Thursday, December 19, 2013

UBER Promo Code for India: Get Free Rides on Luxury Cars

UBER launch in India brings luxury cab rides to the common man. Get rides on Mercs, Beamers, Audis and other luxury cars in India. To promote new users to sign up, UBER offers free credits to first time riders. Visit the following link and follow the instructions to sign up and get free credits and free rides:

Or signup with the promo code - UBEREQUT to get free credits  to your account. You can then use other promotion codes (if available to get additional discounts). UBER has been recently launched in India. and is already available in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi/NCR. Install the app to see if it is available for your city yet and travel in style.

My free rides so far on UBER have consisted of

1.  Honda Accord
2. Mercedes S Class
3. BMW 5 Series
4. Toyota Fortuner
5. Toyota Camry

Update: Jan 9 : Got a free ride on BMW 7 Series
Update: April 12 - Uber has launched UberLux in a few cities. UberLux would have marginally higher pricing versus normal. Meanwhile you can continue to enjoy the promo fares for now. Got an Audi-8 on the way back from dinner today. Sweet! - Perfect Dessert

Update: UBER is offering rides on a Helicopter  (in Bangalore - Saturday June 14, 2014, Mumbai - Sunday - June 15)

Update: UBER has launched UberX in India with rides at Rs 15 per KM. Ouch.... (for other cabs)

Update (October, 14): Uber has dropped prices of UBER Black service as well. The per km charge is now just Rs 18. It seems they are actually paying luxury car owners (merc & audi cab owners) over and above the money they make through the rides

Update: July, 15 - Uber is now available in 17 cities  - Added seven new cities - Coimbatore, Mysore, Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Nagpur and Surat

Visit the following link and follow the instructions to sign up to get free credits and free rides:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

CTET Details Announced - Next Exam on February 16, 2014

CBSE has announced the date for the CTET (Central Teacher Eligibility Test). You can check out further details here. The format of the test remains the same as last time as last time. Last time, despite the increase in time limit just 11% test takers had managed to clear the exam. Remember one has to score over 60% to clear the exam. Several coaching institutes are now offering programs to help teachers prepare for this exam. NIIT, India's largest education company and is the most trusted name in the field of education and training, has also launched a program for CTET Coaching in Delhi, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad this year. The program details look interesting. Anyways, best wishes to all teachers preparing for the exam!

Important Dates
The exam date is February 16, 2014 for both Paper I and Paper II
The last date for submission of online application forms is October 31, 2013
Print out Confirmation page should reach by November 7, 2013

Sunday, October 06, 2013

CTET Coaching In Delhi, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad

 CTET (Central Teacher Eligibility Test) Certification is now a mandatory requirement for teaching jobs in Government Schools. Even leading Private Schools now prefer CTET certified teachers for recruitment and for determining their pay scale 

The CTET certification not only gets employment, but is also a benchmark of pedagogical skills. However, the exam is very competitive. as is reflected in the pass percentage of aspirants. Less than 10% test takers have cleared the exam in previous four attempts. In fact in 2012, just 1% of aspirants cleared the exam. The qualifying threshold is 60 percent score

Next CTET is on February 16, 2014. 

NIIT, which is India's largest education and training company, is conducting 'The CTET Advantage” Program for CTET Coaching. The intensive program will help Pre/In service teachers prepare for the Central Teacher Eligibility Test. 

Program  Highlights:
Intensive mentoring on Pedagogy and Concepts
Faculty comprising domain experts and  CTET/ NET qualified  professionals
Well researched courseware
Multiple practice tests in real examination environment
Personalized coaching using ‘Critical Mistakes Analysis’ methodology
Dedicated portal with lessons on demand and assessments
Specific techniques and strategies for cracking the exam
Special workshops on resume writing and interview skills

Click here for further details

The program also prepares you for HTET and UPTET. You can call them on  +91-9717493803 or +91-9717492474 to register

For further information: email at with your contact details or Register at:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Best way to limit Gold imports?

Government has recently raised duty on gold imports to 8% in a bid to reduce gold imports. High gold imports have been contributing to India's high current account deficit. But the increase has had an opposite effect. Government should now threaten to reduce the duty to zero. Imagine if you want to buy gold and there is this threat by government to reduce duty on gold, what would you do? 

Government should keep the markets in limbo. This uncertainty and threat would work against gold buying and investors would defer their decision of buying gold to a later date reducing gold imports and further fueling a decline in gold prices.   

Monday, May 06, 2013

Infosys enters IT Training?

It is reported that Infosys is entering IT education segment with plans to spin off its Mysore campus into a training arm. Lets look at the possible reasons for Infosys to take this step
  • Infy cannot afford to keep thousands of people in training so the campus, which it had inaugurated only a few years back with much fanfare, is underutilized and is looking at the skies for much of the time. 
  • Infy wants to monetize its real estate holdings 
  • Convert a cost centre into a profit centre 
  • Does not want to lay off training staff, which might be a PR disaster, so has got made them masters of their own fate 
  • Infosys really believes that training segment is a real money spinner (
  • Perhaps it was inspired by an ex Infosys employee who now heads an education company in the neighborhood or maybe it wants to get back at him for deserting infy a few years back
Whatever be the reason, it actually could be positive for players such as NIIT and Aptech for the following reasons 
  • Some people, who had written off IT training market, would take note and start believing there is a future still 
  • Improves the image of the Indian education sector which has been punished due to corporate governance issues at some prominent listed companies ultimately benefiting those who have a better image 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Cobra bites again!

All the companies that were punished for poor corporate governance must be laughing today as India's cream of financial sector giants, many of whom manage funds, brokerages, equity research houses that championed better governance in public and indulged in malpractices on the side, were exposed today by Cobra Post.

I am surprised today by inclusion of Tata AIG in the list. I guess more pained than surprised. I used to work at at Tata Company before and prided in the fact that Tata's were above this malaise. But before we pass judgement, we must look inside. We will discover that we are all a little dishonest, but like to believe, at most times, that we are honest and are better than the rest. We cook up stories, hang on to anecdotes of our honesty and overemphasize others' dishonesty.

Friday, May 03, 2013


S&P crossed 1600 levels for the first time ever in early trade today.  Stocks opened strong on news of faster than forecast jobs addition in April. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Quick Question: Is US pressuring India with new visa proposals?

Are the new norms proposed for temporary worker visas directed at Indian IT companies, part of pressure tactics by United States to get more concessions for US companies from India? 

  • US is indeed pressuring India to open up more sectors including insurance
  • India is encouraging more exports and accelerating reforms to encourage exports as it wants to reduce CAD
  • Unemployment amongst tech workers is low in the US, so why the high rhetoric on tech worker visas 
  • ....


  • Overall unemployment in US is still high 
  • .....

Friday, April 26, 2013

HCL to get impacted by delayed joining dates of freshers?

HCL has been deferring joining dates of freshers, it hired at various campuses across the country. Some of these offers were made as far back as august-september - 2011. With no sign of joining letters students have taken to protests to press for joining. Now what can students do. Its tough these days for freshers to get hired. Rationally they should be be reskillling/upskilling themselves to get a better shot at being hired. But no one or atleast many do not want to pay for training and keep living in hope that they will get hired and trained by companies. Its a chicken and egg problem.

"Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain"

Anyways, HCL did it to make sure that its utilization rates improve and that it can show improved margins. Afterall growth is slow for the industry (although HCL is doing better than most). Over the last few quarters, HCL has surprised the street with higher profits riding on margin improvement and its share price has increased. However, they miss out on one important point. At some point HCL would need to hire freshers, to improve its cost pyramid. However, if I am an excellent student, the kind that HCL would want to hire, I would be wary of appearing for interview because I do not know if HCL would honor its offer letter. What stops its from deferring joining dates again. I would not be surprised if many campuses, especially the good ones, shut their gates to HCL this year. 

What prevents this bad karma spilling over to lateral hiring market. People would start demanding a premium to join HCL as it would increasingly be seen as not being friendly to new hires. 

This from a company that says 'employees first'. What message do HCL's customers get from this regarding management's integrity? 

What's good in the short term, may turn out bad for them in the long run? Anyone who's done DCF knows that for companies a large proportion of value comes from the long term. Will the new management at HCL wake up and do something to prevent value deterioration. 

Effect of this is already being felt in the stock market by HCL in the last few days. Despite tremendous improvement in profits (up 70%) this year, HCL stock is down over 10%. They are trading at a less than 12 times profit/share run-rate  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

India Higher Education Statistics - Part 2

A . Enrollment by Mode of Delivery

1.  In Class  - 46,430 institutions  - with total enrollments of 21.7 million
2. 197 institutions provide distance education - total enrollments of 4.2 million

B . Enrollment by level of Study

1. Graduate (undergrad)  - 16.2 million
2. Post Graduate  - 2.2 million
3. Phd Degree - 0.1
4. Diploma - 3.3

India Higher Education Statistics - Part One

The following data is for 2012

1. Number of universities  - 659
2. Number of colleges  - 33023
3. In addition there are 12,758 institutions categorized as Diploma granting institutions
3. Total Students Enrolled in Higher Education - 25.9 million (implies Gross Enrollment Ratio  of ~18%)

Of the total 46430 institutions, almost 64% is Privately owned and account for almost 59% of all enrollments

Source: 12th Five Year Plan, UGC

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Educomp Selling Its Stake In IndiaCan to Pearson?

There is rumor of Educomp selling its stake in its 50:50 JV with Pearson. IndiaCan has been losing money hand over fist, ever since the investment. In the first 9 months for FY13, it reported revenues of Rs 83 Cr with EBIT loss of 34 Cr. In my view, the JV was doomed from the beginning but more on that later. 

In current state, any money that Educomp would get for its stake in this venture would be more than welcome, especially since Educomp is reeling under piles of debt (over 2000 Cr as of December 31, 2012) . 

In reality, Pearson should be asking money from Educomp to take over this stake in IndiaCan. Year over year, the revenues have almost doubled but losses have remained almost as much  (loss of 34 Cr in 9MFY13 vs loss of 42 Cr for 9MFY12), which means that even on marginal basis, the company is hardly making any money.  Sale of stake by Educomp's is not going to magically start delivering profits. 

If Pearson wants to enter training business in India, it would do well to look at other companies (even listed ones) which are available at very attractive valuations, and while profits are depressed for them at this stage due to slow hiring across sectors, at least some of them have shown that with volume recovery, their business model can deliver large profits. 

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