Getting Started

For fathers managing child single-handedly during the paternal break can be difficult. However there are a few important considerations which fathers should factor as they plan to get started.

1. At a high-level develop a plan for the period identifying plans and the milestones for progress towards getting your child more self-sufficient, typical day of a Latte Dad, resources needed to manage the day and to execute the plan. Few examples from my experience

  • In our case, we aimed to get our child on day-long day care by the end of the 2.5 months with milestones for half-day and 2 hour-long day care identified
  • Weekdays were primarily devoted to managing child but the weekends were kept relatively free to ensure I pursued other interests and chores
  • Resources e.g., support from a maid at home to manage the child are critical for you to manage the period well

2. Given the high attention needed by the kids, days can look non-eventful and energy-consuming. Pursuing interests outside parenting can help you remain motivated, however be cautious of not defining hard targets for self. In my case, visits to coffee-shops, reading business magazines, and coding were regular part of the day. Additionally reading up on work topics and informal conversations with colleagues helps you remain connected to the workplace and makes transition back to work easier.

3. In absence of one stream of income (assuming you are on absence without pay), planning for your financials becomes critical. Given there is no change in the lifestyle, the expenses are likely to remain the same and hence you should plan your financials to manage the expenses during this period. Deferring discretionary high-value spending during and before the break can be one good way to manage financials for this phase

In case you have specific questions or feedback on these considerations, please feel free to add comments or write to me using the ‘Contact Me‘ page.


Brief account of my experience with GoIbibo: Tale of broken processes and technical glitches

The intention of the note is to make customers aware of potential discrepancies in GoIbibo’s processes and systems which may affect the value of the ticket or refund resulting in incorrect charging. Unfortunately in absence of any grievance addressing channels handled by a non-customer service division, I have taken this channel to bring this incidence to the notice of customers, regulators (if any), and management.


I had booked a 2-leg itinerary for 2 passengers. Due to change in travel plans, I had requested for cancellation and rescheduling of the tickets. Cancellation / reschedule process broke at many points and had discrepancies due to which the following issues were observed:

  • Only 1 leg of the ticket was cancelled against the two-legs for which the request was made. Reminder message from airlines [2 days before the travel date] helped me identify the issue
    • 1st follow-up [2 days prior to the travel date] to cancel the ticket was inaccurately confirmed and acknowledged by CS agent but was not cancelled by the agent
    • Upon receiving the check-in reminder from the airline [1 day before the travel date], I had to submit a 2nd follow-up request to cancel the ticket
  • Leg 1 refund value was initially calculated as INR 192 by GoIbibo but later contested [nearly 30+ days later]
    • 30 days later GoIbibo inaccurately calculated the refund value as INR -58 but after multiple email conversations / calls agreed to refund INR 192
    • GoIbibo claims that INR -58 is the correct value and is now offering the refund of INR 192 only as a courtesy and INR 192 was calculated as a result on technical glitch
    • In the refund calculation, GoIbibo seems to have excluded convenience fee of INR 250 which explains the difference between the two refund values calculated by GoIbibo
  • Leg 2 refund value (INR 322) was inaccurately adjusted in the rescheduled ticket which resulted in overcharging of INR 100 to my credit card
    • Detailed invoice provided by GoIbibo indicates the correct value to be charged to the card. However the payment system had inaccurately charged the card
    • GoIbibo claims to be facing technical glitches due to which invoices are not updated or accurately generated


  • Inaccuracies in refund calculations and charging to the customer indicates that these processes are possibly manual in nature and are not reliable. GoIbibo customers should be diligent about the invoicing and charging to avoid any inaccurate charging
  • Priority customer service (CS) requests seem to have an aggressive Turn-around Time (TAT) and CS agents seem to rely on unbaked / quickly available information [which may be sometimes inaccurate] to address the query / request. Customers should request for additional information / request confirmation details whenever they suspect inaccuracies in the addressal by customer service
  • Unfortunately customer service agents do not provide any details about grievance addressal and relevant regulatory addressal channels. Hence makes one believe that e-commerce industry is NOT regulated and is in dire need of regulations

If you have faced similar challenges / issues with GoIbibo, please share the same in the comments so that prospective customers, regulators (if any), and management is aware of such incidents.

“Becoming Consultant” – Volume 1

 “Any clod can have loads of information, but forming an opinion is an art”

Consultants often work through random & wellspring of information and come out with sensible and effective solutions. Identifying themes and key messages from the deluge of information therefore becomes a cornerstone for success of a consulting engagement. It contributes not only to developing solutions but also presenting solutions and hence is one among the highest rated skill in consulting industry. The article presents my thoughts on how identifying key messages contribute to effective communication & problem solving and offers some tips on developing the skill of identifying key messages.

How key messages contribute to problem solving and problem solving

  • In communicating solutions, consultants need to covey the key message foremost followed by the supporting facts (often named as pyramid principle or top-down approach). The key message therefore goes as the title of the chart or becomes the first slide and the supporting facts form the body of the slide or follows the first slide. (In nutshell, apply the concept of Elevator Pitch)
  • In the process of problem solving, identifying key themes/areas of problem helps consultants to prioritize and channel their efforts, which translates into timely and effective design of solution. Often, in the consulting lingo we refer to identifying key themes and areas as Pareto principle (80/20 principle).

How to develop the art of identifying key messages: One aspiring to effectively use this tool needs to practice the tool regularly. Some of the easy to adopt methods (Not Exhaustive) are listed below

  • Summarizing: Summarizing articles/documents one reads in his daily life is a great tool to learn the method of identifying themes. Apply observations and common sense to derive the key message from the summary. Please note that key message is not a mere summary of facts and observations but a synthesized version of the summary. Attaching weights/priorities to the identified themes and messages can help you elevate your skills of problem solving.
  • Structure your communication: Always apply the thumb rule of conveying the message first while communicating. While making slides ensure that you state key messages as the title and support the message with facts and inferences in the body of the slide OR while designing the flow of the presentation ensure you present key messages first followed by the supporting facts and information.
  • Use of Word clouds: Word cloud is a visual representation of text data, typically used to depict keywords and themes. A word cloud of this is presented in the below image. It simply indicates that this blog talks about identifying key messages in consulting. Word cloud software can be of great help to capture key themes and messages from lengthy documents and articles in quick span of time.
Word Cloud

Word Cloud of this blog

As stated in my opening statement, merely having information does not translate into solution. Identifying key messages helps one to effectively use the information to design and present solutions and hence one among the highest rated skill set in the consulting industry.

Tea off Candle’s heat – Craziest Stuff Tried by Me

History tells us about Birbal trying to cook rice (a khichdi) by suspending a pot from a tall tree branch and lighting a tiny fire much below on the ground. Me and my room partner nearly repeated history by making tea using a few candles when we ran out of LPG. Though initially it seemed impossible, the love of tea spurted the engineer’s instinct inside us to innovate and try out new ways. The only source of heat was candle and thereby came the idea of lighting up 6 candles to make tea. Watch out the video of making AN ENGINEER’S TEA and Probably you may laugh looking at us!!!