Friday, October 30, 2009

Shares of life?

A Company is owned by share-holders who nominate a 'management team' to manage the company for them.
What is the aim of the management team? Is it to run the company smoothly, ensure the brand-name is created/maintained, keep the employers happy? Perhaps.

What are the financial aims of the management, or more appropriately, the corporate finance team/dept?
Is it to increase profitability? Increase Sales? Increase volumes? Increase Profit Margin?
It is tough to make any of these as the aim. For instance, increasing profitability seems like a sound goal, and a seemingly innocuous one. But then, it has to be quantified. Profitability for the next year, or the one after that, or all years? Can they use inferior raw-material and sell at the same price to increase profits? Increase Sales? A statement like: "The goal is to increase profitability" leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the motives of the share-holders (the guys who own the company).

A beautiful and strikingly clear goal for the Finance team is to "Increase the share value".
This takes into account everything. The increase in share value implies that the 'worth' of the company has increased. The share-holders cannot help but be happy with this.

It might seem obvious (what-was-so-ooh-lala-about-this) to someone. But any other goal is tainted with un-clarity. Once you have such a goal (and of course a set of ethical codes), it simplifies the decision-making process.

I can almost imagine the guy (guys? team? reasearch group? confederation?) that came up with this idea that all the finance group had to do was try to legitimately increase the share-value. They would have solved a deep-rooted question of corporate finance. And made it, at least coming up with a target, a cake-walk for the rest.

I wish a guy (guys? team? blah blah) come up with a similar rule for living life. There are many theories to what would make a 'successful liver', just like what would make for a 'successful' finance team.
One can say that a desirable goal of life is to increase happiness (similar to increasing profitabilty). But this statement is un-clear, just like 'increasing profitability' is unclear. You could cheat through a test and score high and the high score might make you happy... and the cheating may not necessarily make you that sad/guity. The classic question is that would you try to be happy at the cost of someone else's happiness, just like would you try to make profits by harming the competitor's product?
You could. And you could justify that the statement 'increasing happiness' didn't have any clauses.

But is there an equivalent of 'increasing share-value' for the conundrum of life?

The thrill is in making profits.... but in different ways - taking the challenge of making a non-performing assets profitable, finding a niche market for your product and booking profits, positioning yourself to make profits, obtaining cheap loans and making profits, making a loss in your debut venture and yet seeing the profit of knowledge in it.

And similarly, the thrill is in being happy. And that is, similarly, through different avenues - participating in an adventure and being happy, laughing madly at a joke, feeling thankful, being appreciated, and even getting stressed for an interview would constitute happiness. You would want to make the most of all of these channels for happiness.

But what would be that one line - one phrase that could sum it all up, make a clear goal and make life 'easier' for the rest?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Current Happenings

Over the years I have come to realize that the most overwhelming fear I have is that of appearing 'foolish'.
No matter how confident I grow, the fear constantly lurks like an annoying fly one can't get rid of. I remind myself that there is no such thing as a 'stupid' question, repeatedly. And just when I think I have gotten over the fear, a situation comes up to test me. I bump into an acquaintance. I try hard to recollect but fail. I know I am supposed to know her... of course I know her. Why can't I place her? What was her name at least? And then, she goes on talking without doubting my knowledge. And after 5 minutes of conversation, I get painfully restless. Now it's too late to prop a question along the lines of 'how do I know you?'. I want to escape instead of confront it... and I keep thinking, what if I bump into her again?

The problem is that such situations should be resolved at the earliest. One must take that extra step of courage instantly, instead of hoping that it will resolve on it's own. Such problems simply get compounded with time.

(PS: The trick I follow if I don't remember someone's name is that I ask for their cell number and then ask them how they exactly spell their names :-)  (courtesy Monil) )

Apart from that, things have been smooth. It's a good life. Work takes up most time and the rest is divided between gymming, dancing and singing.
On weekends, the songs I invariably hear are "I gotta feeling tonight's gonna be a good night" and "I wanna make up now now now" and a song that goes something like "blah blah blah... go down down'. I really like going down on that song :-)

I liked the latest research that said men aren't 'real men' anymore or something like that! Hehe... the average women not too long back were 'stronger' than men today. The Fair&Handsomes are not doing themselves too proud. And what with artificial sperm (or something) being discovered recently, the men might find themselves rather useless in the evolutionary battles. I mean, they've never been great at understanding women, not made themselves useful in household chores, women are matching (or moving ahead) men in their primary job of providing food and shelter to family, men might not be needed in procreation if the artificial sperm is anything to go by... and then, most of the times they are getting in the way of some useful task or getting on the nerves of a useful woman.
It's going to be a woman's world soon...