ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘US

Importance of Networking

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networkHaving studied and worked in India all my life, I never understood the importance of networking. Most of us from IIT get campus placements and from then on, any job change is driven by resume upload to a job portal which follows a smooth process. Even employee referrals are not too much networking driven.

In US, the script is flipped. Your background, education, work experience, only matter to a certain extent. The most important aspect is to reach out to people and keep the dialogue going. It takes time to adjust culturally. But once you give into it, you realize that it is indeed an excellent system.

The logic behind reaching out to people in various firms, meeting them, having discussions with them, is that it gives one insight into the culture of the firm and it also helps firm to know if you will be a cultural fit. The idea is to keep attrition rate low and find the perfect candidate for a job.

Any firm here is fine with hiring a less qualified individual over a more qualified one, if he/she shows more interest for the job. And it makes sense too. People with ample work experience will know that after a while all jobs becomes routine and only thing that keeps you going is if you feel at home at your office, if you like to work with people you meet and greet daily.

Hence society here stresses too much on networking. Let me explain this by another example. Ultimately any company is selling something to customers. All jobs boil down to relationship building. If you are good at building relationships before coming into the job, you will be better at it once you start with the firm.

For international folks in US, it sounds too alien. But the earlier we understand, the better.

Written by arpitgarg

January 8, 2018 at 12:55 am

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , ,

What happened was unfortunate, But Why demonize US?

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india_us.jpgIt’s a matter of sadness that an Indian techie was shot dead in Kansas US, but what I have been seeing of late is a lesson in morality being taught to America by the whole world. Frankly I don’t understand why? First of all the countries which are teaching it, should look at their own minority rights history before pointing fingers.

What is not being highlighted in media is the outpouring of support across US for the techie and his family. Americans have donated whole heartedly for the families’ welfare fund. As I see, American people has been more than welcoming to the immigrants from this side of the world, more than any other country. And what we are doing after a few unfortunate incidents is to demonize them.

For our country where even today, dowry killing and honor killings are rampant, it’s quite rich to preach. Preach to a country which has always welcomed immigrants from all parts of the world.

I would suggest Indian immigrants in US, instead of sending money back to India and buying properties left right and center here, invest in the future of country of your work. Come together and create employments there. Don’t alienate the people there by secluding yourself. Embrace the culture and the society.

Most important of all, consider yourself one of them.

Written by arpitgarg

March 4, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Posted in General/Society

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Obama and Trump: Implementing each others agenda

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obama_trump.jpgFirst African-American President of United States, Barack Obama, will vacate office in Jan and Billionaire Donald Trump will take office. It is well documented that they are opposites when it comes to their electoral agenda. What I want to touch upon is something that is not discussed too often.

Democrats promote higher Govt. spending and immigrant reforms, while Republicans represent smaller Govt. and less immigration. But the problem is when you support certain position too openly, you get push-back. Obama faced a lot of resistance when it came to implementing his agenda. At the end, he couldn’t achieve what he wanted to in terms of medicare and public spending. What he achieved was deporting more immigrants than George Bush did. In the end he was able to implement the agenda of Republican Party more successfully than of his own Party.

I have similar prediction for Trump. At the end of his tenure, he might be able to do more on medicare and public spending than tightening immigration. He would be successful in implementing Democrats agenda more than Republicans. Begs the question why?

When you implement opposition’s agenda, you get their support. Your own party supports you anyways. But while implementing your own agenda, you don’t get opposition support. Hence the result.

Instead of shaping policy by legislation and bureaucracy, US Presidents most potent weapon has been appointing Supreme Court Justices. That is what guides the agenda and that is what defines the policy.

Written by arpitgarg

December 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Political

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Cruz v/s Bernie: Who helped Whom

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us_elections.jpgMy last week’s analysis of Ted Cruz’s speech would be incomplete without mentioning Bernie’s speech at DNC. Bernie Sanders has been one politician who has got a lot of love from a lot of people. In college campuses across US, he is a like a human cult. It was a change in American people who have been perceived around the world as capitalists. A socialist getting so much support in US showed the world that socialism as a phenomenon still packs a punch or two.

Quick to the comparison between the stance taken by Bernie and Cruz and it’s ramifications to the party nominee’s chances coming November. Ted Cruz was jeered off the stage and was regarded by overwhelming Republicans as selfish person preparing for his own 2020 bid. When he suggested ‘vote your conscience’, which had undertones of helping Hillary to win, it enraged Republicans, who have nothing but hatred for Hillary. His action solidified support behind Trump, who was the last man standing against Hillary Clinton. It looked like other elite Republicans were not repugnant to Hillary becoming President. This consolidated Republican base around Trump. Some suggest that this might even solidify anti-Hillary base around him. We know it includes pro-Bernie crowd.

Now to Bernie Sanders. Honorable man that he is, he decided to keep his pledge and support Hilary Clinton even when it became evident that Democratic Party worked in tandem with Hillary to rig the race. Chaos on convention floor suggested that his followers haven’t taken to this idea. They feel it’s a sellout. Supporting her without showing a ‘pinch of salt’ has been a setback to the young people who have been part of heated debates as to why Hillary is bad and Bernie is good. All those people are left as sitting ducks.

It seems Ted Cruz rejection was a better idea than Bernie’e endorsement. Maybe Bernie’s rejection would have helped Hillary as it would have solidified anti-Trump base behind her. For it to have happened Bernie should have come out as a bad and selfish person. However he came out as a weak leader who is too tired to fight and who is ready to abandon the ship.

Difference lies in the supporters. Cruz and Trump had two things in common. First they both wanted to defeat Hillary. Second they both were anti-establishment. Now that Cruz looks ‘not opposed’ to Hillary to keep his hope for 2020 bid intact, it’s easy for his supporters to move to Trump since Trump is also anti-establishment and is the only person who wants to defeat Hillary.

On the other hand Bernie and Hillary supporters were opposites. One were anti-establishment, other were pro-establishment. It’s right they both hated Trump, but Bernie hasn’t done a Cruz to give his supporters a reason to support Hillary. By endorsing Hillary so wholeheartedly, he has in fact endorsed the power of Big Money. It’s like a win for the establishment, what he fought against.

This has lost him a lot of fans just like Cruz lost a lot of his supporters. But the difference is Cruz people solidified against another anti-establishment Trump. It doesn’t seem to be happening for pro-establishment Hillary.

Written by arpitgarg

July 27, 2016 at 3:18 am

Posted in Political

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Why are US Elections Polls numbers so varied?

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election.jpgA quick look at Real Clear Politics (RCP) poll page will show you that poll numbers between Trump and Clinton are hugely different on various opinion polls. They vary from +12 in favor of Clinton to +7 in favor of Trump. RCP uses few latest polls and takes their average to give a number. But the question is why so much difference? There are a few reasons as per what I understand.

  1. Who are People polled: Most important is the demographic of the respondents. Votes can be broadly divided into registered Democrats, registered Republicans and Independents. Registered Democrats are more likely to vote for Clinton while Registered Republicans are more likely to vote for Trump. If majority of voters polled are Democrats then results will be skewed in favor of Democrat candidate and same goes for Republicans. Hence pollsters divide the voters polled evenly between Democrat and Republican to get a clearer picture. How much ratio a pollster keeps, decides the poll number. Some use actual/exit-poll data from last election to decide on this ratio. Some predict the ratio on basis of the current mood of the public. For example in 2008 Democrat turnout was huge due to Obama wave which was different than in 2004. Different polls keep different ratio of Democrats/Republicans and hence different number.
  2. LV/RV: Likely Voters v/s Registered Voters. Some pollsters poll RV, some poll LV. Registered voters are the ones registered to vote. LV’s are the ones that are likely to vote in the election out of the Registered Voters. This LV formula differs among pollsters, causing the differences. Likely can again be based on party affiliation, age, ethnic background among other things.
  3. Political Leaning of Pollster: This is one if the major factors believe it or not. Pollsters themselves have their own political leanings. They tend to be biased. More so in a polarized environment. They think they can sway the public opinion especially in the early polls.
  4. Quid pro quo: In today’s world reputation is the last thing that gets you money. Some quid pro quo with one side or the other, goes a long way in the practical world and hence the discrepancy.

Written by arpitgarg

July 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Political

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South China Sea issue: What will India do

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china_sea.jpgWe have an unprecedented global situation at hand. A UN backed tribunal has ruled against China’s rights over South China Sea. I call it unprecedented as China does not seem to be backing down and there seems to be no global power who overrules China. I call it unprecedented as unlike before US seems to be in no position to play Big Brother. I call it unprecedented as it seems to the pivotal moment in Asian history which just might crown China as the Asian leader.

What I make of it is China will not back down and Obama lacks political wherewithal to make China back down. World Order that we have seen since India’s Independence is about to change. There is no Papa of the world to run. I call it destruction of the singularity and entering into the plurality. US lead position is in danger and with it India’s security and foreign policy.

India has been backed by US to take on China. China being Pakistan’s all weather friends. What should India do now? India lacks global power to openly defy China. Also to become part of anti-China group will not bide well given that clout of any such group is itself in question. Pak will be brimming that is for sure.

I feel India will be a silent spectator on this. It will give a silent approval to China’s authority and in return bargain for NSG and UNSC support from China. This I feel Modi is most likely to do and this I feel is the best of the situation India can make.

I guess China also knows this at some level hence it has been holding out on India for NSG and UNSC bids. Now I feel is the best time for India to go for the kill and win some back room bargaining. It’s always good to make best of the obvious ending. Sense the result and back the “to be winner”.

Written by arpitgarg

July 13, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Political

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Modi, Obama and UN

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A lot of media coverage in India has been given to Modi and Obama meet. It has been touted as once in a lifetime event. A game changer; an earth shatterer.

There are valid reasons to some extent. US is at the top in the current era of single point of power. Hence newly elected head of the biggest democracy meeting US President sure is news. But I think the grandeur more or else must stop there.

Modi meeting anybody is news in India. I have to make my displeasure known when meeting with a failed Global Leader, Obama is given this outrageous coverage. Some might raise eyebrows on what I just said but Obama has indeed turned out to be a failure at Global stage unlike his predecessors.

Reasons can be aplenty. Starting from compulsions of uplifting economy back home to simple lack of acumen. At this point of time its hard to imagine Obama towering over state heads during conversation. One can easily remember Clinton or Bush doing so. This has sadly let to dimnished US clout which does not bide well for world peace.

For me Modi meeting Obama or speaking at another disappointing body UN is nothing note-worthy. The only positive I see coming out of it is showcasing vision and clout in front of world media which is present at UNGA meet.

Thumbs up to Modi for achieving the same. I sincerely hope Modi doesn’t end up being a failure like the two important destinations of his US visit.

Written by arpitgarg

October 1, 2014 at 1:39 am

Posted in Political

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Detroit Bankruptcy: What it means?

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Detroit pitching for high profile bankruptcy evoked nostalgia, given that I was part of the investment bank, which was one of the high profile bankruptcies of the 21st Century. I have only read of the Russian default of the old, but seeing an entire city go bankrupt in our times, is entirely different.

Detroit is more significant as it was the boom baby, the once-mighty motor city and the pillar of American economy. The situation is also symbolic of declining manufacturing might of US (barring the Weaponry).

How does bankruptcy work for a city?
When a firm goes bankrupt, the assets are sold off and creditors paid off on basis of debt seniority. If Detroit goes bankrupt eventually, it may have to fire public employees. May have to sell off its properties, which includes government offices, public schools, parks and whatever city owns (not the private property). Legally speaking all of it might happen. But since it’s a city, with humanity and politics involved, it might not come down to this.

Newly appointed Emergency Manager of Detroit Kevyn Orr, has put together a plan to save the city. It can be read here. I have tried to summarize the plan and what holds for Detroit in the future.

How bad is the situation?
Population has declined from 1.8mil in 1950 to under 0.7mil in 2012, showing clear signs of decay. Unemployment rate has shot up from 7.3% in 2000 to 18.6% in 2012. Total number of employed people has gone down from around 350k in 2000 to 275k in 2012.

City tried by increasing taxes which resulted in businesses leaving and people migrating. Though tax %age got higher, the quantum of tax kept shrinking. To quote from the plan, “The City is currently levying all taxes at or near statutory maximum rates.”

Reduced security spending over last 10 years resulted in 40% job cuts in Detroit Police Dept. This has led to DPD’s response times getting extremely high. Crime rate has become highest in its population category. Add to this, ageing police cars and fire equipment.

Lack of maintenance has left 40% street lights non-working. Almost all public parks have been shut down (317 open parks around 5 years ago). Public transport has taken a beating due to unmaintained buses. Around 40,000 buildings have turned into dangerous structures sans repairs.

Estimated debt has ballooned to 18billion dollars. Citi has already deferred interest payments to creditors and contribution to pensioners. Bonds have no value anymore. Credit rating has plummeted from A in 2003 to CCC in 2012 (Courtesy Fitch Ratings)

Why is the need for bankruptcy?
It’s not exactly bankruptcy but protection from creditors till city restructures itself. In other words since Detroit does not have money to pay creditors and pensioners, it has to take some legal recourse to save itself from lawsuits demanding the same.

To quote from the plan, “The City cannot stabilize or pay creditors meaningful recoveries if it continues to shrink. Since the City will not generate sufficient cash to pay all liabilities, alternatives have to be considered. Need to reform the City government operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs.”

What’s in store post bankruptcy protection?
Well if City wants it can just deny paying its liabilities and no one can sue. It won’t be able to raise money by bonds and other resources as no one will be ready to lend. City will most surely increase Tax Rate forcing the remaining businesses to consider moving out of the city. It will further fire city employees to reduce operating costs, thereby shooting up unemployment rates.

How the future seems bleak is summarized by the following quote from the plan, “Where cost savings or service improvements can be achieved, the City will explore potential outsourcing of functions.”

For all I can say, its Gotham time for Detroit. Hope it finds its own Bruce Wayne.

Written by arpitgarg

July 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm

2012: The year that wasn’t

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Topmost could have been headlines of year 2012.

1. India demolishes Eng 3-0 in the home Test Match Series. Tendulkar hit his first triple ton. Gambhir is vindicated of “see you at home” remark. BCCI decides to scrap away Tests from ICC Future Tours Program. BCCI chief Srinivasan said and I quote “All Tests played in Chennai will be Home Tests and those played elsewhere in the country will be Away Tests”.

2. World not able to witness 21st Dec 2012. Just as predicted by the great “Ronald Emmerich” in his movie 2012, owing to Earth Crust Displacement and massive Earthquakes, 90% of human civilization is wiped off. This news is telecasted from US Space Station. John Cusack is among the survivors.

3. London Olympics 2012, turned out to be a disaster, overshadowing Delhi Common Wealth Games. Kalmadi was grinning from ear to ear with, “I told ya sa” expression. Anacondas and Godzilla’s were cited around athletes’ village. Organizers are blaming it on different perceptions of security standards across the world.

4. US Presidential elections were marred by an act of shooting when a heated argument between Obama and Romney got out of hand. Both took out their M16’s and started shooting at each other and the audience. The audience were already dead of boredom so no harm done.

5. 2012 was landmark year in India as far as women safety was concerned. Women Safety Bill 2012 was passed in the parliament, which led to Women only Police stations and death penalty for rapists. Country saw ZERO rape cases and only handful of eve-teasing incidents this year.

6. AK series phone have made Nokia the market leader in Smart Phones. Foldable screens and Phones which could shoot better than AK47 have done the trick. “We don’t need to buy a gun for Mass Shootings, We buy Nokia instead”, said a consumer. Apple will be filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy during March next year. Samsung is in talk with Yahoo for a possible sellout.

7. United Nations Security Council intervens in the Julian Assange’s case. US/UK could face UN sanctions owing to gross human right violations. Wikileaks brings to light more facts that no one was aware of. “Sun rises in the East”, “Earth is round” and “Blueberry cheese cake is awesome”.

Among other news.
Chuck Norris was not able to kill two birds with one stone. Rajnikant was cited asleep. Superman wore underwear under his pants. Batman finally played cricket. Vivek Oberoi became superstar. Chacha Choudhary got beaten by new Ipad in chess. Manmohan Singh saw movie of his choice.

Written by arpitgarg

December 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Walking Genius

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There are times in life when we end up making fool of ourselves. One such incident happened to me lately. Made an a** of myself. I realized I am not alone. People like me walk among us. I would like to pay my respects to some such pals of mine.

PSO Padam Singh
Personal Security Officer of UP CM Mayawati, Padam Singh, bent down and wiped her dusty shoes. “I just noticed the dust on her shoes. I follow Clean India Green India campaign and wiped of the dust. What wrong have I done?”

Padam Singh

Muammar Gaddafi
“They love me. All my people are with me. They love me all. They would die to protect me”, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gloated, laughing off international pressure to step down. When questioned as to how can he laugh it of, while he is slaughtering his own people, Gaddafi said, “I am just a happy person. I laugh all the time. More so since I started watching FRIENDS. Long live America!”.

Gaddafi

S M Krishna
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna accidentally read out the Portuguese Foreign Minister’s speech at the UN.
“There was nothing wrong in it, I was just trying to learn some Portuguese”, clarified Krishna. A headline read, “Dear Krishna, all is forgiven. Don’t catch the wrong flight.”

Krishna

Ratnakar Shetty
When asked whether it was unfair that only 4000 tickets would be sold to public for a game as important as the World Cup final, Shetty said the members of the clubs are also part of the “public” and so he disagrees that public is not getting any tickets.

Speechless! Well species like these are found in trio’s, lest they hurt themselves.

Shetty

Haroon Lorgat
Some miscreants stoned WI team bus after Bangladesh’s shameful defeat. ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat played down the incident, calling it ‘minor’, pointing out that few individuals had thrown pebbles at the bus. This left WI team manager furious.

Bangladesh’s Cricket Board left the world further puzzled when it added that people mistook WI team bus to be Bangladesh team bus. They walk among us!

Haroon

Hillary Clinton/Obama
US President Barack Obama pressurized Pakistan to treat Raymond Davis, who allegedly shot dead two men in Lahore, as a diplomat and release him. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly “forced” Pakistan to confirm the diplomatic immunity for Davis while threatening to withdraw the $1.5 billion aid.

“Life of a US citizen with per capita $48000 is way more than that of two Pakistanis with per capita $1000. It’s pure statistics”, asserted Hilary while greeting Davis back home.

Obama

Manoj Tiwari BB
Fuming over his eviction from the ‘Bigg Boss’ house, Bhojpuri star Manoj Tiwari hit back at Salman Khan and his brother Arbaaz Khan for ‘scripting’ his eviction from the controversial reality show as a part of larger ‘conspiracy’ against Bhojpuri actors

Manoj Tiwari Fan Club president Manish Kumar, along with a bunch of followers protested against Tiwari’s eviction, claiming that ‘Bigg Boss’ ‘insulted’ the 26-crore Bhojpuri community.

Tiwari

Your’s Truly
Incident With-hold

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