Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bank Service ..ICICI

Recently there was another incident I came across which reflects the service orientation of a bank. ICICI Bank !!

Let me say that overall till date I have liked the Online services of ICICI & they are much ahead of many banks in using the technology at its best !!

But recently when they wanted all of their Demat Account holders to show PAN Card proof, they did not manage it very well. Which in any case was very easy to manage otherwise :

  • They sent an intimation via Email/Website to ask customers to show up their original PAN Card & PAN copy for some SEBI requirement
  • No detailed process given
  • Customer were supposed to fill up one Form with some Details, which was missing from the mailer they sent
  • At the branch office there was no clue as to how do I proceed to go thru this entire process
  • Many people were taking Token # at the machine & sitting that they will be called !!..No one called :(
  • After some enquiries with few counters, there was one counter where the person was accecpting the Forms :)
  • So it was acutally very easy process, but was made tough for customer without detailed knowlegde

What was expected :

  • Provide detailed step-by-step instructions by mailer
  • Provide the PAN Card Update Form in the mailer & at the bank branch entrance
  • Create a Seperate counter at the entrance of the bank to accept the PAN Copy & verify Original Pan Card
  • May be accept Notary attested PAN Card Copies by mail
  • All Branches should have to facilitate, not just the one which provides Demat Services.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Citibank ..Excellent Service !!

We always crib about services offered to us by various agencies. Bank is one of them !!. The new banks & modernisation bringing lots of changes into our lives everyday, we think everything should be automated the way we want :)

I had a very good experience with Citibank yesterday. I ordered a Demand Draft from their Internet Banking website at 8:30 am morning & the DD was received by me at my residence at 12:00 noon :) ..It was great service.

Always I have found that the DD was delivered next day without fail. This is the power of Internet & also using the services effectively. As with Internet Banking, local branches can effectively work together to deliver the services to their clients locally.

I have seen in the past some banks telling me like " Sir it will take 4 working days, as our Head Office is in Mumbai " :) . I always feel like telling the person on phone(call center), that how does it matter to me where your HQ is ? !! ..But yes there are still some banks are old fashioned inspite of having good infrastructure in place.

There are other examples of Banks where the Call Center closes at 6:00 pm :) ..In this world of outsourcing its hard to imagine big companies still following old times !

I like Citibank at least for their Draft service !!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Internet Buying ..Still not matured in India

I had this good experience of buying something online, which you would have actually tempted me to buy more from the website. Also in due course I might have given more hits/business to the same vendor who is selling books online.

But unfortunetly the experience is not so good. Infact it was such that I did not wanted to buy anything from there & probably goto the book shop available locally & get that book.

I was looking for an Indian Edition of Book : Beyond Code: Learn to Distinguish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps! . Luckily I found the link to 2 book shops offering the same book online in india.


But when I tried buying I was shocked to see the way they are selling :) ..The book costs Rs. 150/- in India for paperback edition. was charging Rs.110/- for shipping on a Rs.135/- book(after discount of Rs.15). is offering the same book for Rs. 239/-(Shipping of Rs.10) = Rs. 249/-. So both the online book stores are just charging too much for either shipping or the book & making money.

I always wonder why people selling online try to do this kind of stuff. This does not help them in anyway, instead people will not come to their store for buying anymore !! ...

Look at Amazon, they have fixed pricing for Shipping as per the item you are buying.

Internet should make things simple for people & complicated.

For now I have to just find a local book shop & go get my copy of "Beyond Code" !!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Distinguish Yourself ..Good to read !!

I was reading some of the small articles on Topic "Distinguish Yourself", written by Rajesh Setty on his Lens.

This is first time I read about Lens. So what is Lens ?

A lens is one person's view on a topic that matters to her. It's an easy-to-build, single web page that can point to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, CafePress designs, Amazon books or music, and thousands of products from hundreds of other trusted merchants. You can pick whatever content you want to put in your lens to bring context to your topic. Then, when someone is looking for recommended information, fast, your lens gets him started and sends him off in the right direction. It's a place to start, not finish.

The above is from the FAQ from :

I liked the idea. Its a great way to get your posts in a single page for reference on a particular topic. As in blogs the posts are scattered sometimes. If you go off-topic !!

Rajesh Setty has written, very well thought articles on this subjest "Distinguish Yourself".
Its a series of small articles which provocates your to think more about yourself. Whcih I guess one needs to do always.

The one which I liked in being in Support Profession for a long is :
#6 Ask for help

This is something I use to tell everyone I meet who is starting career in Support or try to get something done. Always seek help if you know you can get right there instead of wasting your own time discovering !!. Off-course that do not mean that you should seek help for everything you would like to do. Do your home-work, try few things you know. If you still don't get seek clues & go from there.

Again I feel that Lens is like Blogging on a specific Topic !! ..

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Life Beyond Code !!

When I first saw these words on Blogcamp. It was quite interesting to read more about it. When I was traversing through various posts, blogs about it. It takes me more deeper & its more interesting.

There is a blog on this subject by auther Rajesh Setty :

I feel its a nice subject to read. On my first thought it seems like a good idea to understand what is "Life Beyond Code". I am eagerly waiting to read this book. Its availale on But need to find the Indian Edition somewhere. Will goto the near book shop soon !!

There is another compilation of blog entries by the same auther at :

There is to much to read !!. But first I will read the Book & then will go further.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Indian Highways on Yahoo Groups !!

You want to share your information or would like too know experiences of others on Indian Highways, Join "indiahighways" group on !!

I have been following-up on this group for more than a year now & the information is very helpful you are driving on Indian Highways.

Lot of
people in this group are regular travellers on Highways.

If you would like to know the status of Golden Quardilateral Project(This is a Highway Project started few years back when BJP was in power). This project is to connect Indian Highways with 4 Laned roads to cover major cities in India.

There are regular updates from National Highways Authority of India ( on progress of this project.

I generally track the ( to check the progress between Mumbai & Chennai route ..It seems form the July-31st update that this route is 4-laned aolmost 94.88%. I don't think this is the real status though. As when I saw some trip sheets from "indianhighways" group. It looks like that the Chitradurga To Hubli streach is in bad shape. Need to confirm from few more people who have travelled on NH4 recently.

On the positive note, I see the highway project being good for all. Though it is taking double the time it should have taken to complete, still its a good initiative by Indian Govt. to boost the economy & providing faster alternative means of transportation to people in India.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Experiences with International Travel from India

I was travelling to Hong Kong from Bangalore recently, this is just after the UK Incident.

It was not so good experience while going from Bangalore International Airport, as they were not at all prepared for the new security arrangements & also for the large crowed which generally gathers at the airport for all night flights.

I was standing in a queue for almost 4 hours till I reached the gate of the place :(. The check-in counter(all) was taking too much time to check-in as they installed some new system to improve check-in times :). I was surprised to see that there are was no one their at supervisor level to understand the difficulties of travellers & to give them good answer to their questions !!. The questions were :

  • Why so long time for check-in ? Ans : We implemented new system :)
  • My flight is just in next 10 minutes, how I am going to catch that ? Ans : No Answer
  • Is the flight schedule changes because of delay in check-in ? Ans : No Answer
As after the check-in we went to the Immigration Counters, there was similar scene there !!. No one was interested in letting the passengers know what's happening. Everybody was just trying to get themselves as fast as possible :)

There was only 1 x-ray machine as usual !!. Some Airline agents were trying to get passengers out of the security/immigration queue to speed-up, but in turn they were creating more chaos as it was not a co-ordinated effort at all.

It was disgusting to see the impressions of fellow passengers about India & specially Bangalore International Airport :(

I know this was a probably one-off incidence with so much of delay, but really not. As I have travelled many times from this airport & things are never smooth. There are always atleast 30 min. wait at each queue(Check-in, Immigration, Security).

When I reached HK Airport. The immigration was finished for 100 passengers in just 10 minutes with 8 officers only !!. It was good to see the speed at they were working.

On the other note, I got a surprise when I returned to Bangalore from Hong Kong, the total time I took from Plane exit gate to Airport exit was just 15 minutes(Passing thru Immigration, Baggage collection) !!

The reason was that I was first 5 in line while doing immigration. Also we had only our flight for some reason to arrive at that time :) ..Also luckily I got my baggage on the belt in 5 minutes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Understanding Indian Stock Market !!

I feel that it is very tough to understand Indian Stock Market, on top of that the Indian Mutual Fund Markets !!

Today the Markets are close to 12000 mark on BSE, but you will see that the Mutual Funds NAVs are way below that what it was at 12000 mark 3 months back :)

Yes, I know that its not good to predict the markets & also there is no direct relation of Indices to MF NAVs. I feel the market was over valued in last 1 year & now it is coming to its real terms may be !!

I refer to my last post on this. The MFs I have given as TOP 5 in my opinion based on some research are still the same !!

Keep watching !!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hong Kong : Ocean Park Review

Recently I had been to Ocean Park, Hong Kong . Its a huge amusement park with lot of activities planned for peopel visiting it. Its more like a adventure park with lot of rides & fun stuff.

My experience with Ocean Park was not so good that day as the weather was too hot & there was too much crowed on sunday there :(

Also its not a good idea to goto Ocean Park on Sunday. You should reach there by 10:00 am to get to see most of the theme parks with less crowed may be. We were standing in a queue for 45 min's to see Sea Jelly Fish Exhibit :) ...Jelly Fish are amazing ..I have been to another such Jelly Fish Aquarium which in California at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great place to be at. Its little away from SFO,but its worth visiting. The drive towards Monterey is also good. Also while coming back you can visit the 17 miles drive & Pebble beach !!

So if you are planning to visit Ocean Park with kids specially infants ..beware of following :

  • Expect Hot & sunny weather
  • On weekends there are just too many people
  • Lines to Exhibit have waiting period upto 1 hour sometimes :(
  • You cannot go in any rides with infants ..very few ..
  • There is too much to walk & see which is tough with Infants :)
  • Food is a issue for Strict Vegeterians :(
  • Carry plenty of Water with from Hong Kong City itself ..the water is 4 times expensive there compared to Welcome Store in the city :)
  • Umbrella & sun lotion is MUST !!
  • Check weather before you head out