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Friday, February 28, 2014



Plan a trip to Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa to coincide with their unique fests

    There’s drama, education, reverence and culture at the end of a brilliant travel experience. In our feature today, we celebrate it all. Each region in India is culturally rich and full of local flavours such as fests, traditions, customs, rituals and more. With travel becoming easier and quicker, celebrating all the local fests has just gotten achievable. (Thanks to discounts on various domestic flights, which is an added boon). Be it the legendary Elephant Parade in Thrissur or Celebrating the spring festival with the women of Rajasthan; Be it the loud, colourful parades and street festivals at the Goa Carnival or the Garba played during the nine days of Navratri in Gujarat, all this will surely set your hearts pulsing. There is so much of India to celebrate each day, which tune are you dancing to?
WHEN: May 9 Thrissur Pooram is a heady mixture of pomp and pageantry. Pack and plan to celebrate the world-renowned Thrissur Pooram, arguably the most famous festival of Kerala. Conceptualised by Raja Ravi Verma around 200 years ago, the festival is a spectacle. In the main parade held at the Vadakkunnathan Temple, two teams of 15 beautifully caparisoned elephants face off across the temple grounds. On each elephant’s back, a man holds a parasol taller than the elephant itself, while another waves a yak-tail fan. As the temple orchestra plays, the parasols are exchanged among the men standing on the animals. Throughout the day, one can hear drums and in the night there’s a majestic display of fireworks and pyrotechnics.
KEEP IN MIND: The Vadakkunathan Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kerala. It is said that only Hindus are allowed inside, but the crowd surrounding the temple during the festival is a
    mix of Christians, Muslims, Jews and other communities.

WHEN: April 2-3 Gangaur , the Spring festival is dedicated to the Goddess of abundance, Gauri (Parvati). It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur, which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises marital bliss. The unmarried women worship her for being blessed with a good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and happy married life. THE FINALE: The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. The images of Gauri are dressed in new garments especially made for the occasion. Women decorate the images and make them look like living figures. At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out while married women place them on their heads. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband’s house.
WHEN: Feb 28- 4 March The beaches of Goa will be dressed up with pomp, colour and vigour. The carnival is an annual weekly celebration filled with lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars, graceful dances and of non-stop festivity. It is the traditional Parade led by King Momo, organised just before the beginning of 40 days of Lent. This carnival displays the Portuguese culture, which is predominant in Goa. Also the state was ruled by the Portuguese for nearly 400 years. Colourful parades are organised throughout the state with bands and grand dance balls held in the evenings. The festivities involves several public celebrations combining some elements of a circus and mask and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade for the parades. This year the carnival will feature float parades in four cities Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa. A Food and Cultural Festival will showcase the local Goan cuisine along with cuisines of 15 other Indian states. A blend of food, fun, local and live music performances, fashion shows, and entertainment will be the order of this week long event. During the carnival Goa’s diverse population comes together to form bonds of friendship and celebrate life. The carnival usually ends with an interesting red-and-black dance held by the Club National in Panjim on the final day.
WHEN: September 25 - 3 October Thousands of people from across the country flock to Gujarat to celebrate Navratri. The festival that worships Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati is also famous for its Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance. Over the course of the nine days, the Mother Goddess is worshiped in her nine forms of Shakti such as Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba or Jagadamba, Annapoorna devi, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika or Chandi, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika. The day after Navratri the 10th day, is Dussera which celebrates the victory of lord Rama over Ravana.
 A clay pot symbolises the garba or the womb, which is the source of life on earth, is placed in the centre of the group. Usually women dressed in vibrant costumes dance around the pot, which is filled with water, a betel nut and a silver coin. A coconut is also placed on the top of the pot. The folk dance form of Garba derives its name from the iconic clay pot around which women whirl and dance. It is interesting to see even men play Garba along with women. Dandiya Raas is also an important feature during the festive season. The only difference between this form of dance and Garba is that the sticks are used for clapping instead of hands. Plan your next trip around this festival to experience Gujarat.    
   Compiled by Rashmi Henriques ETTR140227

INTERNET SPECIAL ..................Extensions and Tricks to Supercharge Your Browsing Experience

Extensions and Tricks to Supercharge Your Browsing Experience 
Just downloading the latest version of a web browser does not guarantee the best web experience. There are a ton of tricks & useful extensions you should use - you’ll save a lot of time and effort.

Adblock Plus
This is the first plugin anyone should install on a browser. it integrates with your browser and actively blocks various advertisements visible on a website. This lets you focus on the content of the website and even saves your bandwidth that would have been used to download advertisements images/videos.
At times, you might want to save an image on the website or a portion of a webpage for reference. However, a number of websites block download/ saving of embedded images. With Lightshot this issue is solved - it lets you capture a screenshot of a selected area on any webpage. You can even take screenshots of videos and flash based content from a webpage.
For those who love to stay updated all the time using RSS feeds, Feedly is highly recommended. Not only is it great for reading the feeds, but also lets you sort and organize feeds and categories in an easy to use interface. You can quickly share an article over social networks or save it for reading later in apps such as Evernote or Pocket.
Available across browsers, last pass is a password manager that remembers passwords for all the websites you visit. The data is synced with your lastpass account across multiple computers on which the same account is used. It even helps you improve your online safety by generating strong passwords as you signup for websites.
Turn Off the Lights
If you love to watch streaming videos, this is a must have add on. It places a lamp icon in your browser - click on the lamp and the page automatically fades to black highlighting only the video. It works with majority of video streaming websites and even gives the option to automatically darken the page when you click on the play button.
Evernote Web Clipper
The clipper works with your Evernote account. It lets you save webpage content to your account with a single click. You can save just the article, only the image or a PDF of the full webpage for reading later. The plugin even lets you set reminders for notes and you also get tools to annotate on the saved content before sharing.
Forecastfox integrates with your Chrome or Firefox browser to keep you updated regarding the weather. In Chrome, it displays the weather along with the current time every time new tab is open. In Firefox it displays the weather on the status bar and offers various customization options including display icons, weather data and days of forecast.
Unknown to most users, a number of websites track search and browsing history when you visit them. The Disconnect plugin for Chrome/Firefox notifies you of such websites along with details on what kind if information they are tracking. You can choose the block data being sent to these websites for tracking using the plugin.
For online shopping enthusiasts, this plugin makes it easy to compare price of a product across Indian ecommerce websites. The plugin displays a blue rupee tag on the left side when you visit a product page of any ecommerce website – click on the blue tag to view prices of the product from other websites along with direct link.
The Gmelius add-on enhances your default Gmail interface. It removes all the ads and gives option to customize the colours, footer, chat, labels, icons etc. It even adds a useful ‘Scroll to top’ functionality and gives the option to remove the people widget and use the space for reading/writing mails. You can even restore to old compose window using it.
 Quick Tips for Your Browser
With Chrome,
you can actually talk to your browser and have it appear as text com/intl/en/chrome/ demos/speech.html
Use the Tab key and Shift + Tab to quickly shift between different fields on a webpage. To open the link of a field, press Enter when it’s highlighted. Accidentally closed a tab? Press Shift + Ctrl + T to open the last closed tab. Keep using this combination to open al previous tabs in that session. Use Pipe (a Facebook app) on Chrome/ Firefox to transfer files up to 1GB to your Facebook friends.Get
it from http:// 
The Unknown Browsers
MAXTHON Maxthon is a browser that you’ve probably never heard of, but it actually suports all the new web standards and is quite speedy. Other nifty features include various cloud services (cloud sharing of files, syncing data across devices), a reading mode that gets rid of all distractions on a webpage (including ads) & a night mode that dims all the bright white web pages automatically. EPIC Epic is a web browser built in India with a focus on privacy. It doesn’t store passwords, cookies, history, shortcuts or any sort of cache. It simply clears everything every time you close the browser. It also includes built in anti-tracking features, ad blocking and has no support for additional extensions (making it faster and less susceptible to attack).
Browser Specific Extensions
Buffer for Chrome Buffer lets you schedule updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for better response. It can be set to post an update when most of your Facebook friends are online or at a time when you usually get the most response from Twitter. It even tracks and shows clicks, retweets, likes and shares of your status.
Browser++ for Opera
Although this add-on is currently in beta, it is highly recommended. You can search all open tabs and then instantly switch to the one with the relevant search result. It even lets you create notes within a browser tab. You can even view a list of your last 50 closed tabs and search through the list to find and open a specific closed tab.
DownThemAll for Firefox
Firefox comes with a built-in download manager with limited functionality. The DownThemAll plugin offers a number of features that makes it a great download manager. It adds batch download, one click download, drag & drop and also works in private browsing mode. Extensions that work with Smartphones
While Airdroid is not exactly a browser extension it deserves to be mentioned here for its functionality. It works with an Android app and uses a browser tab to let you control the phone. You can transfer content to and from the phone, send and view messages, organize contacts and even install apps from within your browser window.
The pushbullet extension for Chrome/Firefox works in conjunction of an Android app. It mirrors all the notifications from your smartphone to your browser as pop-up windows. You can even transfer data to the phone, send addresses to open in Google maps, add a checklist/reminders in notification tray – all without unlocking your phone.

Hitesh Raj Bhagat & Karan Bajaj ET140219

MANAGEMENT SPECIAL................... Why pharma megamergers work

 Why pharma megamergers work

Unlike deals in many industries, big mergers and acquisitions among pharmaceutical companies generally have resulted in positive returns to shareholders.

Conventional wisdom holds that large mergers have destroyed value in the pharmaceutical industry. Market commentators insist that these deals don’t work, that the challenges of large-scale integration unnecessarily disrupt the organization and critical programs, and that research and development productivity suffers. These critiques have some merit but ignore larger points: megamergers have created significant value for shareholders, and some of these deals have been critical for the longer-term sustainability of acquirers. In short, we believe that the benefits often warrant the disruption that these deals entail.
Perhaps that explains their popularity. Megamergers have played a key role in shaping the global pharmaceutical landscape. Indeed, most of the pharmaceutical companies that stayed among the world’s 20 largest between 1995 and 2005 were involved in “megamergers,” which we define as deals larger than $10 billion in which the target company boasts at least 10 percent of the acquirer’s sales and 20 percent of the acquirer’s market capitalization (Exhibit 1). To examine the real impact of megamergers, we analyzed 17 large deals that occurred between 1995 and 2011, looking at excess total shareholder returns above the pharmaceutical-industry index of the acquiring company in the period two to five years after the merger was announced. We also evaluated postdeal revenue growth, margins, new-product introductions, and the product pipeline for the combined company, along with the relative contribution from the acquired company.
Our analysis led to three conclusions.
1. Megamergers created shareholder value
Median excess returns for megamergers in our sample were positive, showing returns 5 percent above the industry index two years after a deal’s announcement. This is in contrast to large deals in other industries, which have had marginal returns relative to industry indexes or, in the case of deals in the technology sector, sharply negative returns (Exhibit 2). What’s more, the median acquired company in our sample contributed around 37 percent of total pharmaceutical revenue and 10 percent of new-product revenue for the combined company five years after the deal’s announcement. In our analysis, combined companies expanded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margins by four percentage points two years after a deal’s announcement, while the return on invested capital (ROIC) rose 14 percent. Acquiring companies emerged from these mergers with a larger revenue base and leaner cost structure, increasing economic profit by an average of more than 50 percent in the two years following the transaction.1
2. Consolidation deals generated greater economic profit
We also classified megamergers into two broad types—those that consolidated existing players with significant overlaps, and growth-oriented deals that created new companies or expanded into new markets. Consolidation deals have historically generated the greatest economic profit for acquirers (more than 60 percent growth), while growth-platform deals have on average generated negative economic-profit growth with marginal improvements in ROIC (Exhibit 3). Among consolidation deals, there was significant variation in how the acquirers drove economic-profit growth—accelerating revenue, improving the cost of goods sold, reducing overhead, promoting R&D rationalization and consolidation, or improving working capital—which suggested further segmentation of deal types.
Consolidation deals were more typical in the mid- to late 1990s, and these deals created meaningful economic profit for acquirers through both cost synergies and accelerated revenue growth. Pfizer’s acquisition of Warner-Lambert, which was announced in 1999, drove significant value creation for shareholders as EBITDA margins expanded by more than 10 percent, aided by the wildly successful growth of Lipitor. Sales of Genentech products enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of more than 4 percent for several years after Roche acquired full ownership. (Genentech remained a stand-alone operating unit.) In addition, a third of product launches of the combined company and more than 40 percent of the current Phase III pipeline can be traced back to Genentech, which is the highest R&D output of all of deals in our database. Conversely, the Pfizer-Wyeth merger resulted in an overall decrease in economic profit for Pfizer. While significant costs were cut and the merger buffered a declining legacy Pfizer portfolio, the EBITDA margin for the combined company improved by just one percentage point in the two-year period after the transaction due to headwinds from patent expirations. The legacy Wyeth portfolio contributed insufficient incremental on-market revenue growth and new-product launches to offset patent expirations, and economic profit for the combined entity declined by 26 percent.
Megamergers aiming to create a new growth platform have become more common recently, but they are also more expensive for acquirers and generate lower cost synergies given limited operational overlaps compared with consolidation deals. Some mergers created a new company, while others involved moving into new markets (Sanofi and Genzyme) or geographies (Takeda and Nycomed).
3. Growth-oriented deals changed longer-term expectations
On the surface, the average trading multiple for acquirers in our sample changed little after a deal. Yet there was wide variation between consolidation and growth-oriented megamergers. Multiples declined by around 5 percent for consolidation deals closed after 2000—it appears that while these deals generated superior near-term gains in economic profit, they ultimately did not address or solve longer-term issues with business models. In contrast, growth-platform deals increased trading multiples by more than 60 percent, or 20 percent relative to top 20 peers, often from a very low multiple for the acquirer before the deal. One possible explanation for this difference in long-term expectations is the growth contribution that acquired companies made in launching new products. For growth-platform deals, the acquired company contributed around 24 percent of new-product revenue of the combined company five years postdeal, compared with just 10 percent in consolidation deals. The difference in multiple evolution and long-term expectations is reflected in the total return to shareholders (TRS): for consolidation deals, excess returns are positive three years after the merger but turn negative after five years; for growth-platform deals, TRS is consistently positive through the five-year mark.
While the bias of pharmaceutical megamergers has more recently turned toward creating growth platforms and away from consolidation, we found that shareholder returns have historically been positive for both types of deals. However, much of the excess return from growth deals has been generated from multiple expansion and improvement in long-term expectations rather than changes in fundamental operating performance. As drug pipelines unfold and the profile of these new growth platforms is better understood, not all of these deals may look so rosy. Given the proven track record of consolidation deals generating economic profit, we would not be surprised to see them come back in vogue.
By Myoung Cha and Theresa Lorriman

GADGET GIZMO REVIEW.............. Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini

GADGET GIZMO REVIEW Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini

4.7-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS, 1.3Ghz quad core processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB + microSD slot, dual SIM, 8MP rear + 5MP front cam, Android 4.2, 1,800mAh, 111g Slim and lightweight, good build quality, impressive camera, zippy user interface Average battery life, lacks full HD video recording, 1GB storage for apps

When Micromax launched the Canvas Turbo last year, we loved the unibody design, high quality display and fantastic camera. The Canvas Turbo Mini is a trimmed down version of the same at a pocket friendly price.
Like its big brother, the Turbo Mini has a unibody design but instead of a metal it uses plastic with a metallic finish. While the micro SIM tray is on the left side (requires a pin to open), the second SIM slot and microSD slot is under a removable back panel. Compared to the original, both the display size and resolution have been trimmed down. The Turbo Mini has a 4.7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels in comparison to the 5-inch full HD display on the Canvas Turbo. Thankfully, the display still offers great viewing angles and vibrant colours.
Another area where Micromax has made cutbacks is the hardware. It runs a 1.3Ghz quad core processor, 1GB RAM and has only 4GB storage (1GB available for apps). Thanks to the near stock user interface the performance of the phone is zippy. Most games ran without any issues and the phone was able to play full HD videos with ease. The 8MP rear camera takes brilliant photographs in daylight and even low light images are great for sharing on social networks. The camera offers various modes including an object remover and GIF creator. Video recording is limited to 720p. Audio output is impressive for the size as its loud enough for a small room. Battery life is one day: as expected from the 1,800mAh battery. For the same price you can consider the Lava Iris Pro 30 that has similar specifications but scores higher in terms of overall looks.