- First of all beleive that ITI can be revived. If every one goes by the general rhetoric and chorus that ITI is doomed there is no scope and possibility of revival.
- ITI needs to be awakened from several dimensions, which just one team or person cannot fully comprehend. The person who is holding the post of CMD must be chosen carefully and given a minimum period of atleast five years at a stretch on the job unless he voluntarily decides to abdicate for reasons best known to him.
- Unfetter the CMD and his team from administrative or buerecratic shakles and give him a fairly free hand with some control from the government to operate.
- To take full advantage of the modern realities ITI must be renamed as Indian Telecom Industries as against the present name.
- Divide ITI into various zones with each zone taking up manufacture and fabrication of telecom equipments and products.
- One of these zones could totally focus on being a backend outsource partner for telecom giants around the world.
- ITI must be a platform where tasks involving manual labour and professional labour are given sufficient importance. The next generation ITI must have say 20,ooo manual workers and say 10,000 professional workers who involve in activities like software development.
- Synergise the resources of ITI with other public sector giants and defence institutions.
- Create a telecom institute inside ITI on the lines of the IIT's to focus solely on telecom education and management.
- Never privatize ITI . The government must take the onus of reviving this institution by basically reorienting things and asking fundamental questions. ITI needs a vision and mission statement to stay its course in the era that unfolds.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
CAN ITI INDIAN TELEPHONE INDUSTRIES BE REVIVED?
ANNUAL FLOOD LIT TOURNAMENT OF INDIAN TELEPHONE INDUSTRIES
Saturday, December 19, 2009
CORPORATE MANAGEMENT : ISSUES AND VIEWS FROM BANGALORE CITY
WHAT AILS CORPORATE INDIA - RE ENGINEERING THE HUMAN FORCE
To some extent the japanese proved to the world through years of systematic application what proper organization of man-power can achieve. The power so developed and applied by the japanese during successive years has brought many auto giants to their knees. B school education is futile if it only teaches students to look at things in discrete terms with no effort or ability at seeing the total picture. I see the concept of finding a job and getting placed as the mantra and end goal of many a student. Is our education distorting students and deforming them for a life time with a micro-focus which in turn effects their performance and approach to business.
The culture in most corporates no matter how distinguished is foul and and driven by fear and insecurity.What a pity. Corporates must bring in fiscal discipline . Fundamentally this means two things. At one end ensure that no one is underpaid and at thwe other that no one is overpaid. Both these dimensions have to be adequately balanced. Wrong behavior of any kind from any one must be punishable. This means largely the manner in which human beings at the work place behave and communicate with each other. Corprates must give adequate scope for people who would like to contribute to organizations through research and not just economical ends. In addition to tangible contribution companies must also have means and scope for logical contribution and lastly companies must have proper policies in the removal of employees and the circumstances under which they happen. no man must be kept in top management who does not necessarily take a long term view of things and does not have such orientation. Many organizations inadvertently suffer in the long run because of their collosal inablity in looking beyond the obvious. Years of wrong management will ruin business , some instantly and the others over a period of time.
Even the best of Indian corporates seem to have a scourge called groupism. Forming groups is healthy , but for what ends is the question. Whenever groups are made and designed for perfidious ends they destroy everything with it. You grow through organizations not because of the good work that you do but by the largesse of the group to which it belong. many managements are incapable of doung anything or are simply not aware of its existence. Groups are sub-marines that work without being noticed. People who lack competence at an individual level find it easy to partner with groups to get along. Well , nothing has been done on this front and to a large extent people who do not want to be part of such groups are in the receiving end.They possibly do not know what is up and the dynamics makes it impossible to pull on. Such phenomena may not be unique to the Indian situation alone but must be prevalent in many parts of the world too.
Human resources planning from a very conventional and stereotyped setting is of not much use to organizations , if it cannot get to the bottom of problems of organizations. Human Resource Development must understand that development of people can happen only through creation of proper setting. no doubt the conventional tools does take organization far but not far enough. the challenge today is in the creation of right work environments. For example , how should an employee be appraised ? First study his conduct through the organization and not the results. If the conduct has been violatory it demands appropriate action. Study the performance of a man both from tangible and intangible perspective. Corporates have to do this or else they land up loosing people who could have otherwise made laong standing contribution to organizations. it is through the force of conduct that good management is derives and it is through the power of conduct that business organizations get the natural and effortless ability to beget outstanding economic performance. I think there is no such concept as cheap labour but only a labour that is willing to do work and the other is half willing or unwilling.
Iam against the concept of providing targets and making people achieve them. targets are fallacious and they put organizations on a reverse gear. It does not call upon people to put in all their effort much above the call of duty but makes people do just enough and very often the wrong things. For example a territory might be crying for customer service for years and the person concerned is focussed on augmenting customers and the end result being that you loosing customers and endangering organizational survival.Intent is more powerful than performance.
I still beleive organizations should have some kind of people development indices. In the era we are entering business must look at challenges and issues through radically different perspectives so that organizations can handle the challenges of the new era. Technology and people will be the key drivers of modern economy but people as always will be the most important. Leadership is all about building people into organizations that perform. People development involves inspiring people into performance and not merely coersion.It revolves around making strong people networks. Chaotic situations will result if no effort is made in this direction.
The word performance has been largely misused by many business societies and seems to be a take-off from Drucker's concept of Management by objectives. The problem is the proper measurement of performance and the indices that has to be established. Very often performance evaluation is done on wrong objectives. Performance indices drive organizations through narrow alleys . I beleive that innovation is a very important component of business and organizations must not incessenty drive through narrow alleys where after a measurable period of time you loose sight of anything at all. The american auo industry seems to have reached such a stage and so will many organizations over a period of time who over focus on performance. A small hotel can be run around this concept because it is small and wants to be so; but not an organization aspiring to be big and remain big. Any organization that aspires to stay in the arena for long must essentialy develop a sound people policy, build the right kind of culture ,propagate and inculcate that culture and reform and transform people. The most important ingredient that a human being can bring on the table shoud be willing dedication and organizations must thereafter make use of that dedication for organizational good and take all possible steps to ensure that an employee's act in good faith is not abused or mis-used.
For long I have heard criticism about the way Indian public sector works. Many successful private sector enterprises called the public sector culture clumsy and not performance oriented. We have public sectors that failed and at the same time many public sectors that survived and prevailed. Many public sectors continue to be sick but can be revived; but for now people seem to discern strenghts in the public sector culture and approach in the abilities of the collective. Many larger private organizations need to ake a study of this unique culture ; both the shortcoings and adbvantages to bring about a re-engineering in the way they see and use peope.
Lastly there must be more vigorous participation of government organizations and bodies as a watch-dog in the modern era of the activities of the corporate sector. As of now they seem to be content with a birds-eye-view. This is insufficient. It must be a microscopic view. Every single corporate must come under a scanner with regards to all their human oriented transactions. Necessary mechanisms must be set up to monitor corporates largely around their manpower policies. Things will otherwise fo hay -wire but it is stil not late.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
CHINESE THREAT TO INDIAN BUSINESSIs China a threat to Indian business; Well I think it is. Indian corporates and business community must get shocks and nightmares by the word China , but for the Indian customer it is a welcome proposition. Firstly China is a large country and has experience in handling various kinds of manufacturing, caters to a large population, works on large supply chains, seems to be technologically more advanced than India in various forms of transport and is a far better integrated set up than India. I have never visited China for that matter but that is what it seems and appears from afar. Added to these China has a land border with India and is conveniently perched vis-a-vis other countries. It is only a matter of time China extends its supplies into India resulty in jeopardy to many established Indian business houses. Secondly, China by virtue of these advantages can penetrate into Indian market pivoting itself on a platform of very low prices for many goods and services. How much China strategises on these fronts is not very well known but is relaxed, laid back and complacent but with the power and advantages to strike any moment. USA is the only antidote for china as seen from India but the US is in a war against terror and has an enemy at its front door which would drain resources and attention for long.If India were to become more friendly with china it would essentially alienate western forces and powers. There are huge and complicated equations emerging in the world polity and the market place incomprehensible for any one analyst. Ultimately the customer and the general customer would have a say as he will gravitate to directions where he gets value be it chinese , indian or any other country for that matter.
How can India combat this plausible chinese threat. Should it at all build defences? The answer might be yes unanimously to largely save indian business houses and activities.
Firstly India must be able to use the large scale manpower and resources avaliable across the country to the fullest extent. Secondly some basic form of education must be provided to all through some innovative delivery devices. the contribution made by one and all to the Ibdian economy must be recognised and appreciated. there must be a focus on price reduction at all fronts. Government must explore methods of support possible to various sectors. India must think more like a world citizen and partner with china in activities that would be of mutuual benefit. This threat has many encouraging sides which could be used by India to its fullest advantage.
Friday, December 18, 2009
THE MG ROAD OF BANGALORE
MG Road technically starts from Trinity circle and could possibly end at the beginning of Kasturbha road or at the Victoria statue. What a stamp which cannot be effaced have the British left on this city and any child born and reared in this city becomes a world citizen and a very knowledgable and affable person with a global view of things as in any developed city of the borld; this phenomena has its advantages and disadvantages vis-a-vis other cities in this country. Mayo hall is a very important British monument on this road. BPL company had an exlusive office which was a two storied outfit with a showroom in the front and was at the place where the present Barton centre stands. It was a very impressive office which was demolished to build the present structure somewhere in 1990.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
AYYAPPAN TEMPLE IN VIJANAPURA /VIJINAPURA
Thursday, December 10, 2009
THE PAI LAYOUT
I think these flats took shape some where in year 2000 and in a sudden explosion many flats in multi-storey format and very closely knit began to appear in quick succession. The growth of the Indian middle class can be seen through these flats ;especially with the large number of cars parked at these flat basements.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
THE RING ROADS OF BANGALORE
I remember using the ring road for the first time in the year 1997 between hebbal and ramamurthynagar. There were no vehicles on the road and it was a smooth passage. By the year 2007 vehicular traffic on these roads began to increase manyfold and the earlier importance enjoyed by the central parts of the city began to diminish. I think peripheral ring road is also under way which will circumscribe the present ring roads.
All areas around the ring road has seen rapid development. So much so that there are traffic jams at every junction. This is the scenario in 2009. Many unerpasses are coming up on the ring road to ease congestions.
Though the metro might solve to some extent the transport problems of Bangalore , I strongly beleive Bangalore as a city needs elevated roads in dozens linking various key points to others. I think the town planners have to think in this direction. Though the progress of work is slow on road development programmes but still many things are underway.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
CABLE BRIDGE NEAR VIJANAPURA
What resulted is probably a master peice in its own right and bangalore joins the list of various developed communities in the world who have cable stayed bridge. If my memory serves me right the bridge construction commenced in 1998 and was completed in 2003. In the year 2003 the then prime minister atal bihari vajpayee inaugurated the bridge.
I remember watching the step by step progression in the construction of the bridge whenever I passed that way. The construction company was a consortium of the indian railways and a private party. The first step in the construction was the erection of two mega pillars which took quite some time to complete. The important feature of this bridge is that part of the bridge is cable stayed while the other part is a normal bridge. This bridge runs roughly for about two kilo meters. The lowry memorial school is clearly visible from the bridge.
Congratulations planners, executioners, financiers and all the workers of the bridge for having presented to bangalore such a master peice.
This place is also called vijinapura these days.
Monday, November 2, 2009
MY MOTHER GETS GBM
P O Vasanthi died of brain tumour. What a zest she had for life but everything came to an end from a disease that would never let go. It was like the grasp of a python and we saw her being sucked in helplessly.(It is 10:45 AM)
Two years prior to this date she was diagonised with Anaplastic Astrocytoma an aggressive brain tumour which later got converted into GBM meaning Glio Blastoma Multiforme. She was operated upon and survived barely for an year when the disease appeared again, this time to take her.
On 28th October her body was brought to our house from the morgue by my father , me, sunil and few other relatives. Her front teeth (incisors) were protruding outside a bit. Don the american legal head of caterpillar, Prema Bhaktavatsalam, the father -in-law of my sister Keshavan Nambiar and few other members of the Kerala Samajam were present. My brother and myself performed all the rites at home and we took the body to the crematorium which is off mysore road and I performed many rites as a faithful son of my mother and then she was sent into the furnace. I cannot forget the gesture of my younger brother Sunil who insisted that he should touch her feet before she was sent into the furnace. thus ended the life of our mother who fought a valiant battle through life.
I must thank the american company CATERPILLAR for bearing a sizeable amount of my mothers' treatment through medical insurance.
My grand mother was some sort of a divorcee. In her first marriage to a poduval she had a daughter rohini. Fom her second marriage to edakalon karunakaran nambiar she had three children namely padmanabhan nambiar, yeshodha and my mother. The relation between my grand mother and grand father seemed to have strained possibly due to negative influence of surroundings thereby making my grand mother the sole guardian of all the four children. This was a set back and was tough. The first daughter rohini died of mental illness somewhere in 1973. My father and mother were married in 1964 and since my father had a job in bangalore they re-located to bangalore. My mother had a good life in Bangalore largely enjoying many comforts. During the last days of her life she was housed in the ICU of the hospital for more than a month.
It is difficult to believe that my mother is no more. She could not get good formal education but was very important force behind the education of we three children. We expected a miracle would save her life but that miracle never happenned. We conducted all the ceremonies and on the 6th of december 2009; my father, myself , keshavan nambiar and my sister P O Supriya travelled all the way to srirangapattana and immersed her ashes at the sangam there. My mother is eternal in the waters of the kaveri river. My brother Sunil was not in station and hence could not accompany us.
Surviving GBM is a difficult and impossible task it seems. However people with such diseases should not loose hope. Please contact me and I could be of some help and advice.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
KPR NAMBIAR BPL
For long I was debating with myself if I should write something about this person. Every other day we hear media hype of people in business or what they have done. This person is something special for he developed the company called BPL with utmost dedication for nearly three decades ; from the medical electronics facilities to telecom to television. He rarely craved for publicity but was a leader with exceptional intuition.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Something must be said about this Whitefeild road which runs almost parallel to the railway tracks that connect bangalore with madras (renamed chennai in the 1990's). During the 1960's and 1970's this belt was home for many medium sized steel plants like kap steel, kamani steel, bhoruka steel to name a few. In the 1980's there was power shortage and many of these plants closed down. This stretch of road employed many industrial workers so to say. As a boy I learnt cycling on this stretch of road. This road was narrow and some accidents were a routine affair.
With the growth of Information technology ITPL was set up adjacent to this road almost nearing Hope farm opposite to suri and nayar factory few kilometers ahead of garudacharpalya. there were four independent towers housing a myraid of national and international software firms and companies. Bangalore simply changed after this. Professional workers began to flood the city and the city began to be recognized as an international destination with shortage faced in the housing sector and the sky line of bangalore changing with many multi-storied residential flats coming up in the lenghth and breadth of the city. I had visited ITPL a couple of times. This incident made a sleepy area of bangalore find new life with economic development and growth.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
MY ANCESTORS AND RELATIVES AND PAZHASSI RAJAH
Monday, October 19, 2009
REGIONAL ENGINEERING COLLEGE CALICUT
REC presently re-christened as NIT was culturally very very different both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is a socially different place as we find students from all over the country and abroad. Social learning is a challenge to an intelligent mind as much as technical learning. The setting is simply different from any other institute. Recently the government has done away with this policy of admitting students from various states and has gone into a national merit list and the NIT of today will be a totally different place from the REC of yesteryears. There were many tanzanian students during our days. The International hostel at REC was inaguarated in 1983 by the then chief minister of Kerala Shri K Karunakaran. He started his speech in Malayalam and with the hindi crowd uncomfortable with the language switched over to English. The foundation for the F hostel was laid in 1985 by the then Education minister Shri T M Jacob. At the place where the F hostel stands used to be a tract with bushes on either sides leading to the Mini-Canteen. The Mini-canteen was thence shifted to the present location to give way for the construction of the F hostel.
I beleive somewhere NIT Calicut has a problem called the "crisis of entry point". Even today I have not been able to perfectly pin-point the main gate of the institute.Technically the institution's confines starts at the temple towards the end of the chathamanagalam hills and runs all the way to the edge of the E hostel at Kattangal which should be around 3 to 4 kilometers. At both these points there are no gates that should prevent extraneous elements from making an entry into the institute. For all practical purposes the institute's main gate is the one seen near the canteen leading to the main building and other key structures further leading to the hostels. This could well be called the student zone or the academic zone. This area in its entirety must be around 10 acres of land including the sports feilds which are for practical purposes used by students. I have not been to NIT of-late but have come to know from several quarters that many more buildings have come up in this zone. The irony of the situation is that though the campus is on 400 acres the effective student area is as mentioned thereby the area per student is effectively much lesser than what could be.
The best view of NIT Calicut is the one from Papachan hotel ;especially the true majesty of the departmental building appears from this angle and view. Many a visitor to the institute returns without a view of NIT which is truly majestic. When we approach the Departmental building from the Main building we encounter a land surface which is in a downward gradient and the true majesty of the departmental building lies camouflaged so to mention due to this uneven nature of land.
The class rooms at NIT are very spacious. We used to have our first year classes in the left wing of the Main Building on the first floor; the III sem classes in the ground floor of the main building and most of the other semester classes in the various floors of the Departmental building except for the V semester where we came back to the ground floor of the Main Building.
From a strategic view point I beleive that the entire land mass of NIT must be put to better use through some process of fundamental redesign. The good and bad aspect of NIT is the road that winds through the campus with many private vehicles finding a throughfare. The next generation NIT should be able to stop this in some way which protects the interests of the institute and at the same time does not put the public to inconvenience. As a initial recourse to such a situation the road could atleast be made a one way road. Vehicles approaching NIT from Calicut could take a deviation at 12th mile towards the left and use the stretch to reach kattangal. In the long run a fly-over would be one of the possible solutions from the temple point to kattangal thereby bypassing the institute aerially and serving long term purposes. Even other wise no mode of transport other than college buses must be let beyond 12th mile. This could create inconvenience to lady students who would like to reach their hostel but a diagonal road could connect 12th mile to the lady hostels forming a short-cut.
When I visit IISc at Bangalore I witness a very novel venture in the form of an underpass that links the institute to the JRD Tata auditorium. To me this is an unique civil engineering effort and very effectively links and integrates both the parts of the institute. Rightaway one such link could be considered at NIT too which links the hostels to some point near the guest house making the yonder part of NIT easily accessible to student community bringing the kind of synergy that is needed and at the same time increasing the land area per student that was being discussed. The residential area of faculty could be fenced and made a private area with minimum tresspass from students if necessay .
The beauty of NIT is the two valleys. One yonder to the faculty quarters and the other seen behind the guest-house. When we were students in the first year the valley behind the guest house was accessible to us. One fine day when we returned from vacation we found the entire patch of land sealed by the forest department for afforestation. During our first year we used to walk down into this valley the corner of which had a ground with the resemblance of a cricket feild and have played some cricket matches there. What a good feeling? I think this patch of land must be re-opened for students if it has not been done so.
Iam concerned that the breath-taking view of Departmental Building as seen from papachan be fully tapped as one of the measures of making NIT look even more formidable. A full fleged gate could be constructed at this point. I have walked down the road one evening from papachan towards the river which at that time was a desolate stretch but now must be more occupied and utilised. By constructing such a gate a parallel joint like kattangal could come up in the vicinity in some form thereby reducing the dependence of students on kattangal for various reasons. At all open points around the boundary of NIT barbed fences must be constructed.If possible the exit at Kattangal must also be sealed fully or partially.
NIT I believe needs to strategically redefine itself as it enters the new era. Note that when we were students communication facilities like telephones were non-existent. We could hardly make phone calls to our homes and there were no STD booths and writing letters were the only source of communication. Compared today we are in the mobile and internet age where any one could be got on demand at point of time and at any place, What a transformation. As a precursor to development at NIT an accurate high altitude geographic re-modelling of NIT must be done in some form so that it is accurately positioned to provide high quality services and at he same time gallop into upcoming avenues with ease and least discomfort.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
THE K R PURAM RAILWAY STATION
Thursday, July 2, 2009
THE BPL FACTORY
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
SATHYA SAI COLLEGE BANGALORE
Jai Sai Ram
THE INDIAN TELEPHONE INDUSTRIES BANGALORE
- ITI must be renamed as INDIAN TELECOM INDUSTRIES as against the present name of INDIAN TELEPHONE INDUSTRIES.
- Alongside making exchanges the company must make wire less equipments too of various kinds for the global market.
- There must be increased synergy between ITI and other public sectors like BEL and ISRO.
- An INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TELECOM must be established inside the premises.
- Finally the Government must ensure that the CMD of ITI is a telecom graduate and has vast experience in wired and wireless telecom along with managerial degree or expertise.
Monday, June 22, 2009
LOWRY MEMORIAL SCHOOL
BANGALORE CITY AS I SAW IT
It is important for people to write at lenghth what they see during their life times so that posterity could get a picture of what transpired.
My earliest memories of this city was going to the Lowry Memorial school in dooravaninagar where i did my schooling from 1969 to 1980 and from our home we (along with my brother ) used to cross the k r puram railway station to reach the school. There used to be a train to madras passing by this railway station at 9 am with a steam engine.
The K R Puram station during that time was a small station with a single platform and the old madras road runs above the station through a narrow bridge built in the late 1800's. However a new cable bridge came up there in 2003 making the bridge wider with free flow of traffic.