Monday, 24 September 2012

Reduce your Email Stress

                   REDUCE YOUR EMAIL STRESS!

The study proffers the conclusion that taking a vacation from email would, indeed, do more good than harm.In the age of Internet, most of us are hooked to emails, one way or another. It is probably most important tool of communication today. No wonder, we are labelled as "Cyber Coolies" either physically or mentally. The importance of emails is far more pronounced in business, with Black berry -totting executives furiously typing and writing emails, obliviously to world around them.

But there are downsides and most killing one is stress. Being cut off from emails significantly reduces stress and allows employees to focus far better. Those with no emails reported feeling better and able to do their jobs and stay on task with fewer stressful and time wasting interruptions.The employees are able to multitask less and experience less stress upon removal of emails.The employees are able to communicate better in person, get up and walk around with less emails. The only downside with less emails is few employees feel isolated. HR departments have a job on hand. One of the goals is to make organisation less email centric and lay down standards about accessing emails and replying emails. High standards of email replies should be avoided and warn employees who lay down email standards based on whims and fancies, just to impress one and all.

The researchers used heart rate monitors attached to computers in a suburban office setting, while software sensors detected, how often they changed windows, to conduct the study.Employees who read emails changed screens twice often and were in a steady " high alert" state, with constant heart rates. Those away from emails for five days experienced natural, variable heart rates. Employees using emails switched windows at an average of 37 times per hour, which speaks volumes of distractions while those without emails changed about 18 times, half as often. 

Email  should be accessed every two hours in order to avoid stress and avoid imposing high email standards in order to have less stress and more good life.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Human Metagenome & New Cancer treatment and Cancer Scare in Colas

The Human Meta-genome:

HM has become a reality. We seem to be having ten times more germs in our bodies compared to our cells, and all their genes come into our meta-genome. The HM has had zero medical benefit. " We have , in truth, learned nothing from the genome other than probability. How does a1% or 3% increase risk for something translate into the clinic ? It is useless information" says J Craig Venter , a well known scientist.

New Method of Treating Cancer:

Using chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer is not logical and has not done much good any way. Researchers are hoping to rope in our own body's immune system to treat cancer which looks promising. Although some efforts to use immune therapy have been in vogue , they were not successful. If one is to believe recent reports, there is hope that new methods of making our own immune cells kill cancer can be a successful method in the not too distant future.

Cancer Scare in Colas: 

The colour of Coca- Cola and many others popular brands comes from 4- methylimidazole ( 4-MEI) , a chemical that forms in the caramel food colouring. The manufacturers of all cola drinks in the market insist that it is safe in the dose found in their cans and bottles. But the authorities in California disagree. Long- term Exposure to this chemical is shown to induce lung cancer in rats; authorities in California have ruled that drinks carrying more than 29mcg(micro grams) should carry a warning on the can. Centre of Science (USA) found that cans of most soft drinks contain more than 140mcg. However , the FDA and the British Food Standards Agency think that it requires a very large dose to cause cancer and they are not losing sleep over this new finding, yet!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saving Car Insurance Cost

The car insurance buying process is not transparent in India.Lack of awareness adds to agony. The different sourcing channels offer different premium rates for the same plan.Car Insurance premium is considerable cost over a period of life of car.It is very much possible to save on auto insurance premium by speaking to various insurance companies. Individuals should speak directly to insurers than through brokers as it is likely that broker may not get excited with individual car deals.Each insurance company is allowed to offer discounts up to 50percent. One should not hesitate to ask or grab the same by switching to new insurer.

Need of the hour is portability. No claim bonus can be transferred or migrated to a new insurer. This makes auto insurance price sensitive. One should opt for it without fail and should not hesitate to claim. 

Insurance brokers may handy in this affair. There is no cost towards brokers as they earn not from buyer but from insurance company. Unfortunate part is broker channel is still in its infancy. Normally new insurance companies offer good discount as they are in acquisition mode. Old insurance companies may not offer discounts as focus is directed towards balancing top as well as bottom line.Our study reflects premiums offered by car dealers are not optimum in many cases.The car manufacturer seldom allow variations in pricing from one dealer to the other.The dealer is not in position to give additional discount as it also has to do with quality assurance and service guarantee by the dealer. New car buyer are gullible targets as they do not shop for insurance. The dealers do not budge as insurance companies offer 50 percent discount o car dealers for selling new cars. It is observed that if ruckus is treated by the new buyer, good discount is offered as there is enough leeway to reduce insurance premium.Lack of transparency about premiums makes it difficult to offer comparisons and purchase from web aggregator's unlike life and health insurance products. Many insurance companies are reluctant to share details to licensed web aggregator's.

Insurance practice has undergone sea change. Prior to 2007, vehicle type, vehicle age, engine capacity, price and zone of registration were  used for premium calculations. After insurance pricing was de-tariffed, additional features or parameters were added like car model. More expensive cars tend to carry high discounts as they are driven by chauffeurs, while cheaper cars are driven by the less experienced drivers. Cars used for rentals like Indica, Sumo, and Toyota are charged higher premiums. Luxury cars and cars using imported spare parts attract higher insurance premiums.

Presently IRDA motor tariff has defined two zones- metro and non metros. Non metros have less premium.  Fuel option also determines premiums. Petrol cars are charged less premium compared to CNG, LPG and Diesel as it is presumed mileage undertaken is more than petrol. Security and safety systems in a car attract reduced premiums. This a valid reason to opt for comprehensive insurance than third party insurance.

The Indian auto insurance industry is facing two main hurdles in profit based pricing namely existing law and availability of data. Vehicle is covered and not the driver in the present insurance contract. In USA , drivers are covered and not vehicles. In USA, premiums are charged based on driver type. For instance age, marital status,occupation, credit history and distanced travelled. India has long way to go.  There is no database available. RTO records are not yet computerized thereby adding to difficulty for the insurance companies. Even IRDA is far from gathering required data.Motor Vehicle Act needs amendment as to drivers clause and may happen in recent future.

The claim process is also complex. The important aspects to bear in mind are as under:

  • Go for comprehensive plan to cover passengers and not only third party and damage to vehicles by paying  additional premiums.
  • Disclose your claim history to your new insurance company.
  • No claim bonus can be transferred to new insurance company and do it without fail. 
  • Avoid making claims in knock to knock situation where damage to your car due to fault of other person if claimed will lead to losing no claim bonus.
  • Arrange to get all papers, certificate, policy within 15 days of processing which act as proof of insurance and are handy in claiming insurance. 
  • While selling cars do put the date and time of sale on memorandum of understanding as accidents may happen on same.

We will be observing sea changes in car insurance policy in India in recent future as insurance companies are keen to adopt changes.Let's wait and watch! 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Sucess Secrets of Barcelona Football Club

Is Barca the best football club in the world? Barca is surely the finest and  definitely a bench mark for other football kickers. Evidence speaks for itself. It has doubled its revenues in last four years. It's a cash machine. Barca has signed five year sponsorship deed with Qatar Sports Investment for minimum of Euro 165 million.

Barca plays as a team in a sport that has too many donnas. It keeps opponents under constant pressure by dominating possession of the ball and keeps the ball constantly moving. The trade success secret is grooming and growing its own players by running its own training academy. This boarding school puts as much emphasis on character training as footballing skills. Students are coached on team spirit, sacrifice and perseverance. Barca is more than a club with Catalan pride. It has been successful in maintaining mutual relationship with it's fans. It's management style is unique. It believes in  developing stars than hiring stars, promoting from within and putting down deep local roots.

Barca has also blazed a trail in nurturing it's brand - a tough job in the internet age, when gossip is plentiful and trust is scarce. Barca has it's share of mistakes. It had a bad patch in early 2000's. But for the moment the club is on top of the world. It goes into ECL final at Wembley on May 28, 2011. May the best team win ! (though it would be foolish to underestimate Manchester United).

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

CNG vs Petrol- Beware

Petrol prices are sky rocketing.Pertinent question in minds of many is about switch to CNG.CNG dealers donot give proper information nor are they trained to give information. One needs to comprehend merits and demerits of switch to CNG in order to take informed decision. Demerits need attention


  • The fuel cost gets reduced by 72%. This is huge benefit as average gets improved (almost double) and fuel cost get reduced by half.
  • The capital expenditure to install CNG (between INR 30k to 40k) is recovered within less than year for average running of 750 kms in a month.
  • Pollution is controlled- if you are environmental freak.


  • Engine get damaged over a period of time inviting repairs after 2 years.
  • Pick up is reduced by 20% and so not recommended if you are fond of speed.
  • There is shortage of CNG stations vis a vis Petrol stations.
  • The size of CNG tank fitted in your is small so makes you visit CNG stations minimum twice a week.
  • CNG tank does consume your storage space thereby reducing storage space by 40%.
  • Additional one time expenses of Rs 2500 for modification of RTO and insurance papers. (if not included in CNG kit cost)
Recommended only for cars used for more than 4 years (OLD cars).

Principles of drinking

Drinking principles are handy.Veteran's say follow five old principles of drinking:

  • Never drink on empty stomach. Always have some food or snack item before boozing.
  • Never switch drinks during one session. Switch from beer to rum or whisky to vodka is dangerous.
  • Always give company to others for drinking if asked or invited.
  • Never drink alone.
  • If possible, have non veg food after drinks.
You may add many more relevant to today's world. For instance, avoid driving after drinking, carry your own brand while traveling, etc. May the principles help you to drink smartly.