Outsourcing- Yesterdays core, Today’s non-core

15 years back I started my first assignment with a company which used to help lenders- Banks and HFC’s outsource their activity on collections and recoveries so that they can focus on their core activities. Not all organizations had dedicated collections and recovery team at that time and the ones which had, didn’t had the kind of success rate which they were expecting.

So over the period we have had many regulations with clarity coming on how to deal with  assets which went bad. A new segment of entities which are experts in restructuring became prominent 10 years back- asset restructuring companies – ensuring quick resolution to the situation of collections/recovery/bad assets.

Two years back, Bankruptcy act got finally in action and we have professionals who are expert in this area- the resolution professionals.

So the thing is till all this while, credit assessment was one of the core activities of the lenders along with mobilization and deployment of funds. That is something which has undergone a tremendous change over the period.

The concept of CPC/CPA ( outsourced model  of doing credit assessment ) started to grow.  It is on verge on becoming the model now with this being the new KPO boom in India.

 Good part

  • More opportunities being created and helping in quicker service delivery considering these units work on 24*7 basis.
  • Technology being used as an enabler. .

 Not so good part

Sales is partly outsourced ( in terms of channels like DSA , co lending models with fintech firms etc), credit assessment on verge of being outsourced to a large extent in the times to come, entities specializing in collection/recovery & turning around already  there.

As of now decision to whether lend or not rest with lenders, but who knows that may or may not continue 10 years down the line.

So who will take the responsibility of collecting back the amount from customers esp for banks which has the depositors money.

Or will there be a new model wherein the depositors themselves put the money and decide on where they want to invest- a market place similar to REITS etc.


Money Talks- Part 5

So after having understood the need of investment, post tax return and risk return taking ability during different life stages, lets now understand different investment options.

Let’s start with fixed return investments ie Fixed Deposit (FDR) and Recurring deposit (RD).

  • Both offer fixed Rate of interest (ROI). So one knows well in advance what is the amount which would be realized at the end of tenor/ maturity.
  • Both are taxable. So take into consideration the post tax returns. Banks deduct TDS amount post a threshold amount in case of FDR’s.
  • Both can be done for short as well as long duration and withdrawal can be made before expiry also subject to lower ROI/Penal and excluding tax saving FDR’s. Tax saving FDR are for 5 year period and amount invested for the same is eligible for Sec 80 C deduction. Interest received on same is taxable.
  • If certainty of amount is of essence these are the best options.

For those who are new to RD, FDR is one time deposit and RD is regular which generally ranges from 6 months onwards.

FDR can be done for a few days also. However if you are breaking the FDR there is penalty and / or lower ROI payable.  ROI of the applicable tenor when you are withdrawing the amount prematurely is paid and/or penalty generally is 0.5% to 1% of applicable ROI.

So if the surplus is for very short duration say upto 30 days then you need to look at saving interest which currently is around 3.5% (4% for if amount maintained is > Rs. 50 lacs) for most banks and interest on FDR for that period.  Note that Saving account interest upto Rs. 10000 is tax exempt.

Things not to do

We have been mostly used to identifying the to do list. Although many places , procedures & rules will show you both to do & not to do list ; but in general in deciding our own deliverables we focus on to do .
There’s so much to do. Endless at times. Personal goals , professional goals . About yourself , family , career , team , society etc etc .
At times it’s easy to focus on other side of same aspect of the side you are looking if it is getting cluttered .
Make a “Things Not to do list”. The list would actually be shorter & you can focus on it like-
  • Not to eat junk on 3 weekdays .
  • Not to shout 2 out of 4 times when you get angry .
  • Not to waste resources . Switch off all lights , fans , AC when not required .
  • Not to keep on buying stuff whose requirement you are not sure of .
  • Not to waste food.
  • Not to spend more than a specific time on screen after back to home.
  • Not to sleep later than 11.00 pm in 2 weekdays .
  • Not to reach late more than once in a week .
  • Not to go home late more than twice in a week .
This list won’t be long & you can make it focused on the key things which are important to you . What do you think?

Are we trying too hard?

You need to excel.  You need to give your best to what you do. If you really want to do something, you need to go the extra mile to achieve it. You need make sacrifices to achieve your dreams. No pain no gain.

We have heard or been told this a number of times starting from school time to almost every time post that.

And we do it and keep on trying doing it. Sometimes trying too hard to do it.

Are we taking too many things too seriously?  Have we stopped experiencing the moments in life and have become machines to deliver numbers or expectations again and again.

So basically whatever we say, we all end up thinking and doing short term even if we know it what matters is long term. And most of us do it. Trying too hard. I did it till very recently till yesterday.

But then I realized that one very important thing was being impacted in this quest to excel and trying hard. Our actions do have impact just not us but others as well. Either in personal life or work life. It’s difficult to stay solo or in silo.

So, if we look at the bigger picture the impact is just not on us but all others directly indirectly associated with us.

It’s not just about winning but a win which brings joy and happiness for all involved rather than a burnout.

There is a thin line between giving up and taking a short break to rethink & review. So it’s okay to take a quick break sometimes and trying hard is not helping. Give a new perspective to things when are back after the break.

When in doubt always ask

Considering that the question we may have may sound naïve or trivial, we don’t ask it. It happens with me a number of times. It seems it happens with lot others also.

In life and in most of the things today majority of it cannot be in absolute black and white, but what helps is knowing which side it is headed.

So today I had a discussion. Before that I had prepared myself to finally ask this question which I was holding back for long. When I finally asked, then it brought an important clarification for me as well as the person from whom I had sought this. Prior to this there was always a sense of mismatch in the expectation and deliverable. And I was afraid on bringing this conversation.

Now finally the way it got sorted out, it reinforces the point that when in doubt always ask, no matter how small or big the point under consideration is.

Urgent vs Urgent

Everything which comes these days is urgent only required as of yesterday. Why is that? Is it competition or is it faulty planning. Or is it that the real meaning of urgency is lost and every task needs to be done as soon as it’s identified.

Mobile and emails was once the enabler of meeting the urgencies and emergencies. But when every second thing starts falling in that category this looses its relevance and meaning.


Receiving hundreds of emails and about half century of phone calls or messages everyday has become a norm for a higher proportion of people. Where does it leave us?

Email is no longer a desktop or laptop thing. It’s configured on phone and you keep on receiving alerts on real time.

How much it helps in addressing the real urgent situations is a big question?

Old saying that judicious use of every resource holds a lot of relevance in current situation.

I also have not been able to escape it but have done below:

  • Switched off email alerts on mobile. If something is really urgent, it would be called for rather than email. It also helps avoid the distraction which comes every second.
  • Attend the emails at specified intervals rather than as and when received while working on laptop or desktop.

Emails and Mobile is just one example. We see so much burnout and rush in most of the execution of tasks no matter which domain it is. People working late hours, weekends etc.

Time to rethink how we define and address urgent.

Do we need like everything we do ?

“It’s important to like what you are doing”, is a common saying. The logic is if you like something, you put your full heart into it and the outcome is better and satisfying as against when you don’t like it.

But honestly real daily lives might not give you this choice on everything you do.  Life’s not always about the options you want but it is exercising option from available choices. At times those options are not the ones you would have ever wanted.


So what do you do?

You may or may not get everything you like. And it’s okay. What is important is that you have at least something which you like doing. And that liking should be strong enough to balance the other ones and help you manage them, the ones which you don’t like.

We face this Let’s take two cases of  student life and work life.

When you are studying: You may not like all the subjects, few classmates or faculty or few activities which you have to do in your school/ college, because of some reasons. You may have some choices to take up a particular subject, attend a particular class, and be part of certain activities. Some may be compulsorily part of curriculum or course which you have to do whether you like it or not.

When you are working: It may be the role or profile which you would have chosen in anticipation of something which in reality may turn out different. Or you couldn’t find the work of our choice. Your and your organizations goals are different. You had to take up the job due to certain circumstances or situations. In all these or similar situations you have to find your key motivation/ area of interest which you help you reach your goal.

In both:

What is important is that in the overall things, either you have or you create a sense of interest, motivation and likeness towards some of these.  The ultimate decision is on whether these “some” are strong enough to help you tide over the rest of challenges in terms of dealing with areas you don’t like. In case the answer is no, then it would make sense you spend some time and look for other alternatives. Change the subject or course, identify areas which are bothering you, try talk to people, start afresh without any pre notions.

I can understand that it’s easier said than done. Sometimes there are in fact no choices only on face of it. Then you need think deeper again. Something will come out. If it doesn’t then you need look beyond these options and chart a new territory either at that moment or put a timeline so that it keeps you motivated.

Sikkim Diaries-For the ones travelling with their tiny tots

My daughter gets excited whenever I am telling the directions to our place on phone and I say the name of our building. Most of the time it’s for booking a cab for going to office. But when she is also dressed up and sees her little baby bag ready, she knows that she is also going out.

This time two of her bags were there which was making her super excited and this little one was trying to carry both by herself. We reached the airport. Check in counter had balloons hanging over the seats there which initially made her happy and she added one more word balloon to her list of words she is learning. Finally boarded the flight and was hoping that she will sleep off like our earlier flights, in this little longer 3 hour flight. But she didn’t. Her worst enemy was the infant seat belt and the curtain just ahead of our seat.

We landed Bagdogra Airport and after having lunch started our road trip to Baiguney. It took us some 4.5 hours to reach Club Mahindra Baiguney including half hour of tea and snacks (steaming Momo’s) break which we took.

The view from the room which was on third floor, took away all our tiredness. And for the little one she was excited to run around the new room she was into and exploring the new furniture.

Next day we spent our day around resort and river Teesta, some at garden where she watched other kid playing football, funzone which although had limited options for infants but she got company of another kid of similar age and mini library inside the resort. We had ordered traditional Nepali Thali for evening which you need pre-order. I must say the green vegetable, potato bhaji and the sweet dish was delicious.

We started next day morning around 10.30 for Gangtok via Namchi. We visited the the world’s largest statue (at 118/120 feet) of the Shri Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. You have to walk around half a km from the point till where car goes, to reach this point. There is also a hotel situated inside the premises which would be a great stay to experience this structure and enjoy the view of surrounding hills and habitations.  It took us around an hour to explore this place. If you have time there is lot more to explore if you are fine with climbing the stairs which  takes you to much higher viewing points. My right leg was not in good shape and it would have been too much for the little one, so we avoided it.

We reached Gangtok at around 4.00 pm. Few kms before you enter this city the colourful buildings made on this hilly landscape and river in between welcomes you. But mind it 4.00 pm is also the time when schools and lots of offices get closed, so it’s all traffic. Our hotel Mount Sincholu was near Einchey Monastery which is on VIP Road. This place is around 3 kms from the MG Road which is the main market and eating joint in Gangtok. We chose this hotel specifically for the view it offers of the hills and the city and this was met.

We left for MG Road around 6.30. The area was bustling with tourists and locals. We first went to The Coffee House where we enjoyed nice Hazelnut Coffee with starter and Garlic Bread. Once we stepped out it started raining. Another reason for us to go and explore the other famous eatery- Taste of Tibet which is on first floor. Momo’s outer crust was altogether different and nicely fluffy here. But more than that the lady who was in charge of this place was amazing. My little one was very tired and cranky. My husband took her down the restaurant as she was continuously crying. We tried everything but it was not working. I asked the waiter to bring a bowl of hot water to warm her milk. The waiter couldn’t understand but she did and instructed him.

Next day was our day to explore the city.  Started with visit to Hanuman Tonk and Ganesh Tonk which gives you spectacular view of the surroundings. Couple of other points we visited which I didn’t find much interesting though. Had one of our best lunch at Café loud. If you are with children just make sure whether you are okay with people using Hukkah around, else great food- Thukpa and Momos.

We ended our trip with visit to Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Do Drul Chorten Stupa which was 10 minute steep walk from the institute but worth it to see 108 prayer wheels all of which have mantras inscribed on them in Tibetan.

Time to say good bye to Sikkim at this time. Next time when the little ones grows older, we will visit the beautiful snow clad mountain- the very famous Natula pass and Tsomgo Lake.






All battles are not worth fighting


Today one of my team member received an email response from another colleague which was quite upsetting. I knew it was not his fault and he was trying to fix something important which was somehow not appreciated by this colleague.

This reminded me a similar situation I had faced four years back. I was taken aback by a similar  email. I replied to it justifying my part and then it kept on going and going. I was also hurt that why my Manager is not responding to it.

I asked him. He taught me a very important thing that day. He said we choose our own battles and we need not fight all of it. Sometimes it’s better to ignore and move on instead of putting your mind and time at stake for things which are not worth it.

He asked me should he write something back on the email response. I told him he can write if he feels like and I will support him.  But I also told him that in my view this is not worth his time & I will take care of this situation as a whole is avoided in future.

I understood the real meaning of what my manager tried to tell me that time today. So All battles are not worth fighting. You choose which one is important to you and is worth your time.

The beginning makes the difference

 Whether it is starting your day or your career ; how you start makes a lot of difference in a postive way .

If your morning has started well; there is a positive mindset which goes a long way in how you take your overall day. What happens is not in your control but how you handle it makes the difference .

Similarly if you are able to land up a strong platform to start with in the beginning of your career . It gives you an impactful start . This experience , network & brand goes a long way in shaping your career in the long run .

Having said the above I don’t mean say that if things don’t start good , the rest will also be not good. But if certain things are in your control , exercise that control .

So how to do that . Landing job opportunity in the most sought after company is in not in your control. There are multiple considerations basis which any candidate is hired . But making choice among available options is in your control. So choose the one where you Foresee long term impact.

How you start the day is in your control to a great extent . Begin the day with activities which bring in positive vibes – like spending few minutes in nature , planning your day , prayer, making your bed, reading something which you enjoy , exercise or walk , meditation .

I have taken up one activity from above in the last two days . Not sure how long will it go . But it was important to get started first . You need begin somewhere .