The Haja Sheriff Blog

The road less travelled

Posted by in Blogging, India, Motivation

Courtesy: Travelmath

It has been 31 months in Singapore, and it is now time to go back to India. Singapore has been home to me for more than half my working life (almost 15 years).  It has been great, and arguably, the best place anyone can stay in. Singapore is an experience one has to go through.  Lessons learnt here in managing a country like a company- are difficult to see elsewhere.  This is my second home.

During these 15 years, I have had the honour of working for three of the best IT Companies in the world- IBM, Microsoft and now Amazon.  As I look back at what I have done over the years, I am amazed at the opportunities that have knocked at my door, and even more surprised at the roles I have picked up. 

I seem to have been governed by Robert Frost’s famous lines of following the roads less travelled.  Almost all the roles I have done over the last few years have been roles that had been shunned by others- for either me too new or for being too challenging (with minimal chances of success).  

Well, as I move from my current role in Amazon Web Services to a new position with Alexa, I am looking forward to the new world of Voice. 

All said and done- I am glad I took the road less travelled. And going back to India from Singapore (for the second time) makes me feel just that- I am taking the road less travelled. Again. 

And I know, it will make all the difference.

Home is where family is!



Business Innovation- Amazon Kindle in India

Posted by in Bangalore, Business, India, Innovation




Innovation has several synonyms- Change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis etc.


Great companies constantly keep updating themselves- and discovering new ways of doing things.  Kindle is one of them.  Amazon Kindle has a free run in India as the only eReader company in India. Despite being in a unique position, they continue to innovate, and find new ways of reaching their target audience. It is important for any company to constantly look at ways of differentiating themselves –and find ways of creating new markets and new customers.  


I was having coffee in Cafe Coffee Day and I saw this there. And I was stuck with this amazing idea!  While people drink coffee, and look around, they can ask for a Kindle, and read something in it.  Getting them hooked to reading and experiencing a device like Kindle while relaxing, is a great idea!   Great job, Kindle India Team! 

Of course, to land anything in India, you need to be prepared for the unexpected!  That will be interesting to see.  More on it later.




Free Education–The Khan Way!

Posted by in Education, India

Amazing stuff…

While browsing through the net looking for stuff to help my children learn about concepts better than they do in school, I happened on the Khan Academy

In an era where everyone looks at monetizing their offerings, here is a special person who has provided a whole bunch of stuff meant for children – free. 

This is the kind of work required for us in India to touch the Million plus children who never go beyond rote reading and many many others who drop out of school.  

Thinking out of the box!

I am sure there are many many more such sites- and I will keep sharing while I stumble upon more of them in the coming days.  Stay tuned.


India will be 2nd biggest economy in 2050: PwC

Posted by in India, Leadership, World News

The Times of India: January 08, 2011

London: The Indian economy will register the second fastest growth between now and 2050 and emerge as the second biggest economy in the world by the middle of this century, according to a forecast by the consultancy group, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, released on Friday.

In terms of GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP), India is said to be on track to overtake Japan this year.

The author of the report, PWC’s chief economist, John Hawksworth, speaking exclusively to TOI, said, ”India has the potential to be one of the three great economies of the 21st century, together with China and the US.”

But he warned it would require significant improvement in ”India’s energy and transport infrastructure, less red tape, increased education levels in rural areas, particularly for women, and the continuation of the open attitude to trade and investment seen over the past 20 years”.

The Positives – The population growth will support this as well – with the current population trend where almost 50% of the population is below 25 years old. By 2040, it is expected that India will have the largest working population in the world bar none – this is to be expected.

The negatives-

a) Education system – needs to be revamped. In my opinion a lot  more needs to be done than talk therapy!  More professionals need to take this up and bring about the change.  And change will not come from the Urban towns by the rural towns! 

b) Infrastructure- Bordering on pathetic except for the National Highways…. a lot needs to be done to make this world class…

c) A more personal point- by 2050, I will be 80+ and I suspect a bit too old to enjoy the feeling I have right now about the prospects! Who knows- maybe the lifespan will also increase & I may be still around doing a video blog from my 25G Mobile phone (most probably a Windows iPhone – maybe MS may buy out Apple by then Winking smile  )(Kidding buddies)…


More jobs in IT- but where are the quality people?

Posted by in Bangalore, India


The happy days are here again!  A recent article mentions that there are more than 1 Crore (10 Million) people who will be employed in the IT sector in the coming years! 

This could be an opportunities Galore in the years to come- and hopefully the employees are able to crack jobs that will make them happier!

Now answer me this –

How do you ensure that people who come out of the colleges in India are “EMPLOYABLE”?    This is still the biggest gap in the market- and something that a few like minded people are trying to change…

I will update you more on this once I have some more inputs around this…

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