Friday, July 06, 2012

Quest for something!!


Wrote this couple of months ago, but was just not sure how to close it .. still Iam not..but here it goes.

28 years... this is what it took for an uncle of mine to establish, operate and sell a company. It is then that I realized how the total valuation process undermines the efforts and the journey involved in establishing the entity.
After the company was sold, I sat with him and he started pouring out his emotions. It’s been quite a tumultuous journey for him to let go his company into the hands of other entity. He certainly appeared to be shaken, no doubt, but one thing for sure was evident. His desire to perform!
Only a few people stuck with him throughout the journey, and as usual it was not the relatives and as predicted they were the friends and well wishers. In the times of depression, while some did pull him up, it was he who dedicated most of his life with a rigor matched only by his vision.
During the journey, he fell down, lost many a battles, battered relationships, missed family life and many more. Not sure, if his deeds can be considered as a sacrifice, but yet, he was the first among the small rung of entrepreneurs who indeed took the bull of life by its horns. Now he is tired, needs rest, cannot sit for a long time and needs constant monitoring.
In-spite of all this, there is something in him, some zeal and some energy that keeps him running around looking for something. He is constantly reading, nowadays a lot more on religious practices and religion, becoming more and more discerned at the mis-deeds of the other stakeholders. While he seemingly loves getting lost in the daily activities, he is on a look out for every opportunity to come out of it and do something that may impact the impoverished. May be it’s the reading that is making him think on those lines.
In the mad rush, there is something in him holding back and at the same time some other forces pushing him to the limit. A queer situation! Not sure, because he has been like that through-out the life.
What is the one thing that would satisfy him?? While I haven’t asked him, guess it would be the satisfaction he derives out of his daughter and Son’s innocence. He wouldn’t publicly acknowledge, but I can only imagine the pride he derives out of his children.
In-spite of all this, I’d still want to understand what is driving him. What makes him, the way he is. While age certainly has caught up with him, he is defying every bit of it to prove something. Wonder, if even he realizes it!!
End of this, I can just hope to accomplish his achievements. Energy Levels!! Not sure :)

PS: Dedicated to my uncle Mr. Bhagavathi Hari Babu

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Disincentive to hoard/consume/devastate a scarce entity


Recently was watching the "Save the Tiger" program which is attempting to create awareness about the reducing tiger count and so measures to ensure that the tigers are saved.
I was wondering, why would people go ahead with killin tigers inspite of the fact that they are dying and would be extinct in the near future.
Then it hit me, that the scarcier something is, the faster it will become extinct. To be more precise, scrcier an entity is, people will try to go illegal routes and ensure that the entity is consumed or not left in a state to be consumed by any one else.
Let's take an example of Tigers themselves. While Tigers have always been a thing of precious value, the intrinsic value of their not having around was much higher. Since, Tigers were plenty and are a threat to the cattle & humans as well, people mercilessly killed them. Even at that time there was demand to wear tiger fingers as nechlace and to showcase tiger skin/head as a proof of the bravery.
As tigers became scarce, owning tiger nails has become all the more precious. Earlier if a tiger nail used to cost say Rs10,000/- now it'd cost much more. Hence, the scarcier the entity, costlier it is and more would be the people trying to own and showcase the same. So, the demand for the goods keeps increasing. 
At the same time, since access to tiger's nail would become difficult, illegal ways of acquiring the same would increase and hence more incentive to poaching. So, more people would try and kill the Tigers so as to make a fortune out of the kill. The trend increases as tigers become scarce. While the job of killing a tiger would become riskier and hence more premium is charged for the same. It ends up in a vicious circle unless there is a strong disincentive.
It doesn't hold true for commodities alone. I guess this is more psychological since the owner of a scarce commodity/entity is considered niche.
Let's think of another example which is a hot topic for any guy. The bad sex ratio, in the society increases the craving for women/rather increases the appetite to have physically possessed a woman. So, more people would be willing to take the riskier route of molesting a woman. On top of that with very less disincentive in terms of crime vis-a-vis the incentive of false prestige, more people would be willing to take the riskier path. All the more, if the girl looks beautiful, people would go any length to have consumed and at the same time ensure that the woman cannot be possessed by any one else. The reason for disallowing the woman is to ensure the niche image of being the sole consumer. Hence the logic says the incentive to commit crime against women will only increase. 
Even in academic institutes with bad sex ratio, one can see the desperation even more. It is just that the scare of a devastated career, which may keep them from taking steps in the wrong direction, but otherwise things would become gloomier.
The whole thought process comes out pf the psychology that owning anything scarce is considered prestigious. The reason for the entity being scarce can be many like
a) Lack of the Entity
b) Regulations blocking access to Entity
c) Lack of Affordability of that Entity
d) Biological demands and many more.
At the same time, when the entity is available in plenty, the incentive to own the same is lesser,unless they are the basic requirements.
/* End of the day, it all boils down to simple demand/supply equation I guess, with the point of equilibrium defining the optimum demand which shall keep people sane ensuring right price for the commodity and at the same time no insanity to consume the commodity completely.*/
If I relate this to the Oil & Gas prices, with the increase in oil prices people start exploring more oil resources there by oil gets consumed at a faster rate. At the same time, the incentive to hoard and take the illegal route like petrol adulteration increase. The declining oil prices, do not allow any incentive for oil companies to expand their exploration as well as distribution base, thereby reducing the rate at which oil will be consumed and also preserving the overall oil reserves in earth.
Overall, things are more psychological ofcourse, than simply the economics of demand&supply. If only some one could find the Beta factor for understanding this behavior!