Monday, October 29, 2007

GAP takes child labour heat

Has child labour gone into these clothes? (photo credit Paul Sakuma/AP)

It has been reported yesterday that an investigation has discovered Indian children as young as 10 years old were being forced to produce blouses for a Gap subcontractor in the Shahpur Jat area of New Delhi. Gap is one of the biggest American retail chains that operates more than 3,000 stores and franchises across the world.

More on this report here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Indian women rise to the occasion in politics

India's Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has been profiled by the US magazine Newsweek among eight women leaders worldwide who have reached the top despite all odds, with the Dalit leader narrating her struggle to rally the oppressed community.

Writing in the magazine, the 51-year-old Bahujan Samaj Party chief, who swept the Assembly elections early this year with a rainbow coalition of Dalits, upper castes and Muslims, says her aim is to replicate the victory in the other states and prepare for the bigger struggle to capture power in New Delhi.

Indian women are making their mark on the political scene. The present president and previously India had a women prime minister. Thus, some women are making giant strides up the political ladder in the world's largest democracy.

Many Americans from the US Democratic party believe that next year, United States may see its first women president from the Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How does 'being unreasonable' become a virtue ?

Paul Lemberg who has written the book 'Be Unreasonable' is hailed as a strategic mind in business.

According to an article on rediff citing excerpts from the book, the author explains the business advantages of being unreasonable. The excerpts of cases referred to makes interesting reading of what the real world is in extreme capitalism. Greed, oppression and denial of workers rights and making money at any cost are all forms of ruthless behaviour that individuals and corporations compete on. This is how creative destruction is brought about ruining some people's lives and taking over their property and assets for mistakes made by them. This type of capitalism takes a huge toll on poor people when corporate or political tyrants take advantages and oppress workers and squander wealth to satisfy personal greed without thinking of the good of the society.

There is no need to glorify being unreasonable just because one can make money by adopting such tactics. IBM failed to maintain their dominance in the PC market not because they did not become unreasonable, but because they failed to innovate and meet the rising competition. They were arrogant and believed that they will always remain ahead of the rest. In the end IBM was forced to compete to remain in business.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A victory for anti-piracy movement

A court in the United States has ordered a woman to pay $220,000 yesterday. She is fined for illegally sharing a total of 1,702 songs.

Jammie Thomas, a Native American from Minnesota, is one of 26,000 people whom the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued over the past four years for alleged use of music “file-sharing” software.

The 30-year-old made legal history after refusing to pay an out-of-court settlement, as all others challenged over their behaviour before her had done, but her failure to carry the case is likely further to embolden the music industry in its attempts to protect copyright.

Most defendants of the lawsuits have opted to settle privately by paying damages amounting to a few thousand dollars. Jamie contested the charge and has now lost almost a quarter of a million dollars. The record companies have made no decision yet what they would do, if anything, to pursue collecting the money from Jamie who is living from pay cheque to pay cheque. The record companies believe that they have sent a strong message against illegal file-sharing of copyright materials.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Teaching teamwork

Teamwork is important for good business. For people in countries where the sport rugby is played, teamwork in sports is common news. France is currently hosting the world cup rugby.

The Grenoble School of Management in the south-eastern France, has just signed a deal with the city's rugby team for a series of events and programs intended to benefit both parties.

The rugby club will assist the business school in creating a series of programs connected to marketing and sport, with club executives even presenting a series of case studies to students.

In rugby for a player to get a try, he needs more teamwork than individual inspiration. While in play, the ball cannot be thrown forwards, only behind, meaning tries are generally scored through a complex series of sideways passes, each player running forwards a few yards before bringing a team mate into play.

Another well-known feature of the game, the scrum, also requires careful co-operation, as players crouch and link arms to push against the other team in a carefully choreographed circle, into which the ball is thrown.

As a result of teamwork, each individual is able achieve more than an isolated individual combining the knowledge and skills of the team. Whether in sports or in a corporate set up, the principle of this co-operative action is the same.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Blogs are the no spin medium for Corporations.

The list of boardroom bloggers is setting a new marketing trend, a self-promoting PR exercise in the world of the blogosphere. Examples include Bob Lutz, vice president of General Motors; Randy Baseler, vice president of Boeing; Jonathan Schwartz, president of Sun Microsystems; Jacques Kemp, CEO of ING Asia-Pacific; and Colin Byrne, CEO, Weber Shandwick.

Blogs are unofficial and is seen as straight talking. It is open communication about the company, its employees and its culture humanises the organisation. Blogs can be thought-provoking and deliver instant feedback. Readers don't hold back, and an advantage is that problems or criticisms can be picked up on and solved quickly.

Here is the opening speil of Australia Telstra's Phil Burgess, group managing director and head of marketing and communications, where he writes how Telstra aims to facilitate an independent debate about the future of telecommunications in Australia.