Indian Cities to See Fastest Growth in Asia Over Five Years

Delhi will have the fastest growth of any city in Asia, with the economy to be almost 50 percent larger in 2021 than it was at the end of last year. Indian cities are set to expand the most across the region, with growth speeding up from the past 5 years, according to a new study from Oxford Economics, which ranked Asia’s 30 largest cities. With financial and business services projected to be the fastest growing sector in India, Delhi’s dominance in this industry will lead to higher growth and higher incomes. “Limits on foreign ownership of Indian companies are gradually being reduced or eliminated,” wrote Mark Britton, lead economist on the report. “In the short term this is conducive to strong growth in Delhi’s professional services sector, as overseas investors seek advice on possible deals, while long term it should mean steady income streams for such businesses.”

indian_citiesConsumer companies such as Japan’s Muji are also betting on that change. Parent company Ryohin Keikaku Co. sees India becoming its second largest international market, after China. And Inc.’s Indian unit is seeking approval to invest in a food supply chain and take advantage of government moves to ease rules on foreign retailers. China’s expansion will slow, although the largest five cities will still be recording growth rates of 6 percent or more. There will be a slight slowdown across the region amid moderating import demand from China, with growth expected to average 4.2 percent per year over the five years to 2021, down from 4.5 percent in 2012-2016. Even so, that’s still much faster than the developed economies and cities in the region – and that’s a big opportunity for companies. Starbucks Corp. plans to almost double the number of stores it has in mainland China by 2021, and McDonald’s Corp. plans to add 2,000 new restaurants over the same period. Both companies recently announced they were buying out their partners in Mainland China and taking control of operations.

However, there are significant differences across the region. Japanese cities are likely to remain at the bottom amid a challenging demographic outlook, with Osaka last in the rankings as its working-age population falls by approximately 1 percent per year, the report said. Tianjin is forecast to clock the fastest growth in China, given that it has a large manufacturing base and one of the nation’s busiest ports. However, as the services sector expands, the manufacturing and shipping industries may prove to be less supportive in future. Ho Chi Minh was the only non-Indian city in the top five, reflecting the city’s success in establishing itself as a manufacturing center, as well as its strong services sector.

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The Champions – Barca & Chennai

The IPL finals was hopelessly one sided.  With no orange or pink cap holders, Chennai proved that one doesnt need superstars in the team to win the cup twice in a row.  And Bangalore proved that its appearance in the final was courtesy a one man show called Chris Gayle.  Till Gayle came in the middle of the tournament, Bangalore was floundering.  He single-handedly powered the team to the finals.  To expect him to repeat the performance again in the finals was asking for a bit too much.  No wonder they flopped when Gayle was out in the first over itself.

The captain cool, Dhoni marshaled his troops well (as usual).  No fuss, no emotions guy, Dhoni has demonstrated repeatedly that he is the best cricket captain ever to wear the Indian cap.  A T20 world cup win, a 50 over world cup win, 2 IPL wins and a Champions league T20 win, taking India to the top ranking test team, he has achieved probably everything that he needs to.  And when asked, he simply retorted that he wouldn’t mind repeating the whole thing again.  That’s the kind of hunger that drives champions.

On the other hand, Barcelona showed why they are the best footballing club in the world.  Money can only buy you this much.  The most important thing is for the group to gel well and play as a team.  If at all money could buy success, the musical chairs of managers being played at Chelsea and Real Madrid would have won them tons of trophies.  Or for that matter if star players could power teams to victory, then Sachin Tendulkar would have been a great captain.  These are great examples for teams who have no qualms splashing out millions of bucks to snap up superstars for their teams.

Manchester United might be the best in England, but two consecutive losses to Barcelona in the past 3 years shows that they still have a mountain to climb when it comes to the Champions League.  And if Manchester United cant make it, then it just shows the hollowness of the other teams in the English Premier League (Chelsea, Liverpool & Arsenal included).

And now i shudder to think that i have no sports to look forward to for the next couple of months, with both IPL, Champs League and all the European leagues coming to and end for the season.

The only thing to look forward in the next month is if the second sting Indian team traveling to the West Indies can pull off a miracle.  And to see how the new coach of India, Duncan Fletcher manages the egos in the team.

Above pictures courtesy: Cricinfo & Sun


Photo time – Chennai – Velankanni – Hyderabad trip

ecr inn

A small tea shop somewhere on East Coast Road

rathimeena bus

Travelled on this bus from Chennai to Velankanni

masala dosa

Masala Dosa anyone?

bus stand

The bus station at Velankanni

main church

The main church at Velankanni


Shrines at opposite ends of the street

main church1

Back side of the church


Shrines at opposite ends of the street

st thomas church

A small chapel at St Thomas Mount, Chennai.  Its believed that St Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ who came to India to spread Christianity was martyred here.

st thomas mount

A cross at St Thomas mount.  A lovely small chapel at the top of a small hill.  A great view of the Chennai city as well as the Chennai airport’s runway is visible from here


A statue of Jesus after crucifixion


Some engraving at the entrance of the church at St Thomas mount.  I guess the language could be Latin.  Anyone can confirm?


An extension of the above engraving

banyan tree

A 150 year old banyan tree in the courtyard of the church at St Thomas mount

wind chimes

A wind chime swaying in the wind at my home in Hyderabad

flowers at home

A flowering plant at home

hyd airport

The new Hyderabad airport

hyd airport1

McDonalds at the new Hyderabad airport

hyd airport2

A view of the airport village from the departure level at the new Hyderabad airport


Am back

First a trip to smelly and dirty Chennai, then a trip to equally smelly and extremely dirty pilgrim town called Velankanni (with the famous shrine of Mary) and finally to an extremely clean, cold and windy Hyderabad.

Chennai was sweltering hot, i sweated buckets.  Coupled with that the scarcity of water and a city that is used by its citizens as a garbage dump.  You wonder where the municipal workers of the city are?  If at all they are doing the work.  Whether you are the middle of the city or at the outskirts, one thing that defines Chennai is the consistent crappy smell in the air.  The air stinks in Chennai and uniformly so.  Dont know why and how.  This is in addition to the dirt and filth all around.  Wonder which moron decided to name it a metro.


Velankanni was equally dirty.  For a piligrim town with such a potential for tourism, there are hardly any good lodge/hotels.  The only good ones are the dorms run by the church, but they too offer you rooms for the next day only.  And if you are the ones (like me) who just drop into the town with no reservations, hoping to stay at some hotel, be disappointed with the kinds of rooms you get there.  As for the restaurants, stay away if you dont want to come down with some extreme case of food poisoning or diarrhea.

If you have any plans of going to Velankanni, stay at Nagapattinam, a town near Velankanni.  Take a bus in the morning to Velankanni, see around and come back to Nagapattinam.  This was advised by my friends after i did my trip much to my exasperation.

Took a train from Chennai to Hyderabad.  Was travelling by the Indian Railways after more than 11 years and loved the experience.  Reached Hyderabad early morning around 6am on the 14th (our 1st wedding anniversary).   Was amazed at how clean the city of Hyderabad was at 6 in the morning.   Either the roads were swept clean or at some places the cleaners were hard at work.  Kudos to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the people who work for them for keeping the city reasonably clean.


It was drizzling all through and there was a nice cool breeze.  Loved it. Since we were tired, we preferred to rest.  There was not much celebration for the anniversary as all plans were for wifey’s birthday which was 2 days later on the 16th.  Had a get together at home for friends and family for wifey’s birthday.

Later on in the week, went to the new mall in town, GVK-1.  Good place to hang out, but there was something lacking in the place.  I prefer Hyderabad Central or City Center.  Also the mall is pretty new and the shops are only coming up.  Maybe it will be good once it fills up.


Saw the movie New York.  Not bad i thought.  Better than the crap that Yash Raj is famous for churning out. Saw the movie at the new INOX multiplex at GVK-1.  The seating is good and so is the sound system.

Travelled back to Singapore via Chennai again.  From the superb airport of Hyderabad to a garbage can called Chennai Airport is a perfect example of what the private sector can do to our economy while at the same time, the Chennai airport run by the inefficient babus of Airports Authority of India have really screwed it up.

There were no seats at the international departure.  They simply disappeared.  For someone who’se flight is yet to start check-in, they simply have to stand there waiting for the counters to open.  Can you believe that?  What about the elderly and the people who need to rest?  Have the airport authorities ever thought about their comfort?

And the cafe’s selling stuff in Chennai airport are nothing but daylight robbery.  Tea is sold for Rs 30.  A samosa / aloo bonda costs Rs 60.  Whereas you get a good Cafe Coffee Day coffee at the Hyderabad airport for just Rs 15.

I can go on and on about the pathetic situation at Chennai airport, but its a waste of time.  Its a perfect example of why the airport needs to be handed over to a private player so that they can do a better job of the same.  Anyone with doubts can look at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Bombay airports and compare them to the ones run by AAI.  There is simply no comparison.

Back at office and a mountain of work stares me in the face.  Time to get going.

Chennai picture courtesy: I’m seeing green ;  Hyderabad tank bund and NTR gardens picture courtesy: Hyderabad


Sehwag's bludgeoning

For all those who missed out on the Sehwag innings yesterday courtesy the “as usual” blunder by NEO Sports, here is a clip, some kind soul posted on youtube.

I think the innings was utter contempt to the opposition’s bowling and reputation. At one point Sehwag was so pissed off by the negative line pursued by the South Africans that he literally kicked away one ball from Paul Harris which was straying too much towards the leg.


Sehwag makes a mincemeat of South Africa

At the begining of the series, a South African official boasted that India would be given a thumping. I wonder what he has to say after seeing Virender Sehwag’s innings today. True, the pitch is a pathetic featherbed. But Viru, literally toyed with the bowling of a team that claims to be the best in the world today.



More fireworks tomorrow. Hopefully 🙂

Above pictures courtesy: Cricinfo


Joy Alukkas to open world's biggest jewellery shop in Chennai

The world’s favorite jeweller opens the world’s biggest jewellery showroom in Chennai, India. With over 70,000 sq. ft of premium jewellery shopping in the heart of Chennai, Joyalukkas jewellery offers consumers more than a million exquisite jewellery designs from master jewellers in India, Bahrain, Turkey, Singapore and Italy.

joy alukkas

With the opening of the first showroom in the Gulf in 1987, the Group has achieved enormous growth, with over fifty stores in the GCC alone, plus London and New York. By 2009, the Group aims to open over 100 showrooms in India and the GCC. The world’s largest showroom in Chennai is an evidence of the growth of the Joyalukkas Group, and has been made possible by the vision of Mr. Joy Alukkas, Chairman, Joyalukkas Group.

diamond joy

Joyalukkas is a household name among the expatriate population in the GCC, including those from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines and other Asian countries, apart from a large number of international shoppers, the legendary quality of Joyalukkas products have helped the Group to expand into a number of industries that have been enthusiastically received by its loyal customers. The Group now has operations in areas of fashion, information technology, media, money exchange and gold trading.

gold joy

With an entire floor of the store dedicated to diamond and platinum jewellery customers will be able to chose from a plethora of diamond and platinum jewellery designs in the form of necklaces, rings, ear rings ,bracelets and more. Joyalukkas only offers 100% IGI certified flawless Belgian cut diamonds, and a 100% PGI certified, Platinum jewellery, which ensures that only the highest quality of materials are used to create masterpieces which is a term synonymous with the Joyalukkas brand. All the gold jewellery available within the store is a 100% BIS certified and customers who purchase any gold and diamond jewellery are assured a 100% lifetime money back guarantee.

Full article here

Joy Alukkas website


I just cant wait…

hyderabadi biryani

After years of eating in Singapore, i will soon be able to taste the real ‘Hyderabadi Dum Biryani‘. Yummy, the very thought makes my mouth water. Bawarchi, Parwaaz, Paradise….here i come.

Yup, i will be spending my Christmas and New Year in Hyderabad. Iam eager to go around the city and see the changes, shop like crazy and meet up with friends. But overall, nothing beats the feeling of being back home in Hyderabad celebrating Christmas with my family. The chill in the air makes Christmas even more interesting. Carols, midnight mass at the church, the christmas tree at my home, the lights, the decorations, the cakes and the sumptous spread that’s gonna be laid out is something am really looking forward to.

It will be my first holiday after my previous trip to Hyderabad last year August. I need this break badly. Have been working continuously without a break for about 16 months now. Yup, aside to the blogging, investing, studying, dreaming of HER, i do have a regular day job with a 24 x 7 standby as a bonus. I have cut down on my travelling a lot as i realised that there is nothing more foolish than spending my hard earned money on travelling to some place just to keep parity with my colleagues and friends. I rather save that money and invest so that it can help me in achieving my goal of getting out of this rut of a regular day job.

Other than the gorging of the food ( anyway, i will come back and hit the gym to burn off the extra kilos), i plan to shop for some books and clothes. Also find out some information on a few courses/exams that i plan to pursue in the next year. I will update on this blog once i manage to gather all the information. If i have the time, i plan to even go and see the new Hyderabad International Airport coming up at Shamshabad.

Hope to be in Hyderabad on Wednesday evening if our dear Indian Airlines (Indian) doesnt screw up the schedules again. Yup, IA has lived up to its reputation as one of the most sucky and lousy airlines in the whole world by cancelling the Singapore – Hyderabad flight and now i have been thrown into the Singapore – Chennai – Hyderabad route. I will be swatting flies in the Chennai airport for about 5 hours. Can you believe that? My 4 hour travel has now been extended to 9 hours (almost).

And that Civil Aviation minister, Praful Patel was saying the other day that the media criticizes Indian Airlines/Air India unnecessarily for the delays. I have flown Singapore Airlines, Silkair, Thai, Jet Airways. Each one of them has provided exceptional service. None as pathetic as Air India / Indian Airlines.

This is precisely the reason why i believe that, running a business is not the business of the government.

Are you listening Mr Patel? Or am i not enough of a vote bank for you?