Understanding attrition in analytics sector in India

If you have worked with a software team based out of India, or know someone did, you would be aware that the technology sector in India has a high rate of employee attrition or churn. This is estimated to be as high as 30 %.

As someone who changed jobs a decade ago before I turned entrepreneur I try and understand what makes young people in this decade change jobs. Here are some of the few reasons I think they go through ( I am trying to think like the employee not the company)-

  1. Bad Leadership – No it’s not money, but the lack of a good working professional relationship with your manager that makes you quit job.  You can blame the young person for jumping for a 40% hike, but the only reason people stay on is they like their boss and like working under him. More investment in leadership training (and not just games /team building junkets /offsites) can be a solution
  2. Stagnation in Learning Opportunities– Young people realize they lack experience and are willing to take a hit to learn more. Their ambition is thwarted by situations that force them to do routine jobs (without proper explanation of why it is important) and lack of credible road map to guide their career expectations, and ambitions. More investment in digital training can be a solution.
  3. Unfair working times– If working conditions demand that you ask team members to stay in office more than 9 hours you need to explain properly why they cant work from home using remote desktop and internet. Employees that help their companies live their office actually sidestep this issue quite effectively.
  4. Lack of Stock Options– Salary is paid and consumed. Stock options make people hang on. Stock options are comparitevly less in India though Infosys has been an admirable company in it. More intelligent and fair to both sides agreeement on stock can be a solution
  5. Lack of penalties for attrition on manager– Managers get by with excuses on blaming attrition on employee, industry,salary but not themself. Surprise attrition is unforgivable. Linking vraiable compensation of team lead and manager will force them to develop a working relationship with team member.  Using analytics to predict attrition and using variable incentives to reward low attrition team managers can be a solution
  6. Cynicism on company processes– The failure of HR in India to stand up and confront line managers has prevented them from acting as a safety release for pent up steam in employees. Culture eats strategy for lunch and if your best people keep leaving at 30% your strategy goes for a toss. A segmented approach at attrition can help
  7. Delinking performance with attitude issues-  A company culture that obligates employees to ask and be responsible for issues in working conditions makes their manager link attitutde and perfromance unfairly.  BetterHR metrics and buddy/mentor arrangements can be a solution. This can also be reinforced by a matrix reporting structure.

Politics is the enemy of analytics. Indian culture is political per se, so making young people more professional and responsible in long term is the job of senior management nut just middle level team leads.


Comparing the User Interface in Indian Websites in ECommerce

I did a  search for ” samsung 4g mobile” across the following – Google Search, Askmebazaar.com, Amazon.in, Snapdeal.com, Flipkart.com and got following results.

I wanted to compare user interface, the search results, the navigation experience, and lastly any price arbitrage opportunities. Part One of this series just looks at initial search results for a single keyword and compares it across websites.


  1. Apparently FlipKart does not believe in Adwords, or SEO


Screenshot from 2015-10-17 09:36:262) Amazon has a clean interface and good graphic icons for the product


Screenshot from 2015-10-17 09:34:45

Surprisingly it suggested in associated products – a beard trimmer for me. Amazon also prompts saying how the item is limited and only X are left in stock.

3) Flipkart sells FlipKart itself (of apps etc) in half the page and has no associated results ( you may also buy this- or add to cart)


However I liked the ordering of the filters in left margin, with price on top, then brand etc. Quite clearly price is the top filter in such sites.

Screenshot from 2015-10-17 09:33:29

4) Askmebazaar has a menu layout in horizontal rows and columns than a list layout. Interesting to see the Indian origin interfaces had menu layout while the US derived websites had a list (top to bottom layout)

It was interesting to see that every price in it had a discount with a strikethrough in the initial prices. Striking and interesting as its different.


Filters in right margin were Category first, then brand ( both irrelevant since I am askign for Samsung Mobile) and price at bottom. Price was a dropdown filter than a radio button or checkbox


5) Ebay has really awesomely long URLS and is a mix of Amazon and Askmebazaar interface


Screenshot from 2015-10-17 09:52:14

6) Lastly Snapdeal had a nice clean interface and it was less cluttered than some of the other sites. I was also interested that they showed a prompt to buy iPhone so an interesting association analysis result.

Which e commerce company in India has the best user interface? You decide. Beauty and ease lie in the eye of the beholder.

Screenshot from 2015-10-17 09:33:59

Introduction to Sufi Music

Why Sufi Music is the best example of two different religions and people can coexist and have a big party.

Sufi Music

Sufi music is the devotional music of the Sufis, inspired by the works of Sufi poets, like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah, Amir Khusrow and Khwaja Ghulam Farid. Qawwali is the most well known form of Sufi music, and is most commonly found in the Sufi culture of the Indian Subcontinent.

yeh jo halka halka suroor hai                        – This slight intoxication that I have
ye tere nazron ka kasoor hai                         – Is all the fault of your looking at me
ke sharab peena sikha diya hai                     -That has taught me to take up drinking
tere pyar ne tere chahne                                                                            —– Your love and your wanting
teri bhehki behki neegah ne mujhe ek sharaabi banadiya                 —–Your intoxicating  looks has made me an alcoholic
pilaadi hai apni kiss nazar se ke mujhe hosh nhi hai                          —– You have served the drink with a single look and now I am not in my senses



Irishman grows potatoes on Mars

Matt Damon grows potatoes in his shit on Mars to stay alive in the movie Martian. I hope I didn’t ruin anything for you. Spoiler Alert.

The luck of the Irish keeps Matt Damon’s career alive and his astronaut alive in the Martian. Heck  Affleck actually had to struggle for his stardom. All Matt does is smile at us, and we smile back. Personally, I am more a fan of Tarantino Hollywood than Spielberg Hollywood anyway.

The Martian was an interesting movie for me to watch since I have seen Matt in Interstellar ( where he lost the fistfight again. Why does Matt get into fist fights when Krav Maga is clearly his style). Interesting to see how teams play and interact and politic and still come up trumps. In space travel, socialism wins and Team trumps individual. Not to be confused by Team Trump’s Individual.

On this planet, called Earth, Capitalism wins. Corporations trump individuals. Nations trump other-other nations. Humans trump rest of nature team. We eat lamb chops, pork ribs and beef burgers and wonder why the global warming brigade is just tin hat battalion. How many battalions do the scientists have anyway? Environmentalism is for sissies who play chicken- chicken!

Meanwhile in other non-significant news, the polar ice keeps melting, scientists keep crying, and all your duly elected democratic government can think of is how can I milk the oil under the ice to feed the corporation whose lobbyists can fund my election. Cause and effect, brothers and sisters, cause and effect.

Give me the shit science that an Irishman does to grow potatoes on Mars, and I would any day prefer it to the crap news that you feed me on how climate change is just a joke for  a George Carlin to joke on. Carlin is dead! Who will save us from the ice and water that floods or the droughts. Not your buddy, Jeez.

So you can send the Irish to grow potatoes on Mars but you can’t send the Scots to force people to grow olive and coconut trees on Earth. Insa, that is too bad, is it not.


R Users Group in India

In 2012, I created the New Delhi R Users Group.  Apart for a brief 5 month stint in which I was in Canada and handed over the organization to some others, I had been nurturing it for almost three years.  With 676 users, and 38 meetups done , I think it is a somewhat reasonable success. Since I have now moved my base to Mumbai, I accordingly have transitioned it to someone else, and left the group.

Yesterday I met  the organizers and members of the Mumbai R Users Group

It was a great forum, very well organized in Xavier’s College of Management and a balanced mix of students, industry people and experts were there. I have been hesitant to join other meetups in India before (though I did my share of non tech meetups in Canada). I am happy to say it was totally worth my time and effort to travel to this beautiful hundred-year-old college and meet the best of RUsers in Mumbai who champion R with zero corporate support in India, and yet have a dream to offer data science consulting and products via open source. The speakers were mature, experienced and knowledgeable and the audience was intelligent, responsive and thirsty for R.

Mumbai will be an interesting place for R and other data science languages to grow.

Mazel Tov Mumbai!

Screenshot from 2015-10-11 09:25:00

Jazz in front of Bombay Sea with Igor Butman

Serendipity, luck and sheer chut-zpah enabled me to watch from the front seat, a jazz performance by Igor Buttman and the  quartet at the NCPA , Mumbai. Most of the crowd was elderly Parsis, so I really didnt help matters by wearing a baseball hat.

The jazz was lovely. The quartet has a pianist who is blind and has golden hair, and man, he could sing too besides playing BOTH classical piano and jazz.  He needs to be taught a lesson by Butman into humility though.

an amazing blind pianist and vocalist, Oleg Akkuratov. A visually challenged boy from a small Russian town, Armavir, Akkuratov is an exceptionally talented pianist and vocalist, a unique jazz and classical musician, who participated in UNESCO’s International Choir. He has won numerous international contests and has been awarded the World Health Organization’s “Health” award, entitled “For the will to live”. At the age of nineteen Oleg outplayed many others to win the International Piano Competition in Novosibirsk.

He has performed in the Olympic Games and Para-Olympic Games, inspiring many handicapped people.

Why Russia needs to enter Syrian conflict?

America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.

  • Henry Kissinger: The White House Years,
  1. The price of oil is shit. The Russian military industrial complex needs to boost up GDP and this can help Russian arms sales to Middle East Arab countries
  2. Replace inventory of obsolete weapons by dumping them and testing them
  3. Rehearse and collect intel on American Special Forces capabilities and Air Force capabilities including stealing technology
  4. Bond more with Iran who has also entered post their new accepted deal . Iran without nukes and without sanctions
  5. Completely take off attention over Crimean war and the sanctions there.
  6. Regain Internationational stature as a player in a multipolar world
  7. America has done a great job of handling both Iraq and Afghan conflicts so far and can be relied in a presidential lame duck tenure to avoid decisive action
  8. Tie up Assad and possibly Iran back in the WarSaw Pact (Putin edition)
  9. Boost price of oil (maybe)
  10. Kill Islamic terrorists (since they have suffered more deaths from them than all Western Country citizens combined)
  11. Test waters and capabilities for enhanced global warfare positions
  • A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic

    Joseph Stalin