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Monday, October 17, 2005

Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) need not be a pain !!

Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) can be perhaps a pleasure for both employers and
employees when :

- The FBT rules and guidelines are simple, easy to understand and implement.

- It can lead to less complex employee compensation schemes and easier to
administer salary packets for organizations.

- It clearly helps bring about reduction in paperwork for organizations who are already struggling with other newer taxes like VAT (Value Added Tax) and Service Tax since the past few months.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

FBT (Fringe Benefit Tax) in India is such a pain !!

On a holiday in India today (Dussera), I am sure there are many people working in offices just to make sure that the FBT Payments for the Quarter (1st July 2005 to 30th September 2005) are made on or before the last date which is this coming Saturday 15th October 2005.

If there was one tax which has possibly irritated the maximum number of people (both employers and employees) in India (excluding Income Tax Consultants and Chartered Accountants (:-), FBT would surely win the prize.

Also, by this Saturday, the Quarterly TDS (Tax Deducted At Source) Return is also due.

Happy Tax Work (:-) in the days ahead.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Can A Company create software like McDonalds produces burgers ?

Can an organization create a McDonalds kind of a global operation
in software development ?

Anywhere you buy a burger at McDonalds the quality is same and manufacturing time/cost is predictable reliable. Can we visualise the same scenario for software production ?

McDonalds has a 10,000 page + operations manual where their complete workings are documented for training and guiding young inexperienced people.

Most of their operational staff are all young people out of college. (Same is the situation with the Indian software industry here).

The disadvantage that McDonalds has with respect to the software industry is that you cannot transmit burgers over the Net.

But software can be shipped ( and associated services can be provided ) using the Net as a medium.

Also, an advantage that a software company has is that it can get reasonably more intelligent people than those attracted towards McDonalds to make burgers.

The advantage that McDonalds has is that the ingredients and the making
process for a burger are pretty standard and straightforward.

The disadvantage that a software organization has is that the requirements for a software are neither simple nor standard.

So the Question to ask is

How does the software industry transform the art (??) of software development to a science of delivering individual customized sofware and associated services to global customers with McDonalds Burger Production like standardised processes and cheap price-points ?

Is it possible ?

Andrew Grove , Ex-Intel Chief - says " Every manufacturing operation can be reduced to three basic steps - Process ( converting some input to some output ), Assembly of the same and Testing ".

So the key issue is - Can the IT software development process be standardized to deliver high quality, high volume, low priced (and customized) offerings ?


It is not easy but not impossible.

Also, if it can be done for software, then why not for other IT services ?

Further, if it can be done for IT services, why not for other non-IT services also ?

Think about it.