Monday, July 30, 2012

New Guest House

We bought another condo to use as a guest house.  The last one we bought was very good and the kids have enjoyed the condo, so I went out and bought another one.

Here are a few pictures after we got it fixed it up:

This is the one parking spot that is covered.  There are lost of uncovered spots also.

Front Door  - You can sort of see me taking this picture through the glass.  Sunil is standing next to me.

This is the Living Room.  It is much bigger than it looks.  I was standing to the side, I would not show up in the glass that is in the living room.

Dining Room


 Backyard Porch - It is kind of small.

 Stairs to the Basement

Room in Basement

1/2 of the basement.  This side is for storage.  There is more storage to the right side of the basement also.

This is the other side of the basement.  This side has the new washer and dryer and AC and water heater.  I want add another full bath here, and I will have to do it in 2013.

 1/2 Bathroom on the main level

 Time to go Upstairs

 1 of 2 Bathroom upstairs

 One Bedroom with a walk0in closet.  Room is much bigger than it look.  The way I took the picture makes it look small.

 2 of 2 Bedrooms. This the master I guess since it has an attached bathroom.  This bedroom also has a walk-in.

 This is the other bathroom upstairs.  This one is attached to the bedroom.

I Like to Work With The Best - But Sometimes..

I like to work with the very best teachers in almost any subject that I teach.  Typically we are so much better than our competition that my consultants are some of very best in the market.  My consultants are sought after for their skills sets, soft and hard.

When you come for training with us, you almost invariably end up getting trained in multiple modules with us so that your overall skill sets are tremendous.  I encourage my consultants to constantly keep learning, and I make my classes available for free for all my consultants.

There is a teacher I had in the past that is tremendous, and he is in all likelihood the very best in his field.

I asked for him to start teaching for us again and here was the reply that I got from him:

For either BA/Architect Level courses,

1) An initial amount of 5000$ per person will be charged and this needs to paid out on the very first day the student joins the class. (This includes training fee and other infrastructure cost for the setup I have to do in India)
2) After the candidate is placed,another 5000$ will be charged as soon as the PO is received. (In case if the candidate looses the job, I will work with the student until another placement, free of cost).
3) In case of any paid candidates, total fee to be shared in the ratio of 60-40% (??-Vijay). 

Besides the weird $ after the number the answer was pretty clear, he wants to be paid $10,000 per student before you generate 1 dollar of revenue.  Even if could guarantee a 50% placement rate, there is not a single company that would take this deal.

Let us assume that 10 students join, which would mean you pay an immediate $50,000 and no matter how hard you vet the group you will likely lose 2 candidates before completion.  So we are down to 8.  Assuming a placement rate of 90% you would place 7 students.  Which would mean that you would pay another $35,000 when you get the PO.

For the new consultants you have to cover 3 months of payroll before you generate a penny in cash flow.  Each consultant will cost $20,000 just to cover 3 months of payroll.

So by month 4, I would have paid out $225,000 ($85,000 plus $140,000) just to train and place 7 consultants and this is before I have gotten 1 dollar in revenue. 

Like I said, I like to work with only the very best, but sometimes even I have to pass.

You know what the funny part is to this whole thing.  This same teacher when he taught his first class for me, we paid him $2500.  Next class we paid him $3500, since he was so good.  Then we became partners and he was paid $40,000 for one year of work, and then $180,000 for another 1.5 years of work.  I taught him the value of his work

He is also teaching others in India, and he told me that he charges Rs. 20,000 (About $400), to teach others.

He asked me if this would work for me as far as his rates.  I looked at his email and after being in shock at the rates, I replied within 10 seconds, that this proposal does not work for me and here we are.

Sometimes people only see what we make on an individual basis and do not see the total costs involved in running a company.  Our small little company has a running cost of $500,000 per year.  To do everything as perfect as possible, I spend about 50% of our revenue on just running the company.  I do not mind the high costs, since I believe it is necessary.

I maybe generous, but I am not stupid.

So, yes I do like to work with the best, but sometimes that is simply not possible.

Team Concept and Twilight Zone

I was talking to an employee of mine that we recently hired from India.  We hired him for $70,000 and I told him if his project bill rate was good we would give him $80,000.  I explained all the risks there were to bring him to USA and how much risk and effort was involved.  But we filed for his H1B and it was approved and he went for stamping and that was given also and he is now in USA.

This employee of mine is spectacular, he has 9 years of real time experience in SAP BI and to have someone like that on my payroll is a dream.  When you are bidding on projects, someone like him is essential to show pas part of your team.

He was telling me that some of the client he was talking to were offering him $110,000 to $130,000 to join them full time.  He told me that he would never leave us and that he just wanted to tell me so that I was aware.

100% of my employees could likely make more money with someone else, but they choose to stay with me, because of loyalty and I would like to believe they have a clear understanding of the greater good concept and will stay with us.

There was a show called Twilight Zone in the 80's and in that there was one episode that I thought of, when I was talking to my employee, here is the story:

Arthur and Norma Lewis are slowly descending into abject poverty. One day, they receive a mysterious locked box with a button on it and a note that says a Mr. Steward will come visit. Then, just as the note says, a smartly dressed stranger who introduces himself as Steward comes to their door when Arthur is out. He gives Norma the key to the box and explains that, if they press the button, two things will happen: they will receive $200,000, and someone "whom you don't know" will die.
After the stranger leaves, the Lewises wonder whether Steward's proposal is genuine, and they agonize over whether to press the button. Norma rationalizes that they could make good use of the money and that the one who dies might be some Chinese peasant or cancer sufferer who is living a miserable life. Arthur takes the side that, since they do not know who will die, pressing the button may cause the death of an innocent baby. They open the box and discover no mechanism inside it—it is simply an empty box with a button on it. Arthur angrily throws the box in the trash. However, in the middle of the night while Arthur is asleep, Norma goes to the apartment building's dumpster and retrieves the device. The next day, Arthur leaves for work and sees Norma sitting at the kitchen table, her gaze transfixed on the button. At the end of the day, he returns from work and it appears that nothing has changed; Norma is still sitting and concentrating only on the button. The days go by. Norma and Arthur keep talking about the box, when suddenly Norma decides that she will push the button.
However, the next day Mr. Steward returns, takes back the box, and gives them a briefcase with the $200,000. The Lewises are in shock and ask what will happen next. Steward ominously replies that the button will be "reprogrammed" and offered to someone else with the same terms and conditions, adding as he focuses on Norma: "I can assure you it will be offered to someone whom you don't know." A horrified, knowing expression crosses Norma's face.

This I think illustrates the concept of the greater good.  Sure my employee could leave and make more money, but this decision will affect others that he does not even know.  If he was to leave, I would simply stop bringing people over from India, since the cost and risk is prohibitive.  Since we were going to be bringing over 5 more people in 2013, his actions would simply force me to rethink and likely not bring them over.

So you can see that your personal decision for profit would affect 5 other people in a negative way, so would you do it?

It is easy to look upon life as a game in which you keep making moves to profit and you simply do not care about others, but as has been proven by my own employees, I have lost only 3 employees over the last one year, who have left to make more money with others.  My employees have a clear understanding of what I try to do, and they know that I am not simply about money.  I am here to support them, I am here to get them the best of everything so that they can keep growing (growth in lots of different ways), and I am here to keep the company growing so that we can all benefit in the process.

What have I done recently towards those goals:

I have gotten us a major new client, they generate multibillion dollars, in which we are already provide services and we hope to keep expanding what we provide to them.  I believe that this will develop into a major new relationship.

I have gotten a major new contract to provide contract services to Fortune 50 Bank

I have started a healthcare division for our training and placement division

I have gotten us a new guest house.  This place is amazing and I will post pictures soon.

I have plans to start a new employee fund in which we give loans to employees that have been with us for one year.  I hear about your problems and I want to help and I am trying to come up with plans for this.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I will be unavailable from July 23-27 and July 31-Aug 2.

We got a major training opportunity at a Mutlibillion dollar company and I am in Jackson MI overseeing the training.  The training room that the client has provided us is in the basement and my phone does not work when I am in the training room.

I am very proud of the value we were able to deliver this client.

We provided live training at their facility at 80% of the cost and they did not have to spend anything on travel, accommodations or food for their students.

We are recording this class for them and the students can watch this class over and over.  The funny thing is that this same group of students had been to SAP for training for the exact same class, but they forgot everything since it was long back. 

My guess is that with all the travel expenses and full cost of the class, they would have spent 200% of the cost that I quoted.  They will never have to pay for this class again for this same group, since this class is recorded and the students can review this class multiple times, until they are proficient in this technology.

About the biggest worry for the company is the quality of the training.  I will do an evaluation for the course from these students and post them online for everyone to see.

Training for Corporations

I love the training part of our business and you all know how passionate I am about delivering quality in any training course I run.

We have been getting more and more popular as far as corporate training.  I do not advertise and I do not have a sales team, marketing our services.  I have been able to get customers simply based on word of mouth and I could hope that when they meet me, my passion for training comes across to them.

What are the benefits for corporations to give us their training business?:

1) We can provide training at 80% of the cost of other corporate training companies.

2) We have been training for a long time and we simply have the best teachers.  Most of my teachers have been training on the same subject for me for over 5 years.

3) We can come to your location for training - Saving you a bundle on travel expenses.

4) We record all our classes - Your employees can watch these videos over and over so that they can practice at home and when the teacher is not there.  It is also a handy reference to review topics.

5) We give lots of practical work and homework so that the students can learn practically.  Every theory topics is reemphasized with work on the system for reinforcement.

With all the benefits that I provide, the most important benefits we provide are our teachers.  We truly believe that we have the very best teachers on any topic that we teach.

The second most important benefit is our LMS (Learning Management System) in which we load all our classes so that the students can watch these classes over and over.  In most software topics for advanced topics it is very important to watch the classes multiple times to really learn the concept well.

I know that I can save our MI companies lots of money while delivering higher quality training then what they currently receive, and I think I need to get a sales force to spread the word.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Placements have been terrific for us recently but everywhere I go people are always talking about youth unemployment or underemployment.

I can tell you exactly what the issue is.

Colleges are great at preparing you for a career that requires licensing like nursing, physician or pharmacist.  But as soon as the topic is general, like Business Administration, then they suck at preparing you for working at a Fortune 500 company. 

My guess is that everyone's ideal is to work at a Fortune 500 company, and I can tell you the easiest way to achieve that goal is by working in Information Technology (IT).

One of the most important things you can do in life is to get a mentor.  Someone that is successful and then follow his advice or in his footsteps. 

OK, here I am entering mentoring mode, and here is some advice for all you young people to become successful.

1) Learn JAVA - This is such a base skill to have and it will help you to get to other higher paying verticals in IT.  This is my most important advice.

2) Save $100,000 - While you are young learn to live like you were still in college.  Save every penny you have until you have $100,000 saved in the bank.  This will give you lots of flexibility to grab opportunities when they come.

3) Join a consulting company - Join a consulting company that specializes in training and then placing you.  The reason you join is that they really know which technologies are doing well and are required in the market.  They can guide you on what to learn.

4) Work like an Indian - I have said this before.  But if you project requires you to work 60 works and bill for 40, you do that.  Until you become an expert in your technology, this is what you have to do.  I have told this to my American employees and they still do not listen.   Let me give you an example.  I have a consultant that is older and has been desperate for a good job and we trained and placed her in a good company.  The client told my consultants to bill for overtime hours, and the Indian consultants billed for 5-6 hours and my American consultant  billed for 38 extra hours.  It has only been 2 months since she has joined her dream job and she is really still in the learning phase, there is no way you bill a client for 38 extra hours even if you worked it.  In consulting that is simply not done.  So let me reiterate here: WORK LIKE AN INDIAN, this is very important.

5) Become successful young, marry young, have kids when you are young.  Nothing will be more important in your future and your happiness than your family and their happiness.  It is so important to not delay success, because a delay here, causes a delay in the rest of life's important events.

If you are young (22-35) and are unemployed or are underemployed, then call me and I can advice on what to do.  I like to help young people and if you do not have a mentor, I can help to mentor you.

Vijay Madala - 248-797-4990

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Food In The Fridge

I have mentioned that I used to stock my fridge in the office with food and drinks for my students, but what happened was that the kitchen was right next to my office and I was eating a snack bar hear and there and I was putting on a lot of weight.  So as a consequence I have stopped buying food for the office.

I know that my lack of will power is making everybody else suffer, but I am sorry.  I am trying to lose weight and this was one the things that I had to do so that I could lose weight.

Money for Training

I have students that pay me for training and it always amazes me that they want 100% guarantee that they will get a job for their $1000 to $2500 payment.  I wish they would ask the same question when they join college and are about to pay $100,000.

I get lots of people that ask me that question, and in fact I was asked that question yesterday and I always give the same answer:

Ques: "Can you guarantee me that I will get a job if I come to this training and pay the money?"

Answer: "NO! There is no way anybody can answer yes to that question.   There are so many factors that go into getting a job and knowledge is just one function of that equation."

The ones that ask that question, after I tell them NO, they usually go away and that makes me very happy.  I am sure that some training companies will give the YES answer, but I cannot see how you can truthfully give that answer.  I consider myself one of the best in some of the technologies that we teach, and even I only have a 70% placement rate and I consider that extremely good.

If there is some company that has a 100% placement rate and can answer YES, then my hats off to you.  You guys are must be something amazing and I would love to learn more from you.

I work my butt off to get to that 70% placement rate and I am happy with that rate.

Highest Paid Employee

Do you know who the highest paid employee is our company?

It is not me, who does all the recruitment and training.
It is not our main marketing who does 30-40 placements a year

It is the head of legal division that handles all the paperwork for the students so that they can maintain their status to work in USA.  This is such a crucial job and so important to be a detail orientated person.  It is a person's life that is in the balance when you do that job, and a small failure can cause such tremendous consequences, that you have to have the best person you can find in this role.

I am not saying that my employee that is in this role does not have his eccentricities, but he is simply the very best at his job as far as being perfect with paperwork and getting approvals.  In fact we have 100% approval rate.

But I was just thinking that I should be the highest paid in my own company, but upon reflection it is correct that the head of our legal division is the highest paid employee.  One mistake and poof a life changes and that is a tremendous responsibility to have to live with every day.


We have had tremendous amounts of placements recently and I always find it interesting that the students that seem to be always talking about getting placed fast are always the last ones to get placed.

They talk about how someone got placed in 2 weeks or without even an interview and I know this is the student that is going to cause me the most amount of trouble.

There are reasons why a student that only cares about placement and not about knowledge will always take time to get placed.

Here is the reason why?

First Reason:

I have a student that is desperate to get placed and I will have a few placements in one technology and suddenly he wants to jump into that training.  I will have a few placements in another technology and he will want to jump into that training also.  The old saying is very true that: Jack of All Trades Master of None.

You have to stick to one technology and live and die in that technology.  It may take some time for placement, but when you know one technology very well, you will be sure to get placed.  In technology it is nice to know the basic of a few other technologies, but really you have to be the absolute master of one technology.
Second Reason:

Instead of simply studying and learning they are constantly worried about getting placed.  This causes crazy pressure which will cause you to take short cuts in the learning process.

There is no short cut in learning.

The equation is simple: time x effort = knowledge = job