Sunday, May 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Date: September 8th 2009
My SSN and other sensitive information are compromised over internet. This problem happened when I tried to access chase.com website to pay my credit card bill. Following is step-by-step sequence of events:
1. I typed in chase.com on my laptop/MS internet explorer.
2. Entered login id and password for my account on chase.com website
3. Next page gave a form to fill up that read "To continue, please enter the information below to help us verify your identity." The webpage asked me to enter following information:
a) First name
b) Last name
c) Date of birth
e) Mother's maiden name
f) Card number
g) Card expiration date
h) Card CVV2
i) ATM Pin URL: https://mfasa.chase.com/auth/fcc/login Screen Shot:
5) On the new window I repeated step 2 and 3 and got the same web page. So I believed on the website and ENETERED ALL THE INFORMATION ASKED ABOVE
Next I contacted chase over the phone and they confirmed that the information asked on the webpage is never asked by the bank. I provided screen print and URL to them on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bank's stand is that their website is safe and not hacked. They claim my computer may have virus for this phishing. However I have antivirus running all the time and my internet connection is secure.
I can now go to chase.com and pay my bills etc on the same computer and it does not give the same phishing web page.
I am concerned that my identity is compromised and if chase.com is hacked then millions of others are also at risk.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
a) UPA is coming back. Dr. Manmohan Singh would hold on to PM’s post.
b) NDA will come distant second
c) Communists are almost out of picture in Indian politics
d) Maya’s dalit vote bank finally came to senses
e) End of Lalu’s era
f) Regional politics still a factor in the south
e) Third front as expected came out as a joke.
In my opinion these are the 5 reasons for these results:
1. Man Mohan factor: The 1 factor that has worked across the country above any region, cast, religion, language etc is the credibility of Dr. Man Mohan Singh. His sincerity, intellect and hard work are unparalleled and un-common among Indian politicians. This is one big differentiating factor.
2. Message crisis in BJP: Through out the campaign BJP or NDA did not have a single big consistent message.
- They took a risk of attacking Dr. Singh and it didn’t work.
- They talked about UPA being soft on terror but no other solution is provided except POTA which is too small for a huge problem we’re talking about.
- They talked about inflation and economic issues but again how NDA will be different (and has been different) is big question. No solution again
3. Politics of Allies: Strategically UPA made better decisions in terms of
Whether to go with allies or not
Which ally to choose where
Sonia and Rahul should be given credit for this.
4. Leadership crisis in BJP: However Mr. Advani was projected as PM candidate but the way he projected himself and the line BJP has taken that a strong statements will place him like a messiah. Well the news is Indians can not be fooled like a herd of uneducated people who can be collected in large rallies to see their Neta. Though they have rightly projected Modi as a star campaigner but Advani-Modi-? There should have been one more leader who can play an inclusive part. Advani-Modi duo shows a more polarized picture.
5. Relative good governance: It is always difficult to judge in absolute terms that last 5 years are the years of good governance or not. However the fact is that govt has invested billions of dollars in many pockets of the country. Be it loan waiver scheme or metro or national highway scheme. Pockets of people are benefited due to govt policies and you mix it with credibility of Dr. Singh; it’s a formula to win the psyche of the people.
Now, is there any pattern emerging here? The single largest factor that’s emerging in current India is that “Indian voter is becoming more and more intelligent with each election”. Our democracy is getting matured. Consider these examples,
Whom do we chose between soft-spoken Singh and iron-man Advani?
We are throwing out age old communists.
Nitish’s great governance wipes out lalu
Maya’s Dalit voters finally betray her based on her performance
Any hard polarization factor on any account did not work.
So I congratulate India for getting a stable government without any large ideological differences in its partners. I hope now they can move forward with reforms without much hindrance.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I started with a search of companies and industries that have been proven recession indifferent in the past. While I looked around, did some googling, read some articles and business histories, it was soon very clear that NO industry or company is actually recession indifferent. It touches every business but sometimes you can change the way it touches.
Business entities are made of people and sometimes striking similarities can be found in psychology of human beings and organizations. In this case it is the instinct to give their best during crisis. Viewing problem as opportunity has been a line of motivation for professionals but what I am finding is that it’s equally true in case of organizations. It is fascinating how throughout the history there have been various companies that performed exceedingly well during turbulent times. In fact many advent of ultra successful products like Fortune magazine, Revlon and Nescafe can be attributed to recession.
So what makes them click? What do they do differently? As per my modest research, we can summarize them in few basic strategies,
2. Creative and uninterrupted marketing: This is really a time when customers want to be informed and aware more than any other time. Cutting drastically on marketing is not an option. Note that the companies who have done strong marketing during bad times have reaped much higher benefits during and after recession. During the 1989-91 recession, Pizza Hut sales increased by 71% with Pizza Hut Pete and a $3.14 million advertising budget.. Pizza Hut increased marketing budget during those times. During 1990-1992, PepsiCo's corporate sponsorship of Pizza Hut included funding the Book It! National Reading Incentive Program, which encouraged higher literacy rates among young people. The reward for better reading ability was free pizza at any Pizza Hut. In 1992, the Book It! program involved more than 17 million students in North America alone, and Pizza Hut received letters of endorsement that year from President George Bush. Shrinking visibility in slowdown may give an impression that you’re in trouble and customer may want to look for other options.
3. Acquisitions: Companies can spend their way out. While many companies remain conservative by savings and cost cutting at every opportunity; the successful ones are those that take advantage of cheap deals of great value during recession. Ever wonder why Warren Buffet has invested $5 Billion in Goldman Sachs and $3 Billion in GE in last quarter itself. His investment of Coca Cola and Ridgley’s during 1989-1991 slow down are already classics in investment books.
In a research of 1989-1991 recession, McKinsey studied 1000 prime US companies from 1982-1999. They write, “Successful challengers, we found, maintained a greater appetite for acquisitions during the recession than did their less successful former peers. In periods of growth, these challengers were M&A laggards—they made 63 percent fewer deals3 than their former peers did. But during the recession, while competitors brought their deal-making activity nearly to a halt, successful challengers dropped relatively few of their transaction plans, erasing the gap with the rest of their industries.”
4. Collaboration: This is the time when businesses need to share the strength of partners. Synergies are most needed now for 2 major reasons, a) To cut operations cost and b) to increase value to the customer. Just look around and we can already find great examples, Toyota focusing on being affordable by involving suppliers in the design process to save an estimated $10 billion. Secondly, it's focusing on being cooperative by giving free efficiency consulting to its own suppliers. The suppliers cut costs, pass the savings onto Toyota, who can, in turn, give its customers a break. We just heard today ITunes coming to Wal-Mart at $99. Ends meeting, literally!