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Consultants’ Corner Volume 6 | Number 76 | Dec 2012 | Page 1– 13

And then there were none.. Page. 03

Essentials of a good Public Works Management System Page. 04

NCR Consultants Limited www.ncrcl.com Associates with


Our Mission is to apply our professional capabilities with a holistic approach for the happiness of clients, through values and social commitment.

Inside Essentials of a good Public Works Management System

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Message from Dr. RSM

Public Works are works undertaken by Government and Government institutions such as the National Highways Authority of India, Public Works Departments of states, municipalities, panchayats and so on...….…

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Essentials of a good Public Works Management System

read more...page 4

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Interesting Fact

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Business with the bottom of the Pyramid

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7 questions to test your strategy

What’s up at NCRCL? Madangi Anand and Sandya Manohar joins NCRCL® Chennai as Consultant Support. see more..page 9

Reverse mentoring

Reverse mentoring

9 Review Corner 9 What’s up at NCRCL? 10 An Exclusive Talk 11 Parichay 12 Quiz Corner 12 Birthday Corner 13 Ha Ha Ha !!!

Everything around us is going through a process of change and transformation. The broad spectrum of transformation includes the new age concept of reverse mentoring. This new technique is shifting the age-old pattern of reversing the roles of mentor and mentee. ..... read more..page 6

Business with the bottom of the Pyramid Bottom of the pyramid, in economics means the largest but the poorest people who constitute nearly 2.5 billion in the world. They are also called the Base of the Pyramid or just ―BoP‖…...

Review Corner Book Review: I Too Had A Dream‘ Verghese Kurien - As told to Gouri Salvi Roli Books …...

read more..page 7

read more..page 9

Parichay An exclusive talk with Manjunath O

HSB Consulting

see more..page 10

see more..page 11


Consultants’ Corner

Message from Dr. RSM

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And then there were none.. Dr. R. S. Murali muralirs@ncrcl.com

This is the title of a very famous novel by Agatha Christie and this book incidentally is in the top ten books ever sold along with the Bible. Any way what I wanted to tell you is not about the book, but the relevance of the title to all of us. Life is becoming increasingly complicated despite a lot of scientific and other progress. An average Indian lives in a place that is now dirtier than how it was when he was born, in a society where value systems are deteriorating at a faster pace, where professionals are no more quality driven, material possessions are regarded as priced possessions than intellectual and spiritual abilities, good characters are no more the heros in films and novels, women are no more a special category of beings, children are no more innocent as they used to be, and so on. But life goes on…. The youth do not seem to have any role model to follow. Older generation is not able to provide a role model and even if there are some they are not recognized by the society. The question is while I myself am playing this blame game – where is the solution? If we keep blaming the society and all others around us for the current situation, there will be none left including us. When we analyse deep into the phenomenon of ethics and happiness, we can understand that ethics with hard work and happiness are two sides of the same coin. Good ethics with no effective action is a waste (refer Bhagvat Gita). The guy who has become rich or famous through unethical means definitely knows that he is in the wrong. He continues to get bashings in his life but does not recognize or understand it and does not attempt to change himself. A simple experiment: close your eyes for a moment and list out the good and the bad deeds you have done. You will be able to list out the bad deeds faster and possibly with all details. You know why? The true self inside you knows and tells you this is wrong, and that‘s how we know them so well. Good deeds you may not be able to recount – for goodness is your true nature and you do not keep track of them and it is not required. But for all the bad deeds we do, we develop amazing logic that we are on the right and are street smart. I know a senior gentleman who tells me that Lord Krishna in Bhagvat Gita has said, do your duty, and today paying bribe or behaving unethically has become our duty, so we can‘t help it. All the negative actions of ours result in negative vibrations. Our own conscience does not want negative things. But the ego inside us which wants possession, position, etc. does not want to listen to conscience. Ultimately our suffering increases. As more people with such negative vibrations increase, the society suffers. Then we find an escape route – do some puja, go to temples, give donations, etc. That is why we have a society with many more temples, more beliefs, more gurus (good and the bad). Unfortunately nothing happens. Chaos is increasing. We need to correct the negative act, if we want to lead a happy life. What does this mean? We should have a lot of guts to say no to unwanted and bad things. We should have the energy to do systematic hard work. We should learn to act like what Gandhi said ‗simple living and high thinking‘. Without ethics and hard work there can never be happiness. If we as a group do not start this, soon there will be none….

The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes. -Agatha Christie


Consultants’ Corner

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Essentials of a good Public Works Management System Ashok Rao ashok@ncrcl.com

What is Public Works Management? Public Works are works undertaken by Government and Government institutions such as the National Highways Authority of India, Public Works Departments of states, municipalities, panchayats and so on. India has laid down a roadmap for planned investments in excess of $1 trillion in the next five year plan period (2012-17). This amount will be spent by a number of agencies on different public works under various modes of execution. Needless to say, such huge amount of government spending is bound to attract large scale corruption and malpractices. There will be attempts within and outside government to bypass the rule of law and established practices to make a fast buck. There is a need for every Government agency executing public works to equip itself with a robust system to monitor the execution of public works end to end in order. A good works management can go a long way in ensuring there is transparency and accountability in public works execution. Public Works Management System With the mention of the term Public Works Management System, it is quite natural to think of a technology enabled solution enabling real time data capture and online monitoring of works. While a Works Management software is definitely a part of any Works Management System, a good Works Management System is a wider concept comprising of the right policies and practices, processes and controls enabled by a simple but effective IT solution. This article identifies the key elements of a good works management system in relation to the various stages of a typical lifecycle of a public work. Lifecycle of a public work The lifecycle of a typical public work can be understood across four stages as shown in Exhibit 1. The life cycle starts with planning in terms of the feasibility studies, project conceptualization, getting the necessary approvals and tying up the necessary funding for the work. This is followed by the procurement process wherein the executing agency follows the necessary bidding process to select the contractor. This results in entering into a contract with the successful bidder. The next phase is the actual execution of work and project management. The work execution naturally results in expenditure on the contract execution as well as project monitoring. The final stage is the closure of the project. Completion of work marks the physical closure whereas the financial closure happens after all financial transactions relating to the work are completed.

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Planning

Procurement

Project Management

Physical Closure

Budgeting

Contract

Project Spending

Financial Closure

Exhibit 1: Public work life cycle Let us now examine the essentials of a good works management system across each of the above phases from the perspective of the executing agency. contd on next page

"Our dignity is not in what we do, but what we understand."

-George Santayana


Consultants’ Corner

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Phase 1 - Planning and Budgeting The exact set of activities in the planning and budgeting phase differ widely depending on the type of work, the mode of execution and the mode of financing. The requirements out of the Works Management System also vary accordingly. The Works Management System must broadly enable the following:

Planning and monitoring of the sequence of activities under various studies and tests undertaken in the planning phase;

Preparation of action plans;

Preparation of procurement plans;

Tracking of various project approvals;

Matching of cost of project with sources of funding;

Preparation of projected cash flow statements and repayment plans in case of loan financing;

Preparation of the Detailed Project Report;

Preliminary configuration of the IT solution for the procurement, execution and closure phases;

Tracking of expenditure incurred prior to project commencement.

Some of these activities might not be required in the case of small works.

Interesting Fact Suresh C S sureshcs@ncrcl.com

Here is an interesting historical fact that you may not have known, (I sure didn't). Just have a look at the calendar for the month of September 1752 >>>

-continue in next issue

This was the month during which England shifted from the Roman Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. A Julian year was 11 days longer than a Gregorian year. So the King of England ordered 11 days to be wiped off the face of that particular month. (A King could order anything, couldn't he?) So the workers worked for 11 days less that month, but got paid for the whole month. That's how the concept of "paid leave" was born. Hail the King!!! In the Roman Julian Calendar, April used to be the first month of the year; but the Gregorian Calendar observed January as the first month. Even after shifting to the Gregorian Calendar, many people refused to give up old traditions and continued celebrating 1st April as the New Year's Day. When simple orders didn't work, the King finally issued a royal dictum; which stated that those who celebrated 1st April as the new year's day would be labeled as fools. From then on, 1st April became April Fool's Day.

(Search it on Google and see it for yourself.) In case you haven't noticed, 11 days are simply missing from the month. Here's the explanation:

Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving.

- J Wolfgang von Goethe


Consultants’ Corner

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Reverse mentoring Rekha Murali rekha@ncrcl.com (As published in ‗The Hindu—opportunities‘ dated October 31, 2012)

Everything around us is going through a process of change and transformation. The broad spectrum of transformation includes the new age concept of reverse mentoring. This new technique is shifting the age-old pattern of reversing the roles of mentor and mentee. No longer does the paradigm of only the old and wise people being mentors hold true.

With rapid advancements in technology, social networking, media and mobile applications, the youth bring to the table the knowledge, skills and ideas of these fresh changes. This knowledge is not just related to technology but a new way and style of thinking. This concept of reverse mentoring is now gathering steam as a combination of fresh ideas and new thinking, combined with experience and wisdom is beneficial for the growth and balance of a healthy organisation. Organisations are adopting this concept for a more collaborative effort of bridging the generation gap among the workforce. This technique was first tried by Jack Welch as CEO of General Electric in the 90s, where he made 500 employees reach out to others in the rank to learn the concept of internet to keep up with the changing times. Although this process is gaining ground world over, it was initiated in India by Bharati Airtel and Nokia. Besides IT companies, many smaller organisations are also adopting this concept to build rapport between the young and the old. However, adopting this idea is not smooth sailing because of the typical resistance of the older employees combined with the flippant ‗know-it-all‘ attitude of the younger mentors. So, organisations need to tread softly and implement this concept in stages with the right interventions. One-on-one: Initially, it can be introduced on a one-on-one basis, where a senior employee is paired with a young mentor. This helps in the flow of ideas, sharing of knowledge with mutual respect thus enhancing the working relationship.

This method will help avoid ego clashes and develop an easy relationship of give and take. Set goals: The organisation can implement policies where everyone is expected to bring in new skill sets to the organisation. The aim would then be to make each one effective in the environment. For instance, a young person with MS Office skills can train his older peers while a senior employee can help the new entrants with the skills needed in report writing. By setting goals, there will be no discrimination and the environment becomes conducive to learning. Avoid stereotyping: No two individuals are the same and therefore assuming that all newcomers will be tech savvy would be getting into pitfalls with the older employees. The skills sets of each individual need to be analysed before implementing reverse mentoring. Knowledge sharing: Conducting internal seminars or workshops on a regular basis helps in knowledge sharing. This also helps employees develop and learn new skill sets beneficial to the organisation and also for personal growth. Reverse mentoring helps the younger generation get comfortable with the company and promotes loyalty and trust. Barriers of status, power and position can be broken when relationships between the young and the old improve. The older employees also become flexible as they realise that there are many innovative areas of learning. They become more adaptable to the changes being brought into the organisation. An environment of openness is created and maintained. The seniors not only learn technology but also the likes and dislikes of the present day youth. This helps them handle customers better.

contd on next page

The functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy. - Dean Koontz


Consultants’ Corner It also keeps the mentors alert and on their toes as they are required to learn more to meet the queries and challenges of the mentees. They are also exposed to the experience of the mentees which enhances personal growth. Reverse mentoring is still in its infancy as companies face ego clashes, attrition and attitude issues. Implementing anything new is not easy.

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However, bringing about this change in a smooth way will involve developing a flat hierarchical structure, equal treatment of all employees and respecting the experience and contribution of the senior employees. To sum up, reverse mentoring is here to stay and is now elevating the pattern of thinking and taking it to new levels in the corporate world.

Business with the bottom of the Pyramid

Add to this, this segment is also the future middle class population and the businesses are fully aware of this fact.

Karthik M V

How can the big business concentrate on the BoP segment? Is there a value enhancement on concentrating on the BoP segment? Let‘s consider the strategy adopted by Unilever for promoting its low priced ―WHEEL‖ detergent in India. Unilever adopted a 2-pronged strategy. One, they leveraged their existing infrastructure to service the wealthier customers and offer the services to the poor at lower cost. Second, the BoP customers were made aware of the product that was being offered. By effectively leveraging the infrastructure HUL could serve the wealthier customers at a premium and could service the lower strata with the premium they charged from the wealthier customers thus creating a huge market share for their product.

karthikmv@ncrcl.com

Bottom of the pyramid, in economics means the largest but the poorest people who constitute nearly 2.5 billion in the world. They are also called the Base of the Pyramid or just ―BoP‖. They are the section of population who live within $2 per day. They are usually the producers rather than the consumers for the multinational companies. This sect of population is not the focus area for many of the entrepreneurs across the world simply for the reason that they think they are not the profitable community. Doing business with them is cost consuming and adds little to the bottom line of the companies‘ Profit & Loss statement. But in a country like India can any big business ignore this market? Can they be viewed as potential consumers than producers? Is there a way for enhancing the value of the business by selling the products to them? Read on.

CavinKare brought out a new concept of selling shampoos in sachets to the rural markets of India. Reliance Telecom jolted the country with a Rs.501/mobile phone in early 2002. Global food retail outlets like KFC and Mc Donalds have product prices as low as Rs.20/-. Now, isn‘t the BoP a potential customer base? Isn‘t the business viewing them as a serious market? The answer of course is a big YES!! The businesses cannot neglect nor forget this segment as this constitutes a huge chunk of the market in India.

The simple answer for value enhancement from BoP segment servicing is have a huge market share. The business houses should concentrate on creating a market for their product so large (around 40%-50%) that the overheads are completely absorbed by the huge market share and also the large market if well serviced will keep off the competition. To ensure a huge market share two aspects are very crucial. One, awareness about the product and two, price sensitivity. The target customers are new to the product and they need constant information about the product and its use. Touching base with the target customers by the company sales force and advertising efforts go a long way in addressing this issue. This market is highly price sensitive and hence the cost reduction should be the focus area instead of Price Increase. Efforts should be made by the businesses to reduce the logistic costs, procurement costs so that the prices are kept unaffected. Ensuring economies of scale in procurement, production and distribution should be thumb rule to stay in the business with the BoP. Serving BoP customers should be the focus area for the large businesses. Given the growing aspirations and better education facilities; this market, at nearly half of India‘s population, is the next big thing in India‘s consumer market.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. - Maria Robinson


Consultants’ Corner

7 questions your strategy

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test

Namith O C namith@ncrcl.com

An economic downturn can quickly expose the shortcomings of your business strategy. But can you identify its weak points in good times as well? And can you focus on those weak points that really matter? Stress test- is an assessment of how a system functions under severe or unexpected pressure, by asking tough questions about your business, where you can identify confusion, inefficiency and weakness in your strategy and its implementation. 1. Who is your primary customer? Choosing a primary customer is a make-or-break decision, as it should determine how you allocate resources. It is simple. Allocate all possible resources to meet and exceed your primary customer‘s needs. Allocating resources to more than one customer, results in confusion and less optimal service. Stick to your primary customer rather than multiple customers. Choice of primary customer may change over time. But you need to recognize that such a change will probably require restructuring your business. Consumer would no longer be the primary customer when there is a change in demand, price and technology. 2. How do you prioritize your core value? Core value must indicate whose interests come first when difficult trade off must be made. Companies that execute strategy well, define their core values to reflect the relative importance of shareholders, employees and customers. Choice is made based on a different theory of value creation, but making one and communicating it, effectively is essential. Employees first, customers second, shareholders third. If employees are treated well, they will treat the customers well, resulting in customer satisfaction which in turn scores profit, driving to shareholders happiness. 3. What critical performance variables are you tracking? It is a mistaken belief that adding more variables to a score card makes it more complete and better. It is not possible to keep tracking so many variables for a manager to measure the performances. There is a reason as you add metrics to your scorecards; you incur an opportunity cost, in that people have less time to focus on what really matters. Monitor only small numbers-those that could cause their strategy to fail. 4. What strategic boundaries have you set? Setting clear boundaries lets organization avoid the waste and risk that inevitably accompany undisciplined growth. Every strategy carries the risk that a manager‘s action will push the business. The risk intensifies when the manager feels the pressure to hit targeted growth and profit.

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The prudent approach if safety and quality are paramount concern to control such risk is to tell people what to do or tell them what not to do. If innovation and entrepreneurial thinking are important hire creative people and giv e t hem freedom to exercise their creativity within defined limits. 5. How are you generating creative tension? As a business leader, primary responsibility is to make outside market pressure felt inside your business. Motivate employees to think and act. Set challenging goals, rank according to performance, setting spans of accountability that are greater than spans of control. When operating manager has skin in the game, they will generate ideas about how units can work together to do things better, faster and cheaper. While defining a primary customer or ranking your responsibility, choose what is right for the organization. More innovation you desire, the more techniques you consider. 6. How committed are your employees to helping each other? To create the high levels of commitment required, leaders must build an organization that has the sort of people embodied in organization mission who will assume shared responsibility for success, group identification, trust and fairness. 7. What strategic uncertainties keep you awake at night? Today‘s strategy won‘t work tomorrow. Today‘s success will be tomorrows old news. The most powerful way to signal what‘s important to you is to use your business control systems as interactive tools. Pay close- and visible-attention to the data they produce and use them to generate questions that will activate the search for information throughout your business. The system you choose to use interactively could be a profit plan. In conclusion, the first and second questions compel you to set strict priorities. Next two questions assess your ability to focus on those priorities. Questions five & six investigate whether your techniques are on track and the final question deals with your ability to adapt your strategy over time. (Source: Stress – Test your strategy - The seven questions to ask by

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. - Helen Keller


Consultants’ Corner

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Review Corner Book Review: ‘I Too Had A Dream’ Verghese Kurien - As told to Gouri Salvi Roli Books Book Reviewing: Ms Anupama Holla The book ‗I Too Had A Dream‘ , a biography on the much acclaimed India‘s Milk Man Dr Verghese Kurien makes for a great reading. The book is written by Gouri Salvi, a Mumbai based freelance journalist. The foreword to the book is written by yet another stalwart in his own right, Ratan N. Tata of the Tata group of companies. The book traces the evolution of the milk sector in India -how India which used to import milk and milk products is today an exporter of a variety of dairy products. Dr Kurien has narrated the story of the conception and growth of Anand and the AMUL brand with great patience giving importance to the minutest of details. The reader can almost visualize the unraveling of events. The book also traces the difficulties one faces in life when one has to execute a unique and novel idea, the setbacks, the colonial subjugation, the red tapism, the bureaucracy and above all the antagonism one faces in the face of one‘s successes.

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Dr Kurien‘s visions, self belief, the devil-may-care attitude in life, uncompromising stance on values, being unfazed at criticism and peoples‘ doubts stand out in this book. The life and work of this great person is worth every Indian‘s admiration and emulation. For most of us who often believe ‗things don‘t happen in India‘, Kurien‘s life shows how anything can be achieved in India. His life is a huge source of inspiration to the youth of India. Never one to mince words he has revealed in entire authenticity the trials and tribulations in his endeavors and the interactions with many political bigwigs and national leaders. He has shown Indians what true patriotism is all about and to what extent one can go to touch and evolve peoples‘ lives. The book is a must read for people who admire this great man, for the country‘s youth, and for every Indian who feels proud to be born in a land which has begot sons like Dr Kurien. (Anupama Holla is a regular reader of CC)

What’s up at NCRCL? One more feather in the cap for NCRCL! Praveena, Karthik M V and Gopal attended a CII Conference on Project Management, ―Doing more with less‖. During the panel discussion on ―unstructured project management leading to results/failed projects‖, Mr Raja Seevan (FounderIndian Centre for Social Transformation) highlighted the success story of BBMP in progressing towards a structured entity and the regular online updation of MIS information. Kudos to the BBMP team and all the NCRCLites who were involved in implementation at BBMP!

Madangi Anand and Sandya Manohar joins NCRCL® Chennai as Consultant Support. We extend a very warm welcome!

The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy. The easy must become beautiful. - Doug Henning


Consultants’ Corner

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An Exclusive Talk with Manjunath O

Manjunath O PUC Working as Office Assistent Born on 19th October Email: manjuacf@gmail.com Mob No: +91 9738216167

CC. The meaning of your name. Manjunath: God name.

CC. What do you most hate in a person? Manjunath: Selfishness.

CC. Nickname. Manjunath: Manju.

CC. Team work vs Individual work – your comments. Manjunath: Individual work.

CC. Your dream job. Manjunath: Managing Director. CC Your first impression of NCRCL. Manjunath: Nice people and environment. CC. What personal/emotional characteristic of yours do you want to change? Manjunath: Nothing. CC. Money or job satisfaction? Manjunath: Both. CC. Your Stress buster. Manjunath: Music.

CC. Do you make efforts to get others to laugh and smile? Manjunath: Yes. CC. Your heart rules your head or your head rules your heart? Manjunath: Head rules my heart. CC. What kind of special talent do you have? Manjunath: Ability to learn quickly. CC. What are your hobbies? Manjunath: Playing cricket.

CC. Do you have a small circle of close friends, rather than a large number of friends? Manjunath: Large number of friends. CC. What do you most like about a person? Manjunath: Good character.

Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change. - Barbara Mikulski


Parichay

Know our Associates!

HSB Consulting HSB Consulting (HSB) is a consulting firm specializing in 'healthcare services sector'. HSB Consulting's focus is marketing, business development and finance, covering all segments of healthcare with primary care to multi-speciality hospitals, dental care providers, new hospital projects and medical institutions. The team consists of highly qualified and experienced professionals with an average practicing experience of 15 years covering all aspects of healthcare. The team of management consultants, have provider-based experience and proven success in resolving administrative, management, and marketing challenges for all types of healthcare facilities. HSB team's vast experience in devising and implementing modern, streamlined administrative and medical practices will help eliminate inefficiencies and excess costs, and optimize resource-utilization. They assess clients' needs quickly, recommend the best options, and work in harmony with the key management teams, design and implement customized solutions. NCR Consultants Limited is proud to be associated with HSB and has partnered many hospital related projects with prestigious clients such as Shija Hospitals, Imphal, Mother and child hospital (SITEC), Udhavum Ullangal (NGO) and so on.


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Quiz Corner 1. What is the name of the TATA group headquarters? 2. Which was the first Indian Bank to open an International branch? 3. By what name is the Phiroze Jeejebhoy Towers better known as? 4. Whose television appearance was as the Brand Ambassador for Havells? 5. What is the Title of the study conducted by Ernst & Young on the rise of small towns in India including key urban towns? Send in your answers to the editor at cc@ncrcl.com . Participants with all the correct entries will be awarded with a Recognition Certificate by NCRCL.

Answer To last month’s Knowledge Snippet question: 1. With which ‗social‘ entrepreneur would you associate Purti group of companies ? 2. Who owns the fashion line ―Bal Bachche‖ ? 3. With whom has Starbucks entered into a JV in India? 4. With which celebrity would you associate the Skylight Group of Companies? 5. Which retail chain started as a butter manufacturer in Ooty in 1905 by Muthuswami Mudaliar?

Answer: 1) Nithin Gadkari, 2) Rohit Bal, 3) Tata Global Beverages, 4) Robert Vadra, 5) Nilgiris

Ha Ha Ha !!!

Birthday Corner!

Madangi Anand - 7th Dec

Suresh C S - 19th Dec

Deepak S - 30th Dec

Your feedback If you have any comment/suggestion for the editors, please write to us at cc@ncrcl.com! Your views and comments on articles featured here are also welcome!

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Eric Fromm


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