State GST at 8%??

June 17, 2009

An update on the GST Story. The pink papers last week reported that Asim Dasgupta(West Bengal Finance Minsiter) who is the head of the empowered comittee of ministers on GST has said two important things:-

  • GST is on Track for implementation from 1st April 2010. This is a very important development considering the fact that Asim Dagupta has risen above Party lines and is NOT opposing GST even though, politically the Left and UPA are at loggerheads today.
  • He also went on to say that proposed rate of State GST would be 8%. This too is a significant development that atleast their is some talk in the public domain as to what the rate of  State GST will be.

A Good Deed or No ?

June 14, 2009

Wealth Gift Crown

Yesterday evening I saw many employees in my office reading the newspaper and cursing a particular politician/businessman about whom it was in the papers that this man indulging in illegal business of some kind donated the most expensive gift in centuries to a particularly well known temple. After donating the gift, this politician/businessman well known to be indulging an illegal business went on to say that he donated the wealth to God in return for wealth God has showered on him. This got me wondering whether the mere act of giving wealth away qualifies as a Good Deed??
(For obvious reasons I am not naming the businessman/politician or the business they do nor the temple where they donated their expensive gift)

India’s Most Colourful Company

June 13, 2009

There is one company in India I really admire for the way they add colour and design into everything they do. The Company I am talking about is ‘Asian Paints Ltd’. Let me state here that I have or have never had any business dealing of any kind with them but yet I still really admire them. My only stake in Asian Paints is the fact that I am a minisicule share holder holding 10 Shares of this company. And it is by the virtue of being this minisicule shareholder I got a hand at their Annual Report copies. And I reproduce below the Cover Pages of the Annual Reports which I found were really well designed keeping in sync with the fact the business of the this company is all about colours. Hats off to their Design Team for taking the effort to design these Annual Report cover Pages

Asian Paints 08 09 Annual Report CoverAsian Paints 08-09 Annual Report Cover

Asian Paints 07 08 Annual Report CoverAsian Paints 07-08 Annual Report Cover

Asian Paints 05 06 Annual Report CoverAsian Paints 05-06 Annual Report Cover

Asian Paints WebsiteThis is a Screen Shot of the Asian Paints Corporate Website. It is one of the most colourful corporate websites I have ever seen. If you goto you can even check out an online Colour Palette of their paint colours.

Asian Paints Gattu

Asian Paints understood the concept of design long ago in an era when Indian companies did not know what design was all about. They had the famous cartoonist RK Laxman design their mascot for many years : “Gattu”.



Also Asian Paints has an interesting story about how it was found. I saw this in a wiki Entry about Asian Paints as well as on their corporate file.  Chimanlal Choksi,Champaklal Choksey,Suryakant Dani and Arvind Vakil were the four friends(shown in the picture above) who started the company. Chimnalal Choksi was a painter whose daughter had died.Chimanlal Choksi was unable to save her because of financial problems. Suryakant Dani owned a Garage where he did the painting work for Machines & Vehicles. The same garage is where Asian Paints started off its operations. Arvind Vakil was a worker who did the bicycle painting work for Suryakant Dani. These 4 friends started a partnership firm to manufacture paint in India to take on the big foreign paint companies operating in India in the 1940s and 1950s. And today 6 decades later Asian Paints was rated by Forbes magazine as one of the best 200 Small Companies in the world and Economic Times rated it as one of the most respected companies in India. No mean achievement for a company started by 4 Painters all bound together for their love for COLOUR !!!


Spanner in the Reformist Wheel

June 11, 2009

UPA - Spanner in the Reformist Wheel

I loved today’s editorial caption in the New Indian Express. It says “Spanner in the Reformist Wheel”. In 5  words this title has rightly expressed the truth about UPA Government in it’s second avatar. Big bang reforms like deregulation of petroleum sector, 100% FDI in Retail, increase of FDI in insurance have all fallen on the back burner in less than 1 month of the Government taking over. Allies like Trinamool and DMK have also fiddled in with their objections on SEZs and Disinvestment. This was supposed to be the Government with a greater vigour for reforms. But the first few feelers coming out of the Government express the mood that their old leftist allies seem to have a left of shadow of their socialist ideas into the UPA Vein. The UPA immediately needs to get its act together and put on the gas pedal on Reforms and get out of this socialist shadow.

When Cheques Bounce..

June 4, 2009

When Cheques Bounce

When I realize that a Cheque given to me by a Customer has bounced due to insufficient funds, my next few thoughts go into wondering why this could have happened. I ask questions like
• “This Company/Person has such reputed a Name, Why would they issue cheques if they didn’t have the money in their account. Aren’t they worried about their reputation?”
• “Is this, such an inefficient company that their accountants issue cheques without knowing how much balance they have in their Bank Account?”
• “Does this person really have an intention to pay, is he a willful fraudster?”
• “Why don’t people understand that Cheque Bouncing is a criminal offence under law and still commit this offence?? (some willingly , some due to negligence”)

Most often I am unable to answer these questions with credibility. And I am left wondering what could be the story behind each bounced cheque?

And when I confront some of the people to know the story behind their bounced cheque , I am surprised at some of the reactions I get like
• “Oh Really !! Did the Cheque bounce??? Oh, Actually I have some incoming cheques which have not cleared, Please represent the cheque.” (I wonder if you know that you have uncleared cheques why did you issue the Cheque Dumbo!!)
• “Bounced ??? Can’t be I have double that amount in my bank. You please represent it, I will speak to the Bank Manager and have it cleared” (I wonder if you really have double the amount in your Bank why do you need to speak to your Manager to get the Cheque cleared!!)
• “Oh! I see actually I have money in my Other Bank Account and not in this one. I will issue you another cheque from a different account” (I wonder if you knew it, why did you waste my time and yours to issue me a cheque from an account which was an empty tank !!)
• “Yes. I have a funds problem. Please bear with me for some time” (These are the Truthful kind. I wonder if you are so truthful, why didn’t you tell me this truth before issuing a cheque”)

Moral of the Story: In Business, Cheques will continue to bounce, and people will continue to lie about the reasons behind them , But the Most Important thing in Life and Business is NOT to worry about the Cheques that Bounce but to Rejoice about those that Cleared !!! 🙂

Wishlist for our FM

May 27, 2009


Pranab Wishlist

The New Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has taken Over, and The Rupee Blog is proud to submit its Wishlist to the New FM :-

 – Don’t impose any New Taxes, we already have enough of them. The Old FM – Mr.P.Chidambaram had already burdened us with the Fringe Benefit Tax(FBT), a Tax which was unliked across Indian Business and Industry. So please don’t do the same mistake.

 – Small Scale Industry: In India, being small is rewarded by the Government and Being Big is penalised. Small Scale Industries get a Central Excise Exemption upto Rs. 1.5 Crores and this forces them to remain small. This figure is too low in the 21st Century Indian Business Context and I know many Small Scale Industries who wish to remain small within this Rs. 1.5 Crore Limit because they do not want to grow and come into the Central Excise ambit. The Previous FM Mr.Chidambaram revised this figure only once by increasing it from 1 Crore to 1.5 Crores. But 1.5 Crores is too low and there is fit case for SSI Exemption to be raised multifold. So Minister Saheb, Please increase the SSI Exemption Limit to 12 Crores p.a against the Current 1.5 Crores.

 – Please bring about a Policy Shift towards Lower Interest Rates. In the Previous UPA Government you had pressures to keep the Bank Deposit Rates for FDs high due to political compulsions. And because the Deposit Rates were High, The lending rates had to be kept high. Due to which Indian trade and commerce could not borrow at lower interest rates. Our bank lending rates are one of the highest in South East Asia. Please break this vicious cycle of High Deposit Rates and High Lending rates and usher in an era of Lower Interest Rates.

 – Currently while Paying TDS Online using CHALLAN NO.ITNS 281 we have to file a Separate Online Challan for every category of TDS Deducted and further a separate Challan for Company as well as Non-Company Deductees. So for each category of TDS Deducted we have to fill the form and enter the banking gateway all over again. Thus if you need to deposit TDS under 10 Categories you need to do this 10 times. I request the FM to make this Online Filing slightly simpler by having the option of various TDS Deduction Categories on a single page enabling the user to pay the TDS for all categories in one go by entering the banking gateway only once.

 – GST: The UPA Government is committed to getting GST from April 10th 2010. Hence if you are really serious about the deadline, now is the time to get the Draft Laws, Tax Rates, Procedures into the Public Domain to enable people to understand it. Rather than have closed door contemplations over the drafts, please immediately make available to the public the proposed form of legislation for GST in India.

The Grass is Always Greener…

May 22, 2009

Medicine Retailing in India: The Grass is Always Greener





As I was driving to work yesterday I noticed something in Jayanagar that amused me. On my way to office I used to come across a Chemist/Druggist Store. I wouldn’t like to name it. But let’s call “PNP” for short. It was about 4-5 years old and was fairly successful. I used to buy medicines from there sometimes and I recognised the owner well. Yesterday I noticed it had changed its name. The Abbreviation of the new name was “CDG”. I walked in to “CDG” to buy some medicines and I noticed a new man at the counter. He introduced himself as the new owner and said that the old owner decided to sell the business to him as he felt there was no money in retailing medicines. He told me that the old owner thought it was the Pharma Companies that made all the money and he as a retailer was left with the headache of keeping inventory and selling all the stuff. 

Just 10 minutes later, a few blocks away in a different corner of Jayanagar I witnessed a Brand New Chemist and Druggist Store being opened with a Big Board and a Big Retail Shop Frontage. The name was “Religare Wellness”.

 Religare is a company promoted by the same promoter group who once owned a majority stake in the Indian Pharma Company – Ranbaxy. A few months back the promoters sold their Majority Stake in Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals to the Japanese Pharma Company – Daiichi. After exiting their Majority Stake in Ranbaxy, this former promoter group of Ranbaxy is known to be now concentrating on the investments made by its other firm Religare. Religare has promoted ventures in Mutual Fund Business, Asset Management, Insurance, etc. I was surprised they decided to enter into a Chain of Drug Retailing Stores. After all these were the same people who sold Ranbaxy to Daiichi . And today they are entering into the Drug Retailing Business !! Maybe they realised there wasn’t much value in manufacturing pharmaceuticals and thought there was more value in Retailing medicines!!

 Amazing I thought, one business shuts shop because he sees No Value in Pharma Retailing because he thinks the Pharma Manufacturers make all the money. And a Big Pharma Giant Promoter sells his stake in the Pharma Manufacturing Company and decides to invest in a Pharma Retailing Venture !!

 I remember a Jeffrey Archer short story from the short story collection “To Cut a Long Story Short” which had the title “The Grass is Always Greener…” which epitomised the saying The Grass is always Greener on the Other side of the Fence 🙂