Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reality vs Realty

A property consultant says:

"However, the rate of growth in rentals, residential and capital values will highly depend on the implementation and completion of the upcoming and on-going major projects such as the Monorail, the Metrorail, the Outer Ring Road, and the Greenfield airport."


Again, I would agree as well as disagree with the above statement.

I am not a property consultant. But then, these are the very people who give
hypes and increase the values to unbelievable heights.

I am staying in an area known as Madipakkam where the capital values are very high.
No roads, no drainage, no water supply. And garbage all over the area.

But all over our area we see boards saying that it is within the Corporation limits!

There are many "To Let" boards all around which was not the case two/three years back.

Why should we talk of Monorail, ORR, Greenfield airport and so on.? That is going to take ages.

Can't we come to reality instead of realty?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Living in a flat - Luxury vs convenience

I was reading the latest issue of Chennai

One among the leading builders of Chennai says: "Location cannot be identified with luxury".

The question posed to him is: How integral to luxury is location?

Answering this question the builder says: "....Location is not an indicator to luxury. It never was. I went into somebody's building on Khader Nawaz Khan Road. Most expensive piece of real estate today is on that road.  They have acute water shortage. What kind of luxury is that if there is no adequate water? I am saying that the location does not spell luxury. What comes with the building, irrespective of whether it is on Boatclub, OMR or GST road makes it luxurious".

Personally, I would agree as well as disagree with the above reply.

I would chose a location with lots of convenience rather than luxury.  Because there is a cost
associated with luxury. It will always be so.

Let us see what the dictionary says about luxury: Something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort; Something expensive or hard to obtain. Sumptuous living or surroundings.

Somebody living in Khader Nawaz Khan Road lives in luxury, let us say. That person can
definitely afford to pay two to three hundred rupees a day to get water. It may not be a big deal. So, the argument gets defeated.

Let us take the case of a person living in a multi-storied apartment in OMR or GST of 1200 sft.
Yes, he may have plenty of water, a gym, garden, swimming pool, security and so on. But one
has to remember that all that comes with a cost. Builders and associations charge upto Rs.3 a sq. ft. to maintain and afford these things. So the luxury obtained here comes with a tag of
Rs.3,600 per month (and much more in the future). 

But then one has to think of convenience. Again the dictionary says: The quality of being suitable to one's comfort, purposes, or needs: the convenience of living near shops, schools,
and libraries.

As a school boy, a student in college and for many more years I was staying in the location:
Gopalapuram. It was a place of very great convenience and of course the luxury coming out of
that convenience.

My school was just across the road. It was a very peaceful atmosphere those days and I would proceed to my class after hearing the bell from my house!

My college, Vivekananda College, was just a matter of 10 minutes by cycle. I used to come home for lunch!

Libraries: British Council Library, American Consulate Library, District Central Library were all
within 10 minutes walking distance.

Music Academy: Within 10 minutes walking distance. 

Cinema Halls: Safire complex, Anand, Pilot, Woodlands, Midland(Jayapradha), Odeon(Melody) were all within 15 minutes walking distance.

Central Station: Within 5 Kms.

I could go on and on.

So, when buying a flat or moving into a flat, one should strike a balance between luxury and convenience.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Selling coins - but no Salesmanship!

I wanted to procure a few coins. I came across the name of a coin seller with his phone number and
address in Chennai in a web-site.

I rang up this Gentleman.

"Do you sell coins?"


I am looking for 5 Rs. CAG coin.

"No, not available".

"60 years of Parliament of India"

"No, not available. All these coins were sold long back and exhausted".

Having said that he disconnected the line.

If I were in his shoes, I would have said: Yes, these coins were with me some time back. Unfortunately
I don't have them now. But, I can try to procure them for you. Nice to know your interest in coins. How
long have you been collecting and what coins do you specifically collect.

Then I would probably suggest some coins which were available with me which would interest the buyer.

Being a local buyer, I would even go to the extent of meeting this person and delivering the coins that he
wanted and make him my permanent customer!

Alas! All businessmen are not salesmen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"I was only performing my duty"

Around two months back I finalised a property for my daughter.

A relative of mine who works for a Government Bank was keen that I should avail the housing loan
from his Bank. Since he had recently been transferred to circle office, he referred me to the branch
where he was the Branch Manager erstwhile.

The Manager greeted me and asked me a lot of questions. But he did not give me the loan application forms.
He asked me to meet him after getting the POA adjudicated.

After getting the POA job done, I again went and met him, asking for the application forms. He asked me to
meet him the next day.

Well, I wondered if I will ever get my job done here. I left it at that and again informed my relative who felt
apologetic and asked me to approach another branch, closer to my home.

The Manager greeted me with the forms in his hand. I gave the filled in forms within a week and within a few days the Circle office asked me a few doubts, which I cleared. The loan was sanctioned within two weeks.

My relative told me that he thanked the particular Manager for the prompt service to which it seems he replied: "But, I was only performing my duty."

Oh yes, he was performing his duty. But he is only among a select few who perform their duty mixing it
with love, affection and care. He is of a rare breed and we come across very few like him in our day-to-day lives.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What is service mindedness?

I went to the local vegetable bazaar ( a modern one run by a famous chain store) to buy vegetables.

Among other items, my wife had asked me to get mint leaves.

I asked one of the girls working there to give me two bunches of mint leaves, which she promptly
picked up from the box and gave me.

As I was leaving the store, the supervisor saw the mint leaves in my bag and asked me where from I had
picked them.

I pointed out to the box on the floor. He said that I had picked up from the "dump". Meaning that those were
supposed to be thrown away. He further said: Don't take them. Fresh ones are over there. Please take two.

Well, this is what is known as service mindedness. Nobody teaches these things. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Think and Grow Rich

I know that there is a famous book with the title "Think and Grow Rich".

But my friend Mohideen modified this as "Think good things and you will be benefited."

Two days back on his birthday my friend received a call from a Sales Executive of our Principal's that
he is coming to collect orders from us.

My friend said "Good. Come along". In reality we were not in a position to give any orders.

The Sales Executive came, by and by, with a bouquet and greeted my friend on his birthday.

At that very same instance, a customer walks in and after discussions places an order for an
item not in stock with us. We immediately placed an order with the Sales Executive who was present

My friend was happy and explained that one should always think of good things. They are likely to happen.
If we think of bad things or negative thoughts, God forbid, they also occur.

This is a good lesson. Let us always think and talk of good things.