Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting ahead of Boss!!

Is it really true that one cannot grow ahead of his boss? In the current Indian Industry scenario - this statement seems to hold true. There seems to be a subconscious psychological barrier that these managers still struggle to cross while evaluating the subordinate. There is a constant fear in back of the bosses' minds what if my subordinate will become my peer and what if he crosses over?

To certain extent the performance review and contenders are also responsible for this trend. One's boss is normally the one who will give the final feedback to him. There is a high chance that the feedback is tweaked to align it with the manager's attitude towards the growth of an individual. This could continue as long as the manager will grow up in the ladder making some space for other's grow.

It is human nature to turn averse to such adverse / tough situations. In some cases some people have self esteem so high to take pride in seeing people worked under him grow to become their boss and attribute to subordinate's ability and hard work. In most of the cases - as long as the reportees grow up the ladder away from the manager's sight, it is fine. It doesn't matter. Else, it will possibly become a matter of ego. The higher the rank the bigger the ego. That's why this would be a good and active contributing reason to ever increasing attrition rate in IT Software industry.

As it appears, organic growth model seldom works in the age of competition. Let's hope that the model in the industry and psychology of those who form part of it changes sooner than later instead of falling in perils to the quotient of ego.

Friday, January 15, 2010

How to plan HRA exemptions

I know many fellas who go crazy when it comes to collecting IT proofs in India esp. about HRA. Normally they will go with an approximate amount which is close to HRA s/he actually has been paid. This may not be a right approach always.

HRA is calculated as follows:
  • Actual amount of HRA received during the relevant period.
  • Rent paid less 10% of Basic Salary
  • An amount equal to 50 percent of basic salary , where the residential house is situated at Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi and an amount equal to 40% of salary where the residential house is situated at any other place

E.g. Let's take an example and see what will happen in a scenario where
Monthly Basic is 35000, HRA is 19000 and Rent paid is 19000.

  • Actual amount of HRA = 19000.
  • Rent paid less 10% of Basic Salary = 19000 - 3500 = 15500
  • An amount equal to 50% or 40% of basic salary 35000 * 0.50 = 17500.00

In this case the amount that will be taken in account for exemption will be 15500 per month.

Had the rent been calculated more closely, income tax payee would have been at advantage. I follow a simple method, rent should be calculated as follows.

Actual Rent - 10% of Basic should be > HRA Paid

In above example - the rent can be calculated as follows.

Actual Rent - 3500 should be > 19000

One of the closest number could be be 23000.00 in which case, the revised calculation of HRA will be as follows.

  • Actual amount of HRA = 19000.
  • Rent paid less 10% of Basic Salary = 23000 - 3500 = 19500
  • An amount equal to 50% or 40% of basic salary 35000 * 0.50 = 17500.00
Least of the above calculated amounts is 17500.00 which means a yearly Tax Exempted amount would be 24000 (12 * (17500 - 15500)) and a net tax benefit of 7200 if you are falling in 30% tax bracket. :-)

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to resolve issues @ Birla Sunlife Insurance

If you ever happen to run into issues with the payments made for BSLI policy which is not reflecting on your account and don't know who to catch hold of, you may want to get in touch with Market Support Executive.

Their so called toll free numbers don't work normally, but the beauty is that if I call their mumbai number (The number to connect to their call center directly) I am able to talk to the customer support executives (charges rs. 1.5/Minute!)

Even if you call their call center, Customer Support executives will redirect you to one of the local office and ask you to get in touch with the Market Support Executive (MSE)

Please make sure to get a complaint registered and ask for Complain Number. This will save you from telling the same story multiple times to multiple people.

I was based out of Chennai when I ran into this issue and below is the number to Birla Sunlife Insurance office in Chennai who helped me out.


Hope this helps

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to find EPF Details Online

I have shifted the job and was in the process to get my Provident Fund transferred to at new employers'. In the process I found this website to track your claims. I am glad to see the disclaimer on the site that confirms when last the site data was updated and these dates are not older than 2 weeks.

At least using this site, I could validate the correctness of the PF number.


Hope this helps.

Monday, December 14, 2009

7 ways to push past procrastination

When you find yourself procrastinating on a particular project, or just delaying in general, it is always a good idea to ask why. If a task is difficult, it's difficult for a reason; you need to know what that reason is, even if it’s just a nagging habit you’ve developed.

Yes, procrastination can be just a habit, and sometimes society even rewards you for delaying action, such as late season Christmas bargains. It’s not always a bad thing to look before you leap - no one wants to make a poorly thought out decision. But if delaying is causing problems in your life, the reason could be due to anger, fear, or denial.

The next time you find yourself procrastinating on a particular project, ask yourself these questions.

Do I find it hard to just get started?

The hardest thing about everyday tasks is getting started on them. It's kind of like pushing a stalled car...once you get going, everything rolls right along. Push Past procrastination by setting up systems that help you. For example, I had a jigsaw puzzle that I just couldn’t seem to finish even though I wanted to use it as part of my wall decoration. I finally set it up on it’s own little table, then moved the table out into the traffic pattern where I would see it constantly. That got my attention, and got the puzzle finished.

Do I feel qualified to perform the task? Am I in over my head?

Being afraid that you will fail at something is a sure-fire way to get you to stop before you've started. Push Past Procrastination by being honest with yourself about your level of training in that particular task. Don't complain or procrastinate. Simply request help from someone qualified who can help you learn.

Is this something I really want?

I was having trouble finishing painting my kitchen and I couldn’t figure out why. As I started to really think about it, I realized that I didn’t really like the color. Martha Stewart said I ought to like it, but I just didn’t. As soon as I mentally fired Martha and got the color I wanted, I finished in no time. Push Past Procrastination by telling the truth about what you really want out of life. Live as the star of your own life, not as an extra in someone else's.

Does the task seem huge, even overwhelming?

Push Past Procrastination by breaking the job down into smaller steps to get it under control and manageable. Instead of considering painting the whole inside of the house, focus on only one room or even one wall. Schedule a specific amount of time that you will spend on it each day, or week. Set realistic goals for yourself, instead of expecting to accomplish everything immediately.

Are there too many things demanding my attention so that nothing of real value gets done?

Push Past Procrastination by setting priorities. Do things that are important to you and your life. Develop a filter system so that only what's contributing to your goals gets in. Making a task easier often comes with making a choice to adjust your schedule, re-allocate your money, or choosing how to spend your energy.

Is this really my goal, or is it someone else's?

Are you doing it to please someone? Obviously there's nothing wrong with pleasing the people you love. But if you find yourself in a role or job that no longer fits, it's a signal that you will need to find another route to take. Push Past Procrastination by examining how you spend your time, what roles you are playing, and how they relate to who you are at this time in your life.

Am I afraid of the outcome?

Procrastination may show up in employment when the fear of finishing one project without having another on the horizon may mean that you would get laid off. Procrastination may show up if you fear being blamed for bad results. Procrastination may show up in personal situations as a fear of losing what you now have, even if it's not what you want. Push Past Procrastination by having reserves. Without reserves, you live in fear. Fear causes you to make decisions you don't like, which in turn makes you procrastinate. Build reserves and fear will no longer slow you down.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't Copy if You Can't Paste

A popular motivational speaker was entertaining his audience. He said: "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn’t my wife!"

The audience was in silence and shock.

The speaker added: "And that woman was my mother!"

Laughter and applause.

A week later, a top manager trained by the motivational speaker tried to crack this very effective joke at home.
He was a bit foggy after a couple of drinks. He said loudly to his wife who was preparing dinner, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife!"

The wife went, "ah!" with shock and rage.

Standing there for 20 seconds trying to recall the second half of the joke, the manager finally blurted out"....and I can't remember who she was!"

By the time the manager regained his consciousness, he wason a hospital bed nursing burns from boiling water

Moral of the story:
Don't copy if you can't paste!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Luck matters ;-)

With a pile of 300 resumes on his desk and a need to pick someone quickly, my boss told me to make calls on the bottom 50 and toss the rest. "Throw away 250 resumes?" I asked, shocked.
"What if the best candidates are in there?"

"You have a point," he said. "But then again, I don't need people with bad luck here."

- Becky Horowitz(Reader's digest)