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Volume 3 Issue No. 23 Pages 68 / February 16-28, 2018 / `50

corporate stalwart Sanjiv Mehta, CEO & MD, Hindustan Unilever Limited

Marketing is about occupying the emotional space of consumers Survey

PwC CEO Survey 2018

Dynamic Duo: 65

Piloting a Partnership Kirti and Rishabh Kapur, a senior Air India Pilot


Reema Nanavaty, Padma Shri, and General Secretary, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)


Pravin Paritkar, Director - Corporate HR & Admin, Poonawalla Engineering Group

CII Manufacturing Summit 2017:

Implications of GST for manufacturing sector


Manjari and Anand Rai

2 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 67

Registered with RNI, under Reg. No. MAHENG/2014/60490 Pune posted Reg. No. PCW/179/2018-2020 Posted at BPC, Pune CSO 411030 on 15th and 30th of every month. Licenced to Post without Pre-Payment Licence No. WPP-252.

Corporate Citizen, Krishna Homes Housing Society, Flat No 2 & 4, Bulk land No 4, Near Iskcon Mandir, Sector 29, Ravet, Akurdi, Pune 412101. Tel. (020) 69000673-7. or Post Box No-4, Dehu Road Cantt. Pin - 412101. 68 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018


Latest and brief information from all sectors

I am reading Corporate Citizen magazine from last one year. I am happy to inform that the magazine covers latest and brief information from all sectors. One can enhance their knowledge about technology, education, health, etc. It always makes one feel good about life after reading articles like ‘Loved & Married Too’. I am happy to share the magazine in office with my colleagues, which I always do. However, if you ask for a suggestion, I would say that if the magazine can cover some of the good corporate practises of other countries, that India can emulate it. Lastly, the magazine is reader-friendly and unique. - Rupali Palav, Asst. Manager, Chugoku Paints (India) Pvt Ltd

The Loreto College article was a nostalgic journey

The write-up on Loreto College (LC), Kolkata, in Corporate Citizen, Issue No. 21, January 16-31, was quite informative. It seems, LC is into pioneering projects and at the forefront in making a difference. Reading about Dr Aditi Das Gupta—she was so lively and so very young when we were studying with her. Sharmila Tagore’s youngest sister was a batch senior to me… so was Sr Anita Braganza, now Mother Provincial. The article chronicles the history and journey beautifully and going down-memory-lane makes one nostalgic. The St Thomas Church was always welcoming and the building next door was for the secretarial courses. LC with the school was like one stop for all… you enter as a school student and graduate out as a lady. The B. Ed section just over the library was then supervised by St Claire and the college by Sr Maeve and the school by Sr Joy Michael. The article was well-thought-out and written, bringing out the journey of the institution as an iconic heritage. - Nandita Sinha Roy, VP, Cambridge School, Noida

Inspiring success story

They say if you lose one sense, the other four become stronger and that seems quite true for Mohammed Asif Iqbal, Consultant, PwC, who you made the subject of your cover story recently. Though visually challenged, his inspiring success story once again proves that blindness is just a small obstacle if you’re determined to achieve big in your career. Very few magazines talk about such individuals and Corporate Citizen deserves kudos for bringing out the journey of greatness of this remarkable motivational corporate speaker. Equally interesting was the Dynamic Duo story of Renil Komitla and Rama Kini, the IT professionals, who have come back from the US to set up new businesses but with the IT spine. A great story indeed. - Kartika Chowdhury, Gurugram

Grounds for optimism as we plan for 2018 This refers to your lead story in the first issue of January titled ‘Hopes & Resolutions.’ I liked the way you presented it by talking to leaders of Corporate India which showed that there are very real grounds for optimism as we plan for 2018 and ahead. Analysis of Priyanshi Mathur seems spot on as she rightly says that “We’ll truly begin to feel the real impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work this year,” especially his courageous moves like demonetisation, GST, Digital India, Startup India, Aadhaar, and such others to eliminate corruption, black money, terrorism and fake currency, to name just a few. ‘Cradle of Leadership’ on Pune’s National Institute of Bank Management was also interesting. —Sidharth Luthra, New Delhi Learned about lives of so many interesting successful professionals

As always it’s a delight to read through. I find the subject choice for the articles relevant interesting and well-written. Through CC, I have learned about lives of so many interesting successful professionals and social ventures. Keep up the good work, it always makes me look forward to the next issue. - Anindita Mukherjee, academic mentor and coach

Truly moved by the sharing from ‘Grieving to Healing’

The very first issue of the 2018 is in my hands and I’m truly moved. For, I love the way the Consulting Editor of Corporate Citizen, has courageously shared with us the three gems from her wonderful anthology of poems titled ‘Grieving to Healing.’ While lives are often transformed by the loss of a loved one, it is rare to find someone penning down so beautifully the grieving and thereby the recovering pro-

cess of her innermost feelings at the untimely loss of her soulmate. It seems so unique as if you’re watching a movie, it offers you perhaps the best ideas on how best to cope and deal with these emotions. Jyotsna Mittal, Lucknow

Are you getting your Corporate Citizen issues regularly? Have you changed your address recently and haven’t informed us? You are our treasured reader and we would like to deliver Corporate Citizen without a break. There could be an issue of you receiving copies irregularly or you may have changed your residential/office address but haven’t informed us. Whatever be the problem of your subscription please email us at: and we shall promptly attend. Or call us at 020-69000673-7

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 3

Editor-in-Chief’s Choice // The Indian Express Investigation Reports //

Devalued Degree

Dr (Col.) A. Balasubramanian

To fill empty seats, colleges lower bar, hire agents to cast their net An Express Investigation - Part III: The middlemen are part of an ecosystem created by an uneven growth in engineering colleges over the last decade

The lone first-year IT student at Marathwada Institute of Technology, Bulandshahr

4 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018











from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body for technical education in the country. Uttar Pradesh is second on the list of vacant seats after Haryana, where Total Seats Vacant Seats 74 per cent of the seats went unfilled last year. UP has 1.42 lakh B E/B Tech seats, the fourth largest in the country after Maharashtra, which has 1.55 lakh seats. According to rules laid down by the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) in Lucknow, the affiliating university for all private engineering colleges in the state, every institute has to fill 85 per cent of its in44% 51% 52% 56% 65% take through the Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Examination and AKTU counselling and the remaining 15 per cent through management quota. If the 85 per cent seats are not filled 320 321 303 301 296 through counselling, colleges are TOTAL INSTITUTES permitted to admit students directly, through the management quota. In 2015, only 15,608 students were admitted across all engineering colleges in UP via counselling. Last year, this number stood at 13,730. That’s barely 10 per cent of the intake. However, even after direct admissions, 65 per cent of the total 1.42 lakh B E/B Tech seats were left unoccupied last year. This is where the likes of Yadav come in. “A small-time agent today can easily earn `10 lakh a year working from home,” says Yadav, who wound up his office in Delhi a few years ago and now operates from a rented house in Greater Noida. 2012-13


hen no one comes knocking on your door, you send a “middleman” to lure them in—that, in short, is the unstated admissions policy of many engineering colleges staring at seat after empty seat. Ask Jainendr Yadav, 39, and he is not at all on the defensive. “They don’t mess with us,” he says with a smile that rarely leaves his face. “We are a parallel government of sorts.” His confidence isn’t misplaced. At a time when engineering colleges in Uttar Pradesh (UP) show a 65 per cent vacancy, at least 14 points above the national average, Yadav and many like him control access to the colleges’ lifeline—students. Every year, from February to August, Yadav, a “consultant” on paper, taps his network of sub-agents who send out bulk SMSes and work telephone lines to lure engineering aspirants. He places them in colleges in UP in exchange for a commission from the institute. Given their desperation, colleges pay up to `60,000 for every he helps enroll. With 10 years of experience, Yadav claims to cater to roughly 100 educational institutes in UP. Last year, he says, he “placed” over 50 students into B Tech programmes. Yadav and middlemen like him are part of an ecosystem created by an uneven growth in engineering colleges over the last decade, a phenomenon that has resulted in seats going vacant and the degree getting steadily devalued. Of the 15.5 lakh undergraduate seats in 3,291 engineering colleges in India, over half—51 per cent—were vacant in 2016-17, according to data

Talent scout in distorted market

In 2000, UP changed rules to permit private players to set up engineering colleges. The result was a sudden spike in colleges and seats across the state. In 2002-03, there were 22,491 undergraduate engineering seats across 83 colleges. In the 15 years since then, that has gone up to 1.42 lakh seats (a 535 per cent increase) and 296 colleges (a 296 per cent growth). This sharp growth curve began petering out in the late 2000s. The downward slide began in 2012-13 and the graph has continued to drop ever since—44 per cent engineering seats went vacant that year; in 2016-17, it stood at 65 per cent. Jainendr Yadav, a ‘consultant’, claims to have got 50 students into engineering colleges in UP last year

Pics: Praveen Khanna

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 5

Editor-in-Chief’s Choice Himanshu Raghav, 17, and his twin, Harshit, at Marathwada Institute of Technology in Bulandshahr, UP. They were the only ones admitted to the first-year batch of IT and Electronics Engineering, respectively

Last year, over half—or 58 per cent—of the engineering colleges in the state had at least 70 per cent of their seats vacant. At least 11 of these colleges now run the risk of being forced to shut by AICTE since they haven’t been able to fill more than 30 per cent seats over the last five years. That is the sixth highest number of colleges under the regulator’s radar after Maharashtra (26), Andhra Pradesh (19), Haryana (17), Orissa (17) and Telangana (16). Given this, the presence of middlemen points to a worrying lowering of standards, say experts. “The phenomenon of middlemen is completely avoidable. Their existence reflects that there are gains to be made and shared. After all, these intermediaries have to be paid by those providing education. A situation where you have middlemen sourcing students is not a happy one at all, especially if you are trying to improve the quality of education.” Yadav, the agent, admits as much. “Meritorious students will never take admission through us. It’s the weaker ones who approach us. Since colleges are desperate, they even take in students who have barely any understanding of mathematics. I’m not sure if these students learn anything at all,” he says. Chandan Kumar, managing director of SPOC India Global Services, a six-year-old consultancy firm in Noida, says that institutes willingly dilute admission criteria, with most of them waiving the requirement that the student should have at least appeared for the state entrance test. Kumar’s firm has tie-ups with close to 70 institutes, of which almost 50 run B E/B Tech programmes. He says that often, the student’s aptitude has little to do with her chances of getting into an engineering college. Anybody with 45 per cent marks—the minimum eligibility norm prescribed by AICTE for admission to an undergraduate engineering course—and who is ready to pay an agent can be assured of a seat. The informal and unregulated nature of the sector makes it difficult to map the growth of middlemen. The Indian Express spoke to three agents on record, all of whom spoke about how colleges in the state were desperate for students and therefore increasingly dependent on middlemen for survival. 6 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Meena Saxena, 44, says she handled the ‘admissions cell’ of several technical institutes in UP, including GL Bajaj Institute of Technology Management and Accurate Institute of Technology and Management, for 18 years before starting her own “consultancy practice” in Noida two years ago. “A decade ago, when admissions were good, consultants would request institutes to admit students for a hefty donation. Now colleges beg the agent to bring in students,” says Saxena, who claims to have about 50 clients, including engineering and management institutes in UP. The biggest indicator of their growing clout is the fee middlemen command. “In 2010, I remember, the commission for placing one student was `5,000. Today it’s at least `60,000,” says Yadav, adding that in their books, colleges usually show the payment made to agents under the head “branding”. Before the vacancy crisis came up, an agent’s commission used to be a “cut” from the capitation fee (donation) paid by the parents. With supply (read seats) outstripping demand, colleges are no longer in a position to demand capitation fee. So, colleges now offer agents a cut from a student’s first-year tuition fee—ranging from `25,000 to `60,000. A sign of their growing dependence on “consultants” is the manner in which colleges are seeking longer and even permanent associations with the middlemen. “For the last two years, they have also started offering us a share in the institute’s annual revenue. Many have even outsourced their ‘admissions cell’ operations to consultants,” says Kumar of consultancy firm SPOC India. The industry of middlemen in UP, which operates mainly out of Noida, runs on word-of-mouth references. But that happens only once an agent has established herself in the sector. To make a mark, you first need to build a good database of students, says Saxena. For instance, she has an informal arrangement with a few schools where she helps with “career-counselling” and conducts aptitude tests for students. The school administration, in turn, provides her with contact details of all of its Class 12 pupils and she reaches out to them as soon as the Board exams are over.

five years later following poor admission numbers. Now the building is a branch of Delhi Public School.


New 10



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Electronics & Electrical

Information Technology



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Spreading the net


Computer Science





But with interest in engineering flagging, agents have realised that it’s not enough to tap the local student population. So they have begun fanning out to different parts of the country in search of aspirants, with Bihar now their perfect hunting ground. “If it weren’t for students from Bihar, half of us and the institutes would have gone bust by now. Seventy per cent of our business comes from there,” says Yadav, who visits Bihar at least twice a month to “build contacts”. Why Bihar? Agents say that with few educational opportunities in the state, students there are happy to take up seats elsewhere in the country. The engineering wave that swept the country seems to have skipped Bihar. Until last year, the state only had 31 AICTE-approved engineering colleges (10,130 seats) while Haryana had 144, Punjab 103, West Bengal 91, Odisha 96 and UP 296. The Vishveshwarya Institute of Engineering and Technology (VIET) in Ghaziabad, set up in 2000, took in 20 students from Bihar last year and another 20 this year through a consultant, says institute head, Vinod Choudhury. The college is among 11 institutes in UP on AICTE’s radar for low admissions. Last year, as per AICTE records, over 80 per cent of its 480 B Tech seats were vacant. Two years ago, there were two engineering colleges running from the same campus— VIET and Vishveswarya Institute of Technology (VIT). The latter was started in 2008-09, with a sanctioned strength of 240 seats, to meet what they thought would be a rising demand for seats, but was closed

Waiting for a turnaround

There are some colleges that are still holding out despite the embarrassing admission numbers. Marathwada Institute of Technology (MIT) in Bulandshahr has decided to not approach middlemen, instead marketing its programmes more aggressively. This year, only 16 students have been admitted against an intake of 330 B E/B Tech seats. When they joined the college this year, Himanshu Raghav, 17, and his twin, Harshit Raghav, discovered that they were the only ones admitted to the first-year batch of IT and Electronics Engineering, respectively. “I figured out I was the only one after the roll call on the first day,” says Himanshu. He is the only student who secured a seat at MIT through AKTU counselling this year. At the moment, the brothers say, they are not sure things will work out. “But I don’t mind being the only student in my batch. Our father is happy because he thinks we will get special attention from the teachers,” says Harshit. MIT has a sanctioned strength of 30 seats for IT engineering and 60 for electronics. This is the first time the college has had a single-student batch in both branches. “It’s an unusual situation. Classes will happen even if it means assigning one teacher to one student,” says MIT director Atul Choudhury. The college is on AICTE’s radar for poor admissions over the last five years. Last year, according to AICTE data, 89 per cent of its 330 first-year seats were vacant. The institute, in a bid to tide over this crisis, has started offering skilling courses from this year under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and has already admitted 250 students. The UP government is planning to draft a perspective plan to address the crisis of vacant seats. On November 8, it wrote to all technical institutions seeking their feedback on seven proposed action points, including a moratorium on new approvals. But heads of AICTE-approved colleges say a part of the problem lies elsewhere—the “unchecked” expansion of engineering seats by private and deemed universities, which are not regulated by AICTE. These ‘universities’ are established under the Uttar Pradesh State Universities Act, 1973, and come within the purview of University Grants Commission (UGC), not AICTE. UP has witnessed a steady rise in the number of private universities that offer engineering programmes. The state has 29 of these ‘universities’, the third largest after Rajasthan (46) and Gujarat (31). College heads say that once a private university gets permission to start an engineering programme, they have a free hand in changing the fee structure and starting new course. But an AICTE-approved institution, on the other hand, needs to seek permission before attempting any of the above. “AICTE allows an intake of 60 students in an institution after several inspections. But a private university can admit hundreds of students without seeking any approval,” says Choudhury, head of VIET institute in Ghaziabad. “At this rate, one day, everyone in UP will be an engineer.” An unskilled, unemployed one at that. (This article was originally published in The Indian Express) (Link:

When no one comes knocking on your door, you send a “middleman” to lure them in—that, in short, is the unstated admissions policy of many engineering colleges staring at seat after empty seat

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 7

Contents 30

Cover story

Dynamic Duo 65

Piloting a Partnership Capt. Rishabh Kapur on his career in Air India, which also serves as second line of defence for India and on his happy life with his fashion designer wife, Kirti

11 11 COLLYWOOD Chatpata Chatter from the Corporate World 16 WAX ELOQUENT Who said what and why 8 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Volume 3 Issue No.23 February 16-28, 2018

18 THE TAX MAN COMETH What goes into actual making of the Budget 20 CORPORATE STALWART Sanjiv Mehta, CEO & MD, HUL gives tips on marketing in these changing times 26 INTERVIEW Reema Nanavaty, Padma Shri and General Secretary, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), on how they are bringing dignity and self-respect to rural women and their families

16 26


36 CII Manufacturing Summit 2017 Panel discussion on implications of GST for manufacturing sector 40 INTERVIEW Pravin Paritkar, Director Corporate HR & Admin, Poonawalla Engineering Group, on the latest trends in HR

36 40

46 Corporate History Story of UK-based retailer, Mothercare in desi stores 48 CAMPUS PLACEMENT Ankur Khantwal, on his experience of campus placement and how defeat for him is a challenge to do better 50 LOVED & MARRIED TOO Manjari and Anand Rai on the various milestones in their journey together

48 18

52 SURVEY PwC CEO Survey 2018, what’s on the minds of CEOs around the world 56 BOLLYWOOD Bollywood star wives who have established their own successful business careers

50 February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 9


58 Editor-In-Chief Dr (Col.) A. Balasubramanian Consulting Editor Vinita Deshmukh Senior Business Writer Rajesh Rao Senior Sub-Editor Neeraj Varty

58 MOBILE APPS Meditation apps to open the gateway to serenity and happiness

Sub-Editor Vineet Kapshikar Writers Delhi Bureau Pradeep Mathur Sharmila Chand

61 WORK CULTURE Deepika Sharma on working in Dubai 66 THE LAST WORD Uma and Ganesh Natarajan’s whirlwind year-end trip to temple

Bengaluru Bureau Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar


Pune Bureau Joe Williams / Kalyani Sardesai / Namrata Gulati Sapra Marketing Manager Delhi: Mohamed Rizwan Manager-Circulation West : Jaywant Patil, +91 9923202560 North : Hemant Gupta, +91 9582210930 South : Asaithambi G, +91 9941555389



Be A Corporate Citizen

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Creative Direction Sumeet Gupta, Graphic Designer Shantanu Relekar On Cover Page Kirti and Rishabh Kapur 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

Rajan applauds RBI’s rate panel Raghuram Rajan applauded the monetary policy committee led by his successor Urjit Patel, which has been rubbed on the wrong side in recent times by some government advisers for keeping interest rates too high. Former RBI governor Rajan said the six-member panel headed by Patel is doing a good job in focusing on inflation. Price targets are useful for countries that suffer from high inflationary pressures, he added. It was his initiative, but it came into force soon after the end of his term. This has created an arms-length distance between the government and the governor, who previously was the sole decider on interest rates, reducing the possibility of friction between policymakers in New Delhi and Mumbai, where the RBI is based. According to most economists’ surveys, inflation has breached the authority’s target and is forecast to stay high. Apart from this, Rajan was also instrumental in prodding Indian lenders to start identifying and cleaning up about $210 billion of stressed assets on their balance sheets.

Vellanki in UPL group Santosh Vellanki, general manager, people consulting task force, corporate HR at Reliance Industries joined UPL Group as head of talent acquisition & young talent management. He will also lead as HR business partner (HRBP) for all corporate functions of this $ 2.5 billion agrochemical firm. He will report to the Group CHRO Jayaram Philkana, and will be based out of Mumbai. At Reliance Industries, Vellanki was involved in HR transformation, leadership and HR platform projects. A computer engineer, Vellanki has completed an MBA in human resources from SIBM Pune. He also holds a master’s degree in communication & journalism from PST University and a diploma in cyber law from Government Law College, Mumbai. He has also worked with Tata Motors, where he was leading the talent acquisition function for the passenger vehicles business unit and the engineering research centre. He was also instrumental in setting up the policy, process and digitisation framework in the TA function.

Parekh to draw onethird of Sikka’s salary

Infosys has informed BSE that its new CEO, Salil Parekh will draw an annual fixed salary of `6.5 crore. The fixed pay will be paid monthly in accordance with the company’s normal payroll practices. From the beginning of the new financial year, which is April 1, 2018, Parekh will be eligible for a variable pay of `9.75 crore which will be subject to the company’s achievement of several milestones. For the interim period till March 31, Parekh will get a variable pay of `2.37 crore. It is also stated that under any circumstances, variable pay in a fiscal will not exceed 125 per cent of the target variable pay. However, Parekh’s pay is still lower than his predecessor Vishal Sikka. In a fiscal, Parekh will draw a maximum of `16.25 crore. In comparison, in 2015-16, Sikka drew an annual package of a whopping `49 crore more than three times of what Parekh will get. In fact, Sikka was one of the most expensive CEOs in the IT sector. In 2015-16, the then TCS chief N. Chandrasekaran was paid a package of `25.6 crore and Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala’s annual pay was `12 crore.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 11

collywood Pune, Japanese firm tie up for blockchain R&D Pasricha joins Bajaj Finance as Chief-HR From IndiGo’s Interglobe Aviation to Bajaj Finance has been the next stop for Sukhjit S. Pasricha, who joins Bajaj Finance (Bajaj FinServ) as chief of HR & Admin. Stepping into the finance industry, Pasricha has moved his base to Pune, where the rapidly growing NBFC’s headquarters are situated. With 500 branches across the country and over 13,000 employees, Pasricha admits that he is looking forward to his new role in the domain. “Moving from one growing sector to another and challenging the status quo to take up a larger opportunity for HR transformation is what made me decide to move to Bajaj Finance,” said Pasricha about his new venture. A Punjab University graduate and an MBA in HR from GNDU, Pasricha began his career with the Vardhman Group, before moving to Spice Communications, and thereafter joined Airtel in 2002 as the Head HR for AES. After three years, he entered PepsiCo as the MU HR head. Moving to Apollo International after a year and spending one year there as the Chief Corporate HR, Pasricha rejoined Airtel in 2007 and moved up the ladder to take up the position of senior VP HR (CHRO—enterprise services business) in 2008 and then the senior VP HR (Airtel Africa) in 2010. He then moved to IndiGo in 2013.

A Pune-based financial technology firm, Vizitech Solutions, got Japan’s connection as they signed a memorandum of understanding with Chaintope, a Japanese blockchain startup, to set up a blockchain research and development (R&D) centre in Pune. This is with the foresight to enhance skill sets for blockchains in India and carrying out innovative research to aide Chaintope’s ongoing international projects. Blockchain is a ledger system which eliminates intermediaries and middlemen, to provide a system that cannot be hacked. The deal was struck when Anandsagar Shiralkar, the founder and CEO of Vizitech Solutions, and Hideki Shoda, the founder of Chaintope, signed the MoU. “While blockchain is only in its nascent stages, it could become a $3-billion-$5-billion market in India in the coming years. Several state governments, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, are keen on incorporating blockchain into their governance systems to improve transparency. Blockchain can be incorporated into e-governance, financial services, logistical services, energy dealing as well as land dealings and real estate, thus providing immense business opportunity in the future,” said Shiralkar. He went on to add that it will not only focus on research but also train manpower in blockchain application development. “Of the initial 20 engineers, three will be selected and sent to Japan for in-depth training in blockchain application development. These engineers will then train the others and conduct research for ongoing projects,” he said. Shiralkar said Vizitech has already launched an online module on blockchain, which has been accessed by nearly 16,000 people across the globe. “As blockchain is comparatively new and complex, there is a need to spread awareness about this revolutionary technology,” he stated.

Rajiv Naithani joins Infogain India Infogain got in Rajiv Naithani as head of HR for India operations. Naithani has moved from Dassault Systèmes (3DS), where he was director-HR for the R&D and Services businesses in India. He will report to Phil Johnson, head-global human resources. With four branches spread over the country, Infogain, a technology services company has over 2000 employees in its centres in Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru and

12 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Pune. A graduate from Delhi University and an OD professional from ISABS, Naithani also holds qualifications from IIM-Calcutta (senior management programme) and XLRI Jamshedhpur (postgraduate HR programme). He has been the country’s HR head and global OD leader for GlobalLogic. He has also managed human resources at companies such as Interglobe Technologies, Innodata and HCL

in the past. A spiritual practitioner, social activist, Naithani has over 15 years of experience as an OD professional and is also a seasoned HR leader. Talking about the move, Johnson, to whom Naithani will be reporting stated, “Infogain is on a journey of growth and transformation, and our HR leaders will play a crucial role in identifying the right talent and creating a culture of innovation and learning.”

Homecoming at Essar for Sonalkar

ISF Awards for Science and Research

Infosys are just not the leaders in technology services and consulting, they have been leaders in many folds. The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF), which was found in the year 2009, is no different as this is one of their flagship initiative. And they (Infosys) always are the front runners in rewarding the stellar work. In a function held in Bengaluru recently, the ISF honoured the winners of the Infosys Prize 2017, while celebrating their inspiring journeys and contributions to science and research. The laureates of the Infosys Prize 2017 are: Prof. Sanghamitra

Bandyopadhyay (Engineering and Computer Science); Prof. Ananya Jahanara Kabir (Humanities); Prof. Upinder Singh Bhalla (Life Sciences); Prof. Ritabrata Munshi (Mathematical Sciences); Prof. Yamuna Krishnan (Physical Sciences) and Prof. Lawrence Liang (Social Sciences). The chief guest, Prof. Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Nobel Prize 2017 Laureate, felicitated each laureate a purse of `65 lakhs, a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation certificate. Among the other who were present were K. Dinesh, President of the Board of Trustees, N. R. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, T. V. Mohandas Pai, S. Gopalakrishnan, and Srinath Batni. The event was also attended by eminent scientists and academicians from India and abroad, business leaders, young researchers and students. The winners this year—three women and three men, are a true testimony to the symbiotic relationship between science and society. The winners were chosen from 236 nominations by jurors headed by eminent academics.

It is a homecoming for Kaustubh Sonalkar as he starts his second innings with Essar Group as President HR and CEO, Essar Foundation. His earlier association with the company was as senior vice president and Head-HR. Sonalkar has moved from the Future Group, where he was group chief people officer handling HR, communications, CSR, corporate relations, M&A, new business development and customer experience. This position was lying vacant since Adil Malia moved on from the Essar Group. Armed with more than two decades of experience, Sonalkar has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers as senior partner and executive director-EMEA (people & change and sports). This is his second stint with Essar. Earlier, he was associated with Essar Energy for a couple of years as senior vice president and head-HR. “I look forward to this new, exciting role that will require me to engage with both our people and the community at large, the pillars on which Essar stands, and take the brand to loftier heights,” said Sonalkar about the move. Commenting on Sonalkar’s venture, R.K. Sukhdevsinhji, Director, Essar, said, “In this dual role, Kaustubh will be in charge of building on the strong people and community focus that will continue to define Essar’s journey into its next phase of growth. Aside from his varied experience and professional competence, what sets Kaustubh apart is his familiarity with our ethos. I welcome him back to Essar and wish him the very best.” An entrepreneur in his own right, Sonalkar has experience of syncing business agenda with people management, designing proactive and predictive policies as opposed to reactive measures, and using technology to further his cause is the core of his operation. But he believes treating people like people, with heart, is more important than any innovation. He is of the belief that integrating people and cultures into the business is critical for any success. Mergers and acquisitions, marketing and branding, product development, human capital management and managing corporate relations and communications with local and government bodies across the globe are some of his key strengths. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Mumbai and a master’s in personnel management from the University of Pune (HR and behavioural sciences). He also holds an MSc degree from the London School of Economics. February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 13

collywood P&G aims high for gender equality FMCG giant, Procter & Gamble, has taken a leader’s spot as it is in to promote gender equality. In association with the WEConnect, with the resource sharing symposium, they together will give a boost to the women-owned enterprises across India. WEConnect is a nonprofit organisation that facilitates inclusive and sustainable growth for women-owned businesses. “We believe in the power of diversity because it is the right thing to do for the growth of the business and the communities we operate in. Investing in women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses makes sense for the economy, the community and for us. Our initiative is in line with the Indian government’s efforts to empower women economically. By committing a percentage of our spending to women-owned businesses, we’re not only doing the right thing for the Company, but also being socially responsible. The impact of our spending

Mehta joins Hexagon

Alok Mehta who took a break from the corporate world for over three years is back in the race as he joined Swedish IT product organisation, Hexagon, as Executive Director - Human Resources (global capability centres), to be based in Hyderabad. After running his boutique management consulting firm, Alouqik Consulting, for over three years, he decided to get back into an HR leadership role. “I loved the adventure and did some good work for multinationals and Indian organisations on transformational coaching, organisation and executive coaching,” says Mehta. In his new role, Mehta will report to the country head and also the global head of human resources. “These are great times for our function. With digitisation being the buzzword, keeping the function ‘human’ is the need 14 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

with women-owned businesses helps to stimulate economic growth in communities that are often overlooked, which in turn, promotes job creation and further opportunities, said Al Rajwani, MD & CEO, P&G the India Subcontinent commenting on the initiative. Through this collaboration, P&G will train suppliers on the relevance of a supply chain, in which men and women contribute equally. The USD 30 million sourcing will happen over the next three years, and the entire initiative will be in sync with P&G’s commitment to promote gender equality as envisioned by the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs), Apart from this outsourcing aspect, WEConnect and P&G will organise symposiums across the country to ascertain and solve issues faced by women entrepremeurs, and will help them become aware of ways in which they can grow their businesses, and create a supply chain with diverse demographics.

of the hour. I intend to focus on building on the strong DNA of the organisation and facilitating in co-creating a greater place to work, and establish the HR function as a pivot in the transformation journey,” he said about his re-entry into the biz world. In a career spanning over two decades, Mehta has been associated with companies such as INTAS Pharma, India Value Fund Advisors, Metro Cash & Carry, AstraZeneca Pharma, Deutsche Bank Group and Motorola India Electronics. A master’s degree holder in personnel management and industrial relations from TISS, Mehta started his career with Ranbaxy Laboratories in 1993, as assistant personnel manager. In the six years he spent with TISS, Mehta worked in corporate HR, looking after international HR operations. He was instrumental in setting up people policies and processes for China, Russia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and a few other emerging markets. He has led the function at the oldest API manufacturing site for Ranbaxy, in Punjab. He also managed employee relations for the field force of South and West India. In addition, he shouldered pan-India responsibility for compensation and benefits and assessment centres.

NPCI elevates Asbe as MD & CEO Dilip Asbe, Chief Operating Officer of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has been appointed its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing A.P. Hota, who retired recently. Hota, the first MD and CEO of NPCI, assumed office in August 2010. Asbe has led the introduction of digital payment systems such as the unified payments interface (UPI) since NPCI was set up in 2009. NPCI, an umbrella organisation overseeing retail payments and settlement systems in India, is an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), created to help build a strong payment infrastructure. Its 10 core promoter banks are State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, Citibank N.A. and HSBC Holdings Plc. Last year, it expanded shareholding to 56 member banks. The NPCI CEO’s role is influential in India’s ongoing push to expand digital payments. Compiled by Joe Williams

wax eloquent

India means Business

Take a look at what our corporate leaders have to say about recent trends and their experiences in the business world

We need a mindset change in the civil services

“India is not a fertile habitat for startups because of regulatory cholesterol, bad human capital, and poor infrastructure. I think adoption of India stack— paperless, presence-less and cashless—to all aspects of government, would make life much easier. But fundamentally, we need a mindset change in the civil services, away from prohibited-till-permitted to permitted-till-prohibited.”

India can lead the way “If you want wellness along with wealth, come to India. If you want wholeness of life along with health, come to India. If you want peace along with prosperity, come to India. A predictable, stable, transparent and progressive India will continue to be the good news in an otherwise state of uncertainty and flux. An India where enormous diversity exists harmoniously will always be a unifying and harmonising force.” Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India,

told the World Economic Forum in Davos recently


Manish Sabharwal,

co-founder and chairman of TeamleaseCourtesy:

In India, we have a few temples in our hearts “Supreme Court is a temple. Election Commission, RBI and Comptroller and Auditor General—these are institutional temples which are the foundation of public trust. It’s extremely important leadership of these temples, which are not elected representatives of public, constantly and proactively demonstrate both through real action and perception, principles of accountability and sustainability. The fifth one outside, and the real protector, is the media. These institutions are like Caeser’s wife. You not only have to be above suspicion, in reality you have to be seen above suspicion.”

Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank


Language technology remains the bedrock in India Entrepreneurs will create jobs in India

“It is a great time to invest in women entrepreneurs. We know manufacturing units can create jobs but how many jobs will these be? Ultimately, it will be entrepreneurs who will create jobs in India.” Chetna Sinha,

founder and chairman, Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation Courtesy: Mint

16 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

“In India, only 10% of the population considers English its first, second or third language. So it’s important to provide technology to Indians in the language of their choice. Language technology remains the bedrock of every India-centric innovation.” Rakesh Deshmukh, Indus OS


The drivers in India, most attractive opportunity “If you look at any economy in the world, the drivers in India are arguably the most attractive opportunity. When you put together low-credit penetration, the presence of Aadhaar, digitisation as an enabler, and overlay all those with GST, there is extraordinary potential in the market.” Pramit Jhaveri, CEO, Citi India

Courtesy: Times of India

Open science and open data

“That’s where the world is heading. All research done with taxpayer funds are open, and this is essentially how biology works already. Same with software, too. The open source movement is prevalent, important and will continue. Healthcare especially can’t grow unless it’s global and open. But I’m curious to see how businesses will work around this.” Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, director,

Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Courtesy:

Bringing spirituality into the workplace

Growing sense about Indianness

“There is a growing sense of confidence within the country about Indianness, which marries the contemporary global aspirations and what India means. It is not about rediscovering; it is a journey which every culture goes through.” Narendra Kumar, fashion commentator


Future belongs to those who innovate “The future belongs to those who innovate and it is our job to encourage you to innovate. Innovation cannot self-manifest but it can be nurtured and encouraged and it can also be discouraged. India and Israel are winning by a partnership which is reaching unprecedented heights.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Israel Courtesy:

Cannot run marketing sitting in glass offices

Nation’s development depends on knowledge and creativity

“In the long run, a nation’s development depends much more on knowledge and creativity than on tweaking policies, though of course one must not play down the importance of right policies. Economic policy can give huge positive or negative jolts. It can do good and can also mess things up. But the long-run performance of a nation depends disproportionately on human capital and creativity. You can see this through history.” Kaushik Basu,

Economist and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India Courtesy:

“We start thinking that we can run marketing sitting out here in our glass offices. I firmly believe if you want to understand what customers want, you have to go out of your offices and go to the customers’ homes and not just one or two. It needs to be a regular process because as we climb up the social ladder and get fancier positions as corporate executives, we start believing the world is what we know and that the world is people like us. That might not be a true representation of how things function.”

“Being completely present in the moment or in the activity one is engaged in, will make one feel peaceful and content. The aim should be to achieve a higher level of mindfulness which requires one to be in play, in a moment. Organisations and individuals who play are infinitely more productive, effective and creative. Our mind expands in all its infinite nature and we can access solutions that we may not have seen before. A few smart organisations have started to realise this.” Sujith Ravindran,

author, mystic and spiritual scholar Courtesy:

Vikram Mehra, managing director, Saregama India Courtesy:

Feels good to be remembered for something good “What really drives me is the feeling of making an impact and success for me is not just making money. When people die, they are remembered because of the impact they had made on the society. Doesn’t matter at which level you are or what work you do, it feels good to be remembered for something good. When you go somewhere you should be recognised for something good is what drives me.” Manu Kumar Jain, MD, Xiaomi India and Global Vice President Courtesy:

Indian films are being recognised abroad “I think the Indian film industry is a set of extremely intelligent, talented and artistic people, and Indian films are being liked abroad. I am not saying that ‘song-and-dance’ films define my country, but somewhere it does showcase culture to an international audience in a language that they are beginning to understand.” Shah Rukh Khan, actor


What is the definition of a successful person?

“To me the most successful person is one who has clarity on what success means uniquely to them, is able to work towards it and be happy with their choices. So, self-awareness is more important than either luck or hard work.” Mainak Dhar, Managing Director, General Mills Courtesy:

Compiled by Rajesh Rao

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 17

the Tax Man Cometh

What goes into the making of the Budget?

by S. K. Jha

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

It is the annual season of the Budget, with much discussion as to what it should and should not do, but little is known about what goes into its actual making. In very simple terms, it’s about telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went, but with many constraints and challenges

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”


he annual budget season has arrived. There are plenty of discussions and TV debates going on as to what the Finance Minister will do, or what he should do. There are also suggestions as to what he should not do.

From where and for what

The budget is an annual statement of estimate of income and expenditure for the country for the coming financial year. It projects the direction of the economy in the coming year while also giving accounts for the year which ends on 31st March. The making of the budget for the country is something like making a budget for our own home. It is something like telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. The key parameters of the national budget are: an insight of expenditure, priority areas of expenditure and estimate of income. The other considered component is limiting the extent up to which deficit financing can be done, if the income is not adequate. Since taxes are the main source of income, legislations on direct and indirect tax also become intrinsic parts of budget making. With the estimated income in mind, the Finance Minister goes to allocate funds for different sectors of the economy and to the needs as per the priority of the country. For a country like ours, the biggest task in budget making is income generation when we have a very narrow tax-base. We need more money to help roughly one-third of our population that lives below the poverty line. We require more investment in the agriculture

sector where almost 60% of our population is dependent on this sector and when farmers are committing suicide. We require more funds for welfare measures for our ever-growing population of about 130 crore people. Big money is always needed for the development of infrastructure and for creating avenues for employment generation. Making a budget when resources are limited and needed expenditure is very high, is a real difficult job. The million-dollar question before the Finance Minister is how and from where to generate income to meet our basic needs.

Double dilemma

The issue of generation of income is something like a doctor’s dilemma, which a doctor faces when a serious patient is before him. The doctor faces two scenarios before him—the

18 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

patient will die if the operation is not done on him, but he may also die if the operation is done on him. Similarly, the Finance Minister remains in two minds when the serious issue of income mobilisation is before him. He cannot squeeze the limited number of direct tax payers—which is less than 1% of our population—beyond a certain limit. The major proportion of our direct tax payers is made up of people who keep on facing hardship due to inflation and they cannot be forced to bear the burden of 99% of the population who do not pay tax. In the area of indirect tax also, there is a limit to raising tax on goods and services. Increase in indirect tax will be bad for the economy, as it will fuel inflation. Secondly, indirect tax, being a regressive tax, affects the entire population, which comprises mainly of poor people

and no government would like to hurt them. Corporate tax also cannot be increased arbitrarily as it will have a very bad effect on the business climate in the country and the same ultimately will affect the growth of our economy. In fact, there is a case for reducing the corporate tax rate when a big economy like the US has recently reduced it, and when we need to invite more FDI and increase the ease of doing business. The Finance Minister has to walk on a razor’s edge between the devil and deep sea while generating extra money for the country. Money has to be generated for needful expenditure. To some extent, shortage of money

exchange for imports for more than 15 days. Foreign exchange is normally brought by exporters and hence to solve the precarious situation the budget passed during that time made export-income fully tax-exempt. Exporters got 100% tax benefit and the country got the needed foreign exchange, as tax-free export soared. Today, the urgency is in the sector of affordable housing and hence incentives are being provided year after year in each year’s budget.

Apportioning monies

Next comes the most arduous process of budget allocation to different sectors. The steps

The making of the budget for the country is something like making a budget for our own home. It is something like telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. The key parameters of the national budget are: an insight of expenditure, priority areas of expenditure and estimate of income

for expenditure is met by the taxation policy through something like a barter system. Taxpayers are given tax incentives if they spend money in certain prescribed segments where it is the responsibility of the government to spend in those segments. For illustration, it is the duty of the government to invest in education and health sectors but due to the paucity of funds justice cannot be done to these areas. Tax policies in the budget each year incorporate such laws that if public charitable trusts invest money in these sectors, there will be no income tax on these charitable entities. Similar attempts of mutual benefit are also made in many areas like infrastructure, exports, welfare measures like employment generation, power sector, etc. There was a time in the early '90s when our country did not even have reserves of foreign

followed are identifying the required areas of expenditure, the amount of money actually needed and the actual amount that can be disbursed in view of the resources constraint. The process is simplified as each ministry makes a demand, giving details of their requirement before the budget making process starts. The Finance Ministry considers the demands in view of available resources and the priority areas of the government and the country, and then makes allocation of funds to the ministries. While making allocation of funds to the different sectors, the Finance Ministry has to consider planned and unplanned expenditure together with capital and revenue parts of such expenditure. Necessary revenue expenditures, which cannot be ignored, are the interest burden for debt maintenance, salary, pension, including pension of armed forces, etc., and the

same get top priority. Unfortunately, the necessary expenses are so heavy that net estimated income for allocation to different sectors and ministries after meeting them become small. The government has to also consider distribution of income to states and to create reserves for emergencies due to natural calamities. Our country has consistently witnessed deficit financing over the years, which means that our expenditure is more than our income. In this context the two things which become important are the nature of borrowing to meet the expenditure and the predetermined quantum of proposed fiscal deficit. The deficit amount has to be kept low for fiscal prudence and for keeping inflation in check but at the same time a necessary expenditure on development work slightly in excess cannot be ignored.

Secret task

The preparation of the budget is done in utmost secrecy. The budget draft is completed about two weeks in advance before the date of its presentation in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister. The printing is done in secrecy by the printing press located in the basement of North Block, which also houses the office of the Ministry of Finance. The officers entrusted with the printing job along with their assistants stay in that basement till the budget day and they are not allowed to move out till then. The process of going to the basement for printing the budget papers starts on a secret note, when, as per the historic ritual, halwa is prepared by the Finance Minister and his team for distribution amongst the officers and assistants. There is a belief that the preparation of the budget is very important work and hence the process of its printing must start on an auspicious note. The one most important part of the budget preparation process is the proposed speech of the Finance Minister in the Parliament and hence the same along with the annexure are part and parcel of the budget documents. The process in the Parliament starts after tabling the budget documents after the speech by the Finance Minister. This process includes discussion on the various issues raised in the budget paper (Money Bill), amendments moved by the lawmakers and finally its passage. The budget does not make everybody happy, as everybody does not get everything as per their wish list when resources are limited. Doing a budget means learning to say an ancient and powerful word, NO. It is a well-known fact that building wealth, whether for an individual or for a nation, is a marathon and not a sprint. Discipline is the key ingredient. Hence, please cheer this year’s budget, whatever it proposes.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 19

Corporate Stalwart

Marketing is about occupying emotional space of Consumers The core of marketing hasn’t changed, but the way you communicate has changed marketing. It is morphing every day. That’s where the big shift has happened. The art of storytelling is very much there but how you tell the story and the medium through which you tell the story is the key. The big changes that will happen in marketing, just as in business, is artificial intelligence and machine learning, says Sanjiv Mehta, CEO & MD of Hindustan Unilever Ltd By Vinita Deshmukh


anjiv Mehta is the CEO & Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Limited. He also leads Unilever’s business in South Asia as the Executive Vice President. Mehta, who took over as the CEO and Managing Director of HUL in October 2013, has done his Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School. Sanjiv has been with Unilever for 25 years and for the past 16 years has led businesses in different parts of the world. He has been Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Limited, Chairman and CEO of Unilever Philippines Inc, and Chairman of Unilever, North Africa & Middle East. Mehta is also on the South Asia Advisory Board of Harvard Business School. Corporate Citizen interacts with him during the CII Marketing Conference – Navigating in the VUCA World - on marketing strategies in the present era of technology.

When I went to my daughters’ home in New York, I was stunned because they didn’t have a television in their home and I could not watch my CNN, but for them that’s what life is like. They watch what they want, when they want, and not what is beamed on the television. And importantly, content will be the key driver, going forward.

Never lose sight of your purpose The core of marketing hasn’t changed; but the way you communicate has changed...

Increasingly you have to develop one-on-one relationships with the consumer. That’s the need of the hour; that’s what will make you survive in the new world. Marketing at its core is about the mind and the heart. It is about intelligence and emotion—you have to provide the functional benefits—but you also have to occupy the emotional space in the minds of the consumers. So the core of marketing hasn’t changed, but the way you communicate has changed marketing. It is morphing every day and that’s where the big shift has happened. The art of storytelling is very much there but how you tell the story and the mediums through which you tell the story is the key. The big changes that will happen in marketing, just as in business, are artificial intelligence and machine learning. They take analytics and content, and increasingly it would be personalised content.

20 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

First and most important, never lose sight of your purpose. Very often, we forget why we are in the business. As a company, as Hindustan Unilever, our purpose is very simple. It is to make sustainable living commonplace. In our vision statements, we never talk about shareholder value creation. Because we believe that if you look after your consumers, who are our stakeholders, then the value will get created for the shareholders. We create immense value for our shareholders; our market capital is $40 billion. We are the sixth most valuable company in the country. But our focus is not on shareholder value creation. Our focus is on doing the right things. I will give a few examples. If you take Lifebuoy Soap—it is the largest hygiene brand in the country—the focus on Lifebuoy is not just selling more bars of soap but how you change consumer behaviour. Today, toilet soaps as skin cleansers are one of the most penetrated categories in the country at 99%, but if you go into many parts of rural India, the habit of washing

Pics: Yusuf Khan

Marketing at its core is about the mind and the heart. It is about intelligence and emotion—you have to provide the functional benefits —but you also have to occupy the emotional space in the minds of the consumers

hands with soap is in single digit because many people feel that visibly clean hands are clean. How do you help a child reach the age of five who has no idea of this aspect of hygiene? We have a whole programme on changing the behaviour of consumers, children and parents, around hand washing. The other example is that of the Pureit water filter. Pureit started with the question as to how you can give people bacteria-free water where you do not have running water or electricity. Pureit does it at 30 paise/litre. It is significantly cheaper than any bottled water you will find in the country. Or take the example of Domex, a toilet cleaner. The whole purpose is not just setting up toilets but making people use toilets. About two years back, I was in a village in Uttar Pradesh. I was speaking to a village pradhan. When you go to rural India, suddenly a large crowd of people come clamouring around. I was talking to him about the economics of the village and then turned to the people who were standing there and asked, ‘Kitne logo ke ghar shauchh hain?’ (how many of you have toilets at home?) A lot of hands went up. Then I asked, ‘Kitne log ghar me shauchh use karte hain?’ Very few hands went up. Then I asked them ‘Aap log shauchh kyun nahi use karte?’ An elderly man gave a profound answer – ‘Main chahta nahi hu ki meri gharwali shauch saaf kare’. (I don’t want my wife to clean the toilet.) If you understand India’s hierarchy in the villages, the scavenger was February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 21

Corporate Stalwart right at the bottom of the pyramid and so this villager wanted to make it clear that he didn’t want his wife to clean the toilet, because he related this activity with scavengers. So the toilets existed but they were not cleaned. Hence, this is not just about constructing toilets, it is about changing behaviour towards toilets and that’s what we plan to do by using marketing skills. How many of you start your day with Red Label Tea? This is what Thomas Brooke said 100 years back. Brooke Bond is all about togetherness and let me show how we are bringing that to life in contemporary India. As for Surf Excel, we propound the philosophy of ‘dirt is good’ and the concept arises from letting children go and play, for they grow by playing. Let them dirty their clothes, Surf Excel will take care of that. That is the philosophy. If you want to build great brands, you have to go beyond functionality. There has to be a purpose behind it. Dove—Real Beauty, Surf Excel —I am ready for life, Brooke Bond—togetherness. That’s how you build great brands. So what we are trying to do is to create a business model where you have a purpose behind a brand, reduce environmental footprints and increase societal impact. This is the core as to how we do our business.

“HUL is a purpose-driven company led by values. Values are so important. This is not about putting them on a nice frame and hanging it in the boardroom. This is about living the values, and they are important; whether it is integrity, whether it is respect for individuals or whether it is the responsibility you have for different stakeholders” From charity to cause-relative market

Cause-relative marketing is a form of marketing in which a company and a charity team up together to tackle a social or environmental problem and create business value for the company at the same time. In India, for hundreds of years, charity has been a part of business manifested through building of a temple or school. But after that you move into cause-relative marketing and then you move to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The difference between CSR and our new business model is that CSR is an appendage which is superimposed on the business, whereas a new business model which we preach is about a sustainable living plan and that is the core of how we do our business. I always believe HUL is a purpose-driven

company led by values. Values are so important. This is not about putting them on a nice frame and hanging it in the boardroom. This is about living the values, and they are important; whether it is integrity, whether it is respect for individuals or whether it is the responsibility you have for different stakeholders. For the last 18 years, we have been the pioneers of the FMCG business in the country and I can assure you if the company remains true to its purpose and values for the next 100 years, it would still remain the leader of FMCG despite the claims of many. Because the foundations are built very strong and you don’t get swayed by short-term thinking or short-term business. We are saying, while we grow our business, we will watch our environmental footprints and increase our societal impact.

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Managing water in 5,000 villages

I don’t have a CSR department in the company but we work in 5,000 villages in the country, working with the villagers to help them manage their water. Now you might ask what Hindustan Unilever has got to do with water. Let me explain. When you get up in the morning, you would need to brush your teeth. Whether it is Pepsodent or Closeup, it requires water. Then you would want a fresh cup of tea or coffee, hopefully, it would be Red Label, Lipton or Bru—it would require water. For a clean shower, you would be using Lux, Lifebuoy or Dove —it requires water. You would want to wash your hair and you would use Dove, Tresemme or Sunsilk—it requires water. You step out, you want to wear squeaky-clean clothes, hopefully, they would have been washed using Rin or Surf Excel or Wheel—it requires water. Then you would have a nice good breakfast. Hopefully, the dishes have been cleaned by Vim—it requires water and so goes the day. So if there is no water, Hindustan Unilever won’t have its business. That’s the reason we have started focusing on water and we have created an ecosys-

tem where we conserve hundred billion litres of water every year. Now hundred billion litres of water for a country maybe small but it does provide for the requirement of 20 million people every year. More important is providing the thought leadership so that the villagers can own the water agenda themselves—that is where we can make a difference. The other issue is societal impact. In a slum in Ghatkopar East, Mumbai, you will see a beautiful ‘Suvidha Centre’. It is an oasis in a slum area. We wanted to come up with a model, which is based on monthly passes and weekly passes with a laundromat, clean toilets and clean bathrooms. The slum dweller community can have a beautiful life together. And that’s what Suvidha is all about: going beyond business to upgrade community living in a slum neighbourhood.

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA)

Now, talking about the VUCA environment from a business perspective. What are the things you need to have in a business? First is resilience, second is adaptability, third is agility

and speed and fourth is a spirit of collaboration. Why resilience? Your business growth trajectory will never be the same. If you look at the history of great brands, you will often find there have been stages of stumbling and falling. The greatness lies in how quickly you stand up and start running again. That is what is called resilience. Today, you cannot predict the future. But if you are a resilient team, a resilient brand, a resilient business, you can still stand up and start running again. The second is adaptability. We have a portfolio where we cater to all levels of customers. For example, we have a one rupee sachet of Clinic Plus which is the largest selling SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) in the FMCG industry and it goes up to `432 for Indulekha Ayurveda Hair Oil. So, when the times are bad we can downtrade the consumers and when the times are good we can up-trade the consumers and that is the kind of portfolio you need if you have to navigate the VUCA environment. The other important bit about adaptability is technology, as every industry will be impacted by technology. You need to reimagine your future. This is a very classic business model of the FMCG industry. But I tell you that each component of this business model is being disrupted by technology. When Airbnb and Uber came in, it was with disruption. When Amazon came in, what they did to the bookstores was an abrupt disruption. But many times the disruption is like a frog in boiling water. If you don’t sense it, the frog will get charred to death and it is more important for you to lead the change than form the change. As for digital technology, many times your reaction would be that it is only meant for the top of the pyramid. Yes, it is meant for the top of the pyramid but it also has huge relevance when it comes to the bottom of the pyramid. Now there are many parts of India where we don’t have continuous electricity. So there is no question of using radios, but they can entertain themselves by giving a missed call to 18003000-0123. (Our addition: As per a news report in Business Standard, Hindustan Lever’s “mobile marketing initiative, Kan Khajura Tesan has been hailed as a true example of innovation at various award shows. Kan Khajura Tesan, which means ‘earworm radio channel’, was designed to help HUL brands engage with their rural consumers in media-dark areas. A short video about the radio station on YouTube defines media-dark as areas with power cuts for several hours, resulting in limited or no access to television, and no radio frequency. According to the video, Bihar is one of the most media dark states in India, with TV and print media reaching only 20 per cent of the population. The reach of television stands at 23 million whereas that of the mobile phone is at 54 million. Kan Khajura

Tesan has achieved these stellar numbers at a cost per contact of less than four cents, about `2.4 ($1=` 60).With the changing paradigm on connectivity, many rural consumers now have mobile phones as their first device. This consumer insight was used to create Kan Khajura Tesan, an always-on-mobile entertainment radio channel in which the content is interspersed with HUL brand communication. First piloted in Bihar, consumers had to dial 1800 3000 0123 and give a missed call. They would then receive a call from the channel to enjoy 18 minutes of pre-programmed capsule content that consisted of popular local music, HUL advertising spots, jokes and an RJ to host the show.’’) Thanks to big data analytics, Kan Khajura Tesan entertains as per the profile of the caller. If it is a 60-year-old man calling at 6 am, we entertain him with bhajans. If it is a woman calling between 11am-2 pm, we entertain her with Bollywood songs, if there is a young man calling between 5 and 8 pm, we entertain him with Bhojpuri jokes. Depending on the profile of the person, we provide the content. Now we are moving from audio to video content, which will be visible on the mobile phone. In today’s world, we have to have an organisation which is flatter and in which we have systems which are not bureaucratic, and that is the only way you will be able to survive the VUCA environment. Your response time has to be in nanoseconds. You can’t be doing anything alone —you will need to partner and collaborate, and you have to set up an ecosystem. For instance, recently, Forbes came out with a global list of ‘Most Innovative Companies in the World’ and I am so pleased to tell you that Hindustan Unilever was placed 7th in the world and 1st in India. One of the reasons why we are rated as one of the Most Innovative Companies in the World is because of the ecosystem that we have set up. Today, we have



Cryptocurrencies under income tax scanner There are six lakh active traders of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in nine digital currency exchanges in India, where 25 lakh people are registered to trade. Most traders are between the age group of 25-35 years, as per the I-T Department’s Bengaluru unit. The unit has proposed that the tax authority should view cryptocurrencies held for long periods of time by investors under ‘capital’ assets and the digital currencies of frequent traders as ‘business’ income.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 23

Corporate Stalwart a concept called Open Innovation. If you go to your stores today you will find a brand called Lever Ayush which shows the multi-category launch we have done in record time. We were able to do that because we collaborated with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy. They are the authority on Ayurveda in the country, and that enabled us to do a multi-category launch in record time.

Class marketing moving towards massive customisation

As far as marketing is concerned, what was classically class marketing is slowly but surely moving towards massive customisation. What is important for you as an individual and your organisation is not to resist change but to embrace change. Many times you won’t get clues to the change till it is upon you. So be alert to the first signs of the change. Develop an early warning system to know what is happening around you, not necessary only your industry but in allied industries too. Many a time we hesitate to change our business models, but lest you fall into the Kodak trap or Nokia moment, it is very important for you to disrupt yourself before you get disrupted. So don’t hesitate to change your business partner. Spot the opportunity, break the routine. Remember, fear is natural; it is not about fear you should worry about; what you should be worrying about is how you act when you are in fear. You should do what you are best at, set very high standards of excellence, don’t just believe on hunches. Today you have facts, brutal facts—put them on the table. Remember, you won’t be able to do everything; you need to have empowered beings. Make decision making as close to the action as possible and very importantly, have your feet on the ground; humility

laced with ambition becomes ‘humbition.’ It is a classic way to succeed. So, VUCA is not a choice; everyone will have to fit in the VUCA environment. Stay rooted in purpose and be led by values. The entire technology, people, data, sector analytics and artificial intelligence will play a big role in FMCG as it is playing in other industries.

On brand loyalty

First, people are experimental, they are also in many ways, more flirters. They move from

role. There was a time when people who didn’t know English were diffident. In today’s New India you don’t need to worry about not knowing English. That’s perfectly fine. As long you can converse well in your language, it is fabulous. That’s the New India, that’s the Confident India.

On the Patanjali threat

Let me give you my philosophy. We observe our competitors very closely but my obsession is not with competitors but with consumers. So as long as I can meet the needs of the consumers,

“We are setting up a warehouse which will be manned 100% by robots. There won’t be any people. That will completely change how we manage the big bulk; how we pack the small assortments. And how we pick up stock to distribute at speed” brands much more easily. We did a survey on youth from 18 to 30 years of age and what came out was that they were willing to pay for a company that was rooted in purpose; a brand rooted in purpose, so they were flirters, but with much deeper conscience than ours. They are concerned.

they will still be loyal to me. We are very pleased with a good competitor. It is in the interest of the consumer and the industry. And you know what a good competitor does to us? It brings out the best in Hindustan Lever.

Breaking language barriers

We are very clear that our journey from mass marketing to massive customisation will have to be led by a company like ours. And today there is a huge number of experiments which are on. We have invested significantly in Big Data analytics. Just to give you an idea, we have 1,000 SKUs and we reach many other stores. Just the combination of stores and SKUs, what a mine-full of data it is. But the challenge today is, we need to have the right assortment for each store. If I pick up the example of Mumbai, a grocery store in Peddar Road and a similar grocery store in Dharavi or in Dahisar will have totally different assortments. And today, thanks to analytics, you know who are the consumers staying in the neighbourhood, you know the kind of category penetration in the neighbourhood, and you can customise the offerings there. Let me give you one more example of how we are using analytics and automation. India is a country of shopkeepers. There are nine million of them in the country, which means at least 45 to 50 million people whose life depends on those shops. So, it’s a big chunk of India’s economy. So, we thought, how do we bring in the power of technology to the humble grocer? We have set up an online process. There is a website called You go into that site, put your pin code and up will pop the

When Google went vernacular, the number of searches went up by 65% in the month after the launch. Our advertisements appear in seven to nine languages. If you have to relate to a consumer and his emotions, language does play a

24 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

On going beyond traditional ways of marketing

grocers in your neighbourhood. You pick one grocer, place the order and the grocer will deliver it to you and collect the cash. So, what we are trying to do is use the power of the last-mile technology and make grocers still relevant in Modern India. So, technology, like I said, can play a part across the value chain.

On automation

We are setting up a warehouse which will be manned 100% by robots. There won’t be any people. That will completely change how we manage the big bulk; how we pack the small assortments. And how we pick up stock to distribute at speed. So technology will be pervasive, and will impact the entire market.

On dealing with fake brands

We are doing a lot of work to prevent counterfeits and look-alikes. There are estimates that 20 to 25% of total sales are affected by these counterfeits. And such counterfeits, besides harming the brands are also harming consumers because they are poor in quality. So we have been working with government authorities to identify and catch the perpetrators of counterfeits. Every year, along with the government authorities, we conduct between 300 to 500 raids—more than one raid a day to catch the counterfeits. Now with the

switch from audio to video we should be able to tell consumers how to identify a counterfeit.

On the power of collaboration

I am not talking of collaborating necessarily with my competitors. I am talking about collaborating with my suppliers, with R&D labs in the country. But when it comes to counterfeits, I would be very happy to collaborate with my competitors also. Because it is a menace, it is impacting the industry, and everyone needs to join hands.

On customers on social networking websites

today, thanks to media and technology, you can develop that relationship. You don’t need a salesman to visit so many lakh doctors. The customers are present on social networking websites. We set up what is called the people data centre. And we monitor all conversations that are happening on the social media on our brands, 24x7.



The number of stakeholders in the industry has gone up. There was a time when a doctor did the prescribing, or if you didn’t have a prescription, then your pharmacist did the prescribing. Today, you have telemedicine. So it comes down to identifying your key stakeholders and then having a one-on-one relationship. The more you reach them, the more you are able to educate them, the more you will make them prescribe your drugs. That is the game you want to play. It is very similar to dealing with millions of consumers. You are moving from a stage where it was rather protected to now when you have a more open system. The best way forward is to develop more and more relationships. And

Indian companies To hike salary by 10% Companies are likely to dole out 10% salary increase across industries in 2018, consistent with 2016 and 2017, as per Mercer’s 2017 India Total Remuneration Survey. One of every two companies is planning to increase headcount, especially shared services and the hi-tech sector; similar to what was seen in the past two years. In terms of attrition, there is a marginal downward trend, where the overall attrition has gone down by 1.8%, from 13.3 per cent to 11.5%.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 25

CII Womenation

for the

Women, by the Women

By Vandana Patnaik

26 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Pics: Yusuf Khan

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), over the past few decades, has been working towards inclusion and empowerment of women, both at workplace and at the grassroots. To accomplish this goal, CII created an exclusive platform for women called ‘Indian Women Network (IWN)’ a one-of-a-kind women’s forum providing a platform to women themselves. Through IWN, they hope to provide a support mechanism for women and girl students with focus on Learning and Development, Well-being, and Policy and Advocacy. In an exclusive interview, Corporate Citizen speaks to Reema Nanavaty, Padma Shri awardee, and General Secretary, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), at the CII-IWN Summit, held recently in Mumbai


wo million women are a part of informal women sectors, both from the rural and urban areas of India, says Reema Nanavaty. She proudly states that “SEWA organises these women who are either homebased workers or working as artisans, garment stitching, rolling bidis or agarbattis or making kites, vendors and hawkers, women who earn a living by selling fruits or vegetables or other food items on the streets. Our fight is against poverty—how to bring dignity and self-respect to these women and their families. At SEWA, the belief is that poverty is also a form of violence with the consent of the society which snatches away their dignity, the choice and voice of these women”. What is the focus of your initiative? We at SEWA also come together as women, no matter what caste or community, religion or country we belong to. That’s how we have built a movement of women of co-operatives and labour movement as well. Our goals are full employment and self-reliance of our members. Full employment brings women the income security. When a woman is economically secure, she’s able to fight with her very many social issues. She’s able to pull herself and her family out of hunger and starvation and bring in economic self-reliance at her household and at the enterprise level.

Today, a skilled embroiderer can earn up to `10,000 per month. Earlier these women were earning only `75. They now have assets like land, savings, insurance. Their children attend schools and migration has stopped

Tell us about your first experiences with these women. How did you motivate them to join you? Was it difficult? While I was visiting villages in North Gujrat in a very dry dessert area of the land in the 1980s, I saw every household had a woman who could embroider. This was also true when I was visiting the villages in UP, in Assam or in West Bengal, yet they were all working as casual workers digging earth or on building sites. They earned only `75 a month. Here was a skill which had the potential to turn into a lucrative livelihood and then I meet a born leader and a fearless pioneer in Purvi or in Rabiya Jaan or in Mausami. I told them that they could find women willing to embroider for a fair pay or bring them work and pay cash. Women did not believe what I said because that was the traditional skill, which they had not even dreamt of turning into a livelihood opportunity. February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 27

CII Womenation

About Reema Nanavaty

Reema Nanavaty was born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on 22nd May 1964, and graduated in Science from the Gujarat University. Opting for a career of civil service, she passed the civil services examination (IAS). However, her stay there lasted only one year as she quit the service to take up full-time social service. Nanavaty, upon resigning from the Indian Administrative Service, joined in 1986, the Self Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), an NGO founded by Ela Bhatt, a Gandhian and a social worker. She became the General Secretary of the organisation in 1999 and embarked on a series of public service activities, concentrating on the village poor and extending the reach of SEWA to more districts in Gujarat. It was under her leadership, SEWA started self-help groups and a retail distribution network, Rudi, to take the goods produced by SEWA sisters to 40,000 households. In 2001, Nanavaty launched Jeevika project, in association with the Government of Gujarat and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an initiative to bring relief to the 2001 Gujarat earthquake victims and their families. A year later, she started Shanta, a relief programme to aid the 2002 Gujarat riots victims. She has taken SEWA out of Gujarat and the activities of the organisation, now, spans across the country from Jammu & Kashmir to Assam. They are also involved in war-torn Afghanistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Her current assignment is to nurture SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (FTC), a wing which attends to the development of artisans in the villages. In 2013, the Government of India honoured Reema Nanavaty with the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri.

Purviben and four other women took up this job of embroidering kurtas and in the very first week earned `150 and then earned `500 a month, for the first time sitting at home. Sure enough the word got around and next time more women joined in. Purviben started organising more and more women with embroidery and other craft skills in several villages, districts and in several States too. In two years’ time , she had organised more than 15,000 women artisans. The women’s embroidery enterprise is now a major source of income and livelihood in these areas. Almost all the 15,000 women are artisans but I’m sorry to say all are illiterate. Today, a skilled embroiderer can earn up to `10,000 per month. Whereas, earlier these women were earning only `75. The families now have assets, land, livelihood, water pumps, tractors, house savings, insurance and their children attend schools. Migration from the families has stopped. Women’s employment has brought about a change in the family dynamics as well as in the community. Today Purviben sits proudly on the board of her company SEWA Trade

28 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Facilitation Centre with a turnover of over `50 crore. By enhancing and building on the skills that these women already have, they now express confidence in their own abilities. They are able to gain strength from camaraderie of other women. So, the coming together on the basis of work allows women to set in motion transformation of themselves and of their community. As a result of the increasing income, the immediate effect can be seen on the health of the community and the children’s education. This is interesting. You mentioned some groups which started in Kashmir as well. Could you tell us something about that? Yes , I would also like to share with you, 21-year-old Rubina Akhtar’s experience. A young Muslim girl from Kashmir who lost her father in the political turmoil,wanted to study, but she had to drop out of school to help her mother in the household chores. The family ate just one meal a day. This was just five years ago. Worries about her future plagued her day and night. Then an opportunity came her way.

How was your experience in Afghanistan? I would like to share an experience of Amina Beg Jaan from Afghanistan. She lived with her family of nine members having lost her father when she was only a year-old and her mother getting remarried. Taliban killed her step-father, her two brothers and a sister. Amina Jaan was injured in a blast and was bedridden for four years. She also had her fingers and her legs permanently damaged. She had lost all hope in life and being physically challenged, was seen as a liability by her brothers since nobody would be interested in marrying her with an old mother and a handicapped

porate world to come forward to support and expand these economic efforts as partners for change. As our founder Elaben Bhatt says “In my experience, women are rebuilding a community focusing on women. You’ll find an ally who wants a stable community and wants roots for her family. In return, you get a worker, a provider, a caretaker, an educator, and a networker. A forger of bonds, essentially, you have a creator and a preserver. We consider women’s participation and their representation an integral part of our peace process. Women will bring constructive, creative and sustainable solutions to the nation”.

I urge you to recognise the work of these women groups as central to the social responsibility, if it has to be inclusive and sustainable. They are workers, producers and entrepreneurs in their own right...

Rubina joined a group of 25 women under SEWA in Gujarat for a month-long training in repairing solar lights. Villages around her hometown of Kupwara barely have electricity and the women collect firewood for cooking and heating. Rubina was keen to introduce solar lights to relieve women like her mother from the drudgery of collecting firewood. Talking and listening to the life struggles of other women and how they overcome made her realise indeed she was strong and that she could make a major difference. Rubina then returned to Kupwara and organised a Self Help Group (SHG) of young women like her to assemble solar lights. Of course, the men in the village weren’t happy that a young girl like her dared to start an enterprise and challenged her ‘if you’re really good then repair this light’. He pointed to the solar light in the mosque which had been non-operational for two years. Rubina humbly accepted this challenge, quietly set to work and in a flash the light in the mosque started working. The Maulwi himself was impressed and he came to honour her. His approval opened the doors for other girls like Rubina in Jammu & Kashmir.

sister. Therefore, Amina Jaan was compelled to marry a widower in the neighborhood with six children. As luck would have it, the husband had a stroke in six month’s time. So, now Amina Jaan had to look after the six children and nurse a paralytic husband. She can barely remember when she had a proper meal. Fortunately, she came in contact with the ministry of women’s affairs and learnt about the ongoing vocational training programmes. She immediately applied for one and when she got to attend the training, she felt as if life’s happiness has come back. Today, Amina Jaan runs the vocational training centre in Baghla where in two years more than 500 women have been trained by her. Why I am sharing these examples is because SEWA is all about peoples’ partnership. We are only the facilitators. Today, the women have their own bank called SEWA bank with its own capital of `300 crore. We have our own SEWA’s management schools with design management courses in partnership with IIM and IRMA. We have our own insurance cooperative which we call it as VimoSEWA. We have an energy access initiative ‘Hariyali’ with its brand RUDI. What do you think is now required to keep this going? I would just like to say, based on our four decades of experience, there’s immense energy and creativity in the informal economy workers which contributes to the national economic growth. But these efforts are not recognised and do not get enough support. Surely I would request friends from the formal sector, the cor-

I urge you to recognise the work of these women groups as central to the social responsibility, if it has to be inclusive and sustainable. They are workers and producers and entrepreneurs in their own right and they take financial risks every day of their lives. They work extremely hard to earn their living. What they need is work that brings them a decent income. It is our responsibility to ensure productive work in the hands of all and enhance the dignity of work in our country. If we fail. we will be left with hunger and violence. This is what we call at SEWA - to enable and equip the poor to fight against the poverty, earn a life of dignity and self-respect that our members at SEWA call the economic freedom or the doosri azaadi”.



Indian diaspora is world’s largest The Indian diaspora is world’s largest with more than 15.6 million living abroad and Gulf nations hold the biggest share, as per United Nations’, World Migration Report 2018. Indians constituted 6% of the total number of migrants, or people living outside the country of their birth, which was estimated at 243 million in 2015. The report also said that nearly half of all migrants worldwide in 2015 were born in Asia, mainly from India, China and other South Asian countries.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 29

D y namic D uo: 65 /

Kirti ­— & ­— Rishabh K apur

Cover Story


the 1990s, Air India had created history and entered the Guinness Book of World Records when it evacuated 1,75,000 Indians from Kuwait, which was invaded by Iraq. Evacuating Indians out of war-torn Yemen by Air India was probably one of the most challenging civilian flights ever undertaken anywhere in the world, on 9th April, 2015. In fact, between 1st and 9th April, the Indian Air Force had also evacuated Indians from Yemen but Air India came in where the IAF was not allowed to fly. This Air India rescue operation by one of the three Airbus A-321 flights had all the pulsating moments with denial of permission by air traffic control to proceed to Sanaa, capital of Yemen; birdstrikes that left a part of the windshield covered in blood; landing at an airport teeming with gun-toting rebels and then returning to base with fuel running dangerously low. Captain Rishabh Kapur led the final evacuation flight, which, in the words of former CMD of Air India, was probably the most complicated evacuation in the history of India. Captain Kapur is in the field of aviation since the last 17 years. He is a third-generation pilot in Air India with his father and grandfather having served the national carrier in their time; he is probably the only third-generation Captain in the Indian skies. In 2011 and then again in 2014, he was unanimously elected as the General Secretary of the ICPA (Indian Commercial Pilots Association) on an all-India basis. He steered negotiations with the management and the government, emerging successful and feels that Air India is well and truly on its revival path now. When the airline required pilots to evacuate Indians from Yemen on voluntary basis, Capt. Kapur volunteered to be a part of this dangerous evacuation called Operation Rahat. For his courage, he received an award from the Minister of Civil Aviation and various other awards at various forums. He speaks to Corporate Citizen on the mission and how Air India is a great corporate career.

Was it your childhood dream to become an Air India pilot?

Till the 9th standard I was not sure what I wanted to do. But since I come from a family of aviators—my father and grandfather had worked for this national carrier—it was the easiest thing to pursue.

Passion automatically came in at some point of time and without being pompous, I realised that we are probably the first family in aviation which would have three generations of pilots serving the airline. Besides, a career in aviation looked glamorous too. That’s how I joined Indian Airlines.

Normally, a government job is something that you carry on doing, steadily, without excitement. Tell us about your role when Air India adorns the second line of defence in the country…

Air India is considered as the second line of defence in our country. After the armed forces, if there is any airline that can rescue Indians who may be in distress anywhere in the world, it is Air India. We created a Guinness World Record during the 1990 in the Gulf War, when the Air India and Indian Airlines combine had evacuated 1,70,000 people from Kuwait, during the Iraq invasion. Subsequently, we had done evacuations from Libya, Lebanon and other places. In 2015, Air India was once again in the limelight because we wanted to evacuate Indians out of Yemen. When the Indian Government realised that we had to evacuate hundreds of people and our Air Force was not getting permission to go into that airspace, the government turned to its second line of defence like it always does and said that Air India to go and rescue them. But it is not simple—because like defence pilots we are not fearless people. We look up to men in the Army, Air Force and Navy as real brave individuals. We are civilian airline pilots and our primary job is to take passengers from place A to place B as safely as possible. Also, evacuations can only be on voluntary basis in Air India— there is no diktat, nobody can force you to go, so it is not always that you get volunteers easily. So, I got a call from my Regional Director, Anil Sondhi, who was in charge of the Western region, who said, we need some pilots to fly to Yemen to evacuate Indians. I was at a restaurant, celebrating my friend’s birthday, when I got the call. I discussed it with my wife, Kirti. At that point of time, I had no idea what was happening in wartorn Yemen. We quickly googled and she was very perturbed to find out that I was wanting to go to what seemed a dangerous zone. We had a spat over her objection to my volunteering for

mission Post the budget, Air India is likely to gain momentum for privatisation with the government to break the airline into four units, offering to sell at least 51% in each of them. Air India and Air India Express will be offered as one company and the process is likely to be completed by the end of 2018. Not many know that Air India also plays the heroic role of being the only commercial airline playing the second line of defence in evacuating Indians from abroad who may be caught in conflict countries. Corporate Citizen portrays Capt. Rishabh Kapur, Senior Air India Pilot, who speaks about aviation as a corporate career, the challenging evacuations done by it in 2015 in Yemen and why this government-owned airline has improved drastically in the last five years By Vinita Deshmukh 30 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018


Air India is considered as the second line of defence in our country. After the armed forces, if there is any airline or that rescue Indians who may be in distress anywhere in the world, it is Air India’

aharajah February February 16-28, 16-28, 2018 2018 // Corporate Corporate Citizen Citizen // 31 31

Cover Story the mission. As much as I wanted to go, that very minute, but I had to show restraint. Before that, I had to put the word out to tell my managers to look for pilots. I told Mr Sondhi that if you don’t get anybody, I am already volunteering. So in the meantime they found two pilots who went ahead for the rescue operation. My father was working with Etihad Airways at that point of time and I said to Kirti, what if evacuation was to be done from Abu Dhabi and dad needed to brought back. She said, if that happens again, then you go. She didn’t realised that I tricked her in saying yes, for another evacuation flight was most likely have to be slated. So we came back home —she slept very well, while I kept thinking of how to get on to the next flight. The next day, my Regional Director called me up to say that he we are not getting more pilots. I said, Sir, I volunteer myself, and I had a college friend who served as First Officer who I knew was free because we had done a flight and come back. He was also available. His name is Ashish Sharma. So both of us went on that flight. We headed to a place called Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa. This was at one hour flying distance from the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, from where we were to pick up evacuees. Kirti reminisces, “After he left, I was reading about hospitals and hotels getting bombed in Sanaa. I was wondering how he can go if the place was getting bombed. Being a very anxious person anyways, I was stressed.’’

Elaborate on the evacuation...

I, along with my First Officer, cabin crew and two engineers flew an otherwise empty plane from Mumbai to Djibouti first—a six to six-and-half hour flight into Africa. In Djibouti we got two more airplanes because this was to be the last evacuation round. It is now like a mission; we are now feeling like we are in some James Bond movie. We got three airplanes ready; our mission being to bring back the remaining 550 Indians from Yemen. The capac- After the armed forces, ity of each airplane is about 185 if there is any airline people, so we were just about that can rescue Indians meeting that target. who may be in distress We were heading to the operation with Lt. Gen. V. K. Singh anywhere in the world, on board along with the Indian it is Air India. We Ambassador and embassy per- created a Guinness sonnel. The three of us, now set flight towards Sanaa. Saudi Ara- World Record in during bia didn’t give permission to get Gulf War by rescuing into their airspace, because they 1,70,000 people didn’t want any interference by the two groups who were at war with each other in Yemen. Finally, Saudi Arabia agreed to give us a three-hour window, where they said you can take back your people, but they give no guarantee for safety in terms of assurance that there would be no bombing in those areas, in that time span. So every airplane was always at risk at any point in time. On this last day of evacuation, when three of our airplanes went there, after about 10 minutes, two airplanes out of three got permission to land at Sanaa but unfortunately my airplane didn’t get the permission. In the sky, amount of air fuel becomes most critical, because it is limited. We didn’t have any refuelling contract to refuel and come back, so the fuel we were carrying was the only fuel that we had to go and come back with. Now, we are overhead and besides not getting permission; we are told 32 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Right: With a soldier at the Sanaa Airport before evacuating the stranded Indians Below: Capt. Rishabh Kapur with Lt. Gen. V. K. Singh and First Officer Ashish Sharma

that your flight is illegal and you have to go back. When the flight is termed illegal, all hell breaks loose because now you are in a hostile environment, so any of the two agencies fighting there could shoot you down and will not take any responsibility. If that wasn’t bad enough, when I told General Singh about their refusal to enter the airspace, he said, "Captain, if we don’t go in and land there and if we don’t bring those people, our mission is failed". I pleaded and fought with the Air Traffic Controller to allow us to land. At some point of time, seeing our desperation he said, "Okay guys, I am giving you so much time, come and land, take your people and get the hell out of here". Finally, we went in and landed. But even during our landing, the airport is like Srinagar—it is at a high altitude and we were landing on a bombed runway. Some airplanes were bombarded and the remains were lying there. There is also no instrument landing facility (ILS) which is like a laser beam that we use in nowadays to land our commercial and other airplanes. Then suddenly, when we were 200-300 feet away from landing, we almost hear the sound of machine gun towards our airplane. I thought we were shot down, but then I realised that there was blood on the windscreen and that a flock of birds had hit us. Now as a pilot, you can do two things—either you can go around or you can land; to go around, there was not enough fuel to come back again. So we had to do a quick analysis and see if the aircraft is fine; if it is air-worthy. With blood on half of the windscreen more towards my first officer’s side and runway approaching, we decided to make the decision to land. We landed in Sanaa and we were thinking that the mission is complete. Normally there is a welcoming committee to welcome you but here we had anti-aircraft machine gun pointing at us and telling us where to go and park. Since two airplanes were already landed 10-15 minutes ago, they were ready to take off. Finally, we got them on board, got the airplane going but we were very critical on fuel. We had just enough to go back. While landing into Djibouti, from where the Air Force or our bigger airplanes were going to get the Indians back to India, to our bad luck, Djibouti airport shut down. Which meant we would have to divert to some other airport, which was on a higher terrain, which would be difficult for us. Now we had two minutes of holding time—if he had gone beyond two minutes of making us hold, then we would have to divert to Addis Ababa but we were fortunate enough that after requesting him again, that we were low on fuel, he let us come in and land. The sortie was successful and there were many heroes to the success story right from General Singh, Union Minister of External Affairs, Sushma

innumerable interviews on TV in the 10 days of what was the most successful strike in the history of Indian aviation. I think Air India since then, has come forward by leaps and bounds. Earlier, due to corruption and mismanagement, we were losing out on all our lucrative sectors to private carriers.

What made you join the Union?

Swaraj to a doctor in Djibouti who arranged for an incubator and made sure that a two-year-old baby survives, by picking the baby up in incubator from Sanaa and flying that child to Kerala and then going back to Djibouti.

Air India’s image in the eyes of the passengers is not as good compared to private airlines. What is your opinion?

A pilot’s job is to take passengers from place A to place B as safely as possible, on time, every day. The way I look at, as an employee, I see Air India doing what no other air carrier does, not just in India but also in the world. Being a government job, Air India employs people from across communities, thus fulfilling its social responsibilities. We go where no other airline wants to go, in the Northeast; we started to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan though it was not lucrative enough then. Air India is going to these places, for national and social reasons. Now, other airlines are going there because it has become lucrative for them. Other than that this is the only airline which will do work for evacuation. When there was an earthquake in Nepal and we wanted to send relief, again it was Air India in the forefront. Whether you want to fly the Prime Minister or President of India, it is Air India again. It is just unfortunate that as a national carrier, unlike a private carrier where shortcomings get covered up, in Air India we can’t cover things up and they are highlighted even more in comparison to other airlines.

How do you see the growth of Air India and the competency of pilots?

Air India has the most highly skilled pilots not only in India but in the world. Most of the private airlines that started off have taken pilots only from Air India and Indian Airlines because there was no other airline from where they could poach. We have a central training establishment at Hyderabad as well as a training facility in Mumbai. So, you can imagine the infrastructure of our facilities from where so many pilots are comprehensively trained.

Are you saying that Air India is the safest airline to fly?

Absolutely, and we have got the highest number of trained pilots in the country as well. Air India has the edge because of its inherititance, its history. Back in 2011, I got an opportunity to become the General Secretary of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA). I feel that we highlighted lot of problems at that point of time for which we got national media coverage through television debates and succeeded in having the chairman out. I did

The job of the union is to stand against any wrong or injustice that is happening. After I became a father in 2008, I realised what my colleagues at that point of time were going through. As juniors, we were being thrown all over the place, where I would go out on a flight for four days and no sooner had I come home, I would be called back again for 4-6 days—I realised this can’t be the life. My son used to look at me like I am some kind of uncle. So at a very small level in 2008, I became a member of the union. In 2011, I got elected as the general secretary of ICPA. We were the oldest and strongest body even at that point of time. I was spearheading a union which had 850 pilots from Indian Airlines and Air India put together. We were getting paid by the hour, unlike today, where it is fixed at 70 hours of flying. Then, we were doing 80 hours of flying but it had gone down to 40 hours of flying because all our lucrative sectors were given away to private airlines. So much so that they went away to the private carrier on the flight number as well. So on any flight where we had a load factor of 80-90%, overnight it was operated by a private carrier on the same flight number with their airlines’ call centre. So our flying hours went down from 80 hours to 40 hours, which meant that my salary went down by 50%. It dropped so drastically in 2011 that all of us pilots realised that we have got nothing to lose because over and above the lesser flying hours that we were doing, our salaries used to be delayed by six months. So it was a fight against injustice, corruption and mismanagement, because it was affecting us directly. However, I remember signing a letter saying, even though we are on strike, in the name of national causes, or in emergency or evacuation, we as pilots, under a notice of 30 minutes, will get back to flying if the nation needs us to do any voluntary work. I can proudly say that from 2011 to 2017, Air India has come a long way because we have highlighted all the misdeeds.

What are the changes that happened?

Firstly, we got a better chairman, in the name of Rohit Nandan followed by Ashwani Lohani who was a better leader. Lohani had the employee-first attitude that boosted the morale of employees, which in turn resulted in better service to the passengers. There was investigation into why sectors were given away to private airlines. Our load factors started going up, our product and service became better. Smiles came back on the faces. We proudly stand flying an airplane called Boeing 787, which was one of our demands, other than looking into the misdeeds of the airline and parity with Air India pilots. And fixed money to protect our families, protect ourselves so even if government gives those lucrative sectors away, it doesn’t affect my pocket to a point that I have to go back on a national strike again.

Do you fly international flights?

I fly two planes, Airbus 320 and now I fly Dreamliners Airplane, the latest from the Airbus stable Boeing 787s. Right now, I fly about 20 days a month. I am spending almost those many days outside the house.

What is the profile of passengers now?

Profile of passengers has substantially improved ever since the Dreamliner has come into play. Employees are serving them with smiles on their faces. We are getting amazing feedback for there is definite improvement in the product and service that we are offering. In Air India there is a definite boost of morale of all the employees. Air India is actually in a great position, very close to privatisation; for a substantial take-off where now it is ready to take on the world and regain its lost glory to where it was as one of the finest airlines in the world. February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 33

Cover Story

D y namic D uo: 65 /

Keerti ­— & ­— Rishab K apur

Jab We Met

Seven years after they met in college, Rishabh and Kirti tied the nuptial knot in 2005. It was their passion for fashion that brought them together, chorus both of them. Says Kirti, “We met in Wadia College when I was pursuing Arts, and he, Commerce. He was a year junior to me so we didn’t meet in class but we did a few fashion shows together. The first time I saw him when he was on stage during a fashion show, he registered in my mind. And then through common friends we auditioned for some show and then we met.” Adds Rishabh, “There were intercollegiate fashion shows and so we were both in the same fashion show together as we represented Wadia College. I remember we won all the fashion shows that year. One thing led to another and we came together.”

What do you admire about each other? Kirti: I just feel that he is a good person and always sees the

positive side of life. He is a very social person and I am shy; I am a reserved kind of person. I have learnt so much from him because he can talk to anybody, be it a child or a senior citizen with the same affection and warmth. The first thing he notices is something nice about that person. He is always charming, happy and easygoing. Rishabh: As much as I like to treat her like a flower, I don’t think I did, because I have given her so much stress in the things that I have done—from an evacuation to a strike. I always have something or the other happening, or I take up some kind of assignment which will help citizens. I like to contribute in some way or the other. I have always stressed her out, but there is no doubt in my mind that she is my backbone. I cannot imagine a life where I don’t have her in my life because I am so dependent on her. From getting up in the morning to going to sleep at night. From the first thing to the last thing. It’s her love and concern that keep me going in my fast-paced job.

Secrets of a happy married life... Kirti: He is working so hard and he is not home for days at

pening in the house. We are both easygoing people. However, I am a very content person but he is the very opposite—he wants to do a lot more. So we maintain a good balance. Rishabh: She gives me the space, freedom and confidence. As the saying goes, behind every successful man there is a woman. In my case, I have two of them. First, there is my mother for the way she brought me up. Then I got my wife who has only taken it forward. Everything I want to do, everything that I try and achieve, she always will say yes to me. I am completely reliant on her and there is no way I can do anything in life without her support; she is my backbone. Kirti: I hate arguments and any kind of discord. I think that is the key to a happy married life. Rishabh: We have been together since 1997, that’s 20 years. Even though we were in a relationship and got married, we understand each other more as friends. I don’t even need to say anything for her to understand what my emotions are, or what I am thinking, and vice versa. She completes my sentences for me.

Child upbringing—how do you describe it? Kirti: We are equally there for him. Rihaan is emotional-

ly connected to us. We are very indulgent parents, actually. Also because of Rishabh’s job which keeps him away from home for at least 20 days a month, the gap makes us miss him more. However, we have a holistic approach—he should be an all-rounder. We don’t want him to be a topper in class; we don’t want him to be Messi in Soccer, a sport he is passionate about. We want him to be a confident child. Also, he is very creative. I don’t push him on his studies but I push him for his art as I would rather nurture that talent of his. We want him to be a happy, confident child. Rishabh: Even though Kirti is a fashion stylist as a professional, her life revolves around her husband and her child. That by itself is valuable for a good child upbringing.

Favourite holiday destination… Kirti: I can go from Lonavala to London—just anywhere, as

Piloting a a stretch, so by default I have to know everything that is hap-

long as I have a holiday. I love travelling.


While Rishabh Kapur flies high, his lady-love on the ground, Kirti, is strengthening the base of a love story that has culminated in a happy marriage. Besides running a happy home, Kirti, along with a partner, are stylists for TV commercials. Kirti’s designer label, Krasaa has brought her several Bollywood celebrities like Saif Ali Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Bhagyashree, to name a few. Here they both share the secret of their happy marriage and what their son, Rihaan means to them... By Vinita Deshmukh 34 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Happy moments: Rishabh with son, Rihaan partner y and her ilpa Shett h S h it w Kirti

We have been together since 1997; that’s 20 years. Even though we were in a relationship and got married, we understand each other more as friends —Rishabh Rishabh: New York internationally and Goa, within the country.

Philosophy of life Rishabh: True happiness lies in helping others. Kirti: Family comes first. Be content and be peaceful in what you have.

Kirti’s fashion passion... Kirti: I operate from home; we have our tailors

who operate from workshops. During Diwali we are busy for at least five to six hours per day, otherwise, we are easy on time. We do exhibitions only when we feel the time is right and things are easy so we can work. It is more of a fun activity than for earning money.

Define a young urban Indian woman in terms of clothes and fashion? Kirti: Quirky, experimental, but traditional too

sometimes. More experimental, for she is ready to try out new fashions and wear something unconventional. I admire women who can carry off anything. I have so many insecurities about the way I look, but girls nowadays are carefree. They can carry off anything and everything.

Tips for working women on clothes to wear Kirti: To me, personal style comes first—that is,

what looks good on you. Don’t go with fashionable trends in office; being comfortable in the clothes you wear is more important than anything else.

Do you think the sari is going out of fashion? Kirti: No, it will never go out of fashion; it will be

reinvented, be it like a drape or any other different style, but the sari will always be here to stay.

Your favourite dress? Kirti: I love to wear jeans.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 35

CII Manufacturing Summit

Implications of GST for Manufacturing Sector Doing business will not be the same after the implementation of the GST. The implications of the game-changing GST legislation are yet to be ascertained in their full complexity in the Indian scenario. How will transactions change? How will supply chains adapt? How will the hitherto ‘unorganised’ sector respond? A panel discussion at the 16th CII Manufacturing Summit 2017, held recently at Taj Vivanta, in Mumbai, had a rich debate on the opportunities and challenges that GST provides, as well as a few lessons for companies from implementation of GST over the next months. The panellists, Seshagiri Rao MVS, Joint Managing Director and Group CEO, JSW Steel; K. Nandakumar, Chairman, CII (WR) Task Force on GST Implementation and Chairman and Managing Director, Chemtrols Industries; Bharat Goenka, Managing Director, Tally Solutions; Rahul Garg, Founder and CEO, Moglix, share their experiences By Rajesh Rao GST—one nation, one tax —K. Nandakumar

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is the only act that has such big ramifications across industry, across people and everything. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has worked with the government in formulation and implementation of GST, to a great level. It has been a big challenge because, people always compare introduction of GST to other parts of the world. But, we must understand that in order to bring GST in the largest democracy in the world, the challenges for the government, are quite unimaginable. If you look at the history of GST—it has been there for past 15-20 years and the purpose was of introducing one nation, one single tax. So, it has been a concerted effort by this government to bring in the GST and to ensure that it is implemented by 1st July, 2017. Even in the 50 years of the CST, there were issues. GST is not just about law, it is also about the way is has to be interpreted in different states and by different tax authorities. Lot of initiatives were taken in formulating such a law, encompassing every aspect of human life, in terms of

transactions of goods and services. So, it will have its own implications. Also, at the same time, the desire to change has been the greatest characteristic of this government. There are lot of issues coming up with GST and in order to address them effectively, it will take time. Also on the part of the authorities and on the part of the industry—to discuss openly—that ecosystem has been very conducive. So, whatever issues that remain or are coming up, they need to be addressed. Over the past 12 months there have been far-reaching implications and regulatory changes, starting with demonetisation, then followed GST, in between there was insolvency and bankruptcy code and related issues, and various states were involved. So, over the last one year there has been regulatory changes, with cascading effects, which has complicated the issues even more. So, now it’s all about addressing those issues on different platforms and we must give the government that much extra time. I am sure, government believes in our desire to implement the GST, because everyone recognises there are benefits of GST—one nation, one tax.

36 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Addressing issues of industry post-GST—Seshagiri Rao MVS

Painpoints in implementing the GST What were the experiences worldwide, when GST was implemented in other countries? There are three points which have come to light—number one, whenever GST was implemented, whether it was dual GST or uniform GST, it had an impact on GDP. Number two, inflation had gone up in several cases. The third, the way business was done, prior to or post-GST, you had to do business differently. Therefore, there will be protests and some inconvenience even prior to implementation of GST. In spite of these painpoints, lot of countries are moving to GST, therefore GST is a very good reform. So, India has done a good thing by implementing the GST. GST registration For instance, everybody talked about the huge problem with registration. What is the threshold of registration—`20 lakh. Looking at pre-GST, for VAT it was `5-10 lakh. If you look at CST, when any interstate sale is done, you have to register with CST and here it is `20 lakh. You look at service tax, it is

`10 lakh. Exempting excise duty, in all other cases, the 20 lakh threshold which is for GST, is higher comparatively to other taxes. If somebody is complaining about threshold being the problem, it may be and may not be. With relation to process, there could be some problems, but otherwise threshold is quiet alright relative to what was there pre-GST. Filing returns In Returns, there is a huge problem. The Return side—what was in the pre-GST and post-GST? What was the system under VAT? You had to file monthly Returns. CST, you had to file monthly Returns; service tax half-yearly Returns; excise again monthly Returns. So today with GST, if you have to file monthly Returns, there should not be any problem. I don’t think we should be so much complaining about filing the GST Returns. Composite scheme In the third area where we look at the Composite Scheme—the one-and-a-half crore limit was there in the excise duty under the Composite Scheme. Initially, it was fixed at 50 lakh, subsequently increased to one crore. Composite Scheme, where-

in in excise duty, earlier lot of FSI units, were not subjected to excise duty, today it is not possible for them to opt for Composite Scheme. So, one crore unit—should government look at or not, is one area which we can definitely ask for. Tackling inflation post-GST Another point, is inflation getting affected because of GST implementation? Every country has suffered inflation after implementation of GST. Government has been talking about buoyancy in the tax, what does it mean by it? The intention of GST is neutral; neutral rate has to be there.

There will be some inconvenience even prior to implementation of GST. In spite of these painpoints, lot of countries are moving to GST, therefore GST is a very good reform

So, when they are getting more revenue, there is scope for reduction, and the impact of inflation on the common man has to be tackled, therefore rates have to be reduced. The necessity of e-Way bill is debatable All barriers, multiple taxes, everything has to go, for the free movement of trade and services. If it is so, why e-Way bill? If anything above 50 thousand

Seshagiri Rao MVS

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 37

CII Manufacturing Summit

K. Nandakumar

GST is not just about law, it is also about the way is has to be interpreted in different states and by different tax authorities. Lot of initiatives were taken in formulating such a law rupees, you should have an e-Way bill. Anything you are transporting more than 10 kilometres, you need an e-Way bill. Then the validity is, till 100 km it is one day, more than 100 km and every 100 km, add another one day. If you are not able to deliver within that time period, how to revalidate? So, with e-Way bill, you are again bringing in the same problem, of the earlier system of checkpost. So, e-Way bill's necessity has to be debated, whether it is required in the GST scenario, which is again restricting the movement of goods. How do we expedite refund? Refunds, this is another area where lot of smallscale industries, small-scale players and also exporters are getting impacted. Refunds, I think has to be smoothened. Today, as demand has fallen, GDP is affected because of GST, which is more related to Refund. So, how do we expedite Refund, has to be debated. Reverse Charge Mechanism Reverse Charge—when the Reverse Charge Mechanism was introduced, there are two areas where Reverse Charge is applicable. One is unregistered dealer—if you are buying from an unregistered dealer, then you are supposed to pay the tax on the bill. Is there any better way of structuring the Reverse Charge, particularly when you are buying from unregistered dealer. So, this Reverse Charge Mechanism is coming in, in obligation to the buyer. If you want to give exemption up to certain level, it is fine. Another point where there can be issue is that any buying of `5,000 and below it, had Reverse Charge—there use to be lot of complications as far as Reverse Charge Mechanism is concerned.

The problems industry has been facing regarding liquidity, e-Way bill and Reverse Charge Mechanism, and any other problem is concerned, need to be addressed. But, I think the way government has responded and is addressing the issues of industry, I am very sure that it will respond very positively to any problems that the industries face.

GST will change the way businesses is being done—Bharat Goenka

For the last 12 months, I had felt the government was presenting us a slightly stubborn face for every major regulation that it has introduced. At the same time, for the past 45 days, there has been an extremely refreshing change, to see the seriousness with which they want to bring positive change to help the business. Well, the rhetoric before that was, if you are in business you must pay fees, else why are you in business. And, the change of the rhetoric, I think was one of the most important signals in the last 45 days that it is possible for us to look at the future, where we can increase the degree of trust between each other. If we now start looking at the principle on which GST was constructed, to grammatically simplify the process of taxation, grammatically eliminate the cost of taxation, not just in its compliance cost,

The motivation of the government to bring in something versus how do we continue to maintain that end outcome and yet simplify for ourselves and businesses, is a responsibility we owe to ourselves

38 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

but even in terms of its cascading cost —and that, for example, would change the economics, when you look at integrated manufacturing. Because, many of the earlier decisions, on which integrated manufacturing decisions were taken, were also based on the point that you are able to get the tax arbitrage and the economics worked out to be better under certain circumstances and under certain circumstances it would not. Now, if you look at imaginary two-three years from now—imagine that a more perfect GST is in place—I think the way we take decisions will change. The way we will take decisions of locations of our units, the way we will take decisions about whether to do upstream and downstream integration, whether we will look how we want to insource and outsource—all of these decisions will change, as we understand the fact that the tax-cascading impact no longer exists at any level whatsoever. I am making that statement not with pessimism, I am making that statement with apprehension. The apprehension is that despite these days, when it is most crucial for citizens to participate in the formulation of law, as Indians we have got used to the fact that 'what has to happen will happen… what can we do'. So, none of us actual-

Bharat Goenka

being done. If we remove the negatives of GST, we should all look back as being participants in a moment in history, which will never come back to the country. And I hope we all will.

GST is not only a finance change—Rahul Garg

Over the last one year, many of you would say that our policy-making and our government is moving very fast and we are not ready for that kind of change. Isn’t that a very optimistic and positive news for us as a country, because for last two decades that I have seen, we were all waiting for the moment our policy framework would start to move fast, to make our nation more competitive, in all directions as possible. If I were to separate out the macro and strategic aspects of the GST and then the tactical aspects that are around it—my experience as a startup working with manufacturing organisations—in 2015-16 as ly participate in trying to frame the law and trying to represent what needs to be changed. And the people who are making the law, they are not running businesses like you are. They don’t have the experience of what the process should be. They have the right intent, but they don’t have the right knowledge. And if we don’t participate with our knowledge, we ultimately land up or get what we deserve. Which is, you deserve something back, because you are silent about it. Some of the biggest problems, for example, is tax on advance payments—no goods or services have been exchanged and I don’t know what kind of accounting entry someone can pass, as a one-sided tax entry. And on what basis they will track it and what basis they will reverse it, as they are tax neutral issues. So, the motivation of the government to bring in something versus how do we continue to maintain that end outcome and yet simplify for ourselves and businesses, is a responsibility we owe to ourselves. Ultimately, it’s our future. The future of the country depends upon the future of the industry; it depends on the future of the businessman and if we don’t participate with that aggression, I don’t think we can really look forward to the next two-three years. The ground principle of GST is extremely powerful; none of us has ever seen the kind of reduction of tax cascading that will happen. Expenses you are getting reimbursed, which many of the people have never ever seen in life, they have only seen in the context of purchase and sales. Many of them are coming to terms with the fact that they can get tax refund, tax input credit, tax that they incur on behalf of the business. It will change the cost of doing business. The simplicity with which you can now record transaction and transparency with which you can record it, and also ensure that you are not ultimately taken for a ride, no matter which part of the country you are dealing with, itself is going to change the way business is

Rahul Garg

Many of you would say that our policy-making and our government is moving very fast and we are not ready for that kind of change. Isn’t that a very optimistic and positive news for us as a country? we expanded across different geographies, had to take a different PAN registration, three excise numbers, three VAT numbers, one service tax. Each of those government organisations were fairly slow, they were different because the Delhi state tax would look different than Harayana, than Maharashtra, than Tamil Nadu. And that was completely ridiculous in my mind, because that goes against the philosophy that if you want to make the country excellent, in terms of Ease of Doing business, in terms of digitisation—these principles had to be changed. So, to me or any organisation that is starting today, he will be lot more hopeful for starting and having a consistent legal and policy framework across the country.

The second implication, which is very important to understand, is that GST is not only a finance change. It is not just the change of percentage point. One, it impacts what is the percentage rate of tax across different commerce sctors. Second thing, it impacts how do I think about supply chain, because this entire tax rate change impacts how I think about my supply chain. Third thing, to make such a change at a scale that the country operates, requires a different level of thinking from a technology infrastructure perspective. I think, that is something we have never been used to, as a country or as businesses, working with each other, because we were used to extremely manual, sort of people-oriented, prone to errors, prone to jugaad, kind of thinking around everything of this function. We have had many conversations on GST with large organisations, where they would say, I am just going to wait till I know whether the tax is going to be X or Y; I am not even thinking ahead—what do I have to do next. We formulated a Simple-Five rule that every single organisation needs to think about. ➊ The first thing that has to happen, if you didn’t have an ERP or any technology system, you have to put that in place. Because, you have to generate digital invoices and without which you cannot file taxes. ➋ The second thing is, you have to find an efficient way of both generating invoices and filing taxes through government tax system. ➌ Third, this is the first time by law and policy, you are required to do a two-way matching of all the invoices that you receive and all the invoices you send to your sales channel, to be agreed on a public platform. GST, is the largest application globally of shared ledger, between a buyer and a supplier. ➍ Fourth, when you are doing these changes, you can no longer stick to very large set of supplier networks, because how do you ensure the compliance of the supplier network, with people who might be smaller, people who may not be tech-savvy and things like that. So, you have to think about vendor consolidation, because you have to choose between strategic vendors and non-strategic vendors, to make sure that you are not chasing GST noncompliance. ➎ Fifth, you have to rethink, how did you set up your manufacturing plants in the past—you set up your plant in Haryana, then you make sure all your suppliers are from Haryana, because you want no impact of CST and like that. That is going to change fundamentally. You need to think about these five challenges, from day one. You can’t be saying, I will first solve tax rate, then I will think about technology, then I will think about supplier, and then say the government is slow.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 39


Challenges are opportunities Pravin Paritkar, Director - Corporate HR & Admin, Poonawalla Engineering Group, is known as not only a man of virtue and simplicity, but also for his constant pursuit of knowledge and newer skills. Currently, he is pursuing PhD in ‘Skills, Talents and Competence’. Someone who enjoys interacting with the youth, dealing with millennials and supporting them to grow personally and professionally, in an exclusive interview with Corporate Citizen, speaks on the latest trends in HR, and what are the major challenge for the companies that invest lots of resources and time on training freshers By Vineet Kapshikar Tell us about your education and career.

I have done my BA in Economics with Psychology from Nowrosjee Wadia College, Pune and Masters in Personnel Management (MPM) from Institute of Business Management and Research (IBMR), Pune. Currently I am pursuing my PhD on Skills, Talents and Competence from Jagdishprasad Jhabarmal Tibrewala University (JJTU), Rajasthan.

Tell us about your journey prior to your joining Cadbury.

My career started with a rubber parts manufacturing company, Swastik Rubber, Pune, in 1983. In 1986, I got my first break at Cadbury and at the same time, I got an opportunity to study further. So I had no option but to study in the evening session. As a result, my MPM was part- time. In the daytime, I used to work for Cadbury and in the evening, I used to go for the management classes.

How was your experience of working at Cadbury? When you started

working there, there was Personal Management and Industrial Relations (IR) instead of HR...

IR was more prominent at that time; I learned those terms from there. It was a challenge to train local people to produce a world-class product like Cadbury Chocolates. It was an era of training and grooming in that world-class company. Training the rural people—mainly from the farming background—to manage such excellent products was a challenge. Training was made interesting with colourful pamphlets and training modules designed by experts. Later, we started to impart the hygiene values and ethics to the employees who imbibed the same with a smile. The entire process of calculation and distribution of salary was done manually at that time. It used to take 5-6 days to complete the salary distribution of 500 people. While in Cadbury, I had an opportunity to visit Ghana, for one of the historic biodiversity projects. The topic of the study was Cocoa Farming and Biodiversity. I was selected from the Asia-Pacific region to work with internationally renowned scientists of ‘Earthwatch

40 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Institute’ – along with a few of my colleagues from Europe and America. We stayed there for one month and studied biodiversity under the guidance of scientists and a few other colleagues from British American Tobacco (BAT). We had a good learning session and a delightful experience. We, as an organisation, wanted to do something worthwhile for the society where we grow our raw material—cocoa beans. This was one of the most cherished events of my life.

While in Cadbury, you might have seen the transition from IR to HR...

Yes, I have seen the transition happen. I have

Pics: Yusuf Khan

seen that in IR, people were very strong in terms of leadership. Leadership traits were aggressive and different from the one we see now. So I have seen that phase and later on, I have also experienced the days of training programmes, people development initiatives, OD interventions, cultural changes, Total Quality Management and so on, which were more prominent, and educating people. People loved the brand and were highly committed towards the same.

Tell us about your journey after Cadbury.

After working for 20 years at Cadbury, every-

one thinks that you will continue to do so till the end of career. But that was the point of time when I realised that I was getting comfortable and when one gets comfortable, progress halts, that’s what I firmly believe. So I thought I should shake myself off and move out. I made a bold decision to leave, which was a huge surprise to others. Post Cadbury, I got the opportunity to work for M/s. Cummins Generator Technologies Ltd; the plant was in Ahmednagar. My family decided not to join me. I worked there nearly for three years. Later, I worked on HR & Finishing School Firm, Pune and as a result, I have a great experience in the HR domain.

I have seen the transition from IR to HR happen. I have seen that in IR, people were very strong in terms of leadership. Leadership traits were aggressive and different from the one we see now

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 41

Interview Did you face any culture change, moving from Cadbury to Cummins?

No, I didn’t. Again, Cummins is a US brand and there the value systems were very good. The people were coming from rural areas so the model was somewhat the same. I could create a very good team within HR and other functions as well, by getting them involved in various business agendas. We all could contribute to our dedicated services to Snehalay, an NGO. I put good practices in the factory; I could drive good discipline, sports and cultural activities. In terms of improving the food quality too, I did a lot of groundwork with my HR team. All these small things made a significant difference and people started liking it. I could stay at Cummins only for three years, since my family was in Pune. So I had to shift to Pune. I had the opportunity to visit the US to recieve an award on behalf of the company on ‘Health Safety and the Environment’ and also had an opportunity to visit the UK for HR meets. I got good international exposure while working for Cummins. I was also involved in recruiting young professionals from various renowned educational institutions from various states of India. Then I came to Pune, where I started working on finishing schools where we helped students who engaged themselves in the factory shop floor. I was with Deccan Management Consultants Finishing School (DMCFS) and I was connected with IGNOU for academic matters, supported by an excellent team. Later, I got an opportunity to work for the famous Poonawalla Engineering Group. Poonawalla Group of Engineering Companies namely, M/s. Intervalve Poonawalla Ltd and El-O-Matic India Pvt Ltd. Our CMD is Yohan Zavaray Poonawalla and Michelle Yohan Poonawalla is the Group Director. We manufacture industrial valves, actuators, automation sys-

We expect the new comers to challenge the things that are happening and bring in some creativity and innovation. Otherwise, we feel that everything is perfect. Someone has to come and say this can be even better

tems, gate, globe and check valves used in several applications in all sectors, domestic and international. These are different types of valves, which are used for different processes from small size to big sizes. We have highly qualified experts working for our organisation and continuously strive to improve our brand services for our customers.

You said that you are updating yourself; you are doing a PhD. Tell us how have you kept yourself learning and updating.

I have a passion towards developing the youth and since the beginning, I am training people on various subjects, this keeps me updated on various fronts. My training is not restricted to HR but any other management field connected to shop floor management, safety, quality, sales, customer orientation, structured problem solving, interpersonal skills, motivational training

and Time Management. Secondly, I thought that I should continuously keep myself updated and motivated in learning, delivering the things learnt. What makes one active? Normally, we don’t learn unless we are forced to learn. So I thought I should do my PhD. Skill, competency and talent enhancement is the need of the hour and this will be the most important theme in future too—hence I chose to work on this theme for PhD. But more than the degree of the doctorate, I am passionate in helping the youth to be ready to take the future head on. I will passionately strive to enrich the knowledge and awareness levels by imparting value-added training to them.

What are the challenges that you come across your role and how do you cope with them?

Challenges are connected with the continuous growth of the company. The main challenge is getting the right people in the right place and getting the best out of the talent that is available and I am currently working in that area. Manpower and evaluation of talent happen is a prominent concept. We have been giving a lot of training. We have very good talent in our company—a great asset indeed. We are working together to channelize the talent properly so that we will get the right output.

How do you see freshers who will be entering the corporate world and what is your advice to them?

Firstly, freshers need not to be under pressure, because this is something, which they can get rid of while learning. My advice would be that,during the college, apart from the professional areas that they look into, I think, they have to get into managerial skills too. For example, communication skills, confidence 42 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

We do not feel it feasible to employ a full-timer to do recruitment—if it is not on a large scale. If there is a specialised person to be hired, we definitely rely on specialised agencies who can do headhunting and give us the right candidates to take further decisions. However, social media is definitely helping recruitment in a large way.

What was the turning point in your professional life?

Leaving Cadbury. I broke the comfort zone because I was feeling very relaxed there. Whenever one feels relaxed then is the time they should leave the comfort zone.

What efforts are being made to empower and encourage women?

building, assertiveness, these are the ones if they really work on and if they do their internship sincerely, which will give them good confidence. And this will help at the entry level and in future as well.

What are the qualities that you see while hiring a fresher?

First is the job knowledge, second the confidence and communication skills. Third, whether he/she can get along with people. On the other hand, more challenging in the status quo. We expect the newcomers to challenge the things that are happening and bring in some creativity and innovation. Otherwise, we feel that everything is perfect. Someone has to come and say this can be even better—challenging the status quo drives continuous development.

How do you ensure that your employees give their best?

We have performance monitoring system. We also have our key result areas set in the start of the year. The HODs are guided accordingly so they can have the objectives laid out, then each job description is laid out and then these performances are reviewed. Then we keep a track and provide feedback. In between, we have refresher courses to guide people to align themselves with the objectives of the company.

How are new trends disrupting HR functions in India?

New trends are not very beneficial because talent pool is always on the top. Once we engage them and once the person assumes the seat, he/she is immediately seen on radar looking for better opportunities. This becomes a big challenge, because we as employers invest by training them on various aspects of business. We invest a lot of money and time and if that

employee wants to go in six months or one year, then we have entered in the wrong zone. We would like our talent to stay with the company, help the company grow and grow themselves. We have some systems in place to make the person stay in the company. Millennials see early success in hopping jobs—but this also gives an unfavourable picture of instability.

You are doing research on training and skill development. When students join the industry, there is some skill gap, you have to train them, so how do you fill that gap?

In the industry you may find it difficult to find the right talent, and at the same time there are loads of people searching for jobs. What is the contrast? The contrast is the gap, between what is expected, and what remains to be delivered and that gap starts right from the education level. Now, we have been connecting with industry as an academic institution, academic connect, and we try to spell out the expectations in a complete manner to the academic institutions. Professionals like us deliver guest lectures at academic institutions and we try to explain the students and the institution of what is expected from them. I think we are attempting to bridge the gap of expectations and that attempt further needs to be driven on a very large scale. The faculty also needs to be connected with the industry just like students. Till the faculty gets the feel of industry, there is no way students will get the right understanding of the industry.

Nowadays HR relies on social media for hiring—how effective it is?

It depends on for what position you are hiring. Most of the companies look for placement agencies, who are specialists in hiring people. As a company, we cut down costs on various fronts.

In Cummins, we had a policy on gender diversity and there was have women working for every function—even on the shop floor and doing some machine work. In Poonawalla Group, Madam Michelle Poonawalla takes an active interest in business directions and decisions. She knows the intricacies of the business apart from her very high-profile image internationally in contributing towards art and fashion. She is undoubtedly, a role model when we speak of ‘Women’s Empowerment’.

How do you manage work-life balance?

I manage my time while I work. First, we plan our work and complete it within the stipulated time. I ensure that my team leaves on time; lingering around doesn’t help. I was also a member of a global work-life balance team at Cummins. I believe that when the employee is at home, the home time begins; he/she should pay full attention to that. When at work, he should concentrate on work.

What is the philosophy of life that you live by?

Every moment of life should be lived happily. If you want to make a difference to yourself and to the people around you, you should do what one makes happy. If you have a choice, choose to be happy. I do that and keep myself happy.


tadka India to become world’s 5th largest economy India will leapfrog Britain and France next year to become the world’s fifth-largest economy in dollar terms. China is likely to overtake the United States as the world’s No.1 economy in 2032.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 43

Interview Session Corporate

Emerging Challenges in Business Environment A thought-provoking session was recently held in a renowned management college. With over 30 years of experience in HR, Pravin Paritkar, Director - Corporate HR & Admin, Poonawalla Group of Engineering Companies, Pune, spoke on what is the current scenario in the industry, how should we tackle the upcoming business challenges and how should the industry be future-ready By Vineet Kapshikar The current scenario

Industry has been going through a very difficult stage as of now. No business thrives without difficult situations. However, the situation is a bit tricky this time. When I say business, it means that I am connected with manufacturing industry and the phase that we are going into. There has been a very competitive business trend, which is still going on. What do I mean by very competitive business trend? When the market is slow and low, many competitors will like to get the order with best price and the best delivery options and this really affects the business. When one tries to place an order, it strains all the systems in the company, it affects the manufacturing process and ultimately the delivery time gets strained. Because if there is a competitor, who is willing to give within 12 weeks, other competitor might be ready to give in 10 weeks and another in five weeks. Therefore, it becomes a very strenuous activity. Not only that, it affects the cost also, delivering product on time and with suitable price. It puts all the strain on every industry and I think we all are going through that phase.

Focus on leadership

When the tough times are on, I think most of the eyes will be on the leader. What types of strategies are important now, what type of proactive measures should be taken, which are the things that would need to be stopped and which are things, which need to gain momentum? The leadership decisions and consensus are very important. So we have to keep an eye on the com-


Competition is not only for the company but also for the people who work within. Meaning, every professional has to put in extra efforts. Every skill that has been judged until now, we, will have to do something extra. Besides every competition will bring in some more qualities in a person. More competition in terms of developing the talent is also a strain on human resources. This stiff competition is affecting every industry. Such aspects are getting tougher each day. This does not mean that these aspects should frighten the young professionals. Tough times do not last—but tough men do! 44 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

petition and this puts us in a different scenario altogether. Business scenarios change the way that competition changes.


Customer expectations are dynamic. As technology changes, even the product range changes, the development does not change to that extent. So it exerts additional pressure on the system. The

people who are engaged in the design and development stages have to be on their toes and such dynamism works for other functions as well. The people, who develop or manufacture products, have to produce in a given time at given quality and rate. The delivery matters because the customers ask for a product in a short time. All these pressures are emerging challenges. I am talking of emerging challenges so you may feel that I am sounding negative, but that is not so. Challenges are never negative—they are opportunities, and definitely, when we talk about opportunities, we definitely put systems under stress. We challenge our own learning and own thinking.

Unleashing the talent

Unleashing the talent happens to be the one of the major focus areas as of now. A paradigm change has to be noticed. This happens with training and development. These people are also vulnerable and they are attracted by competition. Nowadays, people do not have the mentality of staying long with a company. With two-three years of working, they feel it is enough and they start moving out. I think every company expects the employees to stay with the company to develop it and develop their own careers. Though there is lot of unemployment in the market right now, but getting the right people has become very challenging now.

Overcoming the challenges

This has been an overly used phenomenon. The style of engagement of people has been changing. Most of the people those who are talented would leave their job if they are not challenged in terms of utilisation of their talent. This is very common. Therefore, retaining such talent is important, utilising innovative people management, talent development and utilisation strategies are important. Engaging in terms of whatever the person has done in the past, the same things cannot be expected now. The responsibility of change also rests on the individual professionals—to greet the challenges and use their capabilities to provide effective solutions, and take a stride further in competition and professional growth too.

People motivation

When the things are not working in your favour, people motivation is a challenge. How can he come to work in a happy manner and deliver his best? Lot of companies are putting different motivational initiatives and drives. Money definitely is one of the many factors that motivate people. Apart from that giving them better work responsibilities and authority, getting them involved in cross-functional developmental projects, developing new initiatives, which challenge the abilities are useful. All these things are happening in the industry.

Unleashing the talent happens to be the one of the major focus areas as of now. A paradigm change has to be noticed. This happens with training and development. These people are also vulnerable and they are attracted by competition. Future preparedness

Change is an unstoppable feature and will continue to be so. When the technology is changing rapidly, even the customers are demanding different things at a faster pace with better utility and at lesser cost. And the manufacturers have to satisfy their demands. This dynamism of proactive preparedness has to be brought in the workplace immediately. The same model needs to be aligned by educational institutions so that the future generations are equipped to manage the future requirements effectively.

Sharpening the skills

For every individual, this aspect is very important. Sharpening the skills in terms of whatever they have learnt. It also means new ways of working and new methodologies. We have been promoting people in terms of giving new ideas, which will run the system in a smooth and efficient manner. Unlearning what is not value-adding and learning only what adds value —will drive growth for the future.

Challenge the business processes

We are connected to various supply chain management and quality assurance aspects. All these things are important, and they need to see in a different manner. The newcomers are expected to challenge the status quo and do something different. Whenever we get interns in our company, we give them different projects so that they can look at the same problem in a different way. It also helps in making different processes, in terms of strategy, in terms

of people management, in terms of different certifications.

Training and development

It continues to be one of the important aspect for getting us prepared for the future. Value– added managerial, commercial and technical training programmes are included in the training calendar. They are derived from structured approach connected with the job profile and robust need–evaluation technique. These are the points, which are affecting the market, and as an individual, what you are supposed to do. The phase that we are into, instead of getting threatened, we can challenge our abilities, we can learn more, do better, and be ready for the change. I think on a positive note, if we see these challenges, I think nothing will be difficult.


tadka Indian millennials more into travel bragging Indian millennials ‘travel brag’ on social media for gaining adulation, as per hotels. com - ‘Mobile Travel Tracker’. Over 40% respondents admitted that they spent over four hours a day bragging on their mobiles while travelling. About 85% of 18-29-yearolds would rather upload a selfie than travel photos while on a holiday.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 45

Corporate History

The Classy Momma of Childcare No child’s play this one, UK-based retailer Mothercare shows the way to making corporate history without budging an inch on price. With over 200 stores in India, Mothercare’s presence at desi stores tells two stories at once: one of India’s burgeoning middle class, and another of a global player that has taken children’s clothing and accessories to another level altogether By Kalyani Sardesai


heir products cost a whopping 30 to 35 per cent more than its other competitors. But even as Mothercare India slowly but steadily makes its presence felt in the Indian market, it isn’t going to buckle down to the famous Indian sense of thrift and bring down prices to rake in the numbers; not a chance. “We are a premium brand and don't follow the price cut strategy,” former Mothercare head, Ben Gordon was quoted as saying when they first came to India. In India for a decade, they have gone from strength to strength, though with India’s well-educated middle class lapping up their ware, from lotions and powders and baby wipes, to clothings, blankets, bedding, footwear, caps, strollers, bath tubs, mackintoshes, toys, car seats, travel bags, bottles and sterilisers. It seems like it has everything under the sun you could possibly think of in the name of childcare. The attention to detail is minute, as much as the pretty embroidery on baby’s frock; evidently, changing lifestyles and the frenetic pace of most working parents’ schedules have been thoughtfully kept in mind.

deprivation of the post-Second World War years was behind everyone. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1972. At every stage, it is evident, the company has not been one to rest on its laurels but has instead chosen to restructure, reinvent, acquire and take stock. In 1982, it merged with Habitat to form Habitat Mothercare plc. In 1986, Habitat Mothercare plc merged with British Home Stores to form Storehouse plc . In January 1996, it bought Children’s World from Boots and rebranded all of their superstores as Mothercare World Stores. In 2000, the BHS (British Home Stores) stores were sold to Philip Green, and Storehouse reverted to the Mothercare brand. In June 2007, Mothercare bought the Early Learning Centre for £85 million. In October 2007, Mothercare launched Gurgle, a pregnancy and parenting social networking website. In November 2009, Mothercare acquired the 50 per

Back to the beginning

Mothercare was founded in 1961 by Selim Zilkha and Sir James Goldsmith in 1961. The roaring sixties were a great opportunity; the

46 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

cent of Gurgle that it did not already own. In July 2010, Mothercare bought the trademark and brand of privately-owned rival Blooming Marvellous. In May 2011, it was reported that Mothercare was set to undergo a major restructure in their retail sector, resulting in an undisclosed number ELC stores moving into neighbouring Mothercare stores to lower costs. The store has over 1,200 outlets in 54 countries. The Mothercare Group comprises, principally, of two retail brands—Mothercare and Early Learning Centre. The retailer draws annual revenues of more than £1 billion, with businesses outside the UK contributing well over 60 per cent.

Mothercare and the India Story

Following a detailed report from its analysts and investors in 2010, former CEO Ben Gordon

At every stage, it is evident, Mothercare has not been one to rest on its laurels but has instead chosen to restructure, reinvent, acquire and take stock

Mothercare at a glance

made it clear that the company The challenges ahead was following the babies. Given While Mothercare enjoys the Their aim is to meet the needs of mothers-to-be, that 70,000 babies are born in advantage of reputation as well babies and children up India every day as compared to as strong brand recall, it must be to pre-school age. The China’s 50,000, it was a sound borne in mind that the pricing clothing and footwear economic decision. is still daunting for several Inproduct lines range And sure enough, Mothercare dian parents. Then there is also from babies, children went on to open over 200 stores the fact that the company faces to maternity wear and in India since then. Although strong competition from homehave a growing selection India is just a small part of the grown, local competition which of branded products. company’s global business at the is much more reasonably priced. Home and travel includes moment, its ambitious middle While the brand's highly visible pushchairs, car seats, furniture, bedding, feeding class makes it a lucrative destinapresence, both online as well as in and bathing equipment. tion in the long run. the friendly neighborhood mall, Toys is mainly for babies Mothercare operates in India works in its favour, there are sevand complements their through a joint venture with reeral desi folks who balk at the idea ELC ranges. alty firm DLF, where the Indian of spending that much on stuff Early Learning Centre partner holds a majority 70 per the baby will outgrow in a jiffy. provides children up cent stake. Mothercare, which Also, in UK, which is its home to preschool age with opened its first store in the counbase, the cost of high rentals for toys that nurture and try last year, also has a shop-instores has been an issue, with the encourage learning shop arrangement with retail company looking at out of town through play. chain Shopper’s Stop. locations as well—not to forget Mothercare has traditionally the continuous decline in sales operated in the international markets through since 2017. franchisees and India is one of the few excepHowever, as per present Chief Executive Mark tions. “We are in 54 countries and we have done Newton Jones, “We continue to improve margin JVs of this nature only in India, China and Austhrough better buying negotiations, as well as a tralia,” Gordon said.This gives the company visifocus on product quality and exclusivity, all of bility, access and insight into the Indian customwhich will drive full price sales.” ers’ psyche. Dipak Agarwal, CEO of DLF Brands However, sales have been down lately. Worldhas been quoted as saying that the stores will tarwide sales at Mothercare were down 1.4 per cent get not just Tier-I, but also Tier-II and III cities. at £627.9 million ($835 million) with total UK

sales down 1 per cent at £229 million ($304 million) and total international sales were down 1.7 per cent at £398.9 million ($531 million). Group sales, the company said, which reflect UK sales and reported revenues or receipts from international partners were down 2.4 per cent at £339.5 million ($451 million).

The road ahead

Mothercare’s international business remains an integral aspect of its global business accounting for 62 per cent of global sales. While there are still challenges in the Middle East, the company now sees the recovery of sales in China and strong growth in Russia and Indonesia. India continues to be a key opportunity for growth and they have consolidated their franchisee partners in 2017.


tadka Indian companies don’t track gender diversity Indian companies do not track gender diversity at the functional or leadership levels. Data insights from a ProEves survey reveal that only 43% track gender diversity at a functional level and a mere 34% hold leaders accountable to drive gender balance goals by way of making them part of the diversity council.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 47

Campus Placement

‘Failures are


The turning point in Ankur Khantwal’s outlook came when he was faced with a seemingly insurmountable backlog in his first semester. He turned that defeat into success through sheer determination and hard work, and then there was no looking back... By Joe Williams


aughty like any other child but within limits, he was also a child of integrity who took full responsibility for his actions. He imbibed moral values from his parents and the society, so he always knew his limits. Ankur Khantwal, who passed out from a well-known college in the city, takes us through his journey of professional education and also the way he overcame the most testing time during his campus placement. Today he is well placed in Mother Dairy, thanks to his work experience with Tech Mahindra. With the able guidance of his seniors at Mother Dairy, Ankur looks to scale new heights.

Early days…

Ankur Khantwal (left) with his friend

48 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Ankur comes from Paonta Sahib, a major industrial town of Himachal Pradesh. His father, B. D. Khantwal is a retired government official while his mother, Anita Khantwal is a house -wife and his brother, Anurag, is a software developer at Syntel. He did his schooling at Paonta Sahib and went on to complete his graduation in engineering from the Dehradun Institute of Technology. The place being known for football, Ankur too played this beautiful game during his school and college days. He was a good athlete too, taking part in different events in college and has a bronze medal as well. Ankur wanted to join the Indian Air Force and serve the country, but that didn’t happen, which made him believe that it was destiny and not the dream that one should pursue. “I never thought that one day I would walk into Mother Dairy, but it has happened. All I want is to make the most of it. This is just the beginning, and I have a long way to go.” For Ankur, failures have turned into blessings. “Failures are blessings, as they give you a chance to do the same thing again in a better way, though you have tasted defeat. Never take defeat as your loss, but as a challenge to do better,” he says. For him, the real test of mettle came when he had to grapple with eight backlogs in his first semester. “It was a shock, as I had failed in eight subjects. This happened since I had been

too carefree during my first year. But I said to myself, ‘I have to’, and with a positive attitude, keeping my goal before me, I put a stop to all entertainment and outings I had indulged in in the first semester, and came out with flying colours, clearing all the eight backlogs. This was when I felt that nothing was impossible if one wanted to achieve the goal,” says Ankur. Talking about his school and graduation days, Ankur did have his godmother in Shivani Pandey, a teacher in his school. He was her blueeyed boy. “She was much more than a teacher, a friend and a philosopher. She was our inspiration and guided and moulded each and every student without any discrimination, no matter how the student was,” said Ankur, about his favourite teacher. “It was just not about books. She taught us about the social responsibility we should have towards society.”

Happiest moment…

“My happiest moment was when I cleared the exams (interview) of Tech Mahindra and got to work with the training team there,” says Ankur, for whom life is all about learning and improving to become a better human being.

Six tricks for success…

Placement travails…

Although college life was a mix of both excitement and challenges, campus placement proved to be a testing time for Ankur. He terms the aptitude test during the Mother Dairy campus

‘Set aside fear and the rest will fall in place. This is the first step towards making a career, and it is just another learning phase for anyone. Life is a learning process and with each step you take you keep on learning and improving’ placement as ‘the mother of all tests’. “I would call it the devil’s circuit day; it was one of the toughest aptitude tests for a placement process. All the rest that followed was just a formality. During the group discussion on ‘Do you think advertising is a wastage of resource’, I shared my point of view as to how a customer perceives it when a company starts advertising more and when it does less, followed by what iPhone used to do, and what they are doing now and also how advertising can change the marketing scenario altogether. In the final interview round too they asked me the tricky question, ‘What is failure for you?’” At the end of it all, Ankur

had shed all fear, and he went through all the processes with confidence. “Never fear, stand up and march ahead the right way, and the goal will be reached,” says Ankur, as a piece of advice for his juniors, as campus placement is believed to be one of the most fearful processes for any student. “Set aside fear and the rest will fall in place. This is the first step towards making headway towards a career, and it is just another learning phase for anyone. Life is a learning process and with each step you take you keep on learning and improving,” says god-fearing Ankur, who believes, “All the credit of my success goes to Lord Shiva.”

1. Believe in yourself. 2. Let your words ring confidence. 3. Integrity and values will make you go a long way. 4. Match your attributes to the company’s requirements (for placement). 5. Prepare for the aptitude test and work on your communication skills. 6. Set a routine and work according to it.



Bengaluru reads the most

Bengaluru has emerged as the most wellread city in India, followed by Mumbai and Delhi, according to Amazon India’s Annual Reading Trends Reports for 2017. Exam-preparation books emerged as the most popular genre on while Indian writing grabbed second position. Literature and fiction, personal development and self-help and romance categories were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. ‘Indian Polity (5th edition)’ ranked as the top-selling book across the country while ‘Sita - Warrior of Mithila’ was the highest-selling fiction book of 2017.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 49

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 At the end of a long and tiring day, when things have not quite gone your way (or even if they have, and you are dying to share the details!), perhaps the nicest and most reassuring thing in the world is to be able to turn to your life partner and tell them all about it. Normal? Yes. Mundane? Perhaps! Desirable? Most definitely! Easy to attain? Ah, therein lies both the twist and the oxymoron. An effortless relationship takes time and effort and consistency. After all, comfort zones are not created overnight. And this is just where the Rais have an interesting tale to tell.

Back to the beginning

This story was first scripted on the grounds of Kolkata’s famous St. Xavier’s College. Manjari was a student of political science, and Anand, a year older, was pursuing economics. It was far from love at first sight. Instead, they got thrown together quite a bit for the various socially relevant camps they organised for the student outfit NSS, of which they were both a part. Between blood donation camps and assorted drives, the duo slowly got to discover each other. “He’s a Gurkha from Darjeeling, but with a Bengali mom. As a Bengali myself, it was nice to find that we had some roots in common,” reminisces Manjari. As people, they couldn’t have been

ftheriendship, cornerstone of a relationship They were first just friends, then boyfriend-girlfriend, then husband-wife. Each stage, they say, has been vital to understanding each other better. Here’s talking to the effervescent Manjari Rai (a former travel executive) and her soft-spoken spouse Anand Rai on the various milestones in their journey, and how being able to talk to each other, is the finest gift any human being can receive from their partner. Based in Kolkata, the couple’s happy circuit is completed by their 13-year-old son Aniruddh By Kalyani Sardesai 50 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

more different: he’s a man with lots of patience and very few words; she, on the other hand, is spontaneous, fun-loving, extrovert and social. Yet, the conversation between the two of them flowed easily and well. “We found that we quite liked each other. Nevertheless, we were just pals,” she says. While she liked his patience and sincerity, Anand says it was her openness that he loved. “She speaks her mind very clearly, sans pretence of any kind. I really liked that about her,” he says.

As it panned out, it was a tragedy that brought them closer when 19-year-old Manjari lost her mother, most unexpectedly, to a stroke. “It was an incident that changed my life forever—as well as that of my family. As the elder daughter of the family, Anand and Manjari Rai are great believers in the power of friendship the organising and upkeep of the and communication family fell upon my shoulders. Our father was shattered—and looked to me to help out. At this very difficult moment, it was Anand who stood beside me like a rock, and that’s when I knew we were meant to be together,” she says. It wasn’t difficult for Anand to find acceptance from her family either. “He’s well-spoken, respectful and very courteous to elders; naturally my father took to him,” she says. As for Anand, his Darjeeling-based professor parents, had no objection to the match either. “They are educated and broad-minded and accepting of people and choices. They simply wanted us to be happy,” he says. Still, the couple had to endure a period of separation when Anand went to Hyderabad to pursue his MBA finance. “I must say that was the hardest time of all, trying to work things out, long distance. However, that was only a All smiles on their wedding day phase and as soon as he found a job, we were married.” The simple ceremony took place born in 2004, in 2001 after which the couple it pretty much doubled their moved to Mumbai. happiness—and their responsibility. A former travel executive, Manjari was, nevertheless, happy The building blocks ▶ Communication to take a back seat for their boy. of a marriage and compromise “We were by ourselves and I wantUnlike couples who start off with ▶ Space ed to be there for him. A husband practically everything these days, ▶ Respect and wife are both a team, and both the Rais had to start from scratch. ▶ Doing things need to put the family unit, ahead “We had moved into a semi-furtogether of themselves, then things work out nished, rented home and had to ▶ Turning to each well,” she smiles. “Compromise is a literally purchase everything from other for friendship good thing.” scratch,” narrates Manjari. What’s and support more, they were a nuclear family Conflict management is some▶ Investing time who had to manage everything— thing that can either make or and effort in from their time and resources by break a relationship. Like every relationship themselves as Anand’s parents were couple, the Rais have their own busy with their lives and careers in little ways too. “As I said before, Darjeeling. Those early days taught we have been together for quite them a lot, particularly about respect, commulong, and endured several ups and downs tonication and compromise. “When you have that, gether. I would say our worst fights happened everything falls into place,” says Anand. “When in our college days, but even so, we have our you communicate openly and frankly with each little differences. I am the more short-temother, the friendship and understanding grows. pered one, but I calm down easily. On the othMost problems can easily be talked out and a er hand, though he takes pretty long to get ancompromise can be worked out. Also, being pagry, when he does get upset, it’s quite a storm...” tient and giving the other person’s issues an ear expresses Manjari. will go a long way in cementing your friendship.” “Reacting spontaneously during an arguWhen the couple’s little boy Aniruddh was ment is rarely a good thing,” points out Anand.

The mantras of a marriage

Anand and Manjari with their son Aniruddh

“We were by ourselves and I wanted to be there for him. A husband and wife are both a team, and both need to put the family unit, ahead of themselves, then things work out well” —Manjari Rai “Walk away from the fight, let things slide for the moment, and only when you both are calmer, should you broach the subject again.” Anand is also a huge advocate of giving each other the space and wherewithal to grow. Currently designated as Director, (International Corporate), Standard Chartered, he is only too aware of the rigors faced by young corporate couples today.

Bringing up baby

As is the case with every couple, parenting is a big arena of teamwork. Fortunately, both Manjari and Anand have a balanced approach to it. “We are more focused on his overall development rather than simply academics. Grades are important yes, but so is participation in sports and extracurricular activities,” says Manjari. “At 13, our son is both active and naughty, so we both talk to him quite a bit. Though I scold him more often, it is his dad he is worried about upsetting too much,” she laughs. “ We are both careful not to push him in an area simply because we used to be great at it in school. It is important that he enjoys what he is doing.” Though life is pretty hectic and demanding these days, quality time for the young family means exploring different places together. “We are ardent travellers, and every once in a way, we zero in on a different country to visit. The journey of planning and chalking out the details is as much fun as the trip itself,” they say. Not the luxury hotels kind, the Rais love backpacking and trekking as much as they possibly can.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 51

PwC CEO Survey

52 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

What’s on the mind of 1,293 CEOs around the world? The CEO is the captain of the corporate ship. Despite record levels of short-term optimism in the global economy, CEOs worldwide are getting increasingly anxious about the changing societal and economic landscapes. With a view to understand this anxious optimism of CEOs globally, leading multinational professional services network PwC conducted the 21st CEO Survey. Corporate Citizen presents the results Compiled by Neeraj Varty


live in VUCA times. It has never been as complex as it is today for CEOs to strike a balance between a globally volatile environment as well as harnessing the potential of emerging markets. The year 2018, though, seems to have been greeted with much more enthusiasm than previous years by CEOs. While threats such as terrorism and a protectionist business environment are very much on their minds, they are much more positive regarding the business environment and foreign investments. So what’s on the mind of 1,293 CEOs around the world? Let’s find out.

Global vs. Organisational Growth Despite geopolitical uncertainty, corporate misbehaviour, and the job-killing potential of artificial intelligence, PwC’s 21st CEO Survey reveals surprising faith and optimism among chief executives in the economic and business environment worldwide, at least over the next 12 months. A majority of CEOs believe global economic growth will ‘improve’ over the next 12 months 57%

52% 48%

53% 49% 44%

49% 44% 37%



36% 27%



Stay the Same

23% 15%













This year saw the highest-ever jump to the highest-ever level of CEO optimism regarding global growth prospects over the next 12 months. For the first time, the majority of CEOs surveyed believe global economic growth will ‘improve. This record level of optimism holds fast across every region from North America and Latin America to Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 53

PwC CEO Survey

All regions report record levels of optimism regarding 2018 When all the data is in, 2017 will almost certainly turn out to be the best year the global economy has seen since 2010. In 2015, Russia and Brazil were in recessions brought on by plummeting commodity prices and political unrest. Now, global commodity prices seem to have stabilised at a moderate level. Russia and Brazil have returned to modest growth; China is doing well, and the Eurozone has mounted a steady recovery that looks set to continue in 2018. India too, is doing quite well as the govt. is encouraging FDI into the country. +63%






2 17%




US China Germany UK


US 33%

China 20%









































Saudi Arabia

Hong Kong









Hong Kong








54 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018


2015 2016 2017 2018


Which three countries, excluding the country in which you are based, do you consider most important for your organisation’s overall growth prospects over the next 12 months?




2012 2013 2014



The US remains the top spot for global investment, while India moves into the top 5


28% 30%

25% 28%

26% 2012 2013 2014

Africa 2015 2016 2017 2018


2015 2016 2017 2018

2012 NVB 2013 OM B 2014

Middle East








22% 17%


26% RMB


40% 39%


49% 44%




34% 33% 31%

27% 28% 2017 2018

Western Europe

NUB 2015 2016 NUB

2012 2013 2014


2015 2016 ONB 2017 2018

2013 2014

NPB NRB 2012

North America

2015 2016 2017 2018

19% 20%





18% 18% QNB


13% 15%


2012 2013 2014

45% 45%

41% 37%


41% 34% 27% 29%






57% 44% 37%


Latin America

2015 2016 2017 2018

15% 18%

NRB 2012 2013 NUB 2014

Global ä



2015 2016 2017 2018


2012 NSB2013 2014



Increased from 2017 to 2018

What about the CEOs' own future? When it comes to confidence about their own three-year prospects, CEOs are more cautious How confident are you about your organisation’s prospects for revenue growth over the next three years? 51% 49%




51% 49%

Somewhat Confident


47% 46%




44% 42%








Very Confident














When asked about their own organisation’s growth over the next three years, the bandwagon slows down. While still generally confident, more CEOs say they are ‘somewhat confident’ rather than ‘very confident’. In fact, all regions report flat to diminished levels of ‘very confident’ in their own longer-term prospects. Particularly restrained are CEOs in the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe, where ‘very confident’ responses reach near-record lows, down 33% and 26%, respectively, from last year.

Threats Considering the following threats to your organisation’s growth prospects, how concerned are you about the following? 2017

2018 42% Over-regulation

1 2


Uncertain economic growth







Exchange rate volatility

Geopolitical uncertainty




Availability of key skills

Cyber threats




Geopolitical uncertainty

Availability of key skills




Speed of technological change

Speed of technological change




Increasing tax burden

Increasing tax burden







Changing consumer behaviour



Social instability



Cyber threats



Volatile commodity prices






Inadequate basic infrastructure





Climate change and environmental damage


Exchange rate volatility


Social instability




Uncertain economic growth



Inadequate basic infrastructure


Lack of trust in business behaviour

Changing consumer behaviour


This anxiety shows up clearly in CEOs’ assessment of the threats to their organisation’s growth prospects. ‘Extreme concern’ levels climb across almost all the main threats measured. Some existing concerns have shifted their priorities such as terrorism— which vaulted from No. 12 to No. 2 overall and—geopolitical uncertainty, which is a top-five threat in every region except Asia-Pacific, where it ranks sixth.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 55

Bollywood Biz

Bollywood Star Wives who have Successful Business Careers Their husbands might rule the Indian film industry but Bollywood star wives are no less. They rule their own stardom in different sectors of business, and can give tough competition to their husbands in the earnings department. Here are some of the popular Bollywood star wives who have established their own successful business careers By Neeraj Varty Twinkle Khanna

Twinkle Khanna is much more than just the wife of superstar Akshay Kumar. Even before she became a bestselling writer, she started an interior designing farm called ‘The White Window’ in Mumbai, which is still doing great business. However, it was her daily column ‘Mrs Funnybones’, and the subsequent book of the same name that brought her mass adulation for her quirky and witty style of writing. The book became a bestseller and she quickly followed it up with a sequel—‘The legend of Laxmi Prasad’.

Sussanne Khan

She belongs to the family of some of the most dashing male stars of Bollywood. Daughter of Sanjay Khan, sister of Zayed khan and the ex-wife of Hrithik Roshan, Sussanne Khan is an accomplished businesswoman in her own right. An interior designing graduate from the Brooks College, California, she is the proud owner of a big interior designing boutique, ‘House of Design’ in Mumbai. Most of the big names of Bollywood are her clients. After the success of her first boutique, she has launched her second store ‘The Charcoal Project’, which is doing great as well. 56 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Shobha KApoor

Of all the star wives who have managed to create their own identity, Shobha Kapoor, wife of yesteryear star Jeetendra, is probably the most successful. The Managing Director of Balaji Telefilms, she and her daughter Ekta are the czarinas of Indian soap operas, and have won multiple industry awards for the popularity of their shows. In fact, in 2017, Balaji had earned revenues of over 300 crore, which is more than most what bollywood blockbusters earn.

Kiran Rao

Kiran Rao had established her career even before meeting Aamir Khan. She is a mass communication degree holder from Jamia Milia University. She started her career in Bollywood with a single-minute supporting role in Aamir Khan’s movie ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, and was also an assistant director in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Swades’. In 2005, she tied the knot with Aamir Khan. She then made her debut as a director with the critically acclaimed Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Dhobi Ghat’. February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 57

Mobile apps

The best Meditation Apps

For corporates, life can be very hectic. Stress can take a heavy toll on your health if you ignore it. That’s where meditation comes in. The effects of meditation on physical and mental well-being are extremely positive. All you need is a little time for yourself and the following meditation apps to open the gateway to serenity and happiness By Neeraj Varty

White Noise Lite

Price – Free As its name suggests, this app uses white noise to mask distracting sounds during meditation and to promote relaxation. You can also use the app to help with sleep. It comes with 40 pre-recorded white noise sounds, such as falling rain, a bubbling brook, or ocean waves. You can loop these samples, or even mix them together to create your own soothing sounds. What’s more, you can record and loop your own favourite sounds.


Price – Free Calm combines rich features and a large library of guided meditations with a simple, clean interface. Guided meditations range from three to 25 minutes, so you can always find a meditation to fit your schedule. Like other subscription-based apps, Calm provides a free basic course in meditation, with advanced meditations requiring a subscription starting at `633 per month.

58 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018


Price – Free Headspace is a great app for people just starting out, with 10 newbie-focused 10-minute meditation exercises, known as Take 10. It’s designed to help you quickly understand what the practice is all about. There’s also a personalised progress page, a reward system for continued practice, and even a buddy system for you and your friends to help each other stay on track.


Price – Free Omvana offers a wider range of guided and music-only options like an iTunes of meditations. It claims to have “the largest library” of guided meditations and self-hypnosis tracks online. While some tracks are available at no cost, most tracks cost a nominal amount.

Claps & Slaps Corporate Citizen claps for the promptness and citizenship spirit shown by Manik Choure who went beyond his call of duty An Uber driver by profession, he literally did the ‘extra miles’ from Pune to Mumbai International Airport on January 8, 2018 to hand over passport and important travel documents and other belongings to one of his passengers Mohnish Rajan, who had unknowingly left one of his bags in the cab during his short haul with Manik in Pune—from his residence at Salisbury Park to Pimpri. Mohnish had planned to join his family at Pimpri and travel with them to Mumbai airport in the family car. Mohnish had actually transferred two of his three bags from the Uber cab to their family car and had completely forgotten about the third black bag that remained in the back seat of the Uber cab. On reaching Lonavala, he received a call from driver Manik informing him of the baggage left in the Uber taxi. Until then, Mohnish, who was now en route to Mumbai in the family car to board an international flight, was unaware of the ‘missed’ bag. He immediately realised that the bag left behind was the most crucial one containing his passport and other important documents. Had it not been for Manik’s timely call, Mohnish’s travel agenda would have gone for a ‘toss’ altogether. According to the Uber cabbie, Manik, “I was unaware of the bag as I was engaged in finishing two back-to-back trips, after which I decided to take a tea break, that was when I saw a black bag lying in the back seat. I opened it and found a wallet with a photo and dollar currency notes and recollected my chat with the passenger. From our brief chat, I had understood that the passenger was on his way to Australia and immediately concluded that the ‘left’ baggage had to belong to him (Mohnish). Luckily, I had his number as the passenger had called me during pickup time, otherwise I would not have been able to track or contact him since once trip is done, client details are erased from the system!” Manik’s connection with Mohnish which began at 5:30 am was destined for a longer haul as an hour had already lapsed between Manik locating the ‘left’ luggage and Mohnish realising his folly. As it would be impossible for the family car to wait another hour on the Expressway for Manik to catch up with them, Mohnish then requested Manik to reach the airport directly with the bag for his scheduled departure by Singapore Airlines to Melbourne. Finally Manik was able to reach the airport on time, but not before taking an airport security personnel into confidence about the episode, who played his part in enabling the passenger-less Uber (against general rule) to enter the airport premises. Manik was duly compensated for his efforts. 60 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

Corporate Citizen slaps the cheek displayed by random groups of ATM thieves who have in the recent past targeted multiple regions across Maharashtra for easy money Stealing ATMs is not a new phenomenon but the ‘finesse’ with which new gangs operate has seen suave methods of committing these crimes despite strict vigilance by banks and the police department. The audacity and intelligence in committing these heists evoke amazement and alarm at the same time. It is sheer disbelief to see such intelligence in doing ‘bad’ while alarm at the boldness displayed for taking crime to a new level each time. In one of the most recent and dramatic heist of the new year, the Pune Police arrested a gang of five men for uprooting and stealing two ATMs with a total cash component `21 lakh with the help of a modified Scorpio. They were arrested and sent to police custody. Interestingly, the inspiration to modify the SUV to steal ATMs springs from the Hollywood blockbuster—Fast and Furious 4, which has been unashamedly acknowledged by the main accused in this case. “They modified the car in a way that the chain attached to the car was tightened around the ATM and within two and a half minutes, the entire machine would slide into the Scorpio over a metal ramp without any physical effort,” said police inspector Shrikant Shinde of Kondhwa Police Station. The gang then used another device to cut into the cash vault of the machine. The probe revealed that the same gang had stolen a total of seven ATMs from October to December last year from Pune and across Solapur, Satara, Kolhapur, Sangli and Karad, totalling a crime booty of `40 lakh. In another incident, `52.98 lakh was stolen from four Pune ATMs, located in Thergaon, Dehu Road, Chakan and Talegaon Dabhade and believed to have occurred in October 2017. These tech-savvy thieves got through to the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of the ATM, used a series of commands to extract the cash and left with the CPU to hide their trail. The police in this probe hinted at the involvement of a company insider, especially considering the familiarity with these particular ATM machines. Insider or not, the gravity of the situation lies in complete disregard for the law and the blind bluff being played to override security protocols by these miscreants. And the list goes on. The question is what provokes such criminal mindscapes and is anything being done ‘fast and furiously’ to nip such savvy crimes and their perpetrators ‘in the bud’! (Compiled by Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar)

Work Culture

Work culture in


After a successful stint with an international chain of hotels, Deepika Sharma’s proficiency in the German language landed her a highly lucrative job in Dubai. Ever since she moved to the land of riches and luxuries, she hasn’t looked back. Deepika, who has her heart set on Dubai, shares her experience of working in the city... By Namrata Gulati Sapra

Moving to greener pastures Deepika worked with Intercontinental Hotels Group for four years as a German language speaker and though her unconventional role was one to die for, she soon grabbed a job opportunity in Dubai, for better growth prospects. Working for an airline as a German language speaker, her job gives her the international exposure that she had been longing for. She adds, “Work culture in India and Dubai is pretty much the same, in the latter, you get to work with people from diverse nationalities and cultures. It is a great learning experience that way.” The work culture Deepika says that in Dubai, the targets and incentives drive you to perform better. “It is competitive enough to keep your spirits up and with

the benefits on offer, you cannot help but have a strong urge to grow and earn more,” she said. In both India and Dubai, appreciation and monetary benefits are performance-based. Dubai, however, wins on not one, but on two accounts, “Here I get quarterly incentives. I enjoyed a balanced and transparent relationship with my superiors in India and continue to do the same here. But, in Dubai, all of us work more as a team and are on friendly terms.” However, for Deepika, India enjoys one important advantage over Dubai, “It was easier to implement your ideas in India as there was more freedom to innovate, in Dubai, on the other hand, you cannot implement new ideas so easily as everything is well defined already as per the job role; however, ideas related to business are always welcome.” She further summarises the two cultures as, “The dress culture followed here is similar to the one followed in India. I wear the usual formals that I wore in India on weekdays and the regu-

lar casuals that I did on weekends. However, depending on one’s work profile, many job profiles stipulate uniforms in Dubai. In India, I worked for the UK region and so my shift timings were from 1pm to 9 pm. Here, in the new city, my timings are fixed—I begin my workday at 9 in the morning and end it at 6. Both in India and Dubai, I have been able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.” Aiming for the bull’s eye Deepika is very focused and determined about her career goals and her professional future in the glamorous city of Dubai, which is a melting pot of cultures. She knows exactly what she wants and sums it all up for you in a jiffy, “Right now, I am planning to spend five years in Dubai. I want to be here to know the market well and understand the work strategies better. I like the way this city is planning to grow till the Expo 2020. I am waiting for more opportunities here.”

In Dubai, the targets and incentives drive you to perform better. It is competitive enough to keep your spirits up and with the benefits on offer, you cannot help but have a strong urge to grow and earn more February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 61

DrDr(Col.) (Col)A. A Balasubramanian

From The Mobile

Self-discipline is the key to success

(This post is about what happened in a typical middle-class household.) The son didn’t like living in his house. “You are leaving the room without switching off the fan”. “The TV is on in the room where there is no one. Switch it off!” “Keep the pen in the stand; it is fallen down”. The son didn’t like his father nagging him for these minor things. He had to tolerate these things until yesterday since he was with them in the same house. But today he has an invitation for a job interview. “As soon as I get the job, I should leave this town. There won’t be any nagging from my father”, were his thoughts. He left for the interview. “Answer the questions put to you without any hesitation. Even if you don’t know the answer, mention that confidently.” Father gave him more money than he actually needed to attend the interview. The son reached the interview centre. There was no security near the gate. Even though the door was open, the latch was protruding out probably hitting the people entering through the door. He put the latch properly, closed the door and entered the office. On both sides of the pathway, he could see beautiful flower plants. The gardener

62 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

had kept the water running in the hosepipe and was not to be seen anywhere. The water was flowing on the pathway. He kept the hosepipe near the plant and went further. There was no one in the reception area. However, there was a notice saying that the interview was on the first floor. He slowly climbed the stairs. The light that was switched on last night was still burning at 10 am in the morning. He remembered his father’s admonition, “Why are you leaving the room without switching off the light?” and thought he could still hear that now. Even though he felt irritated by that thought, he sought the switch and switched off the light. Upstairs in a large hall, he could see many aspirants sitting waiting for their turn. He looked at the number of people and wondered if he had any chance of getting the job. He entered the hall with some trepidation and stepped on the “Welcome” mat placed near the door. He noticed that the mat was upside down. He straightened out the mat with some irritation. Old habits die hard. He saw that in a few rows in the front there were many people waiting for their turn, whereas the back rows were empty, but a number of fans were running over those rows of seats. He heard his father’s voice again, “Why are the fans running in the room where there is no one?” He switched

off the fans that were not needed and sat at one of the empty chairs. He could see many men entering the interview room and immediately leave from another door. There was thus no way anyone could guess what was being asked in the interview. He went and stood before the interviewer with some trepidation and concern. The officer took the certificates from him and without looking at them asked, “When can you join work?” He thought, “Is this a trick question being asked in the interview, or is this a signal that I have been offered the job?” He was confused. “What are you thinking?” asked the boss. “We didn’t ask anyone any question here. By asking a few questions, we won’t be able to assess the skills of anyone. So our test was to assess the attitude of the person. We kept certain tests based on the behaviour of the candidates and we observed everyone through CCTV. No one who came today did anything to set right the hosepipe, the welcome mat, the uselessly running fans or lights. You were the only one who did that. That’s why we have decided to select you for the job”, said the boss. He always used to get irritated at his

father’s discipline and remonstrations. Now he realised that discipline has got him his job. His irritation and anger at his father vanished completely. He decided that he would bring his father too to his workplace and left for home happily. Whatever our father tells us is only for our bright future! A rock doesn’t become a beautiful sculpture if it resists the pain of the chisel chipping it away. For us to become a beautiful sculpture and a human being we need to chisel out the bad habits and behaviour from ourselves. This is what our father does when he disciplines us. The mother lifts the child up on her waist to feed her, to cuddle her, and to put her to sleep. But the father is not like that. He lifts the child up on his shoulders to make her see the world that he couldn’t see. We can realise the pain the mother undergoes by listening to her; but the father’s pain can be realised only when others tell us about it. Our father is our teacher when we are five years old, a villain when we are twenty, but a guidepost when he is no more in our midst. The mother can go to her daughter’s or son’s home when she is old; but the father doesn’t know how to do that. He is always independent and alone. Hence, there is no use in hurting our parents when they are alive and remembering about them when they have passed away.

We are spiritual beings Dr Froylan Alvarado Guemez Pierre Teilhard de Chardin of the Jesuit order, born in Orcines, France on May 1, 1881 and died in New York, USA on April 10, 1995, was a French theologian, philosopher and paleontologist. He built an integrated vision of science and mysticism with his thought of the evolution of spirit and thought.  Religion is not just one, there are hundreds.  Spirituality is one.  Religion is for those who sleep.  Spirituality is for those who are awake.  Religion is for those who need someone to tell them what to do and want to be guided.  Spirituality is for those who pay attention to their inner voice.  Religion has a set of dogmatic rules.  Spirituality invites us to reason about everything, to question everything.  Religion threatens and frightens.  Spirituality gives inner peace.  Religion speaks of sin and guilt.  Spirituality says, ‘Learn from error’.  Religion represses everything and in some cases, it is false.  Spirituality transcends everything; it brings you closer to your truth!  Religion speaks of a god; it is not God.  Spirituality is everything and, therefore, it is in God.  Religion invents.  Spirituality finds.  Religion does not tolerate any question.  Spirituality questions everything.  Religion is human; it is an organisation with men’s rules.  Spirituality is divine, without human rules.  Religion is the cause of divisions.  Spirituality unites.  Religion is looking for you to believe.  have to look for it to believe.

 Religion follows the precepts of a sacred book.  Spirituality seeks the sacred in all books.  Religion feeds on fear.  Spirituality feeds on trust and faith.  Religion lives in thought.  Spirituality lives in consciousness.  Religion deals with doing.  Spirituality has to do with the self.  Religion feeds the ego.  Spirituality drives to transcend.  Religion makes us renounce the world to follow a god.  Spirituality makes us live in God, without renouncing us.  Religion is a cult.  Spirituality is meditation.  Religion fills us with dreams of glory in paradise.  Spirituality makes us live the glory and paradise here and now.  Religion lives in the past and in the future.  Spirituality lives in the present.  Religion creates cloisters in our memory.  Spirituality liberates our consciousness.  Religion makes us believe in eternal life.  Spirituality makes us aware of eternal life.  Religion promises life after death.  Spirituality is to find God in our interior during life and death.  We are not human beings who go through a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings that we go through a human experience.

February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 63



Mar 21 - April 20

Your extrasensory perception is stronger and you will experience all kinds of synchronicities and meaningful coincidences. You want to let go of the world and delve in your spiritual world, but Saturn in your career house forces you to be worldlier. So, you have to be idealistic and more practical at the same time. You will have to marry both the urges and cooperate with each other. other.


April 21 - May 20

Changes are happening in your life, much of it will be sudden and unexpected. So this year the cosmos is pushing a change on you and it will be for your own good. Embrace it and adapt going with the flow. Uranus creates a long-term movement in ‘self-redefinition’; you will be constantly redefining, changing your image and personality both in mind and body.


May 21 - June 21

This year you could be in the process of spiritualising your career, merely being successful in the worldly sense will not be enough for you. Your work, your career has to be meaningful—something that uplifts the world or humanity at large. Your spiritual practices, your spiritual growth, become the career— the life work, the mission.


June 22 - July 23

Saturn in your 7th house brings in challenges to the love and social life, which is being reorganised and made more stable. But this is a process and not an event. Saturn is going to reorganise and test your current attitude. Age-old practices and


Your Fortune In


Dolly Manghat, our renowned astrological expert scripts major trends for the New Year. Read what you have in store for you. Let it be your guideline to SELFIMPROVEMENT – THE COSMIC LESSON in 2018! beliefs will be revised, you will no more believe in convenient practices, and you will learn that practice and patience play a great role in strengthening bonds.


July 24 - Aug 23

Jupiter in 4th house means nostalgia; you need to heal your past. This is not about rewriting history, the facts remain facts, only you need to reinterpret the past events from today’s point of view. The meaning of past events will change. This will make all the difference in the world. You will understand the tough love of the cosmos acting in your highest and biggest interest.


Aug 24 - Sept 23

You will undergo a metamorphosis in life. Lot of attitude and opinions will be changed. You will experience a lot of awakenings within your own psyche, which will help change your own beliefs. If your love life gets too complicated, or you feel over whelmed and inadequate, then your horoscope energies are advising you to surrender with no equivocations.

64 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018


Sept 24 - Oct 22

Uranus’s move into your 8th house of regeneration shows that you are entering an era of body experimentation. This is neither good or bad, it all depends on how you handle it. Many of you will be involved in personal transformation. Do not try to stifle your feelings and you will feel much stronger and happier. Holding back your feelings can lead to depression and physical illness.


Oct 23 - Nov 22

Saturn is now in your 3rd house. This is a challenging aspect, as now you need to change your attitude. It is good to understand the cosmic agenda behind it. Saturn wants to make you more thorough, resilient and a deep thinker. There is an internal need for “depth” for deep understanding of a subject. Thought process will be slower, but deeper.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22

There is no other sign that

understands the spiritual dimensions of wealth better than you do. Intuition guides you and you prosper. The affluence of the Divine is not at all concerned with what we call ‘practical factors’; it is not concerned with the state of economy, the market or with how much you have in the bank. It creates conditions for earnings.


Dec 23 - Jan 20

Saturn will strengthen your sense of duty and responsibility and also your management skills. Your lesson to learn this year is that when you trust the ability of Saturn, then have faith, and stop looking at the dark side of things. Do not be pessimistic and do not focus on anything negative.


Jan 21 - Feb19

Saturn will be operating in a very powerful way. Spirituality becomes important to you but the message for you is that if you want to progress and succeed in life you need to be very disciplined and orderly about it. Your spiritual practice must become a part of your lifestyle.


Feb 20 - Mar 20

Pisceans are natural psychics, it’s a gift that can bless or destroy. You should shield your aura to block out destructive energies and to create an aura of love and happiness. Avoid thinking negative about people or feel jealous of other people. Remember, what you visualise is what happens. Address: 143, St Patrick’s Town, Gate# 3, Hadapsar IE, Pune-411 013. Tel.: 020-26872677 / 020-32905748 Email:

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January 1-15, 2016 / `50


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



February 16-28, 2018 / Corporate Citizen / 65

the last word Grand entrance of the Tanjore Temple

Ganesh Natarajan

Terrific Temple Tourism India holds treasures everywhere, South, North, East and West and we would be well served to introduce our families to our own Indian traditions and cultures even as we continue to take them to foreign lands. Here’s a connoisseur’s view


n the previous column, we had talked about the author’s whirlwind year-end trip to seven temple towns in Tamil Nadu and mentioned the attractions of Kanchipuram and Vellore. In this article we cover the other five. The third stop on our tour was Tiruvannamalai. Dedicated to Lord Shiva in the name of Annamalai and his consort Parvati in the name of Unnamalai, this temple is gigantic and marvellous. The Magizhamb tree and the ‘wishing Vinayaka’ seated underneath the tree, Kartikeya shrine dedicated in memory of Arunagirinathar, a saint poet, Padala Lingam shrine worshipped by Ramana Maharshi and the Shiva Padam shrine are some of the noteworthy places inside the spacious temple. Shiva is worshipped in the form of fire at this temple. The hill behind the temple is lit with one lakh and eight lamps during the month of Karthikai, which is truly a wonderful sight and experience. The doorways of the temple are engraved with fine Bharatanatyam poses depicting the richness of the art form practised in the yesteryear. The next stop was Tiruchirappalli or Trichy, an ancient town ruled by several dynasties with the first church being constructed by the Dutch during the Chola regime in 700 AD! The Ucchi Pillayar Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha is atop

Temple—dedicated to Brihadeeswarar. This is a World Heritage complex and is an excellent example of Chola patronage for temples. Built around 1000 years ago, the temple has also received the patronage of the Via rock and you can have the sight jayanagar rulers and the Maratha of this temple from everywhere in kings. The Nandi or the bull in the city. The climb to the top takes front of the main deity adds beauaround half an hour. The temple ty to the temple which has several complex also has beautiful shrines inscriptions which describe the dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati methods of administration and and in the evening hours we manupkeep of the temple. aged to get the sunset view as well as The next stop was Madurai, with the full view of the entire city. its cynosure being the Meenakshi The other major attraction is Amman Temple, which is around Srirangam, one of the 108 main 3,600 years old! The sculpture and abodes of Lord Vishnu. Srirangam the architecture are breathtaking is a sprawling temple complex, and it is great to see Temple Muwhich has several shrines within, seum attached to the temple with each of which are well preserved beautiful exhibits. Tamil is an anthanks to the regular repair and cient language, which has been in uplift work that is carried out. The use for several centuries and Madurai The Ucchi Pillayar Temple is considered the dedicated to Lord Ganesha mecca for Tamil literature, particularly is atop a rock and you can to the have the sight of this temple belonging Sangam period. The from everywhere in the city richness of Tamil language attracted a young Japanese woman to learn main Gopuram called Rajagothe language, speak fluently in puram is the tallest of its kind in Tamil and even have a traditionAsia and has intricate carvings on al Tamil wedding at the temple! it. Lord Vishnu has assumed the Visitors to Madurai cannot return Anantasayana or the sleeping poshome without tasting the local ture with Mahalakshmi beside him. drink Jigarthanda, introduced to There is a dedicated shrine for the the city during the Nayakkar rule revered Vaishnavite saint Ramanuja by the Muslim traders and buying apart from one for a Muslim prinhandloom sarees Chinnalam pattu cess who loved the idol of Ranganaand Sungudi. thar, the main deity of the temple. Rameshwaram was our last stop Tanjore or Thanjavur, our next on this trip—the tip of Rameshtemple stop boasts of the Big

66 / Corporate Citizen / February 16-28, 2018

waram-Dhanushkodi at the edge of Bay of Bengal is only a few kilometres away from the Sri Lankan coast. The town is famous for the Shiva temple where the Shiv Lingam was worshiped by Lord Rama. A drive around Dhanushkodi makes the Rameshwaram trip complete, which is just a few dozen kilometres form the Sri Lankan shore line and the place from which the Vanara Sena in the Ramayan started the bridge of rocks to Lankan shores that would see Rama marching to the island nation and bringing his wife Sita back from the clutches of Ravana. For a person like Uma, who has grown up in the folklore of Tamil Nadu, this visit was a refresher course into the culture and religious traditions of her home state. And for Ganesh, who was born and raised in Bengal and Bihar, this is one of many opportunities over the years to understand the traditions and culture which he missed while growing up. Our friends who accompanied us on this trip were born and raised in Delhi but enjoyed the trip as much as we did. Which just goes to show that India holds treasures everywhere, South, North, East and West and we would be well served to introduce our families to our own Indian traditions and culture even as we continue to take them to foreign lands! Ganesh Natarajan is Chairman of 5F World, Pune City Connect and Social Venture Partners, India. Uma Ganesh is CEO of Global Talent Track

Printed and published by Dr (Col.) A. Balasubramanian on behalf of Sri Balaji Society. Editor: Dr (Col.) A. Balasubramanian. Published from : 925/5, Mujumdar Apt, F.C. Road, Pune - 411004, Maharashtra. Printed at Magna Graphics (I) Ltd., 101-C&D Govt. Industrial Estate, Hindustan Naka, Kandivali (W), Mumbai - 400067.

Volume3 issue 23 corporate citizen  
Volume3 issue 23 corporate citizen