Monday, July 27, 2009

Shooting to begin next year FREE CIRCULATION
Vol. 3 No. 140

Sania Mirza reaches the final of the Lexington Challenger, signalling a good start to the long hard court season ahead

In weekly entrepreneurship column ‘First Innings’, Liffy Thomas profiles start-ups that have faced the heat due to recession and have found ways to reinvent themselves
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We are three

ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

Come join Courtyard by Marriott as they celebrate their third anniversary. ‘A Spa A Stay’ package is inclusive of a room, breakfast, spa treatment and a meal at Paprika. For further information and reservations call 66764000.

HR and best practices
A real talent hunt
Manoj from Amazon Development Centre India and Uma of Nokia India bagged the Mr. Ascendas and Ms. Ascendas titles respectively at the Ascendas Talent Hunt held recently. The three-day event held in association with Hello 106.4 FM at the International Tech Park Chennai, saw about 40 IT companies coming together for three days of fun and extravaganza. The talent hunt started with contests in junk art and photography. R. Ramesh of Lionbridge Technologies won first prize for creating a robot out of plastic bottles. Shanmugam of Amazon Development Centre, India, bagged the first prize for his photograph ‘Candid Moments with Colleagues’. The judges for the fashion show were ace fashion designer Rehane, fashion stylist Priya Rajesh, renowned theatre personality Varalakshmi Sarathkumar and Lee Fu Nyap, Senior Vice President, Ascendas India Operations. Nine teams participated in the show and Amazon Gangsters, the team from Amazon Development Centre, India, bagged the first prize. The events culminated with a dance competition. The best dancers were adjudged by John Britto of John Britto Dance Studio and Satishkumar V.R., Vice President - Ascendas Chennai Operations. Cobra Legal Solutions emerged victorious in the folk dance category and Sony Imageworks bagged the first place in western dance. ■

Two-day NASSCOM HR Summit in city


hennai will play host to the NASSCOM HR Summit 2009 on July 28 and 29 at hotel Le Royal Meridien. The summit holds significance as 2008 has been a turbulent year, with the economic slowdown and issues around handling workforce making the role of HR more challenging. This year the theme is ‘Balancing the Board: Cost and Competencies’. The two-day event will be attended by industry bigwigs like Som Mittal, president NASSCOM; Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO and MD, Infosys Technologies; Sanjay JOG, Group HR Head, Future Group; Ian Gore, HR Head, South Asia, CITI; and Suresh C. Senapaty, Executive Director and CFO, Wipro, to name a few. Top industry heads will be sharing insights on how the economic crisis has reshaped the industry, the most difficult decisions that leaders had to take and how they were handled, ex-

pectation from HR heads and importance of employer branding, to name a few. Speakers Anand Pillai, senior vice-president, HCL Technologies; Karthik N. Sarma, Chief People Officer, WNS Global Services; and Prabir Jha, Senior Vice-President and Global Chief, HR, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, will discuss how to assess employees’ needs and their perception of the company, what engagement strategies can be worked out for employees on the bench and the top five drivers that keep employees engaged. ‘Going Global: Key imperatives

for creating a global workforce’; ‘Looking into the future: Top five HR practices to follow’; ‘Managing Variable Pay: Approach and implementation case studies’ are some of the other topics for discussion. The valedictory will be presented by Subroto Bagchi of MindTree on ‘Doing the right thing: Making ethics a way of life’.

Who can attend?
The summit can be attended by CEOs, senior HR professionals and training and industry-academia alliance heads.
For further details log on to www.nasscom.in

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Students look at a banana leaf-shaped dining table on display at the two-day ‘Banana Festival’ inaugurated at Island Grounds, in Chennai on Saturday.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Down but not out
Failures are common in any business but it is important to learn lessons from a closure. Stories of entrepreneurs who’ve moved on.
backing of his father, in three months after his venture with friends had to be shut down. “It is a real thrill to be independent. For me it was like running 1,000 kms at a stretch,” says Kalyaan. His second venture, Handsel, is five years old and last year Kalyaan started his third venture, Quads IT Solutions, with two business partners. “The difference between the first and third is that the former was with my close friends, while the latter I met through common friends. Everything is entrepreneurship has been a stepping stone. You need to keep on learning and changing,” says Kalyaan, who plans to invest in more companies.

Exploring new markets
The economic slowdown is another major challenge faced by a large number of first-generation entrepreneurs. Hyderabad-based start-up OrderMonger, which closed its operation in October 2008, writes in its blog, “This decision has been taken predominantly due to non-viability of the business while maintaining the high service standards we intend to provide... We sincerely appreciate the support and feel good that we were able to make a difference, so we are just sorry that we are forced to close down.” Similarly, the founEverything is ders of BookEasy, a entrepreneurship Pune-based online movie ticketing service has been a stepping that shut its operstone. You need to ations, are now focusing on Lipikaar, a keep on learning language transliteration. Similar go the stoand changing ries of start-ups like Ninemotion and TripMela. Naresh sums up lessons one fering. Around 400 dotcoms crashed, thanks to the short- must learn from their vensighted policies of VCs. Our tures: Never be naive and trust overseas founders were a VC or anyone, as when the dumb-founded at the cavalier sky falls you stand alone; have treatment meted to very pro- a plan B; create alternate reveven IT professionals with solid nue streams or be very clear background and international and get adequate funding and recognition.” Any failure is make sure it is in the bank and painful and if it results in the not on paper agreements; shutting of the business it can have at least six months cash even be a very demeaning reserve; think big and start with a small, manageable, deexperience. monstrable step; never lose Keep learning faith and keep envisioning Kalyaan, for example, your customer. ■ (First Innings is a weekly launched his second venture column that celebrates the spirit in the real estate sector in of entrepreneurship) Chennai, with the financial

aking risk is part of any business, but Kalyaan and his group of six Engineering classmates might not have realised that their debut venture failing would make them go different ways. It was at a time when the BPO industry was on an expansion mode. The friends ran their office from a residential space to develop a software for HR firms, where it would track and tackle resumes. “We ran the start-up for a year and got three to four clients, but that was the end of the venture,” recalls G. Kalyaan Kumar, one of the founders. “We realised that the intelligent tracking system was ahead of the times and the market was not ready for it.” Matching the growing number of start-ups is an equally alarming number of companies that are shutting down. A research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nearly six in 10 businesses shut down within the first four years of operation. There are many reasons why a business fails – poor business plan, unfavourable market conditions, too much leverage, picking a niche that is small, breakup of the founding team, having a


single founder and poor location. Whatever the hiccups, some flow with the tide to see a slow growth while some explore a different market to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

Dotcom ditch
Naresh Kumar (name changed) recalls his journey from launching a start-up in the U.S. to closing it down after the dotcom bubble burst to now opening his second venture, which is two years old in Chennai. The founding team comprising an Indian-American, a German and two Indians (both from IT field) were left mid-sea after the dotcom crashed without any proper communication. The “horizontal portal” with a pan-In-

dia presence was funded by a leading VC, but post-crisis the funding company gave a cold shoulder. “Our repeated attempts to engage the VC team was fruitless as the entire management was changed out of a typical witch-hunting process and the new ones didn’t care. We had a successful consulting and development business that had helped us sustain till the funding and we were, as part of the term sheet, asked to completely shut down all our business efforts and solely focus on the project,” says Kumar. To add to the crisis was the 9/11 incident, as most of their business came from the U.S. “We were not alone in our suf-


ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

Mini Quiz
Q1: Who is the professional who helps in managing your Personal Money? Auditor Certified financial planner Insurance agent Mutual fund distributor Q2: What is the maximum number of partners in a Partnership firm? 7 9 8 20 Send your answers to finergo@goergo.in or SMS your answers to 92813 98889. For example if you choose A as the answer to question 1 and B as the answer to question 2 type it as 1A2B and send it. Winner will be chosen by lucky draw from all correct answers. Answers for last week’s mega-quiz Third Party Administrator Non Performing Assets.

Personal Finance News
PAN Compulsory If you are planning to buy a new insurance policy or pay the premium for your life insurance policy, you would be advised to quote your PAN number. In a circular to all Life Insurance companies the IRDA has said that “It has been decided to mandate the requirement of PAN on all high value insurance products. All Insurers are therefore advised to collect PAN from all persons purchasing insurance products where the contracted annual premium payable on the insurance policies, per policy basis, exceeds Rs. 1.00 lakh. CAP on the Charges Charged by ULIPS In order to enable the customers to have a clear understanding of the product and to comprehend various features of ULIPs, it is decided that IRDA will prescribe one cap on all charges put together. This cap is expressed in terms of the difference between the gross and net yield to the customer. The net yield is the gross yield adjusted for all charges. For insurance contracts which are of a tenor of less than or equal to 10 years duration, the difference between gross and net yields shall not exceed 300 basis points, of which fund management charges shall not exceed 150 basis points. NCD from Shriram Finance A Rupees 500 Crore Non convertible Debenture by Shriram Transport Finance Company opens on the 27th of July and closes on the 14th of August. The issue offers an interest rate of 10.75 per cent to 11.50 per cent. It will offer its investors five options and the tenure of the NCDs will be 3 and 5 years. The money raised from this issuance would be used for the company’s lending business, to meet working capital requirements, to repay existing loans and for meeting capital expenditure.

Financial numbers to note and remember
Do you know your EPF account number? Or, at least, can you recall your 16-digit credit card number?


emembering just our bank account numbers is a challenge for many of us. With convenient tools like debit cards, cheques, automatic transfer of salaries, loan payments, bills and investments and, best of all, any-city banking, many don’t even have to remember their main bank branch. The same is with credit card numbers. Today any salaried person with two years of work experience will have, on an average, three credit cards. Remembering their 16 digits? Ha! Do we remember our life insurance policy numbers? Or, at least, do we have our agent’s number? And as salaried people do we know that we have a number for our Employee Provident Fund? This article was prompted by one of our clients who wanted to close one of his EPF accounts. This is an

account that he had with an MNC he was working for in 2000. He has worked in three other companies since then. He has not transferred any of his accounts to the next employer. He thought that since the accounts would anyway continue to grow he could make use of them when required. Now he needed cash and tried to contact his erstwhile MNC employer. Unfortunately for him, the company that he was working with was taken over by one MNC, which later merged with another MNC. The present management is headquartered in a different part of the country and they do not have details of the past employees of the company they took over – quite naturally. They suggested we contact the EPF office directly for the withdrawal. We talked to the EPF office directly. They say the funds in any of their

accounts will be safe. All you need to do is download certain forms from their website, fill them and submit it at the city where the account was held earlier. For a government organisation, the process was very tech-savvy, convenient and smooth. But the account number is required. And do you think our client had the number? As you guessed, no. Now we have to visit the city EPF office and dig through the files; now this is going to take some time. The lesson for all of us is to at least record all our finance-related account numbers (not the PIN numbers – those we have to remember) and store them at some place. Today’s mobile phones, a self-addressed mail, a traditional notebook, the year’s diary… any of these could serve the purpose. A one-time effort saves trouble later. ■

Monday, July 27, 2009



couple who own MoonEstates, the only British franchise that selling plots of moon land, have revealed that their sales have doubled with the 40th anniversary of the lunar landings. Sue and Francis Williams, who sell land on the Moon at 20 pounds per acre, say that takings have hit the 6millionpound mark. The pair received the rights to be deep space estate agents from Dennis Hope, an American who laid claim to every planet after exploiting a loophole in the US legal system. Sue and Francis, who started selling moon plots six years ago, have sold 500 acres this month, twice the usual figure, making 10,000 pounds. MoonEstates has now sold around 300,000 acres, generating 6 million pounds. However, 90 per cent of the amount goes to Hope’s US franchise. “We had a massive surge of extra orders due to the 40th anniversary. There has been so much talk of the landings and Neil Armstrong,” The Sun quoted Francis, 56, of St Austell, Cornwall, as saying. Sue, 55, added: “The credit crunch has helped because it’s a nice fun present in a time of doom and gloom.” Punters receive a parchment deed from MoonEstates, signed by Francis in his role as Celestial Ambassador to the UK. But they have no legal right or claim to the land. According to Francis, plenty of the moon’s nine billion acres are still available. ■

The couple also have the rights to sell land on other planets

Brit couple sell plots on m o o n
Breaking the ice
Koreans, reported at the weekend. The restaurant which serves burgers made of minced beef, fish or vegetables however does not call them “hamburgers,” Choson Sinbo said. It the menu lists “minced beef and bread” or “minced fish and bread” or “vegetables and bread,” all served together with the Korean pickled cabbage dish, kimchi, it said. The minced beef and bread costs 1.7 dollars, it said, a price exceeding half the average North Korean’s daily income. Choson Sinbo said in March that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il had also ordered the opening of the country’s first Italian restaurant in Pyongyang. ■

NKorea gets first taste of burgers

hile North Korea has little appetite for “US imperialism,” its people are finally able to get a taste of that iconic American food the hamburger at the country’s first fast-food restaurant. The Samtaeseong restaurant opened in the capital Pyongyang last month in cooperation with a Singaporean firm, Choson Sinbo, a Japan-based newspaper for ethnic North


Male polar bear Yukio tries to eat vegetables inside a block of ice presented to promote the German polar bear film Knut und seine Freunde and to help beat the summer heat at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo. PHOTO: AFP


ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

Thousands of bees attend wedding
A pair of beekeepers were married recently in China wearing outfits completely covered with thousands of living bees.

Last WW I soldier Harry Patch dead
Harry Patch, the last soldier to fight in the trenches of Europe during World War I, died at the age of 111. Patch fought at the notorious Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 - where an estimated half a million troops perished - and is listed by the dersdesders.free.fr website, regarded as an authoritative chronicle of veterans of the conflict, as the last World War I veteran to have served in the trenches. Prince Charles added: “The Great War is a chapter in our history we must never forget, so many sacrifices were made, so many young lives lost. So today nothing could give me greater pride than paying tribute to Harry Patch.”

Coca-Cola to launch fizzy milk
This might come as a shocker to the milkman or cows, but Coca-Cola are to launch a range of fizzy milk drinks. Trials of the new product - Vio - started last month in New York where it is being marketed as a refreshment drink, and comes in four “natural” flavours - peach mango, berry, citrus and tropical colada. It sells for about 1.50-pound a bottle, no chilling required. The drink contains skimmed milk mixed with sparking water, flavoured with fruit and sweetened with cane sugar, reports The Times. It was developed by scientists at the firm’s laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia. One of Coke’s copywriters claims it tastes “like a birthday party for a polar bear”.

LA octuplets to star in reality show
The mother of octuplets born in Los Angeles last January has signed a 250,000-dollar-agreement for her children to star in a reality television show, The Los Angeles Times reported. The newspaper said a series of contracts filed with Los Angeles Superior Court specifies the children will earn the money over three years. European production company Eyeworks has inked the deal with Nadya Suleman, the mother of the children. Eyeworks lists Breaking Bonaduce and The Biggest Loser among its television credits. Filming is scheduled to start on September 1, the report said. The toddlers will collectively earn 125,000 dollars for 36 days of shooting in the first year of production, 75,000 dollars for 21 days in the second year and 50,000 dollars for 14 days in the third year, the paper said. Any extra shooting days will be compensated at the same rate.

Queen told financial wizards caused meltdown
The reason why no one saw the global financial meltdown approaching was due to “a failure of the collective imagination of many bright people”, eminent economists told Queen Elizabeth II when she questioned why no one predicted it coming. During a visit to the London School of Economics in November, Queen Elizabeth had asked about the credit crunch, saying, “Why did nobody notice it ?” The experts, in their three-page letter, said “financial wizards” completely failed to “foresee the timing, extent and severity” of the recession, The Observer reported.

Love not enough to make a marriage work


ove has no major role to play in keeping couples together. In fact, the chances of a couple staying together are affected by age, previous relationships - and smoking. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which was conducted by researchers at the Australian National University. To reach the conclusion, boffins spent six years monitoring 2,500 couples who were married or living together, reports The Daily Express. The study found that money played a major factor in deciding whether a couple stand the test of

time. The study, entitled “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, showed that a quarter of partnerships and marriages will end within six years and half will be over within 25 years. It also found that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turn 25. Couples were twice as likely to split if the wife had a much stronger preference for children or for more of them. Smoking and drinking rates also contributed to relationship breakdown, the study found. ■

Monday, July 27, 2009

Airline passengers willing to stand
A survey conducted by Ryanair found that 66% of their passengers would be willing to stand on shorter flights if the fare was free, and the concept of ’fare free standing’ flights are being explored further.

Websites of the day
Find comical t-shirts for the extra large http://www.fatguyshirts.com Explore the fascinating world of art with this interactive site: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateplayer

Parents police social networking sites


f you are a teenager, be careful who you talk to and what you say on social networking sites - for papa and mama may be watching, sometimes with good reason. Rakesh Kumar was worried what his teenage daughter was up to on social networking site Orkut. When he finally accessed her profile, he was shocked to find that she was in touch with absolute strangers. Now he has installed software to keep her in check. Rakesh’s 15-year-old daughter Akansha has around 2,500 profiles on her friends list on Orkut - a third of whom are people she has never met. “With the growing cases of cyber crimes via these social networking sites, I decided to keep a tab on my daughter to find out what she was up to on Orkut,” Rakesh said. So he created a profile on Orkut and altered his privacy settings so that he could view Akansha’s profile without her knowledge. “I was shocked. My daughter was spending long hours talking to complete strangers. The first thing I made her do was to delete those strangers from her list and also assigned a software ‘Nanny’ that keeps a check on who she chats with.” Rakesh is not alone - many

Parents are apprehensive about the dangers online. What tops their fears is the possibility of virtual stalking and bad company

worried parents are resorting to similar measures, which children feel is “an invasion of privacy”. Fifteen-year-old Shreya Talwar was surprised when her mother sent her a ‘friend request’ on Facebook, another

popular social networking site. “When I first got a friend request from my mother, I ignored it. I felt that would invade my privacy. I didn’t want my parents to know what I am talking about with my friends,” she said. To escape the surveillance, Tal-

war found a loophole - she added her mother to her list but only after changing settings to ‘limited view’. Youngsters are also resorting to other ways to get around snoopy parents, like using lingo they don’t understand.

The number of friends you have on your list, how regular you are with “status messages”, tagging photographs and uploading videos dictate how popular you are on the site. Other applications like personal quizzes, movie and music preferences give you an edge over dormant profiles. Samira Sharma, 42, said: “I log in almost every night to find out who my daughter has been talking to. It was difficult in the beginning to understand the whole process but now I am getting the hang of it.” However leading psychiatrist Samir Parikh feels that trying to keep tabs by making profiles on the sites the children are using is not the best way. “There should be good communication between the child and parents. Parents can’t control what the children do online. Parents need to educate children to take precautions,” Parikh said. According to cyber crime expert and Supreme Court advocate Pavan Duggal, youngsters are becoming more susceptible to crimes over social networking sites. “Youths are becoming more and more susceptible to committing cyber crimes via social networking. The quantum of such crimes reported is very low - for every 500 cases that occur, 20 are reported and only one is registered with an FIR. These are conservative figures,” Duggal said. He added: “Youngsters are using anonymity for committing crimes like impersonation, identity theft, cyber stalking, defamation, misusing credit card information and harassment. Such sites are also conduits for piracy and a wonderful opportunity for blackmailing.” ■

Wedding dance video goes viral


Minnesota couple’s joyous wedding dance featuring the bride and groom boogieing down the aisle to the altar has become a web sensation, racking up millions of views on YouTube. The dance sequence opening the wedding ceremony of Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been viewed more than 4.75 million times since it went up on the video-sharing site less than a week

ago. In the five-minute video, ushers, bridesmaids and groomsmen shimmy down the aisle to the strains of the Chris Brown song Forever - and the surprise of the guests gathered in the church. The groom performs a somersault on his way to the altar and his hip-swaying bride receives a standing ovation as she joins him for the exchange of vows. Peterson and Heinz, interviewed by NBC’s Today Show,

said the dance was her idea - and the only guests who were aware of what was going to happen were their parents. The new bride said she has always “loved dance as a way to express yourself and share joy.” “It was something I had always thought about doing,” she said of the bridal boogie. “I’m just glad I didn’t hurt myself,” Heinz said of his somersault. ■

Atwal misses cut

ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

Even a flawless five-under 67 could not save Arjun Atwal as he missed the cut by a stroke in the rain-hit RBC Canadian Open golf tournament in Oakville, Canada. The Orlando-based Indian, who was left stranded at the 18th hole after lightening forced suspension of play in the second round, needed a birdie to be inside the cutline that came at three-under. But he could only par the final hole.

Grand win for Bhullar
A flawless final round did the trick as Gaganjeet Bhullar became the latest Indian with an Asian Tour title under his belt when the 21-year-old Kapurthala golfer lifted the Indonesia President Invitational title in Jakarta on Sunday. Last week’s British Open experience seemed to have done a world of good for the strapping youngster whose final round of five-under 67 not only earned him his maiden Asian Tour title but also made up for the heartbreak of finishing runner-up in the event two years ago. Bhullar’s four-day total of 22-under was two shots clear of Australia’s Adam Blyth, who shot a 68 for the lone second place at Damai Indah Golf - Bumi Serpong Damai course. Bhullar also pocketed a cool $63,400 cheque for his exploits. “I’ve got no words to describe how happy I am,” said Bhullar, who was pipped by Filipino Juvic Pagunsan’s birdieeagle finish in 2007.

Next big thing
Sathiyan happy to get Chinese recognition

Indian pairs falter at final hurdle
India’s title hopes in the Australian Open Grand Prix badminton tournament went up in smoke with both the women’s and men’s doubles pair suffering crushing defeats against their respective rivals to settle for the runners up position. Top seed Indian men’s pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas lost 13-21, 11-21 to second seed Malaysian duo of Teik Chai Gan and Bin Shen Tan in just 26 minutes. Similarly, the new-formed women’s doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurian too failed to get past the last hurdle, losing 13-21, 9-21 against the lesser known Australian combination of Chia Chi Huang and He Tian Tang.

Massa stable after operation
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is in a “stable” condition after undergoing emergency surgery for skull damage and concussion, his team said on Sunday. The Brazilian was struck by a piece of bodywork which flew off the rear of compatriot Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn car and crashed at over 200kph in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday. Massa had initially suffered “serious” injuries, according to Budapest’s AEK military hospital. But the Italian team revealed on Sunday: “After undergoing an operation Saturday afternoon, Felipe Massa’s condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night. He will be given another CT scan on Sunday which will provide more precise information.” The 28-year-old Brazilian – winner of 11 Grand Prix and the world championship runner-up in 2008 – came off at Turn Four after being struck and was hit on the face and momentarily concussed as his car skewed off the circuit and into the tyre barriers. He was airlifted to hospital where he underwent surgery on his fractured skull. “The condition of the driver is serious, but stable,” a spokesman at the AEK Hospital said on Saturday. Some media reports suggested the driver’s condition was “life threatening” but a Ferrari spokesman denounced those claims as “bullshit.


oung Indian paddler G. Sathiyan is slowly emerging as one of the best in the country and with his Chinese and Korean counterparts lavishing praise on him, the Chennai boy said he considers it as an achievement to be appreciated by the Asian giants. “The Chinese and the Koreans have now started identifying me as a threat to their chances in any tournament I play. This is a good achievement for me given these two countries are most respectable powers in international table tennis today,” country’s top junior player Sathiyan said. “I think, this is result of my consistent performance and in general, India’s good show in the international Pro Tours

and other events in the recent years that they are talking about me. It felt nice when the Chinese and Koreans greeted me personally after meeting in Jaipur also. They asked me to visit China again.” Coach of China’s junior team, which is here to take part in the 15th Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship, also heaped praise on Sathiyan. “That boy (Sathiyan) is a good talent for India. I have seen his game and I think, he has a bright future if gets right opportunities,” Liu Heng, cadet boys coach of China, said while watching Sathiyan in action at the SMS Indoor Stadium. 16-year-old Sathiyan feels Indian paddlers have it in them to be considered as a serious threat to their neighbour’s in

the international circuit. “We are learning a lot from the exposure-cum-training tours abroad and our performance is also improving. One day we will surely dethrone them from the top slot,” he said. The 12th standard student of Kola Perumal School, who is appearing in his 21st international meet here, is also confident about making it to the final squad for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year. “There is tough competition but I would try my best to do that. I have to work on my top spins and back hand shots. I am also concentrating on my physical fitness and need some power trainings to improve leg strength,” the 16year-old said. ■

Monday, July 27, 2009


Kevin Pietersen at missing the final three Ashes Tests

I’ll be damn glad to see the back of 2009. On Friday I was in so much agony I had to call the England medical team and ask them to come and give me something to combat it. Yet whatever the physical pain, it’s nothing compared to the mental torture of the past week. To be out of an Ashes series is terrible, so bad I can hardly put it into words.

One step away
Sania one win away from year’s first singles trophy


ndia’s second-seed Sania Mirza and top-seed Julie Coin have already etched their name in the history books of the Lexington Challenger by upholding their top billing in reaching Sunday’s finals, a phenomenon that has never happened in the tournament’s history. In Saturday’s semi-finals, both showed the kind of firepower and savvy that can help them climb up the ranking ladder in the remaining half of the season. Sania the No. 2 seed in the challenger event had a tough time against sixth-seeded Meng Yuan and even lost the second set but eventually rapped up the match 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Ranked No. 85 in the world, Sania next faces world No. 62 Coin who got the better of Kai-Chen Chang of Taipei. Coin wasn’t fazed by the windy conditions at the Boone Tennis Center and handled Chang with relative ease, notching up a 6-2, 6-4 straight set win. Speaking about her win, she said: “Challengers aren’t easy because girls not ranked are hungry and moving up and I’m the one everyone wants to beat. But I will play my game and my goal for the end of the year is top 50 and then maybe top 30.” Sania, however, would be a tough nut to crack in the final, with the Indian showing tremendous grit and determination since coming back from a nagging injury. Sania, who was ranked as high as 27 last year, hit some untouchable forehands, crushed a few overheads and hit a swinging volley winner on match point against her Chinese opponent which showed the crowd what a top-30 player looks like. With a score to settle against Meng Yuan, who had beaten Sania in each of their last two meetings, she blasted her way through the first set 6-1. However, the inconsistency that has plagued her career resurfaced, as she dropped a close second set 7-5. The final set was another humdinger as the Indian broke serve midway through the set to pull ahead 4-2. However, Yuan fought back to level the set at 4-4. Sania showed tremendous courage raising the level of her play when it mattered the most to pull off the match. “I’m feeling good and I think I am hitting the ball clean,” Sania said. “I just need to keep a positive frame of mind and things will follow suit.” Sunday’s meeting will be Coin and Sania’s first ever clash on tour. Both girls have had a rather ordinary year and will be looking for a win in an attempt to gather some momentum for the long hard-court summer ahead. ■


ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

SRK buys 20-mln-pound apartment in London
Shah Rukh Khan has reportedly bought a 20-million-pound apartment in central London’s posh Park Lane area, reports theasiannews.co.uk. The actor, who was recently awarded a doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire for his contribution to Indian cinema, is a regular visitor to the city.

‘The Dark Knight’ sequel on its way
Actor Gary Oldman confirms
hristian Bale is set to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/ Batman for the sequel of The Dark Knight next year. The actor confirmed he would don the Batsuit for the third time though a production schedule was yet to be charted. His co-star Gary Oldman, who features as Commissioner Gordon in the hit series, made the revelation at the recent annual Comic-Con in San Diego, California. “The next Batman is shooting next year. It’s at least two years away. But you didn’t hear it from me!” Contactmusic quoted him as telling fans. ■

Pics of MJ’s first Moonwalk emerge


ncredible pictures showing late King of Pop Michael Jackson doing his legendary Moonwalk for the first time in a friend’s living room have emerged. According to a report accompanying the pictures, Jackson spent hours studying the ankle, heel, and toes to “glide like he was on ice” across the stage. His friend Dr. Steven Hoefflin has revealed that the late hit-maker had once seen some children doing an unusual “walking forward while moving backwards” dance in 1982. He says that he even took the star to a dissection at UCLA Hospital so that he could gain some understanding about the anatomy of the feet. “When you think of Michael Jackson, you think of the Moonwalk. That dance was Michael’s obsession and passion; we spent weeks practising in my living room,” British tabloid The Sun quoted Dr. Hoefflin as saying. Michael finally unveiled his Moonwalk dancing to hit Billie Jean at the 25th Anniversary of the Motown concert in Pasadena in May 1983. Dr. Hoefflin admitted he was “overcome with pride”, saying: “Michael wanted to blow the world away with his dance. He achieved that.” ■

A Michael Jackson fan performs the Moonwalk

Denzel Washington to play Barack Obama


ctor Denzel Washington is reportedly set to play U.S. President Barack Obama in a new film. The Oscar-winning star had recently expressed his desire to play the role of Obama in a film – but feared he would be too old for the role by the time a picture could eventually be produced. Now, according to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, Washington has landed the role of the President, and has the ultimate endorsement for his starring role. “It was at the President’s suggestion. The only problem is he has bigger ears than me,” Contactmusic quoted Washington as saying. ■

Monday, July 27, 2009


Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ based on fact
The success of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws may have been put down to Peter Benchley’s bestselling novel but the writer’s brilliant horror-thriller was actually based on fact. A new documentary-drama is set to reveal the story that helped inspire Benchley’s novel. Shark Rampage 1916 will be screened on Discovery’s Animal Planet channel next month and tells the story of the summer a monster Great White stalked the New Jersey shoreline, leaving a trail of blood, gore and severed limbs.

Udita’s back
he debuted opposite John Abraham in a film written by Mahesh Bhatt but failed to live up to expectations after that. Modelturned-actress Udita Goswami is now set to make a comeback and has five films lined up – two opposite Akshay Kumar, two with Sunny Deol and then a supernatural thriller. “My time is coming, you see,” Udita says. “Just imagine, from one film in a year, I am rolling as many as five. It’s good to be occupied and be doing some nice work,” Udita is looking forward to the two films with Sunny Deol as they enable her to do something different from her earlier work. “Yes, I’m working in Fox and The Man, both of which are action films with Sunny Deol in the lead. Both films give me a chance to do something that I haven’t done before,” she says. Apart from these two films, she will also be seen in Chase and Hello India – both opposite Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. She is also attempting a different genre with her latest film, Rokk, – a supernatural thriller that is set to go on floors by August. “Rokk will be Just imagine, extremely diffrom one film in ferent from anything a year, I am rolling that I have as many as five. It’s done so far. It was imgood to be occupied portant that I and be doing some work on diverse genres. nice work After giving myself a break to ponder over what I really wanted to do, I decided to work on Rokk,” Udita says. ■

Cine City
Divya to own IPL team
Actor Divya Spandana a.k.a. Kuthu Ramya is reportedly considering teaming up with a leading industrialist and another top star to buy a Karnataka IPL team. The actor has said that owning a team has been her dream since long. Though she belongs to a politically active family, it is said that none of her relatives are involved in the team. It may be recalled that actor Mohanlal and director Priyadarshan have decided on a Kerala IPL team.


Kavya seeks divorce
Actor Kavya Madhavan, who recently married Nischal Chandra, an engineer based in Kuwait, is planning to seek divorce. The lady is back in her hometown Ernakulam. After the wedding, Kavya had informed the media that she wanted to settle down as homemaker, which was also her husband’s wish. But due to a financial crunch Nischal had asked her to continue acting. Reportedly, Nischal also transferred her bank accounts to his name. Though there is no official confirmation, there are reports that Kavya faced mental torture from her husband and in-laws. Now we hear that Kavya has sought the advice of a leading lawyer from Kochi and was advised to live separately for a year to move the divorce papers.

Udita Goswami during the shooting of her new film, Fox, in Mumbai recently. PTI PHOTO


ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

E.K.Satheesh Kumar from FCI Technology Services has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This picture was clicked at Kodaikanal.

Dinesh Kumar from Infosys Technologies has nominated his friends Barath, Srivathsan, Mathi, Arun, Neppoliyan and Santhosh as Partners in Crime. This pic was clicked at Edakkal caves in Waynad.

Sathish Nirmal S. from First Source Solutions Ltd. has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This pic was clicked in Munnar.

Allen Davids from Allsec Technologies, Velachery has nominated his team as Partners in Crime. This Picture was taken in Ooty during their team outing.

Venu from HOV Services has nominated his RIOS Rockers team as Partners in Crime. This picture was taken in Kodaikanal during their team outing.

Sundaresan from TCS-eServe has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This photo was clicked at Wayanad.

Monday, July 27, 2009


■ Dear Shakthi, On this special day, We wish u mny more happy returns of the day. May this year be filled with sweet memories and happy hours. Bring you all the things that make you happiest. All our love always. Happy Birthday!!
With loads of Love & Friendship Arun TCS, Spencers, Israel, Anjali

beautiful Year - Happy Birthday.
from, Your loving 23 and 24 batch friends.

Be cheerful always.. May god bring all the success in the year ahead....
BestWishes, 3Stars

you are!!! Enjoy ur day with lots of fun.
With love, Sujatha, Rajkiran, Yacub, Jyothi & Ganesh, Patni Computers

■ Dear Arun, It’s the start of a new year on your calender. Let the days ahead pump up your energy and bring in more joy and happiness. Let your days become more healthy and your ways become more unique. Wishing you a happy birthday.
With loads of care and love, Koki, Muthu, Nagaraj, Suhasini & Deepesh, Scope international.

■ DEAR PORIKKIIIIII.... On this beautiful day of the yearyour birthday I wanted to let you know how glad iam to have you as my dear. Through tears, laughter, fights, happiness ,commitments and encouragement We had many days passed by, but they always ended up only as a happy day... My love towards you increases as day gets new I never wanted to live a single day without you. Thank you for being my love-my dear sweet heart YOU ARE A BOON GOT WITHOUT ASKED...
ever loving YOUR CULPRIT

■ Dear Grace, On your birthday stretch for a sunbeam, Reach for a star, Go for a beautiful dream. Pick out some wishes, no matter how far, or how hard to reach they may seem. Cherish some hopes that are dear to your heart. As this year comes in view, treasure and keep them and know from the start that this year you can make them come true!
Chennai future bright team, Wipro Technologies.

■ Dear Sri, May every wish u’re wishing for and every dream come true and may u have a happy day and a happy year all through. Wish u a Happy B’Day!!!!
With love, Sujatha

Belated Wishes
■ Dear Melosha and Sebastian Rajesh, You are very special and you deserve the best. We wish you a wonderful life filled with love and happiness. We hope others bring you joy, just as you’ve brought joy to us, May god bless you always BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES
With lots of wishes and prayers, Ur FRENZS, CTS

■ Dear Suresh, Wishing you years of laughter and fun!! Wishing you all success in your endeavours!! Happy Birthday!!
Friends, New Age Software and Solutions.

■ Dear Yogesh, Wishing you miles of smiles in the coming years. Happy Birthday!
Projects Team, FSS-Chennai

■ Dear Pudhu Mapillai (Narayanan), Wish you belated happy birthday wishes!!! We wish you great success both in your personal and official life in the years coming ahead. /*Wish you get dozen of children asap!!! :-)*/ /*Wish you become a Project Manger soon!!! :)*/
With Love, Alcatel 5620 Team Wipro Technologies.

■ Dear Vijai (Vijaimohan Ayyagari), It is with the deepest mixed feelings the PAE Mechanical Team would like to bid you farewell. You have been a boon to us through out the two years you spent with us. Our team will be weakened by your absence. But this is a time to rejoice and celebrate the times we spent together. We rode through tough times with you as the backbone of our team. You were not only a colleague but a friend and role model to all of us. We have no doubts that you will now go on to achieve great heights in your next assignments. May the future hold nothing but success, glory and happiness. Wish you all the best.
PAE Mechanical Team, TCS

■ Dear Sailu, Hope u get all success and good health in the coming years and god always take you to the right path. I always pray to god for your wellness and gratify each and every moments to be a blissful moments to you.
With unlimited love, Bala, TCS e-serve

■ Dear Sir (Sathish Kutty), Wishing you a Many Many More Happy Returns of the Day! May all your aspiring Dreams come true. Happy BirthDay.
Best wishes from Karthik Raju,Ram Kumar,Senthil Kumar.OS,Senthil Kumar.P, Deepa.B, Krishna and Naveen Enzen Technologies, Elnet Software City, Chennai.

■ Hi, Arun The one with lots of Joy, Enthu and hopes May all ur days filled with blessings of God. Wish u a HAPPY B’DAY with health and wealth Deepesh
Belated Happy B’day Wishes Wishes from Muthu, Deep, Suhasini, Koks, Sham, Anandh, Tharak

■ Dear Mohana Birthdays are filled with yesterday’s memories, today’s joys, and tomorrow,s dreams. Wish you Many more Happy Returns of the Day (31 July 2009)and we were wishing u in Advance (U R N Leave)
With cheers Ann Vino Alagumeenal Kumaran Ashok, Hexaware.

■ Hi Ramyaa, Wish u many more happy returns of the day! May God grant u what ur heart desires & deserves... Keep u happy forever & ever...
With luv, Priyaa, Archana, Manimala, Sowdha. MSFT Team HCL

■ Dear Ayswaria, Belated Wishes Many more happy returns of the day. Happy Birthday.
Regards Arun, Deepak, Ruksana.. TCS

■ Dear & lovable Prabhu Padmanaban & prasath padmanaban (*Twin stars*): Let the GOD decorate each GOLDEN RAY OF THE SUN reaching u with wishes of Success, Happiness and prosperity 4 U, Wish you a super duper happy birthday. We all wish you both dual creature a dual happiness & prosperity every where in your life.
Huma Shankar VJ (British telcom (UK) , Prathyoosh mohan, Prabhu D & Muthu (TCS), Rakesh (Infy) , Tech Mahindra Ltd (MWC)

■ Dear Sriprada, Belated Happy Birthday Wishes. May all your dreams come true and this be another fantastic year for you. With lots of love MIS TEAM (TCS

■ Dear Abirami, On your Birthday… Hope you look back and feel proud of all you have achieved… And look ahead at all that you are aiming for! Wishing you loads of happiness and fun on your special day and always! Have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY
With love & prayers, Dot Net Spiders, FSS

■ Hi Narendra BR May this special day be filled with sweet memories and happy hours. Wishing you all the fun and excitement that only birthdays can bring!
With Cheers, Human Resources, Coastal Training Technologies

■ Dear Nisha, Wishing u a very Happy Birthday. May Gods blessings be with u all through the Life. Wishing U all happiness and Prosperity. Keep Rocking. Have a Blast!! Stay Happy & Stay Young.
Best Wishes from iRonicz Spiders -Technologists, Peter M.S (Dublin) Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Elxsi-Tiruvendrum CTS, iNautix-Chennai , Musigma,NSN, EMC-Bangalore. Juno, De-Shaw, Commvault-Hydrabad.

■ Dear Nalini, Wish you many more Happy returns of the Day. Have a Wonderful Happy Birthday.
From Vasu, Aarthy, Lavan & Girija FSS, Chennai Gomathi, Jency & Priya Rbs.

■ Dear Shantu, Birthdays are a time of celebration. You tend to forget your birthday and when your family and friend remembers it, you get a joy profound. We all wish you A SWEET BIRTHDAY TO YOU.
Best Wishes from, Iymavathy, Siddappa Badiger, Anupama, Nirmala, Janarthan. HCL

■ Dear Gayathri (TCS) On this special day I wish you many years of laughter and life’s best treasures. Wish you many more happy returns of the day. Happy Birthday gaya3
With Cheers Sutherson C, SIPTECH Solutions Limited

■ Hi Santhu, I’m wishing you another year of Carings, Happiness, Affections, Nobilities, Distinctive & a new

■ Hi Prakash and Vasanth Belated Happy Birthday Wishes da!!!

■ Dear Parimala, May your Birthday hold many beautiful moments, and may the coming year bring enough happiness to make every day as wonderful as

■ Dear Yogesh Gupta, Wishing you all the timeless treasure....the warmth of home,the love of family and the company of good friends... Very Happy B-day to you, Small Uncle......
From Project Team - Chennai Financial Software & Systems (P) Ltd.


ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

Twitter utilised to target drunks
Australian police are using Twitter to discourage drunk driving among by threatening to tweet ’’embarrassingly boozy breath readings’’ when they pull over young people.


Udaya Sankar S from Softeon India Pvt. Ltd. has shot this photo at Vengaipatti, Sivagangai using Canon SX110 IS camera Hobbies: Cricket and photography

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Hunt for lost shoe
A woman became so distraught after losing one of her favourite shoes that she ran around town retracing her steps, created posters, and has even offered a reward for it’s safe return.

Word’s worth
Hierodule (hye-er-uh-d(y)ool) a slave who lives in a temple and is dedicated to the service of a god. Heiro-is a Greek root meaning ‘holy’ and shows up in a great many words, such as hieromonarch, ‘a monk who is also a priest,’ hieromnemon, ‘a sacred recorder,’ hierography, ‘the description of religions,’ and hierophobia, ‘fear of sacred things.’

Ganesha advises you to mix up with people around you so as to maintain a good relationship. Good relations with colleagues will help. Two heads are better than one so take help of someone to solve technical difficulties.

Cordial relations with colleagues will result into a comfortable work environment today. A comfortable setting might encourage you to work for longer hours and put in more efforts. On the love front, the road to bliss might not be very easy today.



You might be inspired by someone today. This may motivate you to enhance your basic skills. Nevertheless Ganesha finds your communication skills to be at their best. On the love front, you will find your sweetheart being very considerate.

You might feel you have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Ganesha wants you to be careful with the way you spend your time today as work load may be little more than usual. In short, the day will have its ups and downs.

LEO JULY 21 - AUG 20
You may be in a mood to wind up early today and this hurry might cause stress. Fortunately, your logical and analytical abilities will flourish today and may give you a lot of encouragement. You will spend a good time chatting with your beloved.




You might want to express your opinions today. But you must assess them logically first, suggests Ganesha. Hours at office will be smooth and hassle free. Love life will be full of fun as well. In short, it’s a promising day, notes Ganesha.

A wonderful day coming up for you! At office you might come up with new ideas and suggestions and they will be appreciated too. Ganesha feels this is the perfect day to begin a new project. Love is in the air!

You are prone to make mistakes today, so look out, advises Ganesha. At work, after putting in a lot of effort you might realise that you have been working in the wrong direction. In such cases, you may have to redo the entire task from the top,.

Along with your routine work, you might want to make some changes in your office. Don’t ignore your prime responsibilities. Ganesha feels you should define your priorities today. Love life is pretty smooth in general.

You will be all jacked up at the beginning of the day, but you might soon be tired and realise the importance of team work. Ganesha feels that group work and development of team spirit may help you go great guns.


Instead of breaking new grounds, you might want to follow your daily routine. Ganesha feels that you may depend more on luck today. In addition to this, you might want to make some changes in your working style.

Ganesha thinks you will be a bit unkempt today and hence unsure about handling the work. Pending tasks might not be completed as well. Overall, the day might seem very dull and boring at office. You will be very passionate with your beloved today.
Predictions by Bhavesh N. Pattni

16 !

ERGO Monday, July 27, 2009

A hot air balloon shaped like the house from the cartoon movie Up takes off from the ChambleyBussieres aerodrome in eastern France during the "Lorraine Mondial Air Balloons", world’s biggest hot air balloon rally. PHOTO: AFP

Mongolian sumo grand champion Hakuho holds the Emperor’s Cup after he won the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Nagoya city in Aichi prefecture, central Japan.

Actress Scarlett Johansson attends Iron Man 2 panel discussion during Comic-Con 2009 held at San Diego Convention Centre in California.

Cartoon character Snoopy greets children in the Shinkansen bullet train heading to Osaka from Tokyo for the promotion of Osaka-based Hollywood theme park Universal Studios Japan (USJ). PHOTO: AFP