Microsoft and Nokia Partnership – Creative Destruction?

Have you watched Seinfeld – a hit American sitcom of 90s? If not, then you would not understand this analogy (my apologies). If yes, then Microsoft and Nokia partnership is like, Kramer and Newman putting their heads together to come up with competitive solution.

Does combining two failed mobile strategy equal to one winning strategy? Nokrosoft or Microkia? Managements at Nokia and Microsoft seems to think it is. Both are desperate to make it successful! And in the process following age old thesis. Nokia bought Symbian – it did not work. Nokia partnered with Intel for MeeGo – don’t know what’s happening! What makes management or board of director think that partnership with Microsoft will work?

Nokia does not seem to have a clue about what smart phone means. Don’t get me wrong, Nokia’s smart phone hardware is best-in-class on technological front. It beats iPhone or Blackberry hands down.  But, Nokia still thinks smart phone as just a piece of hardware. It does not seem to realize that smart phone is an ecosystem. Continue reading rest of this article…

Overvaluation in Heated Market – In What Context?

I have mentioned of this blog, keep your investment ideas or processes or choices very simple. Remain focused on your objectives. You may keep dissecting into multiple styles and methods. All said and done, all it will do is add a little panache to your chit chat or it may make you look good for few hours. It is my view that style and panacea does not give sustainable results. In one of my earlier post, I mentioned holding companies can be good long term investments. Only question remains is “how do you define a holding company”. If you constraint yourself with definitions in financial literature, then it is likely you will miss the essence of a holding company.

To me, the essence of holding company is like a parent company. A parent who are trying to raise their kids, i.e. new businesses or future companies, in a hope that all of them will be able to sustainable themselves in future. Parents work hard take risk, and kids… you know what I am trying to say, right? Continue reading rest of this article…

Telecom Companies Following Path Airlines Did – Digging Their Own Graves

riskLately, we are seeing telecom companies cutting voice and SMS rates in an attempt to keep up with one another. The main focus in these rate cuts is to ensure that they maintain (or increase?) their market share. The rates are now being calculated in paisa per second for voice and one paisa for one SMS message. Coming from the consumer side these are best times to be using cellular phone for communication. To me, pricing these services in terms of paisa and seconds means this is practically free, relative to what a rupee can buy in today’s market. More so, when you start thinking about the capital expenditure in developing these communication networks and licensing fees involved.

As an investor, I believe these telecom companies are digging their own grave. These do not seem to make any economic sense. You will not find Rs 5 cutting tea on the roadside, but you can use a high tech wireless communication network for 30 minutes for less than Rs 5. Something is missing here. The rates for making calls were already among the lowest in the world. Now, this mad race will bring it down further, and will perhaps make them the lowest in the world. I am passing few of the publicly traded companies through my stock screen to see if it generates interest in me.

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THE HINDU’s Website Design at Foreign Source

Today’s discussion is something different than the usual investing related topics. It is about announcement of new online edition of The Hindu magazine. This newspaper is about 130 year old company and is considered as one of the best in breed news paper in the country. Attached is the photo image of the front web page which shows the announcement for new beta website. One aspect that I observed and it stood out was about who was involved in designing this new website.

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Power Companies leading the Renewed IPO Buzz

ist1_916688-male-gossips-2Yes, the buzz is back and testing markets and testing mettle of individual investors. Three power sector companies, viz. Adani Power, Indianbulls Power, and NHPC, are in fray to get investors money. I had expressed my thoughts about Reliance Power IPO. Let us revisit some of the few tidbits in the context of this latest buzz.

Adani Power was priced in the range of Rs. 90 to Rs. 100 per share. It completed the subscription period and based on the NSE data; it was over subscribed by 20 times. My viewpoint is, its the herd mentality and craze continues. We individual investors never learn our lessons.

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ICL- A Saga of Lost Opportunity

Recently, there was a news story about 70+ cricketers abandoning the ICL 20/20 league and going back to the fold of BCCI (or IPL?). I read this news on at least 15+ sites (news sites and blogs). In all these publications, I could not find any blog post or news report that points to the fact that ICL losing sheen is lost opportunity from the perspective of economy, opportunity, employment, and many more. Perhaps, it reflects the state of our media. There is more focus on re-running the same news again and again. It’s a “me too world”, but we forget that in “me too world”, we as individuals also become “one of those”…..

I believe that ICL losing steam is a great lost opportunity. This was an opportunity that would have unleashed the economic power of sport to the wider mass of India’s population.

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