Wednesday, February 09, 2005

hang up

The Supreme Court today issued notices to mobile firms and private banks on a public interest petition alleging that they were providing........

this article in the business standard has a little more relevance to me than usual since I work for a very large MNC bank. my bank also happens to indulge in such practices time to time. clamping down on cell phone cold calls will have a direct impact on business. from the bank's perspective, this operation is defended on the basis of customer reach and competetive pressures. however, for the customer, it is nothing but a string of calls from unknown people trying to sell a million products. the ideal thing to do would be to maintain a directory similar to the one in the US which has people segregated according to their preferences on getting calls from commercial establishments. that system however, would be sifficult to put in place in india, and would be horrible difficult to monitor. what could however be done is to allow calls only to numbers available through directories (which are defined!) and through references.

during a discussion between us at the bank, there was talk about setting up of a credit bureau in the country (India). The conclusion was that it wouldn't be set up till we don't have a single unique number For each citizen in the country. Like the social security number in the US. We over here have a different passport number, seperate PAN nos., election cards (with no numbers!) , ration cards and inexplicable other cards.

ofcourse, the entire debate of whether the country needs to uniformly encode its citizens is another discussion all together. a very relevant and interesting one at that.

in the same light, I was also thinking about why India does not have a single phone number across all cellular service providers. It would increase customer choice which is limited at present due to his inflexibility in losing his old number. However, having a single number across networks would definitely make the telecom market in the country a fun place to watch!

tomorrow i will start a series on my earlier company! some things that they could do to imporove (but they wont!), inspite of being the largest company in the sector in this country. i will tell you that precisely due of that reason, they will be unable to maintain competetive edge over the next few years.

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