Voyager of the Flattening World

Scribbles about my days in Chennai, India. This blog was a record of my voyage around the flattening world.

  • Yes Yes No No – 3 Things to Know about Japanese/Indian ‘Yes’
    November 14, 2011

    When you use English to communicate with the Japanese and Indians (and many other non-English speakers,) there are certain things that you need to remember. Do you know what they are? A seemingly simple yes-no question like this can be very tricky. Here are 3 things that you need to keep in mind for a ...

  • Workplace Suicide – Why Do Japanese Business Persons Kill Themselves?
    November 10, 2011

    2,376 – The National Police Agency of Japan has just announced the monthly statistics of suicide for October 2011. At the current rate, it will most likely reach at 30,000 by the year end. The annual total has been exceeding 30,000 for the consecutive 13 years. Japan’s suicide rate, the number of suicides per hundred ...

  • ‘The Ultimate Investment’ by H. Bradley Stucki
    November 8, 2011

    A good motivational book for a two-hour easy read. Like other good management books, such as ‘One Minute Manager,’ this book is written as a fictional story with a hint of mystery. The story goes as a middle aged salesman, SSS, starts questioning the purpose of his life and initiates the pursuit to find the answer ...

  • The Most Efficient Traffic System – Japan, US, or India?
    November 3, 2011

    When I came to India for the first time, the biggest culture shock I had was the traffic. Cars, trucks, buses, scooters, auto rickshaws, bikes, pedestrians, cows, buffaloes, goat, dogs, roosters. They move towards the direction they want to go. The density of the traffic seemed hundred times more than the one on highway I-65 ...

  • Notebooks in India – Camlin Kokuyo
    October 28, 2011

    There was a news article a couple of days ago on the Japanese news site that KOKUYO Co., Ltd., a Japanese leading stationery and office furniture company, is planning to build a plant for notebooks in India as early as in year 2012. KOKUYO is a national brand and any Japanese students have at least ...

  • ‘Imagining India’ by Nandan Nilekani
    October 27, 2011

    Although the book seems little too thick, I would recommend it to anyone who are interested to understand today’s India. There are many good books teaching you the cultural aspect of this big and diverse country, but there are few providing a good overview to business professionals how India has come to the current successful ...

  • Hou-Ren-Sou: A Recipe for Japanese (Over) Communication
    October 24, 2011

    The Japanese word “hou-ren-sou” means spinach. Spinach is a vegetable you find at the authentic Japanese restaurant, as in “ohitashi” or boiled and chilled spinach with soy sauce and in “goma-ae” or spinach with sweet sesame paste. This “hou-ren-sou” is, however, a special term in the business management context and nothing to do with those ...

  • ‘The World Is Flat’ by Thomas L. Friedman
    October 22, 2011

    As I’m writing this review in 2011, it’s been already six years since this book was published. While the main theory of the book still holds unchanged, the world has changed a lot since then. In 2005, the Americans were in the peak of the Subprime bubble, which was going to burst hard and crush the ...

  • Social Networking at Workplace – US, Japan and India
    October 20, 2011

    I’m not talking about how to use Facebook and LinkedIn at workplace. I’m talking about the real life. Where and how do the office workers have a social conversation and network each other for professional and non-professional purposes? Here are my observations of the workplace social networking in the US, Japan, and India. United States Although ...

  • Japanese Leave 9.3 Paid Vacation Days Unused Every Year – Why?
    October 20, 2011

    The Japanese employees take only 48.1% of the vacation days provided by the company, or 8.6 day out of 17.9 days. This interesting report has been just published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. Although the figure has improved by 1.4% for the past three years, it’s still far from the ...