge and stay up to date with the emerging technologies. That will be my goal until I hit the opportunity of my likes.
Sun 19 Feb 2012
After my transition into a new job, I haven’t had the chance to blog for a while. Finally, I’m able to spend some time to catch up and narrate my experiences. I had big dreams of transitioning into investment related jobs, but soon realized after my graduation that it is difficult to seek jobs in areas where I have no prior experience. It takes hell of convincing to grab such jobs and unless you’re from an Ivy League, no employer would be willing to take chances with a newbie in their line of business. So the fallback option was to get back to my roots - IT – where my strengths lie. I’m now trying to focus on IT strategy and management, business development and technology solutions. Hopefully my accomplishments will one day help me lead an organization.
I still haven’t given up my investment career ambitions. I hope to strengthen my finance base, model and execute investment strategies exploring various investment avenues – fixed asset, stocks, derivatives and real estate. I want to accomplish things that I otherwise would have realized through investment /PE/Hedge fund jobs. For now, my objective is to excel in everything I do – establish myself as a keen achiever in the world of IT and kindle my desire to reach heights of success in the investment world. I pray for support from the supreme being to support my endeavors. I’ll try to blog regularly and keep posted of developments from my end.
Thu 15 Dec 2011
As I delve back into my past coursework in Project Management, I ran into some hidden treasures. I had done some good presentations and research reports on various topics and thought of publishing some as part of my past PM series. The first topic will be on executive decision making, one of my favorite areas of interest and the reason behind starting this blog. Prof. Ernest Forman, an expert in AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process) taught us this class and introduced us to the topic of complex decision making. Organizations engaged in multiple projects always have difficulty in prioritizing projects. The key to arriving at a decision depends on the ability to decompose the problem into simpler, more manageable parts. First understand the goal, set the criteria and sub-criteria (objectives), identify and evaluate alternatives and synthesize to find best alternative. Listed below are two case studies analyzed by utilizing the AHP methodology.
Power point presentation on McDonalds Lawsuits
Another powerpoint on Berliner Communications consulting on Sprint’s EVDO project
Thu 24 Nov 2011
Standard coffee Service Company, a leader in distribution of premium coffee and tea brands, offers a broad mix of brewed beverages to offices, restaurants and food service organizations. Being primarily a distributor, the company relies on extensive use of analytics to profile, segment, prospect, measure and improve customer retention and developing new customers. Standard coffee faces stiff competition in this dynamic marketplace and analytics plays the key role as a differentiator. Standard has a dedicated sales and marketing team who use analytical data to pursue leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Apart from traditional marketing channels- direct mail, television marketing, customer surveys, trade shows, feedbacks and viral marketing, standard is trying to embrace social media outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter etc. A dedicated team of analytical professionals mine the data, look for emerging trends, profile and segment customer data and provide key statistics for executive decision making and ad-hoc sales reporting. A tightly knit information systems network coupled with cutting edge sales and marketing strategies has put standard ahead of rivals. Our research has allowed us to dig deeper into their analytical competencies, understand their metrics and performance measures and to evaluate and assess existing and new strategies and recommend strategies to improve bottom-line performance and achieve optimal business results.
Power point presentation on Standard Coffeee Company
Case Study analysis of Standard Coffee Company
Thu 24 Nov 2011
Public Speaking is a critical skill required when conducting business matters. Whether the need is to present findings or analytic research to higher management or influence negotiations or motivate staff, effective public speaking skills may either break or make the intended results. So to hone my overall presentation skills, build self-confidence I took a class in public speaking and the power point presented below was my first persuasive speech delivered. It was a unique experience for me and I achieved the objectives I set forth for the class. I will follow up this posting with another one, an informal presentation on “The festivals of India”.
India as an outsourcing destination
Festivals of India
Sun 23 Oct 2011
As I march towards the end of my business program, I thought of arming myself with some of the trends in technology that are playing a vital role in improving business results. So as part of this effort, I took an offering in Business Analytics, a round up of frameworks, tools and technologies that empower businesses to intelligently mine and analyze various sources of data, profile, segment, look for emerging trends, model, score, target, measure, predict and monitor key statistics for executive decision making and achieving optimal business results. I credit the content and images to Prof. Demirhan Yenigun, an accomplished web analytics expert who has taught us this class. Businesses are always competing offering comparable technologies, products and services, so the only differentiation would be high-performing business processes that will help frame and execute smart business decisions with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. At a basic level, companies need to transform their analytical capabilities from standard, drill down, ad-hoc reporting to predictive analytics – statistical, forecasting and predictive modeling and gradually progress towards prescriptive analytics – stochastic optimization. These abilities will help businesses create better products and services, determine optimal marketing strategies and develop effective communication strategies. The key to developing such competencies must involve -
a. collection of data from transactional (transactional, customer response and prospect data) and non-transactional sources (demographic, behavioral and attitudinal)
b. organization of data (cleanse [missing values/noisy data - bin, cluster & regress], standardize, transform [smoothing, normalize - max-min, z-score & logarthmic, attribute construction] , match, integrate and reduce [aggregate, dimensiona & numerosity reduction,discreatization/concept hierarchy generation] data – complete, accurate and consistent)
c. analysis of data (profile [Mean, Median, SD, Indices, Graphical - Pie, Bar, Line, Scatter & Box plots, correlation coefficient), segment [Descriptive - RFM, Demographic & Behavioral, Lifestage & Statistical Clustering - Hierarchical - divisive & agglomerative & Non-Hierarchical - K-means; Predictive Segmentation - simple, multiple regression, decision trees [CART, CHAID, logistic regression & Neural networks], analyze, model, score, target and measure performance)
d. warehouse disparate data from various function areas (datawarehouse, datamarts & OLAP)
e. mine knowledge to discover meaningful patterns and rules
f. measurement, collection, analysis & reporting of internet data for optimizing web usage (Web Analytics – clickstream [Google Analytics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, IBM Coremetrics & Web Trends)
- Perform Site Audit (site, tag, online strategy, marketing channels & domain structure)
- Prepare web assessment report (current state & structural recommendations)
- Develop new functional requirements (data extraction analysis, visitor segmentation, campaign tracking, on/offline interaction, user experience optimization & competitive intelligence analysis
- Determination of KPIs (site goal optimization, KPI trackinmg, KPI projections & KPI indices)
- Solution design (site data mapping, admin console)
- Tag generation (dynamic variable implementation, automated mapping & tag documentation)
- QA/Testing (tag validation & QA – A/B Testing & Multivariate Testing [DOE Taguchi Dynamic content serving & implementation/results analysis)
- Production deployment
- Dashboard setup & Ad-hoc reporting
Formula for successful online business performance (Key Insight Analysis) -
start with outcomes, evolve to behavior and then strive for the experience. Integral to the above web analytics strategy is the SEM and Online display advertising both of which are illustrated by their respective campaign and targeting processes below:
The course rounded off with a diverse listing of methods/activities for SEM optimization and the captivating presentation on social media and marketing. The areas covered gave us great insighnts into the social media landscape, the use of demographics in the social context, best practices, marketing opportunities and social media analytics. It was astounding to know how much of influence social sites such as facebook, twitter, youtube, linkedin and myspace had on digital marketing. Full gamut of marketing tools are being used to leverage the power of social media and I am happy to have been exposed to such a cutting edge dynamic through this course.
Sun 23 Oct 2011
It’s been a while since I last blogged on my academic experiences. This Fall will be my last semester at business school and I’ll be finishing all my coursework during the first half of the semester. Now that the arduous journey is over, it’s time for reflections… I’m excited and at the same time little apprehensive of what’s in store for me, moving forward. I’ve had the great opportunity to learn about various aspects of business management from some renowned professors, had some great shared thoughts and ideas, spent endless nights doing assignments, cases and exams, networked with new friends and enjoyed every moment of it. Now, armed with new knowledge and skills it’s time for me to make an impact in whatever I do as I carve out my next career progression. As I embark on a new journey in pursuit of success, challenges are bound to test my perseverance, my passion and zeal to impact change. I’m confident of overcoming any setbacks, learn from it and re-invigorate and re-invent myself to prepare for the next round of challenges. I’ll be aggressively looking for new opportunities and hope to find one soon that fits my interests and provides me the opportunity to flourish and prove myself. Until then, I’ll keep the flood gates of learning flow through…