Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

“Is the Golden Temple all real gold?” asked Canadian PM

During his recent visit to the Sikhs’ holiest shrine, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper could not believe that the Golden Temple was all covered with real gold. Harper was so struck by the sight of the resplendent Sikh temple that he asked someone in his entourage whether it was all real gold.

“When the prime minister had his first glimpse of the Golden Temple on that beautiful sunny day, he asked someone next to him: Is it real gold? ‘Yes, it is real gold, sir,’ the person told the prime minister,” says Amritsar-born Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia who was one of the eight top Indo-Canadians picked up by the prime minister for his India visit.

Toronto-based Ahluwalia, who runs one of the biggest diagnostic centres in Canada, says, “The Canadian prime minister was thrilled by the golden beauty of the temple and kept looking at it. He paid his obeisance, made an offering of Rs 1,000 and received a siropa.”

Alhuwalia, who moved to Canada more than 25 years ago, said, “There were thousands and thousands of people to see the Canadian prime minister. Seeing this welcome in my hometown, I told his executive assistant (Jeremy Hunt) that the PM is more popular here than the fifth Beatle. There was so much response and energy.”

And this overwhelming welcome for the Canadian prime minister in Amritsar was reported back as “chaos’ by the Canadian journalists accompanying Harper.

“From the viewpoint of the Canadian media, it was chaos, but it was excitement and energy generated by the prime minister’s visit,” added another entourage member and biggest Indo-Canadian landlord Bob Dhillon.

“When the PM came to the Golden Temple, he was treated like a rock star. There were 100,000 people and the energy was overwhelming. The amount of respect the prime minister got there surpassed anything I have seen in my whole life,” the self-made multi-millionaire said.

“Personally, I went to the Golden Temple for the first time in my life, and the irony is that it was the prime minister of Canada who took me there. It was an uplifting spiritual experience for me,” said Calgary-based Dhillon whose Mainstreet Equity company has more than 6,000 rental properties across Canada.

“The sight of tall Nihang Sikhs throwing a security cordon around the Canadian prime minister was just unbelievable,” added the second biggest landlord in Canada.

Dhillon said, “During the state dinner at Hyderabad House, when I told prime minister Manmohan Singh that I am the biggest Indian landlord in Canada, he put his hand on my shoulder said: ‘I am very proud of you.’ I will never forget that.”

(Author Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Government, Politics | | Leave a comment

10 Questions Businesses Should Never Stop Asking

Here are the 10 questions businesses should have asked when starting and they are the very questions that any business owner should continue to ask, year in and year out:

 

What is our purpose for existing?

Who is our target customer? and why?

Why does anyone need what we’re selling?

If there is a need, is it enough to support a profitable business?

What are our competitors up to?

Can you reduce expenses–without harming the product?

Do the company have the right leadership?

Do we have the right employees?

How will we continue to drive revenue?

How are your employees holding up?

Please add any suggestions:

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Business Model, Human Resources, Marketing | | Leave a comment

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is a concept in green economics and welfare economics that has been suggested to replace gross domestic product (GDP) as a metric of economic growth.

GPI is an attempt to measure whether a country’s growth, increased production of goods, and expanding services have actually resulted in the improvement of the welfare (or well-being) of the people in the country. GPI advocates claim that it can more reliably measure economic progress, as it distinguishes between worthwhile growth and uneconomic growth.

The GDP vs the GPI is analogous to the difference between the gross profit of a company and the net profit; the Net Profit is the Gross Profit minus the costs incurred. Accordingly, the GPI will be zero if the financial costs of crime and pollution equal the financial gains in production of goods and services, all other factors being constan

Most economists assess the progress in welfare of the people by comparing the gross domestic product over time, that is, by adding up the annual dollar value of all goods and services produced within a country over successive years. However, GDP was never intended to be used for such purpose. It is prone to productivism or consumerism, over-valuing production and consumption of goods, and not reflecting improvement in human well-being.

Simon Kuznets, the inventor of the concept of the GDP, notes in his very first report to the US Congress in 1934:

…the welfare of a nation [can] scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income…

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business Development, Economics, Finance | , | Leave a comment

The problem with Centralized Purchasing

Definition of Centralized Purchasing: The control by a central department of all the purchasing undertaken within a large organization. Centralized purchasing is often located in the headquarters and centralization has the advantages of reducing duplication of effort, pooling volume purchases for discounts, enabling more effective inventory control, increasing skills development in purchasing personnel and sometime by consolidating transport loads to achieve lower costs (unless everything has to repackage and shipped to other branches).

The Financial & Administrative Impacts

Organizations are focusing too much on centralized purchasing because of the typical administrative and financial benefits associated.  Economies of scale kicks in when buying bulk and it many cases it is easier to manage.  But here’s the idea; what if executives responsible form Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR & Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) sat together and rethought a strategy that would fulfill not just the bottom line ($) but the triple bottom line (Finance, Social, Environment) while meeting all departmental objectives.

Helping develop the local economy benefits any business operating in that community, the case same would go for the branch location of any multinational.   The decision to decentralize purchasing and purchase from small businesses owned locally would do wonders for multinational CSR and branding.  Logistically it would have less of a carbon footprint because less transportation.

The success stories and highlighting local businesses would be a new approach of viral marketing for the Marketing department.  Financially it would make sense as head office already knows the price targets each branch needs to meet.

The case can be made that centralized purchasing you have fewer suppliers and thats more control.  This is translated into “stronger or better relationships.” If we look at the turnover and promotions within large multinationals do you really think its stronger relationships or is it entirely bottom line driven.

Now imagine an organization that goes away from playing the global market and but instead now develops the local economy.  Now each branch of the multinational would purchase its supplies from local small business community, which in return could generate more business for that branch.  This helps the local economy and all the employees of the multinational.  How does it do that?  Take your wife/husband, kids, neighbours and/ or siblings, then think about where they work and how the development of local business community can effect their lives and your community.  The stronger we make each community the more robust in can grow leading to a great satisfaction of everyday life.   Plus look at the simple economics of the multiplier effect where everyone is buying from small businesses and that same dollar is being spent several times over in the community where before it would have left without anyone even seeing it.  All this can make a HR (Human Resources) department more efficient when you start looking at statistics that community driven and sustainable organization have higher retention rates and higher levels of productivity.

The branch would play a vital part in the local economy and help keep dollars in the pockets of their customers and the employees families, who live work and play in that community.

 

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business Model, Community Economic Development (CED), Great Ideas | , | Leave a comment

How Procurement Helps Organizations Stay on Course in a Tough Economic Climate

Recent economic conditions require immediate, measurable, and sustainable cost reductions, and it’s essential
that procurement leads the way in delivering savings. The link below leads to research conducted by SAP in conjunction with the Procurement Leaders Network.  You will find the results of a survey taken in April–May 2009, where over 200 procurement executives about what strategies are working today, in a period of economic free fall.  63% of stakeholders interviewed are responsible for procurement with companies that have annual sales in excess of €1 billion euros.

http://204.154.71.138/data/UPLOAD/files/Succeeding_with_New_Procurement_Strategies_50096186_en_2009.8.6-14.25.1.pdf

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Community Economic Development (CED) | , | Leave a comment