Is Working From Home the future?

Inference – The year 2220 will have everyone working from home, may be even working from Mars.

Before the Industrial revolution, let us say before 19th century ,the basic profession and most career choice one could have was being a farmer, carpenter, mason , barber , fisherman, saint, soldier and trader. These were really a broader choice and one had to really fit into these somehow or the other to survive. Most of them involved working near to home but you had to be still out to pursue work.

With advent of Industrial revolution, more jobs were being created by the end of 18th century , the concept of higher production in less time had just begun. A lot of people started getting jobs, a job would be to work what one is asked during a particular day and get paid by the hour. Majority of us today are part of this contract where we go to a work place, work what has been asked of us and end of the day get paid for it, just the terms have changed these days, they pay now bi-weekly, monthly, annually (bonuses).

20th century brings to us fantastic tools called computers and then comes WWW ( World Wide Web), this at first creates more jobs, but people still go to a workplace, because these devices are heavy. Slowly within a decade we see the size of this device shrinking linearly and by 2020, we have devices which can be pushed in our pockets. Innovation in the past 2 decades has grown way faster than generations combined. When innovation grows faster than people, people do not know to adapt to it at the same rate. Smarter folks are creating tools to revolutionize the world, but the world is not able to change its mindset. A study has shown that it takes at least one generation for a collective change of mindset to happen. We slowly see that happening.

Object of the Day - Smithsonian Associates

The year 2020 simply slapped this archaic world and taught many things to mankind. A sudden event changes people, world changes faster. People are forced for a mindset change. The change we are seeing is coming sooner than usual, most importantly, when today’s workers become industrial leaders after a decade, they will never forget what 2020 taught them. A lot of people have already begun working from home, this is true for most of white collared jobs in the world who are paid to think and not for a laborious task. The blue collared jobs will continue to work in creating very valuable assets and manufacturing the needs of this world, but with robots and mechanizations happening, it is beyond our thinking two centuries from now for the year 2220. May be even them can start working from home, that as of now is only a fiction and a good story for a Sci-Fi movie, but food for thought , there was no internet and computers- 30 years ago, no electric cars- 20 years ago and no popular work from home just 5 years ago.

iPhone in India

Inference- Apple selling in India at 43% higher than USA

Last week my friend in India happened to tell me that he is about to buy an iPhone 11 for 131,000 INR, immediately the currency exchange math started in my mind and the difference is quite shocking. It has been a while since Indians were waiting for such an opportunity where they could buy their own iPhone and not depend on their friends and family returning from US to get them their favorite phone. This year Apple started their online purchase and delivery within India, typically either full payment, monthly installments or on credit.

I conducted myself a simple experiment by visiting Apple website and simply changing the country at the bottom and checked the price for their latest iPhone 11 pro max , 6.5 Inch display with 256 GB memory. It is surprising that the same product is higher in every other country than USA. All the prices were in local currency, after converting back to USD it was surprising to see the difference in prices.

Price in USA $        1,249.00  
CountryUSD Price  Difference  %
India $        1,789.00 $          540.0043%
Phillipines $        1,713.15 $          464.1537%
France $        1,678.02 $          429.0234%
UK $        1,669.99 $          420.9934%
New Zealand $        1,614.87 $          365.8729%
Australia $        1,532.41 $          283.4123%
Dubai $        1,434.56 $          185.5615%
Hong Kong $        1,393.41 $          144.4112%
Mexico $        1,381.84 $          132.8411%
iPhone 11 pro max, 6.5 IN screen, 256 GB memory

I was quite shocked to see India at 43% higher. It will be very exciting to see the sales for this phone in coming few days. The love for this product is so much that people are willing to go on credit to buy this device especially when it is sold at 131,000 INR before taxes which is equivalent of $1,789 , a whopping $540 more than what is being sold in USA. Million dollar question is would Indians put a blind eye to this difference and will continue to buy or continue to opt in for a cheaper android phones. This difference of $540 is nothing but a one way ticket between USA and India. The price is way too high especially for Indian market, especially when Foxconn who is Apple’s major supplier of the device has already begun its iPhone assembling in Chennai, India this year. The reason for this spike in price is yet to be figured out but experts believe it is because of increase in basic customs duty and withdrawal of earlier exemption BCD/Social welfare surcharges as announced by the government of India in union budget (2020-21)

Just hoping the prices to drop down in the near to late future. With increased production within the country and higher local consumers ,it possibly will be lower than the current price.

Consumers of 90’s in India

The year is 2020 and we all have a very strong supply of all the products that enter the market. You visit any store and one will see various kinds of products at different prices and based on demand and location the prices are high or low. But we are not talking about current world, we know the world now has a very strong supply chain, for instance the time it takes for a ship load of products to move to a opposite end of the world is only a max of 2 months. This means goods produced in India for instance can be of avail in the US in 2 months sometimes even 1 depending on the vessel( Ship).

I am a 31 year old guy living in 2020 which makes my predominant childhood in the 90’s. Grew up in several small towns and one big city in India, throughout the growing period of 18 years in my life. My dad having had a movable job, we had to move to a very new place every 3-4 years, one can say I was already developing some serious skills for adaptability. But as I grew older started making more friends from very far reach of India. It is now that we discuss how most of our products that we used in the 90’s is same throughout the subcontinent. After having discussed this at large end with my friends from Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and as east as Sikkim we were all surprised that we predominantly used some of the same stationery , confectionaries and other products growing up. I am using these specific examples of states is because they are from very far reach with each other with me growing up in different parts of Karnataka.

Some of stationery growing up.

Stationery of Indian 90’s kids

Some of the brands of 90’s

90’s confectionaries

We all sense a moment of nostalgia, i am sure there are many such brands and products and some similar products that we happen to see, like how is it that every government offices in India be it Delhi or Kanyakumari, had pretty much same set of furniture style. It is not even the brands/companies its even the culture of having similar items.

What really surprises me is in spite of having such a diversity, we all still talk and enjoy these nostalgic products. Some of these brands have vanished while some of them are a very successful enterprises. My point is even back then in the 90’s the only reason every every store in India had similar products and now if we look back, we see there must be definitely a strong supply chain back then as well. A kid in a remote place in Sikkim was using the same pencil/pen which a kid in some remote place in Tamil Nadu was using. Such was the strong distribution of products and such was the strong supply chain with only major logistical move was by trucks which is commendable.

Novak Djokovic – US Open

As usual on a Sunday morning when I was going through my news feed sipping up a cup of hot tea, was shocked to see one of my favorite tennis player was banned from US open for the rest of the series. Immediately, started digging more about the news and it so happens that after a point loss to Spanish player Pablo Carreno Busta , Novak in frustration flashes away the ball with his racket which accidentally hits one of the line judges on her throat. He immediately starts rushing towards her and firstly apologizes and next shows deep down concern, post which medics come and check her in detail.

This was definitely not a game shot but something which Novak hits the ball in frustration which is certainly not a good. But, when he realizes his mistake he does not waste a second to go near to her. The repercussions of this event on him are way too harsh. He gets a complete ban on the series for 2020 and also loses all that he had earned while in the competition.

https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/29832497/novak-djokovic-fined-10k-hitting-line-judge-ball

There have been many such incidents in tennis before, but no one has faced such severe punishments. Novak had 100% chance of winning this series especially when Roger Federrer and Rafael Nadal had opted not play in the series.

The line judge who is always inside the court should be trained for such balls coming towards them and in this case it looked like she clearly was not and was not looking at players but lost in her world. Usually, they have faster reflexes and move away from the ball soon. Sad part is not one person is talking about the line judge’s absence mindedness here. She is made the victim and using her as a bait, Novak is given a stern punishment. This is wrong on various levels, because all they had to tell was he broke a rule, but rule never said that a player will be disqualified from the current series if such an event occurs. There is no such a rule, it is a judgement passed by match referee. This to some extent looks like a biased judgement.

But, it is what it is. It is a game and one has to follow the rules and should abide by it. I only feel very sorry for Novak, but in this particular case it simply looked like US open wanted to show an example to the world and nothing else.

Human Development Index

I was fascinated when i first came across this terminology, it is a ratio of several qualitative aspects which are quantified. It really is amazing how these parameters are converted into a number which is very useful to relate.

Below is the pictorial definition provided on the UN Website http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi

The index ranges from 0 to 1 with 1 being the highest. One would get easily get confused and expect countries with a high GDP to have a high HDI but data proves otherwise. Top 10 countries mostly are from Europe and quiet surprisingly even 2 Asian countries made it at top. Below is the latest HDI data on the UN website.

CountryContinentH.D.IRank
NorwayEurope0.9531
SwitzerlandEurope0.9442
AustraliaOceania0.9393
IrelandEurope0.9384
GermanyEurope0.9365
IcelandEurope0.9356
HongKong,China(SAR)Asia0.9337
SwedenEurope0.9337
SingaporeAsia0.9329
NetherlandsEurope0.93110
2017- Top 10 countries with highest H.D.I

Now lets dice in slightly more. We have data from 1995-2017- 22 years which is more than sufficient to chalk out some inferences.

Continent19952017%AverageRank#Countries
Europe      0.75      0.8614%          0.81147
North America      0.65      0.7515%          0.71220
Oceania      0.69      0.725%          0.70311
South America      0.65      0.7516%          0.70315
Asia      0.61      0.7218%          0.67542
Africa      0.43      0.5426%          0.49654
H.D.I by Continental region

We see that there is an increase in H.D.I values from 1995 to 2017 for all regions. However there is an observable pattern, regions with lowest values seems to be growing at a higher rate. From bottom up the values are low but certainly the growth is higher. Growth here in this case also happens to be a function of countries in a particular region for instance Oceania has only 11 countries and hence we see only 5% growth but South America which is close with 15 countries seems to be doing a lot better with 16% growth.

There are countries which have made a significant improvement in their economy, lifestyle, education, life expectancy and health care. It is a very good sign to see them growing especially all of them being African countries it is worth an applaud from where they have picked up and risen. There is huge potential for growth and they for sure will be looking still better in next two decades.

Country19952017% Growth
Rwanda0.2340.524124%
Mozambique0.2290.43791%
Mali0.2620.42763%
Uganda0.3210.51661%
Guinea0.2950.45956%
Countries who made a significant improvement

While there are a couple of countries from the pool which did not make any improvements .Libya is still better off without any improvement but still maintaining a good H.D.I value but conflicts and terrorism has made Syria lose on human index values which greatly defines people trying to flee this country and seeking refuge in better regions.

Country19952017%
Libya0.7040.7060%
Syrian Arab Republic0.5790.536-7%
Countries with no growth and negative growth

Inference- A quantifiable number can let people know which country is best to live and which country is to be improved upon. In this case we see until 2017 if you live in Norway you are leading the best lives compared to rest of the world while not so likely with Syria.