Kunal Mukhopadhyay

Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page

The largest scam in the history of 21st century.

In Blogging, Globalization, Politics on November 11, 2010 at 10:42 am

So now Scania is also accused of oil-for-food kickbacks. Volvo was already implicated earlier. I remember reading a while ago that many French industries also traded regularly with Saddam while the alleged “embargo” was still in place. Ha! Blithering opportunists.

While Saddam enjoyed the luxurious spoils of being pampered by the selfishly opportunistic companies in Europe and the US, sadly, the common mass suffered from the embargo imposed on Iraq. Medical equipment like X-ray machines were hard to get by but one could easily find a laser guided weapon in the country.

I recently was talking to a taxi driver in Stockholm, originally from Iran who narrated the practical hardships caused due to the current embargo on Iran. It was ridiculous to hear what transpires in this world in the name of justice and democracy. For example – Iran Air aircrafts are not allowed to fuel in Sweden due to the embargo. Specifically – Iran Air does not fuel at Stockholm due to the embargo. But apparently, there is a loophole in the rules/embargo that allows the aircraft to fly down to Gothenburg and re-fuel from a private company before returning to Iran. Or alternately stop-over at Geneva where Iran Air can fuel with no obstacles.

So guess who really feels the brunt of it at the end of the day? Yup – the poor passengers who need to sit and wait while the aircraft fuels up. Ordinarily the flight takes 4 hours from Stockholm to Teheran. With the detour it can take up to eight hours. And here’s the killer line – there are several European airlines that fly to Teheran.

The UN Independent Inquiry Committee set up in 2004 found enough, if not pretty damning, evidence to make any decent human being with any moral conscience to stand up and cry foul. Here is the UN_report_summary.

This may not be the first instance in history of such a scam. But I wonder if it isn’t the worst it terms of the number of nations and companies involved.

Truly a shame for the 20th AND the 21st century.

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Afghanistan – a tale of sorrow and victory?

In Politics, USA on November 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

(An old post that ended up in the drafts folder)

Last night I watched the movie, “The Kite Runner”. My heart wept – for Afghanistan.

While in middleschool I remember reading a story titled Kabuliwallah (The man from Kabul). My mother also used to tell the story of a real-life Afghani man who used to come by her street every year peddling dried fruits, having walked(?) from Afghanistan. Just like in the story, one year he didn’t come and then as my mother and siblings grew older and the things of the past became just memories, so did the Afghani. But I wondered – what became of him?

There is a line in the book/movie – “No foreigner has been able to besiege Afghanistan”. When I pondered on it, I realized that the although the current ISAF/US troops presence may be viewed as “friendly” or to some as “liberators”, to the indiginous population of Aghanistan they are still foreigners in their land. They too shall be defeated…..the definition of “defeat” being subjective.

EU sanction against Iran

In Carl Bildt on November 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

(I wrote this blog a while ago and it got lost in the drafts folder)

Speaking in Brussels, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the EU was pursuing “a double-track policy” towards Iran.

“I have yet to meet anyone who thinks that this issue is going to be sorted out by sanctions… alone. So I think that we’ll have to look at the different ways in which we can strengthen and emphasise the diplomatic track and there are, I hope, some possibilities along that road.”

I hope so too Carl, I hope so too.

Digital B2B sales process

In Blogging, Technology on November 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm

“If B2B sales teams reduce the amount of face-to-face selling time in favor of more efficient sales models using the Web and telephone, will B2B buyers be receptive?” asks Richard Lesser in a recent post at the Acquiring Minds blog. You bet they will, he answers: “In fact, B2B buyers have been driving this change for some time—and the pace is accelerating.”

Therefore, it’s time to toss out old lead-gen techniques and turn your sales process digital, Lesser argues. Here are his reasons why:

The buying process now begins online—and so do sales meetings. “Given that most buying is initiated with online search, buyers are naturally becoming more accepting of interactions with sales via Web conference, email and online chat,” Lesser notes. Above all, they seek a quick response—not a future meeting.

Digital buyers prefer data to voice. “The buyer favors producing content that is written (data) and not spoken (voice),” Lesser explains, because he or she is likely on email, Facebook and LinkedIn at home and at work. And today’s B2B communication is not only data-driven but also mostly mobile.

Buyers are not in the office. They’re in motion: “The door to your customer is opened through their mobile device, and not a fixed-position PC,” Lesser states.

Buyers are time-starved. Meeting face-to-face is becoming less frequent due to jam-packed business schedules.

The world (of buyers) is flat. “Evaluation teams are dispersed across the country and even around the world,” Lesser points out. Meeting face-to-face with them at any one time has become well-nigh impossible.

The Po!nt: Fire up that mobile device. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to turn your B2B sales process digital—to better serve on-the-go buyers in a time-strapped world.

Source: Acquiring Minds.

Vi bryr oss

In Blogging on November 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Malmö aviation may not be one of the big airline names floating around. But they live up to their slogan – vi bryr oss. We care.
While SAS struggles with aging fleet and personnel (nothing wrong with the latter IMO) with a CEO who claims ignorance over SAS’ practice of charging their passengers in economy for a cup of coffee… Malmö aviation take the prize for customer oriented service. Even for those who DON’T travel business class. (SAS serves free condiments in economy plus and business class). One almost gets the feeling in some airlines that one is being penalized for flying economy.

In an evermore competitive market with extreme pressure to generate profits in the storm of rising prices and volcanic ash…one fundamental ingredient seems to have been forgotten by the larger airlines – the customers/passengers!

So guess which airlines I would choose first if I had a choice (and they flew to any destination I wished for).

P.S. I might add that KLM also serves all its passengers with complimentary refreshments.

Astrazeneca tecknar avtal med miljöbov |

In Blogging on September 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

Astrazeneca tecknar avtal med miljöbov | Veckans Affärer http://t.co/J5raXkr