Monthly Archives: February 2013

Picturing your business dreams happening

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I was reading some blogs about being motivated and successful today. This is my favorite topic besides cats and Chinese food. Some of the quotes and blog entries I was reading told me that you have to picture an outcome before it is possible. This is absolutely true. But, not so easy to realistically do.

According to one famous local Rabbi who is an expert at Kabbalah (Rav Berg): If you emphatically decide that you are going to Hawaii next week, then you are already there — the only thing that separates you from being in Hawaii is time, space and motion.

This is very esoteric and bizarre. In a sense he is right though. My personal story is based on a comment my astrologer housemate made to me. I had booked my ticket to India and was going to leave in four days. She commented that she felt I was already in India. And in a sense she was right. My vibration changed. My entire consciousness was immersed in India — what appointments I had there, the hotel, the traffic, people I was going to socialize with, etc. I was there in thought and in spirit. Quite bizarre — but true!

People pay a lot of money to go to success seminars and workshops and not without reason. The teachers always tell you to think positively and say affirmations, etc. These are all good things. But, they are ignoring one pivotal fact. If your SUBCONSCIOUS doesn’t feel something happening, then you lose the effect of the positive thinking.

A few months ago, I was thinking that my business would grow and I would hire new people, and try new things. Now, I am really feeling the growth. We really are growing. But, now I am picturing much bigger and better things happening. I am not even TRYING to picture these things. The thoughts are just coming to me. Perhaps my higher self is a few steps ahead of me and sees what is happening.

My suggestion to all of us is to practice picturing things. Sure our friends will think we are crazy. So, our first exercise in picturing things will to picture our friends who think we are crazy — and picture them saying things that really are crazy while we “visionasize” ourselves to success.

Picture how you want your business to be in 5 years or 10 years.
Picture what steps you are going to take to get to that point
Picture the daily things you need to do
Picture the structural changes you will need to do as well.
Also — picture me making $1,000,000 per day — do something for me too, okay?
After all, I had the courtesy to write this thought provoking article, right?

Penalizing people for following the rules

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India is a country that penalizes many for following rules.
It seems that the minute you leave Mumbai, no rick shaw driver will follow any rules. Meters are systematically broken or tampered with, prices never reflect the real amount of labor involved. Drivers claim that there is no return trip when in fact there might be a trip going partially in the direction back to wherever he wants to go, etc. Why does this problem exist?

Forcing people into poverty
It seems that the local governments in India want to force rick shaw drivers into such a state of poverty that they wouldn’t even be able to afford any type of food or gas. The published rates for rick shaw fares are pathetically low in many parts of India (Chennai especially a few years ago at rps6 per km). The governments don’t seem to understand that the price of labor and petrol are not going down as a general rule. Fares need to be a lot higher, otherwise people will be forced to break the rules.

The result of this oppression
The result of this unfair system is that the local governments who set rick shaw fares are never fair to the drivers. And the drivers seem to cheat about what they charge more than half the time just to make a living. This creates a greater problem to society. People feel they need to cheat to get ahead, due to the system — and this can effect people in all industries.

The police are also underpaid
The situation is the same with the police who are paid some miserable salary. They get most of their income from bribes, rather than from the government. Police do as much of their job as they like, and effective people will not want to be police, since they get paid only pennies. Police are forced to cheat, just to survive. Once again, this forcing people to cheat just to eat custom causes horrific damage to the culture and society. People should be rewarded for being honest and fair.

The damage has creeped its way into outsourcing as well.
There are many in outsourcing who just lie and cheat. In the long run those get fired, and the useful people get ahead. But, in a society that penalizes people for being honest and following rules, what do you expect?

India should tax more & pay better salaries
I suggest that India tax their citizens more, and pay top dollar to the police, government workers, and other public employees. However, I also suggest that they get rid of any type of JOB SECURITY. People in India like government jobs because they feel they have financial security for life, even if they laze around. I suggest that people get paid for what they accomplish, and that they get paid well. That way, the best and brightest in India will be competing for government jobs, and the country would by default function much more smoothly as a result.

Smart kids go into tech, not government
The reality in India is that the smart young people almost always go into the tech industry, and many produce economic miracles. You will see multi-million dollar buildings, and then the roads immediately in front of them will be falling apart before your very eyes, and traffic jams due to a lack of effective government planning, will prevent these millionaires from driving to their homes. If the genious millionares in Banjara Hills were offered more money to work for the government than they are to do programming, then they would figure out a way for India to not have any more traffic jams, and then we would all be happy!

The solution = more competition for government jobs
The solution — more taxes, higher salaries for government jobs, and more competition for state jobs, and jobs awarded to people who have a good track record, and seniority and political connections should count for nothing… I’m not being realistic, but my ideas will produce results!

Hiring people who work from their home

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In this day and age, it is more and more common to see responsible and successful people work from home. However, I have found that many companies with bosses who work from home can be very irresponsible. Hiring a new company to outsource your work for is risky and actually dangerous. No matter how careful you are choosing them, many things go wrong, and you are left holding the bag.

Companies with offices are also risky
I have learned in my years that hiring companies with professional offices is risky too. These companies will often hire young and inexperienced (or reckless) employees and put them on YOUR projects — while these employees don’t care at all about you or your project. Your business is in jeapardy simply by being involved with careless people. My motto is that you hire not only a company, but also particular staff members. No company likes how I pick and choose people, but my experience has dictated that even a good company can burn you if the wrong staffmember is working on your case!

Companies that work from home are more risky?
Companies with offices have turned out to be 50% responsible on average for me. But, I have many stories about nightmares that happened hiring individuals who worked from home.

(1) I attempted to hire a very gifted and bright Indian gentleman in California. He advertised as being a former VP of some large company. I didn’t believe it, but I’m sure he had some post at the alleged company based on his very professional sounding communication skills. At any rate, when I asked him how many hours per week he could dedicate to my project he said 15. Then I talked to him two days later and he accused me of trying to take up too much of his workweek, and that he didn’t want to work for me at all. I mentioned that it was HE who volunteered 15 hours a week when I only needed 5. I think the real reason he didn’t like me was that I insisted meeting him at his SHARED office which was a source of humiliation to him — perhaps because it didn’t exist at all.

(2) I hired a sidewalk mechanic long time ago. He didn’t have a garage. In any case he did some wiring for me that resulted in years of having to replace starters. I had to have a two hour session with Toyota many years down the line to finally figure out that the source of my trouble which had cost thousands was because I hired a cheap rate unprofessional who didn’t have an office.

(3) I hired another guy in California who was very nice to work on one of my sites. He had 30 years of experience. He looked at my site and told me that it was in PHP, not ASP (which is what I thought the site was in). Then, after six weeks of waiting for him to learn a little more PHP which he was weak in — he announced that he had no time to work for me at all. What a waste! So, I took it to a company that did have an office (a shared one — better than nothing), and lo and behold, they told me that it was in ASP, not PHP (the story keeps changing), and they got the job done in days.

(4) I hired a printer who USED to have an office, but started working from home. I questioned him as to whether he was still in business or not when my order was delayed when I stopped cracking the whip. I am busy and don’t have time to harrass people who don’t do what I ask them to do. In any case, the next year he was gone — without a trace — and all of my files were gone. Fortunately I had backup — and was able to publish a revised edition of my book!

I work from home and so does my assistant
My assistant and I, and a good friend of mine all work from home. We are responsible. I would recommend ONLY hiring someone who works from home if you either know them, or know they have a solid reputation. Otherwise it is too risky.

Someone told me — how can you speak so poorly of people who work from home when you do too?

I replied — with me it is DIFFERENT because I KNOW MYSELF!!!! And therefor can trust myself.

Challenging your comfort level on a daily basis

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If you examine the differences between very successful people and mediocre people, you will notice many things. The successful people seem to have more of a sense of purpose in their work, even if they don’t work more hours. There is a higher level of efficiency and skill in their work as well. Many are very philosophical or even spiritual in how they view the world and their career. I was just reading a quote by Steve Jobs about how your heart and intuition know what you truly want. People high on the totem pole really like thinking about things, and understanding how the world works. People up top also like challenging themselves, and that is what this blog is about.

I grew up with many academic types. They always enjoyed challenging themselves, reading, and getting their children to have a well rounded education with academics, sports, music, and other extra-curricular activities. This is all fine and dandy, but there is something missing… Comfort level. To be successful, you need intelligence, drive, organizational skills, people skills, number skills, and more. But, the inability to challenge your comfort level can be a stifling block to any of us, and to all of us.

I know so many people who are set in their ways. They don’t want to budge an inch, or grow in certain ways. They like to challenge themselves, but the challenges are all very similar each time. The intellectual likes to challenge themselves intellectually — every day a difference intellectual exercise. The athlete likes to try to run faster or further every day. But, what these people don’t understand is that they are already very good at what they value — and that is probably NOT where their attention needs to be. You need to pay attention to what you are NOT good at, and nobody likes to pay attention to that.

I love to do things I am horrible at. The reason is that I see the importance, and I also have no attachment to how well I do those things. When I screw up, I laugh and think its funny, while others might lose face and feel bad. Sure I try to master my inabilities, but the result is not what I am after. I am after expanding my mind. When I try new things and pay attention to new things, my mind expands and I learn to think in new and better ways. The more I think about problems, my mind comes up with more and more interesting and sophisticated ways of approaching those problems — generally business problems. By asking the questions, and thinking from a broader point of view, I learn and develop.

But, what about doing things we are not comfortable with. Some people would rather die than do something they are not comfortable with. Others will remain mediocre their entire lives, never expanding themselves, simply because they don’t feel comfortable with the new tasks, or new ways of doing existing tasks that they need to do to succeed.

As a business owner, you need to do new things all the time as we live in a changing world. You need to hire new people, and perhaps hire new types of people. Knowing what to do can be daunting, but critical and necessary. What if you never tried new things in business because you were not sure? There is a learning curve in everything. If you find it fun to try new things, and try to master them, you will find a new happiness in life. It is the attachment to succeeding in everything you do that cripples you, and your attachment to keeping things the same forever that limits you. Don’t limit yourself.

My suggestion is to make a list of things that you are not comfortable with at all. They could be business related or personal. If you are South Indian, the list will be very very long — perhaps you don’t have enough paper for the entire unabridged list. Force yourself to do something you are not comfortable with every day or every week. Also, try doing some new things as well that you are neither comfortable or uncomfortable with. By doing this, when your business requires you to think outside the box or change gears, you will be ready. Comfort level might be the one thing that blocks you from success, so unlock the blockages that start in your mind, and challenge your comfort level. Remember — it is all in how you think!

Some people think outside the box
My comment is to think against the box and break the box

Traditional Japanese solutions to unemployment

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In America, one of the richest countries in the world — we have not figured out how to handle unemployment. I say that the government needs to hire those who are “difficult”, undependable, or hostile. There are plenty of jobs that need to be done, and with proper management, those harder cases of unemployment could be solved. I have tried to hire many people myself for various jobs, and found that the people who are out of work normally have a personality disorder which accounts for their unemployment. Others are missing a few screws, but still can perform many work functions if monitered accordingly.

The Japanese Solution
In Japan, unemployment has typically been low — perhaps around 2%. I am not sure what it has been recently — probably higher. I am not an economist and know very little about these things in any case. But, WHY has their unemployment been so low? The answer lies deep in the roots of Japanese culture. Perhaps if you understand the Samurai tradition — the answer will lie there.

I know what you are thinking, they found unemployed people and chopped them in half using a samurai sword — NO, sorry, that is not what happened, but I like the way you think!

The Culture
Japanese companies have peculiar structures and hierarchies. Loyalty is one of the customs of Japanese employment. I think that if your father went to highschool with the company owner or hiring manager, that establishes a very sacred relationship in Japanese culture. It is partly what you know, but who you know really matters a lot too. Family connections matter tremendously and they define your social class as well in many parts of Asia!

A Pun about Samurais and working your way up or down the ladder
In any case, getting hired and staying hired are two separate things. In Japan, traditionally, it was poor form to fire someone. In many cases, people were hired for life — just like samurais were samurias until death. For the sword wielding samurais, that was not a big deal, because their mistake in becoming a samurai would be short-lived in the best of scenarios. But, what about the rest of the population?

What do you do it a worker simply (no samurai pun intended) doesn’t “cut it”. A worker who wasn’t that great would simply be demoted to a lesser work status. Of course that would bring tremendous shame to the worker’s family and would be a huge humiliation. That is why Japanese are some of the hardest workers in the world — it is about honor, being honored, and status. On the other hand, it is normal in companies for workers to start in the mail room, and work their way up the ladder. In Japan this is no exception.

A trip to Japantown
I used to love Japantown in Los Angeles. It was small, clean and interesting — which is in character for a place that is Japanese. In any case, I used to notice that the same elderly gentleman was serving noodle soup for a decade straight. He never switched his job. Such loyalty. Americans change work frequently and see to have no sense of responsibility for the long term survival of their company. I hadn’t been to Japantown since 2007, and made another visit. This time the ice-cream lady must have hit 95. I asked her if she was the same person who was working there in 2007. Based on the answer I got, she still hadn’t learned English, and had no intention of learning either. But, her ice cream was award winning — so that makes it okay. Who needs English anyway, right? This is America — you have the freedom to live your entire life here without knowing a word of English!

The correlatio​n between personalit​y type and work behavior

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I am by no means an expert in this subject, but I have seen many different personality types in the workplace, and seen how the quality of their work was as well. To equate a personality type with a particular type of work output is not possible — it is too complicated. But, I noticed many things with the companies I have hired for outsourcing tasks. I have notice who has what type of personality — and I’ve noticed how their work is and how their attitude towards work is.

Good personalities
I have worked with many people who have great personalities. Having a friendly disposition doesn’t guarantee anything, however, it is better than having what Americans call “an attitude”, meaning an unfavorable attitude towards people and work. Technical skills and personalities do not correspond to each other — you might have a brilliant artist who is impossible to get along with or the opposite situation. Amongst the nice personalities with whom I have had the pleasure of working — I have notice that a few were very responsive and great workers. A few others gave brilliant advice and were really in tune with more than just their little niche in the work world. I have dealt with some very well-meaning flakes, who just do half of what they are supposed to, or don’t get back to you when they are supposed to. I have seen busy types who just promise that they will help you — and then find out they are too busy and leave you hanging for more than a month. I worked with another gentleman who was nice, but reserved, and only semi-competent about his work skills. Another lady was very friendly, but helter skelter about her output without me babysitting the work. All in all, I would say that the ATTITUDE of friendly workers is much better than of anti-social or hostile workers. I will also say, that the overall OUTPUT of friendly workers is “on average” better than the unfriendly ones. However, work skills, responsiveness, responsibility and other aspects of working can not be determined by personality

Unfriendly personalities
There are all types of people who I have met who I asked myself, “How is it that this person can have a job — any job?”. When I ask this question of myself, I usually get an answer from the universe a few months or years later when that employee I am thinking about gets terminated.

Hostile types
Workers who are argumentative, rude, or hostile in any way are a huge risk. They will be the first to betray you, or let you down. They don’t care about you or your work. They are there because they have to be, or for the money. Perhaps they like the technical aspect of their job, but they certainly will not care about you. I would start shopping around if you find an unfriendly type.

Anti-social types
These are much better than the hostile types. They will do their work, but I have never had an anti-social type give my work the attention it deserves. The anti-social types I have seen so far have all exhibited the same attitude towards my work. They do the work without that much care. There are errors at all stages of the process. Additionally, I will be kept waiting, and have to ask multiple times for certain tasks to be done. Antisocial workers are far better than hostile workers in my experience. But, if you can find someone you have a positive social connection to, my experience tells me that you will get BETTER WORK from that person, as well as a more enjoyable overall experience.

The moral of this blog entry is to shop around (time consuming but worth it) and find nice, responsible people to work for you, and you will be a happier person as a result! When you find that nice person, reward them and give them a little extra to reward them for their good work from time to time, and both of you will be even happier and get even better work output!

Focusing on the goal is half of the secret to fast growth

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After talking with hundreds and thousands of outsourcing companies, I have gotten a very clear impression of what the successful companies do. Successful companies have someone who is a good communicator who answers the phone — perhaps 24 hours a day. If nobody is there, there will be a professional sounding answering machine. But, to find a company with this level of professionalism in India is hard. Only about 2% of Indian companies are what we might call “professional”.

But, the irony is, that these professional sounding companies typically have 100-2000 employees and get about 80% of the market share. So, it is the old 80:20 rule — except that in this case it is the 80:2 rule. 2% of the businesses get 80% of the work, and probably 98% of the profits.

So, the question is, how can a small company with a limited budget rise to the level of a larger and more professional company?

The answer is: By constantly focusing on that goal. Most companies don’t care if they are not professional, and the result is that nobody who is any good will want to work with them. If a little company actually cared about how they interacted with prospects, first of all, they would not remain a little company for long. They would grow. But, the other thing to remember is that little companies can offer a much more personal experience.

I feel that little companies can offer better results to their clients than a large company simply by virtue of the fact that you can get to know the boss, and that the boss will have more involvement in your various projects. The only thing the little company needs to do is to care, and to try their best.

Do you care?
I do!

Outsourcing to a Call Center in India: Benefits and Caveats

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“So my message is simple. It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.” Barack Obama, January, 2012

Will Barack Obama be re-elected, and will he actually do something to make outsourcing less feasible for U.S. businesses? Will he tax outsourcing in some way? Will he give tax breaks to companies that hire U.S. workers to do jobs that we are currently outsourcing, and would this make outsourcing to a call center in India, for example, less attractive? In such a future, what would be the best way for a business to save money? Predictably, President Obama himself is reported to save money in his campaigns by outsourcing to foreign call centers, and many companies–even the traditionally “American” General Electric–send jobs abroad. Wind farms and get more than 50% of their materials and products from overseas manufacturers, and many industries outsource portions of their needs or daily work. Obama has said again and again that he wants to create “jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” but are there such jobs, and is outsourcing detrimental to the U.S. economy–or to our sense of satisfaction with customer service and our material lives? Does outsourcing to India create unhappy consumers? Or is outsourcing here to stay?

According to a 2010 survey of consumers, the Contact Center Satisfaction Index, many unhappy consumers felt that when their customer service calls were outsourced to countries where the callers cannot manage well in English, the issues were not resolved or they had to speak with multiple representatives because the call center representatives are not as knowledgeable or well-trained as call center workers in the U.S. That perception is slowly changing, and in 2012, it seems outsourcing is here to stay. In fact, in July, the Senate killed an anti-outsourcing bill which would have given companies a 20% tax credit for moving work back to the U.S. rather than extending tax credits for moving work out of the U.S.

After the U.S., India is the country with the largest English-speaking population in the world. The average call center worker in India is also better educated than the U.S. call-center worker who gets $8 an hour and works from home. Since 2010, for example, there are more than 60,000 workers in the U.S. doing calling from home, but the cost of hiring U.S. firms that take customer service calls from home is still not comparable to outsourcing to a call center in Bangalore, for instance, where workers are generally young and well-educated. The average call center worker in Bangalore can live on about $300 a month, so the amount you will pay a call center in Bangalore is still less than hiring workers in the U.S.: wages in India are 80% lower than for their U.S. counterparts. Furthermore, workers at the best call centers in India undergo extensive training to become part of a call center staff. For weeks, they attend trainings, learn how to speak using a neutral accent, and learn how to engage a person on the phone; then, they continue their training after being hired. Call centers we spoke with in Bangalore, for instance, are also training managers better, and looking at retention of successful employees.

The benefits of outsourcing to a reputable call center in Bangalore, for instance, are legendary: reports from companies like Chase about how they saved 50% by outsourcing to India put the stamp of approval on the practice of outsourcing to a call center. Also, in 2012, telecommunications costs and equipment make it cost-effective for a call center in India to handle a volume of calls for less. India is expected to earn almost $20 billion in call center business in 2012, and call centers in Bangalore may reap up to one third of that amount. Call centers in Bangalore are training their callers to answer the phone in a professional manner, and to understand and use American idioms and accents, which creates outsourcing success. “Not only will you save money,” says one CEO, “but you have the opportunity to get to know how another culture works. And it is far better than you may think.”

Some fear that if Obama changes the tax structure, the pros and cons may become more even. Outsourcing success may look different: instead of outsourcing to a call center in Bangalore, XYZ Company in Los Angeles may choose to outsource to U.S.companies that hire at-home workers. There was no noise in Congress this past month, however, about anything remotely to do with outsourcing, and tax cuts will be dealt with in November. But considering the fact that the U.S. Postal Service is losing $25 million a day, for example, there are other issues the U.S. has to deal with and other sources of unhappy consumers. The record shows that outsourcing to India is much more of a help to the economy than a hindrance. Call centers with the highest number of workers who are proficient in English get and retain more business from overseas, and according to one Yahoo survey, 80% of businesses say that outsourcing to a call center is a benefit. “Of course,” says one CEO,” you have to create a good working relationship with a call center, and that starts with the very first phone call.”

The most important factor in outsourcing success is the relationship you establish with the call center in India. One quarter of all outsourcing relationships fail in the first two years, according to Dun and Bradstreet. The key to any outsourcing success or any successful contract with another business is the relationship itself. Strike up a conversation with the call center management on the phone, and be sure there is clear communication. Read our Sept 29 blog. If you can develop and nurture a heart-to-heart and head-to-head communication with a call center in India, it makes sense to give them some work. After all, it is a call center! So call them, try to have a conversation, and see what develops.

The secret to success is to hire more employees!

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Every time we call companies, the manager is always busy. Companies take too long to get back to people, and too long to get things done. Companies don’t want to hire someone new because it is too labor intensive to interview people and train new people. Companies lose so many new clients because they are not fast enough on the draw getting back to people, and too slow to do good work.

Basically, the bottom line is that companies are too short-staffed to have the resources to hire new people. That is an oxymoron and makes no sense.

My enterprise suffered from the same fate that these other companies I am describing in my first paragraph suffer from. My enterprise is tiny, with only three people, plus outsourced social media staff and outsourced programming staff. We have so many different things to do, and it is hard to train people to do those new things. But, I finally started a new person with some phone tasks. She offered a lot of coaching to new clients on how they could do their marketing better. The effect was that our sales grew by 60% overnight. Karmically, the sales growth could have been because of my increased help to my clients. It is hard to say. But, if you have more people doing actions at your company, then there is more room for profits.

If you have slightly more labor than you need, then you will be covered when someone is sick. You will be covered when someone is on a vacation. When Diwalli or Christmas comes around, you might be able to have more employees who will stick around. You will not have a problem being behind on work. You can call people back really fast, or answer their call to begin with instead of having them leave a message.

Spiritually, you create a vacuum when you have available labor. You attract more work. There is so much work out there that if you do a good job attracting it through good marketing and spiritual means (the spiritual vacuum theory), that you can become very wealthy! All you need to do is hire more people — train them very thoroughly, and keep an eye on them to make sure they are doing a good job.

The effect of the British on India

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This could become a long and scholarly work, but I am not well read in history from any region of the world, and I only know fragments of the truth. Basically, for hundreds of years, the British went around the world, dividing and conquering, and forcing the English language and legal system on various local populations who I’ll assume started out being less than willing to accept colonization.

In any case, it seems that in India, chaos is the norm. There either are no rules, or no enforcement of rules. It is common to find nobody in charge. There is no security unless you are in an airport in which the security has become what I humorously term as “Nazi times 3”. It is common to have five levels of security in airports in India now. To go to the bathroom, you pass by two checkpoints, and then another one on the way to the urinal, and then three more while going back to your waiting room for the flight. There are gangsters everywhere who control pockets of the country, corrupt politicians, police who are not always as effective or honest as you might like, and pollution that is out of control to the point where you literally can not breath in certain parts of India.

However, the British build railways that connected India from end to end. Before the British, there was no effective way to travel. I suppose you could hop on a horse and go to a neighboring state. And spiritual men made pilgrimages to various holy sites on foot. But, can you imagine how long and dangerous this pedantic type of transportation was? You could walk half a year on foot, or take an overnight train ride — which do you prefer?

Additionally, there was no common language in India before the British. There were only 22 main langauges that differered from state to state. The North Indians speak Indo-European languages which are similar enough to each other that they can probably understand each other well. I have heard that Marathi and Hindi are very very close. After colonization, the educated classes and those who worked with the colonizers were forced to learn English. English, is not only the language of the colonizer, but is currently the most widely spread WORLD LANGUAGE — and this enables India to have a huge edge on outsourcing. People in most other parts of Asia have huge struggle with English, but in India, there are millions who speak it well.

As I stated above, most of India is very unruly to a greater or lesser extent. However, many have noticed, that those areas that PREVIOUSLY were British Strongholds (like Mumbai) have a much greater sense of order. People in Mumbai actually drive in lanes, and the police keep the rick shaw drivers under strict discipline with the threat of a beating with a stick. There are rules and order in places that the British left their mark. The WILD EAST in India is another story. Local mafias terrorize the civilians, and there is no financial security. The gangs can take your property away from you if they like – and they often do. The only justice in these wild places are vigilante justice.

I remember watching TV at the airport in Bangalore watching someone in Bihar being publicly beaten, and then tied to the back of a moped and dragged around town. The police just sat and watched. The lynching victem had robbed a lady of her jewels and the police did nothing. So, the neighbors took action, and the police just sat and watched a young gentleman get beaten — perhaps to death. Most people prefer living in a place with law and order. This is why, when I visiti India, I prefer being in places that used to be under a stronger British influence — it is safer.