Sep 27 2012

Measuring T20 Sentiments – Is your team the most liked?

The first set of T20 matches are over and top eight teams have entered the second round. So what is the most preferred and the least preferred team among the eight? Lets have a glimpse of what the people in the social media have expressed


Sep 11 2012

Credit scoring for SHG’s – NABARD project

AAUM partnered with NABARD for building credit scoring models for SHG’s (Self Help Group). AAUM NGO partners IRCDS in Thriuvallur district, Blossom Trust and Sornambal Trust in Virudhunagar district approached 1000 SHGs and collected data on financial, socio-economical and wealth data’s of the SHG individuals to build scoring models by which credit worthy of individuals/SHG’s are rated which helps the loan providers to take decisions. A mobile application with a back end web application has been developed to support the SHG’s in tracking their financial transactions.

The collected data of 1000 SHG’s was analysed to develop scoring algorithm using various analytical techniques like logistic, CART, and k-nn from a`training’ sample. The algorithm was applied to develop credit scores. Credit scores were devised for each group. The model was validated with `testing’ sample. The training given to SHGs was to devise credit rules and validate with bank/MFI stakeholders. The data captured was functionally built in SHG mobile sets to deliver quick scoring and compliance.   It is easy to use forms enabled in the mobile phones to devise credit scores and usage of mobile phones has saved considerable efforts in the SHG account management.

The project has served SHG women to get used to technology through mobile phones. Aaum’s solution has addressed the specifics of group (not just an individual), credit score the group and finally has helped the banks, government, and NGOs to give loans and grants to the SHGs.

The exclusive research paper titled “Technologies Services and New Approaches to Universal Access and Rural Telecom” submitted to ITU in November 2009, by Prof. Ashok Jhunjunwala, Rajesh Kumar, Sonali Singh, Suma Prashant for International Telecom Union (ITU) highlighted accelerating mobile adoption in rural India. This has been a great inspiration to take up this project.

The benefits of SHG interface are:

  • Grading was done by scoring algorithms on the data captured. No need for financial institutes/NGOs to perform this task.
  • Simple process with no requirement to travel physically to SHG/NGO locations.
  • Easy to use forms enabled in the mobile phones.
  • Handling of accounts, books has saved considerable efforts in the SHG account management.
  • Different level of access to different users.

This project has created a big socio-economic impact by strengthening the SHG-Credit linkage by connecting NGOs focusing on women development, Micro Finance Institutes (MFIs), banks, cooperative societies, and the state government.



Sep 5 2012

Financial inclusion awareness in rural TamilNadu – NABARD project (Through radio campaigns)

Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low income segments of society. India has the second highest number of financially excluded households in the world. Approximately, 40% of India’s population have bank accounts, and only about 10% have any kind of insurance cover, while a merger 0.6% have non-life insurance cover. Tamil Nadu is very much lacking behind in the wage disbursement scenario under the NREGA. This is a very serious bottleneck to the progress of the people as financial inclusion through banks is not being supported.

AAUM partnered with NABARD and Suryan FM to roll financial inclusion campaigns. The livelihood team focused on basic financial inclusion strategies during the initial stages and other allied financial strategies at later stages. Partnership was also established with the lead bank, local banks for knowing their existing initiatives/thrust areas to chalk out mutually beneficial programs.

The financial inclusion awareness in the first month was focused on:

  1. Focus on opening bank accounts and its advantages
  2. Availing of savings, credit/debit access, overdraft facility
  3. Cheque facility
  4. Awareness of insurance products, etc.
  5. Payment and remittance services

Allied financial inclusion strategies for the next month focused on:

  1. Financing to agriculture  (Loans, Govt schemes, etc)
  2. Jewellery loan
  3. Low cost financial services
  4. Kissan Credit and debit cards access
  5. Financial advice
  6. SHG/JLG focus and awareness of various financial products
  7. Access to financial markets
  8. Micro credit during emergency
  9. Entrepreneurial credit

8 themes were identified and the jingles were developed with a focus on getting the attention of the common people.  The team consulted NABARD, local banks to align the thrust areas in sync with the overall financial inclusion focus. AAUM came up with an effective strategy to involve famous mimicry artists to voice on veteran film actors/actress for the financial inclusion campaigns. Mimicry artists from the “AsathaPovathuYaaru” a popular TV show of SUN TV were hired to create jingles. 8 themes were identified and the jingles were developed with a focus on getting attention of the common people. The main important topics on which the information was delivered were: Savings, RD/FD, loans, branchless banking, remittance, micro insurance and micro pension. In addition to the commercials, 30 RJ (Radio Jockey) mentions were broadcasted during the two month campaign period. These RJ mentions were live on `AIR` and were broadcasted once in two days.

After the campaign roll out, a small survey was conducted with the local villagers in 20 Panchayats to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign and arrive at appropriate strategies.

Jingles: (Audio file)

Below are the main important head under which the information was delivered.

1) Savings

  • Savings accounts allow you to keep your money in a safe place while it earns a small interest each month
  • These accounts have nil or low minimum balances and charges exclusively for rural
  • Interest rate on savings bank accounts minimum of on a daily basis
  • Savings as an habit would provide sustainable path for financial inclusion
  • Daily savings of 35 rupees would help you accomplish Rs.1000/month.
  • Can avail the facilities of cheque book, ATM card, Internet banking, Mobile banking
  • Stress on the operation of the account and not having an idle account
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager with address proof & ID proof

2) RD/FD:

  • Simple investment mechanism for planning the future financial requirements and needs
  • Minimum 1 time investment (Fixed deposit) or regular multiple investment (Recurring deposit) as per your earnings and time of requirement (e.g. after 3 months or above)
  • Higher interest rate than savings for planning your goals (e.g. for sons education, daughter marriage)
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager with address proof & ID proof

3) Loans:

Agriculture loans

  • Crop production , horticulture , plantation crops, farm mechanization, land development and reclamation, digging of wells, processing of agri-products, finance to agri-input dealers, allied activities like dairy , fisheries, poultry, sheep-goat, piggery and rearing of silk worms
  • And other loans including
  • Loans for petty shop, flower vendor, tea shop, etc. Emergency/Personnel loans, Jewel loan, SHG loans and several other classifications for financial needs
  • Low interest rates from banks.
  • Good repayment habits would ensure higher quantum
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager

4) KCC (Kissan Credit Card):

  • Assured access for farmers credit requirements subject to timely repayment
  • Flexibility to draw cash at any time and buy agriculture inputs as per the need of the farmer.
  • Flexibility of withdrawals from a branch other than the issuing branch at the discretion of the bank.
  • Provisions for crop insurance if loan crop loans availed under KCC, provisions for life insurance for the farmer.
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager

5) Branchless Banking:

  • Business correspondent model  in remote villages where formal banking is not feasible.
  • Banking facilities provided by banks representatives on behalf of banks to provide basic financial services like savings, minimum withdrawals, overdraft facilities in your village itself!
  • All your transactions are settled at your bank at the end of the day and be assured that you are dealing directly with the bank and not with the local representative. Sophisticated technologies like rural ATM, smart cards, kiosks, mobile payment modes are leveraged for financial services in rural
  • Contact your neighborhood bank whether you can avail this features

6) Remittance:

  • Availability of money at the right time is very critical for sustenance. Do you know that Fast and easy mechanism to transfer your hard earned money to your family members through remittance facilities is offered by your neighborhood bank.
  • Remittance through bank would further help to leverage other banking facilities like savings, ATM withdrawals, cheque book facilities, overdraft facilities, loan for your future requirements, insurance etc.
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager

7) Micro Insurance:

Protect your investments by very low premium as per your comfort

Agri/Crop insurance

  • Crop insurance to protect against hail, drought, and floods, or the loss of revenue due to declines in the prices of agricultural commodities. Insurance for farmers are also available including the crop.

Livestock Insurance

  • Protect your livestock against death due to accidents including fire, lightning, flood and cyclone or disease contracted , Permanent Total Disability due to total incapacity to conceive or yield

Janashree bima Yojana: (Group insurance for poor and vulnerable groups)

  • Provides life insurance protection to people who are below poverty line or marginally above poverty line. Persons between aged 18 years and 59 years and who are the members of the identified 45 occupational groups are eligible to be covered under the Scheme i.e. rural poor , SHG’s, beedi workers, fishermen community etc

Health insurance

  • Health micro insurance schemes for improving the access of health care to poor families. The scheme provides for reimbursement of medical expenses towards hospitalization floated amongst the entire family, death cover due to an accident to the earning head of the family and compensation due to loss of earning of the earning member @ very low premium exclusively designed for BPL families.

Contact your local bank manager to know the premium rates for each insurance.

8.) Micro pension:

  • Low income informal sector workers to build up savings for retirement
  • Micro pension scheme provides security to poor and middle-class labourers like vegetable vendors, rag pickers, hand-cart pullers, bidi workers, construction workers, domestic helps, agriculture workers, garment workers.
  • Do you know that very little contribution of Rs 50 a month in a pension account by eligible people can come as a security at an old age.
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager




Sep 5 2012



IL & FS management approached Aaum to perform skills opportunity assessment in the districts which are closer to the multi-school skill development centre located at Chennai & Trichy region. The objectives were to know; industry requirements, candidate skill requirements and the willingness of candidate to pay for skill development. To meet these objectives, Aaum developed a structured framework consisting of various steps that were incorporated with each stage of the assessment.

IL&FS Skills Development Corporation (ISDC) is a joint venture between IL&FS and the NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation). It was established with an objective to build and manage 100 multi skill schools across India. The aim is to train around 2 million people over the next ten years in various skill sectors including textiles, engineering, construction, leather, auto and other service sectors.

To meet the core objectives of the study, an effective data collection strategy was designed which focused more on to find the demand and supply skills in the districts, to see if it would suit IL&FS. The assessment was done in eight districts of Tamil Nadu near Chennai and Trichy.  i.e. Chennai districts –  Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Tiruvanamalai and Chennai and Trichy districts – Nagapattinam, Dindugal, tanjavur and Trichy.  For the research about three education institutions, three employers, three panchayat presidents, two association/Institutions, ninety six school/college students, one NGO/federation and fifty four rural candidates were identified in each district. The survey candidates were profiled by using wealth indicators, which is an index, computed based on the assets of the respondents.


Aug 29 2012

Our Consultants present on Big data Analytics -at Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore

Aaum consultants presented on big data analytics today at Singapore. The presentation featured a  few interesting analytical slides  performed for a  State Government’s crime bureau.

A copy of the presentation is shared at Q312 Big Data Seminar SG Case Study Aaum

Any questions/feedback? Mail them to

Aug 24 2012

Assessment of NREGA wage disbursement in banking system

Assessment of NREGA wage disbursement in banking system


AAUM Livelihood has partnered with IITM’ RTBI (Rural Technology Business Incubator) and collaborated with MoRD (Ministry of Rural Development) to know the effectiveness of wage disbursement through banking system. Thiruvalluar district was chosen to appraise the current bank linked wage disbursement practices.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a job guarantee scheme enacted by legislation on August 25, 2005 with the aim of providing 100 days of unskilled labour in a financial year to adult members in a rural household willing to do unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of Rs.137. The program also tries to bring about gender equality as most of the beneficiaries are rural women. The law was initially called National Rural Employment scheme, but was renamed in 2 October 2009 as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Post 2008,it was decided to pay the wages to the beneficiaries through banks and post offices, however in Tamil Nadu payment through banks was not adopted. In May 2012, the government decided to adopt banking practices and one Panchayat was chosen to be linked with the bank for wage distribution in all the blocks of the TN districts. This pilot approach was adopted to know the shortcomings to effectively administer across all the places.

Most of the beneficiaries are not aware of the different procedure of the banking system. Hence the Panchayat officials helped them in opening accounts. Some beneficiaries however were able to open bank accounts by themselves. Inadequate transport facilities to the bank were also a hurdle for beneficiaries. The illiterate people and most of the elderly people were dependent on others for withdrawing money from the bank. The beneficiaries prefer direct payment than the baking system as it is more convenient and reliable. They also accepted the idea of BCM (Business Model Correspondent) when it was explained to them.

Most of the BDOs (Block Development Officer) have expressed their opinion that the banking system would be the appropriate mechanism for disbursement of wages. However a few bottlenecks have to be cleared to make it more attractive to the people.

A meeting was conducted by the Cholavaram block on 21st June 2012.for cluster Incharges. The meeting was conducted to improve the overall performance of the MGNREGA programme. Cluster coordinators from 37 Panchayats were present along with overseers and engineers. The participants who represented the Panchayats unilaterally expressed to the assessment team that the beneficiaries wished to continue the present system of direct cash payments as there are difficulties in accessing and understanding the complexities of the banking system. The cluster coordinators responded positively to the BCM model in their respective Panchayats.  It was also suggested that cluster coordinators could create awareness and provide training about the banking system to the beneficiaries.


The assessment team visited Palavedu Panchayat in Villivakkam block on 22nd June, 2012 to assess the BCM model that was being experimented in the block. The person who handles the BCM machine called a “Field BCM” is appointed by the bank and handles financial transactions of SHGs (Self help Group), OAP (Old Age Pension) and other government linked wage programmes. They also observed that the process involved in BCM was relatively simple banking procedures.


SWOC Analysis


 A wage payment through banking systems enables the entry for the common man into banking system.

BCM model are successful.

Banks within the reach of the beneficiaries is acceptable to beneficiaries.

Increased the saving habits.


 People have to travel between 3 to 7 kms to access bank facilities.

Around one day labour wage is being invested by the beneficiaries to collect the wages from banks.

Panchayat has to play the lead role in training.


Extending BCM model to every Panchayat.

Creating awareness through local media on banking systems and BCM model.

Providing functional literacy on banking systems.

Involve CSOs to orient beneficiaries.


Elderly people have to be assisted in banking systems and procedures.

Inadequate staff strength with banks.

General dislike on banking systems and institutions.

The beneficiaries are not against the banking system, but they find it difficult to accommodate themselves with it due to the remoteness of the banks, ignorance of procedures and time delay. The beneficiaries accept the BCM model due to its proximity and less procedural nature.

The assessment team recommended that the BCM model has to be extended to every Panchayat for the effective implementation of banking services to NREGA beneficiaries. The local media can be used to create awareness of the BCM model so that it will be acceptable to the beneficiaries. Providing functional literacy on systems and procedures has to be linked with MGNREGA wage payment through banking systems. The Panchayats have to initiate intensive drive to educate the beneficiaries on the banking systems.


Aug 4 2012

Track and Boost the circulation of Print media publications with the power of analytics. Know how?!

It is as vital as the circulatory system in a human body for its successful functioning, the circulation department and its functions are of paramount importance for the success of any print media publications. It holds the sole responsibility for your publications availability in the market through which loyal readership is attained. It is one of the prime factors to set the advertising rate which is the lifeline for any publication.

Our data scientists performed exhaustive research and due diligence on the various studies and related works to develop finesse in the print media industry on the challenges in newspaper circulation they might face and want to overcome in the digital age. On contrary India emerging as the leader in terms of newspaper circulation as published by World Association Newspapers by 2011 gives a fodder for thought to look into the other contributing factors of increasing literacy, urbanization and the fall of  circulation due to online media content in developed countries .

Indian newspaper industry is not too far to follow the path as their international counterparts to embrace the technological advancements to be competent enough in the macroeconomic situations across the globe. In order to standardize the transformation or to stabilize in the existing market the industry needs insights because the newspaper is considered the most perishable commodity perishable in a few hours.(thanks to information from FM/Radio, TV, Internet, Mobile phone, etc, etc.)

In order to gain a fair large share of the readership despite your appropriate content, vast coverage, detailed approach, appealing look and feel and cost there are factors like quick distribution, right time reach that are very crucial. This is attributed directly to the circulation department. Besides the key people should know the real time scenario on what happens where, when it comes to circulation. So they can make the right decision either to embrace technological advancements or to implement systems for sustained growth of the organization and to stay ahead of the competition. This equally is attributed to the circulation department’s responsibility.

There would be a well defined administrative hierarchy to do the submission of market reports or an external tool used to view information as dashboards to the management. To create or achieve this efficiency you need data; to collect, collate, analyze and develop actionable insights. The circulation department would also face bottlenecks to obtain the factual figures to adjudge the performance of the newspaper in terms of circulation by collating the data from the managers and distributors pertaining to a specific Region, Zone, City, Area to the very root of newspaper stands, roadside teashops selling newspapers or to even a 12 year old who puts newspaper on doorsteps in our daily life scenario.

Only when the data becomes available there would be a processing to make it a meaningful report. If we further analyse a step below the top line circulation managers and their directly reporting subunits it is nearly impossible to quantify the actual circulation in real time.

Although the data becomes available at every single unit the efficiency truly lies in recording it so it is retrievable at any given point of time. Organizations would spend in state-of-the art technology, systems in order to achieve this efficiency but might not be able to scale up to the peak of collecting every single important data available due to system limitations.

If made available the super sauvy system it occurs in organizations where the system is not put to use to its fullest capability. Or to do so would see organizations to additionally invest on tech-specific workforce. Data Latency is an added woe which occurs due to the physical distance between the report generators and the last point of contact for significant data so it becomes more or less unavailable. The process of analyzing the data and defining a statistical approach again demands workforce with niche capability; the capability to transform mere data into data driven insights, which of course is not the core focus of the circulation department. Here the line of Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investments on the tech-sauvy systems becomes blurred from the management perspective.

In most of these critical situations an external agency with advanced analytical competence would come to help in handy. There are ways to streamline the internal systems by arriving at well defined KPIs, stretching the data capture through various modes ensuring no critical data is missed at any unit of circulation. The stress is so much on this data because it is the one which helps organisations to make the paradigm shift and take right business decisions.

To know about more on advanced analytics and competitive intelligence and how you can achieve performance excellence through them please write to the author


May 29 2012

IPL – Team Rankings

As promised yesterday, we are back again with the comparative performance of DC and KKR. However today our analysis will not be restricting to mere two team comparison. Instead we have come up with a broader platform where we have ranked all the teams based on their batting and bowling performance.

Batting ranks are based on the runs scored per innings and the strike rate of the entire team composition.

Want to know where your favorite team stands in terms of batting performance?


Kolkata Knight Riders as expected tops the list followed by Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils. Mumbai Indians has occupied the last position in the list. Not much surprises there, considering the fact that most of the stalwarts in cricket there played just average.


Rajasthan Royals has topped the bowling rank list. The team has got some amazing bowlers like Cooper and Chandlia and their clinical performances has been instrumental in a lot of their wins. KKR and CSK follows next. The 5th bowler crisis which hit Royal Challengers and led the team to play some very dismal matches has led them to occupy the last position in the list. This ranking is based on the team’s efficiency rate and their average wickets per innings.

Deccan Chargers has occupied the 8th rank in both batting and bowling performances.

In terms of fielding performances, RCB tops the list followed by the Royal Challengers and Kings XI. RCB has received tremendous support from its off beat fielders like Gayle and Dilshan.

Our analysts have also done a bit of researching to award bonus points to those teams and players who have exhibited some stunning performances during some very demanding situations which led their team to glory.

Kings XI Punjab tops the list here with the some over the top performances by Harmeet Singh , Gurkeerat Singh, Piyush Chawla and D B Das  during very critical situations. Performances exhibited by Pollard and Rohit Sharma of MI and Bravo and Albie Morkel of CSK in such high tense situations are also note worthy.

Our analysis has been based on all matches played till play offs.

As always your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome. Send them to

– Team Aaum

May 28 2012

IPL- Player Rankings

IPL 2012 is over and KKR has won the match. It was indeed a thrilling match.

Interested in knowing the player performances? In this blog our analysts have rated the players based on their performance – a separate ranking for batting, bowling. To be fair, the matches were considered till the play offs.

Batting ranking (based on runs scored per innings, strike rate, ability to score by boundaries)


Bowling ranking (based on average wickets taken per innings and the efficiency rate of the bowlers)


Tomorrow’s blog will feature a comparative performance of Deccan Chargers and Knight Riders, the winners of IPL 2012.

As always your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome. Send them to

– Team Aaum


May 25 2012

CSK Vs DD !!!

CSK or DD ? Who is going to win the battle for the final spot?

M S Dhoni has led his men to qualify for the playoffs  while  Delhi Daredevils find themselves in a familiar situation like the previous seasons where they dominated the league stage before coming out paupers in the playoffs.

However lets see what stats say!





It appears Daredevils have an edge in the match, but CSK  always proved in demanding situations.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed!!

As always your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome. Send them to

– Team Aaum