Thursday, November 09, 2006

Guess who holds the balance of power in US Senate elections

No .. No .. its not the court this time .. Its the Indian Americans.. Don't believe me ? read this

Well should we also claim credit for holding the balance of power in the world, for after all if we hadn't laid the claim for inventing zero, then zero would not have been invented and the world would not have had any power. No power so no question of balance of power. Did any of that make sense ? It didn't to me. So may be I should send it to Times Of India and try my luck in becoming a TOI columnist ....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The 6th of the same

Hyderabad now has six FM radio stations and they all appear to be chasing the same audience.
We now can boast of 6 of the same( OK one slightly different .. but five essentially the same )
and here is what appears to the target market for the stations

  • AIR : Oldies ( or rather whoever has not migrated to other stations ? )
  • AIR Rainbow : Youth
  • Radio Mirchi : Youth
  • Radio City : Youth
  • Big FM : Youth
  • SFM : Youth

hmm.. All of them have a mix of Telugu & Hindi songs. Shouldn't one of them just stick their neck out and go "only Hindi" ? or go "only Telugu" ? How many "me too" stations do we need ? In fact things come to such a pass, where unless the stations play their signature tunes or RJs recite ( yell ? ) their slogan, you don't know which station you are listening to.

Is there no market for Classical (Hindustani/Carnatic/Western) music ? How about a station that plays only English Music?

Extrapolating the Indian Listenership Track to Hyderabad, We should have about 25% of 5 Million = 1.25 Mn listeners. Surely there must be space for more niche stations.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Weird justification

From The Hindu

Islamabad, Nov. 3 (PTI): Former Test captain Intikhab Alam, who was a member of the Pakistan Cricket Board's Drug Tribunal, has justified the harsh two-year ban on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, saying his fast lifestyle warranted such a punishment.

"If people read our statement they will understand. He drinks alcohol, has an active sex life and has been part of anti-doping awareness programmes," Alam said.

What ??? Why should Shoaib's lifestyle be a factor in the punishment ? If he were goody two shoes and had been in the same position should he have been let off ?

Every time you thought the the Pakistan Cricket establishment has made the weirdest statement ever, they go ahead and make one that would outclass the previous one in its weirdness

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Only 1 in 3 Passengers in the AC Coach is a paid passenger

What is the paid occupancy of an A/C coach ?

Using the same data in the previous post,
We get average earnings per day as Rs 18,265 per coach = 54,795 for the three AC Coaches
Now Lets say there are 2 III AC coaches & 1 II AC coach. Total expected earnings ( again for 900 Km approx ) would be 2*64*800+46*1250 = 159900.

Paid Occupancy Ratio ( as a percentage ) = 54795 *100/159900 = 34.26 %

Wow .. At an average 2 in 3 AC seats are empty or unpaid ...

And from this article

Another unique initiative of his and his Officer on Special Duty, Mr Sudhir Kumar, is random and automatic upgrade of passengers without extra payment. For instance, during summer and festivals like Diwali the trains run full, but at other times AC I Class and AC II Tier coaches run only with 60-70 per cent occupancy

It looks like at an average in AC coaches 1 in 3 seats is paid, 1 in 3 is unpaid and 1 in 3 is empty.

Looking at this data the free upgrades that railways is offering makes immense sense.

One more trick that the railways can think of is to offer paid auto upgrades i.e. I want to travel by III AC but no confirmed tickets are available but confirmed tickets are available Sleeper class. Railways can offer an option to book a confirmed Sleeper class ticket while holding you on as a wait list for III AC. In case the wait listed III AC ticket does not get confirmed, You get a refund of the difference between Sleeper & III AC.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How many people can you fit in an unreserved coach ?

Wonder why the Mumbai folks make such a hue & cry about their locals being so crowded. Here is a nugget from the Railways which leads one to believe that the average unreserved compartment in the Mail/Express is twice as crowded!! .. Read further to find out how ...

From Hindu

Referring to the economics of train operations, he said a mail or express train with 16 coaches earns Rs 72 crore a year. Its eight sleeper, four unreserved and three AC classes earn Rs 19 crore, Rs 51 crore and Rs two crore respectively.
So here is the per coach breakup for each class per day
AC : 2/3 = 0.66 Crs/365 = Rs18,265
Sleeper :19/8 = 2.37 Crs/365 = Rs 65,068
Unreserved : 51/4 = 12.75 Crs/365 = Rs 3,49,915

And now assuming that the train travels for about 900 Km and the average unreserved passenger travels 100 Kms ( i.e pays a Rs 35 as fare ) we have 35*9=Rs 315 as the amount paid for the entire 900 Km.

So at any given time the average number of persons in the unreserved coach is 3,49,915 /315 = 1100 . Now that is double of Mumbai Local Peak which is about 500 .

Now you can play around with these numbers, decrease the average Km per passenger, increase the distance travelled by the train, double its frequency (i.e consider that the above figures are for a pair of up/down trains) , but you would still find that worst case it is still at least as crowded as the Mumbai Local at its peak....

Now did the railways get their statistics wrong ? Or are the Mumbai folks just a bunch of whiners ? ;)