Relieving

image This week I hope to be relieved of all my duties. After a mammoth 3 months of notice period, it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel. I guess I can take up to a month of living without any responsibilities. But that’s the future, lets just focus on getting relieved on time, yeah?

Fingers crossed.

PS – The next time I put my John Hancock on any acceptance letter, I will make a note of checking the notice period. The last 3 months were a bitch.

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Silly-kaun Valley!

We recently shifted to a new office. The eTail team has grown so fast over the past two years, that it became imperative for our division to shift to a new office. The postal address boasts of an impressive area – Banjara Hills Road No. 12. I say impressive, since it is by far the most expensive area to live in .. with showrooms and plush restaurants all over the place. Little wonder why the top management decided to shift here, aside from the fact that the office was the only Vastu-compliant office readily available at that time.

The office seems good, but sadly lacks in all the aspects of infrastructure … no Class A internet provided here, public transport to a minimum, cellular networks barely reach here, this place is good for one thing … seclusion. Lack of network reach here makes for highly boring times … I did not know how much chattering I do on my cellphone until I came here.

Succession Planning

I am now in the process of making a succession plan … for myself!

Why do I want that … to ensure that the organization is not people centric, even if it were myself, I dont want the firm to be dependent on me. What are your experiences in charting out a succession plan for the management of the firm?

As far as I know, it should ensure that the next one who takes up can hit the ground running without any suffrage to the firm.

86400

That’s the number of seconds in a day. Its also the name of the latest project that my team is working on. The concept is to sell one product a day, and keep it very simple. We sell to stock, you buy 1 product … no registration … product dispatched to you within 3 days.

The site is yet to launch, but you can catch the beta launch here – 86400.

PS – the .com domain was taken … by a pr0n site!!

Hyderabad

Only in a city like Hyderabad do you see such idiosyncrasies. Our office timings were 9am to 6.30pm, which worked out for everyone (although I found them a tad too early!!). But ever since I have started waking up at 6.30, it has become much easier.

Nonetheless, today when I walked into office … I found that the AC was not working; which was very fortunate considering the fever I was running. After half an hour or so, the enter lights, connectivity, etc went. zook, kaput, gone … silence. The office does come to a stand still, especially the tech department. The newly installed UPS took the brunt of all the machines and the servers … phew!

Upon further questioning, we found that this is now going to be a daily occurence with the AP electricity board. The area is going to face extensive power shedding and daily from 8am to 11am, the lights will be cut. Great!!! Awesome!! As a joke, I asked our admin that maybe we should reschedule our office timings to suit the AP board.

11am, the management decides to reschedule the office timings … 10.30am to office it is!! What am I going to do in the mornings now?!?

Groupware

So we finally decided that Google Apps is not a sustainable idea without subscribing to their paid service (which costs a LOT by the way!). The only solution – look for alternatives who can give the same kind of service (my Head Ops wants this, thats Manish) and be as easy to administer (I want this) for as less as possible (my finance guy wants this). Yes, we want the BEST 🙂

So after doing a long due diligence, we decided, that having our very own hosted email server would be better (yeah, the cost-effectiveness hurts since Google Apps was free). Now, my MD wanted an interface where everyone’s schedules and calendars were visible to every other person. So, the need for a calendaring system was apparent, the moment he said that … I realized that we want something like the Google Apps paid version at a cheap cost. Fair enough, we can have that, just buy MS Exchange and enough Office licenses instead of using Gnumeric and Abiword bounded with QMail. My headaches would be resolved. Again, the financing of this exercise looks like a nightmare to me.

So, I have to look the open source way once more. Apple apparently offers CalDav, which works well with Outlook even (Thunderbird needs Lightning extension, or you can use Sunbird). Very good, so I take one derelict machine lying in my office (it’s a P3 you know :-)), and I install Ubuntu 7.1 on it. The installation goes without a hitch, I choose command line and remove the GUI interface, that drastically brings the load on the machine down. Sadly, for some reason CalDav is not installing, I cant compile the @*#@*^ file.

No worries, I look around and then decide to go with eGroupware, which needs not much just apache2, php, mysql and its own binaries. Installation has now begun …

10 minutes later … the file system on the machine has crashed. Some days are just fun days 🙂

I am beginning to appreciate Google Apps from a whole new perspective.

Biryani at Bawarchi’s

Our intern at eYantra, Mitesh(IIM-Indore Batch of 2009) is having his last days here, he has had a blast till now (or so I would like myself to believe). Today he gave us all a treat at Bawarchi’s, for lunch. Having never been there, I obviously was excited to go there for lunch. Taking 2 bikes, the party of four left for the place … sadly, the place was closed. All the great plans were dashed … why was it closed?? Because of some strike against the hike in petrol prices!!

Fortunately the indominatable Indian spirit came to the rescue; We noticed a man standing besides an alley infront of the popular restaurant. He was gesturing towards us to follow him. He led us through a back door, into the kitchen of the restaurant and finally into the restaurant itself!! The place had so high an opportunity cost of being closed, that they were opening it despite the strike. How awesome is that.

The Bawarchi biryani is really famous for its taste and the clean, soft chicken. The portions are aplenty, and it takes a huge stomach and a healthy apetite to finish off an entire plate. Burrpp!!

Afterthought – We need to have more interns like Mitesh here!!

PS – 100th post!!