Issue 14 for website

Page 1

Cradle of Leadership Exclusive interview with Dr N. Yatindra, Director IBAB, Bangalore Volume 2, Issue No. 14 / Pages 68 /

October 1-15, 2016 / `50


Lord Meghnad Desai speaks on work for accelerative growth


India’s growth opportunities

Loved and Married too

Dynamic Duo: 38 Sangeeta and Venkatesh

Trust Triumphs

Ruhi Ranjan, MD, Financial Services, Accenture and Sanjeev Ranjan, MD, International Copper Association India

2 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

My Startup Success Story, inspiring

I really liked Corporate Citizen, Volume 2, Issue 11. The column “My Startup Success Story” is very inspiring. Please make it continue. It will be great if you could add more motivation or inspiration stories in CC. Today’s managers are looking for tips on relaxation and I think CC can refresh them. —Vinay Gupta , Manager (India Operation), GMC Software Technology (I) Pvt Ltd.

Delightful contents

I recently browsed through a few issues of Corporate Citizen and was delighted to read the meaningful contents. The information was informative as well as entertaining, often making you smile. The design and the quality of newsprint used is also very impressive. For a long time, I was missing reading, to heart’s content. It has provided me that satisfaction and beats any lifestyle or business magazines available in the market. I have immediately subscribed to it. Thank you editorial team. —Vinita Kamte, Mumbai

More insights into corporate world

I have been following your magazine (Corporate Citizen) since last six months. It’s a good one when I compare with others. One thing that I have observed is, it’s more HR-oriented. In corporate world there are great insights that can be shared from manufacturing, SCM, product development, purchasing area, too. I hope you will bring up interesting facts and insights from those area too in the near future. —Rajesh, GM-Fiat India

CC much better than other magazines

We subscribed for Corporate Citizen through a family friend. We read the first issue and we were pleasantly surprised, the articles were very interesting and well compiled. The people interviewed for the magazine are also well chosen. In fact, I would rate it higher than leadng business magazines. Congratulations!! Keep up the good work. —Tanuja Indi

Rich in contents

Corporate Citizen is a unique magazine which makes it appealing to the hardcore business reader as well as the casual reader. It has high-

feedback CC, peppered with spice! This issue’s (August 16 – 31, 2016) Dynamic Duo was an unexpected bonus - on the Clintons, of all corporate people! Though not exactly a corporate couple, but a sheer dizzyingly high power couple all the same, it made such a wonderful read with pages full of behind-thescenes titbits. Thanks a lot for introducing a fresh breeze of that immensely readable bit. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with Hillary Clinton on the cover was out-of-the-box thinking


—S Mahalingam, Mylapore, Chennai

profile interviews and business insights along with uplifting and interesting articles which serve to educate as well as entertain the reader. —Vishwajeet Palekar, Pune

It is a youthful magazine

From last one and half year i am reading the Corporate Citizen, I believe the youth gets best stuff here. All the stuff comes is so good and thought-provoking, by reading this we come to know about various things that are mentioned in. But personally what I think is that it should be mixed with business ideas for the freshers, advices and guidance for the students who are from rural areas. Also, in my view, adding new business ideas, brief biographies of entrepreneurs, something related to technology or new government policies, etc. would make your magazine more interesting. —Sourabh Patil, Mumbai

Valuable insights

Almost all the stories in your latest Corporate Citizen issue make for an interesting read, as usual. However, I would like to congratulate you on the staple and wholesome content, i.e. the NHRD Delhi Chapter. I and my colleagues who browse through the magazine have really began to appreciate the regular

August 16-31, 2016 / `50



on’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa has written this letter recently to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State of the United States of America, New York, USA: “Kindly accept my heartiest congratulations on clinching the nomination as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the election of the President of the United States of America. It is a matter of immense pride and satisfaction for all the women in the world and in particular, women in democratic electoral politics that you have become the first woman to be a candidate of one of the two major political parties in the United States for the Presidency. In creating history, you have given voice and hope to the cause of women empowerment across the world. I have fond memories of your visit to Chennai on July 20, 2011, as Secretary of State, and our warm and cordial interaction on the occasion on a range of issues of mutual interest. My best wishes are with you for the further stages of the campaign and for the Presidential Election in November this year. I have no doubt that as your political career peaks, you will continue to be a role model for women across the world.”

for its gems of insights it provides, by the captains/stalwarts of the industry. It really helps in getting the big picture, with the industry-specific insights as well. I would like to congratulate the editor for bringing this interesting piece of article in every issue. —Suresh Satoskar, Mumbai

CC is simple and a good read

In my opinion, Corporate Citizen has surely fulfilled the goal you set out to achieve with the magazine. Every issue is like a balm to my soul. In our too fast-paced world, it truly makes me long for things to be simpler. I truly thank you for this wonderful magazine. —Vincent Chandy, Bengaluru

CC always has something new in every issue

You have done such a wonderful job giving us a true corporate magazine to enjoy. You showcase a simpler time and pepper it with very interesting articles. Reading your publication is a joy. I start with Pearls of Wisdom before moving on to the other pages. Cradle of Leadership and Dynamic Duo are quite interesting. In Corporate Citizen magazine there is always something new to learn, which makes it different. —Vivendra D’Costa, Pune October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 3



ing M ow




l CASE STUDY: 27 tru m


My First Vehicle & Public Function


Those days, generally I would either walk or cycle, if I had to commute anywhere. I was totally involved with students, as besides being the Director, I was also the Rector of the institute’s girls’ and boys’ hostel. My students would often see me using these humble modes of transport 4 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

rotocol means the system of rules governing formal occasions or the accepted way to behave in a particular situation. A chief guest in a corporate function is a VIP who characteristically comes in a C-suite. He or she is driven in an elegant car, at times escorted by team members of the organisers of the event. This corporate culture portrays a professional image and conveys executive presence. It reflects the respectful attitude towards the personality who is held in high esteem in the corporate world. Any deviation from norm is just not acceptable, as I discovered one day, when I was invited as a chief guest. Until then, for me, a chief guest was primarily a person who has a certain standing in the society due to his or her academic qualifications/ his professional designation/his contribution to society. He enhances the status of the function due to his high profile. His other qualities include good oratory to guide the respective audience and enlighten them about a topic relevant to the event. Those were the days when my career was in full bloom. I was the Director of a leading management institute. I had also been recently designated as Honorary Colonel by the President of India. I was the first citizen to receive this prestigious designation - there is no such precedent in the history of India. This was conferred on me for my contribution in the field of management education. I received an invitation from the College of Agriculture, Pune, to be the chief guest, to address trainee officers who were to come from different parts of the country. I accepted the invitation and declined their offer to send me a car to fetch me. I thought, why trouble them, when I can easily come on my own, considering the short distance that I had to travel.

Those days, generally I would either walk or cycle, if I had to commute anywhere. Just recently, I had been promoted as Professor and that’s when I upgraded myself to commuting in an auto rickshaw. I was nicknamed ‘Autowala Bala’. I was in close interaction with students, as, besides being the Director, I was also the Rector of the institute’s girls and boys hostel. My students would often see me using these humble modes of transport. One day, one of the girls who had just finished her MBA course came to me and said, “You work so hard day and night for us, so I want to give you a gift as a token for your dedication towards us.” She also said, “You are such a great man and still you do not own a vehicle.” I told her I don’t accept any gifts. She insisted that she wanted to gift me her Luna, as she was going back to her home town so would not need it anymore. When I insisted that I do not accept any gift, she said `okay, then give me some token.’ I asked her how much would that token be and she said, `3,000. I was thrilled that she was giving it to me at such a cheap price and instantly bought it. A few days later, I was riding the Luna out of the college, when the watchman at the gate stopped me and said, “So finally you bought the Luna? And for how much?’’ I eloquently quipped, “`3,000.’’ He instantly said, “Oh Sir, she has made a fool of you. She was going around quoting `1,000 to so many people and there were no takers.’’ Now, what to say? I kept quiet. Incidentally, to date, my only two-wheeler has been this Luna and a TVS Moped. I don’t know how to ride a scooter or drive a car even today. I was very proud of owning the Luna – the reason why I did not accept the offer by the College of Agriculture hosts, to send me a car. On D-Day, I dressed up in my formal suit and tie and rode the

Luna to reach the venue. When I reached the College of Agriculture, the main gate was closed. I could see a banner put up, welcoming me. I tried to explain to the security guard at the gate that I was the chief guest. He ignored the fact that I was dressed in a formal suit and tie – instead he was staring at the Luna. He could not believe that I was the VIP and refused to open the gate. Instead, he rudely asked me “Who are you?” I was anxiously trying to grab attention by waving my hands to signal to the hosts, far off. It’s quite a bit of distance between the main gate and the main building of this college, so, it is difficult for anyone to understand what someone is gesturing from the gate. Finally, I could see my hosts recognising me and coming towards me. I heaved a sigh of relief. But when they reached me, the first thing they asked was, “Why have you come on a Luna? We could have sent you a car.’’ Their body language reflected their discomfort at my having come in what I considered a prized possession. Not only that, they asked me to leave the Luna at the gate. I was surprised that my humble vehicle could cause so much embarrassment to the hosts. I said, “What is wrong with my coming on a Luna? I’m sorry I cannot leave it at the gate, I will

ride on it up to the venue,’’ and did so. So, right from the security guard to my esteemed hosts, my personality got diluted because of the Luna. Anyway, the function began and I took on the microphone to address the trainee officers. I narrated the entire incident to them and told them that ‘dikhava’ (flaunting) matters more than my qualification as the Director of a prestigious institute or the designation of an Honorary Colonel. Not coming by car was my disqualification. Thereafter, I gave a 90 minute speech and received a thunderous applause. On introspection, I realise that I should have taken certain precautions instead of taking things for granted. A uniform or an attire for a certain occasion automatically lends respect. A traffic policeman on the street for example, commands respect because of his uniform. How many of us would care for his whistling or his directions for traffic if he was dressed in plain clothes? So, an appropriate dress code is immensely important, depending on the event or function. Similarly, I realised that a car provided a status – it is a way of honouring the special guest who is the face for the event. Hence, I should have accepted the offer of the organisers to send a car to fetch me. I should have realised that I was not an iconic

figure like Amitabh Bachchan or the Prime Minister of India, to be instantly recognised wherever I went. In this case, my first encounter was with the security guard, who was not literate. It is a known fact that security agencies employ poor, elderly people who are in need of money and work for a pittance. They carry out their jobs like a post-retirement, pastime occupation, often dozing off during duty hours. Thus, I found it very difficult to communicate with this guard, to drive home my point. I should have anticipated that. Perhaps, I should have brought along the invitation card with me, which would have served as a proof of my VIP status and which would have convinced even this illiterate security guard to allow me entry. For me, this was a great learning. Never take things for granted. Never go beyond the protocol when it comes to a formal occasion. It has its own significance, which must be respected.

Dr (Col.) A. Balasubramanian editor-in-chief October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 5

Contents 22

Cover story

Dynamic Duo 38

Trust Triumphs An in-depth interview with the illustrious couple, Sangeeta, Biotechnologist and Venkatesh, Management Board Member and President-Group HR of RPG Enterprises 9 COLLYWOOD

Chatpata Chatter from the Corporate World 13 MANAGE MONEY

Dr Anil Lamba on Leverage Analysis 14 WAX ELOQUENT Who said what and why 16 TOP POSITION Exclusive interview with Lord Meghnad Desai, an expert in the Science of Economics, renowned and strikingly way-out 6 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Volume 2 Issue No. 14 October 1-15, 2016


20 The Tax Man Cometh On medical professionals who opt for unhealthy, unethical practices to make money by S K JHA, (IRS (retd) and former Chief Commissioner of Income-Tax)


30 Corporate trend The Jio Juggernaut: Will it be the biggest ever competition in the Telecom Sector, with the advent of Reliance’s Jio? Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, RIL, waxes eloquent about the new entrant 34 Cradle of Leadership Exclusive interview with Dr N Yathindra, Director, Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB)


42 LOVED AND MARRIED TOO ‘Happily Ever After’ story of Ruhi and Sanjeev Ranjan, - both top corporate leaders



44 STAR CAMPUS PLACEMENT Pallavi Mandal, speaks about her first break into the corporate world


46 Survey As the country embarks on its accent to superpower status, it needs to make the best of available opportunities for growth and transformation 50 CORPORATE HISTORY Unity in diversity: The Videocon way 52 health Laughter, is the best medicine


54 pEARLS OF WISDOM Negativity don’t go there, by Debbie “Takara” Shelor October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 7

Editor-In-Chief Dr (Col.) A. Balasubramanian Consulting Editor Vinita Deshmukh


Assistant Editor Joe Williams Senior Business Writer Rajesh Rao Senior Sub-Editors Neeraj Varty / Dinesh Kulkarni Writers Delhi Bureau Pradeep Mathur / Sharmila Chand Bengaluru Bureau Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar




56 BOLLYWOOD BIZ Bollywood has transcended Indian borders 58 Social Good Sushruthi Krishna, co-founder of Anatta, an NGO 63 mobile apps Meet the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Pune Bureau Suchismita Pai / Kalyani Sardesai / Namrata Gulati Sapra VP - Marketing & Sales M. Paul Anderson +919444405212 Manager Circulation Mansha Viradia +91 9765387072 North : Hemant Gupta +91 9582210930 South : Asaithambi G +91 9941555389 Circulation Officer Jaywant Patil +91 9923202560 Creative Direction Kiyan Gupta, The Purple Stroke

66 the Last Word Thoughts on failed startups by Dr Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, 5F World, Pune City Connect and Social Venture Partners, Pune

Be A Corporate Citizen

How do you like this issue of Corporate Citizen - The Cool Side of Business? Send in your views, news, suggestions and contributions to We would love to hear from you! 8 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Graphic Designer Shantanu Relekar On Cover Page Sangeeta and Venkatesh Cover page pic Sanjay MD Photographers Yusuf Khan, Ahmed Shaikh Website / Online Subscription For Advertising, Marketing & Subscription queries Email: (Corporate Citizen does not accept responsibility for returning unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All unsolicited material should be accompanied by self-addressed envelopes and sufficient postage) Tel. (020) 69000677 / 69000672


People in the news Rattan Kapur new ACMA chief

BMWs for Rio heroes

The athletes who saved the face of the country with medals at the Rio Olympics were awarded with BMWs. Silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu and bronze winner grappler Sakshi Malik along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and badminton coach Pullela Gopichand were presented BMW cars by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in Hyderabad, recently. Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeshwarnath gifted the luxury cars to the four sportspersons for their outstanding achievement in the recently-concluded Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Tendulkar, who was the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian team at the Rio Olympics handed over the keys at a function at the Gopichand Badminton Academy. “This is a wonderful moment for Indian

sport. The journey begins here, but I am sure this doesn’t stop here, we all will be joining that journey and are there to support you. You will keep giving us occasions to celebrate,” said Tendulkar. “Gopichand, you have been a wonderful role model, you have gone a notch higher. We all admire you. You are a real hero. We need your guidance in getting more medals. I thank various other coaches also,” the batting maestro said about Gopi who is responsible for giving the sport a new look. The cricketer complimented the players individually, and particularly referred to the performance of Dipa. Though India’s first gymnast at any Olympics could not win a medal, she “won the hearts of the people of the country with her stupendous show”, he said.

Anuradha, MD of SBI Mutual Fund Anuradha Rao, deputy managing director at SBI, has been appointed as the MD & CEO of SBI Funds Management. She has taken over from Dinesh Kumar Khara, who has been appointed as MD of State Bank of India (Associates & Subsidiaries). Anuradha Rao was the chief general manager of SBI where she was responsible for the personal banking department. She was promoted to the position of deputy MD of SBI on May 26th this year. She has over three decades of experience in banking and allied sectors. A postgraduate in physics and a CAIIB graduate, Rao joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1982. Since then, she has traversed through various functions and assignments with SBI, including VP (Credit), Chicago, and Faculty for Credit at SBSC Hyderabad. Some of the key assignments handled by her include developing the home loans and real estate businesses at SBI.

Rattan Kapur, chairman and managing director of Mark Exhaust Systems hs become the president of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India(ACMA) for 2016-17. The industry also appointed Nirmal K Minda, chairman and managing director of Minda Industries, as the Vice President of ACMA. “Going forward, the industry will have to focus on innovation and manufacturing excellence, with quality as the bedrock, offering distinct value propositions to rapidly globalising automotive supply chains,” ACMA Director General Vinnie Mehta said. The auto component industry has progressed well in the last decade and is prepared for the next phase of growth, Kapur said. The announcement was made at the 56th ACMA Annual Session during its Executive Committee meeting. “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rattan Kapur as ACMA President. Kapur brings in a wealth of knowledge with a strong background in the automotive industry,” said Vinnie Mehta. Serving as the vice president of ACMA for the past one year has given me an opportunity to work closely with its members, understand the issues, challenges and roadblocks that the auto components industry has been facing,” said Kapur.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 9

collywood Girisaballa to lead Microsoft Accelerator

Bala Girisaballa was appointed CEO of Microsoft Accelerator, India as CEO-in-Residence. A former globalisation and market expansion advisory of Zinnov as Partner and Practice Head helping MNC R&D companies, Girisaballa took charge on August 1st . The company also announced that Ravi Narayan, director, will now assume the role of Global Director at Microsoft Accelerator. Girisaballa will lead the Accelerator’s efforts to help market-ready startups and entrepreneurs to scale up and become successful businesses through technology enablement, global go-to-market efforts and deep business advisory in the form of Hi-Po and Scale-Up programme, Microsoft said in a statement. Early last year, Microsoft Accelerator in India redesigned its programme to cater to market-ready startups. Since then, it has graduated three cohorts which include startups like iBot, CustomerXPs, Altizon, CloudCherry and Reverie Technologies, has also formed partnerships with Temasek, TCS, Citi, Reliance Industries and its corporate engagement programme CoInnovate, to help startups in global expansion.

‘Knight of Legion of Honour’ for Kiran Mazumdar

Chairperson and managing director, Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has been appointed ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la LAgion d’Honneur’ (Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour) for her outstanding contribution and dedication to Biosciences and Research field globally. The award will be conferred on behalf of the President of the French Republic at a special ceremony later this year, Biocon said in Bengaluru in a statement. “It is an absolute privilege for me to be appointed ‘Chevalier l’Ordre National de la LAgion d’Honneur’ and I am deeply grateful to the French government for this great honour. “I owe this recognition to my wonderful team at Biocon who have joined me in my mission to harness the power of Biotechnology to provide affordable access to life saving bio pharmaceuticals for Cancer and Diabetes,” said Kiran. Chevalier l’Ordre National de la LAgion d’Honneur, created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest civilian award of the French Republic for outstanding contribution in diverse

fields bestowed on citizens of the world. The award is conferred by the President of the French Republic. Other Indians to have received this honour in the past include Yashwant Sinha, Narayana Murthy, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Nandita Das, Shah Rukh Khan, veteran musician Balamuralikrishna and the late actor Sivaji Ganesan, among others.

Amit Chandra on Tata Sons board Tata Group roped in Amit Chandra, managing director of Bain Capital, on the Tata Sons Board as a non-executive director. In a statement, Tata Sons said that Chandra joined Bain Capital as managing director in early 2008 and was part of the firm’s leadership team in Asia.The induction of new directors shows the company’s initiatives to get fresh faces on the board of the $103-billion revenue group’s holding company. The group is facing multiple challenges in terms of Tata Steel’s loss-making European operations and an expensive legal battle with Japanese company NTT Docomo’s exit from Tata Teleservices. Chandra also serves as a Trustee on several Tata Trusts. With Amit Chandra’s appointment, the Tata Sons Board now has nine directors. “Given the rich legacy of the Tata Group in the service of the

10 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

nation, it’s indeed a privilege to represent the Tata Trusts and serve on the board of Tata Sons,” said Amit Chandra.

Dhoni out, Kohli reigns at PepsiCo

The flamboyant and helicopter-style cricketing might have become history for MS Dhoni. So is the liking of corporates, it seems. PepsiCo recently announced that it would be terminating its 11-year association with Indian cricket team skipper Dhoni. PepsiCo has roped in another cricketer, Virat Kohli in its ranks, apart from Bollywood superstars Ranbir Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra as brand ambassadors. The news comes after Dhoni failed to see India over the line in the 1st T20 against the West Indies, and might indicate that Dhoni’s long reign as one of the most wanted faces for advertisers might be coming to an end. He will be replaced by Virat Kohli as the icon for the company. Kohli is at the stage of his career where he is the leading man in India for advertisements and will surely enjoy a long stint at the top. PepsiCo has enjoyed a great association with Indian cricket over the years, and a number of legends including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid have appeared in their ads. Dhoni retired as the captain of Test team at the end of 2014. At that stage, he represented 18 brands. Now, the list is said to be less than ten, and is certainly a less distinguished one. Over the past 18 months, his association with Sony, Dabur, Amrapali and now, Pepsi hascome to an end. With the emergence of other young stars like KL Rahul, who might soon work his way into the advertisement space, this might signal the end for Dhoni. Given the fact that India gears up for a long Test season, the wicketkeeper-batsman will be seen in action much less and is largely out of the spotlight. ropes in Vivek Jain Real estate search portal Housing. com announced the appointment of Vivek Jain as Chief Product and Technology Officer. “As part of his role, he will focus on strengthening the product and engineering aspects of the business to help steer towards its goal of becoming a full-service transaction player,” the company said in a release. Vivek has over 14 years of experience in the technology and digital domains in India and the US. At Amazon, Vivek was the Bandwidth Product/Business Head for the Cloud division (Amazon Web Services) where he helped define the value proposition, differentiation strategy and pricing, the company’s release said. Vivek returned to India in 2014 to join Jio (subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited) as Vice President where he was part of the chairman’s leadership team and was charged

with building the company’s digital media business and the core leadership team. Jason Kothari, Chief Executive Officer, Housing. com while commenting on Jain’s appointment said, “Vivek comes with best-in-class product and technology leadership experience, global exposure and an entrepreneurial mindset, which is a unique mix, and one that blends seamlessly with the thinking and culture at I believe Vivek’s addition to our senior team will greatly benefit us in realising our vision for the company.”

China and PVR The Dalian Wanda Group, the largest Chinese cinema exhibitor in Asia, is eyeing multiplex owners from India to enter the Indian market. Owned by Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man, the efforts seem to have borne fruit after nine long months. Looks like, it will clinch the deal with PVR Cinemas, if reports are to be believed. If this association materialises, then, the Dalian Wanda Group will be the second largest global cinema exhibitor, after Mexico’s Cinépolis de México SA, to enter the India’n market.“Dalian Wanda Group has held talks with large multiplex owners in India, including the listed ones

such as PVR Ltd and Carnival Cinemas Ltd, and they are keen to establish their presence in the Indian market,” said one of the reliable sources to a leading daily newspaper. Shrikant Bhasi, founder and chairman of the Carnival Group, confirmed that they too had received an offer from Wanda Group. However, the clincher is likely to be Ajay Bili, Founder of PVR.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 11

collywood Bharat Dhuppar, CEO of Wadia realty arm

Bharat Dhuppar was appointed CEO of Nusli Wadia-led Wadia Group for its real estate company, Bombay Realty. The CEO of Sheth Creators, a Mumbai-based real estate company, Bharat Dhuppar will head Bombay Realty, where Jeh Wadia, the younger son of Nusli Wadia and the managing director of the Group’s flagship Bombay Dyeing, is in charge of the Group’s realty business. Jeh Wadia has streamlined the business in the past couple of years. Now he wants to delegate the operations to a professional, according to sources in the Group, adding that the company was looking to launch a few more projects in Mumbai in the coming months. It has been five years since Bombay Dyeing started focusing on real

estate, developing huge projects in central Mumbai. After the Group’s aviation company GoAir was set up in 2005, Jeh Wadia was made in charge of the property business in 2010, but Chairman Nusli Wadia was also actively involved in the business. Bombay Realty

is currently developing two large projects, a 29-acre luxury residential project called ‘Island City Center’ in Dadar area and a 25-acre-mixed use project Wadia International Centre, which has the head offices of Bombay Dyeing and Axis Bank. Bombay Realty is also looking to develop a five-star hotel, a hospital, and a luxury shopping destination under the name ‘The Plaza’. Real estate is the second-biggest revenue segment for Bombay Dyeing, the Group’s flagship company, and the most profitable compared to the other two divisions. The real estate vertical posted a profit of `277.2 crore on total revenues of `470.2 crore in FY16. Bombay Dyeing had invested `2,957 crore in the real estate business in FY16.

Subrahmanyan at helm of L&T SN Subrahmanyan, became whole time director, deputy managing director and president, Larsen & Toubro. In addition, the 55-yearold Subrahmanyan will head L&T Construction (erstwhile ECC) as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of L&T Infotech Limited and President – L&T Infotech and President – L&T Technology Services. He is also responsible for the Metallurgical & Material Handling (MMH) and Shipbuilding business verticals. With a degree in civil engineering and a post-graduate qualification in business management, Subrahmanyan commenced his professional career with L&T

in 1984 as a project planning engineer and soon made a name by successfully setting up the Ready Mix Concrete business for the first time in India. Apart from completing several challenging infrastruc-

12 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

ture projects across verticals over the years, he has played a crucial role in securing and managing EPC contracts for the construction of four major international airports in India at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. Among his list of accomplishments are the mandates to build the tallest statue in the world – the Statue of Unity and the development of dedicated freight corridors that will realign the dynamics of freight movement in the country. The construction division is among the top 30 global contractors and by far the largest construction organisation in the country.

More Maternity Leave Soon after the government has cleared the Bill in Rajya Sabha, for six months’ maternity leave for employees across private and public organisations, several corporates are already taking the lead in implement it. Jabong, the fashion e-firm, was quick to announce the benefit. Deepa Chadha, Chief Human Resource manager said to the media that, “women represent 30 percent of Jabong’s workforce and 60 percent of our revenue. Making the work culture more inclusive is an economic imperative for our success.’’ This Bill also provides the provision to “work from home’’ for nursing mothers as well as 12 weeks for mothers of surrogate babies. This Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill will be tabled in the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha, went a step further. She has announced nine-month maternity leave for women government employees of her state. Compiled by Joe Williams

manage money Dr Anil Lamba

Leverage Analysis Leverage refers to an exponential impact on the bottom line due to a certain change in the top line

We have been discussing Leverage Analysis, and in the previous issues we have discussed what ‘leverage’ means and how to calculate the Operating Leverage, Financial Leverage and Combined Leverage Multiples. We have also seen that, from the Leverage perspective, there are only four types of organisations. Type I would be where both the Operating and Financial Leverages are high; Type II where both are Low; Type III possibility is where the Operating Leverage is High and the Financial Leverage is Low; and the last possibility being where the Operating Leverage is Low and the Financial Leverage is High. In the previous issue Types of Organisation

Operating Leverage



Financial Leverage











we had discussed how to interpret the first two. Now let us take a look at the remaining two.

Rating the Type III organisation

In this case, the Operating Leverage is high. Types of Organisation


Operating Leverage


Financial Leverage


Which means its operating fixed costs are high. The organisation has no control over these. The fixed costs that it is forced to bear are on the higher side and the break-even point would be achieved at relatively higher levels of capacity utilisation. The benefit of leverage would automatically accrue after the break even point is reached, where a small increase in sales would lead to a disproportionately greater increase in profits. However, the Financial Leverage is low, and this means that the borrowings are kept under check. How would we describe the management’s temperament? Conservative? I would not call it conservative. A more appropriate word is “sensible”. This organisation recognises that it already has a high Operating Leverage. If it borrows, its Financial Leverage will also become high and it will then become like the Type I organisation. Leverage analysis has guided this organisation not to borrow. Or, perhaps, it did attempt to borrow but the banker examined its leverage and refused to lend. It has offset the risk of high Operating Leverage by keeping its Financial Leverage under control.

Rating the Type IV organisation

In this case the Operating Leverage is low.

Types of Organisation


Operating Leverage


Financial Leverage


This tells us that its Operating Fixed Costs are low. This in turn means that the fixed costs over which there is no control are low. The break-even point on operations is quick. This organisation will probably break even on a lower capacity utilization. And the Financial Leverage is high. It would appear that this organisation, recognising its fortunate situation whereby it breaks even relatively quickly on operations and has a long way to go before it reaches full-capacity utilisation, decided to accelerate its pace of growth with a generous dose of borrowed capital. However, it has still not become a very risky proposition since the risk that borrowing entails has been largely offset by the safety of its operating leverage which is on the lower side.

This is therefore the best combination to have.

The Type I organisation is excessively risky. It should not have borrowed, but it has. The Type II organisation is safe but conservative. It could have borrowed to its advantage, but does not. The Type III organisation should not and does not borrow. Leverage analysis guided it to keep a check on its borrowings. Such organisations must fund expansions from their own resources or through a public issue of shares. The Type IV organisation can afford to borrow and it does. Such organisations quicken their pace of growth without becoming unduly risky. (to be continued) Dr Anil Lamba is a practising chartered accountant, financial literacy activist and an international corporate trainer. He is the author of the bestselling book ‘Romancing the Balance Sheet’. He can be contacted at October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 13

wax eloquent

Lifeblood of a vibrant economy

Take a look at what our corporate leaders have to say about recent trends and their experiences in the business world It is not all doom and gloom

“I am probably one of the two-three people who try to push the discussion into more optimistic form. General comments coming are gloomy and majority are of the view that growth is looking worse. I generally point out that India, a large country, is growing at 7.5 percent and China is a $10-trillion economy, and with 6 percent growth it is $600 billion added. Hence, we should not think it is all doom and gloom.”

So much talent

“The key change seen in founders these days is their ambition. Indian companies have the potential to build products, services and solutions for the 4 billion consumers outside of the US, Western Europe and China.”

Arvind Panagariya, vice-chairman, Niti Aayog Courtesy:

Anu Hariharan,

partner, Y Combinator (YC) Courtesy: Economic Times

On the path of mutual trust

“We believe there is enough local capacity. I wish sometimes we had the kind of power that people think we do. This is a strong government with strong decision-makers. They are not going to listen to me just because I wore a better tie. I see us and the government continuing on the path of mutual trust.” Nachiket Mor, India Country Office Director, Gates Foundation

Re-evaluating how we look at sports


Monkey on your back

“Having an investor can be like a monkey on your back if they don’t understand the business. Many investors are only interested in doubling their money in four years and exiting, not in building long-term value. Getting funding is now about the art of storytelling.”

“We need parents to look at sports as something essential and natural. The government should definitely help in identifying talent and sustaining talent. But it shouldn’t compete with private organisations that may be better equipped at providing training or a support system.”

Everybody is interested in Indian culture

world chess champion

Svetha Rao, aka Raja Kumari, Indian American, singer-songwriter

Viswanathan Anand, Courtesy: http://timesofindia.

14 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Saurabh Khanijo, founder, Kylin

Courtesy: Economic Times

“Everybody is interested in Indian culture and you can see that, with the Coldplay video, Selena Gomez videos, Iggy Azalea... All these people going to India, dressing in Indian clothes, just putting on these ideas of what it is to be an Indian, but there is no Indian people necessarily expressing that. We are doctors and scientists here… we run this country and it’s time we play a role in mainstream entertainment.”


Healthy competition

“Healthy competition is the lifeblood of a vibrant economy, it’s the engine that drives innovation and customer value. No doubt all of us operators will compete vigorously in market. Will inspire each other to rise to greater heights, while doing so.” Mukesh Ambani,

chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd Courtesy:

LIC… if it was listed

“If you were a company listed on the stock exchanges, you would perhaps be the most valuable company in the markets of the country and one of the most formidable ones in the world.” Arun Jaitley,

Union Finance Minister


Challenge is to get people outside the system

Seize the opportunities

“So, questions for both of our nations and for our next generation of our leaders is how to ensure that our bilateral relationship is prepared fully to confront the dangers we face and to seize the opportunities that are staring us in the face.” John Kerry, Secretary of State / Courtesy:

India demonstrating immense growth potential

“India has never been in a stronger position than today from a macroeconomic perspective. The country is demonstrating an immense growth potential helped by a strong leadership at the helm, driving key policy changes.” Deepak Parekh, chairman,HDFC

“The issue is about how do we create 10-12 million jobs every year. Manufacturing will not produce jobs as they used to do earlier because automation is happening in a big way. The challenge is to get people outside the system into the formal economy.” Nandan Nilekani, former UIDAI chairman Courtesy: BusinessLine

Courtesy: Financial Express

Do you really need to own a car?

“For most people, a car is the second-most expensive thing they buy, after a house. And they utilise it less than 5 percent. You are spending a lot of money on a depreciating asset that you use for less than 5 percent. Do you really need it?” Amit Jain, president, Uber India Courtesy:

Is GST the biggest reform?

“No single piece of reform can be a be-all and end-all. Reforms are cumulative. I don’t think anyone has said GST will change the world. It is one of the most ambitious tax reforms in Indian history. In terms of cooperative federalism, this is a completely new experiment.”

Arvind Subramanian, chief economic advisor to the Govt of India Courtesy: Financial Express

Being known as an innovator country

Dreaming of perfection

“I have always had a bit of a split personality—a musician and a very serious business person. I believe in taking my work seriously and not myself. We cannot dream of perfection unless we work hard for it.” Philipe Haydon, president and CEO of Himalaya Drug Company

Pricing is not a differentiator

“Pricing is the easiest thing to change. It is not a barrier to entry. Pricing is not a differentiator for anybody (in 4G). We will continue to remain competitive and provide superior customer service.” Sunil Sood, CEO, Vodafone India



What works in India, works world over

“Something that works in India works in the rest of the world too. It is the second most important country. China, India and US, that is what is always at the top of our mind, India even more so.”

“Innovation is a long process and industry has to be convinced of its effectiveness in the long term. There are no things, which can radically transform innovation performance overnight in a country. Improving awareness measures, focusing on research, securing funding — all are important.” Francis Gurry,

director general, World Intellectual Property Organization


Jerry Shen, CEO, Asus


Compiled by Rajesh Rao

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 15

Top Position

Work for Accelerative Growth An expert in the science of economics, renowned and strikingly way-out, Lord Meghnad Desai, is better known for challenging notions and pursuing controversies on not only economics but also topics like history, old Bollywood movies and anything that catches his attention. India today is on a promising path of development and transformation, with the new government initiating radical economic reforms. In a candid interview with Corporate Citizen, the instrumental economist and Professor Emeritus at the London School of Economics (LSE), talks about fast-tracking Indian economy, needed economic reforms, human development, and the role of private markets By Rajesh Rao and Neeraj Varty

Pics: Yusuf Khan


Instrumental Economist

n esteemed academician with 38 years of teaching experience, Indian-born British economist, Meghnad Jagdishchandra Desai is a life peer at the British House of Lords. He serves as the founder chairman of Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, based in Mumbai. He has stood for the speaker in the British House of Lords in 2011, being the first ever non-UK born candidate to do so. Desai has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008. Desai secured a bachelor's degree from Ramnarain Ruia College and then pursued a master's degree from the University of Mumbai, after which he won a scholarship to University of Pennsylvania in August 1960. He completed his PhD at Pennsylvania in 1963. Desai started his career working as an associate specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Berkeley. Subsequently, he was a lecturer at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1965. At the LSE, he taught econometrics, macroeconomics, Marxian economics and development economics. Desai was a founding member of the Devel-

opment Studies Institute (DESTIN) at the LSE in 1990. He also founded the centre for the Study of global governance at LSE in 1992. A prolific writer, Desai has written several books and extensively published articles in academic journals and newspapers in India and UK. He wrote his first book Marxian Economic Theory in 1973 followed by Applied Econometrics in 1976 and Marxian Economics, a revised edition of his 1973 book in 1979. He wrote Testing Mone-

16 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

tarism, a critique of monetarism, in 1981. In 2002, Desai's book, `Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism’ stated that globalisation would tend toward the revival of socialism. He has also authoreded a biography of Indian film star Dilip Kumar titled `Nehru's Hero: Dilip Kumar in the life of India’, wherein he discovered parallels between the socio-political arena in India and its reflection on screen. Desai retired from the LSE in 2003.

Q &A You are of view that privatisation has its advantages. How do we encourage privatisation in a country like India where the regulatory mechanism is not very good and there is lack of accountability?

“There are lots of great economists in India; there's no problem with that. Is India a lousy economy? It was a very sluggishly growing economy. But economists don't make (the) economy-economies make themselves. The problem is how you give incentives to people to work harder, how to innovate, how to migrate to get jobs. What people do with themselves is what the economy is” —Lord Meghnad Desai Courtesy:

sive about trends. Brexit is the manifestation of defensive attitudes. I think once the economy starts reviving we will grow, but the next three to five years, we need to be watchful.

Because regulatory mechanism is not very What impact will Brexit have to the Indian good, non-regulation is not a problem. It will economy? ultimately be competition. You make the openNot much. Basically because Brexit will make UK more amenable to FTA, it should help ing of private sector easier-because it is not India. Because India has very high prestige in there. But still people’s motives will be there. UK-as an investor, India Take for example the edis a large investor. ucation sector, if I have “With GST, the more information about government can bring the variety of colleges in With the new governIndia-I as a consumer can in whole set of reforms. ment bringing out rechoose where to go. InforI am very confident that forming policies, do you mation about what exists, see any big economic the government will what consumer wants is changes in the future? work for accelerative very important-so let’s I see it as a very positive growth. They can really sign. I think with GST, not regulate, let’s increase information. Now for exthe government can bring pursue the ease-ofample in the UK, all unidoing-business and cut in whole set of reforms. I am very confident that the versities are online-so out the middlemen” government will work for people can judge which accelerative growth. They university they want adcan really pursue the ease-of-doing-business mission in. So, information plus competition and cut out the middlemen. Lot of corruption is the ideal formula. happens because of too many gatekeepers. I see many magazines are publishing rankWhat you really need in India is to remove ings for business colleges; they don’t make distrust as a default option. Therefore, you remuch sense except for embellishment. Again in terms of information provided here, in quire so many documented proofs. The coloorder that people will discern which better nial system regarded the Indian rigid structure information path is provided. Today’s young and after 70 years of freedom we have not lost people they are technology savvy and they are the distress that the state has created. And it demanding transparency. is economically costly. I strongly believe that attitude is the problem.

Why is FDI in education opposed in India?

Across the Indian political spectrum, nobody likes foreign involvement. I think they are afraid of competition. The HRD Ministry should set a goal of bringing five Indian universities in the top 200 in the world, within 10 years. It is shameful that India does not have a single university in the top 200 in the world, whereas China has seven of them. At last in the banking sector we are about to create a mark.

Has India’s monetary policy helped in bringing down India’s rate of inflation?

We all understand your liberal outlook towards education. What is the scenario like in the UK?

Has the government failed to keep their promise of combating the menace of black money and tax evasion?

We are going through a long depression from 2008 onwards and people have become defen-

If we could separate out items of daily purchase-that’s were inflation is. Items of daily purchase such as onions and tomatoes, are subjected to various fluctuations and because we can’t have substitutes, inflation becomes a political controversy. We really need a separate way of treating these matters.

If foreign blocks disclose country’s black money, I think Indian politics will collapse.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 17

Top Position

Why do we need universities? Higher education and development of a nation are inextricably linked. The interrelationship has been recognised for long. It is a foregone conclusion that higher education is critical to the nation through teaching, research, and engagement. In the inaugural plenary of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Higher Education Summit 2016, recently held in Mumbai, noted economist, Lord Meghnad Desai, talked on the road ahead for the Indian higher education sector. The summit was organised by CII Western Region and Government of Maharashtra, on the topic of higher education as an engine for growth. Corporate Citizen brings to you excerpts of his special address


hen I was asked to come here and speak about higher education, I didn’t know if I could contribute much, seeing that I did my higher education out of the country. But the organisers probably thought that my ignorance is my strength, therefore I shall use it as best as I can. The fact that we are having this seminar, underlines the urgency of the problems faced by higher education in India. Once upon a time people thought about education in idealistic terms- for nation building, character building, etc. Thankfully, now we speak of it in instrumental terms. Higher education is necessary for the economy, for equipping individuals for jobs, and the economy to gain from the productivity that results from higher education. Now, In India there is a large system of wide access but low quality. There are a few good institutions (Like the IIT's and IIM's and some private institutes) but students need outrageously high scores to get into these colleges. I feel any exam in which you need to score 100 out of 100 is not worth taking, because that is not a test of intelligence, it is a test of memory. We have created a system where there is excess demand for high quality institutions, which are very few. There are plenty of other institutes but their quality is very low. In this process, we have created a class divide.

Access to higher education

There is one example we can take from the British system, which found a way to increase access to higher education. I say this from personal experience as I have lived through that period. When I got to the UK, they had the Top Universities like Oxford, as well as Polytechnic colleges. In the beginning, Polytechnics was considered to be the choice for less ambitious people, but with

time, they themselves began to improve, to compete with Universities. Around 1991, the conservative government came into power. They had promised increase in access to higher education before coming to power, and they planned to extend access from 20% to 50% of the cohort. They made all polytechnic colleges into Universities, all technical colleges into Polytechnics, which gave these institutes access to more resources and credibility to train students and attract more people from poorer sections, more women, and minorities.

Pay for the education

Another thing noticed was that most students were getting access to higher education at a very low cost. This led to these institutes being severely underfunded and a dip in quality was seen. Most people have this belief that if something is publically provided, it should be free or cost very low. Twenty percent of people have access to the best education, and the rest do not. I think we should make those other people pay for the education too. In the UK, we succeeded in that. Students from poorer sections got access to income-contingent loans, which are loans which have to be paid back only if the student graduates and earns a certain amount of money, else they are waived off. All University students were extended these loans. This leads to Universities having the financial resources to provide the best infrastructure and staff-which leads to a higher quality of education imparted.

Education is so undervalued

In India, while ample Universities are set up, there are not adequate resources that need to be available to these institutes. Graduates of some universities pay Rs 15,000 as fees per year. I'm sure students pay more for cappuccino than they

18 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

do for their education. It’s shocking that education is so undervalued. In the case of Private universities, they charge 2 lakh rupees for the same course. In my opinion, public universities are severely undervalued. Their quality will deteriorate until someone either puts more money into these universities from public budgets, or make people pay for their higher education. If people can spend large amounts of money on their daily consumption items, they should be made to pay for their higher education.

Strength of the education system

The strength of the education system also matters. The American system of education is much more democratic than the British system. There are junior colleges, state colleges, private universities, etc. Since the beginning itself, this system was set up so that everybody gets 2-3 years of

From left (Dr Uday Salunke – Director, Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Sunil Khanna- MD, Emerson Network Power, Vinod Tawde -Minister, Higher & Technical Education, Govt of Maharashtra, Lord Meghnad Desai, and V V Khole -VC, Amity University)

There should be provision for students to pick up education in bits and pieces, without being tied down for 3-4 years. A student should be able to go from one university to another conveniently using academic credits, which are easily transferable higher education after school. Students can start working and come back anytime to finish their courses. There is no immediate need for 3-4 years of degree courses after school. There should be provision for students to pick up education in bits and pieces in India too. It can also be made feasible for a student to go from one university to another conveniently, using academic credits which are easily transferable. This way students won’t be confined to one university for four years.

Universities not worth going to

I shall now come to my last point. In the United States and increasingly in other countries, online education is very important and its availability must be increased. Once you have Google, why do you need universities? Universities can only give you information. Very few universities have time to give you knowledge. If you have Google, and you know how to read and write, why do you need to sit

in a classroom and teaching in an impassioned way? It may be possible that we could liberate the system by having a system of some very good people teaching online courses. This is already happening in Stanford and Harvard and other top universities. We could have people access the best quality of education online wherever they are in the world. This would liberate them from having to go to universities which are not worth going to. In conclusion, I think a lot can be done for education in India by either pumping in resources from public spends or making the students pay for their education, or utilizing technology, and reducing the dependence on the old fashioned and sometimes archaic system of education that we currently have.,

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 19

The Tax Man Cometh-18

They make Wealth from your Health

by S K Jha

(IRS (retd) and former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax)

There are black sheep in the medical profession too, who opt for unhealthy, unethical practices to make money — be it doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies. It is a sad state of affairs to note that those who are meant to heal are out to make a killing!

Unlike the regular tax desk which is manned by a tax officer whose job is to levy tax on you, this desk is manned by a non-serving tax officer who wishes to share his experience of 35 years in the tax department, while, discussing tax provisions. It is advantageous to know how the tax department thinks and acts when, as said by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing is certain except death and taxes”


very man is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody,” said Mark Twain. Being a taxman for over 25 years, I got many opportunities to view the dark side of people while performing my duties. I saw big houses with a lot of wealth but no happiness in the home, I saw lavish lifestyles of people, but suffering from bad health, I saw very smart people who built big business empires, but at the same time were very cunning and greedy. I was convinced that all that glitters is not gold. I comforted myself with the analysis that as long as the dark side of the people does not affect the society or humanity, it should be left at that, as it is their problem. As a taxman, however, I collected taxes wherever there was default hurting our economy.

Profiteering, not compassion

But I was really pained when I was witness to the unethical conduct of some people in the health sector. I found that everything was not right in the noblest medical profession. I found that some pharmaceutical companies were working for the sole purpose of making more money rather than to manufacture drugs to cure disease. There were some hospitals, though registered as charitable trusts, where the sole objective was profiteering and not compassion. The bad conduct of these people cannot be considered only from the prism of tax evasion, but from the angle of disservice to humanity. At the outset, I say with conviction that all people are not bad in the health sector, but a few bad ones is also a very serious matter as they play with the lives and the money of the common people. People are cheated by persons who have been trusted. To bring home my point, I will give some illustrations of

cases which I investigated. Once, I got an unbelievable complaint against a leading surgeon that he had a habit of coming out of the operation theatre when the patient was on the operating table to meet the attendants of the patient to demand more money. The surgeon used to tell the attendants that more problems had been noticed during the surgery which required additional procedures. The surgeon, once assured of his pound of flesh, would complete the surgery. The nature of the complaint was such that the complainant could not give any evidence. I made discreet enquiries about the doctor and found that this famous doctor used to do this in some cases, depending on the risk factor involved and the chances of additional money coming easily. He used to ensure that the additional money would come in cash directly to him or to his junior, bypassing the hospital counter, and over and above the bill amount. Once convinced, I conducted a search against that doctor not once but twice in quick succession. Tax on his unaccounted income was collected. But, was it enough? It was a sin against humanity and

20 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

against medical ethics. The sad thing is that it was not an isolated case. We get such inputs from all over the country, and with passing days it seems to be mushrooming.

Rob the gullible

There are many cases unearthed by our department where doctors hire commission agents to bring patients. This practice is more rampant in remote parts of our country where patients from villages come to nearby towns for medical help without much knowledge about doctors. There were cases where patients were taken for surgical procedures when no such procedure was needed. The ignorant patients did not know what happened in the operation theatre. Doctors collected huge fees, mainly unaccounted, for the cut-and-paste job. It has also been seen that the bad ones in this noble profession do not work by themselves. They work in a team to cheat patients. A patient is made to run around such team members for diagnostic tests, pathological

tests, radiology centres when in many cases such tests are not needed. Even medicine shops are earmarked by doctors to which patients are directed to go. In many cases medicines prescribed are such that they are not available elsewhere, except in the earmarked shops. At the end of the day, the team members share the booty amongst themselves, based on the prescriptions issued. There exists an established protocol of ‘cut-practice’ between general practitioners and specialists. Specialists have to pay back a respectable cut out of the fee received from the patients. It is really worrisome, but the system is well-oiled and greased to milk from gullible patients. We as countrymen really feel proud that our medical system is good enough to attract patients from abroad. Yes, medical tourism is picking up as we have some very good doctors and good hospitals available at comparatively lower cost. But, in this shining field too there are some black sheep. I had conducted a search action against a doctor in Mumbai, who was well-known for treating patients from the Middle East countries. The doctor was attached to a leading hospital. We seized the doctor’s diary which indicated that the doctor was collecting huge money from the patients, which included heavy expenditure on the hospitality and entertainment of the patients. The expenditure on medical work was much less compared to other expenses. The medical expenditure was routed through the hospital, while other expenditure and connected additional income was routed through the bank account of the associates of the doctor. Tax was collected from the doctor. This case showed us as to how a good doctor can become a good entrepreneur while spoiling our image internationally. There was another search conducted by me against a renowned surgeon in Mumbai. He was attached to all the leading hospitals, but he also ran his private clinic with 20 beds for indoor patients. His modus operandi was not to discharge patients from his private clinic until a new patient was admitted as a replacement.

Organs mean money

Recently, there was a news report that some doctors and the chief executive of a leading hospital were arrested on the allegation that they were part of a racket of illegal kidney transplantation. Such allegations are not new. My experience of investigation in the affairs of hospitals and doctors also led me to the conclusion that in many cases money can buy the organs of the poor. Everybody knows this, and some doctors, forgetting the ethics of the noblest profession, also indulge in the illegal trade. Similar cases were detected by our search when big doctors did illegal trade in sex determination tests and killing our daughters in the womb for a good fee. The renta-womb practice has so far has not been declared illegal, but it also involves good money and about

3,000 clinics have mushroomed in the country. It is estimated that the business turnover here is roughly `1,000 crore. When we talk about some unethical doctors, there are related hospitals too where unethical practices are undertaken, or the emphasis is more on money-making than on compassion and feelings for the patients. At the cost of repetition, I say that all hospitals, like all doctors, are not bad.

‘Target’-oriented practice

In one case, I noticed that hospitals had given targets to doctors for angioplasty and high-value surgical procedures so that the hospital can have a higher turnover and the doctors can have a target-share of the pie. In the name of investigations, indoor patients in the majority of cases were subjected to multiple diagnostic tests. As a taxman, I cannot comment on the medical necessity of those tests, but I can say that bills raised on the patients had swelled. Income tax investigations revealed that kickbacks were paid in unaccounted cash to the promoters of the hospital. The patients paid more for the used consumables when they actually cost less. I share two incidents which really pained me, the first incident relates to a well-known hospital of the country in Mumbai where I was a witness. A poor unknown man collapsed with a massive heart attack near the gate of the hospital. Some good Samaritans took him to that hospital as it was the nearest hospital. He was not admitted for care and treatment as no money was paid and the patient died within the premises of the hospital. During that same time a rich man came in his luxurious car and he was admitted for care when he was just suffering from minor flu. I enquired with the hospital management, which was run by a public charitable trust, as to why the poor man was not admitted to the general ward if there was nobody to pay the admission fee, since, as per the terms of registration as a public charitable hospital, general wards have to be kept. The hospital replied that there was the mandatory general ward, but it was full with patients. To my surprise, I found that only 15 beds were available in the general ward, where it only admitted its own employees. The hospital was not paying any income tax as its income was exempt since it was a public charitable trust and was supposed to work on the principles of compassion and medical need. In the second case, which is related to a big government hospital, I saw that in the ICU where serious patients

are kept, a doctor was sitting and smoking. The patients in the hospital were poor and there was nobody to challenge the doctor. The doctor and the hospital management were insensitive to the health of the poor who had come for treatment.

Push the medicines

“The best doctor gives the least medicines,” said Benjamin Franklin. But, in many cases, we see differently. There can be a positive argument that many medicines are prescribed by our doctors for pressing medical reasons. I got a different answer while scrutinising cases of some leading pharma companies. All these companies had spent huge money on hospitality, giving gifts and foreign travel for the doctors to promote their drug. The expenditure on doctors amounted to something like a bribe, which is not permitted by the ethics code of the medical council. I did try to disallow the claimed expenditure, but the appellate authorities said that doctors were not public servants and hence payments to doctors or expenditure on them could not be held illegal expenditure and disallowed as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act. Expenditure of a personal nature on doctors worked as a catalyst for the prescription of drugs for the pharma company which indulged in such expenditure, and this at times is the reason for the prescription of many drugs. Pharma companies accepted before me that it is an established practice. One company that I was scrutinizing was manufacturing some unheard-of medicines as well as a large number of vitamin supplements. On my questioning about the nature of the drugs produced, the company was candid enough to admit that their products go to backward states and doctors there are made known about the products by their representatives. The underlying theme of their reply was that their products are for poor, backward and gullible patients. ‘Health is wealth’, but in the present world this wealth is completely transformed from physical wealth to material wealth. Some leading pharma companies do clinical trials on our poor countrymen without any safeguards and use them as guinea pigs. Patients become the ATMs of some unethical doctors. When one-third of Indians live below the poverty line, when the majority of us are poor, we deserve to have a more compassionate health system. In the words of the Dalai Lama, “If you want others to be happy, practise compassion; if you want to be happy, practise compassion”.

There are many cases unearthed by our department where doctors hire commission agents to bring patients, especially from small towns

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 21

Cover Story Dynamic Duo: 38

Sangeeta and Venkatesh

Trust triumphs When mutual trust, respect and friendship combine together in harmony, the recipe for a successful marriage is born. And it lives on happily, ever after. Biotechnologist Sangeeta and Corporate Stalwart Venkatesh are stellar examples of this successful togetherness


ome people fall in love but some grow with it. Bangalore-based Biotechnologist Sangeeta Venkatesh and her husband and corporate HR guru Venky fall in the second category. For, even when they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend at a birthday party where sparks flew instantly as they started liking each other, they probably knew what Albert Einstein had once said, “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” So, instead of justifying it by saying things like “love is blind,” they simply accepted it. But was it love at first sight? Smiles Sangeeta, “So, you want a straight answer …All I can say is, we met at my school friend’s birthday party who was also known to Venky. You must ask him about what attracted him to me, but I found he was like no other person I had met till then. What attracted me were his sound value systems, clarity of thinking, and a wide range of interests which included our passion for music. It also helped that he came from a wonderful family. And, let me add, he was a good looking young man too,” she concludes with a twinkle in her eyes. Venky’s version too is somewhat similar. “Yes, ours is a love marriage. We met through some common friends in Bangalore. In fact, it was a friend’s party where we met for the first time and in a year's time, we were married. In fact, just a few weeks back, we celebrated our 25th marriage anniversary too,” he points out. Was he studying at that time? “No, no, no,” says Venky, adding, “We met much later when I was working.” Currently Management Board Member and

By PRADEEP MATHUR President-Group HR of RPG Enterprises, he was at ITC when they married. He has had a highly successful three decade long corporate journey. As Sangeeta discovered, what strikes you is his ability to stand out and present himself time and again as a leader, not a follower satisfied with the status quo. Having worked across multiple sectors—-FMCG, energy, telecom/IT services, textiles/fashion/retail and metals & mining ---Venky’s rich experience spans MNCs, diversified Indian business groups, private equity and consulting.

Leading all the way

A product of Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences, he got campus placement soon after completing his Master’s in Personnel Management in one of the finest Indian conglomerates, the $8.3 billion ITC Ltd. He could have continued in ITC till his retirement but being someone who was born with an entrepreneurial DNA and a neverending quest for more knowledge and newer experiences, he went on to work for several marquee companies like Powergen Plc (Director HR-India/Middle East), BPL Innovision Business Group (Executive VP-Group HR), Arvind Ltd (Group President- HR) and such others. But perhaps his most challenging assignment was to provide Global HR leadership as President GroupHR to the $13 billion Vedanta Resources, a listed company in the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of FTSE 250 index. Venky handled key assignments in this Indian-origin company with a globally diversified metal and mining profile with deep interests in non-ferrous metals including zinc, lead, silver, copper, aluminium, power, as well as iron ore and oil & gas operations. He led Vedanta’s HR function across its business

22 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

operations spread across India, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Liberia, Ireland and Sri Lanka as it kept acquiring new companies, adding thousands of employees to its working landscape. Though entrepreneurship comes with no guarantees as it is synonymous with risk-taking, Venky got bitten by this bug in the post-Vedanta phase. He founded a boutique HR advisory firm ‘Svanishta’, offering a new concept in outsourcing strategic HR initiatives to CEOs of companies across sectors including healthcare, auto, textiles/fashion and IT. As their HR advisor, Venky offered several transformative initiatives and unique products to his clients but unfortunately his dream venture could not last long and hit an inflexion point after about four years - .challenges being funding and consequently scaling up. But it did not deter him to give up his enthusiasm and so he re-entered the corporate world in 2014 with fresh energy to write a new success story for Harsh Goenka-led $3 billion RPG Enterprises. Comprising over 15 companies in the areas of infrastructure, tyres, technology, and speciality, Venky is trying to make an impact with his spirit of innovation in companies like Ceat Tyres, IT firm Zensar Technologies, infrastructure company KEC International and pharmaceutical company RPG Life Sciences, to name a few. So, how were the early days of their post-marriage journey? Reminisces Sangeeta, “Oh, they were lovely. When I got married, Venky was with ITC where the culture was akin to the Armed Forces which I was familiar with. I think it was a great experience as ITC was like a large family.” But what happened later when Venky switched over to other corporate giants like

What attracted me to him were his sound value systems, clarity of thinking, and a wide range of interests which included music. It also helped that he came from a wonderful family. And, let me add, he was a good looking young man too Sangeeta

Pics: sanjay md

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 23

Cover Story Powergen, BPL, Arvind Group and Vedanta, to name a few? Sangeeta states, “Well, you’re right. Venky worked with many other corporate entities after ITC, but that has not affected our personal life except for the fact that he was travelling much, much more.”

‘Army’ armed

Incidentally, Sangeeta was born in Bangalore, to an army officer/ civil engineer father and a mother who was a school teacher. Going down memory lane, she recalls, “Thanks to being an ‘army brat’ I have had the privilege of traversing the length and breadth of the country. Perhaps the best childhood memories were when my father was posted in Arunachal Pradesh with the Border Roads. However, thanks to the frequent transfers, my parents deemed it fit to put me in a boarding school so that my education would not suffer. Thereafter, I studied at the Lawrence School, Lovedale which is nestled in the pretty environs of the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. The school In a traditional mode has perhaps been a major influence in my life and I had the good fortune of being the Head Girl and being awarded the President’s Medal in my final year at school. From an early age I had this urge to ‘clean up’ the country but did not know how to! I was dreaming of a ‘Swachch Bharat’ even back then!” So, what led her to become a biotechnologist? Says Sangeeta, “I did BSc from Bangalore University and MSc in Biotechnology from MS University, Baroda. I was part of the 2nd batch of students after the course was introduced in the country. Biotechnology broadly can be defined as the use of biological processes for the betterment of the humankind and the environment. For me the environment and our Planet Earth have meant more than anything else. Indeed I opted to work on the problem of sanitising sewage sludge for use as fertiliser for my Masters programme dissertation. Subsequently I went on to be a Researcher at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. However, I took a break from research after marriage and to be a full time mother of two boys. Also, Venkatesh was transferred to Saharanpur and the location did not give me scope for work.” So, how was her journey into the professional world and the kind of jobs she did when she

got back to work in the past few years? Says she, “After we got back to Bangalore, I tried to pick up from where I had left off, albeit slowly. I had a stint as a Special Correspondent with the national magazine ‘Education World’ and this gave me an opportunity to write on issues relating to education, science and the environment. I also managed to do a course in ‘Environmental Journalism’ at the Centre for Environment Education. Thereafter I joined the ‘Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology’ (IBAB) as a Consultant. This was the time when Bangalore was getting prominence not

Some people fall in love but for some, love grows on them. They probably knew what Albert Einstein had once said, “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love”

Young days

just as an IT hub but as a Biotech hub too. At IBAB, I co-organised a conference with Prof Dr Shyama Ramani, who is currently a professor of Economics at the United Nations University at Maastricht, Netherlands. Meeting her has been a major turning point in my career as I have had the opportunity to work on international biotech projects with top universities in the US and Canada. Alongside I have also been a freelance writer too and have also published a book titled Celebrating the Earth - Stories about Prithvi.”

Whose waste?

Continuing with her story a bit further, she adds, “My interest in waste management was triggered when we moved to our home in Whitefield in suburban Bangalore in 2002. I observed truckloads of trash been taken from our community and being dumped near a village called Hoskote. It was horrific – like dumping your house waste in someone else’s backyard. I researched and contacted Waste Wise, an NGO,

24 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

to come and help us and we were perhaps one of the few communities to start segregation and scientific management of waste. It was my first exposure to the awful concept of landfills which is the cause of groundwater and soil pollution and a host of other environmental issues.” Sangeeta is currently Research Director of a social enterprise called SocioTech Innovation4Change (Sti4Change), which she co-founded with her colleague Prof Shyama Ramani. Talking about how she got associated with it, she recalls, “The 2004 tsunami changed my career graph. Prof Ramani was dismayed at the devastation that was caused by the tsunami. She decided to work for Kameshwaram, a coastal village near Nagapattinam. Our discussions with the residents of Kameshwaram revealed that prior to the tsunami there was plenty of green cover with trees, which helped the women of the village to defecate in the open. The men in turn used the beach. The village did not feel the need to have toilets at all, even though these sites attracted mosquitoes during the monsoons, leading to diseases. Post-tsunami, it became a challenge for women to find secluded spots to relieve themselves who sought privacy in rubbish heaps, where there was danger of getting bitten by rats, scorpions and even snakes. Moreover, women could relieve themselves only at dawn and then had to wait again until dusk. Sexual harassment was also a reality for the hapless women. Hence, we took up sanitation coverage for women as a priority. This led to the formation of the Friend in Need, India (or FIN Trust) which functions as an action-research unit with strong participation of students and volunteers from various walks of life. We are trying out various forms of ‘decentralised’ and sustainable systems of sanitation which recycles human waste without any risk of contamination.” We found that there was also a need for research and documentation of studies on sanitation and as Research Director of Sti4Change, I am now actively involved in the area of school sanitation and waste management. Needless to say I am very happy and passionate about doing this work which is trying to address the most basic need of a human being.” By the way, what happened when all of a sudden Venky left his cosy job at Vedanta to become an entrepreneur with his HR advisory firm ‘Svanishta’? Talking about that experience for the family and how did this name come about, reminisces Sangeeta, “That was an

tially you might not earn the income that will give you that kind of life-style, so you should be prepared for that. But one thing you must always keep in mind is: Never ever compromise on ethics and values because these are non-negotiable. Don't be political in organisations because it doesn't pay in the long term. Reputation is the only asset we have. I've realised people who try to play with all of this—even very big people having big names-- have crashed eventually.

interesting phase in our lives when Venky turned entrepreneur. I don’t say this because I am his wife but Venky is a ‘doer’ and is unafraid to take risks albeit calculated ones. Though Svanishta kept him busy, he had more time with the boys who were in their teens at that time and that was wonderful. The word ‘Svanishta’ gets its root from the Sanskrit words ‘Sva’ which means ‘one’s own’ and ‘Nishta’ which means ‘faith’ or ‘proficiency’ and we thought it was an appropriate name for one’s own entrepreneurial journey!”

Tied by values

Both Sangeeta and Venky are very deeply attached to their sons. Talking about them, she says, “Achintya is 22 years and Ananjan 19. Achintya is in his 2nd year of MBA at TAPMI, Manipal and Ananjan is in the sophomore year of his Bachelor’s degree in Business at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Achintya is an extremely talented artist and a voracious reader while Ananjan has his leanings towards music and we encourage them to pursue those passions in addition to their academics. I think we are done with the ‘bringing them up’ part but we are always there when they need our support. The values that we have tried to inculcate in them are the ones we believe are time-tested and eternal-- ‘Faith in the Almighty’, ‘Faith in yourself ’, and sound ethics,” she points out. Answers Venky, on his aspirations for his sons, “They have to be good human beings with good values because we’ve tried to give them the same family values we received from our parents and which have continued in our family ever since. So, I only hope that they take it forward.” Talking about how they chose their subjects, Venky adds, “Yes, they both decided their subjects themselves. In fact, I give them the freedom to do something very different. I told my elder son, who is a good artist, if you want to follow art, go to France or Germany and learn art. I said I'll support you. I didn't want him to do an MBA or CA or anything like that. In fact, even now, I ask him, are you sure you want to do an MBA? to which he says, ‘Look, it’s very unusual. Generally it is the other way round, but here my father himself is so pushy!’ But I don't put any pressure on them. They have to create their own success. They will also learn through mistakes as all of us have learnt.”

How do they manage work-life balance? Sangeeta: I take up as much work as I can manage and the family will always be my priority. I think we all get involved as a family while resolving any issue but I admit we rely on Venky’s sound advice at all times. Venky: I follow a strong work ethic culture without infringing on too much personal time.

What about their hobbies and leisure activities? Sangeeta: I like to swim

and work out. I have learnt Hindustani classical music Sangeeta and Venkatesh with their sons Achintya and Ananjan for many years and I love this genre of music. I also enjoy retro English and Hindi music. All of us in the family like to travel – both domestic and international. If it is just the two of us, then Goa is a favourite. We like to take pilgrimages too as often as possible. Venky: I love travelling and my other hobbies include music and reading autobiographies. Recently I read a book about Alexander and another book on Egyptian history. I used to find time for travelling. Now I'm not finding time for personal travel but business travel we do all the time.” It’s all about self-awareness and self-discipline.

‘Truckloads of trash were taken from our community and dumped near a village called Hoskote. It was horrific – like dumping your house waste in someone else’s backyard’

What is it that keeps a marriage going? What is their advice to youngsters? Sangeeta: Mutual respect and friendship. Young-

sters are smart enough, but I would add that any relationship should flow naturally without analysing who ‘takes’ or ‘gives’ more - as is often discussed these days. Venky: Mutual understanding, trust and appreciation. As for today's youngsters, I think they are pretty aware. They are far deeper in their thinking than us. They only need a little bit of resilience. They must not be disheartened by failures or lack of success. Don't get pressurised by peers or even by your father and mother about what you want to do. Carve your own path. Whatever you do, be clear that money may not come immediately and life may still be hard. You may have grown up in very luxurious surroundings but when you start your own careers, and tomorrow you want to do something which is off the beaten track, ini-

Are you happy and satisfied with your achievements? Sangeeta: Professionally I want to do much

more. And, in the coming years I see myself working with schools on sanitation and waste management programmes including working on modules for teacher training. I think this alone will take a life time. Venky: No matter what goal I have, after achieving it, I feel that I need to do more because I’m never satisfied. To me, satisfaction does not come from money or material things. It is a question of your attitude and feelings about who and what you are.

What is the philosophy of your life? Sangeeta: Be at peace with any situation! Or else

work towards resolving situations that do not give you peace. Venky: Be willing to go where nobody else will to make it happen.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 25

Cover Story

Pics: Yusuf Khan

26 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Cover Story

Live to conquer There is an old saying, “No risk, no gain” and so, if you’re not where you want to be in life, then you must start taking positive, calculated risks, as Corporate India’s top HR boss Venky’s career journey illustrates…


axwell Maltz, American cosmetic surgeon and author of Psycho-Cybernetics, once said, “Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” Though HR leaders in India’s corporate sector are generally not known for taking risks, there are few who consciously do. Mumbai-based S ‘Venky’ Venkatesh is one such. Now Management Board Member and President-Group HR of RPG Enterprises, he has worked across multiple sectors—-FMCG, Energy, Telecom/IT services, Textiles/fashion/ retail and Metals & mining --- -- with MNCs, diversified Indian business groups, private equity and consulting. To know how he navigated through his exciting career journey, Corporate Citizen spoke to this extremely soft-spoken and tall HR leader who considers himself a ‘people evangelist’ and whose passion for excellence makes him truly inspiring.

Tell us about your early years?

I grew up in Chennai in a family of professionals. My father's was a family of lawyers and judges. My mother was from Mumbai and had a very cosmopolitan background. She was a postgraduate, in those days quite an achievement. I grew up in a highly liberal and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Ours was a highly spiritual kind of a family which believed in traditional Indian values but had a very modern outlook too. My father was a fairly successful executive who used to work for Perry & Co, one of India's oldest firms, which is now part of the Murgappa Group. Subsequently, he worked for the ACC Group. He also lived in Mumbai for a few years. So, my early years were spent predominantly in Chennai where I went to a 150-years-old, Anglo-Indian missionary school, St. Beads’, which again had a very cosmopolitan set of students.

By PRADEEP MATHUR What was your ambition in those days? Who inspired you?

Unlike kids of today, we didn't have that kind of burning ambition and we were not clear about what we were going to do. But I was always fond of history because my mother was a history teacher. I admired great personalities from history. For example, someone like Abraham Lincoln and of course all the great Indian social reformers, particularly Swami Vivekananda whose lectures on serious social issues inspired me a lot.

How did you get into HR?

I always wanted to pursue a career where my core strengths are utilised. I liked the whole concept of relating to people, changing the status quo, bringing up change. I would have felt very bored if I had gone for something like Chartered Accountancy and had to work as an accountant for the rest of my life. That's why I think I gravitated towards a function which had a lot of people integration and about which I was pretty confident. Even when I was young, I never had stage fright. We were not as assertive as some of the younger generation is today but I was fairly confident. So coming into HR was not an accident but destined. Probably, I would have done well had I been an R&D scientist because at one stage, I was pursuing physics very seriously and I used to love astronomy and astrophysics. I’m still fascinated by outer space. As you grow older, religion, spirituality and who created it all starts blending with each other. You don't think of them as separate. Science and religion are indeed together.

But when you got into TISS, you must have decided that you would get into HR?

Oh yes, once you get into TISS, there is no other option because you are studying to become that. For the first time, I had moved out of my hometown, lived in a Mumbai hostel, went to a number of companies for field work and then, got through to ITC in the campus recruitment.

What was the field of HR like in those days?

In our days HR meant purely industrial relations or labour relations. The very sophisticated HR that you see today was there in very few companies and I was lucky enough to join one such — ITC—which had a very strong IR function even in those days. Otherwise it was a strong HRD function. There was a management development group but choosing this as a career wasn’t a well thought through strategy. Unlike today’s kids who think that they want to get into marketing or finance or HR, we didn't have any such strategy. In a way, it is good that there were no such expectations.

Tell us about your first job?

That was ITC where I spent the first 10 years of my life. I joined the corporate office which is located in a very beautiful heritage building called Virginia House in Calcutta. On my first posting, they sent me to a place called Munger in Bihar which had our oldest factory and the most difficult place in terms of industrial relations. The day I reached Munger, I landed into a gherao situation. We were all locked up for eight hours by the workmen and before I had a detailed induction, I was asked to take the responsibility of conducting a domestic inquiry dealing with indiscipline. So, it was baptism by fire straight away. Then, I was moved to Bangalore where ITC had a very large operations and I worked as an Assistant HR Manager there. Very quickly, in the fifth year itself, I became the HR Head of North India and the Saharanpur factory which in 1992 was almost a thousand crore business. I was very fortunate that I got quick breaks. I was very fortunate that I got quick breaks. Unlike other companies where a factory HR head was more like an administrative head or merely an IR head, it was a leadership role in ITC where you are responsible for IR, labour relations and the management staff development. So, it was a good experience. But when I was about to go to the Head Office or to another country as the HR Director, I decided to leave the ITC after 10 years and joined a multinational power company as

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 27

Cover Story their India-Middle East HR Director.

But why did you leave ITC?

Leaving ITC was more a decision for moving up in my career than anything else. In ITC, even though I was playing a large role, at the end of the day, it was like senior middle level management reporting to senior management. However, in Powergen PLC, I got the opportunity to work as a Regional HR Director and that was a big job involving operations of the Middle-East also. Getting that opportunity at the age of 32 was not easy. Moreover, it was a truly global company when I decided to join it. Those were the early years of liberalisation when Indian multinational companies were becoming ambitious and big. I wanted to catch that wave. In an MNC, you are still part of a bigger set-up, a subsidiary company in India.

Vedanta was all about scale. You had to manage the diversity of the workforce. We were acquiring companies in Zambia, Armenia, Australia and so many other places. One day we would acquire Hindustan Zinc which was a public sector company, where 8000 people would come on board in a single move, another day it would be BALCO or Bharat Aluminium Company and 5000 people would come on board. Then we acquired Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia where 10,000 African nationals came in. So, I was managing diversity and scale. Then there was public versus private sector culture to manage. Working in Vedanta was like working for a gigantic start-up: establishing systems, processes and institutionalising them, leading the business operations of a global workforce. Since there was no well-defined HR organisation before me at a group level, I had to

‘We want thinkers. We want people who have extremely good communication skills and the ability to engage with all classes of societies. I think our B-school education must train them for all of that’ But if you join a BPL or Vedanta or RPG, with the global HR role based out of India, you get an opportunity to take a lot of strategic decisions which you cannot get in an MNC. In most MNCs operating in India and these kinds of geographies, you have to focus only on execution of the strategy which is decided in the US or UK or Europe. So, I decided to catch the bandwagon.

Which bandwagon did you choose to ride on? Who was your boss?

The telecom sector. I joined BPL Innovision where I worked for Mr Rajeev Chandrashekhar (RC) the man who laid the foundation for telecom revolution in India. He was an entrepreneur then, now an independent Rajya Sabha MP and a former FICCI president. RC was my boss at BPL Mobile. In fact at that time, BPL was bigger than Airtel. I learnt a lot, saw new growth in cellular phones in the Indian market and for the first time I worked for an Indian promoter. RC was 34 and I was 33. So, we both were very young and it was a good learning process. Later, in 2005, he sold the company to Essar Group. Therefore, I had to move.

How did Vedanta happen?

Vedanta was wanting to really grow. When I joined them, they were about 4,000 crores and in the fifth year when I left them, they were a 9 billion dollar company! Every year, we were acquiring a new company. Suddenly you work for a truly global company with primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and ranked on FTSE, or footsie as they call it in UK.

What kind of challenges did you face while you were in Vedanta?

establish and bring in common systems, and cover the entire leadership population with sound policies and processes.

Why did you leave Vedanta?

I've consciously taken risks in my career. I could have continued in ITC and retired after 30 years but I didn’t do that. Similarly, I might have continued in Vedanta till my retirement but again I chose not to. I have this philosophy that if you are not learning something new or not acquiring new skills and polishing the old ones, you are not growing. So, you should constantly explore and exchange new ideas and keep yourself updated about new trends and keep trying something new. I have never been afraid to take risks because I see them as great opportunities.

Post Vedanta, what did you do?

I became an entrepreneur. I wanted to try out a new model for HR. Named ‘Svanishta’, its signature line was Director HR for Hire. For a company which is between, say 1000 and 3000 crores, you don't need to hire a person like me at such a high salary. You can continue with your current organisation but I will join you as a virtual layer on the top. I'll provide you the strategy and all the push in the system and help the internal team execute it. The biggest complaint people have about consultants is that they come, they advise, they give a manual and then they go off without telling who is going to implement it. I provided them the option of choosing that last person. So, they were very happy.

Which companies have you worked for?

I worked for the Apollo Hospitals Group, TBS Group and some others who liked the model.

28 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

They had nothing to lose. If they found it was not working for them, they could close the arrangement any time.

Why did you close this venture?

In retrospect, probably this business model was ahead of its time in India. The problem was that you could not scale it up. In a business model which I was trying to float, you needed a larger optimisation. But here I was the only consultant; I needed 10 more people to help me. I needed an office. I needed 10 more offices. I needed a lot of consultants to go to companies and get business and for that, I needed a lot of investment. I looked for funding. I went to several venture capitalists and private equity organisations, but they said, this is not a scalable business because consulting is in the head of the individual. There is no product. There is no intellectual property. So, if tomorrow something happens to you, then the whole business model is gone. So, funding was not possible.

Is Svanishta dead?

No. It's there but only as a legal entity. Right now, it's in a freeze mode.

So, how did your re-entry to the corporate world happen?

RPG was planning a succession. The current and existing HR head of the group, who I've known for a long time, reached out to me and said, Can we look at you as a candidate for this succession? But I wanted to know what the company’s commitment level to HR was because it’s pretty questionable in a lot of companies. I’m happy to say that RPG's commitment to HR has always been good. Our chairman, Mr Harsh Goenka, is known to be very people-friendly and HR- friendly chairman. That was one of the reasons why I took up the RPG offer.

What is the biggest challenge you are facing in the $3-billion RPG group?

I'll summarise it through our Vision Statement that we've just developed through a bottom-up process. We spoke to a lot of people, leaders and employees. Our current vision is: Unleash Talent, Touch Lives, Out Perform, with a smiley emoji at the end which says, do all of this feeling happy. We are likely the only company in the world which has a smiley in its Vision Statement, which is a very serious intent statement. The current challenge is: how do we get our new growthdriven strategy implemented through our people? Each of the sectors we’re working in is in a mode where they have to go to the next level otherwise they will not be competent. Like, for instance, our infrastructure sector is facing a very difficult and complex environment in the country. We’re in the transmission and distribution of infrastructure. We put up those big towers you see all over the world. This company is called KEC International.

given the nature of our businesses. The other thing, which I'm personally working on, is about a campaign we call RPG Talent First. It simply means we are not going to look for external talent before we give the first opportunity to our own internal people. How do you put your bets on someone who is 80 % ready but not 100 per cent. But he is our internal person. We've known him. Why should I go and hire somebody from outside who I don't know, but who I think is 100% ready? All good companies provide the first break to their internal talent. So, I'm running this campaign to meet some of these challenges because we are not the biggest company in any of the sectors we’re working in. We are necessarily not the number one paymaster. We pay well but we are not number one. So, only aggressive career growth will make people want to stay with us. We also want to have Out Performance embedded in the DNA of our employees. We don't want to be number 3 or number 4. We want to be number 1 in all our sectors.

How important is workforce diversity?

I completely support it. We try for gender diversity in our company and want to be as inclusive as possible because diversity also provides richness. Look at our India, it’s such a rich country only because of diversity.

What key considerations do you keep in mind while hiring people?

‘I always wanted to pursue a career where my core strengths were utilised. I liked the whole concept of relating to people, changing the status quo, bringing up change. That's why I think I graduated towards a function which had a lot of people integration and about which I was pretty confident’ We are also into sectors like Railways, Water and Solar energy. Similarly, we're now selling our Ceat tyres to the whole world. We are competing with the likes of Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental. In IT, we are tier-two players. How can we become a tier one player? These are some of the challenges we face. We want to be a far more entrepreneurial company, far more innovative. We also want to be a far more ambitious company that is brand and consumer-driven, that attracts the youth. We were at one time amongst the top five industrial conglomerates in the country but today we are not. How do we get back to that position? We

don't want to compromise only for the sake of size. We don't want to lose our value systems and people orientation for that. Maintaining all of that, how do we become more ambitious and aggressive--that is the challenge.

So, how are you realizing it?

We’re now a very youthful group where we address each other on a first-name basis, including the chairman. This has obviously broken down the psychological barrier of hierarchy and brought in a culture of informality. Though it’s but a small and symbolic change, I call this ‘stratospheric’,

Somebody who is able to think out of the box, who is able to challenge the status quo, who has maintained a good reputation and who has got great energy. He should be resilient and take success or failure alike. He must have the capacity to recover quickly from difficult situations. But, above all, he should be somebody who is very good with people. I normally don't hire those who may be most brilliant in academics but who are not good with people. I just don't hire them.

What are your thoughts on today's B-schools?

I think they need to be more liberal in their course content. We cannot be teaching students only about marketing, finance and HR because there is much more to learn. We need more rounded profiles. We want thinkers. We want people who have extremely good communication skills and the ability to engage with all classes of societies. If they don't know how to talk to the labour class, their intellect is of not much use. I think our B-school education must train them for all of that. You may teach them corporate governance and ethics and values but if they don’t know how to engage with people, they won’t survive. (Disclaimer: The views expressed by Mrs & Mr S Venkatesh are their own and do not represent the views of their employers.)

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 29

Corporate Trends


Juggernaut Will it be the biggest ever competition in the Telecom Sector, with the advent of Reliance’s Jio? Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, RIL, waxes eloquent about the new entrant By Mukesh Ambani


hy did we call our venture “Jio”? Why is our motto JIO – DIGITAL LIFE? Permit me to articulate the philosophy that has given birth to Jio. The world is at the beginning of a digital revolution. Anything and everything that can go digital is going digital—at an exponential rate. Faster than you and I can imagine. Whether it is manufacturing, commerce, healthcare, education, entertainment—life is going digital. Through the ages, information and knowledge have driven humanity’s progress. When you put the power of data connectivity, computing, software and information together, the price/performance of everything changes drastically. Everything gets disrupted. I believe, in the next 20 years as human civilisation, we will collectively achieve more than what has been achieved in the last 300 years. We are at the beginning of a new era for humanity. In this era, if you are not digital, and if you don’t have globally competitive digital tools and skills, you simply will not survive. You will get disrupted. You will be out-competed. You will be left behind. You will become irrelevant. India and Indians cannot afford to be left behind. 30 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Today, India is ranked 155th in the world for mobile broadband Internet access, out of 230 countries. Jio is conceived to change this. I have no doubt that with the launch of Jio, India’s rank will go up to among the top ten. 1.2 billion Indians cannot be left behind as the world enters a new era. We have the youngest population in the world. Give them affordable digital tools. Give them the skills. Give them the environment. They will surprise us. It is this opportunity to transform India, and transform the lives of our 1.2 billion Indians that motivated Reliance to invest in this space. And Jio is the result. We have called it Jio because Jio means to

and e-banking ensures financial inclusion. Where connected Indians drive innovation and the world looks to India for the next big idea. This is our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision. And Jio’s mission is to realise this Digital India vision, and to ensure that Indians have the highest quality and the highest quantity data access anywhere in the world, at the most affordable prices. Jio is an entire ecosystem that will allow Indians to live digital life to the fullest. The Jio ecosystem stands tall on five fundamental pillars: ➊ The best quality broadband network with the highest capacity ➋ A world of affordable, 4G smartphones and wireless IP devices ➌ Compelling applications and content ➍ Superior digital service experiences, and ➎ Affordable and simple tariffs

Let me start with the first pillar the network

All communication on the Internet is done using a digital language called the Internet Protocol—or IP for short. All smartphones, all computers, all servers, in fact, each and every participant on the Internet speaks IP. In the ensuing future, even household items l i k e t e l e v i s i o n s , refrigerators, air-

Life cannot survive without oxygen. Data is the oxygen of digital life, and oxygen must never be in short supply... the supply of oxygen for digital life must never be unaffordable to any us `live’. There is nothing more precious in this world for the rich or the poor than life. I believe it is the fundamental right of every Indian to live a life of freedom, a life of fulfilment and to realise their fullest potential. Digital technologies open the doors to this life— the digital life. However, life cannot survive without oxygen. Data is the oxygen of digital life, and oxygen must never be in short supply. Worse still, the supply of oxygen for digital life must never be unaffordable to any user. Doing so shows disrespect for Life. Jio respects Life. Which is why Reliance created Jio. Jio is more than just business for us. Jio is our solemn commitment to enrich the life of every

Indian. Jio means TO LIVE and to BELIEVE. To every opportunity and realise the potential of every Indian. And to enable a digital life for a digital India. A digital India—where the digital life of no Indian is ever threatened by scarcity, poor quality or un-affordability of data. Where access to information knows no barriers. Where quality education reaches the most inaccessible corners of the country driven by digital learning. Where quality healthcare percolates right up to the remotest regions powered by e-Healthcare. Where farmers are empowered with real-time information to be connected with global markets. Where mobile

conditioners, washing machines and even lightbulbs will talk IP. Industrial equipment, instrumentation systems and control systems will speak IP. Public infrastructure like traffic lights and safety cameras will speak IP. This is called the Internet of things. Most legacy telecom providers have not built their networks for data or the Internet. They have built their network to support voice and SMS. As the Internet revolution caught on, they have had to retrofit their legacy networks to deal with data and IP as an afterthought. Jio, on the other hand, has created an allIP network. This means that there is only one language spoken on the Jio network —the language of the Internet.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 31

corporate TRENDS With this single digital mother tongue, we will connect all of India into a single family and a single united nation. The all-IP design also makes Jio’s network the most extensive and future-proof network in the world. It is a network built for ever-increasing volumes of data and the best that the Internet has to offer. Jio is a datastrong network built for the Internet from the ground up. Today, the Jio’s 4G network already covers 18,000 cities and towns, and over 2 lakh villages. By March 2017, we will cover 90 percent of India’s population.

Jio’s 4G LTE revolution

Jio is the only mobile network in the country that is only 4G LTE. This means that there is only 4G on the Jio network and not “mostly 2G, sometimes 3G and once-in-a-while 4G”. In fact, it is the largest only 4G LTE network in the world. We have also deployed the largest 100 percent Voice over LTE (or VoLTE) network. VoLTE provides crystal-clear voice and video quality, instant call connectivity, the least call drops and a unique ability to use data and voice simultaneously. Today, we know that networks are moving to High Definition Video. Jio has the only network conceived and born as a mobile video networkfrom the ground up. As we progress, the Internet could offer even more compelling content than video, things like virtual reality and augmented reality. Jio has the necessary foundation to be a leader in these areas as well. It is futureready and it can be easily upgraded to support even more data, as technologies advance on to 5G, 6G and beyond. Because of this, we will be able to provide an abundance of high quality, high-speed data. And to transform India from a highly priced data market to one with the lowest data rates anywhere in the world.

in India today below `4,000. But I believe this is not enough. A large number of phones bought in India are still feature phones—and not smartphones – because large sections of society find even the current smartphone prices unaffordable. So, today, Reliance Digital is introducing a lineup of super-affordable 4G LTE smartphones under our popular LYF brand, starting at `2,999. More feature-rich models are available for progressively higher price-points like `3,999, `4,999 and `5,999. And for those users who want to hold on to their 2G/3G smartphones or Wi-Fi capable feature phones, we are introducing our 4G LTE personal router, called Jio-Fi, for `1,999. With this, Jio and Reliance Digital have ensured that entry price for using a 4G LTE network is affordable for all Indians.

Jio’s application and content

Now let us look at the third Digital Life pillar—Jio’s Applications and Content. Jio offers a suite of applications that brings you the very best across the categories of media, entertainment, money and essential utilities. With the JioTV entertainment app, “Anytime is Prime-time,” you can watch more than 300 live TV channels including 40 HD channels with access to all of last week’s programming at any point in time. The JioCinema app brings the cinema-theatre at your fingertips. Watch ad-free, HD movies from the largest library of 6,000 movies, more than 60,000 music videos and 1 lakh episodes of TV shows in 10 languages. The JioMusic app makes Ultra-HD music a reality, with a library of ten Million songs in over 10 languages. Jio Magazines and Jio News give access to thousands of latest magazines and your daily newspaper update. JioMoney is your personal wallet that allows you to go cashless. I believe that these apps will really showcase the capabilities of Jio’s powerful network, and create a magical experience for Jio customers. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce that the Jio-Apps bouquet—which is worth `15,000 for an annual subscription, will be available complimentary for all active Jio customers up to 31 December, 2017.

As we progress, the Internet could offer even more compelling content than video, things like virtual reality and augmented reality. Jio has the necessary foundation to be a leader in these areas as well


Now let us look at the second pillar of Jio’s Digital Life—Devices. As a result of the proactive work done by Jio and Reliance Digital teams with all leading device manufacturers, more than 70 percent of all smartphones sold in the country are 4G LTE smartphones. The time is near when nearly every smartphone sold in India will support 4G LTE. And as I had predicted during the last AGM, there are 4G LTE smartphones available

The Jio Service Experience

Now the fourth Digital Life pillar—the Jio Service Experience. For the past few months, we have been offering Jio services to some sections of users on a preview basis, and we

32 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

have had an unprecedented response. Initially, we deployed a paper-based process to onboard a few lakhs of these applicants. We have experienced first-hand, how inefficient such a manual process can be. Many of the applicants had to wait for multiple hours, and some even overnight, to get their services activated. This is not acceptable to us. We have redesigned the Jio sign-up experience and made it 100 percent digital using an Aadhaarbased eKYC process. With this digital process, we will have a capacity to acquire a million customers a day. And with eKYC, in a few weeks, any Jio customer carrying an Aadhaar card will be able to walk out of a Jio store with a working connection within 15 minutes. We are also planning to extend eKYC activation to our customers’ doorsteps. We are rolling out this facility in select markets, and will be introducing this nationally.


For our customers’ journey post sign-up, we have created an app called MyJio. MyJio is a digital companion for every stage of your digital life. It is the one place from where you can conveniently initiate the sign up process, get ongoing access to your accounts,

false choices. Today, Indian citizens pay a low rate for voice services, and very high rates for data. Jio will provide “free voice”, and removes customer pain points of 1. Blackout Days, 2. Bill Shocks, and 3. Non-transparent, difficultto-understand bills.

Jio Wi-Fi hotspots

Jio is rolling out Wi-Fi hotspots across India. By the middle of next year, we plan to deploy nearly 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots. So we have added additional Wi-Fi data in our plans so that our users have another way to use broadband data in colleges, schools and public places.

Student discount offer

Reliance has always maintained that Students are our nation’s future. The students of today are the knowledge-workers of tomorrow, and in their success lies India’s ability to fulfil its digital destiny. Any student, with a valid student ID card, will be able to get 25 percent more data on Jio’s main tariffs. In addition, Jio is in the process of connecting the majority of India’s schools and colleges with Wi-Fi to provide broadband wireless data access to students in their classrooms.

Enterprises and platinum customers

File photo: Mukesh Ambani with Dr (Col) A.Balasubramanian , President, Sri Balaji Society and Editor-In-Chief, Corporate Citizen

check your balance and usage details, make payments, chat with a customer service agent, and even find and download all Jio applications from one convenient location. Even your bills and invoices will be digital and available in realtime on MyJio. We want to transform the entire service experience and are committed to working with you to make your Jio journey transformational and delightful.

Jio Tariffs

Finally, to the last, and the most awaited pillar— Jio Tariffs. Jio’s pricing principles are about solving customer pain points. We have always put the customer first. And if this means changing the industry, then we are prepared to do so. Let me take you through three simple principles on which Jio’s tariffs are built: First principle: Customers should pay for only one service, either voice or data. Not both. World over operators charge for only data while voice and messaging are essentially free. So, today, I have great pleasure in announcing a revolutionary concept for the Indian market. All voice calls for Jio customers will be absolutely free. The era of paying for voice calls is ending. Jio will usher India into a new era on the Jio network, across India, to any network,

always. And in the spirit of One India—no roaming charges also. Jio will put an end to voice call charges in India. No Jio customer will ever have to pay for voice calls again. Second principle: The data must be affordable. Jio’s advanced technologies and scale allow us to provide cutting-edge services at a fraction of its traditional cost. I believe that Jio customers should be the first to benefit from this. Current market practice is to charge a base rate of `4,000 – 10,000 per GB of data! Jio will have a base rate which is more than at a 90 percent discount over the industry. Our data plans go even further, with an effective rate for data of only `0.5/ MB, or `50/ GB. And the more data you use, the lower the rate. I believe that these are the absolute lowest data rates anywhere in the world. Jio makes India the highest-quality, most affordable data market in the world. Third principle: The pricing structure should be simple for every Indian to understand. Today, there are more than 22,000 telecom tariffs across the country. Jio’s pricing structure has 10 main plans. These plans are created to ensure that every user can easily find a plan that fits their budget and their data usage needs—without getting lost in a forest of

Jio has also kept in mind two other segments that are traditionally heavy users of data— enterprises and platinum customers. Enterprises, both large and small, are the engines of our economy. The power of the data-strong Jio network can transform these enterprises to digital businesses. All enterprises have to be digital to compete in this new world. Jio will partner with all segments of enterprises and offer them competitive and unique customised solutions. For our platinum customers, Jio is working to raise the bar when it comes to Digital Life experiences. Jio is partnering with a number of premium technology brands to create a set of unique solutions that combine these partners’ products with the power of Jio’s network and digital services. Further, we have high-end tariff plans that are especially suited for these global citizens with features like the best international roaming rates, and access to the most exclusive international content. We even ensure that they have the best coverage in their homes by installing tiny 4G LTE boxes, called femtocells, within their premises. (These are excerpts from Mukesh Ambani’s speech addressed to shareholders, on 1st September, 2016. His full speech is here: http://

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 33

Cradle of Leadership Dr N. Yathindra / Director IBAB, Bangalore Pics: Sanjay MD

Seeding Biotech and Entrepreneu 34 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

“There has been a huge change, more as a lucrative career choice than it was before because the importance of bioinformatics has enhanced significantly with big data and the genomic programme. Bioinformatics has become extremely relevant and trained manpower in this sector has become extremely important. Perhaps IBAB is the only institute in the country that has been catering to genomics data analysis...” Dr N Yathindra, Director, IBAB

Research rship

ucked away inside Bangalore’s buzzing IT corridor at Electronics City, the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), was an ‘idea’ that rode the ‘hype’ wave around the biotechnology (BT) sector in the early 2000s. The perception that the BT industry could grow the way the IT industry had instilled a ‘wow’ factor around bioinformatics which gained some momentum around 2002, with the global initiation of human genome sequencing. The belief that bioinformatics could chart a bio-flavoured IT sector and with IT being a highly head count-based industry; the need for manpower resourcing was envisaged in the BT sector too. Despite the excitement generated around the sector, there were hardly any biotech start-ups. The latent demand for training and manpower development in this sector came to the fore when Karnataka’s vision group on biotechnology, chaired by Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Founder and CMD, Biocon Group, Bengaluru, proposed to the Karnataka CM, the need to create an institute to cater to this sector. With an overall mission to help grow the BT industry, IBAB was promoted as an initiative of the IT, BT and the Science and Technology (S&T) departments. IBAB was constituted as a non-profit academic and research institution in a joint venture of the Government of Karnataka (GoK) with financial support from ICICI Bank. The institute has gradually become an important institute for research, learning and entrepreneurship in areas related to bioinformatics and biotechnology (BT). IBAB started out in January 2001, occupying 13,000 sq.ft. In a mall set up at Bengaluru’s ITPL area. It today occupies 1, 00,000 sq. ft. under its management with the main building extending across 30,000 sq ft. Following its relocation in 2009, to the current 20 acre campus at Electronics City, the single laboratory and the small corner space rented at the ITPL mall has transformed not just physically by way of infrastructure and amenities but aims to catalyse the growth of bioinformatics and BT in India. The BT sector has in the past decade taken on new wings, with new bio startups and incubation zones implementing applications in healthcare, medicine, environmental sciences and industry. Carrying the beacon forward is Dr N. Yathindra, Director IBAB, Bengaluru, along with eminent governing body members, Prof. H. Sharat Chandra, Chairman, IBAB. Prof. Sharat Chandra is also Director, Centre for Human Genetics; Emeritus Professor, Indian Institute of Science and Honorary Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCSR). Other prominent personalities include Prof. Sushil Vachani, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru and Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder and CMD, Biocon Group. October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 35

Prof N Yathindra holds a Ph.D from the Centre of Advanced Study in Biophysics, University of Madras. He chaired the School of Physical Sciences and was Dean (Academic) at the University of Madras. He accomplished his post doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin and is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. His research involved computational approaches to studying structure and function of biological macromolecules. He is also one of the ex-officio directors of the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), under the GoK. He spoke to Corporate Citizen on IBAB’s future goals, the global scenario in the sector and the edge that IBAB could create as a result of its collaborations with industry and academia; also, on the scope of synthetic biology programme at IBAB that has been recently sanctioned by the government of Karnataka. Dr Gayatri Saberwal, Faculty Scientist and Dean, Academic Affairs and eminent faculty, Prof. H. Subramanya, provided important inputs on the way forward for IBAB

By Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar IISC, representatives of the GoK (Secretary and CC: What led to the genesis of IBAB? the Directorate in the Department of ITBT) and Was it purely the global hype surroundDr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, as the industry reping BT that prompted the need for such resentative. With these changes, the department an institute? of IT was gradually converted to the Department Dr Yathindra (team): Yes, the biotech sector of IT&BT and more recently is called the Departstarted with much hype. When you have hype, ment of ITBT and S&T (Science and Technolothe reality is something else; but the hype helps gy). Everyone wondered why biotechnology was create the reality. Because the perception that the being clubbed with IT. It was perceived to be a BT industry could grow the way the IT indusmore active department and they felt that BT is try had, especially around 2002 when news was likely to grow like IT and so they renamed the being covered on human genome sequencing department itself. This transgression happened the belief that bioinformatics could be a bio-flaaround 2001-2002, and so we were not put under voured IT, took shape. IT being a head count health, but under ITBT and S&T. based industry; a similar pattern in bioinformatDr Yathindra: When hype is generated as it did ics was also envisaged. This prompted initiatives with the biotech sector, more funds get created from the Govt of Karnataka via its vision group and people take interest in on BT which is chaired by Dr these subject fields .It might Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Recnot completely satisfy what is ommendations were made “We have our intended but, the hype is necto the CM and in a sense Dr unique course in essary. For example, to creKira n and her colleagues terms of it being ate an excitement, to take on were responsible for the cremany people and get people to ation of IBAB which has been a dual degree modelled after IIIT-Banga- programme that lore. IIIT-B, at the time was is very relevant called Indian Institute of Into industry. The formation Technology (now International Institute of practical transdisInformation Technology). It ciplinary training was set up by the GoK. IIITs is inclusive of in other states have been set up by MHRD and these were students from established to create man- multiple discipower. In fact, the formation plines such as document of IBAB was simbiology, physics, ply those documented for IIITs with certain phrases and statistics to changed. We have the most computers. This eminent governing body; is a very unique Director - IIM, Director- Nafeature of IBAB’s tional Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Director education” –IIIT-B, Director- JNCSR, Yathindra with the students former Associate Director of 36 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

take on these subjects as it did with cancer cure in the late, 70s. With huge fund allocations, we have unravelled so many types of cancer in terms of heterogeneity and other aspects. We are able to tackle at least one by one...Hype is perhaps a necessary stimulant to focus on a particular issue. Dr Gayatri Saberwal: One of my 2014 study cohorts was based on 50 bio-medical startups, which were all established for less than 5 years then. Until then, these start-ups did not exist but the hype helped create them. If you think back 15-20 years ago, nobody thought of biosciences which was much lower in the pecking order in comparison to Physics, Math and Chemistry. But, today biotech is a big buzzword and we were created as part of that hype. What was the funding model for IBAB in the initial years? Dr Yathindra (Team): The funding model was the same as the IIITs (under the MHRD). It was the GoK and ICICI Bank, who put in 5 crore each to seed it and thereafter we were supposed to be self financing. That was the time when public private partnership (PPP) as a concept was a rage but hadn’t really been road tested. Neither the IIIT models, nor IBAB has been self financing in that way. The GoK has been like a brick and have been supporting us all through. ICICI was a one time commitment and they disbursed an interest free deferred loan which we are currently paying back. In another three to four years we would have completely paid up this borrowing. Did you procure any other external funding or sponsorships in later years? Dr Yathindra (team): In 2004, we were one of five co-founders of the National Entrepreneurship Network. As part of that, the Wadhwani Foundation provided almost `1 crore. In 2007, the Department of Electronics and IT (Deity),

“The institute has contributed enormously to developing a Bangalore Bio-innovation centre (BBC), which I never thought I had the capacity to do. We have a 49 percent stake in BBC, and I am one of the directors. BBC is a Sec 25 company and I am supposed to play an ex-officio role here which is completely different from the hat I wear at IBAB�

Govt. of India, gave us the 'Centre of Excellence' tag, with several crores of funding, for 5 years. In 2014, the Infosys Foundation established the Infosys Chair, currently occupied by Dr C M Gupta (former Director, CDRI, Lucknow and former Director, IMTECH, Chandigarh) that has funded the study on 'New drug target discovery and drug targeting in parasitic infections and cancer'. In 2015, we signed a MoU with InStem and NCBS for research and training in Big Data. As part of that MoU, 5 graduating students go to the NCBS-InStem campus each year to work on big data-related research projects. The funds also support ongoing work at IBAB. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has supported IBAB strongly, both through funding and continues to do so through various means. When did you join IBAB and what has been your experience over the years? Dr Yathindra: I joined IBAB in September 2004, after my first innings at the University of Madras. I have gained enormous satisfaction through my experiences with IBAB. I was sitting in a hole in Madras University but here, opportunities for me has been unlimited; not just teaching and research. Actually when I took over this place, I felt like a primary school headmaster. I was the Dean of Madras University and this was a 2 room space in ITPL when I joined. But, everybody has a role to play. When we shifted to the new campus in 2009, I initiated a whole lot of other things which I never thought I was capable of

and have taken up roles as civil engineer, architect and even landscaping of the new campus. This is the characteristic of an entrepreneur. You are forced to do so many things and have become a good manager of funds. I have cherished my roles in developing the GANIT lab. The institute has contributed enormously to developing a Bangalore Bio-innovation centre (BBC), which I never thought I had the capacity to do. We have a 49 percent stake in BBC, and I am one of the directors. BBC is a Sec 25 company and I am supposed to play an ex-officio role here which is completely different from the hat I wear at IBAB. I consider my contribution in bringing in eminent faculty from CDRI, Infosys and IMTEC, Chandigarh to IBAB as noteworthy too. Who was the first director of IBAB and how difficult was it to get someone to head a new age institute? Dr Gayatri Saberwal: I have been with the institute since 2001. Our first director, Prof. Manju Bansal joined in September-October, 2001. She was from IISC (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore) and came to us for three years. It took them some time to find a director as it is not an easy area even today to find a director in this field as computational biology is a rare skill in India and abroad. That is why IBAB exists - to create this manpower. IBAB is chaired by Prof Sharat Chandra who retired from IISC. Although Dr Kiran is on our governing body, she is not the Chair. It is the onus of the Chair of the governing

body to select the Director of IBAB, along with a selection committee of all the directors and two state government representatives on the board of the governing body. How did IBAB get involved with the Bangalore Bio innovation Centre (BBC)? Dr Yathindra (team): The BBC is a state of the art incubation centre that has been created to cater to the needs of start-ups in broad areas of Life Sciences such as iHealthcare (MedTech/ Pharma/Bio-Pharma), Agriculture, Food/ Nutrition, Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology. A part of the Karnataka Bio Tech and IT services department (KBITS) along with Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw manage BBC. KBITS also funds IBAB. However, we are far more autonomous. We have very strongly mentored the big incubation centre right next to our campus - the BBC (Bangalore Bio innovation Centre), spread over a 60,000 sq ft of built up area. They had 16 incubates currently and another 16 startups can be accommodated there, which is under process. We help by mentoring and anchoring their activities. DrYathindra personally supervised the construction of that building while our faculty selected `20 crore worth of equipment for them. We have done a lot of ground work for that centre. BBC took its first incubates in Dec 2015. More than `50 crore has been spent on this centre. How has the study of bioinformatics and its perception in the industry changed

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 37

Cradle of Leadership since you took office in 2004? Dr Yathindra: There has been a huge change, more as a lucrative career choice than it was before because the importance of bioinformatics has enhanced significantly with Big Data and the genomic programme. Bioinformatics has become extremely relevant and trained manpower in this sector has become extremely important. Perhaps IBAB is the only institute in the country that has been catering to genomics data analysis. We started this training programme in 2011 with the support from the DBT who helped us to procure an esteemed faculty in Dr Subhashini Srinivasan, under the Ramalingaswamy Fellowship.

“IBAB with its technical knowhow can help generate tools and design synthetic biological pathways...The need is also to train people in the field who can be picked up by academicians or industry for further development in the sector. The other goal is to run individual programmes that are of specific interest to any scientist joining the department - it could be in the area of environment or medicine or in areas of some chemicals which can be tapped for human well being.”

Do elaborate on the transition that the study of bioinformatics has had in the past decade? Dr Yathindra: There is a huge difference in the kind of technical training that we provide in bioinformatics now and what we did a decade ago. For example, we teach and provide hands-on training in the area of genomics which includes whole genome analysis, transcriptome analysis, ChiP-seq analysis etc. Likewise training in microarray data analysis is also provided. This data is humongous considering that it is at the genomic level rather than at the individual gene or protein level. Students have to learn new algorithms and have to know more statistics to do reliable and valuable analysis. They necessarily undergo training in statistics and R language programming in addition to other computer programming capabilities which include Linux, Shell scripting, C, Perl, C++, Java, MySQL and HTML. These are constantly upgraded to meet the needs of life science industry and academia. We hope to start a Postgraduate Diploma in Big Data Biology from 2017 onwards. Prof H Subramanya: This is the age of information and tonnes of data get generated. One of the areas is genomics which can have a direct impact on public health because treatment in general is moving towards personalised medicine. Moving forward, the concept of one drug for one person is the kind of transition we expect in the medical

The main entrance

field which has been enabled because of all this technologies. Just a decade ago, human genome programme was a huge effort consisting of hundreds of scientist and billions of dollars efforts before they arrived at human genomics. Now, the same thing is just a matter of few days, just a matter of few scientists and just a matter of few 100 numbers. It is this availability of data and its application in healthcare and medicine and the way we treat people which is definitely changing. However, to make best use of this, you need people who can understand this genomics data and extract information that could support personalised medicine. I think this manpower is what IBAB is focussing on. What has been IBAB’s contribution to the idea of bio start-ups? Dr Yathindra (Team): We started incubation way back in 2002, even before it had become the fad. We are the 'anchor institute' for the Biotech Park - the 'Bangalore Helix'; besides supporting two academic institutions, that also includes the Bangalore Bio innovation Centre (BBC). In close proximity to IBAB’s 20 acres land, BBC's 59 acres are additional to its existing 10 acres. Currently

38 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

about 50 acres of this land is vacant and an entire bio-tech industry is slated to come up which brings in the added scope for the BT sector. Dr Gayatri Saberwal: We also manage the infrastructure within IBAB and the Centre for human genome (CHG). We are incubating many companies; so far, we have incubated 20 start-ups. We had a course on entrepreneurship and are discussing and planning a mega event at IBAB in June 2017 where we hope to have around 400 bio-start ups participating in the convention. I sit on a DBT (Department of Biotechnology Committee), Govt. of India that deals with bio-incubators around the country. BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) is a non-profit company set up by DBT and funds bio-incubators, start-up companies, academia-industry partnerships and helps promote the industry. So, we have in various ways reached out to the sector. Some of our alumni have become entrepreneurs. We do mentor if not intensively; but, if anyone comes for any help we can to an extent, help. How do you short-list incubates? Are there any follow-ups post incubation? Dr Yathindra (Team): We do not have a very rigorous process. It is usually someone with a PhD degree, but not necessarily. However, we have to

students per batch, averaging 38 or 39 per batch. IBAB conducts a national level selection process comprising of online tests and personal interviews. We roughly get 10 applicants per seat. The IBAB PhD programme enrols 12 students and is recognised as a Research Centre by Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, which awards the PhD degree. We have only PG level teaching at IBAB. Even if we had Undergraduate (UG) courses; for a, richer UG education, you need faculty who do research in biosciences. One of the reasons is biosciences and related studies changes at a much faster pace. If you look at prominent nature science journals, which are trans- disciplinary, there is lot of new information coming out every day. So, if faculty were not to keep up with that, you would very soon be outdated and this affects the quality of teaching. Our mission is also to help grow the biotech industry. Informatics is only part of what we do and to help grow the industry we have 3 major activities - promoting entrepreneurship, training through education and encouraging research. So, that gives us sort of more areas to cover than delve in UG courses.

screen and understand if this person does have the technical knowledge. And if they need our facility, then we see if we have the requisite space for them. We have research space for a limited period, usually up to three years. While we can help to incubate, these individuals pay us incubation charges. The selection process starts with a mail to the director, then we call for a meeting and if happy, we grant a space. Earlier we gave out an entire room, then a bench and now we give half a bench, based on space availability and the high uptake of such start-ups. We haven’t done formal follow-ups on our former incubates, but we do feel we should. However, we get to hear about them and their progress such as companies like Cellworks that started out with us. You must realise that we are a very small institute with faculty strength of 10-12 professors. Most have joined in the last five years. Entrepreneurship screening is primarily done by the Director and Faculty Scientist and Dean, Academic Affairs. What are the current programmes running at IBAB? Why do you advocate only PG and PhD courses? Dr Yathindra (team): We have a 2 year Masters Degree Program in Bioinformatics & Applied Biotechnology’, under the aegis of the University of Mysore with an intake restricted to up to 40

Do non-biosciences or non-computer programming students have a mind block in approaching your trans-disciplinary curriculum? Dr Yathindra: Initially, until the 1st semester they do go through their tough times. It is a challenge for kids but they still manage to submit papers. A student with a computer science background might have a tough pursuit for bioscience topics but they all overcome this after the 1st semester. Till date, not a single student has quit for fear or non-compliance with biology or programming modules. Today, doing biology also requires a certain amount of computer skills and bioinfor-

matics skills, as there are huge databases. In fact, identifying a particular database which is useful, has become problem. For any particular issue, we have close to 100 databases; so to extract the most useful one becomes a challenge. Therefore there is a need for certain computational skills. So, computer literacy in terms of coding etc. helps in extracting relevant information. One of our past students, Mr Chanchal Singh, a thorough IT guy became champion in proteomics (study of protein structures) and has half a dozen papers published in the best of medical journals and he has worked with the best companies in Germany. How do you train your students in multi-disciplinary aspects? Dr Yathindra: We train our students on how to extract from a vast database and teach a person to fish but don’t give the fish! Teach them how to go about it as the challenges keep changing as they handle multiple databases and even have to even create their own tools. We do create our own tools, our own databases. With changing and new job opportunities in the research area; today you have to do something, tomorrow something else. So our students are trained to acquire such multidisciplinary skill set. Dr Gayatri Saberwal: One of our students had done bioinformatics and a paper with a faculty; she beat 6 MBA candidates in securing the said job. She was the only MSc. candidate to have secured the job and the company said that this was the kind of skill they were looking for. So, it is not just in the core area of bioinformatics and biotech but our curriculum also spills over into business analytics and Business Intelligence angles too! What is IBAB’s placement record? Is the trend changing? DrYathindra (Team): We have several 100 alum-

The students in the laboratory

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 39

Cradle of Leadership ni. Earlier, about 75 precent of our students went to companies because that was the main reason we were created and we are very proud of our placement record with 95 percent placement for every batch. Around 20-25 percent move on to academia while a majority of 70-75 percent join the industry. Many also opt for PhD programmes. Very recently the trend has switched slightly. Maybe, 65 percent join the industry and more are skewed to academia. This is because IBAB has signed a MoU with NCBS that has demanded our students for big data projects in biology. They want five students every year and that is prestigious for a small institute like ours as these are big institutes in the country and that they want our students. IISc, Bangalore too seeks our students because we impart some unique skills and this is valuable to them too. How diverse is campus life in IBAB? Dr Yathindra (Team): In a survey we did for one of the batches – we found that in a classroom, we have around 1/3 rd students from Karnataka and 2/3rd is from other states. Socio economic gaps are also wide. Two to three people per batch annually are from rural belts. While we have students from good economic backgrounds; we also have those who need 100 percent scholarships. In the last batch, some seven students received 100 percent scholarship. In the past four to five years, about 8 to 10 percent of our students annually receive some form of scholarships. The scholarship support comes from the Govt of Karnataka and also other private agencies. There is an alumni scholarship programme and the alumni also help with our placements. There is a lot of loyalty amongst our alumni. They either contribute monetarily or teach at the campus on courses lasting 1 to 10 day on Saturdays. Is there a need to change the current curriculum with changing innovations in this field? DrYathindra (Team): Syllabus was changed three years ago. There is always a need and a wish to change but, there are certain restrictions because we have an external university recognizing our programmes. Fortunately, our failing record is very small and education here is continually updated and modified. Although syllabus per se is under the preview of the Mysore University, we can’t change the title but how we teach with relevance to today’s context is more important. That is also true for practical training and bioinformatics. Is there intent to increase student numbers in the future? Dr Yathindra: We have always put a limit of about 40 students, right from the beginning, because our training is very intensive that needs one on one interaction. So, we don’t want to expand on that at all. Even in our earlier curriculum under Post

“Very recently the trend has switched slightly. Maybe, 65 percent join the industry and more are skewed to academia. This is because IBAB has signed a MoU with NCBS that has demanded our students for big data projects in biology. They want five students every year and that is prestigious for a small institute like ours as these are big institutes in the country and that they want our students. IISc, Bangalore too seeks our students because we impart some unique skills and this is valuable to them too”

The class room

The laboratory

Graduate Diploma in Bioinformatics courses, one of the programmes had a maximum of 30-35 students and in the initial years too, our limit was 40. For our laboratory course in biotech (previous syllabus), we had only 15 students. The previous programme has now been combined in our Masters programme. We don’t want to enhance this 40 limit unless we double up on our capacity. What would you consider as success points for IBAB? Dr Yathindra (team): We have our unique course in terms of it being a dual degree programme that is very relevant to industry. The practical trans-disciplinary training is inclusive of students from multiple disciplines such as biology, physics, and statistics to computers. This is a very unique feature of IBAB’s education. Prof H Subramanya: While we cannot compare ourselves to traditional universities like BU, IISc

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or IITs; as an institute we have a limited course compilation which is also specific to the industry we serve. Similarly, our research programme is much more aimed at supporting the ITBT ecosystem. Not that our research is comparable to some of the best institutes here but, certainly I would say that our research is mainly focussed on supporting ITBT and supporting that infrastructure. Primarily, we have an active entrepreneurship programme including policy decision on entrepreneurship support or incubation centre which are not really part of most academic pursuits in traditional institutions. We are not big in any one of these areas but together, we create a very unique space. Do enlist few collaborative milestones with companies. Dr Yathindra (team): We have `2.5 crore of corpuses from Infosys on a project - 'New drug

to support us. Dr Gayatri Saberwal: Our colleague, DrNarayan Behera, an inventor gained a US patent 8,712,935 on 'Evolutionary clustering algorithm', a collaboration between IBAB and Philips Research, Bangalore. A publication, co-authored by IBAB faculty member, DrShivakumar has resulted from collaboration with SIEMENS Corporate Research and Technologies, Bangalore. Our colleagues also collaborate with hospitals and do patient-related research. We have a pretty solid contribution to policy related research.

Computer room

The techinician

target discovery and drug targeting in parasitic infections and cancer'. In 2014, the Infosys Foundation established the Infosys Chair. We have a distinguished scientist occupying that Chair and they are doing drug discovery related to Leichmaniasis, a disease more prevalent in India than in the U.S. Again, we are thankful to Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw as she catalysed this for IBAB through her network. We have worked with Siemens, Phillips and Strand Lifesciences that have given the industry the much need boost in areas of research and applications. We have huge collaborations with IISc on discovery of potential drug candidate related to cancer biology. Currently, we have been testing a few potential chemicals as it stands now. It has worked well in lab culture but, we have to now test it on animals and are in the process of constructing an animal house that will be another extension of our activities. So, we have slowly

grown from completely bioinformatics computational efforts to experimental. One of our public-private partnership initiatives with Strand Lifesciences has been to create the multi-crore GANIT Labs on the IBAB premises. The not- for-profit research centre has interests in analysis of big data in cancer, clinical genetics, genome analyses etc. The idea is to work in the area of genome science and use bioinformatics and computational biology tools to solve scientific problems. Strand Lifesciences market the service for the sequencing because these companies have great marketing abilities while we academicians don’t have that edge. So after 5-6 years, the whole facility becomes self sufficient –the support was given by both Dept of ITBT, GoK, and the Dept. of IT , Govt of India. Strand Lifesciences have done their job and the facility will be integrated with IBAB while they will gradually withdraw. The GOK will continue

What is the next step forward for IBAB? DrYathindra (Team): The GoK has recently approved and requested IBAB to start a synthetic biology programme as part of curriculum. It is a question of how to make use of the biological systems to solve some of the health related problems faced by the general public. It is in the final stages of approval and grant is sanctioned for the next five years. We have to hire relevant manpower and develop the laboratory. Idea is to design pathways using naturally available biological tools and emulate nature for application in real life. Prof. H. Subramanya: Synthetic biology a very upcoming area if you look at the global scenario. Most countries now have their own road maps for development of synthetic biology in the next 10-20 years. The future is that instead of reinventing the wheel, why not make use of something that nature is already an expert at over the last 2000 years; which we don’t have to re-invent in the next five years. IBAB with its technical knowhow can help generate tools and design synthetic biological pathways. We want to create those tools which can be used by various industries for synthetic biology applications. The need is also to train people in the field who can be picked up by academicians or industry for further development in the sector. The other goal is to run individual programmes that are of specific interest to any scientist joining the department - it could be in the area of environment or medicine or in areas of some chemicals which can be tapped for human well being.



White House trivia

Barack Obama is the nation’s 44th president but in reality there have only been 43 presidents. Grover Cleveland is counted twice as 22nd and 24th president because he was elected for two nonconsecutive terms.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 41

Loved & Married too

It is not often these days that a college romance fructifies into a wedlock. Corporate Citizen unlocks the story of love that has culminated into marriage, for we believe in the stability of a relationship and family unit. We bring to you real-life romances that got sealed in marriage

Better Halves By Suchismita Pai

Theirs is a typical fairy tale of ‘boy meets girl on a college campus and they live happily ever after’ with a very modern twist. “I do not know if it is a classic case of opposites attracting, but it’s been three decades since we have been completing the gaps in each other’s personalities and lives,” says Ruhi Ranjan. As Managing Director, Financial Services, Accenture, she is one half of a power couple, married to the equally successful Sanjeev Ranjan, Managing Director, International Copper Association India. Despite the rather typical beginnings of their lives together, when they met at IIT Rourkee, became friends, decided to spend the rest of their lives together, met with some objection from their families, which they surmounted, the Ruhi and Sanjeev Ranjan story is envious. The two halves have drawn strength from each other and bettered their careers and lives

Ruhi and Sanjeev Ranjan

The first test

With both spouses working, one is often required to compromise and statistically more often than not, it is women who do so. The first test came very early in their marriage. Ruhi had an opportunity to take the TickIT training which would have added tremendous value to her skill set. However, it would have meant leaving Raghav, their then one-year-old son, in the supervision of domestic help. “It was difficult for me to leave a small child with a maid for a week, for the very first time,” she reminisces. Sanjeev, however, was not just supportive, but insistent

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that she avail the opportunity.

Seamless switch of roles

Better halves in the true sense of the word, they both take on any role as and when needed. “There are no typical stereotypes in our family and if mom is not around, dad has always stepped in and vice versa, be it a parentteacher meeting or a prom night,” she says. “We are extremely supportive of each other and yet give each other a lot of space. There were days when the kids were young, when I was too tired to cook or clean or to help the kids with their studies and Sanjeev always stepped

up on those occasions.” Like when their sons Raghav and Rohan were 11 and eight years old, Ruhi took up an assignment in the US in 2003 and 2004. With no grandparents or extended family to help out, Sanjeev became a single parent, faced with the challenges of managing the home and work fronts with young kids. His work too entailed travel and this meant a lot of coordination with domestic help to ensure the well-being of the children, not something many men would sign up for. But he not only did it extremely well, he also picked up cooking as a hobby and even today delights friends and family with the meals he puts together. Both Sanjeev and Ruhi have nurtured their careers and also have great respect for the work the other does. “And respect it enough to never discuss work once back from office. We never form opinions based on half-truths in each other’s organisations and let each one steer their career.” In their equal opportunity marriage they have never differentiated between his or her colleagues though Ruhi admits she is the social one. “Sanjeev is more than happy to let me take the initiative as he takes time to open up and warm up to people. I, on the other hand, have friends who call me at all times for opinions or just to share their news and I am a regular agony aunt.” But the gap, she says, has reduced over the years and she has mellowed, while he is now more open to new people.

Unlike most traditional marriages where the man is often the one who takes charge of the finances and documentation, it is Ruhi who files away all the papers and can be depended upon to produce them at a minute’s notice. Sanjeev, on the other hand, is happy tinkering around with whatever needs fixing at home. From leaky faucets to bikes that need repairs, he maintains everything in pristine condition.

we still accompany each other for movies.” A self-admitted perfectionist, Ruhi tends to obsess over whatever she takes up and her work often takes priority over everything else. “It can get very irritating for folks at home as my work hours extend very long but everyone understands that I am passionate about whatever I set my mind to, and ensure that I do it well. Sanjeev does put his foot down on

There are no typical stereotypes in our family and if mom is not around, dad has always stepped in and vice versa, be it a parent-teacher meeting or a prom night

Different styles

Having grown up with only sisters, Ruhi says that again it was Sanjeev who gave her fresh perspective on how to raise their two boys so as not to stifle them or drive herself crazy. “The boys sometimes gang up against me via sports, especially European football, where I am a persona non-grata in the TV room,” she laughs. Their parenting styles too differ and Ruhi describes herself as the tough disciplinarian, while “Sanjeev pampers the boys and our dog, is their shoulder to cry on and gives a patient hearing to all their sob stories,” she says. A stickler, Ruhi does not spare herself either and is up at 5.30 every morning for her time at the gym. “It is something that puzzles Sanjeev since he feels it makes for a very long day. He would rather wake up more leisurely and choose a walk with our dog as his form of exercise. But I treat the time at the gym as ‘me time’ when I am away from the corporate buzz and no one has any demands to make on me. I have slots for what I have to do and devote myself to it wholeheartedly, irrespective of whether I have support for it at home or not,” she says firmly. Her self-discipline has saved the day many times admits Sanjeev, as he recounts how they were spared having to part with a lakh-and-a half rupees by producing the receipts that Ruhi had filed away in her usual organised manner.

The couple with their sons Raghav and Rohan

Precious weekends

“So now we save it all up for the weekend,” says Ruhi as Sanjeev works out of Mumbai during the week. Just like Ruhi, Sanjeev too has had to spend time away from the family as he was in Bengaluru for two years before moving to Mumbai three years ago. “The time we do spend together on the weekends is all the more precious and we never waste it by discussing business and organisation issues at home. It helps us break the monotony of office and keep our home free of office politics.” Weekends, in fact, end up being completely about home, family and time to stock up for the week. Sanjeev is better at grocery shopping and they find joy in picking out groceries for their homes in Mumbai and Pune. If he is the ardent shopper in the family, she is the one who drives them around on the weekends. They bolster each other’s spirits and have fun, active weekends filled with family and friends. “We spend all our time together whether it is a dinner or a movie and though I love watching rom-coms and Sanjeev is a die-hard action fan,

occasion like when I get carried away doing up the house. He supported me till it started hurting the wallet and then quietly reasoned with me. Similarly, we are both fond of travelling to new countries and new holiday destinations but I can never travel on shoe-string budgets and it has to be the best of hotels, and the best of locations while Sanjeev is more easy-going.”


tadka CEO’s fear losing out to automation About 60 precent of the country’s top CEOs believe that automation will soon eliminate an estimated 5 percent of their manpower, revealed a 2016 KPMG survey. About 81 percent CEOs see new entrants disrupting business models and 84 percent worried about the relevance of their products/services three years from now.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 43

Star Campus Placement

Think positive, it will make a big difference The first three days were a nightmare in the college. But, that is history as this Jharkhand resident, has relocated to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh as the sales manager with the Larsen & Toubro Finance By Joe Williams


he was like a fish out of the water when Pallavi Mandal walked into the college to pursue her management course in a city college. But that is history as this Jharkhand resident has relocated to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh as the sales manager with the Larsen & Toubro Finance. “The first three days in the college were very tough and I wanted to run away from the place as it was the first time I was out of my home, away from my parents and my brother and sister. The classroom and everything, even breakfast, lunch and dinner —was so strange, but that is history as today thanks to the college I am myself and the college has made me what I am today,” says Pallavi. Nothing comes in easy, one has to struggle. She was a determined woman as she did not lose her cool while she was made to wait in the wings by the corporate world. Finally, it turned out that ‘all’s well that ends well’, as she was one of the few to make the cut in the campus placement from her college. “I went through four companies before getting the nod from L& T Finance. Other people might feel that my campus placement was a cakewalk, but I know that a lot of struggle and fight made this a successful placement for me,” recalls Pallavi. Every day is a learning day and that is what

A piece of advice to juniors • Keep calm, don’t worry much about getting placed… but work hard • Take your studies and faculty seriously • Try and grab as much practical knowledge as you can because at the end it’s all about living in the world and not only in books • Be yourself 44 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

With her brother and sister Pallavi with friends

I never had any backlog throughout the two years of PGDM. I was also the council member in my college, which, directly or indirectly, you can say, groomed me a lot, made me a real manager in my life she is doing even at her workplace in Bhopal. “It has been a good experience and most importantly, it has been learning every day. I have a long way to go, and the beginning has been good,” says she. Sitting on the sidelines with her friends and colleagues awaiting the nod from their respective companies was a testing time for her. But when it came, it came in a flash.. “Like other companies, L&T Finance came with three crucial steps for the placement process, namely online test, case study and the final interview. “After giving my online examination, I was not sure that I would be among the selected students for further process,” says Pallavi. “I wanted to clear my placement in the 4th company and did not want to sit for the 5th company.” The wait was finally over. Now placed in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Pallavi has begun the second innings of her life. “It is fine and I am enjoying each day,” said Pallavi. However, those few days were testing times for her. “I cracked my case study discussion, and then came the final interview in which you get the time to prove yourself ”. She was a mixed bag of emotions with too much of clutter in her head, positive and negative thoughts on whether she would crack it or not. Finally Pallavi’s positive thinking made the difference. “Definitely, I was very nervous but at the same time the only thing I thought was, this is my time, and I convinced the interviewers that I was the right candidate for the company.”

Although I did convince everyone in the meeting, I did not want to seem overconfident. I was also encouraged by the body language of the people talking to me, which gave me some positive feel.” Thanks to this success, I went on to complete my third and fourth semester in a very relaxed mood.

Life at the campus

College life was a great learning for me. It started with BIMhrd Presentation, and Aiyaswamy Cultural Competition. And those two months were the most memorable days for me. Then the lectures, exams, attendance, all these things really made me busy and built up a real manager inside me. I always maintained 90-95 percent of attendance in my college. I never had any backlog throughout the two years of PGDM. I was also the council member in my college which, directly or indirectly, you can say, groomed me a lot, made me a real manager in my life. Being a part of such a team taught me how to be patient, how to work for others and help them with their goals. I did my internship in Mantra Media Pvt Ltd. for two months, which is digital consulting firm. I learnt a lot and tried to give the best solution to the company.

Education background

I passed out from the MGM School, Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand. Later on for my graduation, I went to St. Xavier’s College , Ranchi. Doing MBA was a dream for me from

class X. And then I decided to do my MBA in Marketing from a Pune college.

Family background

My father Animesh Kumar Mandal works in SAIL. My mother Nilima Mandal is a proprietor of Ganesh Acharya Dance Academy. I also have a brother and a sister. The main person who helped and supported me a lot to make my career successful is my elder brother Rajesh. Whatever I am today is because of him.


Dancing is my favourite hobby, besides singing and listening to music.



FPIs on a buying spree Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have purchased shares worth `31,717 crore from the secondary equity markets in calendar year 2016 so far (till 2 August 2016). There was net inflow of `22,168.40 crore from FPIs into the category ‘primary markets & others’ in calendar year 2015. Market pundits believe that foreign inflows in Indian equities are strongly expected to continue.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 45


India’s Growth Opportunities

India’s star is on its way up. As the country embarks on its accent to superpower status, it needs to make the best of available opportunities for growth and transformation. Leading Management Consulting Firm McKinsey has conducted a survey to analyse and address India’s growth opportunities and suggest solutions to capitalize on them. Corporate Citizen presents the results.

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wenty-five years ago, India embarked on a journey of economic liberalisation, opening its doors to globalisation and market forces. India, and the rest of the world, have watched as the investment and trade regime introduced in 1991 raised economic growth, increased consumer choice, and reduced poverty significantly. Now, as uncertainties cloud the global economic picture, the International Monetary Fund has projected that India’s GDP will grow by 7.4 percent for 2016–17, making it the world’s fastest-growing large economy. India also compares favourably with other emerging markets in growth potential. The country offers an attractive long-term future powered largely by a consuming class that’s expected to more than triple, to 89 million households, by 2025. Liberalisation has created new opportunities. The challenge for policy makers is to manage growth so that it creates the basis for sustainable economic performance. Although much work has been done, India’s transformation into a global economic force has yet to fully benefit all its citizens. There’s a massive unmet need for basic services, such as water and sanitation, energy, and healthcare, for example, while red tape makes it hard to do business. The government has begun to address many of these challenges, and the pace of change could accelerate in coming years as some initiatives gain scale. From McKinsey’s point of view, India has an exciting future. In the new McKinsey Global Institute report India’s ascent: Five opportunities for growth and transformation, game-changing opportunities for the country’s economy and the implications for domestic businesses, multinational companies, and the government have been highlighted, starting with the following

➊ T

From poverty to empowerment: Acceptable living standards for all

As India’s cities grow in size and stature, they will have to invest in their infrastructure to support the rising population. According to McKinsey, cities like Mumbai will have economies bigger than countries like Malaysia by 2030

he trickle-down effect of economic liberalization has lifted millions of Indians from abject poverty in the past two decades. The official poverty rate declined from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012, but this statistic defines only the most dismal situations. By our broader measure of minimum acceptable living standards—spanning nutrition, water, sanitation, energy, housing, education, and healthcare—we find that 56 percent of Indians lacked the basics in 2012. The country will need to address these gaps to achieve its potential. The task is certainly within India’s capacity, but policy makers will have to promote an agenda emphasizing job creation, growth-oriented investment, farmsector productivity, and innovative social programs that help the people who actually need them. The private sector has a substantial role to play both in creating and providing effective basic services. October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 47



Sustainable urbanisation: Building India’s growth engines As India’s cities grow in size and stature, they will have to invest in their infrastructure to support the rising population. According to McKinsey, cities like Mumbai will have economies bigger than countries like Malaysia by 2030

y 2025, India will have 69 cities with a population of more than one million each. Economic growth will center on them, and the biggest infrastructure building will take place there. The output of Indian cities will come to resemble that of cities in middleincome nations. In 2030, for example, Mumbai’s economy, a mammoth market of $245 billion in consumption, will be bigger than Malaysia’s today. The next four cities by market size will each have annual consumption of $80 billion to $175 billion by 2030. To achieve sustainable growth, these cities will have to become more livable places, offering clean air and water, reliable utilities, and extensive green spaces. India’s urban transformation represents a huge opportunity for domestic and international businesses that can provide capital, technology, and planning know-how, as well as the goods and services urban consumers demand.

Manufacturing for India, in India

The Prime Minister’s Make In India campaign is gathering steam, and manufacturing in India has seen an impetus. India has tremendous market potential, and as per the survey, it presents a tremendous opportunity for investors to tap into.


lthough India’s manufacturing sector has lagged behind China’s, there will be substantial opportunities to invest in value-creating businesses and to create jobs. India’s appeal to potential investors will be more than just its low-cost labor: manufacturers there are building competitive businesses to tap into the large and growing local market. Further reforms and public infrastructure investments could make it easier for all types of manufacturing businesses—foreign and Indian alike—to achieve scale and efficiency. 48 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016


Riding the digital wave: Harnessing technology for India’s growth India is the second largest smartphone market in the world with 22 crore active smartphone users. According to McKinsey, this presents a tremendous opportunity to improve the lifestyle of indian citizens through digital education and services.

owerful technologies will benefit India, helping to raise productivity, improving efficiency across major sectors of the economy, and radically altering the provision of services such as education and healthcare. These technologies could add $550 billion to $1 trillion a year of economic value in 2025, according to our analysis, potentially creating millions of well-paying, productive jobs (including positions for people with moderate levels of formal education) and helping millions of Indians to enjoy a decent standard of living.

Unlocking the potential of Indian women: If not now, when?

Women make 50% of the population of India and are yet not adequately represented in the workforce. However, McKinsey is optimistic that women will play a large role and will be one of the biggest game changers in the Indian economy going forward.


cKinkey’s search suggests that women now contribute only 17 percent of India’s GDP and make up just 24 percent of the workforce, compared with 40 percent globally. In the coming decade, they will represent one of the largest potential economic forces in the country. If it matched the progress toward gender parity of the region’s fastest-improving country, the survey estimates that it could add $700 billion to its GDP in 2025. Movement toward closing the gender gap in education and in financial and digital inclusion has begun, but there is scope for further progress. Public-sector efforts to address the five areas are under way. The government is attempting to improve the investment climate and accelerate job creation—India’s ranking on

the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report climbed to 55 in 2015–16, from 71 a year earlier. Officials are moving to make the government more efficient, using technology that can leapfrog traditional bottlenecks of a weak infrastructure. One billion Indian citizens, for example, are now registered under Aadhaar, the world’s largest digital-identity program and a potent platform for delivering benefits directly to the poor. Realising India’s promise will require national, state, and local leaders to adopt new approaches to governance and the provision of services. To meet the people’s aspirations, these officials will also need new capabilities. The requirements include private sector–style procurement and supplychain expertise, deep technical skills for planning portfolios of infrastructure investments, and strong project-management capabilities to ensure that large capital projects finish on time and on budget. Training will be needed to help staff members use digital technologies to automate and re engineer processes, manage big data and advanced analytic, and improve interactions among citizens through digitised touch points, online-access five platforms, portals, and messaging and payment platforms. The government could acquire these capabilities by adopting quality-oriented procurement policies and taking advantage of olive branches from the private sector. For businesses, India represents a sizable market but will require a focused strategy and a locally focused operating model. By any measure, the challenge is daunting, but success could give a historic boost to India’s economy. Survey Courtesy -

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 49

Corporate History

Unity in diversity: The way A multi-brand strategy is risky. But Videocon—one of India’s largest diversified companies, has made it work—and how. Not only does it feature 17th amongst the country’s most trusted brands, but is aiming at an annual turnover of $4 billion (`26,000 crore) over the next four years from its consumer electronics division alone. This, despite the stiff competition By Kalyani Sardesai


ver heard that saying about the greatest risk in life being the fear of taking risks? But then, Videocon is not a group to ever be accused of playing it safe, or resting on its laurels. From consumer electronics and home appliances, DTH, to power, oil exploration to telecom—they have gone on to explore brave new turfs and carved a niche in every one of them. Little wonder then that this $5 billion global conglomerate enjoys instant recall in the minds of Indians—despite the Indian penchant for foreign brands over home grown players. With over 17 manufacturing sites in India and plants in countries like Poland, Italy, China and Mexico, the Videocon story is a tale worth examining for its growth, progress, diversity and ability to take on challenges.

Back to the beginning

It all started in the mid-eighties when NM Dhoot—an industrialist from Marathwada, Maharashtra with a main interest in sugar mills, founded the company along with his three sons—Venugopal, Rajkumar and Pradeep in technical collaboration with the Japan-based Toshiba Corporation. Videocon Industries Ltd was incorporated in the year 1986 with the name Adhigam Trading Private Ltd. The company was established for the business of trading in paper tubes. In 1987, the company introduced black & white TV, color TV and washing machines. In September 1988, the company decided to diversify in the business of lease financing, hire purchase and investment activities. The home entertainment systems, fridges, coolers, electronic motors and air conditioners followed soon. During the year 1990-91, the management of the company underwent a change by way of transfer of equity shares to the Videocon Group. In 1991, the company changed its name from Adhigam Trading Pvt Ltd to Videocon Leasing & Industrial Finance Ltd. The mid-nineties saw the group make inroads

into the sectors of oil and compressors. In the year 2004, Petrocon India Ltd was amalgamated with the company with effect from March 31, 2004. Thus, the company got into oil and gas business. With merger of Petrocon, the company became a member of the consortium that operates the Ravva oil and gas fields. Soon the company changed its name from Videocon Leasing & Industrial Finance Ltd to Videocon Industries Ltd.

From strength to strength: acquisitions and mergers

Over the years, VI has bought the marketing and manufacturing rights to several MNC brands Initially, VI collaborated with Toshiba for technology and later bought the marketing rights of the brand in India. Subsequently, VI bought the marketing rights for Akai, Sansui, and Hyundai. In 2005, VI also bought the marketing rights of Electrolux, Kelvinator and Allywn. Videocon acquired the colour picture tube (CPT) businesses from Thomson SA of France having manufacturing facilities in Poland, Italy, Mexico and China, along with support research and development facilities in the fiscal

50 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

year 2005. The acquisition catapulted Videocon into the No. 3 slot in the global pecking order for CPTs. In 2005, Videocon Group took over Philips colour TV plant and took over three plants of Electrolux India. Today, it has evolved into a conglomerate with annual revenues of over US$5 billion. Even as they retain the core strength of the brand, it is given the Videocon touch--coupled with a multi-brand strategy and a strong sales-service network.

The myriad challenges of multiple branding

Way before the liberalisation of the Indian economy, Indian brands like BPL and Onida dominated the landscape. Thanks to multiple branding, the company could release different players in assorted segments—and has taken on the strongest in that category. This approach gave it flexibility. However, experts believe that a major flaw of this approach is that unless the positioning and targeting are distinct, the brands tend to eat each other up. Even though the company may position the brands differently, it has to be perceived by the customers as distinct from the other. However, overall, the strategy has worked well in its favour given Videocon’s domination of the Indian landscape.

The Videocon Kitty

 Consumer appliances: Colour TVs, washing machines, ACs, fridges, microwaves.  Mobile phones: In November 2009, Videocon launched its new line of mobile phones. Videocon has since launched a number of handsets ranging from basic colour FM phones to high-end Android devices. In July 2015, Videocon Mobiles launched its own flagship smartphone Videocon Infinium Z51+ in India  DTH: In 2009, Videocon launched its DTH product, called ‘d2h’. As a pioneering offer in the Indian DTH market it introduced first radio frequency remote in India. Videocon offered LCD & TVs with built-in DTH satellite receiver with sizes 19” to 42”. This technology is known as DDB.Videocon is the first brand to introduce DDB technology in India.  Telecommunication: Videocon Telecom Ltd has a license for mobile service operations across India since 2010.  Retail: Videocon owns three retail brands Planet M, Digiworld and Next.  Petroleum: Videocon Petroleum has 25 percent stake in Ravva Oil Field operated in Cairn India in Andhra Pradesh.

Ambassadorship of excellence

The Group has several ambassadors in keeping with the brand image—usually young, energetic, high-profile, self-made, aggressive and on the go. So be it Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Shruti Haasan, Parineeti Chopra or Gauhar Khan, the brand has always brought on board India's young and brilliant—so as to drive home the point that the company always has an eye on the future, even as it is presently engaged in all that is excellent and worthy.

Strengths and challenges

In the days to come, the brand has to strongly play up its strengths in order to take on competition from players like Samsung/LG and assorted Korean names, if it is to retain its market share. Take for example the consumer electronics segments— which has seen a decline from market leader to No. 3. A major role for this decline is attributed to the upmarket Indian’s

Exports will also be a main contributor in achieving the target as it looks to enhance shipments to markets in the Middle love for all things phoren. However, the management is upbeat. “In three to four years, we are looking at a turnover of $4 billion from consumer electronics business," Videocon chief operating officer CM Singh said. The company will focus on segments like automatic washing machine and frost-free refrigerators where it is not present in a big way. At present, 55 percent of Videocon’s revenue in consumer electronics comes from home appliances and the rest from TV panels and CRTVs. Now the company has added products such as 4K TV and HD LED TV to attract the niche customers. Besides, it has also launched topload and front-load washing machines. “A l l these categories were very

necessary for us to grow,” he said. Singh said exports will also be a main contributor in achieving the target as it looks to enhance shipments to markets in the Middle East, neighbouring countries—Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka— and some African nations. Despite the slowdown, the growth of the company would be around 13-14 percent". What also works is in its favour is that the brand enjoys both awareness and recall; it has a wide distribution network made available by owning retail stores like Digiworld and NeXT stores. Similarly, acquisition of the Thomson group's plants has given it access to technology for TVs. Not only that, the wide brand portfolio under Kenstar, Electrolux, Kelvinator, Sansui, etc give it a good playing field. The brand would also do well to seize the opportunities of the current market—a growing demand for consumer appliances in 2 and 3 tier cities, apart from a huge potential for expansion owing to low market penetration. However, there’s no wishing away the increased competition from spiffy foreign players--and the latest technological features they boast. But there's no reason why Videocon won’t be able to put up a tough fight.

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 51


The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humour and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use



is the best medicine

aughter is strong medicine for mind and body. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humour lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

Laughter is good for your health

l Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. l Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

l Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. l Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. l Laughter and humor help you stay emotionally healthy l Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain

52 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

and readies you to smile and join in the fun.

The link between laughter and mental health

Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more. Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

The social benefits of humor and laughter

Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against

The benefits of laughter l Physical Health Benefits l Boosts immunity l Lowers stress hormones l Decreases pain l Relaxes your muscles l Prevents heart disease

lM ental Health Benefits lA dds joy and zest to life l E ases anxiety and fear l Relieves stress l Improves mood l Enhances resilience

Social benefits l Strengthens relationships lA ttracts others to us l E nhances teamwork lH elps defuse conflict lP romotes group bonding

stress, disagreements, and disappointment. l Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone l Creating opportunities to laugh l Watch a funny movie or TV show. l Go to a comedy club. l Read the funny pages. l Seek out funny people. l Share a good joke or a funny story. l Check out your bookstore’s humor section. l Host game night with friends. l Play with a pet. l Go to a “laughter yoga” class. l Goof around with children. l Do something silly. l Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).

Share Laughter

Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times. Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your

love relationships—as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends. Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to: l Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles. l Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts. l Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside. l Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface. l Bringing more humor and laughter into your life

Want more laughter in your life? Get a pet…

Most of us have experienced the joy of playing with a furry friend, and pets are a rewarding way to bring more laughter and joy into your life. But did you know that having a pet is good for your mental and physical health? Studies show that pets can protect you depression, stress, and even heart disease.

Here are some ways to start:

Smile: Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even

experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Count your blessings: Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter. When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?” Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious. Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?” Developing your sense of humour: Take yourself less seriously One essential characteristic that helps us laugh is not taking ourselves too seriously. We’ve all known the classic tight-jawed sourpuss who takes everything with deathly seriousness and never laughs at anything. No fun there! Some events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary life–giving you the choice to laugh or not. (The original article is published in http://

October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 53

Pearls of wisdom

Don’t Go There Manifestation happens when you think a thought with strong emotion (negative or positive) and then expect the result to happen. When you are stuck in a negative vortex, what you create can be scary. And often can be very hard to get over - financially, emotionally, and even physically By Debbie “Takara” Shelor

54 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016


t begins so innocently, with a simple thought. But soon there are more thoughts. And then you find other people talking about the same thing— the same fear, the same circumstance, that ‘wrong thing’ that is going on in the world. Suddenly it’s like a tornado and you are being sucked down inside the cone. The walls are so steep and the energy pouring in is so powerful that you have no way of climbing back out. You are stuck at the bottom of a negative energy vortex that you created by your own thoughts.

What exactly is the negative-thinking spin? or getting stuck in negativity?

It can take many forms but it usually boils down to being stuck in negativity and not being able to get out. Being in a negative-thinking spin is very detrimental. It can hugely impact your health, your relationships, your ability to manifest what you desire. It keeps you feeling a negative set of emotions. It takes away your joy. It can cause you to experience accidents, theft, illness, endless financial worries, and a whole lot more. On one of my typical Friday mornings with my son Jess at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum I had a rather disturbing encounter with another little boy. Jess was busy playing in the large outdoor sand box. I often sit on one of the bails of hay and enjoy the sunshine as Jess digs, fills buckets with sand, jumps off the hay bails, and helps other children create whatever they've decided to create in the sand. I heard someone behind me and turned to find a cute little boy about six or seven years old who couldn’t find his mom. I asked him some questions about where he’d seen her last. Then he made a comment that I found very intriguing. He said, “I'm afraid of being kidnapped.” I looked at him very calmly and asked him why he would be afraid of being kidnapped. His response was that “There are kidnappers everywhere, all over the world.” I assured him that there weren’t any kidnappers at the Children's Museum and offered to help find his mom. Manifestation happens when you think a thought with strong emotion (negative or positive) and then expect the result to happen. When you are stuck in a negative vortex, what you create can be scary. And often can be very hard to get over—financially, emotionally, and even physically. You create your world. What you are experiencing in this moment, however wonderful or horrible—is there because you thought it into being. The stronger your emotions about something, the faster it comes to you. Every moment of every day your thoughts are creating the world that you are about to step into.

Do you realise that we all are living our

own movie, our own experience, our own dream?

Sometime in my youth I had this really odd thought: “What if I am the only "real" person here (meaning in my world) and everyone is just actors or puppets or something?” Boy, I had no idea how close to the truth I actually was. We are all the only ‘real’ person in our world and everything and everyone around us just reflect back our own beliefs about how life is, about how people are, about what is and isn’t the truth. If you really observe someone, you’ll notice that they act one way with certain people and completely different with someone else. We all adapt and act out how a person believes others are. And, they do the same for us. I find it an amazing dance we do with one another. You have an internal guidance system that is NEVER wrong. Your Inner Being, Inner Self, Higher Self, or whatever name you choose, remembers all your past and fully understands what you really desire. Particularly if you take the time to get really clear about what you want. And, until you've developed a very close relationship with it, its only way of communicating with you is through your emotions. The stronger the emotion, the faster you create. So if you are experiencing a strong negative emotion, it’s time to stop immediately what you are doing and think about what you really want instead. And stop exposing yourself to things that cause a strong reaction—like the news. Pay attention to all your emotions. When a negative one comes along, stop everything. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, focus your attention in your heart area and think of something you are grateful for. And realise you could have been in a negative spin. (the original article is published in http://www.



India gains top rating on transparency India led the way, with all 19 of its companies in the Transparency International study by achieving a score of 75 percent of more in being open about their company structures and holdings which is attributed to the India’s Companies Act. The report covered 100 companies in 15 emerging market countries that included Brazil, Mexico and Russia. The study found Chinese companies fared worst, with an average score of 1.6 out of 10 in the tests, due to weak or non-existent anti-corruption policies and procedures.

October1-15, 1-15,2016 2016/ /Corporate CorporateCitizen Citizen/ /55 55 October

Bollywood Biz

Bollywood’s Global Accolades Bollywood has transcended Indian borders. Indian film personalities are not just popular in India, they have tremendous appeal internationally. Indian actors, directors and composers have a plethora of international awards which have cemented their legacy in global cinema. This edition, Corporate Citizen brings you notable Bollywood personalities and their international accolades By Neeraj Varty

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan is perhaps the most iconic Indian actor and the most recognisable Indian actor abroad. Not only has he won a host of awards in the country, he has been the recipient of quite a few prestigious awards abroad. In 2001, he was honoured with the Actor of the Century award at the Alexandria International Film Festival in Egypt in recognition of his contribution to the world of cinema. Big B was honoured with the citizenship of the French town of Deauville in 2003. The actor was also presented the Moroccan Medal of Honour. In 2007, the actor was also awarded with the highest civilian honour of France, the Knight of The Legion of Honour, for exceptional work in the world of cinema and beyond. In June 2000, he became the first living Asian to have been modeled in wax at London's Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. On 27 July 2012, Bachchan carried the Olympic torch during the last leg of its relay in London's Southwark. 56 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra has been winning hearts all over India due to her performances in films like Bajirao Mastani and Barfi, but it was her stint in the American TV show Quantico, which has given her the most International recognition. She won the Favourite Actress award at the People's Choice Awards 2016 held in Los Angeles, making her the first South Asian actress to win a People's Choice Award. This led to her bagging a number of International projects like Baywatch as well as the second season of Quantico. It definitely appears that Priyanka is set to be a regular on the international awards list for quite some time.

Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap is one of India’s most talented directors. His breakout film Gangs of Wasseypur has been a critical and commercial success both in India as well as around the world. Such is his mastery over the film noir genre that none other than thespian director Martin Scorsece is a fan of Anurag. Due to his strong international appeal, Anurag has been felicitated by the global film communityHis feature film debut Black Friday won the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, and was a nominee for the "Golden Leopard" (Best Film) at the 57th Locarno International Film Festival.. In the year 2013, Anurag Kashyap was honoured with the Knight of The Order of Arts and Letters, the second highest French honour, for his efforts in promoting Indian Cinema across the world.

A R Rahman A R Rahman has long been recognized as a music prodigy in India, but post his work in Slumdog Millionaire, the entire world sat up and took notice of the maestro. Rahman has received countless adulations and awards internationally for his work in Music. In 2006, he received an award from Stanford University for his contributions to global music. In 2009, for his Slumdog Millionaire score, Rahman won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song, the latter shared with Gulzar) at the 81st Academy Awards. He has received honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, Aligarh Muslim University, Anna University in Chennai and Miami University in Ohio. His work in 127 Hours won him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and two Academy Award nominations (Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song) in 2011. A street was also named in his honour in Markham, Ontario, Canada in November 2013.

Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan is not just the Baadshah of Bollywood, he is also the king of international awards. A rare species of orchid, Ascocenda Shah Rukh Khan, was named after him in Singapore. In 2004, Time magazine selected him as one of 20 "Asian Heroes" under the age of 40 and featured him on the magazine's cover. In the same year, he also won the British Asian Guild Award for Best Actor of the Decade 2005. He was also featured on the cover of the Asian edition of the National Geographic magazine twice, February's issue . In 2007, He was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of the Arts and Literature) by the French government for his “exceptional career” in cinema.

Satyajit Ray Satyajit Ray is widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. Not only is he revered in India, filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, James Ivory, Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Kazan, François Truffaut, Carlos Saura, Isao Takahata, Wes Anderson, Danny Boyle and many other noted filmmakers from all over the world have been influenced by his cinematic style, while many others such as Akira Kurosawa have praised his work. He is a Bharat Ratna winner in India, and has been felicitated with multiple laurels internationally. At the 11th Moscow International Film Festival in 1979, he was awarded with the Honorable Prize for the contribution to cinema. At the Berlin International Film Festival, he was one of only three filmmakers to win the Silver Bear for Best Director more than once and holds the record for the most number of Golden Bear nominations, with seven. At the Venice Film Festival, where he had previously won a Golden Lion for Aparajito (1956), he was awarded the Golden Lion Honorary Award in 1982. That same year, he received an honorary "Hommage à Satyajit Ray" award at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. Ray is the second film personality after Chaplin to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an Honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement. It was one of his favourite actresses, Audrey Hepburn, who represented the Academy on that day in Calcutta. He was posthumously awarded the Akira Kurosawa Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics' Top Ten Poll ranked Ray at No. 7 in its list of ‘Top 10 Directors" of all time, making him the highestranking Asian filmmaker in the poll .

October October1-15, 1-15,2016 2016 // Corporate CorporateCitizen Citizen // 57 57

Social Good


beauty and brains for social good

The rigours behind arc lights, beauty pageants and modelling assignments are enough to throw away any Sushruthi Krishna, co-founder of Anatta, an NGO that supports and offers expertise for creating suitable infrastructure across target schools in Bangalore for raising awareness and improving sanitation and hygiene. Sushruthi, the 1st runner up at the FBB Femina, Miss India 2016 contest, wears many hats. For her, social work is something which has been culturally in-built within her home sphere with both her mother and brother being involved in social sectors even before she nurtured her plans with co-founder, Aditya Venkataraman to set up Anatta. In a chat with Corporate Citizen, Sushruthi expresses her quest to bring back these children to schools through good sanitation and infrastructure management in government-run and aided schools


nitially, we started off with Anatta as two students of architecture. I had previously visited a school in Varthur, Bangalore, and was generally studying on the prospects of redeveloping government schools. What are the kinds of possible designs you would work on etc.? That is when we first came across the issue of lack of infrastructure in schools. ...When we saw the bathrooms, we were literally taken aback because they did not have ventilators or doors. They did not even have something as simple as an Indian pan and even if they did, then they did not have flush! So, we thought that health is something that is definitely of importance and if we were to get school children back into schools, health is the first place we need to start with for a good and healthy learning environment and that is why we started Anatta,” said Sushruthi. “Anatta is actually a word that is derived from Pali and it means “no-self ”. So, whenever we work, we don’t really see who you are or how much the person (as team member) has been working or will be working. We look at the in-

By Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar across DPS South Bangalore, R.V.College of tention. Do you want to work? How do you feel Architecture, Bangalore and the critical three you can contribute to what we are doing?” years spent at South Windsor, Connecticut, US, “Anatta is more than non-profit and I would her visits to government schools as an architect say it is literally something we are doing out of nurtured her to do something towards lack of goodwill”, which started when both Sushruthi basic toilet facilities and other infrastructure and Aditya were researching about toilets and discrepancies in these schools. Her calling was, schools. “But, we were having so many road blocks because the government would get in- “...In good schools, we all know infrastructure has never been the problem, so when you see volved sometimes especially in rural set-ups. one single classroom serving a mix of 1st, , 2nd Also, how to work with these schools and how and 3rd graders; simply because they don’t have comfortable these schools would be in having you over and working with them was a chal- independent classrooms, you then understand that while it is so simple it is also so difficult lenge. Besides, where do you get the budgets for them to get something as simple as infrafrom? So, with all of that, we faced a lot of structure...” roadblocks but then we read an article on Let’s For her, striking the right pose as a beauty Do Some Good Foundation (LDSG), a social queen has now taken on a new meaning in her responsibility platform and it’s founder Shoma innate passion to bring about social change. Bakre and thought, “There is a lady out there Her understanding of construction jargons and doing that so, why don’t we collaborate. If you have seen how we work, we are open to collab- rigmaroles in her role as an architect just seems to tie-in with her choice to service infrastrucoration with all kinds of NGOs...” ture bottlenecks in these aided schools. “The challenging task is to convince parents of Education, the Big Leveller For Mysore born Sushruthi, despite her privi- these kids who lead a hand to mouth existence. Most of the kids we worked with had parents leged upbringing and educational graphs spread

58 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

...My passion has always been for design. So, in terms of your intelligence, understand what you are passionate about, and in what you believe in. Be beautiful from the inside and if you can get a good balance of the two, being pretty on the outside is something that will eventually come...

October October1-15, 1-15,2016 2016// Corporate CorporateCitizen Citizen // 59

Social Good

She is a great young role model who has taken “beauty with a purpose” very seriously and is committed to put in her efforts to bring about positive social change - Shoma who were into petty crimes, or balloon selling etc.... For them, it is just about survival....They don’t think about the larger possibility if their child is educated. One of the biggest challenges that we have faced along with the school is to retain students and bring them back in school. Their thinking was if we send our child out to work we might earn `50 extra per day but they don’t understand that if they send them to school, 10 years later you are going to earn say, `5000 per day. ... This section of society needs a lot more focus...” Overhauling the Ecosystem Co-founder Aditya and Sushruthi realised soon enough that there is no mandate on motivating students to continue education in government or rural schools and that infrastructure is the last thing they would worry about. There is very low ownership of physical assets in these schools which is deemed as public property for public use; albeit without any responsibility to

maintain the meager facilities provided. They learnt that most of these schools do not have the vision or the mind-set and are ill-equipped to bring about changes to the ecosystem. It then translates to low parental expectations of their wards in these schools. “So, the objective with which we set out was really to just provide a good and healthy learning environment and to help children understand the importance and to value the things which come free to us. While we are providing the infrastructure, we also want them to understand and know that with everything you get, there is a certain responsibility. Teaching them on how to take care of your environment is what we also do.... How to keep it clean? How not to vandalise it? How do you ensure that you have had this privilege; so the next who is coming into school also has the privilege of using the facility; that is something that is very important which we try to encourage in each of our sessions.”

60 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Riding over the ‘Dream Girl’ appeal “When I spoke to Shoma, she did not believe that I would do any work. Because, I don’t know, I think, people don’t really believe that beauty queens actually end up doing any real work! We do work. Shoma called on Sushruthi and said that they have this upcoming one project and if they were willing to do it. “Definitely we were. Aditya was not available on that day so, I ended up going to this school all by myself in Vijayanagar, Bangalore which is the first project that we did. By the time I came back, I had fallen ill and the reason being was that the toilet was in such a terrible condition there”. She reminisced that, “The piping of the toilets was completely broken and the sewage was all outside; so I could see it and there were flies everywhere. The soak pits and the chambers were not working and the entire space behind the toilet was like a field of bacteria. So, by the time I came back, I fell ill for the next four days. That made me wonder - the kids are living there so, how much worse could it be for them.” In her case, being an architect helped in her chosen social goals. “If it is your field, you are anyways going to work to make money but it is also important that you can bring that knowledge and if you can give it back to somebody; that makes a lot of difference.” As Shoma said, “She is a great young role model who has taken "beauty with a purpose" very seriously and is committed to put in her efforts to bring about positive social change.” Brick by Brick Aditya and Sushruthi then met up with their contractor and explained the situation which thus kick-started their very first project. “Shoma actually completely believed in us only once we had completed the project and handed it to her saying that this is the kind of work we are hoping to keep doing. Shoma then assessed the quality of work on its craftsmanship and good detailing in construction work which was verified by LDSG’s own contractor and finally she was convinced,” said Sushruthi. “Shoma helps us find schools as well as helps with the funding. We have signed a very basic contract with LDSG. Since, we are not a registered NGO, funding is a problem as we need to

route the money through somebody else. However, since we have a high degree of transparency with Shoma’s LDSG organisation; and the way we work, we have a very good relationship with them. ... So, every single bill that comes in goes to Shoma and there have been no real problems that we have faced so far.” “We work with our own team. The entire execution happens with us while as of now, the entire funding happens through LDSG. The contractors are with us, the people who prepare the bills and the vendors are ours. So, we take care of the entire execution of these toilet projects.” “Initially, it was just the two of us and it was quite taxing as both of us were working in our core professions as architects. After we finished our day’s job, we used to go to the site (for school projects) and figure out what was happening. ...But, then we were fortunate to have a lot of people approach us and offer help especially our colleagues and friends. They would ask us if they could contribute and this is how the team built itself. We sat with each person that came into the team and spoke to them in terms of what we were trying to achieve and by associating with us, we also tried to understand on what they hoped to achieve from working on our projects.” Anatta is seeking to go beyond these individual contributors and add on other stakeholders for wider coverage of their future goals. ‘Wall Talks’ and All The primary step of Anatta’s program module is to build toilets. “The basic module is just building the infrastructure part of it and something called “the wall talk”. For residential school, the problems are as simple as the kids do not brush their teeth as they don’t have their parents around. They don’t take a bath, do not wash their hands, eat whenever they feel like and those are the kind of problems that we also address.” The idea of ‘Wall Talks’ is literally that the wall in front of you talks to you daily .We paint all of these things that we teach them, on the wall. It could be brush your teeth daily or clean your hands, or brush your teeth twice a day or take a bath daily and make sure toilets are clean....They read it every day when they go to the toilet. When we do ‘Wall Talks’, we see what is the problem in that particular school. We have a general module that we have written out internally and we adapt it to that particular situation. We talk to the children about it. We believe that visual reinforcement is

in terms of how you deal with these as part of something that really helps in getting it into your a module which is different for each age group system... “The third thing in the course is about hygiene -Grade 1 to Grade 4, Grade 5 to Grade 8, and so on.” and menstrual cycle. It is something we are still working on and trying to collaborate with an- Building up the Future other NGO because they specialise more in that. “We really just aim to be able to provide good infrastructure for as many schools as possible. Here we talk about the different aspect of health We want to build at least 50 toilets in 12 months and about how your body changes at different starting June 2016. More than just providing points of time. How it is important to respect infrastructure, it is equipping children with women and men. In a lot of schools what happens knowledge that they need to be responsible tois when they do not have a lot of rooms in toilets, wards what they have.” you have the boys peeking into the girls’ toilet and Although current funding is routed through so it is about teaching children about respecting LDSG, Anatta is trying to start off the process each other’s boundaries too...” of brainstorming on how to also garner funds “...A lot f times when girls come to school they independently. “We are trying to approach wear a sanitary pad in the morning and don’t companies like Intel, HP, Himalaya, Manipal change till they go back home or they don’t come and Future group and are quite new in terms to school on those days. So, how do you deal with of understanding the realms. I think corporate that kind of a situation because a lot of this is not taught at home as their parents are very uncom- funding is a different game by itself. So, alongside Shoma, who has a deeper understanding fortable about speaking about it? We teach them

Initially, it was just the two of us and it was quite taxing as both of us were working in our core professions as architects. After we finished our day’s job, we used to go to the site and figure out what was happening- Sushruthi into that, we are trying to figure out how to get ourselves to connect with corporate and are on a learning process on this at the moment.” Balancing It All The most important thing for me is firstly to be beautiful from the inside, even if you look like a wreck and go like a college student, but, be beautiful from inside. To be positive in your thoughts, and to believe and dream big, because that is something that starts within you and when you are able to communicate that to other people then I think, they see beauty more in that. Then again, there is the grooming part of it that comes eventually as and when you learn about your different fields because grooming is very different for each field... Outer beauty is more adaptive to what you are doing at that point in time, and brains are something I belief that every person has the potential to be doing something big. It is important that you identify and work with something that you love doing because if you had probably convinced me to be a doctor I would be the most terrible doctor there is!” October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 61

Mobile apps

Meet the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Perhaps no other new version of a Smartphone is as anticipated every year as the launch of Apple’s iPhone. Every year, the launch of the next model comes with a lot of expectations. Did the iPhone 7 surprise or disappoint? Corporate Citizen explores the latest and greatest from Apple By NEERAJ VARTY


he iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 plus have just been launched and there are lot of changes, some subtle, as well as some major ones. Let’s look at what’s new in the annual refresh of the legendary iPhone.

iPhone 7

Design: The iPhone 7 looks almost the same as its predecessor, but with few key changes. The main among them is the new place of the antenna bands. They are now on the top and bottom edges on the back. Subjectively, this makes the iPhone 7 look a bit cleaner. Apple has introduced two new black offerings - Jet Black and just Black, as well as Gold, Silver and Rose gold. Water Proofing: Starting from the design, the iPhone 7 is now water- and dust-resistant. With an IP67 certification, it can last up to 30 minutes under a meter of water. Water proffing is a much needed addition and has been desired by customers for a long time, especially in an expensive phone like the iPhone. Say Goodbye to the headphone Jack: The headphone jack is gone, just as rumored. Now, plugging headphones will happen through the lightning port only. Of course, you could go wireless with a pair of Bluetooth headphones, too. Apple includes new EarPod headphones with lightning cable in the retail

box as well as a 3.5mm to Lightning port adapter. A new major addition to the phone’s audio prowess is the stereo speaker setup. At the top and bottom, the iPhone 7 sports stereo speakers. It boasts 2x the volume of the iPhone 6s as well as an improved audio range. Redisgned Home button: Another major change is the new Home button - it’s now pressure sensitive, as opposed to physically clicking. Instead, the new Home button uses haptic feedback, akin to the MacBook Force Touch trackpad. Powerful Camera: The iPhone 7 features an updated 12MP camera with f/1.8 six-element lens and optical image stabilization. The sensor is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more efficient than the previous camera system. The LED flash is also updated and now consists of four LEDs. The front-facing camera got its resolution boosted to 7MP and records 1080p video. Performance: Apple has equipped the iPhone 7 with a new-generation A10 Fusion chip. It features a quad-core CPU with 3.3 billion transistors - two high-performance cores and two power-saving ones. They run 40% faster than the processor on the iPhone 6s.

62 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

Battery life: Naturally, the battery life has been improved in the iPhone 7. Apple says it lasts two hours more than the iPhone 6s. Memory: The iPhone 7 has been bumped up from a 16GB to a 32GB base model. It will also come in 128GB and 256GB.

iPhone 7 plus The iPhone 7 Plus has the same internals as the iPhone 7, except it sports a 5.5” Full HD screen and has a revolutionary new camera Camera: The new Dual Cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus are one "wide" angle 28mm and a "telephoto" 56mm unit. Both have 12MP sensors and the camera can combine the two perspectives to achieve a shallow depth of field effect. The iPhone 7 Plus does this by building a depth map and isolating the background from the subjects - and what's cooler is that you can see the depth of field effect in real time before you take an image. The new 12MP snapper is 60percent faster and 30 percent more efficient. Like its predecessor the camera has optical image stabilisation. The lens is a new 6-element lens with a quad-LED flash to aid in low light. The 28mm camera has an f/1.8 aperture while the 58mm telephoto camera has a rather slow f/2.8 opening. The FaceTime selfie camera has received a two megapixel bump up to 7MP.

Claps & Slaps Corporate Citizen Claps for the southern state of Tamil Nadu (TN) for securing a place amongst world travel destinations in New York Times’ (NYT) coveted list of 52 places to go in 2016

Corporate Citizen Slaps the discriminatory ‘babu’ culture prevalent amongst government officials who do not bat an eyelid to book themselves into business class travel agendas. But, for deserving Rio Olympics players returning home, they could not even secure decent berths onboard our prestigious Indian Railway train compartments

This makes TN the only Indian destination to have featured in NYT‘s 2016 compilation of best travel destinations. Despite Goa, Ladakh, Kashmir and Rajasthan being perceived to be more popular amongst international tourists, NYT’s recent compilation narrates Tamil Nadu, as a “place with a ‘rich and undiscovered history’. The state is where India’s major temple cultural complexes are, and some are so large that they’re considered mini cities.” In the NYT travelogue, TN is positioned at number 24, and states, “that the northern part of India is more popular among tourists due to its heritage sites and Mughal influences, but “Tamil Nadu is an equally attractive place for a traveller.” The NYT depicts Tamil Nadu as the place where India’s major temple complexes are located. “There’s Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, a sprawling complex dedicated to a powerful female deity, Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, built by the ancient Cholas, one of India’s greatest dynasties, and several hundred other temples dotting the countryside and brimming with art carvings dating back as far as the 9th century,” it says. The NYT profile on TN also emphasises on the region of Chettinad and its heritage sites, the kind of food available in the state, and a quick look into the prominent tourist accommodation options. The travel article also mentions that temples aren’t the only cultural hit: the region of Chettinad has more than 50 villages filled with 18th century mansions of carved Burma teak. It also boasts cuisine that is among the spiciest and most aromatic in the country and often served on banana leaves. The NYT travel directory also states that despite limited infrastructure in Tamil Nadu which made accessibility a challenge for travellers, the recent burst of boutique hotels is changing that. Over a dozen properties recently opened or on their way to debuting include Chidambara Vilas and the Bangala in Chettinad, Heritage Madurai in Madurai and Ideal River View Resort in Thanjavur.” In the same study, Mexico City has been adjudged as the number1 ‘in the NYT’s, ‘Place to go in 2016’. So move on ‘Viva Mexico’, here comes ‘Ennonondu Orru’ Tamil Nadu!

In an incident that upholds ‘dual standards’ within the system, four players from the Indian women hockey contingent, returning from the recently concluded Rio Olympics 2016 - Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Sunita Lakra and Lilima Minz from Odisha, were made to sit on the floor of their train compartment as they had unconfirmed tickets. They were travelling from Ranchi to Rourkela. This disgraceful incident apparently happened on a day when the more successful Indian Olympians Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu, finalist, Dipa Karmakar and coach, P Gopichand were being felicitated with BMWs. This humiliation faced by the athletes did a media furore but the railway authorities remained unfazed. While activists have urged Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Vijay Goel to register a case of inhuman treatment, negligence and exploitation against the railway officials, the argument also noted that since the players are also railway employees themselves they did not need to buy train tickets and that the travel ticket examiner (TTE) should have arranged seats for them. Contesting these arguments, Indian Railways refuted these reports, saying that the travelling hockey players held no grudge against them. A statement released by the Indian Railways said, “The news reports about the women’s hockey team, after their return from Rio Olympics being forced to sit on the floor while they were travelling back home is completely false. Also the information that the TTE asked them to sit on the floor of the bogey of the train is untrue,” adding that, “However, when the players boarded the train with unconfirmed tickets, the TTE took only 20 minutes to make seats available to them”. They also said that the players were in a hurry to meet their family members and hence pre-poned their plans which led to the confusion…” Activist Brinda Adige said, “I am sure funds were allocated, it was the carelessness and apathy of the officials who have been indifferent to the players, assuming that players are their gulams (slaves). And these people continue in this feudal fashion because they are babus and officials; they can travel in first-class and have the best luxury, whereas the real players are being treated so badly. I would also like the department to suspend them”. (Compiled by Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar) October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 63

astroturf ising.


Mar 21- April 20 Many a relationship could be cementing their bonds into something more meaningful. My only advice is that do not indulge impulsively take deliberate steps albeit after a lot of consideration. You need to verify your dreams and intuitions. Do not be too quick to make judgments or act on them. Take time to deliberate on issues before making up your mind.


April 21 - May 20 Your social popularity increases and you enter a yearly love and social peak. This actually for you will be socially hectic month. Singles will experience many opportunities when they could be treading on the path towards finding their love of life. Love opportunities could be found at workplace or in educational or religious settings.


May 21 - June 21 Health and energy are much improved, better than last month. Avoid any arguments or confrontations, both personally as well as professionally. You are still in a yearly pleasure peak, and this is stronger than usual. Overall this is a happy period, enjoy your personal space, as your creativity is ultra strong this period.


Jun 22 - July 23 Home and family issues get resolved, you will move into a bigger and better place. Health needs to be monitored. Remember, during happy times too much of excitement also does bring in stress. Make sure to take breaks and rest when you can.



Fortune favours the bold and the lucky

Your attitude is your altitude, says Dolly Mangat, our renowned Astrological Expert and believes she helps people create their own prophecies rather than live predictions further.


July 24 - Aug 23 The month ahead is still prosperous. Financial goals will be more or less achieved. Mental development, communication and interests will attract you more. Students will find success in their education departments. Good time to buy some new equipment or asset. Siblings and relations around you will also be enjoying life. This is the right time to build your infrastructure that makes further career progress possible.


Aug 24 - Sept 23 Finances will get much better. For many of you out there much depends upon your age too. This is your lifetime financial peak. You will get support from your family too in every aspect. Money can be earned through various means including from home— often this indicates a fortunate purchase or sale of home. The real estate industry is good. The Sun in the money house shows the importance of your financial intuition. Networking both socially and personally will flourish, and your skills in this area play a huge role in your earnings.

64 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016


Sept 24 - Oct 22 Make the changes that need to be made, create conditions, as you desire them to be. You have the power to do whatever you wish the way you desire. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Have things your own way. Those of you involved in the intellectual arena, writers and teachers will have a fruitful month ahead.


Oct 23 - Nov 22 A happy and successful month can be expected. People around you may call you selfish but then your happiness matters the most. side effect.


Nov 23 - Dec 22 The planetary power is flowing towards you rather than away from you. Your personal power and personal independence are approaching their maximum. This should be used to your advantage, now it will be much easier to make the changes you need to make in your life. You will be able to change conditions and make them more conducive to your liking. It’s the time to create your personal nirvana.

Dec 23 - Jan 20 There are pay rises overt or covert, promotions and elevations and more recognition for your achievements. In many case honours may come through. Being involved with charities and good causes is a valid way to advance your career. Your good work ethics are also important, and superiors or those in authority will take notice.


Jan 21 - Feb19 An interesting and successful month ahead is expected for you as your career planet began to move forward last month, after many, months of retrograde motion. Finally there is clear career direction now. Success of family members, the status of the family enhances. You will have good family support for whichever career you want to pursue. You will begin an yearly career peak. A lot of behindthe-scenes development now become more overt. You will be successful, elevated and promoted. .


Feb 20 - Mar 20 Your ability to get along well with others is still as important as your actual skills. Now you need to cultivate skills like cutting costs, cut waste cut the needless and effete. Superiors will be impressed by this habit of yours. You could also experience near death like experiences in the year ahead. Even though your bosses may be demanding but you would be better able to handle them. Address: 143, St Patrick’s Town, Gate# 3, Hadapsar IE, Pune-411 013. Tel.: 020-26872677 / 020-32905748 Email:

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Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank on women in leadership and gender diversity


An in-depth interview with Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director India with Kingston Technology and Rajeev Bhadauria, Director, Group HR, at Jindal Steel & Power



October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 65

the last word

Ganesh Natarajan

Thoughts on failed startups The failed entrepreneur is not a pariah; he could be an asset to any organisation which is looking for entrepreneurial leaders…


ince 2014, India has seen over 2,000 startups with great dreams across a variety of sectors— Retail Commerce, Healthcare, Education, Robotics… you name it! Fuelled by the hype created by indiscriminate funds and to some extent by the Start-Up India fever everywhere, young folks tired of looking for the perfect job decided to throw their hat into the entrepreneurial ring, raided their kids’ piggy bank or their family’s bank account and got started. Sadly, many of these startup ships that sailed out into the venture sea have floundered and at last count, a thousand or more failures have happened in the startup landscape. The pink papers report almost with some vicarious pleasure the stores of the ‘down rounds’ that the erstwhile unicorn companies have had to consider and the blacklisting of some startups by the IITs have made front page news last week. All you have to do is google -` failed startups in India’ and a litany of reasons and umpteen lists will pop out, almost giving the impression that the start-up story is done and dusted. The one stark fact that has been reported is that Israeli investors in startups have seen a seven times return on their money while in India it has been barely 10% more than the invested amount. What does all this mean for the young person or the mid-life crisis-facing corporate executive who

wants to embark on a startup? The KS Raghavan Incubation Centre at IIM Bangalore presents a good model for a staged approach that startups could consider. They are: ⦿ First decide that you are really in it for the long haul and not just as an experiment ⦿ Find an idea to incubation’ programme that enables you to truly think through the idea and develop the business case ⦿ Try to get into a proper incubator that will help you refine the idea before you seek funds ⦿ Find a good angel investor who will take you through the stage of product or service ⦿ Build and also find mentors from the field of your interest who will enable you to truly build a distinctive value proposition *Think through the funding rounds you will need and the potential investors who will take you through the stages of growth needed to build a successful company.

The one stark fact that has been reported is that Israeli investors in startups have seen a seven times return on their money while in India it has been barely 10% more than the invested amount

66 / Corporate Citizen / October 1-15, 2016

What makes startups fail and what are the obvious precautions budding entrepreneurs needs to take to avoid being one? As my friend Ravi Gururaj, Chair of NASSCOM’s Product Form has said, “there is no value in trying to be the fiftieth online laundry service in a city”. In fact, I am biased enough to say that one should approach the entire B2C space with abundant caution. There is too much hype and the hiccups faced by Snapdeal and Ola show that when there are big sharks like Amazon and Uber in the startup waters who have no compulsion at all to show profits given the quantum of funding they have attracted, it is going to be extremely difficulty for a local “Johnny come lately” to succeed or even survive for long. What one can learn from the success of Portea and Paytm in India is that if there is a substantial value proposition like home healthcare or cashless transactions that appeals to a large segment of the population, the likelihood of success is much more. What must be avoided are flights of fancy which might appeal to a few for a limited period of time and then get swept away by a slightly superior proposition from a new competitor. What looks like an amazing new idea— virtual reality and augmented reality or robots for loan processing —might prove to be so easy to copy that there is little that differentiates the winners in these spaces from the also-rans! Another common reason for

failure is a technology entrepreneur who has a great product idea but neither the vision nor the funding to build a marketing team which can take the idea to a larger market. As the marketing guru Ogilvy once said, “The world will not automatically beat a path of gold to the person with the better mousetrap.” Having a balanced team of marketing, technology and scaling personnel and if possible inducting people from the corporate sector who know what it is to build organisations is almost a prerequisite for taking startups to scale. And if one does fail, what should be done? Fail fast is the maxim that Silicon Valley has adopted extremely well and many successful billionaires in California have a history of one and sometime even more failed startups behind them. The failed entrepreneur is not a pariah, on the contrary, he could be an asset to any organisation which is looking for intrapreneurial leaders and a realistic assessment of why the startup failed, can help to ensure success the next time around. Hence, anyone with the entrepreneurial bug, should go ahead and do it. There is no harm in failing and in experiencing the start-up journey and of course enjoying the fruits of success if that does happen. Go forth and conquer, my friends! Dr. Ganesh Natarajan is Chairman of 5F World, Pune City Connect & Social Venture Partners, Pune.

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October 1-15, 2016 / Corporate Citizen / 67

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