Monday, 25 January 2016

Demistifying Financial Terms for Non-Finance People - Part 1

Operating Profit & OPM:

Operating Profit gives an indication of the current operational profitability of the business and allows a comparison of profitability between different companies after removing out expenses that can obscure how the company is really performing.

Interest cost depends on the management's choice of financing, tax can vary widely depending on acquisitions and losses in prior years, and depreciation and amortization policies may differ from company to company.

Depriciation refers to Tangible Fixed Assets grouped into categories, especially for Balance Sheet reporting. Most Fixed Assets gradually lose value because they have a limited useful life - they 'depreciate', which means that they lose their value. So they have to be depreciated in the Year End Accounts.

Amortization is an accounting term that refers to the process of allocating the cost of an intangible asset over a period of time. It also refers to the repayment of loan principal over time. Now don't ask what intangible is ! :) In this case, intangibles includes  licenses / permits / contracts / patents / copyrights / franchises / goodwill / trademarks / trade names.

EBITDA is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.

PBT stands for Profit Before Tax:
Profit before tax deducts all expenses from revenue including interest expenses and operating expenses, excluding tax. Since taxes change every year, PBT gives investors a good idea about the company profits every year.

PAT stands for Profit After Tax:
Profit after tax, also referred as the bottom-line, is a measure of the profitability of the company after deducting all its expenses.

Total Assets & Asset Turnover Ratio:
Total Assets is the sum of all assets, current and fixed. The asset turnover ratio measures the ability of a company to use its assets to efficiently generate sales. The higher the ratio indicates that the company is utilizing all its assets efficiently to generate sales. Companies with low profit margins tend to have high asset turnover.

Net Sales:
Sales is the total amount of products or services sold by the company.

Networth is the difference between a company's total assets and its total liabilities. It is also known as shareholder`s equity.

Return On Capital Employed %:
Capital Employed is defined as total assets less current liabilities. Return On Capital Employed is a ratio that shows the efficiency and profitability of a company's capital investments. The ROCE should always be higher than the rate at which the company borrows money.

Gross Block:
Fixed assets are long-term tangible piece of property that the company owns and uses in the production of its income. Gross Block is the cost of fixed assets eg buildings, real estate, equipment, furniture etc not excluding the depreciation amount charged on it.

Dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders usually as a distribution of profits. When a company makes profit it can either re-invest it in the business or it distribute it to its shareholders by way of dividends. The dividend payout ratio is the amount of dividends paid to shareholders relative to the amount of total net profit of a company.

A reduction in dividends paid is not appreciated by investors and usually the stock price moves down as this could point towards difficult times ahead for the company. On the other hand a stable dividend payout ratio indicates a solid dividend policy by the company's management.

Book Value (Rs):
Book value is a company's assets minus its liabilities. In simple terms it would be the amount of money that a share holder would get if a company were to liquidate.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Wishes for a Wonderful 2016 !

I am snuggled up in the chair with my favorite plum cake, bakarwadis and a hot cuppa chai ! Since therez no company, I switch on the TV to watch an on going episode of MasterChef Asia...It's a very rare pleasure to enjoy uninterrupted 'me time'.. and to get it bang on the 1st day of the year is sinfully satisfying ! :) ;)
My mind races back to our new year's eve celebration.. the food, the wine, the bonfire, the music and most of all, the company of great friends.. ! Absolute pleasure !!! :)
We'v celebrated the passing of 2015 and welcomed 2016 with renewed enthusiasm and ofcourse some great resolutions !!
There is definitely a sense of satisfaction I feel personally, on some of the new beginings 2015 was all about.. for one, Avani n Me finally managed to begin learning Bharatnatyam together ! we even got a lot better with our Swimming before the pools closed down due to water shortage and the morning chill set on..
My biggest challenge this year probably is to keep going.. cut down on the will for compulsive perfection in all things big n small and strike the right balance in life!
It's more about ensuring I don't face burn out, cause if God chooses to keep me alive a couple of years more.. i'd like to live my life more fitter, healthier & devoid of dependence!
Most importantly...In 2016, I will create a greater sense of distinction between

"What I do for Money vs what I do with my Time"

Wishing You and Your Loved Ones a truly gratifying 2016 :). May all new dreams and hopes with which you begin this year, ring in an eternal sense of satisfaction in all spheres of your life ! :)
With all my love,
-Sayli ! :)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

My 1st Ever Interview - Published !! :)

So my birth month turns out to be lucky for me as my 1st ever interview was published in the 2nd Edition of the Corporate Digest of Vodafone India circulated on August 25th. For those of you outside of Vodafone, here is the complete version ! :) Happy Reading !

• How were the things different for you as a woman in the corporate world

I come from a family of 3 generations of working mothers - all, in their own right have been superstars and I feel a lot luckier to be part of corporate India in this day and age. The reason I say this is because now, it is more acceptable for us as a society to see our better half’s help us out equally with our household responsibilities which was not the case, a few decades ago. Also, organizations have started to get a lot more accommodative of both their male and female employees needs as long as work gets delivered at the right time and to the right mark of efficiency and quality. The focus now a days is more on retaining the talent that has been invested in, leveraging the skills of the existing workforce in different functional areas rather than finding an external new hire for each opportunity that is being created. I would like to believe that the hardships faced by the likes of Anu Aga, Virginia Rometty or a Chanda Kocchhar paved the way for a Sheryl Sandberg or a Marissa Mayer. I am nowhere close to getting there as yet, but across all grades of the corporate lattice, there are certain problems which are common to each woman and I can only feel glad that today, we find enough support both personally and professionally!

• Support given by Vodafone (or other organizations) in your journey and also the support provided by your colleagues, managers etc

I live with a family of 6 people - from my great grandmother-in-law aged 88 to my daughter aged 5, each age groups requirements - time wise, diet wise, need wise are different. On very rare occasions, if my in laws are travelling, I have as much flexibility to attend meetings virtually from home (to be able to be there for my grandma-in-law and daughter in their absence) as I have, for prepping for an important meeting while my daughter does her painting while the rest of us get served up tea by my ma-in-law on an early Sunday evening! Needless to say, I would’ve never enjoyed that flexibility without an extremely understanding family and an equally understanding boss/super boss & the extended team in the office! If the commitments are pressing, there are people who fill up for my absence at work/home which is why I am able to carry on day in and day out.

Relationships are at the heart of each one’s life and we surely need to acknowledge that & work on them be it personal / professional. Also, careers have got equally demanding and it does need investing time on your own to ensure transitions to new roles and responsibilities are flawless & productive!

• How do you balance work and your personal life

We no longer live in an era of work-life balance. With the mobiles and gadgets revolutionizing our existence, today’s life is more about “work life integration”! Being in IT-Operations, I’ve never had the luxury to demark time as family time and work time, and that in no way implies an absence of balance. Just the night before last, I was nervous about anchoring the ‘IT townhall event’ and my daughter asked me “Mumma why are you not happy today??” and no matter how much I tried to hide my nervousness, she just got my pulse right ! Since I was still getting my script ready, my husband was dear enough to put her to bed his way - lots of noise, action n masti! Last evening, on her return from the garden she usually comes complaining about the boys she had a fight with, but instead she remembered I had a big event lined up and said “Mumma!! How was your dialogue??? ” and I said it went very well and to that she cuddled me n said “I told you it will be nice – you’re the best ! I will also tell Aparna maam that I will also say a big dialogue for the class presentation and this time I will not cough!” We were having a wash together in the bathroom when she asks me “now show me how you said your dialogues” and she corrected me on my opening and told me you should say good morning more loudly & with a smile!!!” Now that is what the children of working mothers learn – why should there be any guilt about being a working mother !

• Inputs on adding a personal touch to all work related relationships

It is not every day that I get acknowledged for the appreciation that someone else receives. That’s why this morning started on a very special note - I will like to quote from an email I received this morning from one of my fellow colleagues who was awarded for his contributions. “You have always been inspiration to me ,which always helped me to do well. It was a great chance to work along with you and you have been guiding me since my joining. Many thanks for all your support and motivation.” I think all communication verbal / non-verbal serves both a practical as well as an inspirational purpose. It is very key to make sure your communication adds a touch of both. Not only acknowledging but appreciating & encouraging colleagues at the right time, goes a long way in building lasting work relationships & getting higher productivity.

• What makes you tick and work hard every day ?

My will to groom my daughter, to make my parents proud, to be an admired daughter in law, an enthusiastic wife, a supportive sister, a thorough professional… the reasons to work hard and live each day to the fullest are immense !! Although I will say that no two days are the same… each brings with it challenges of a unique kind, but if you get the basics right you are good to keep going & the basics for me are Time, Health and Relationships! And “ME” must be at the center of this triangle. A woman is at the heart of her family - she means the world to her loved ones and that’s why each one tries to spend those countless precious moments with her! No one, no matter how much they love you, will come and give you that “ME time” on a platter and allow you the luxury of doing what you love – we need to find that time to pursue our priorities for ourselves 1st – everything else comes after ME ! I haven’t watched TV since I had AVANI – that’s like 5 years now ! It’s not that there was no time for TV, it’s just that it no longer stayed a priority – I’d rather be catching up on the newspaper/a great book or accompany AVANI to the garden or share a glass of chilled wine with ABHI or listen to my mom in laws bhajan experiences or my father in laws work outing, chat up with my parents / brother or furthermost read up on LTE.. !

The importance of eating right is the most valuable thing my mother instilled in me. She keeps saying “A woman should have the stamina to work an 18 hour day non-stop” and that is so true ! You’ve got one chance to live – you’d rather make the most of your time but never by putting your health at stake – so eating right and exercising right is the key to a fulfilling personal & work life!

• What factors contributed to being selected our Global Hero (my congratulations to you !)

Sayli with Vodafone India MD & CEO - Marten Pieters
I think salary is what you get for meeting expectations and awards are what you get for exceeding them ! Like the leadership in Vodafone says “It’s not What you do, it is How you do it that matters! ” It is imperative that we get the priorities right. It is critical to know what your organization is focused on, and aligning your aspirations to the company’s. We no longer are talking of plain goal setting but more about “building careers”. I think this is the right time to be a part of the Telecom sector and the best time to be contributing to Vodafone’s growth story in India! I take a lot of pride in being associated with the best brains in the industry – there’s no growth without new learnings & that is precisely what I’ve got here !

Congratulations to the team on this fantastic initiative & wishing all my colleagues the very best in life!

- Sayli

Monday, 24 February 2014

A "Global Hero" in the Making...

Quoting from my post on Tuesday 31st May 2011 : The Era of being Unemployed is over for Me! :) The days of migrating from being "Yummy Mummy" to being "SuperMom" are finally here! :) Brace Yourself - The Career Woman is finally Back and this time She's in it - "For The Long Haul" ! It's the Dawn of a New Beginning...

Tuesday February 4th 2014: 2.9 years on...

I am at my Vendor's office auditing our system for detecting prospective fraud subscribers. After getting a good amount of understanding about the daily BAU operations tasks, I start to question the team lead on the operational practices. Just as I have got into the intricacies and noted my observations on the compliance levels, I am alarmed by my cellphone - it says it's the "VP" calling. I barely allow my phone to ring and pick it up to hear his voice asking me to pass my number to the CIO's secretary.  In less than a minute I ensure there is no escalation / unplanned outages on any of the systems I handle and start to wonder why would he wish to speak to me ? I question her about the same doubt and she says she has no idea so I decide to just wait it out... 

It's the CIO on the line and he says "Sayli!! Congratulation's!!! You've been selected as the Global Hero of Vodafone for Q3. This is the 1st time in 2 yrs at Vodafone, that we have an individual being selected for a Global Hero award !! This is a very proud moment for all of us"  

My heart's racing and I can barely speak! All I could think of is 'a very humble' "Thank You that's a wonderful news! :) " Since I am told the formal announcement would come through days later I obviously keep this to myself... 

Since the 4th of Feb until last week  when I was given the opportunity to make a presentation to the Exe-Co, I have reinforced what I penned in 2.9 yrs ago..  Those statements look back at me with a smile ! There is a renewed sense of enthusiasm I feel. I always loved what I did for a living. 

My passion to complete an unfinished task brought me to Vodafone but what makes me want to hang on here is the heightened levels of confidence to outperform and sense of responsibility and commitment towards each individual who has their hopes pinned on me.

Yes I am a role model for living the Vodafone Way! I have accepted that challenge with aplomb! 

But nothing was ever possible without the few dear friends like you who've been an inspiration giving me at least 1 great thing to learn and imbibe. 

And most of all, here's to all my girl friends who unknowingly always tell me "You Go Girl!! You're gonna rock!! :) "

Love you all dearly... 
- Sayli 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

On Woman's Day : Some ME Time !

If I were to delve into the life of a dozen women, it probably would be no different. We spent the whole of our lives ensuring every member in the family feels cared for, that people at work, truly are satisfied about having hired us to do our job, that the house is in order, the children have finished their homework, had their milk/banana and a zillion other things that may be relatively insignificant.
Then somewhere down the line, we loose sight of our own being. We keep telling ourselves that of course our lives are balanced, until it occurs to us that maybe one of the most important aspects of our lives got ignored : we allowed ourselves to age faster than a Rat !
And aging does not mean having a wrinkled face or grey hair, it goes beyond ! We stopped feeling alive due to the absence of wanting to pursue our hobbies. It was always about joining the 3 points to make the triangle : Family, Home, Career. There was never a ME in there. And while a lot of women a generation or a couple older might feel I sound Selfish, the truth is beyond a certain point we would truly end up feeling not too good about ourselves.
If I were to talk to the late 30's / mid 40's woman : she isn't too interested in her husband, she doesn't look too well, she doesn’t feel too happy, shez caught in a more mechanical way of living, life for her is more about duties than actually living each breath!!
Why ??? Because she missed out on learning to attach a greater importance to her own needs for the lack of time. But only if she set aside just that 1 extra hour by either getting up earlier or staying awake later or just shutting out communication to the world in an hour in between, that 1 hour everyday would eventually have added a decade to her life : and even if life cannot be measured by the number of days, she could've at least lived the same number of days - only a lot happier than now.
We all have work, we all have a family to care for, a career to progress in, a home to look after, children to raise, but if we don't take that time out for ourselves, no one will give it to us on a platter. Let's learn to make time : to maybe just go up the terrace and watch the sunrise, or read in silence with your favourite cuppa chai, or just plant a sapling, sketch / paint, write, knit, dance, bathe in relaxation, smell the flowers, go for a walk, talk to yourself, do anything that just involves U alone !!!

That truly is the best gift you will give yourself everyday : some time that is a Classified ME TIME !! I just did – Will You..?? :)
Have a Wonderful Woman’s Day ! :)
Luv as always,
- Sayli ! :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

On a Lighter Note - On Weight Loss

Hello!! :) & Herez wishing all my readers a very Happy 2012! This year for me, is going to be all about kick starting that sleeping metabolism, building strength & muscle, bettering my stamina and loosing fat & flab!

For the very 1st time in the 30 short years I’ve lived, “Weight Loss” has actually become a New Year Resolution! I am surprised at how fast I have piled up weight in the past 6 months!! I can’t wear those trousers to work nor dare to carry myself around in a simple round neck t-shirt with my favorite pair of Jeans. So I have resorted to Jackets & Blazers and while I enjoy wearing these very smart business casuals on Friday’s, I can’t wait to be ME!! :)
There are some thumb rules that I have always sworn by and will continue to stick to while I am at my goal:

1: Drinking plenty of Water : This year it’s going to be drinking plenty of WARM Water – makes me feel less bloated and it was a big help in getting rid of the post pregnancy belly.

2: Eating every 2-3 hours: This year it’s going to be substituting canteen food for homemade food, canteen snacks for 2 different fruits, hunger pangs are going to be satisfied by dried fruits.

3: Reducing Sugar, Oil & Salt: This year it’s going to be just 2 small cups of green tea without sugar, giving up on pickles, papad & pakodas no matter how tempting they appear & avoiding sprinkling my salad, butter milk & plain white rice with salt. I cannot give up on sweet, so that needs cutting down to a smaller portion. The trick is to always share the dessert with people around You. :)
4: Getting back to the GYM: Waking up while the rest of the house sleeps to hit the gym in that early hour, running on the treadmill to the sound of loud techno music, strength training along-side fellow gymmers gives you a high of a different kind!!! Reason enough for keeping up that 6 days a week exercise routine alternating between cardio & weight training. This year, if I miss a weekday, then Sunday morning will be my day to make up!
5: Ensuring a generally Active Routine: An afternoon walk in the office campus, taking the stairs, washing your pair of clothes etc etc (anything that ensures more motion ;) )
6: Relook your Wardrobe: CLOTHES are the biggest motivation for a Woman to stay fit ! Take a look at those amazing pairs of cocktail/maxi dresses, that pencil skirt, that waist coat !!! You’ve invested a hell lot on putting it all together. Now it’s time you reaped its benefits. Loose that FAT!!! Look Good Lady ! Because - “U’re worth it”!! :)

Happy Toning - Happy 2012 !

- Sayli :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

June 2nd 2011 - My 1st Day @ Work

When I proudly took a sabbatical back in April 2008, little did I know that it was going to last for 3 long years ! I had a feeling that 5 years of working in the IT industry was a good enough reason for me to take a break - but only for a few months. But Life has it's own way of surprising us and while we may work real hard at making our Plan A work, it sometimes hints at you to implement your Plan B ! I was - job hunting in the right place at the wrong time - in the UK when the worst recession in the past 30 years finally peaked in 2008/2009 !

While I inherently started to enjoy motherhood, the fear of being unemployed loomed real large over my head. It was like this constant guilt that I was trying to overcome, the persistent feeling of failure that I was attempting to combat. Behind that gleefully beaming smile was a heart that cried for a job ! It was as if, being just Mom alone wasn't enough - I knew I was capable of a lot more ! When friends often reacted saying "Avani must be keeping you very busy", I always responded in my mind that I did have time on hand to work or talk technology atleast for a few hours of the day - but my problem was I had no one to talk technology with ! Other than my brother Anant, who works on the Oracle stack of the Integration products, and who kept me going, there really was no one who could take me back to those brain storming discussions that lead you to love a product enough to be able to solve critical Business Problems using technology!

Today, as I take on a new opportunity, I have enough challenges - both domestic and at work but what I do not have, is guilt and neither a feeling of failure... What transpires from this will depend upon how well I manage to balance the act of juggling a family, a home, and a career. A sense of fulfillment will not come with success/happiness in one arena alone. It will always be rewarding to see how all 3 are skillfully managed.