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COVER STORY

From the Editor Keep politics away from developments

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he in-fighting in the CPM has showed its ugliest face recently which will certainly shatter the aspirations of the State to showcase it as investor friendly. Pointing an accusing finger at Mr M A Yousuf Ali as a land grabber by Mr C M Dinesh Mani, the Ernakulam district secretary of the CPM, and veteran trade union leader M M Lawrence, the staunch supporters of Mr Pinarayi Vijayan , the CPM supremo of the State, poured cold water on the spirit of the investor-community which has lately become enthusiastic over the progress of the State. Mr Vijayan, a neo – Marxist and the person who believes in private investments for the development of the State, intervened timely and tried to pacify Mr Yousuf Ali and project the CPM as a pro-development party. Everybody knows that the accusation emerged out of the faction feud and it was not targeted on Mr Ali but Mr V S Achuthanandan, the Opposition Leader now, and then the Chief Minister under whose term the sanction for the Lulu hyper market in Kochi was granted.

Editor & Publisher

Varghese Paul

Thiruvananthapuram Sham Mohamed B 9895957697

The recent controversy and court case raising allegations against the EMKE group MD acquiring 27 acres of land for the upcoming project also made Mr Yousuf Ali to retreat on his plan intended to make his home State flourishing on developmental front. It is high time for the people of the State who seek developments to ponder whether they should tolerate the cheap political gimmick and egoism of political leaders which will only help to derail the developmental process.

Kannur Srikanth P 9846274973 Chennai Augustine Joseph Ph: 09381000534

Let us review who Mr Yousuf Ali is and what makes him differ from other NRI businessmen in Kerala’s context.

Bangalore Jayachandran 0988699331 Manager-Marketing Sajan K 09895344485 Keethara Publications Pvt Ltd 38/125 1st Floor, Narakathara Road, Kochi-682 035, Kerala, India. Phone

: +91 484 4027002

Editorial : +91 484 3043572 Marketing : +91 484 4010075

484 3043325

Marketing Office: G-238, K C Joseph Road, Panampilly Nagar, Kochi-682 036 Marketing : +91 484 4010075 e-mail : passline.com@gmail.com

He is the Managing Director of $2billion EMKE group spanning over 24 countries with thousands of employees, majority of them from Kerala. Mr Yousuf Ali is the second richest among Indian business men and his company ranked 3rd most impactful company in the Arab world. What makes him differ from other NRI businessmen? He is the role model for all the Malayalee upcoming business men in India and abroad. He is the Brand Ambassador of the State for its social and developmental activities pertaining to the Arab world. Without Mr Yousuf Ali it was not possible to resolve some of the turbulent issues which hindered the implementation of the Smart City which gives employment for nearly a lakh people. He was instrumental for the confidence-building measures among the investors who emerged with business proposals during much hyped Emerging Kerala Investor Meet last year. Mr Ali adorns pivotal positions in a number of organizations for the betterment of NRIs from the State. And, he himself invested Rs 1,200 crore in a mega mall in Kochi. A slew of other ventures, including Bolgatty project, are in the pipeline. Everybody including his rivals will agree one thing that, unlike others, he is a man of principles and ethics and always adheres to the law of the land in his business dealings. There is, no doubt, that he is the pride of Kerala beyond the boundaries of the State. Kerala is envisaging its second edition of Emerging Kerala in 2014. If this is the experience of a person like Mr Yousuf Ali’s stature, what will be the fate of others? Is there any concern for our political leaders about our State? Or they want to settle their scores with their rivals at the cost of the development of the State? This is the time to think and act. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Varghese Paul

PASSLINE

May 31 - June 30, 2013


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May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


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IN BOX

Crux of bank NPAs

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inance Minister P Chidambaram has reached the crux of the problem of banks’ NPAs with a stern warning to wilful defaulters and asked banks to take firm steps against affluent promoters to recover loan dues from sick companies owned by them. Promoters must bring in money to their companies instead of Government taking steps for pumping liquidity to iron out the banks’ inability to recover the dues from big corporate bodies defaulting loan remittances. The FM’s faux pas is a morale-booster for banks if it comes into operation because we have instances of the Government dilly-dallying on the steps to recover the dues from big corporate bodies like Suzlon Energy, Kingfisher Airlines and Deccan Chronicle Holdings.How can a single bank branch recover the loan dues? I have witnessed a bank manager expressing his inability to recover dues from a company of national standing with high influence at the Centre. Practice is better than precept.

Toll-free, not trouble-free

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drowning fellow catches a floating straw’ is a dictum that describes a situation where a life-saving device is needed. A toll-free number for customer care service is intended to be a device to help the customers in trouble. It is a trouble-shooter in a situation mentioned above. But if it turns a trouble-maker, instead of shooter, the rest will be restless. I had faced such a situation when I forgot the PIN for my ATM card. I was to get cash within 10 minutes lest I should reach late for the train to my home station from the workplace. The toll-free recorder replied relentlessly for pressing each digit over the dial for 10 minutes before a voice answered in person to sooth my nerves. A volley of directions followed for nearly 10 minutes before concluding `contact your branch after seven working days.’ The result: I reached home two hours late. ATM cards are intended to make good cash instantly. Then, what is the use of the service of toll-free numbers if we get such annoying delayed service? Is there no another technical safe solution from banks to trace the PIN of a failed customer in this hi-fi age? V Srinivasan, Chennai

Kavitha, Mumbai

NEWS BUSTERS

Noble cause, tough task

PVR multiplex in Lulu

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ulu Mall at Edappally in Kochi is a new phenomenon for business ideas. It provides space for others who have business dreams to be accomplished. The latest addition is the multiplex cinema of PVR Ltd inaugurated recently. The multiplex in Lulu, a Rs 30-crore project spread over 71,000 sqft, has nine screens and 2,192 seats. For the next one year, it can screen around 300 movies in all languages. The company also plans to invest Rs 100 crore in the state over the next few years in similar screens in other major cities beginning with Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The euphoria for multiplexes in Kochi is high as there are not many multiplexes in the state and there is no room for more in two years. Mr Pramod Arora, Group President and CEO, PVR, is envisaging more multi-plexes in Kochi too and intends to invest Rs 100 crore in the state over the next few years. In this financial year the PVR capex should be Rs 140-Rs 160 crore which will add around 70-80 screens

A

Takehiko Nakao

sian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao attracted attention recently when he stated that setting up BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Bank will not be easy as banking business is tough. Mr Takehiko Nakao was the Japanese currency chief. He was the sole nominee for the presidency of Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB). Japan has held the presidency of ADB since the institution was founded in 1966, and is tied with the US in having the largest voting power at the bank. The Japanese Government nominated Nakao to replace former President Haruhiko Kuroda, who became the Bank of Japan Governor. Vice-Finance Minister Nakao, 57, oversaw the Government’s biggest-ever one-day currency-market intervention on

PASSLINE

May 31 - June 30, 2013

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he Executive Chairman of Infosys, Mr Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, had set new standards in corporate governance and morality when he stepped down as the Executive Chairman of Infosys. In 2006, Infosys has a turnover of more than $2billion and has employee strength of over 50,000. In 2002, Infosys was ranked No. 1 in the “Best Employers in India 2002” survey conducted by Hewitt and in the Business World’s survey of “India’s Most Respected Company.” Mr Murthy’s second innings in Infosys necessitated when

October 31, 2011, after the yen reached a postwar high of 75.35 per dollar. In a statement, Nakao said he would ensure ADB is backed by sufficient financial resources if he is confirmed as President, and called for the bank to promote public-private partnerships. Nakao joined the Finance Ministry in 1978 and has an MBA from the University of California. He is the author of a 2008 book, America’s Economic Policies, and a paper on Japan’s development policy. The interesting phenomenon is that ADB, under his tutelage, has lent a dress

the pressure on incumbent Chairman K V Kamath(now Independent Director) peaked after the disappointing performance during the financial year when the revenue growth forecast by the company missed expectations by a wide margin. With the growing sentiment that decisive leadership is missing at Infosys the management was compelled to restore faith of the employees and clients in the firm. To give a shot in the arm for the company Murthy’s son Rohan Murthy will make his debut as Executive Assistant. Mr. Murthy’s re-entry as Executive Chairman sends a strong signal to employees, clients, analysts and investors that the board is serious about reviving the fortunes of a firm that now looks lost in the fast-changing world of enterprise technology. For Murthy, who turns 66 in August, the cause is noble but the task is tough

Banking on anti-rape code • Stay away from public display of affection • Do not do kissing and embracing in public • It is not a good idea for couples to hold hands

in public • Women to dress modestly with legs and shoulders covered • Trousers are acceptable but shorts and short skirts are offensive • Men should always wear a shirt in public • Avoid shorts while in beach areas • While sharing drinks with others, pour it directly to mouth without touching lips code for delegates visiting India in the wake of sporadic rape incidents in the country which not only address the delegates but are applicable to the foreigners landing in India also (See box).


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May 31 - June 30, 2013

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6

COVER STORY

A Special Correspondent

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overheads and investments usually associated with expansion.

In Kerala, the business used to contribute crores of rupees to the state exchequer and provide self-employment opportunities for lakhs of unemployed youth until some 19 months ago when police launched investigations into the network marketing industry with no definite end seen. Because of this, the business in the state is now in a dying phase. Those in the field say that the inquiry procedures are unscientific and biased and the delay is deliberate because of the vested interests of some officials who want to keep the issue open so that they could exploit the companies and their distributors. The World Federation of Direct Selling (WFDSA) estimates that the turnover of generated sales Of course the investigations were meant volume is $1,53,727 million. There are more than to weed out illegal money chains, but they 91 million registered independent sales people have adversely affected the functioning of involved in selling and distributing goods and ser- legal and ethical companies and the lives vices worldwide. It also explains why there has of lakhs of people. Though the Kerala Govnever been a decline in sales revenue even in ernment has received appreciation from the times of recession. These numbers only capture entire country for creating guidelines for the a small segment of companies (that have joined legitimate functioning of network marketing the WFDSA). The products and services market- companies, many complain that the Kerala ed via independent direct sellers cover almost all police are denying those in the field the leconsumer goods and services. gitimacy of these guidelines and are trying to bring even legitimate companies under the In India, this sector is one of the fastest-grow- provisions of the Prize Chits and Money Ciring non-store retail formats, recording a double- culation Banning Act. digit rate of growth in the post-reform period While all other states in India have taken providing additional opportunity and livelihood to over four million Indian households and has the Kerala Government guidelines for MLM crossed the revenue of Rs 5,000 crore. Taxes to companies as the benchmark for investigathe exchequer on account of the industry are over tion, the Kerala police are not ready to accept Rs 600 crore. Estimates are that by 2014-15 the it, it is pointed out. Though the Chief Minister business in India would reach Rs !0,843 crore. and the Home Secretary had issued orders The market size is expectedto reach around Rs to the police to conduct the investigations into the affairs of the MLM companies strictly 21,690 crore by 2019-20. based on the guidelines, the police are doing things based on the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Banning Act. It is this contradictory absence of proper legislation governing multilevel stand that has cost lakhs of families their living. marketing (MLM) companies which provide milAmway started operations in India and Kerala lions of people with a means of living. Direct selling in its various forms, once seen as a ‘short-term in 1998. It is strange, many say, that the police phenomenon’, has now become a globally accept- got an awakening call after 14 years to realize that ed business practice for moving goods and achiev- its operations fall into the Prize Chits and Money ing global expansion without incurring the massive Circulation Banning Act 1978. Amway is an $11.5he recent arrest of Amway India Enterprises CEO and Chairman William Scott Pinckney and two directors of the network marketing company by the Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch, Kozhikode, on charges of cheating brings into sharp focus the

Sales volume $1,53,727m

PASSLINE PASSLINE

May 31 - June 30, 2013 May 31 - June 30, 2013

billion conglomerate operating in more than 90 countries and Amway India registered a total turnover of Rs 2,288 crore in the financial year ended March 31, 2013. In terms of revenue it is already bigger than several fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giants such as Procter & Gamble, Gillette and Emami. It and several other such companies came later after the Kerala Government issued the guidelines for MLM companies. According to these companies and many observers, they follow all the criteria in the guidelines. Many operate in other states too but without any challenges, but in Kerala their businesses got stopped by the police, they say. Not only have people who have been working in this industry for many years lost their livelihood, they have lost their dignity in society and in their families. The pity is that no one knows how long this atmosphere of threat and fear will continue. As the police are not allowing sales meetings to take place, business has come to a standstill and lakhs of families are in absolute financial crisis. Many


7 have left Kerala and are developing their business in other states. The following questions remain unanswered: *By issuing guidelines for legitimate conduct of business by MLM companies, the Government acknowledges that MLM is an accepted business/ trade practice. Why then are the Kerala police trying to prove that all MLM companies are money chains and are illegal? Why are legal cases being registered based on the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Banning Act while the Government order on the guidelines clearly differentiates MLM companies from money chains? *According to the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on September 7, 2011, the Chief Minister had clearly instructed the Home Department to allow police investigation only in the light of the guidelines and to create a favourable situation for legitimate MLM companies to continue their operations. How then are the police not even considering the guidelines and doing the investigations in the light of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Banning Act? *Based on the information provided by the Industries Department under the Rights to Information Act in response to a query, “What should the common man look for in deciding about the legitimacy of an MLM company,” the response was, “Any company which is conducting business following the guidelines set by the Government of Kerala is considered legitimate and it is free to conduct its business activity in Kerala.” Then how can the police state that criminal cases will be registered against distributors/ promoters who work in MLM companies? For instance, one company, Mona.Vie India Enterprises, started its operations after the Kerala Government issued the guidelines, strictly adhering to the conditions specified in them. Mona.Vie had released a series of advertisements announcing, “We are operating in Kerala following the guidelines on MLM companies.” Why didn’t the police investigate into the affairs of that company then and are now trying to register legal cases? *The police say that if they found a company illegal, they would file criminal cases against its leading distributors also. While the only thing a distributor can check is whether the company follows the Government guidelines, how can the police threaten the distributors making such statements? *According to the information provided by the Government Secretary, Labour and Rehabilitation, under the Rights to Information Act, people who are working in the MLM field can get labour security and also get all the other welfare benefits by taking membership of the Kerala Shops and Commercial

Establishment Workers’ Welfare Fund Board. While on the one hand the Government tries to protect the people working in this industry, how can the police harass the distributors and treat them like criminals? Supporters of MLM aver that with the system distributors sell and encourage their buyers to join the network to get this lucrative economic opportunity

where one gets a commission based on the worth of the product sold. The result of this constant cash flow serves to strengthen the rural economy and break away from traditional income-earning methods like farming. Direct selling companies do not just sell cosmetics; the scope has now broadened to include high-quality products like spices, stationery, sanitary Direct selling is also a relationship-based enterprise where one starts off by trying to sell a product to friends, neighbours or acquaintances, most often after trying it oneself. No one would put their reputation at stake by deliberately selling off substandard products to first-time users especially if they are one’s own colleagues or relatives. Products sold at retail shops do not necessarily come with this sort of goodwill and assurance. While most of India’s interiors witness a majority of women in the role of housemakers, MLM allows them a chance to actually add to the family income which was previously the man’s responsibility. A trickle-down effect of this would be sending the kids to school. Rural literacy has always been a cause for concern, and while it’s easy to draw up statistics and analyses, poverty is the real culprit here. Any additional income that encourages education can have far-reaching effects which go way beyond the hereand-now of one’s banal existence. Education and knowledge is empowering and allows rural youth to think out-of-the-box and start their own enterprises. Protagonists also refer to India’s healthcare system which, they say, is not one to be proud of especially because of insufficient licensed medical practitioners, a general apathy and lack of information of basic health. With many direct selling companies dealing in health products like nutritional supplements, aloe vera, grape juice, green tea, muesli, vitamins, proteins and soya , the people now stand to learn a lot more about nutrition than they ever did. It

may appear overly-ambitious and premature to claim that the overall health of India’s masses can improve because of direct selling health-related products and services. But then, as the saying goes, it’s these tiny drops that fill an ocean, and a start somewhere is better than none at all. For the last 15 years there has been a lack of clarity on the legislation governing this vital sector. Recently, an inter-ministerial committee was set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to understand and formulate the requisite legislation governing the direct selling industry. Among other things, the committee is considering enactment of legislation to regulate direct selling/MLM companies, formulate guidelines for them and promote and, to some extent, adopt international best practices to protect consumers. Interestingly, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services, are observing the sector from close. They are working towards bringing clarity in the legislation available. Clause 2(c) of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation (Banning) Act 1978 has always been a concern for the industry. In addition, some drafts from the above-said departments are also critical for the existence and sustainability of this industry. To have an edge over other fast-growing East and South-East Asian economies, the Government needs to formulate and enact a new policy for the direct selling and MLM industry. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore already have such statutes that regulate and facilitate the industry. There is a view gaining credence that given the importance of the industry, an importance that is only likely to increase in the future, a fresh piece of legislation is what is needed. Direct selling accounts for 35.8% of non-store retail sales, 4.41% of organized retail sales and 0.07% of GDP. Therefore, direct selling is going to increase in importance in India, according to a study by Indicus Analytics, India’s premier economic research firm. The study has been authored by the renowned economist, Prof Bibek Debroy. Demanding operational clarification and clear distinction at the central level, the study urges amendment of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, by first defining direct selling including MLM. Secondly, there needs to be an explicit qualification explaining that direct selling is not to be interpreted as a money circulation scheme and third, a pyramid scheme has to be defined, so that people know what is being prohibited. May 31 - June 30, 2013 May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE PASSLINE


88 that the Government would protect those companies and its distributors who are following the guidelines. In the minutes of the meeting it is howAccording to Prof Debroy, the Centre has failed ever mentioned that the‘Government will not withto catch the nuances of the direct selling business draw the police cases registered before the guidelines were issued on September 12, 2011.’ This gives a clear signal that if police cases are registered against those companies which Direct selling has already created an impact among India’s masses. As the agent or independent distributor inare following the guidelines they volved in this form of sales leverages his/her efforts through appointing new agents or independent distributors and would be withdrawn. In this meetthey in turn do the same, a huge network of sales force is formed and they are paid incentives or commissions on a ing it was decided that a nodal offimulti-level marketing plan. Hence the companies involved in this form of distribution are called multi-level marketing cer from the Industries Department (MLM) companies. would be monitoring the companies in the MLM industry for adhering to The word ‘masses’ somehow includes the smaller towns and rural interiors, not just the urban and semi-urban the guidelines. ones. The uninformed cynic might ask if these ‘masses’ have the purchasing power to benefit from direct selling. When giants like Coca-Cola, Reliance Telecom and LG acknowledge that rural areas are accounting for sizeable Though lakhs of people got chunks of their sales, one knows the answer is a resounding yes. some relief after this meeting, there This will protect direct selling companies, protect consumers and facilitate enforcement.

After consistent pressure put in by MLM distributors’ trade unions in Kerala through satyagrahas and dharnas, the Kerala Chief Minister on February 19 last called a meeting to resolve the burning issues in this industry. The Chief Minister

Network of sales force

With MLM, distributors sell and encourage their buyers to join the network to use this lucrative economic opportunity where one gets a commission that is based on the worth of the product sold. The result of this constant cash flow serves to strengthen the rural economy and break away from traditional income-earning methods like farming. Direct selling companies do not just sell cosmetics; the scope has now broadened to include high-quality products like spices, stationery, sanitary napkins, garments, agricultural additives, aphrodisiacs, weight loss supplements, homecare and many more. Money-back offers which are actually practised dispel any doubt of such companies being fly-by-night operators. In the days to come, when everyone is moving towards virtual shopping using e-commerce, the significance of direct selling will be even more. Also it is poignant to note that direct selling is a relationship-based enterprise where one starts off by trying to sell a product to friends, neighbours or acquaintances, most often after trying it oneself. No one would put their reputation at stake by deliberately selling off substandard products to first-time users especially if they are one’s own colleagues or relatives. Products sold at retail shops do not necessarily come with this sort of goodwill and assurance. versus pyramid schemes putting the entire machinery to scrutiny and confusion among the companies, state-level regulators, the judiciary and the direct sellers themselves.

guaranteed that there wouldn’t be any further police harassment of the distributors of the companies which are following the guidelines issued on September 12, 2011. He also gave a guarantee

Philanthropy

Malayalee donates Rs 3- cr as charity M

R Siddharth Balachandran, the young and prominent Indian business leader and philanthropist based in Dubai, asserted his commitment to the Autism spectrum disorder cause by pledging an amount of $1.8 million (Rs 3 crore) to the DUBAI AUTISM CENTRE (DAC). This is by far the single largest act of philanthropy by an Indian businessman in UAE to a local charity.

expenses of the centre. “This commitment by Mr Siddharth Balachandran will enable us to expand our services and recruit highly trained professionals to fill the existing gaps and cater to the growing number of students in the coming few years. We are glad to have him as a supporter and an advocate for the Autism cause,” says Mr Mohammad Al Emadi of Dubai Autism Centre. “ He is part of a strong core group of like-minded individuals who are keen to give back to society in which they operate.”

Mr Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General of DAC, rendered his appreciation and Siddharth Balachandran gratitude to Mr Siddharth Balachandran, Managing Director of BUMGA GROUP and Executive Director of the SB Global group , Kochi, for the generous contribution that would go towards meeting the operational

“It is imperative that more individuals like me take the initiative to support such deserving causes like Autism ,said Mr Siddharth while announcing the support. Children with Autism can be successfully integrated into the mainstream, with the help of a good early intervention programme, the like of which is provided by the Dubai Autism Centre.”

PASSLINE

May 31 - June 30, 2013

Mr Siddharth Balachandran has always shown his unstinting commitment to the concept of Unconditional Corporate Social Responsibility while building his business in UAE and India.

was an absolute silence from the Government after that meeting. Though the CM had promised that no police harassment of distributors would happen, more than 10 distributors were arrested in the next two months! Is the police force is more powerful than even the Government?

Putting an end to this uncertainty, on May 17 a Government order was released appointing a 10 member committee under the nodal officer. The committee members are trade union leaders. While the process is going on at in a snail’s pace, lakhs of people are losing confidence in this industry. More than 10 lakh people are struggling to find jobs or some income options

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4, 5, 6 October 2013 BMICH, Colombo, Srilanka For stall booking contact :

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9

COVER STORY HEDGE FUND

The gold crash: nightmare for investors, boon for economy T

he famous economist John Maynard Keynes described gold as ‘the arrogant yellow metal’ and a ‘barbaric relic’. Indians, however, do not subscribe to the views of Keynes. For them, gold is a necessity, not a comfort or a Dr V K Vijayakumar luxury. The social custom in India made gold an unavoidable asset even for those who are not psychologically inclined towards it. Also, gold is a very liquid asset and has been a safe haven during times of uncertainty and a hedge against inflation. From the economic perspective, gold is an unproductive asset. Gold ornaments lying in bank lockers are idle assets. It doesn’t add to production. It doesn’t create jobs, doesn’t contribute to economic activity other than the jobs created by the jewellery industry, which is very insignificant when compared to its value. However, from the practical investment perspective, gold has been an excellent investment during 2005-2010 when it tripled in value. During 2008-11, gold outperformed other asset classes like equities, bonds, fixed deposits, PPF etc by a wide margin. In recent times, gold has been attracting huge investment as an asset class. However, it is important to note that historically gold has not been a high-performing asset class. Gold has always been a safe haven during times of uncertainty and a hedge against inflation. The following table that compares returns from gold with that of other assets might surprise some readers. The table shows the returns from $1 investment over a 200-year period (in the US) adjusted for inflation. 1802 Stocks (Dow Jones stocks) Bonds Treasury Bills Gold Dollar

2002 5, 97, 485 1072 307 1.39 0.07

Source: Jeremy Segal, ‘The Future of Investing ’ The fact that gold did not even double in real terms over the 200-year period from 1802 to 2002 would appear surprising when seen in the recent context of excellent returns that it generated. It is also important to note that stocks outperform all other asset classes in the long run. Research in other countries also has proved that in all developed countries, the pattern of returns was the same. It is important to note that the experience with gold price in India has been different from the international experience. This is because India allowed free imports of gold only in 1996. Before that, gold was

smuggled into the country and therefore fluctuations in international prices of gold did not reflect in Indian prices till 1996. Yet another factor is the exchange rate. In 1980 1$ was equal to Rs 8; now it is 1$ =Rs 55. This means, close to 700% appreciation in the price of gold since 1980 is due to dollar appreciation (rupee depreciation). Ordinary people do not realize this.

on US and Japanese stocks and bearish on gold. US stock market index Dow Jones is now at an all-time high and the Japanese index Nikkei is up 40% from November 2012. There is a global consensus now that the worst is over for the global economy. Investors who bought gold at the peak must be now licking their wounds. After the crash, Indians started buying gold as if there is no tomorrow and sales in jewellery shops more than doubled. This enthusiasm is not likely to sustain when gold slowly trends lower. It appears that the decade-old bull run in gold is over for A massive bull run in gold happened when Presinow. dent Richard Nixon removed the peg that held gold at $35 a troy ounce in 1970. In the bubble that ensued For the economy, however, the crash in gold acgold multiplied more than 24 times. It touched $850 companied by the crash in crude has come as a a troy ounce in the crisis of 1980 that saw the Shah godsend. Crash in the prices of these two principal of Iran being dethroned. From the peak of $850 it items of Indian imports will substantially reduce Inreached in 1980, gold collapsed and started a steady dia’s current account deficit. Decline in fuel prices, by long-term downtrend for the next 23 years. In 2003 reducing the subsidy burden, will also reduce the fisgold touched $240 a troy ounce. During this period, cal deficit. Therefore, these twin crashes will mitigate the central banks of Canada, Belgium, Australia and India’s twin deficit problem of high fiscal and current Switzerland sold 4,500 tonnes of gold. account deficit. Investors’ nightmare has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the economy. From 2003 onwards, gold has been experiencing a bull run. The global financial meltdown of 2008 (Dr Vijayakumar is Investment Strategist, and the Great Recession that followed substantially Geojit BNP Paribas) increased the risk aversion among investors. This pushed gold prices up. Furthermore, the attraction for gold as a hedge against dollar depreciation also contributed to the increase in demand. Another factor that has made gold very attractive as an asset class is that now it can be held in demat form. There are many Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) which can be bought through stock broking firms. This is as easy as buying any share. The global financial meltdown of 2008 and the European debt crisis led to widespread risk aversion which pushed up the demand and price of gold. Gold appreciated from around $800 a troy ounce in 2008 to $1924 by September 2011. In recent months gold has been very weak and it has been showing signs of correction. The big correction came on April 12, 2013 when gold crashed by 5% to touch $1,487 and on April 15when it crashed to $1,326 before recovering slightly. Gold has now corrected by more than 25 % from its peak in 2011. The present crash has been caused by massive selling by hedge funds that are moving out of gold. The US is returning to economic growth, albeit slowly, and further financial and economic tremors are not expected from Europe. Hedge funds are now bullish May 31 31 -- June June 30, 30, 2013 2013 May

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GROWTH CATALYST

During a face-to-face meeting with PASSLINE recently, the Managing Director of KSIDC, Mr Tom Jose, updated it on the projects identified at the Emerging Kerala meet and their current status.

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erala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the protagonist of industrial and investment promotion in Kerala, commenced operations in 1961 with the objective of developing large and medium-scale industries in the state. Acting as a catalyst for the development of physical and social infrastructure required for the constant growth of industry, KSIDC offers professional guidance and support for potential investors with a bouquet of services including developing business ideas, identifying viable projects and providing finance and assistance in implementation. Over the years the institution has the credit of being the promoter of many pioneers in the corporate sector in Kerala. The agency has played a pivotal role in the state’s initiatives for showcasing Kerala as a key investment destination by organizing investment meets like the Global Investment Meet (GIM) and Emerging Kerala held in September 2012. The institution acts as the brand ambassador of the state spreading its industrial ethos besides being an interface between Kerala and the outside world. During a face-to-face meeting with PASSLINE recently, the Managing Director of KSIDC, Mr Tom Jose, updated it on the projects identified at the Emerging Kerala meet and their current status. Mr Tom Jose, who is a veteran in infrastructure and industrial development, is happy about the implementation process of the projects. “There were hundreds of project proposals submitted at the Emerging Kerala summit. We have scrutinized all and identified a number of projects suitable for us. Out of them, 37 projects are in different stages of processing. For a few, the land has been identified. Some are waiting for detailed project reports (DPRs) and for some DPRs are ready. About 30 projects are in the industrial sector and seven in the tourism sector. There are good projects in other sectors also. We have forwarded the proposals to the respective departments for follow-up action. This is a continuous process and the dialogue with the stakeholders should continue. We are keeping the powder dry for the next edition of Emerging Kerala in 2014. At this stage I may not be able to divulge any details of it,” said Mr Tom Jose.

Tom Jose

According to him, acquiring land in hundreds of acres in a state like Kerala is a herculean task not only because of scarcity and high cost but because of opposition from people and vested interests. Instead of taking too much land we must opt for vertical-model development as in Hong Kong and Singapore where they have built even huge manufacturing units vertically. “We should educate the people about the necessity of industrial and infrastructural development, comparing ours with the lifestyle of advanced countries. Even after seven decades of Independence our country is not able to produce the required power for its use. We are still reeling under power cuts and load-shedding. We are used to it. Each person should think how we should live in a better living environment”, said Mr Tom Jose. Mr Tom Jose said KSIDC is whittling down lending drastically because there are a number of financial institutions including banks providing finance at much better terms. “This was not the case when we entered the field some five decades ago. Today we are rather playing the role of a catalyst or a facilitator for industrial development. KSIDC is also giving all assistance for those who intend to invest outside Kerala.” KSIDC made a profit of Rs 44.78 crore during fiscal 2012-13 and proposed Rs 1.75 crore as dividend payment to the Government. Its disbursement for the fiscal year was Rs 118 crore and recovery Rs 72 crore. The institution was able to reduce its NPA substantially and is targeting 20% further reduction in 2013-14.

PASSLINE

May 31 - June 30, 2013


11

Mega projects and their present status

High-speed rail corridor: The rail project will connect Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi to Palakkad and totals a route length of about 900 km. For implementing the project, a company, Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd, has been incorporated with Mr T Balakrishnan as its CMD. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which had been entrusted with the pre-feasibility study, has submitted the report of the first phase of the project between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. The cost of completion of the first phase is estimated at Rs 41,245 crore. The main station locations have been identified and tentative route alignment prepared by DMRC, which has also recommended that the project be taken up through a special-purpose vehicle of the State Government and the Centre for the easy implementation. Life Sciences Park: An extent of 40.03 acres of land has been taken possession of by KSIDC for developing Phase-1 (envisaged on 75.48 acres) of the Life Sciences Park at Vailoor village, near Thonnakkal, in Thiruvananthapuram district. Construction of the compound wall and entrance structure is in progress. KSIDC has also taken up with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) the establishment of a new-generation Biotech Assistance Programme (BIRAP) of DBT. The proposal has tentatively been shortlisted by DBT for funding support. It is expected to receive a grant of Rs 15 crore-Rs 18 crore. The total cost of the incubation centre is estimated at Rs 30 crore. DBT’s assistance will be limited to the cost of equipment. Gas distribution project: A joint venture between Gail India Ltd (GAIL) and KSIDC, the project is meant to create supplementary gas infrastructure in the state. KSIDC and GAIL have jointly prepared a business plan and conducted the required feasibility studies. Steps have also been taken for submission of the bid for the city

gas distribution project notified by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) in Ernakulam district. A company, Kerala Gail Gas Limited (KGGL), has been registered for its speedy implementation. KGGL as part of its business plan is establishing a Natural Gas Training Institute at Kochi to impart skill development in the sector. It has requested allotment of three acres of land at KSIDC’s Knowledge Park at Angamaly for the institute. KSIDC has also taken steps for arranging supply of CNG to KSRTC and also to promote a gas-based power project in consort with steel manufacturers at Kanjikode.

Electronic hub at Kochi: This is proposed at Kochi to promote electronic hardware manufacturing and assembling units, R&D centres and supporting infrastructure for it. The project is fully in line with the Union Government’s national manufacturing policy of promoting more manufacturing industries in the country for economic growth and employment generation. The electronic hub is a high-priority area which will promote a large number of small, medium and large industries in the state and will form a national investment and manufacturing zone (NIMZ) for production of electronic hardware. KSIDC has identified 334 acres of land at Amballur village, Kanayannur taluk in Ernakulam district, for the project. The State Government has also sanctioned acquisition of land. The site is accessible by rail and road (national highways) and is near the seaport and the airport. The site is ideal for promoting an electronic industrial park. Basic infrastructure like power, water etc is available at the site. KSIDC has conducted a pre-feasibility study. The project cost is estimated at Rs 750 crore, of which infrastructure development cost comes to Rs 336 crore. The project is eligible for a grant of 50% of infrastructure development cost.

Kochi-Palakkad NIMZ Project: The Kochi-Coimbatore Industrial Corridor (KCIC) project was conceived as a model industrial corridor of international standards with emphasis on expanding the manufacturing and services base in South India. The project was later re-cast into the Kochi-Palakkad NIMZ Project. The objective is to develop the region as a manufacturing and trading hub by developing a national investment and manufacturing zone (NIMZ) in the state in line with the national manufacturing policy. A project report has been prepared for promoting the NIMZ project covering Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram and Palakkad districts. The project aims at creating nodes between Kochi and Palakkad for industrial development by providing all infrastructural linkages. It will be a PPP project, to be facilitated by the Government. A pre-feasibility report has been prepared by Mahindra Consulting Engineers. Different parcels of land identified will be integrated with access roads to NH 47 and a freight corridor will also be established as part of the scheme. The estimated capital outlay is Rs 53,825 crore. The total land requirement is 5200 ha.

Kids Lab: A team of officials from BASF (India) had visited KSIDC and held discussions. It was decided to launch the first Pilot Kid’s Lab Project on February 28, 2013 on the premises of Kerala Sciences Museum and Priyadarshini Planetarium, PMG Junction, Thiruvananthapuram. The State Department of Science and Technology agreed to sign an MOU for setting up a permanent Kids Lab Project, first of its kind in India. The MOU will be among KSIDC, BASF, Department of Science and Technology and the Kerala State Science Museum. The lab is likely to be the first major project taken up under the Emerging Kerala 2012 Global Connect to materialize.

Major initiatives and plans for 2013-14 Overseas Investment Promotion Cell

In order to harness the opportunities abroad by way of resources, technology, skills, export opportunities, collaborations and partnership for the home- grown companies and interested players, an Overseas Investment Promotion Cell has been set up at KSIDC.

Solar Cell & Module Manufacturing Facility KSIDC has signed an MoU with M/s Jusung Engineering, a leading South Korean company, for examining the possibility of setting up a solar

cell and module manufacturing facility in the State at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore. KSIDC has engaged the Centre for Management Development (CMD) for conducting the pre-feasibility study, which is expected to be completed in May 2013.

Waste-to-Energy Plants in IGCs Development of waste-to-energy plants is being envisaged in the Industrial Growth Centres to help augment the power requirement . This sustainable and viable energy alternative will also help transform a so-

cial liability (solid waste) into an economic opportunity. Study on Feeder Airports at Idukki and Wayanad: Feasibility studies are being undertaken for development of Feeder airports at Idukki and Wayanad. Besides enhancing the tourism potential, these will also act as catalysts for the economic development of the districts.

Installation of Solar PV System at KSIDC A 32 KW solar PV system has been installed successfully at the Corporate office of KSIDC at Thiruvananthapuram. The system is the

first among PSUs in the State.

Integrated Business Hubs Being envisaged in about 500 acres of land in proximity to the existing airports, in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode and also near the proposed feeder airports at idukki and Wayanad, the Hubs would be a composite of areas designated for commercial, financial, manufacturing , processing, entertainment, institutional and other activities, in addition to having world-class infrastructure in terms of quality roads, sanitation and other facilities

May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


12

CORPORATE MAGIC

K Vijayachandran

M

any eyebrows are raised at Narendra Modi’s visit to Kerala for inaugurating the 51st Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad at Sivagiri Madhom. Modi is on an ambitious mission of winning over the Prime Minister’s post for the BJP, which is projecting the Gujarat model as the panacea for the problems facing the country today. Ironically, his own supporters do not look at this massive propaganda build-up with any seriousness. However, it has unnerved his opponents, the obvious reason being simple non-performance. Modi looks at his Sivagiri mission as an act of atonement for the communal carnage in Godhra and other towns of Gujarat, an offshoot of misadventures by the BJP, based on its notorious Ayodhya thesis. Gujarat has no dearth of past heroes and talented leaders starting with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. There are the Ambanis, the Sarabhais and our own Amul Kurian, world-famous products of Gujarat. They are great names in Indian renaissance, and as an astute politician, Modi tries to weave all these great names into his own Gujarat model and even seeks out Vivekananda, Narayana Guru and other spiritual leaders for icing his own version of an Indian panorama. However, Modi’s spiritual pursuits are to be seen in the specific context of serious failures of the so-called Gujarat model under his leadership. These failures are slowly but steadily eroding his popular base. Despite the massive propaganda about the Gujarat model and Gujarat gourav, Modi’s BJP lost 2% of popular votes and two solid seats in the last election to the Gujarat Assembly compared to 2007 elections. And, all the scams and scandals that rock Delhi had very little negative impact on the electoral performance of the Congress, led by the ManmohanSonia-Rahul combine. Gujarat under decades-long Congress rule was a highly developed Indian state. It has inherited from British days a large network of railways and small ports and a fairly well-developed modern textile and textile engineering industry. And unlike Kerala, Gujarat was the favoured destination for massive Central investments, right from the initial years of development

PASSLINE

Modi model myth and reality

planning in the country. Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) started its drilling operations off the Gujarat coast in the early 1960s, with the help of massive technological inputs from the Soviet Union as part of India’s oil and gas exploration programme under the great leadership of Nehru and his celebrated Petroleum Minister K D Malaviya. These investments had simply transformed and diversified the regional economy of Gujarat and it was benefited even more during the 1970s from the global boom in petroleum prices.

has a big lead over other states, with regard to power development. With 10 gas-based power stations, 11 thermal power plants, 4 hydroelectric power stations and one nuclear power plant, Gujarat is a net exporter of electric power. This situation has nothing to do with the so-called Modi model development of Gujarat. The performance of the massive investments made by the Modi Govern-

on schedule, despite the noisy resistance put up by the Narmada Bachavo Andolan (NBA) of Medha Patkar & Co. The Narmada is the fifth largest river in the country and it was the dream project of Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the country. The bulk of the Narmada basin, nearly 80% of it, is in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat shares the balance with Maharashtra. It took long years to settle the claims and counterclaims of the riparian

Gujarat has benefited much by the start-up of numerous petrochemical industries downstream of the oil and gas enterprises of ONGC and the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). Indian Petrochemical Corporation (IPCL), a giant public sector company, was established in 1969 in Vadodara for the manufacture of engineering plastics, polyesters, surfactants, nylon and other basic chemicals. It was a massive pioneering public sector company, which was handed over for a song to Mukesh Ambani in 2002. Thanks to public sector initiatives, Gujarat virtually leads the country in gas and oil production. State governments led by the Congress had made large investments in the petrochemical sector, as in Gujarat Fertilizers and Chemicals. Its initiatives in prospecting and mining lignite, bauxite, silica and other minerals have also paid rich dividends. Gujarat accounts for 62% of the petrochemicals production in the country, produces well over 6,600 chemical products and accounts for more than half of the national output in the chemical sector. Modi magic or initiatives by private corporate sector has nothing much to do with the flourishing chemical and pharmaceutical industries of Gujarat. Public sector initiatives in oil and gas as well as in lignite and water resources development have transformed Gujarat into an energy-rich region. With an annual per capita generation of 1000 KWH a year, Gujarat

May 31 - June 30, 2013

ment in solar power plants is yet to be evaluated and audited. There are too many imponderables regarding this adventure based on imported equipment and systems and using massive foreign loans. The Gujarat Maritime Board as well as the big initiatives on the port development and ship building front by the Modi Government has not delivered the desired results. The big road shows organized by it for attracting FDI to Gujarat were not roaring successes. However, Gujarat is, today, blessed with the waters of the Narmada. Modi had done well in completing the various components of this river valley project

states and the Narmada tribunal gave its final verdict only in 1979. Then there was the prolonged opposition by NBA which could muster the support of even the World Bank and the saintly celebrity of Madhya Pradesh, Baba Amte. Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) was incorporated as a public limited company in April 1988 by the Gujarat Government when the Congress was in power. The project was seen as the future lifeline of Gujarat by all political parties and when Modi took over as Chief Minister in 2001, he continued the policy of fighting NBA to the finish,


13 and this policy had the support of the entire people of Gujarat.

of mismanaging its splendid water resources. The Silent Valley project was kept in abeyance for 25 years in 1982, as recommended by the M G K Menon Commission that granted the benefit of the doubt to the objections raised by environmental fundamentalists.

Modi is much respected by the people of Gujarat for the firm support he gave to this $8 billion project that could irrigate 19 lakh hectares of land benefiting over 10 lakh farmers, generate Even after keeping this 120 MW 1450 MW of electric power and provide project frozen for drinking water to 9,633 villages and It is often theorized that Kerala 30 long years, neither the Left 139 towns and benhas achieved a far better quality nor the Right in efiting 290 lakh peoof life compared to Gujarat and ple. The Narmada several other Indian states thanks Kerala politics project is now part to higher Government outlays on has dared to of the life and cul- social welfare. But this has nothing take up the issue of reviving it. ture of Gujarat and to do with ground realities. After the Silent will continue to play Valley fiasco, a bigger and bigger the Kerala Govrole in the regional economy. NBA was rejected by Guja- ernment has not pursued seriously any rat society at large, and the people af- new hydroelectric project. The water fected or displaced by the project were resources of Kerala, with huge irrigaduly compensated and rehabilitated by tion potential, and capable of generating some 3,000 to 4,000 MW of electric SSNNL. power at very low costs remain unutiDespite the warnings by NGOs lized, all in the name of forest converand environmentalists, the Narmada sion and environmental protection. But project is the backbone of the regional the steady degradation of the environeconomy today. This developmen- ment and widespread destruction of tal experience of Gujarat is in sharp forests is a common experience today contrast with the Kerala experience all over Kerala!

The diverse experiences of Gujarat and Kerala with regard to the development and use of natural resources, especially water resources, are worth analysing. Gujarat could manage on its own the massive Narmada Valley project, challenging even the global environmental movement supported by the World Bank. The approach of the Kerala Government to Silent Valley and other river valley projects was tellingly different. This deference, in my view, has nothing much to do with ideology or politics. But it has everything to do with the capacity of state governments to govern. Cadres of the Gujarat Administrative Service are equally competent as those of the Indian Administrative Service, on many fronts, for a variety of historical and administrative reasons: they are possibly far more loyal to the state and local political leadership than IAS cadres. This might be true even with regard to several other states; but the situation in Kerala is vastly different. In contrast, IAS cadres in Kerala look to the Central Government for patronage and survival and those of the state level service, including GOs and NGOs, look at local political lead-

ers and parties for salvation. What we have in Kerala today is a regime operated and maintained by big and small organizations of clerks, with allegiance to all sorts of sectarian politics. It is often theorized that Kerala has achieved a far better quality of life compared to Gujarat and several other Indian states thanks to higher Government outlays on social welfare. But this has nothing to do with ground realities. The real difference is unlike Gujarat, people in Kerala have liberated themselves in good measure from the tyranny of feudal cultural values. People in Kerala are deeply conscious about their democratic rights. Everyone here belongs to one organization or another as part of a collective existence. Almost all trades and professions in Kerala have their class organizations that cut across the narrow barriers of caste and religion. Kerala media use this situation in their own self-interest. But our political parties are yet to discover our great secular potential; cultural, political, and developmental. (The author can be contacted at: kvijaya40@gmail.com )

May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


14

RISK COVERAGE

Insurance treads different terrains E

very living object has life. Life is always prone to risk. Risk coverage is not for human beings only. It is applicable to flora and fauna also. This is corroborated by the new insurance policies in other areas too.

In olden days people were aware of only insurance policies covering risks in life and general insurance. India has a large market for insurance. There are a lot of areas and sectors left untapped or neglected by insurViswanathan Odatt ance companies either by lack of knowledge or deliberately. With globalization and modernization the need for insurance in various sectors is felt. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority(IRDA) has forayed into the grey areas of the sector and the result is the introduction of new insurance schemes covering large areas including education and agriculture. Educational insurance schemes are applicable for educational institutions, students and parents alike.

the seven-year period by paying premium as shown in the schedule below. The policy will be valid till the trees complete the age of seven. For farmers who join the policy anytime during the course of immature period, premium for the broken period/age if any (ie less than one year) when the age of the plants based on date of planting is calculated, will be charged based on short period scale as applicable to the cancellation clause for mature plantation. On completion of seven years the policy will lapse and the farmer can cover the trees under the mature section. The compensation payable for immature trees is as follows: Year 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year 6th Year 7th Year

Compensation per Trees (Rs.) Nil 350/600/900/1,250/1,500/1,500/-

Max. Compensation per Ha. Nil 1,50,000/2,00,000/4,00,000/5,50,000/6,00,000/6,00,000/-

Mature trees: Annual policies for trees in the age group between 8 years and 38 years. However, trees older than 25 years can be considered purely on merit and plantation health. This will be considered based on a report from the Rubber Board Development Officer stating the area under cultivation, number of trees present, mode of tapping, length of the available tapping panel and the general condition of the trees. Each proposal will be considered purely on its merit. Premium, compensation: The agegroup-wise premium per annum per hectare, compensation per tree and maximum compensation per hectare are as follows:

As regards agriculture, now the insurance authority has come out with specified schemes and diversified them into various other areas of agriculture, including the plantation sector. The recently announced insurance policy for rubber planters is one among them. Rubber is the main cash crop in Kerala that fuels our economy. Our state will be the main beneficiary of this scheme. Agriculture Insurance Company of India is the only public sector insurance company implementing various agricultural insurance schemes across India. The policy is applicable to individual rubber growers and rubber estates/companies cultivating rubber on a commercial scale. The following are the details of the revised rubber plantation insurance policy: Age of the insured plant First year of planting Second year of planting Third year of planting Fourth year of planting Fifth year of planting Sixth year of planting Seventh year of planting

Policy period 7 years 6 years 5 years 4 years 3 years 2 years 1 year

Premium per Hectare. Rs.3,250 + 402 Service Tax Rs.3,000 + 371 Service Tax Rs.2,750 + 340 Service Tax Rs.2,625 + 324 Service Tax Rs.2,500 + 309 Service Tax Rs.2,400 + 297 Service Tax Rs.2,300 + 284 Service Tax

Eligibility: All growers including large plantations shall be eligible for participation in the policy. Risks covered: Fire, lightning, riot, strike and malicious damage, bush fire, forest fire, cyclone, flood, storm, tempest, inundation, landslide, rock slide, earthquake and drought (provided the sub-district (block) concerned is declared drought-affected by the competent authority of the State Government). Damage caused by road/rail vehicles and wild animals is also covered by the policy, provided the plantation is properly and adequately fenced. Period of insurance: Immature plants – up to seven years from the last day of the month of planting. Farmers can also join the policy anytime during

PASSLINE

May 31 - June 30, 2013

S . Age group No. 8-13 2 14-19 3 20-25 4 26-31 5 32-38

Premium per year per Ha. Rs.3,250 +402 ST Rs.2,750 +340 ST Rs.2,250 +278 ST Rs.1,800 + 222 ST Rs.1,250 +155 ST

Compensation per tree Rs.1,750 Rs.1,500 Rs.1,250 Rs.750 Rs. 500

Max. Compensation per Ha. 6,00,000 5,00,000 4,00,000 3,00,000 2,00,000

Volume of discount in premium: Up to 30% discount is offered in case of mature and immature plantations depending on the size (hectares) of the plantation offered for insurance from a single owner. The discount slab applicable on the planter’s share of premium is as follows: Above three hectares and upto 10 hectares: 7.5% Above 10 hectares and upto 50 hectares: 12.5% Above 50 hectares and upto 500 hectares: 17.5% Above 500 hectares and upto 750 hectares: 22.5% Above 750 hectares and upto 1,000 hectares: 25% Above 1,000 hectares, discount to be decided by the head office. Policy excess: 10% of the claim amount for policies issued to individuals with an area above three hectares but below 25 hectares; 17.5% of the claim amount for large estate with area above 25 hectares.Excess will not be applicable to small farmers with an area up to three hectares. Compulsory deductible: Two trees per incident for rubber estates with an area up to one ha; three trees per incident for estates with an area >one ha and up to 3 ha; five trees per incident for estates with an area >three ha but below 25 ha. Claim experience bonus: Low claim bonus is offered up to 15% of the premium payable in case of mature plantations on the renewal premium if the overall claim ratio is less than 60%. The low claim discount slab applicable on the grower’s share of premium is as follows: Renewal of the policy in the second year (satisfying the above condition): 5%.


15 Renewal of the policy in the third year (satisfying the above conditions): 7.5% Renewal of the policy in the fourth year (satisfying the above condition): 10% Renewal of the policy in the fifth year (satisfying the above condition): 15%. Survey of loss: All claims up to Rs 20,000 will be surveyed by insurer or authorized representative of the insurer and the claim will be settled based on the inspection report. Losses with an estimated liability of over Rs 20,000 will be surveyed by insurer’s representative/independent surveyors licensed by the IRDA. Wherever deemed necessary the Rubber Board shall certify the extent of losses. All claims will be paid directly to the policyholder at the address mentioned on the policy by account payee cheque/electronic transfer. Claim settlement procedure: The documents required for settlement of the claims: Claim intimation in writing (All claims should be reported within 72 hours to the insurer), completed claim form, copy of the insurance policy/certificate, proof of insurable interest (title deed, tax receipt, lease agreement), documents in proof of loss (operation of insured peril) wherever applicable, photographs of damaged rubber tree from various angles. Waiting period: Claims reported for losses within 30 days of the insurance are not admissible. However, this condition is not applicable for renewal policies without any break in policy period. Payment of premium: According to section 64VB of the Insurance Act, the insurers are allowed to assume risk only after receipt of full premium from the growers by demand draft or cheque in favour of Agriculture Insurance Company of India payable at Thiruvananthapuram.

MAR AUGUSTHINOSE COLLEGE, RAMAPURAM BAZAR P.O., KOTTAYAM Dist,

KERALA - 686576

(Affiliated to M. G. University) Estd: 1995 Ph: 04822 261440, 9447302306 Website: www.mac.org.in, www.augusthinosecollege.org E-mail: principalmacrpm@gmail.com

AIMS for insurance claim settlement services T

he purpose of insurance is indemnification (placing the insured in the same financial position as he was before the accident) for those who suffer unexpected losses. But in practice, this purpose is not served in some cases. Insurance companies sometimes deny a claim or cut down the claim amount just to see if they can get away with it. They get it done, mostly with the assistance of surveyors in property insurance and in medi-

Academic Programmes:

Facilities:

1. M Sc (Computer Science) 2. M Sc (Electronics) 3. M Sc (Biotechnology) 4. M S W (Medical and Psychiatry) 5. M H R M (Human Resource Management) 6. M Com (Finance) 7. M A (English Literature) 8. B B A (Business Administration- 2 Batches) 9. B Sc (Biotechnology) 10. B C A Computer Application- 2 Batches) 11. B Sc (Electronics) 12. B Com (Co-Operation & Tally – 2 Batches) 13. B A (Literature & Communication Studies)

• Wi-Fi Campus • All the departments headed by prominent and highly qualified senior professors • Comfortable class rooms with modern teaching aids • Well equipped workshops and labs • High-tech Computer Lab with advanced machines • Broad Band Internet facility • Facilities for co-curricular, extracurricular and self enhancement programmes. • Counseling centre • Language lab • Career Development cell and placement cell • Hostel facilities for boys and girls • Canteen

AIMS has competent attentive support staff. The claims department

AIMS has a panel of experts in life and non-life insurance claim consultancy service Mr A K Mani, AGM- Claims and Technical, Mr C R Surendranathan Retd. Dy Chief Controller of Explosives; Mr M K Ravindran Retd. Asst. Executive Engineer, PWD(Kerala) Senior Medical Officer, former Br Head of Dr Sheeja P Shrinivas, Paramount Health Services Pvt Ltd, Kochi; Mr Sundaram, Former Senior Divisional Manager, LIC of India; Retd. Manager,Oriental Insurance Co Ltd (MACT Mr N Harinarayanan, specialist); Mr K Sujeesh Advocate; Mr Narayanan Namboothiripad Chartered Accountant. claim by third party administrators. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority(IRDA) has realized that the expertise of insurance broking industry in matters of claim settlement can be availed by policy holders. As a consequence, policy holders , where the risk cover is relatively low, are at an advantage when dealing with insurance companies on account of symmetry of knowledge and information from the broker’s expertise and guidance. And the Authority has taken firm steps to see that the interests of the policy holders are protected.

56 University Ranks within 17 years

the company has successfully carried out two claim consultancy services: fire insurance and motor insurance. To use the services, the clients are required to give the company a written mandate to represent them with the insurance company concerned for the claim for which consultancy is required. According to the circular, the consultant shall be paid a reasonable fee by the client.

IRDA is of the view that it will be in the interest of the policy holders to provide an avenue to obtain more competent advice from Insurance Brokers in the matter of settlement of claims; which was not available hitherto. IRDA, vide its circular, has allowed insurance brokers to offer claim consultancy up to Rs 1 crore for life as well as nonlife insurance policies, subject to certain conditions. Incepted in 2002 as an insurance consultancy, AIMS has started claim settlement service from 2012 to serve the policy holders in getting their claims settled effectively. Then known as AIMS Insurance Broking Pvt Ltd,

is headed by Mr A K Mani. He is technically sound both in engineering and insurance disciplines and holds a certificate of competency in marine motor. A graduate in mechanical engineering, chartered engineer, approved valuer and qualified in general insurance, he has more than 30 years of experience in engineering-related disciplines, seven years’ experience as surveyor and loss assessor and more than four years’ experience in claims management in the insurance broking industry. He is assisted by an able and efficient team. The company is capable of interpreting policy terms and conditions in the right direction, guiding the client in preparation for loss assessment,ie assisting in claim documentation, loss minimization etc, and is committed to fulfil their reasonable expectations in the matter of insurance claims. AIMS is the clients’ advocate and fighter in protecting their reasonable expectationsand gives consultancy services in life as well as general insurance.

Contact details: 1. Viswanathan Odatt, Director : Ph.: 9895768333, Email: odatt@ aimsinsurance.in 2. Er. AK Mani Ph.: 9567999419, Email: mani@aimsinsurance.in

May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


16 Risks of students: Illnesses and accidents are the major risks that affect students.Guardians are to provide education and medical treatment to students in the absence of their parents. If a student falls ill in an educational institution, the authorities are bound to provide the necessary medical attention to the student. Upholding this right of students there are court verdicts. The institution should bear the brunt for its delay or execution of its duty in time. A majority of the establishments have no sufficient funds or schemes to implement this. Students are the asset of an educational institution. They are also prone to many risks. An insurance policy of Rs 1,60,000 with an annual premium of Rs 102 helps the students to cover the risk in case of parents’ death to continue the education, to meet the hospital expenses in case of diseases or accidents.

Policies for educational risks A

new academic year is in the offing and all educational institutions, parents and children are gearing up to welcome it. Each institution is keen on the safety and security of its students, the welfare of its staff and on its assets and inventories. All are concerned about the possibility of diseases that may affect the children and chances of accidents occurring. Moreover, an educational establishment may not have the necessary funds or arrangements with hospitals for free treatment or medicine. Moreover, there may be incidents of some students losing their guardians in accidents and finding it difficult to continue their education. Education is a sector which needs enormous funds. There are relevant insurance policies to cover the risks in this field. In our daily life we come across a lot of unexpected dangers, diseases and natural calamities. Students are more prone to these. Education and health are the key sectors in which the major chunk of the state’s income is invested. In spite of the huge expenditure the risk of students, teachers and the highly invested establishments is very high. We may examine what the risks are and how to cover them.

PASSLINE

Indicative fee structure

1. Course Arts & Science Term 3 years Sum insured 4,86,000 Total premium Rs 555 2. Course MBA Term 2 years Sum insured 3,86,000 Total premium Rs 425 3. Course MCA Term 3 years Sum insured 6,54,000 Total premium Rs 683 4. Course Engineering Term 4 years Sum insured 10,72,000 Total premium Rs 1,030 5. Course BDS Term 5 years Sum insured 21, 50, 000 Total premium Rs 1,610 6. Course Medicine Term 5 years Sum insured 66,50,000 Total premium Rs 4,563

May 31 - June 30, 2013

To cover the risk of staff by way of accidents or diseases, a nominal premium is to be remitted. The employees’ family (five members) mediclaim policy entails Rs 30,000 plus a Rs 5-lakh personal accident insurance package with

an annual premium of about Rs 825. The accident insurance package is for the policy holder only. Claim for hospital expenses in case of accident is upto Rs 1,30,000. A person aged 70 can join this. Besides this, an ambulance rent of Rs 2,500, an education fund of Rs 10,000 and a daily hospital bata of Rs 50 for 15 days come under this package. The risk of educational institutions: Building, office, electrical, electronics, laboratory, library, furniture plus cash in office safe, the risk and loss in transportation of cash from office to bank and vice versa, compensation for embezzlement of fund and forging of cheque by office staff are all covered by a nominal annual premium policy. As the academic year is imminent the school authorities and parents may take the initiative to insure these risks and enjoy the benefit. School buses, other vehicles if insured in package policy; accidents, natural calamities and robbery may also be covered. When the vehicles are insured 40% discount in premium is also available. (For more details on policy, premium contact No: 9895768333)


17

FINANCE

KSFE: business soars, initiates new schemes Passline News Service

will be Rs 6,000 and children can remit the money with the help of their parents. The price money will be deposited and the yield from the deposit will be higher than that from other savings. This scheme will be a help for the children in their higher studies. The schools are collecting money from the children and they will be properly rewarded by way of commission. This will be an additional income for the schools.

K

erala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE) has registered overall growth of 48% in all aspects of business during 2012–13. Total business has zoomed to Rs 18,542 crore from Rs 12,333 crore in the previous year. Fully owned by the State Government, KSFE has 417 branches in the state and is the largest financial institution after SBT and Federal Bank in branch network. Started with a paid-up capital of Rs 20 crore, the NBFC has already paid Rs 466 crore to the State Government as bank guarantee, service charges and dividend and Rs 218 crore to the Central Government as income tax. Mr P T Jose, Chairman of KSFE, told PASSLINE recently, “ We are the only institution doing chit business in the state by abiding by every stipulation of the Central Government, State Government and courts. Apart from the dividend and various other payments, we have deposited Rs 1,200 crore in the treasury which is the initial collection of chitties to cover as security on a par with the number of chitties we conduct”. About the recent imbroglio in the chit business and its impact on soP T Jose ciety, he said, “Fraudulent companies in the chit business are taking gullible people for a ride, and over enthusiastic and greedy people fall prey to these ruthless ones. Those who are not learning lessons from the phoney companies, ubiquitous in society, have to suffer the outcome also.“ Regarding the allegation raised by some media and people that the Government is showing favouritism to KSFE, the Managing Director, Mr P Rajendran, said, “It is false and misleading. If it is so, how did the Government give permission to 200 other companies to conduct chit business? Recently the Government gave them clearance to conduct the business, subject to strict vigil and scrutiny. KSFE is a high-net-worth, profitmaking PSU in the state. All our activities are thoroughly checked and measured by the Government. Our loans and advances are highly securitized and our NPA is below 5% as on last fiscal. It will again be reduced in the current fiscal. We have targeted 50% growth in the chit business in the coming year and 45% in loans and deposits. P Rajendran We have gold loan exposure to Rs 1,200 crore which is a major product for us.” KSFE has achieved the target of Rs 956 crore as monthly chit turnover this fiscal, from Rs 620 crore last year and the yearly chit business grew from Rs 7,512 crore to Rs 11,536 crore this year. The institution has achieved 52% growth in the fiscal. Advances grew from Rs 1,711 crore to Rs 2,507 crore and profit at a whopping Rs 100 crore (provisional) from Rs 52 crore last year, growth of 85%.

Asked about the starting of a bank as subsidiary, Mr Rajendran said KSFE is fully competent to venture into banking according to the new guidelines. “But the decision should come from the Government. We cannot fully dismiss the possibility of a bank”.

In the Haritham scheme customers will be financed for procuring environment-friendly devices like solar and biogas plants and electrical equipment with three-star and above ratings. Both these schemes have overwhelming response, he said

KSFE has two more schemes in its kitty this fiscal, KSFE School Edu Care and Haritham. Edu Care is chit-based and is meant to inculcate the saving habits in school children from the 5th standard to the 12th. The minimum remittance

INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, KALADY

(An ISO 9001:2008 Certified Institution, Approved by AICTE, Affiliated to M.G. University)

KALADY,KERALA-683574 Ph:0484-2463825 E-mail:adishankara.net@gmail.com Website:www.adishankara.net

B.Tech

ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CIVIL ENGINEERING

ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATION COMPUTER SCIENCE APPLIED ELECTRONICS AND INSTRUMENTATION MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

VLSI & EMBEDDED SYSTEM COMPUTER SCIENCE M.Tech POWER ELECTRONICS & POWER SYSTEMS COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING MBA With specialisation in HR,Finance and Marketing

(Add on certificate course-Logistic &Supply chain management)

B.Tech, M.Tech, MBA Social Service Initiatives by Students 1.Electrification of 50 houses in Vengoor Panchayath by the students 2.Setting up of Computer Lab& Computer Course to the inmates of Janaseva Sisubhavan. 3.Mega Medical checkup for about 1000 poor people in association with Amritha Institute of Medical Sceiences, Edappally.About 20 doctors and 4 departments participated.

.

Results

Best results in the university % pass never falls below 88% 8 batches passed out Produced 16 university ranks. 1714 placements in top IT and non IT Companies

PLACEMENT TRACK RECORD ASIET HAS CROSSED 1560 PLACEMENT OFFERS 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Software 170 Industry 20

175

180

190

160

198

235

137

13

20

30

20

41

47

BPO Total

190

12

10

10

30

17

30

200

210

230

210

256

312

PLACEMENT DRIVE FOR 2013 BATCH CONTINUES Dr.B S Krishnan Managing Trustee

Dr.S G Iyer Principal

INDUSTRY INTERACTION & ACADEMICS Training programs by experts from relevant industries-Incubation Centre- Campus Connect with Infosys-concurrent industrial visit by students and Faculty- collaboration with Department of Science and Technology-Webinar interactions with prominent experts from International Universities-Mission-10X with Wipro . Campus Commune with TCS Companies who visited ASIET 2012-2013 TCS,CTS,HCL Technologies,Accenture, UST Global,Reliance Communications, PCIL,L&T Infotech,Sutherland Global Services,Godrej Infotech,IGate Patni,Sri Ram Group of Companies,Videocon,Blue Star IBS,Orion India,Federal BankMPhasis, South Indian Bank,ICICI Bank,HDFC Life etc

May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


18

GROWTH COMPANIES —VI

Nitta Gelatin — working towards state’s growth

N

G Suseelan

PASSLINE has been serializing in its issues the performance of the wealthcreating listed Kerala companies. In the back issues we have profiled the some of the prominent profit-making companies - KSE Ltd, Kitex Garments, Geojit BNP Paribas, Manappuram Finance and State Bank of Travancore - captioned GROWTH COMPANIES. In this issue, we are showcasing the role played by one of the industry leaders, Nitta Gelatin India Ltd(NGIL), under the tutelage of the Chairman, Mr V Somasundaran, and the Managing Director, Mr G Suseelan, in making the company profitable thereby apportioning its wealth to its investors while catering to the industrial and economic growth of the state.

PASSLINE

itta Gelatin India Limited is a Kerala-based firm founded by Nitta Gelatin Inc and KSIDC. Nitta Gelatin Inc is holding 39,00,300 shares or 46.43% shares of the company. The other promoter, KSIDC, is holding 28,62,220 shares or 34.07% shares. Total promoter holding as of now is 80.51%. The company changed its name from Kerala Chemicals & Proteins Ltd to Nitta Gelatin India Ltd in 2008. Its present equity is Rs 8.4 crore and face value of a share Rs 10, the present book value being Rs 127.3 (30.3.12). Sales for the year 2012-13 are Rs 306.22 crore and NP is Rs15.58 crore. The company declared 40% dividend for 2012-13. Present market capitalization is Rs 134,77,80,000 (MP as on 26.4.13 is Rs.160.45 on a FV of Rs10 a share).

Year 2012/03 2011/03 2010/03 2009/03 2008/03 2007/03 1999/03 1998/03 1997/03 1996/03 1995/03 1994/03 1993/03 1992/03 1991/03 1990/03

May May 31 31 -- June June 30, 30, 2013 2013

Dividend Details Dividend (%) 40 40 60 30 15 10 25 30 45 60 50 50 50 50 35 30

Mar 12(12) Sales Other Income Total Expenses Operating Profit Interest Gross Profit Provisions Made Depreciation Taxation Net Profit / Loss Equity Capital

Annual Results Mar 11(12) Mar 10(12) 245.82 204.52 1.25 0.64 224.92 190.56 0.00 0.00 6.14 3.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 9.81 9.04 1.49 0.69 4.71 1.74 8.40 8.40

Mar 12 Share Capital Reserve & Surplus Revaluation Reserve Networth Total debt Total Liability Net Block Capital work in progress Investment Net current asset Miscellaneous expenses Total Assets

Balance Sheet Mar 11 Mar 10 8.40 8.40 95.69 94.91 0.00 0.00 104.09 103.31 57.86 47.17 161.95 150.48 121.88 79.17 6.56 35.77 0.82 0.50 33.15 35.47 0.00 0.00 162.41 150.91

197.72 0.00 157.14 0.00 2.02 0.00 0.00 7.92 5.35 25.29 8.40

8.40 97.14 0.00 105.54 0.26 105.80 72.33 7.99 0.15 25.72 0.00 106.19

Rights Announcements Year 1997

Ratio 1:1

Ex Right Date Nil

Bonus Announcements Year 1997 1992

Ratio 1:1 1:2

Ex Bonus Date 29 / 9 / 1997 21 / 8 / 1992


19 Sales Other Income Total Expenses Operating Profit Interest Adjusted PBDIT Depreciation Adjusted PBT Taxation Net Profit / Loss

Income Statement Mar 12 Mar 11 245.82 203.23 1.25 0.17 224.91 191.79 20.91 11.44 6.14 3.13 22.16 11.61 9.81 9.04 6.20 -0.57 6.14 3.13 4.69 1.69

OPM (%) GPM (%) NPM (%) Earning Retention Ratio Return on networth (%) EPS (Rs.) Dividend payout Ratio Longterm Debt-Equity Ratio Current Ratio Fixed Asset Turnover Ratio Inventory Interest coverage Ratio

Key Ratios Mar12 8.50 4.51 1.89 16.60 4.50 5.58 83.24 0.20 1.79 1.57 5.72 3.61

That means the company has already given the investors around Rs 201 (dividend) returns repaid to those who invested Rs 10 in 1992. Frankly speaking the original shareholders’ investment is free as they have already received their original investment in NGIL by five times only through dividend, If opted of rights. If one had invested Rs 1,000 and Rs 22,500, on rights, then a capital appreciation of Rs 72,770 (MP as on 26.4.13 is Rs 160.45 on a FV of Rs 10 a share) would be there. The most important part of the story is Nitta Gelatin made owners of 84,00,000 shares richer by Rs 121.29 on an investment of Rs 39.16. In other words, it made 6,121 people richer. This calculation is based on data of 31.3.12.

Mar11 5.62 1.17 0.82 349.38 1.63 2.01 232.41 0.19 2.00 1.58 6.41 3.71

Mar 10 195.92 0.17 157.96 37.95 2.02 38.13 7.92 28.19 2.02 25.21

Mar10 19.37 15.32 12.85 74.20 23.88 30.01 23.31 0.00 1.83 1.24 8.79 18.89

the approval of SEBI and general body of shareholders for issue of equity shares not exceeding one lakh in numbers to the permanent employees of the company who stood in the rolls as on the date of EGM, ie May 29, 2013. The board recommended on 3.4.13 a bonus issue of shares in the ratio of 1:3, ie.one share for every existing 3 shares in the name of shareholders except promoters and promoter group on the record date to be decided by the board in consultation with the stock exchange. The said recommendation of bonus shares is also to be considered for approval by the general body on May 29,2013.

But in this case it (Nitta Gelatin) made others richer or it created wealth for others too by utilising their (investors’) small amounts. So we should appreciate it although everybody is talking big things in Kerala but not acknowledging this type of capital growth. In addition to this it helped owners of 84,00,000 shares to participate in the industrial growth of Kerala and helped others to get jobs. This may be one of the few companies which gave profits or investor returns to KSIDC.

Several professional investors earn handsome dividend on their long-term investment in Nitta Gelatin. These investors merrily attend the AGM, spend hours in the library reading business newspapers and magazines to track stocks and the economy or to visit the malls in the city. Most of them are unknown faces in the stock market terminals. For this class of investors, equity investment is a full-time job. This is possible because they earn relatively stable revenue streams through dividends. This is the magic of equity investment that one can enjoy over the long term.

Nitta Gelatin has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the company at its meeting held on May 3, 2013 approved the ESPS scheme subject to

Nitta Gelatin is one of the most successful Indo-Japanese industrial ventures, incorporated in 1975 and started commercial production in 1979. Using

state-of-the-art production facilities Nitta manufactures gelatin, collagen peptide, ossein, di calcium, nutrigold, seedaid and cartipep. The company’s main object is to manufacture ossein and products of ossein, gelatine and glue and their components for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes. In 1979, it started commercial production of ossein and in 1985 it got export house status. The company was given the Special Export Award instituted by the Chemicals & Allied Products Exports Promotion Council (CAPEXIL) for export performance for 1989-90. NGIL has bagged the best productivity award in the medium-scale sector in Kerala instituted by the Kerala State Productivity Council and known as FACT-MKK Nair Memorial Productivity Award for 1988-89. The company is carrying out research and development work relating to improvement in quality of the products. The compound glue plant was commissioned on October 1, 1987. The technology for manufacturing compounds glue developed by the Nitta Gelatin was made available to the

company in 1986. The limed ossein plant was commissioned in 1996. In 1997 Nitta formed Bamni Proteins Ltd as a 100% subsidiary. Bamni Proteins’ annual production during 2011-12 was 2,423 MT of ossein and 5,290 MT of dicalcium phosphate as against 2,407 MT of ossein and 5,295 MT of dicalcium phosphate during the previous year. The company has recorded a net profit of Rs 13.59 lakh after tax as against Rs 27.52 lakh during the previous fiscal. But for the increase in the cost of power and other utilities, the company’s profitability would have been higher. In 2010, the company decided to set up a consumer product division and launch collagen peptide as its first product in the health and nutrition market segment. Nitta Gelatin is launching a product, nutrigold, which can be used as foliar spray for Improving yield. Reva Proteins Limited is also a 100% susbsidiary. The limed ossein plant owned by Reva Protein Limited was commissioned on 27.03.2012. (Information provided by Mr Babu Vettoor, Contact No:98 95 35 67 23)

Adv.

May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


20

FINANCIAL INCLUSION

P D Johnny

Banking services for all T

he declaration of Ernakulam as the first district in the country to have achieved 100% ‘meaningful financial inclusion’ means that every family in the district has a bank account and thus comes under the umbrella of financial services offered by banks. This has been made possible with the wholehearted and concerted effort of all banks, ably led by the Lead Bank, Union Bank of India. RBI Governor D Subbarao himself was present in Kochi to make the proud proclamation. The intention of the Union Government, Planning Commission and RBI by introducing the process called ‘financial inclusion’, launched in 2006-07, was to bring every individual family in the country within the fold of the banking network ensuring access to financial services to meet their basic needs. On November 22, 2012, Ernakulam district was declared as having achieved 100% ‘meaningful financial inclusion’, the first district in the whole country to earn the distinction. This meant that every family in the district, both in urban and rural areas, is proud to have a bank account and thus comes under the umbrella of financial services offered by banks. Although Kerala has been the most-banked state in the country for decades in terms of average population served by a bank branch thanks to the active presence of all types of banks, there were still some remote pockets where banking services had not been accessed till recently. With wholehearted, concerted effort by all banks, ably led by the Lead Bank, Union Bank of India, the incredible feat of covering every family in the district was achieved. In fact, banks not only in Kerala but in the whole country have been actively involved in the revolutionary process of making efforts to ‘include’ the ‘excluded’ sections of society by extend-

PASSLINE

ing services to them. The intention of the Union Government, Planning Commission and RBI was to bring every individual family in the country within the fold of the banking network ensuring access to financial services to meet their basic needs through a process called ‘financial inclusion’, launched in 2006-07. In the aftermath of a spate of farmers’ suicides in various areas of the

Paradoxically, it is this inability of the formal banking system, though dominated by the public sector banks, that drove lakhs of helpless farmers and other poor people to utter distress, forcing many of them to end their lives and throwing their surviving families into abject poverty.

country—Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Wayanad in Kerala and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh—in 200005 several governmental and voluntary agencies went into the causes of such tragedies. Apparently, crop losses due to natural calamities and fall in prices of agricultural produce were reported as the main causes. Some half-hearted, short-term measures were initiated by both the Centre and the state governments concerned. Along with the obvious causes mentioned above, another disturbing fact also came to light—a substantial percentage of the distressed farmers were heavily indebted to private moneylenders who exploited them mercilessly. In states other than Kerala, the formal banking

May 31 - June 30, 2013

system was found to be wanting in meeting the financial needs of the weaker sections of society. Wayanad district which witnessed suicides by hundreds was however an exception. The banks were rather eager to extend credit to the farmers there, as they were relatively prosperous at that point of time and earning well from the cash crops cultivated by them. There also, the continuous drought conditions, worsened by a steep fall in prices of main crops like pepper and coffee during 2000–2005, put the farmers in distress. The consequent despair and frustration led them to suicide. This author who conducted a study of the sad plight of farmers in Wayanad in 2004 found that the credit-deposit (CD) ratio in the district that year was the highest in Kerala—142% against the state average of 44%. Evidently, there was no failure by banks there in extending credit to the farmers, contrary to the position in other parts of the country in similar circumstances. What followed thereafter was the inability of the farmers to repay their dues in time owing to adverse situations, forcing the banks to take recourse to legal remedies against the defaulting borrowers. It is the basic principle of banks not to finance defaulters and thus the banking channels were shut before the hapless farmers, compelling them to turn to the exploiting private moneylenders for solace. Here again, the ruthless methods of these moneylenders against their defaulters forced a number of farmers to end their lives, being unable to withstand the pressure and humiliation from the moneylenders. These unfortunate developments in various parts of the country prompted the Planning Commission to launch a nationwide survey through the National

Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) to take a deep look into the ground realities. The findings of the survey revealed that on average only 49% of the families in the country enjoyed any kind of banking services, which otherwise meant that a majority of the population was kept out of the fold of the banking network. Thus, all the efforts by the Union Government and the RBI to persuade the public sector commercial banks, nationalized in two phases in 1969 and 1980, to adopt ‘mass banking’ instead of ‘class banking’ as also the setting up of 196 regional rural banks in the backward districts between 1976 and 1991 had not really achieved the objectives of such revolutionary steps. It is not that the marginalized sections of society did not have the need for such services; it is just that the banks, despite their wide network, even in rural areas, failed to reach the poor, and provide the much-needed basic financial services to them. It can well be concluded that the unreached people apparently had fallen, though unwittingly, into the traps laid by the unprincipled moneylenders operating in the informal banking system. Paradoxically, it is this inability of the formal banking system, though dominated by the public sector banks, that drove lakhs of helpless farmers and other poor people to utter distress, forcing many of them to end their lives and throwing their surviving families into abject poverty. A statewise analysis of the survey revealed that predictably Kerala with as many as 79% families being served by banks was at the top of the table, while some eastern and northern states were found to be at the bottom—Bihar (23%), Orissa (25%) and so on. The Bancon (Bankers’ Conference) in 2006 hosted by Andhra Bank in Hyderabad took a serious note of the situation. A new concept ‘inclusive growth’ which meant opportunities to all sections of society to be partners in and beneficiaries of the high growth then achieved by the Indian economy was adopted in that forum. To further analyse and suggest remedies for the alarming situation revealed in the survey, a committee headed by Dr C Rangarajan, former RBI Governor (presently Principal Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister), was formed. The committee analysed the survey findings and identified certain factors inhibiting the poorer sections of society from seeking and obtaining banking services. One, they generally nurse a feeling that the services of the banks are meant only for those belonging to the higher strata of society and that the banks are generally indifferent to their needs.


21 This is apparently true as the banks, driven by profit motive particularly after introduction of financial sector reforms since the 1990s, did not consider banking with such low-value people as costeffective—their deposits are of paltry amounts and the credit requirements equally very small, involving more labour and time, but fetching hardly any positive margins to meet the transaction cost. Secondly, the requirements of minimum balance to be maintained in the deposit accounts and hassles in complying with the ‘know your customer’ (KYC) norms were also major limiting factors as people from that particular section of society neither have much surplus to be blocked in minimum balance even in savings bank accounts and also many a time do not possess documents acceptable to the banks to prove their identity and residence which are prerequisites for opening an account. The Rangarajan Committee, recognizing these issues as genuine, prescribed remedies—exempt this target group from strict compliance with the requirements of both minimum balance to be maintained in the SB accounts and also the KYC norms to the possible extent. The concepts of ‘zero balance’ and ‘no frills’ accounts were introduced in the banking transactions of these low-income groups. As the first step to achieving ‘fully banked country’ status, a nationwide pilot pro-

gramme was launched—one district in each state is to be identified for making it a fully banked one through intensive measures and, subsequently, the successful experiment is to be replicated in remaining districts. In Kerala, Palakkad district was chosen for the implementation of the pilot project in 200607. Incidentally, Palakkad was one of the three districts in Kerala selected for implementation of the first phase of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) 2005 and, therefore, the beneficiaries of this scheme (about 1,46,000) had to be bank-linked to facilitate payment of their wages. The wages for the labourers engaged in MGNREGS were to be paid only through bank accounts, to avoid malpractices, and therefore ensuring their bank-linkage was a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the UPA Government’s flagship poverty alleviation programme. Enlisting the services of ‘Kudumbasree’ volunteers, the process of identification of families without bank accounts was completed and the lists of such families were handed over to the nearest bank branches. The banks, on their part, visited these households and opened savings bank accounts, either zero balance or no frills accounts, as the case may be. The entire process was successfully completed well within the time-frame allotted for the purpose.

In other states, the process is now in different stages of implementation. The task of reaching the unreached sections of people for extending banking services was found to be gigantic for the banks, considering the limited staff strength at the branches. Thus, new concepts like ‘business correspondents’ (BCs) and ‘business facilitators’ (BFs) to function as ‘extended arms’ of the bank branches were introduced. These BCs and BFs are not strictly bank employees but would be paid for their services by the banks. Their responsibilities include creating awareness of the financial services rendered by banks, namely the different deposit and loan products, among the target groups, thus functioning as links between the banks and the needy population. They are being empowered with technology by being provided with hand-held devices which even function as micro-ATMs. To bring services to the doorsteps of customers, banks have launched a new cost-effective ‘point of sale’ (POS) method. The need for efforts to create awareness of the rights and responsibilities of the banks’ customers was also found necessary and for this ‘financial literacy and credit counselling’ has been introduced by the lead banks in districts. These revolutionary and novel methods are gradually expected to en-

sure access to the financial services for every family in the country. The process however needs to be accelerated, particularly in view of the implementation of the ambitious project launched by the Union Government (with state governments following suit) to pass on the social security benefits (subsidies, pensions, scholarships etc) through the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. All families as also present and prospective beneficiaries of the Government schemes, both direct and indirect, are required to be covered under the ‘cash transfer scheme’ and having a bank account is a pre-requisite for its successful implementation. The scheme is being linked to UID (Aadhar) cards which provide relevant information in respect of all citizens As a rapidly developing nation, India has to adopt technology-based systems to provide hassle-free access to all opportunities for the entire population. Banking is one such sector where technology is playing a very vital role for their smooth, cost-effective functioning and also to provide better transparency in customer services. The banking system has to broadbase its services and explore new spheres requiring its intervention. Ensuring access to its services/products for all sections of society helps in achieving the banks’ social objectives as well

KFC attains more verve in jubilee year

K

erala Financial Corporation (KFC), the pioneer among the industrial financing institutions in Kerala, is celebrating this year its diamond jubilee of incorporation. Commencing operations in 1953, the NBFC (non-banking financial corporation) has been acting as the trend-setter and one-stop shop for longtime industrial finance. The institution has funded 42,300 enterprises since its inception and has played a pivotal role in the industrialization of the state, particularly in the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector. In its diamond jubilee year, KFC, both in profit and dividend distribution, has surpassed all other PSUs in the state. The profit was Rs 45.65 crore, an all-time high in the history of the NBFC. “I could see some revival and rejuvenation in the industrial sector of Kerala in these days. A person who spent his career totally outside the state can sense the change better than any-

“In 2012-13 KFC perone,’’ says Mr P Joy Oomformed extremely well in men, the new Chairman sanctions, disbursement and Managing Director of and recovery. We were able KFC. He was serving as to bring down the NPA drasChief Secretary, Governtically and the profit also ment of Chhattisgarh, till swelled according to our March 31, 2012. “At least expectation. Apart from that, our people are talking about the CMD says, KFC became entrepreneurship and inJoy Oommen the only state financial cordustries in meetings and poration in the country to seminars. Our children are starting ventures even during their get RBI permission recently to raise studies instead of looking for white- domestic deposits”. “Our KSSEDM collar jobs after their graduation. The (Kerala State Self Entrepreneur Deformation and success of Startup Vil- velopment Mission) scheme was an lage is the silver line in the industrial overwhelming success. Under this horizon of Kerala. As a main funding scheme an entrepreneur can get a agency from the state, we would like maximum of Rs 5 lakh as financial asto be main financier for ventures in the sistance and a group of five entrepreneurs Rs 20 lakh. The entrepreneurs startups,” he adds. will have an interest moratorium for According to him, land acquisition five years,” says Mr Joy Oommen. is the major deterrent to the state’s inAccording to the CMD, the interdustrial development. There are lands available but people having vested in- est subvention scheme announced terests are pulling back development by Finance Minister K M Mani in the by citing environmental hazards and last budget will give impetus to the inother local issues. Lands not being dustrial environment of the state. New used for cultivation for 25 or 30 years ventures with technologies developed should be used for public needs in- by Central and state research and decluding the setting up of industries and velopment organizations as well as agencies like the Spices Board, Rubinfrastructure, he says.

ber Board, Coir Board etc will benefit from this scheme. Technocrats and other entrepreneurs who are desirous of launching such industrial units will be given technological and financial support. Enterprises in areas such as food processing, information technology, apparel, handicraft, gift articles, agro-processing, fish processing, packaging etc will get special attention. Enterprises requiring loans below Rs 1 crore will get interest subvention of 3% and others 2% from the normal rate of interest. The Government of Kerala has earmarked Rs 10 crore for providing interest subsidy. “During this current financial year KFC will give utmost priority to the computerization and interconnection of all its offices spread in the state. It enables the applicant to send the loan application online from anywhere in the state in order to avoid unnecessary delay in the disbursement. During 2013-14 KFC has fixed an ambitious target of Rs 800 crore as sanctions and Rs 600 crore as disbursements and also set a profit target of Rs 50 crore,” adds Mr Joy Oommen.

May 31 - June 30, 2013

PASSLINE


22

ENERGY SOURCE

Prof Job K T

Everlasting solar energy

S

olar energy demand globally has been growing at about 30% per annum over the past 15 years, whereas the hydrocarbon demand growth rate is 0%-2% per annum. This high growth rate in solar energy is due to many factors – increasing cost of petroleum products and the decreasing cost of producing power from solar and a concern the world over about the harmful effects of using fossil fuels. In India, the high GDP growth rate has created a huge demand for energy, but the supply is unable to match the demand. The total installed capacity of power as of February 2011 was 172 GW. The estimated shortage of power in India was about 20 GW in the same period. In addition, 56% of Indian population does not have access to electricity. This situation in power generation has prompted the Union Government to formulate new policies to encourage renewable energy in general and solar energy in particular. In fact, India is one of the few countries in the world that has a dedicated Ministry for New and Renewable Energy. India is in the sunny regions of the world with most parts of the country receiving 4 to 7 Kwh (kilowatt-hour) of solar radiation per square metre per day, 250-300 sunny days in a year. The total capacity of India to produce energy from the sun is estimated at 5,000 trillion Kwh. Even though solar energy constitutes a miniscule part in India’s installed power generation capacity (with grid-connected solar PV generation at a mere 6 MW as of March 2010), in the medium and long run, it is expected that solar energy will form a vital component of the country’s energy mix. The current cost of production of Rs 14/Kwh is expected to go down to Rs6/Kwh in 2020 thanks to technological advancements. Thus, solar energy

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will be cheaper than petroleum, thermal and nuclear energy in the coming days. Kerala has been reeling under power shortage for decades. Most of the projects proposed during the last few decades are either rejected or opposed by the public. The present energy demand is 17,000 MU and available hydel source is 7,000 MU. The annual increase in energy demand is 600 MU. Thus, there is an annual deficit of 10,000 MU. KSEB sources project the demand for 2020 to be 32,000 MU and for 2030 52,000 MU. The resource potential for Kerala is: hydro 1,000 MW, wind 800 MW and biomass 30 MW. Kerala meets the deficit from imports from other states. The cost of energy from coal is not firm and changes according to market vagaries. India’s confirmed coal reserve is 114 billion tonnes as of 2012. The annual coal consumption is 600 million tonnes. Further, coal consumption doubles every 10 years. This shows that the price of coal will rise to prohibitive levels in a few decades. At the same time the cost of solar power decreases in course of time. Naturally a time can be expected when industries will use solar power because the cost is steady. It is estimated that Kerala has a solar potential of 10,000 MW of which 3,000 MW can be built up in five years. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) has drawn up a scheme to create an installed capacity of 20,000 MW of solar energy by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2022, expanding to 100,000 MW by 2030 and 200,000 MW by 2050. The solar installed capacity target under the JNNSM is expected to generate 25-30 trillion Kwh/annum by the year 2022. In order to promote the solar sector in India, various incentives and

May 31 - June 30, 2013

policy guidelines have been announced. These include: 1. 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the renewable energy sector 2. Up to 80% accelerated depreciation for renewable energy investments 3. Preferential tax rate of 15%, instead of the standard 30% 4. Exemption from Central Sales Tax and customs duty concessions on soft loans for the import of materials, components and equipment used in renewable energy projects 5. Soft loans for setting up renewable energy enterprises Currently, solar energy is used in small applications (radios/TVs/fans), rural usages (water pumping/traffic and security lighting/power support to remote areas), commercial applications (telecommunication/equipment in research stations), electrical grid applications to compensate for power shortages and even aerospace applications. Growth in solar generation was brought out through ‘rooftop solar plants’. Kerala has a special advantage of having 1,000 W rooftop plants catering to the individual domestic need for the operation of lights, fans, TVs etc. The Government of Kerala has announced the draft of Kerala Solar Energy Policy 2013 to evaluate in a realistic manner the possibilities of harnessing solar energy to optimal levels and to put in place the necessary framework for development. It also identified the immense potential of solar radiations which can conveniently be harvested via the rooftop plants. A pilot project

‘10,000 Solar Rooftop Power Plants Programme 2012-13’ is in progress which is handled by Agency for Nonconventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT). This programme is for ‘off-grid’ rooftop solar plants with storage battery. Kerala Solar Energy Policy states the solar procurement obligation (SPO) will be mandated for commercial consumers with more than 20 kVA connected load, LT industrial with more than 50 kVA connected load and for all HT and EHT consumers in a phased manner. All HT and EHT consumers shall have to procure 3% of their energy consumed through SPO till March 2014 and 6% from April 2014 onwards. From April 2014 onwards it shall be applicable to commercial consumers and LT industrials according to the criteria mentioned above. It shall also be made applicable to high-consuming domestic consumers,ie more than 500 units a month at a later stage. The state is experiencing increase in power shortage and the cost of power is going up steadily. At the same time, the state falls in the sunny region getting direct sunlight capable of producing four to seven Kwh per sqm a day. Captive rooftop solar plants in houses, Government buildings, hotels, hospitals, hostels, commercial buildings, colleges, offices etc can be a remedy to some extent. The Kerala Solar Energy Policy targets to tap offgrid rooftop solar energy of 10 MW immediately through the implementation of 10,000 rooftop plants. The policy has also made solar procurement obligations mandatory to all major electrical consumers from 2014. (Prof Job is a senior faculty member at the Centre for Management Development, Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram. He can be contacted at 09847135571 and jobkt012@gmail.com)


US AUSTERITY

Poor nations to be hit by US spending cuts

By Martin Khor

On March 1, the United States Government had to introduce spending cuts of $85 billion for this year, as President Barack Obama and Congress failed to reach an agreement on how to reduce the budget deficit. The so-called ‘sequestration’ marked a new failure in relations between the President and the Republicans in Congress. The term ‘dysfunctional’ is now commonly used to describe the US Government system, as the deadlock between the President and Congress and the animosity between the Democrat and Republican parties have blocked laws, policies and agreements. The most visible of this dysfunctional-

ity is in the Government’s inability to come to grips with economic policy, especially by how much and how to reduce the budget deficit. Republican budget deficit hawks are obsessed with slashing Government spending to reduce the budget deficit. Prominent Keynesian-influenced economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz argue that cutting Government spending in the midst of a weak economy is unnecessary and will tip the country into a new recession. Obama himself is in favour of deficit cutting but wants it done in a balanced way—by increasing Government revenue through increased taxes on the rich (or closing loopholes that allow them to avoid taxes) and by lesser spending cuts that do not affect the poor. The ‘sequestration’ issue began in 2011 when a deadlock developed between Congress and Obama over the budget. Obama then proposed that a list of specific automatic spending cuts would go into effect on March 1 if no new deal was reached. The proposed cuts were deliberately chosen to be so bad that Congress would not allow them to take effect. Or so Obama thought. He would use this as leverage to get the balance of tax increases and

smaller spending cuts that he had in mind. But, in the end, the Republicans called his bluff, and now the spending cuts have come into effect—$1.2 tril-

The Government spending cuts in the United States will also afect poor developing countries as the aid budget, especially for food and medicine, is reduced. lion over 10 years, starting with $85 billion this fiscal year. The effects will be felt not only by Americans but also the developing countries. They include

Department and its aid agency Usaid, would have to cut $2.6 billion from their 2013 budget. The cuts would include $200 million from humanitarian assistance and $400 million from global health programmes.

For example, the US would reduce its contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by $300 million this year, meaning there will be less medicine donated to poor countries. Kerry has written to Congress stating that this reduction would reduce the United States’ ability to provide food assistance to two million people and Usaid would have to cease, reduce or not initiate assistance to millions of disaster-affected people, and would ‘gravely impede’ efforts at reducing AIDS-related and child deaths. The IPS report also quoted Jeremy Kadden of InterAction (an alliance of NGOs aiding developing countries) as saying: “These cuts will cost lives. We’ve made very significant progress over the past 10 years with real people improving their lives, and this would set that process back enormously, devastating actual people on the ground.” He estimated that the budget cuts would lead to some three million children losing access to the basic education they currently receive; two mil-

the negative fallout on global growth and expected cuts in aid going to poor countries. This comes at a bad time as the rich economies are already on a downward path. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the group of 34 rich countries, announced that the gross domestic product of its members fell by an annual rate of 0.6% in the last quarter of 2012. The European Commission, meanwhile, predicted that the Eurozone economies would contract by 0.3% this year, which could prove to be optimistic given the recent political uncertainties in Italy. The spending cuts in the US would add to the contractionary trend in the rich countries. The continuous weakening of the Western economies will have adverse effects on exports, tourism, workers’ remittances and incomes in developing countries. There is another and more direct dimension to the ‘sequestration’ on the developing world. The Government’s spending cuts will affect the budget for aid given to poor countries and to development programmes such as provision of medicines and food, according to a report by the Inter Press Service (IPS). The new Secretary of State, John Kerry, revealed that the State

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lion people would suffer reductions in or stop receiving food aid, while 6,00,000 children would lose nutrition assistance. Unlike in the United Kingdom, where the Cameron Government decided not to cut its budget despite huge slashing of the overall Government budget, there is no exemption for overseas spending in the US sequestration exercise. The poor in America will also be affected. About 6,00,000 low-income women and children will stop receiving food aid. Also affected in the $26 billion cut in domestic programmes are health, education, drug enforcement, national parks and Hurricane Sandy relief. Low-income families will also be affected by a cut in public housing subsidies, which could hurt about 1,25,000 poor families, according to The Guardian. The National Institutes of Health, which will suffer a 5% budget cut, is cancelling hundreds of research grants. Another $16 billion in mandatory spending will be cut, including medicare, agriculture programmes and unemployment benefits. The main cuts will however come from the military budget, down by $43bilion in 2013, on top of the $500 billion budget cut over 10 years agreed to in 2011.—TWN Features (Martin Khor is the Executive Director of the South Centre)

New office-bearers of CREDAI Kochi

John Thomas

Roy Joseph

J Paul Raj

The Kochi Chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) has elected the following as office-bearers for 2013 to 2015: President—John Thomas, Managing Partner, Noel Villas & Apartments; Secretary—J Paul Raj, Director, Alfa Ventures Pvt Ltd; Treasurer— Roy Joseph, Managing Director, Trinity Builders Pvt Ltd.

IPCON office-bearers

K Rajan George

Mr K Rajan George, a leading management consultant of Kochi and Kerala Management Association Honorary Secretary, has been unanimously elected President of the Indian Professionals Congress (IPCON) Central Committee for the third time. Dr P Aneesh, Thiruvananthapuram, is the Honorary General Secretary. May 31 - June 30, 2013

Dr P Aneesh

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Zurich, Switzerland June 8, 2013

WMC will discuss issues and concerns of Europe Malayalees

he World Malayalee Council (WMC), formed in 1995 as a platform for addressing the woes of non-resident Indians (NRIs) in alien lands, has been active in Europe since then as WMC Europe Region, delivering social, cultural and welfare services to the community, encouraging youngsters to exhibit their in-born talents and organizing personality and leadership

by the recent economic recession in Europe and the US. The job prospects for the second-generation NRIs have declined because of the current economic challenges. Those Indians who have opted to switch over their citizenship because of their life circumstances abroad also face challenges, even though they bring economic value and benefits to the Indian economy and contribute to the development process. The WMC Europe Region is taking an initiative in bringing these issues to a common discussion forum,” says Mr Johny Chittakkattu, Chairman of the WMC Europe Region.

``We are voluntarily involved in resolving the social issues of Keralites in Europe and help the Government of India missions to resolve NRKs’ problems here. We extend our social activities to our motherland, Kerala, by way of providing study material for schoolgoing kids, providing medical care for needy people, giving vocational training to empower the youth, alternative livelihood for families living in poverty, educational assistance, teaching the people to live in environmentfriendly circumstances etc,” says Mr Jobinson Kottathil, President. skills workshops for children. Today the challenges faced by NRIs are manifold. The last few years have witnessed a steady increase in the number of NRIs returning to India where they are forced to cope with many challenges whether they take up jobs or start their own businesses. It is against this background that the WMC Europe Region, together with its provinces in Europe and other Malayalee associations, is convening the Europe Pravasi Malayalee Sangamam2013 on June 8, 2013 at Dietikon, near Zurich, Switzerland, to address these issues. ``Although there are signs of recovery, many Indians are affected

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The meet will begin with a symposium focusing on the problems faced by the second generation of Europe Pravasi Malayalees. The interaction between WMC members from Kerala and Europe’s Malayalee youths will provide the second generation of Malayalees in Europe with a stage to understand our traditional culture and to compare the lifestyle of youths in Kerala and Europe. Sensing the moments of unity and love, a cultural meeting to be attended by eminent personalities from Kerala and Europe will also be held. Ministers, eminent politicians and renowned artists from Kerala will also participate in the Sangamam. Home Minister

May 31 - June 30, 2013

Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will be the chief guest. Other eminent invitees include Town Planning and Development Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali, Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob, MLA Monse Joseph, former Ambassador to Austria T P Sreenivasan and KPCC Secretary Padmaja Venugopal. Besides, celebrities from the visual media like singer-actor-director Vineeth Sreenivasan, anchor and singer Rimi Tomy, singer Pradeep Babu and comedian Ullas Pandalam will also attend the event. This cultural meeting will provide an open platform for the Europe Malayalees to discuss the problems they face in their adopted home. Issues like regulations and limitations of the OCI

card, inclusion of names in the voters’ list, supply card, possibilities of direct flights to Kerala from different European cities, dual citizenship, restrictions in carrying gold ornaments, updates on Kerala Air etc will be discussed during the session, says Mr Maju Peckal, General Secretary. “It will take a lot of courage and hard work, believing and achieving, patience and perseverance, inner strength and hope to achieve these goals. By working together, we are sure there is no limit to what we can achieve,” says Mr George Nambuseril, Treasurer


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Dr Pathrose Parathuvayalil awarded ‘Vagbhata’ for the best ayurvedic doctor-2012 D

r Pathrose Parathuvayalil has been awarded ‘Vagbhata’ for the best ayurvedic doctor in private sector by the Govt. of Kerala.It was considering his skills and expertise in the life science, his contributions to research and development for the production and manufacture of medicine and for promoting the significance of ayurveda nationally and internationally that the Government selected him for the award. Dr Pathrose Parathuvayalil BAM. MD(ay), 67 has been a renowned name in the ayurvedic healthcare industry, Managing Director and Chief consultant of Parathuvayalil Hospital, a trusted name since decades.

Dr Pathrose is indeed a great relief for those who are prescribed to undergo a surgery in orthopedic ailments. The great and glorious saga of Parathuvayalil Ayurveda Hospital, dates back to 175 years. It was started as a village clinic to radiate its native innocence by using nature’s gifts by blending natural herbs and shrubs according to the vedic science of longevity—ayurveda. The village, where the hospital is located, traditionally known as the lower ‘illam’ of the ‘illams’ of Namboothiris, Keezhillam, just 20 km from both Kochi International Airport and the Aluva railway station and is situated enroute Perumbavoor-Muvattupuzha along the Main Central road.

With lessons of philanthropy and traditional practices of curing passing down to generations, Parathuvayalil hospital has been living progressively within the community , providing dedicated treatments along with the state- ofthe- art facilities.

Parathuvayalil Ayurveda Hospital is one of the most trusted healthcare centres for effective ayurvedic and modern medical treatments in the country. Dr Pathrose succeeded his father, the late Poulose Vaidyan, who initiated the humble beginning of Parathuvayalil Hospital in 1955. Both Poulose and Pathrose’s grandfather, the late Varkey Vaidyan, were ‘marma’ specialists. Today the venture stands rechristened ‘Dr Pathrose Parathuvayalil Group’ comprising of Pam Labs India Healthcare Pvt Ltd for the manufacture of ayurvedic medicines, Herbix India Pvt Ltd for marketing the products and Ortho Care Products Pvt Ltd for techno-medical products. According to Dr Pathrose, many more are on the way. The very famous and popular abdominal binder In-shape is Dr Pathrose’s latest innovation, which has proved very successful in helping bulging bellies to subside. Pam Labs Healthcare Pvt Ltd is the only Indian ayurvedic pharmaceutical company recognized by the Department of Health, Oman, for supplying medicine across the Middle East. The lab is producing 350 medicines, of which 50 are patented. The 100-bedded multispeciality ayurvedic hospital has all modern amenities. The Department of Modern Medicine under the same roof has casualty care for all 24 hours a day. It is acclaimed as a referral centre and the last resort of patients given grave prognosis by specialists in neurology and orthopaedics. The Pharmaceutical Division has many firsts to its credit like the sophisticated de-mineralization plant to process water which ensures freedom from mineral toxicity, hypothermic fermentation chambers ensuring higher fermentation efficiency

and a dedicated pre-processing plant to ensure total hygiene and dust-free processing area.

Ortho-Care Products (P) Ltd, the youngest company in the Parathuvayalil Group, is a frontrunner in manufacturing, marketing and export of orthopaedic appliances of crepe bandages. ‘Action Crepe’, the flagship brand, strictly conforms to British Pharmacopoeia standards of elasticity, porosity and weight per unit area. Superlative quality standards ensure ortho-care products to a position of prominence and leadership. The In-shape Elastic Abdominal Binder is a specially designed, scientifically proven orthopaedic product, helping to maintain one’s body shape easily. It is a medically prescribed orthopaedic product, is 100% safe and was designed and developed after years of research work. The professional expertise of Parathuvayalil Hospital helps in curing muscular-skeletal disorders such as prolapsed disc, cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis and joint arthritis. Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity are effectively treated here. The hospital has remedial measures for varicose ulcers and wounds which don’t heal easily and for skin allergies. Moreover, very few places have expertise in healing traumatic conditions like fracture, sprain and dislocation without surgery, which are healed with the help of advanced equipment at Parathuvayalil. Parathuvayalil is considered by many as the last word for any orthopedic disorders. The institution has a team of wellexperienced and specialized ayurvedic doctors under the leadership of Dr Pathrose and is equipped with all modern facilities of ayurveda. It is also running Government-recognized

courses in ayurveda therapy. Despite the strict principles ayurveda follows in procedures, Parathuvayalil has modern techniques to facilitate cure. After

years of research Dr Pathrose has designed and developed a ‘pizhichil machine’ to make pizhichil easier. Dr Pathrose’s wife, Dr Prasanna, an MBBS, takes care of the allopathic department. Her service is available at the hospital round the clock. The couple has three children— Dr Sunil Paul, an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Sonia Prem MDS, and Sofia Abraham, a BTech with an MBA. His only daughter-in-law, Nina Sunil, is a BTech with an MBA assisting the family in managing the group.

Though Parathuvayalil Hospital is expanding periodically in terms of wellness and infrastructure, its services are affordable even to the laymen. Independent cottages in the hospital campus are intended to cater to both native and foreign patients. Besides treatments, the management is all set to provide world classtourism experiences at Parathuvayalil Hospital, according to Dr Pathrose (mail@paruthuvayalilhospital.com)

May 31 - June 30, 2013

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di Shankara Institute of Engineering & Technology (ASIET) was established at Kalady in 2001. ASIET soon became the most-soughtafter institute in the technical education sector in Kerala. Run by Adi Sankara Trust, a registered trust which has made an indelible imprint on the educational arena, the college is affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, and approved by AICTE, New Delhi. In 201112, about 300 students got employment through placement facility. Dr B S Krishnan They were absorbed in TCS, Godrej, HCL, UST Global, South Indian Bank, Federal Bank and ICICI. Every year the college conducts a national technical cultural festival called Brahma. Brahma-2012 was conducted from March 15-17. A total of 1,391 students from 69 colleges participated in various competitions in Brahma-2012. One day of the festival was devoted to pure classical arts and this was for creating interest in all classical arts forms in professional students. Special workshops on robotics, ethical hacking and signal processing are conducted by experts from Dr S G Iyer IIT-Bangalore and IIT-Kharagpur. Special refresher courses on information security are conducted under the auspices of C-DAC, Thiruvananthapuram, for the staff of the college. At present the management of ASIET is in the hands of Dr B S Krishnan, the Managing Trustee. The college is headed by the electronics wizard, Dr S G Iyer, the Principal, who is ably assisted by a group of young, dedicated and competent faculty.

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Adi Sankara Trust was set up with the blessings of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Sankaracharya Mahaswamikal of Sringeri Sarada Peetham and guided by the great vision of Adi Sankara. The trust today owns five prestigious educational institutions— Sree Sankara College, Sree Sarada Vidyalaya, Adi Sankara Institute of Engineering and Technology, Adi Sankara Institute of Management and Technology and Bharathi Theertha Education Society. Inspired by the ancient philosophy of Adi Sankara, the trust keeps the light burning for the generations to come. It has been a pioneer for the last 50 years in catering to the growing demands of highly specialized science graduates and technologists. The objectives of the trust include the bringing of excellence in engineering, agricultural and medical fields by organizing higher education courses in these areas. The trust also plans to run educational institutions and hostels akin to the ancient `gurukulas’. It stands for secular moral values, giving importance to Indian culture. Popularizing Sanskrit education and in-depth study of Vedanta thought is another objective. The college offers value-added education in the following disciplines Undergraduate courses: 4 Year (8 semesters) BTech degree courses in Applied Electronics and Instrumentation; Electronics and Communication Engineering (two batches); Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical and Electronics Engineering; Information Technology; Mechanical Engineering; Civil Engineering. Fee waiver scheme: From 200809 a new scheme has been launched. Meritorious but economically backward students will be exempted from paying any tuition fee at all. Two seats are reserved for girls and one seat for a physically handicapped student in each branch of the BTech class. Special features of MBA courses: Eminent faculty having industry and academic experience; guest lectures by experts from the fields concerned,

May 31 - June 30, 2013

Many firsts to its credit ASIET is the first new-generation engineering college to get ISO 9001:2000 certification First self-financing college to implement Campus Connect soft skill program partnering with Infosys First self-financing engineering college to get four university ranks in the first outgoing batch First new-generation engineering college to achieve an overall pass percentage of 95 consecutively from the first batch First self-financing engineering college to be visited by the President of the country for interaction with the students First self-financing college in Kerala to get special recognition from the CMD of Brahmos, Dr A S Pillai; the CEO of Infosys, Dr Shibulal; to the projects done by engineering students of Adi Shankara industrial visits to facilitate industry interactions; case method of teaching and learning to impart practical knowledge; frequent conduct of seminars on various management topics. • Effective participation in management fests; placement training by accredited trainers; placements offered by reputed organizations for performing candidates. Department of Management Studies: The MBA course was started in the institute in 2001 and the programme is recognized by AICTE and affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. At present fourth and fifth batches of MBA students are being skilled in various disciplines of management. Salient features of ASIET: Highly qualified and dedicated faculty; stateof-the-art laboratory, library and workshop facilities; ultramodern classrooms with latest teaching aids like P3 ceramic boards, public address system and LCD projectors; fully air-conditioned and well-furnished seminar hall and

conference rooms; ample provision for sports, games and cultural activities; institution-industry interaction; mandatory regular industrial visit; guest lectures by industry/commerce experts. Research Centre: The Centre for Research in Information Security in ASIET is meant to inculcate innovative practices among students. The institute’s intention is to make it a centre of excellence in the horizon of advanced computer science and engineering. The centre is equipped with state-ofthe-art facility in design, development, testing and evaluation of research projects. The main areas of focus are information security, image processing and data mining. The infrastructure of the research centre will cater to the needs of various research projects of the engineering students. The centre will function in collaboration with various industrial establishments, educational institutions and research organizations of esteem. PG courses in engineering: MTech Computer Science was started with the first batch having 18 students. The Research Centre in Computer Science was inaugurated by the former President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, on October 13, 2010; MTech in Electronics & Communication: Specialization VLST & Embedded System; MTech in Electricals & Electronics: Specialization in Power System & Power Electronics; MTech in Communication Engineering. Companies which visited ASIET till 2012: Oracle, Infosys, Perot Systems, TCS, CTS, Caritor, Convergys, Sonata Software, Hexaware, Trivitron Biomedicals, NeST, Sify, UST Global, Reliance Communications, HCL, Wrench Solution, PCIL, L&T Infotech, Lycatel, Sutherland Global Services, IBM, Tata Elxsi, Godrej Infotech, Apollo Tyres, Slash Support, Shri Ram Group of Companies, Subex Azure, Fifth Generation, Financial Technologies, Erbis Biomedical, Syntel, Federal Bank, South Indian Bank, HCL Technologies, Orion India, ICICI Bank, IGate Patni, HDFC Standard, IBS, Sysbiz, Thyrocare.


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Mar Augusthinose Towards greater

glory and excellence M

ar Augusthinose College, one of the most-sought-after colleges in the self-financing sector, was started in 1995 when valuebased quality education was not available in Kerala. The initiative of a new college at Ramapuram came from St Augustine’s Forane Church, which formed an educational trust to further the establishment of a temple of learning in the higher education sector. The college commenced functioning with four degree courses and a meagre 100 students. After 17 years of fruitful existence, the college now boasts 13 degree and postgraduate courses with an intake of over 1,700 students trained by more than 100 members of staff in various disciplines. Affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, the college has grown into an educational hub.

It was Rev Fr Augustine Perumattom, the Vicar of Ramapuram Forane Church, who took the bold step of starting a centre of higher education at the sylvan village of Ramapuram in 1995 and the successive managers did contribute their mite to the emergence of a highly successful institution of higher learning. Rev Fr Cyriac Kunnel mobilized men and materials to make the dream come true. Rev Fr Mathew Narively who took over from Fr Cyriac Kunnel was instrumental in adding several new-generation courses to the academic spectrum of the college. Very Rev Dr George Njarakunnel, a visionary philosopher noted for his efficiency and hard work, is the present Manager who leaves no

Rev Dr George Njarakunnel

stone unturned for the growth of the college. Named after St Augustine, the college has already staked its claim to greatness in the field of academic excellence. During the very short span of 17 years, the college has secured 56 ranks in various university examinations and quite a couple of A grades in the new evaluation system of CBCSS. South Indian Bank, Wipro, UST Global and Infosys are just a few business and banking conglomerates which visit the campus of Mar Augusthinose for their placement requirements. A host of intellectual and political luminaries have visited the college in the

Augusthinose has a very good library of more than 15,000 books on various subjects of modern relevance. The college has very wellequipped computer, electronics and biotechnological labs. It arranges seminars and interactive conferences almost every week to train the young

minds in moral and spiritual values and is efficiently supported by a dedicated team of priests, sisters, academics and professional experts, whose untiring and inspirational approach would, sure enough, be an asset to the institution in its search for greater glory and higher excellence in education in the days to come

past several years. Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, former President, G Madhavan Nair, former Chairman of ISRO, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Chairman of Infosys, and Dr Michael Tharakan, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kannur, are just a few worth mentioning. The college also pays much attention to extracurricular activities, sports, games and cultural activities. The management remains focused on the overall development of the scholars entrusted to its care. The heart of every academic institution is the library where the students can dive into the past, meet thinkers and writers of yesteryear and assimilate their thoughts. Mar May 31 - June 30, 2013

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way from the hustle and bustle of Tiruvalla town, the cultural capital of Central Travancore, is a lush, green expanse of land dotted with verdant mounts. The area resembles an ashram. Go closer still; you will realize that you are on a college campus. The modest village is called Tholassery, 3 km from the town.

Macfast is soon to commence its most novel and job-oriented course—MBA in Biotechnology. The syllabus has been submitted to the university and the institution is waiting for the statutory approvals.

buys gas cylinders from the public distribution system. It cooks food for 500 people with the gas generated by this. All the waste including toilet waste is used for it.

The campus is that of Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies Tiruvalla, better known as Macfast. The sprawling campus of 3,50,000 sq ft of built-up area on 8 acres of land houses an elegant, state-ofthe-art multi-storey building. A postgraduate institute started in 2001, Macfast has grown within a decade into one of the topmost professional and research institutes in Kerala with national and international repute, superior infrastructure and highly efficient faculty members.

According to Dr Jose Mathew, Director, Macfast is expanding its activities to Kochi. Its Kochi centre will be opened in the city soon, says Dr Jose Mathew. If you are a radio listener and carry a portable radio or a mobile phone with a radio headset it will provide you with more information about the place and organization from the progrmmes broadcast from Macfast On-campus Community Radio Station. Radio Macfast 90.4 is the first on-campus community radio in the state and the 46th in the country and ensures its extensive presence in Central Travancore (parts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kollam, Idukki and Kottayam districts) by enthralling around 15 lakh listeners.

These are activities usually done by Government agencies or local self-government bodies. But here the protagonist is a reputed college which is a trendsetter in education that conducts business courses other than science courses.

Macfast offers specially designed courses in Business Management, Information Technology and Biosciences. Its MCA programme offers 60 seats and MBA 120 seats every year. Says Rev Fr Pradeep Vazhatharamalayil, Principal, “We make every effort to prepare the students to cope with the organizational and social requirements of the future and mould them into responsible managers. They are taught to equip themselves for this and tested in the most Macfastian learning and experimental learning environment. Macfast strives to groom its students to meet the challenging demands of the corporate and scientific world. Its MBA students have been consistently ranked very high for years. In 11 years, its score is 62 top rankings—MBA 10, MCA 4 and Biosciences 48. All the PG science courses are research-oriented and Macfast has a university-approved research centre with all the advanced facilities and equipment. The State Government has recognized and also funded the centre. There are 500 students on both its campuses: main campus (MBA and MCA) and bio-campus (MSc in Bioinformatics, Plant Biotechnology, Food Science and Technology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Phytomedical Science and Technology). Students from other states are also studying there.

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May May 31 31 -- June June 30, 30, 2013 2013

Keeping its strategy of infotainment, Radio Macfast broadcasts a wide range of diverse and interesting programmes. The tagline Nattukarkku Koottayi comes true here as a partner of the local people in all walks of life. It strives towards creating a civil society with a growing sense of community values, irrespective of caste, creed, age, gender or education. Radio Macfast has launched a project, ‘Clean and Green Tiruvalla’, which aims to make a model environment that is waste-free, clean, green and healthy. The concept is meant to encourage waste management at the source itself. The project gives utmost importance to conducting awareness programmes in schools and colleges and preparing the young minds in waste management and energy conservation. ‘Clean and Green Tiruvalla’ propagates the principle of 6 R`s in waste management—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Repair and Rethink—thereby developing a sustainable model for waste management. It proposes master plans like Haritha Vihar, Green School and Clean and Green Campus for creches, schools and colleges, respectively. Macfast has reached yet another acme by claiming the position of being the first solar campus in the country. The project envisages utilizing alternative sources of energy for a sustainable future and has a capacity of 30kV. Another Macfast first is that it is the distributor of the Hollywood blockbuster movie The Passion of Christ directed by Mel Gibson. Its marketing is undertaken by the college’s MBA students apart from the experimental learning in the college. Macfast also plans to start an eco-friendly, hygienic, clean slaughterhouse of international standards jointly with Tiruvalla municipality. “We have discussed the proposal with the municipality and it is wholeheartedly supporting it,” says Fr Pradeep. The institution totally depends on indigenously created biogas for all its cooking purposes. It never

Macfast is owned and managed by the corporate educational agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tiruvalla, with His Grace Dr Thomas Mar Koorilos as the President and Patron. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mulamoottil is the founder of the Macfast and was the Principal till 2011. In the past 76 years this agency has contributed to the establishment of a large number of schools, colleges, hospitals and medical and paramedical institutions throughout the country. The globally reputed Pushpagiri Medical College at Tiruvalla is owned and managed by the archdiocese. With 220 personal computers and in comfortable setting, the college makes learning enjoyable. Macfast Industry Interface (MII), inaugurated at Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, by Aswathy Thirunal Gowri Lakshmibai, is a unique initiative aimed at collaborative learning for students with multinational companies at Technopark and Infopark, Kochi, and other industrial enterprises. The MII training programme is a trendsetting practical approach to bridge the gap between industry and business. This rises to a robust and modest long-term interrelationship between industry and academe leading to a win-win situation for both. Mr Dilip Koshy, Corporate Trainer, an MBA topranking candidate, talks about his experience in the college: ``It was Macfast which was the launch pad for my career and which gave me the confidence to take the entrepreneurial route. I found the right platform here to learn. This also helped me to get the ranking in the university exam. That is why I think that Macfast is a trendsetter in education.” Macfast `Biocampus’ offers six PG courses in Biosciences with ultramodern biofacilities. The courses offered are MSc Bioinformatics, MSc Plant Biotechnology, MSc Food Science and Technology, MSc Biochemistry, MSc Biotechnology and MSc Phyto-


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medical Science and Technology. The college has an R&D centre approved by M G University, Kottayam, with various research projects recognized by different Government agencies. Ms Caroline Koshi, the top-ranking student in Bioinformatics who is also a PhD student, says, “The highlight of my studies at Macfast is that we are encouraged to go for national-level conferences even as MSc students. This opened many avenues laying the foundation for my career in research.’’ Macfast library has 25,000 reference books on various subjects and volumes in German. Macfast’s academic publications in German on science, technology and management have wide circulation. Rev Fr Pradeep Vazhatharamalayil, the youth icon among principals of business schools in Kerala, is so young, so energetic and so talented that he is a role model for the younger generation. Fr Pradeep adds, ``We would like to acknowledge the commitment, the hard work and the enthusiasm shown by the leaders and faculty members of the institute. The periodical meeting of the entire faculty members to evaluate the teaching methodologies and if necessary to redefine the relentless leadership of Macfast of course remains unchallenged.” ‘War against Drugs’ is a campaign to convey the anti-drug message to the schools, colleges and nearby community to highlight the dreadful effect of drug use. Drugs are a menace slowly killing a person mentally as well as physically making him totally inhuman. It becomes a habit very easily and unknowingly among both the educated and illiterate young

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people. Hence this year Macfast started a campaign titled `War against Drugs’. A plastic shredder unit has been installed in the municipal area which makes plastic disposal safe. This unit has the capacity to process 250 kg plastic materials an hour. Well-cleaned plastic bottles and covers can be processed through this shredder. It will crush down plastic into small particles that have huge demand in the recycling industry. It can even be used for road tarring. Now plastic from different parts of Tiruvalla is processed here. An initiative, ‘Plastic Koottukar’, a solution to plastic, started in schools, enables students to collect and sell plastic and earn money. An energy conservation project has been launched in association with the Kerala State Electricity Board, the Education Department and the State Energy Management Centre. In connection with this project, an energy diary is distributed to students for entering daily electricity consumption. This practice will prompt them to reduce energy consumption and save energy. This project has been implemented in five schools. The Clean and Green Training Team has been formed to strengthen awareness about ‘Clean and Green Tiruvalla’, under which 45 resource persons are selected from different areas. They are now equipped to lead awareness classes and seminars.

The Zero Waste Revenue Tower Project’s aim is to develop the Revenue Tower as a model Government office which is situated in the heart of the town. Followed by the awareness camps and discussions with the office-bearers of the Revenue Tower, a survey has been conducted. A comprehenHighlights of Macfast sive plan was prepared and submitted to the Dis• Its student learning focus is based on: faculty become trainer, coach and trict Collector, municipal mentor authorities and the Rev• Macfast Centre for Research and Development (MCRD) offers PhD proenue Divisional Officer. In grammes the light of the report, the • Macfast Industry Interface (MII) at Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, and RDO proposed a meetInfopark, Kochi ing with the Collector to discuss the action plans. • Digital library Additionally, the Housing • Wi-Fi campus with 12 Mbps leased line internet connection (24x7) Board has done a clean• State-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities ing programme at the • Modern well-equipped analytical and food processing laboratories Revenue Tower and identified an area to keep all • Food science and technology pilot plant the abandoned vehicles. • Plant biotechnology and molecular biology laboratories • Herbal garden and raw drug museum • Soft skills development supported by a fully equipped language laboratory • Career management centre • Macfast Entrepreneurship Development Club (EDC) • Virtual Technology Business Incubation Centre (TBI) • Community radio—Radio Macfast 90.4 • The biggest solar-powered campus in Kerala

A documentary on ‘Clean and Green Tiruvalla’ has also been released. This is an effort to intensify the awareness programme and make it more attractive. It has been distributed to the public and screened in various places.The

video documentary includes a message and it demonstrates different waste treatment technologies. Road shows/competitions and rallies were organized as part of the outreach event of the clean and green city project. The free heart operation programme, ‘Hrudaya Spandanam’, is one of the social responsibility activities of Radio Macfast in association with Pushapgiri Medical College and different stakeholders of the radio. One surgery costs around Rs 1,50,000. The scheme envisages offering 50 free heart operations for those who are in need. So far 10 people have been successfully treated under ‘Hrudaya Spandanam’. The members of the academic council of Macfast are eminent and prominent personalities re-

spected in the fields of their activities. Dr M S Swaminathan, agricultural scientist of international repute, is the patron of the council, Mr M S Valiathan, A Padma Vibhushan awardee, the National Chairman, and Mr M V Pailee, who has received the Padmabhushan, the Co-chair. “We are starting an incubation centre on campus to augment entrepreneurship among the students who have innovative business plans and ideas. For three years the institute will provide them with space and other required amenities, including assistance from faculty members. The Government is ready to fund these types of startups liberally,” says Fr Pradeep. “Our campus is a student-initiative one. We instigate the students to be environment-friendly and socially committed. Along with their studies we teach them the importance of clean surroundings which instils in them a sense of community service. When they become CEOs or heads of organizations after their studies, the experience they gained at Macfast will surely help them, `My Macfast My Future’ is the mantra of the students. adds Fr Pradeep. May May 31 31 -- June June 30, 30, 2013 2013

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Nest Infratech for world-class dwellings in planned locations N Jehangir

Althaf Jehangir

Shameir Marickar

est Infratech is the realty and infrastructure division of the multinational billion-dollar Nest Group conglomerate. Established in 1991, the group has today become a multifaceted information technology company with headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia, and offices in Europe, Japan, India, the Middle East and Australia. Nest Infratech offers exclusive living spaces at planned locations across India. It was after setting benchmarks in all the areas it touched that it entered the realty sector with the launch of Nest Infratech. It is powered by the dynamic character and vision of its directors, Dr Javad Hassan, Chairman; Jehangir, Managing Director; F M Shameir Marickar, Director and CEO, Nest Infratech; and AlthafJehangir, Executive Director, Nest Group.

Nest Infratech is pioneering the concept of integrated townships in the name and style ’The World’. These world-class integrated townships comprising Mediterranean, English style, contemporary and traditional Kerala Nalukettu villas and luxury apartments ranging from Rs 29 lakh are its unique features.

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`The World’ spreads over an area of 25 acres. Presently ‘The World’ concept is being launched in Aluva and Thalassery and will soon be replicated in all major cities of India.

Javad Hassan: from engg career to bldg empire Dr Javad K Hassan started his career in IBM in 1968 as an engineer and went on to become the Corporate Head of Engineering and Technology at the company’s world headquarters in New York as well as the Head of its storage business. An IEEE fellow, he joined AMP Inc, the world’s largest electronic components company, in 1988 as it Corporate Head of Technology.

The Electronics City coming up at Kalamassery is among Nest Infratech’s projects. The first special economic zone in the private sector in Kerala, it is a Rs He diversified AMP into fibre optics and wireless tech2,500-crore state- of-the-art project with nologies and built that business to an over $1.5 billion-doltwo million sq ft of notified space for eleclar company. tronic hardware manufacturing, software He retired from AMP as President of Global Inter Conand information technology-enabled sernect Systems in 1988 and started his career as an entrevices, 1.5 m sq ft of shopping mall space preneur in his own right, starting the Nest Group. with multiplex, world-class exhibition and convention centre, five-star hotel, apartments, commercial office spaces and Campus Woods is coming up on one acre of residential condominiums. ‘Electro Ville’, the lat- land adjoining the Cochin University of Science And est project, is a luxury apartment that takes shape Technology(CUSAT) at Kalamassery. The locaat Electronics City, Kalamassery, which is one of tion provides proximity to the city of Kochi and the Kochi’s most elite residential neighbourhoods. towns of Edappally and Aluva but is insulated from Another project, ‘Orchid Park’, is a superluxury apartment project at Kalathypady in Kottayam, just 5 minutes away from the railway station and bus station. JKH Signature, an ultraluxury waterfront apartment project on the banks of the river Periyar at Aluva, is unparalleled in respect of finishing and amenities. It is a dream project conceived by Dr Javed K Hassan and consists of two air-conditioned pent houses and 46 residential apartments. The dwellings will be personally allotted by the Chairman to each fortunate aspirant selected by a panel of experts based on certain criteria.

the hustle and bustle of city life, presenting a serene and sunny atmosphere. Each apartment block will have around 30 units with a range of options starting from 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms facilitating ample scope for selection based on personal tastes and budgets.

Nest offers services on interiors, home loan arrangement, tips on home buying, property management and awareness. Nest’s Project and Asset Management Agency offers a complete range of after-sales services

Bank of Baroda: India’s international bank

ank of Baroda, India’s international bank,is the largest public sector bank after State Bank of India (SBI).With 100 overseas offices spanning 28 countries across seven continents, it has been serving the Indian diaspora for the last seven decades. Its international presence includes the world’s major financial centres - New York, London, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. It has wide presence in African and Gulf countries and the Asia pacific region.Bank of Baroda is pursuing an ambitious overseas expansion plan by identifying more overseas centres to serve its 45 million global customers in still better S R Kamath ways. In a recent interview with PASSLINE, Mr S R Kamath, Regional Head of the bank, said, “We have 87 branches spread across 14 districts in Kerala and have total business worth over Rs 6,200 crore. Our focus is on retail business, MSME and agriculture. We are also keen to finance large projects if they are

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May 31 - June 30, 2013

bankable and if they are on our priority list. Our Bank has received several accolades and awards in the last three years from reputed print and visual media. It gives me immense pleasure to share with you that our bank has been judged as the best in the large banks category for the last two years consecutively. It has also received the Best Bank award instituted by the State Forum of Bankers Club, Kerala, for two consecutive years.” About the performance of the bank, Mr Kamath said it has crossed the Rs 8,00,000-crore mark in total business. It has a domestic branch network of over 4,200. The plan is to increase the number to 5,000 by the end of the current financial year in South India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it has about 500 branches. Twenty more branches and 40 ATMs will be opened in Kerala before the end of the current financial year. NRI business, Mr Kamath said, constitutes about 45% of the bank’s total deposit. The bankis present in all key NRI centres in Kerala like Tiruvalla, Changanassery, Chengannur and Pathanamthitta providing personalized services to NRI Malayalees and their people. “Bank of Baroda is a household brand for Ma-

layalee NRIs. The major chunk of Malayalee NRIs are resident in Gulf countries, where we have 16 branches in the UAE, four in the Sultanate of Oman and many associate offices across the GCC countries. The bank has plans to open a branch in Saudi Arabia, “ Mr Kamath said. About the new banking licences he said: “New private banks are welcome as they will provide healthy competition and choice to customers. I do not personally see any immediate threat to PSU banks and more so to our bank as any new entity takes time to build a network of branches across India especially in rural areas and small towns. However, I can see intense competition in the Indian banking field once new private banks start operating. This can also lead to more innovative bank products and services.” Bank of Baroda has recently launched a new fixed deposit scheme, ‘Double Dhamaka 765’, which is available to both non-resident and resident Indians. A deposit under this scheme gets doubled in seven years, six months and five days. The rate of interest is 9.34%, the highest in the industry, says Mr Kamath. Resident senior citizens get additional interest of 0.50%. “There has been good response from our customers especially from NRI customers in Kerala,” he says


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PROSI:Supermarket and charitable project four years PROSI has been conducting cooking classes on its premises. There are a maximum of 14 students in a batch, mostly Austrians. Chefs from different countries take classes.

Prince, synonym for charity

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hough it is not easy to succeed in a foreign country, PROSI Exotic Supermarket & Cosmetic World, the first exotic supermarket in Vienna, started in 1999, and its Managing Director Prince Pallikunnel are examples of how devotion, perseverance, politeness, obedience, charity and intimacy can achieve one’s goal. When Prince left his village Karuvakundu in Malappuram for Vienna the PG degree in Commerce was the only material possession he had. From the bitter experiences he had in life Prince had learnt how to turn failures into suc-

cesses and converted the first exotic supermarket in Vienna into a business empire called PROSI Exotic Supermarket & Cosmetic World. He decided that his venture should imbibe these valuable human attributes and choose the first letters of these—Politeness, Respect, Obedience, Service and Intimacy. And thus was born PROSI. PROSI offers for sale 6,000 items from 60 countries. The staff include, besides Indians, people from the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and Africa. PROSI serves recipes that suit the tastes of customers from different parts of the world and simultaneously holds cooking and yoga courses weekly for Viennese customers. For the last

Back in India, the tribals of Semili village in Madhya Pradesh can never forget Prince’s charity—he lived with them for three weeks to build houses for them in place of their dilapidated, leaky shelters. What inspired him to do this was a chance meeting he had with the Bishop of Indore Mission diocese, Mar Chacko Thottumarikkal, from whom he came to know of the plight of the tribals there. Prince decided to make Semili village his centre of activity.

The driving force behind Prince was his wife, brothers and sister who gave him unstinting support for his venture. His wife Shiji, younger brothers Siji and Sirosh and sister Betty are always with him, helping him in his efforts. With the marriage of his brothers and sister, PROSI grew in strength and manpower. Siji’s wife Shiny, Sirosh’s wife Rani and Betty’s husband Shaji also play vital roles in enabling PROSI to scale heights. Prince handles the complete administration of the business, public relations and also conceives new ideas.

of Commerce, President of the WMC Austrian Province and WMC Europe President. He has bagged the best

Prince is an office-bearer of the World Malayalee Council (WMC) Europe Region. Kala Vienna is a prestigious and the largest organization of Malayalees in Europe. Prince is its patron and soul.

businessman award and the best achievement award.

Prince has served as the Austrian representative of the World Chamber

A protagonist of arts and cultural programmes, Prince has formed an organization called `Kala Vienna’ to promote international arts and culture in Vienna

Semili village is a mission centre of Indore diocese which is inhabited by about 150 tribal families, 15 of them Christian. There is a church in the name of St Arnoldenar and a boarding house for boys in the area. Various mission activities take place there. It also has a dispensary. Fr Cyril Koottino, an SVD congregation member, is the parish priest. Sisters Sofia, Josaartho and Andro, members of the Franciscan Clara Congregation in Bhopal province, serve as missionaries. Prince could build houses only for five deserving tribal families from the fund set apart from the PROSI Charitable Project. He is said to be longing to build more such houses.

Support from family Prince was born to George and Mary at Karuvakundu in Malappuram as their eldest son. After completing MCom from N S S College, Manjeri, he started his career as a VHSC teacher at Balussery. Later he came to Austria as a computer student and got a job in a Vienna insurance company in 1994. In 1999 Prince started PROSI Exotic Supermarket & Cosmetic World. May 31 - June 30, 2013

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adhoo has carved a niche in the Indian market. It was a renowned name in Kerala for its beedis. However the flavour and fragrance of its product still pervades not in the form of beedis, but in its diversified products and services. Sadhoo, launched in Kannur in 1942 by a great visionary and re-

nowned entrepreneur in Malabar, the late P M Kunhiraman, had a modest beginning. In course of time, his innovative and enthusiastic descendants stepped out of the traditional in-

dustry into different fields like amusement park, community service, charity foundation and bicycle manufacturing in keeping with the changing trends and to provide quality solutions to the problems and meet the aspirations of a modern society using the most

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advanced trends in technology. This transformation in the business outlook and the dynamic leadership and overwhelming support of faithful customers are the sources of inspiration for the group to venture into new pastures. Mr P P Vinod, Managing Partner of the group, is a man of novel ideas and different thoughts. Under his stewardship, Sadhoo has changed a lot. With the active participation of domestic and global markets the group plans to reach out to the masses. With a powerful distribution network and a national resource base, the organization is trying to achieve its mission—to excel in the fields it has entered. It is this urge to excel that has propelled Sadhoo to record phenomenal growth. Sadhoo Merry Kingdom: When there are holidays, vacations or leisure time, entertainment or dining out is the buzzword of the times. That is why people resort to amusement parks or marriage halls or shopping outlets. While choosing an amusement park, location, access and amenities are the prime consideration of people. Sadhu Merry Kingdom is catering to the demands and tastes of such people. This most modern and refined water theme park is situated on a hillock at Chala Hills, 6 km from Kannur town/railway station or Kannur beach. Thus the location is ideal for the visitors to indulge in merry-making as the atmosphere is serene and the climate salubrious. Established in 2007, the park offers a wide variety of amusements, recipes and goods for a whole family. No wonder it has become one of the most exciting holiday destinations in South India. The park has 35 water and dry rides, two spacious restaurants, a shopping area, fascinating video/electronic games, thrill rides, family rides, live shows, water slides, a wave pool and much more. The outdoor location

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has modern facilities like oriental village architecture, blue lagoons, caring and devoted staff with a dress code at the service of the visitors inside the park, great hygiene and safety measures according to regulated standards and advanced ultramodern filtration and purification devices. The great rides are attractions that thrill the youth, teens, kids, adults and all members of families who can also indulge in Break Dance, Butterfly, Dashing Car, Giant Dinosaur and

Dragon, Family Pool, Gama’s Ship, Hillside Train, Jet Slide, Kids Pool, Multislide Columbus, Wonder Show, Revolving Tower, Thunder River, Water Pool, Jumping Frog, Skill Games, Amphitheatre, Open Air Theatre, Mount Chala Sculpture and Hanging Bridge are other attractions.

Sadhoo Bicycles The increasing demand for two-wheelers prompted Sadhoo to enter the bicycle trade. Sadhoo Bikes (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the Sadhoo Group, pedalled out the Sadhoo brand of bicycles in different ranges and colours. The company has marketed seven models of bicycles including geared ones and those with shock absorbers in the Rs 2,500-Rs 3,200 range in the initial phases.

Sadhoo Holistic Inn Mr P P Vinod has recently launched as his own venture a tranquil place where tourists and business people can relieve themselves of their stress and stay at a place of natural and village atmosphere. Here people can practice Yoga and meditation. A jogging track is set up for those who are interested in jogging. Lotus SPA is another attraction. There is a swimming pool. For those interested in cycling can avail of the free cycles provided at the INN. A simple vegetarian restaurant provides all sorts of vegetarian dishes, North Indian as well as South Indian. This place is only two km from Kannur Railway Station.

Sadhoo Foundation Sadhoo has been helping `sadhus’ (poor people) through its registered charitable trust Sadhoo Foundation, aiding the ailing and sick in society since its inception in 1997 by way of financial assistance to cancer, heart and kidney patients. A committee has been constituted to recommend genuine cases. The foundation has distributed cash benefits to 397 patients from the trust’s own fund. Sadhoo Foundation has been organizing various events and cultural programmes to meet the mounting expenses of such medical aid. Today Sadhoo is recognized and respected for its business ethics. Its value system, commercial and technical expertise, profitable and sustained business relationship are being acclaimed by satisfied customers which, according to the company, are the best rewards for its enduring efforts. Its aim has always been to expand beyond the horizon and seek a worthy place in this competitive world


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ARCET uplifting rural techs A

R College of Engineering and Technology (ARCET) has bagged the Dr K R Narayanan National Foundation Award for the best up-and-coming college for the year 2012. Union Minister Kodikkunnil Suresh handed over the award to Mr A R Anub, Chairman of ARCET, at a function presided over by Mizoram Governor Vakkom Purushothaman at Kollam recently. The award is given to prominent institutions/ personalities who excel in different areas of activity. ARCET is a private self-financing college approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and is affiliated to Anna University, Chennai. An ISO 9001:2008-certified institution, it was established in 2009 by A R Educational & Charitable Trust at Kadayam, near Kuttralam waterfalls in Tirunelveli district. Kadayam is 50 km from Tirunelveli, 120 km from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam and just 40 km from Aryankavu, a unique place with a highly conducive environment for studies.

classes and seminars by the renowned personalities in respective fields. According to Mr Anub, “our institute has a noble mission that makes our students serve and contribute to society especially to rural populace through higher education and also try to posA R Anub, Chairman ARCET re- sess total self- sufficiency in the cieving Dr K R Narayanan National areas of science and technology Foundation Award from nion Minister and management education. In Kodikkunnil Suresh its policy the management of ARCET always takes care “to seek, It also provides bus facilities for staff and students those who are to strive, to achieve and never to coming from nearby places. The yield on the quality of education”. institute has started its initiative for Its endeavour is to ensure the the placements for its students right educational and technological uplift from the inception of the institute. It of the needy students of the rural has taking strides for the developpopulation in the border areas of ment of personality, communicaboth Tamil Nadu and Kerala, says tion skills, technical presentation the management and group discussion by organizing

A R Anub, Chairman, ARCET It is not the degree that will make you employable but the knowledge that you gain and the way you apply the same for practical application for the benefit of society which makes a difference. Your attitude will determine your altitude. Beginning the education is by Choice and end of Education is Wisdom.

ARCET started with four branches of engineering UG courses—Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering—during the academic year 2009. Two more courses, BE Electrical & Electronics Engineering and ME Applied Electronics, were added later. Four more courses—BE Automobile Engineering,

BE Mechatronics, ME Computer Science & Engineering and ME Power Electronics— have been added during the academic year 2012-13. All the departments have wellequipped laboratories and workshops. ARCET is giving high priority for the physical and mental development of its pupil. A sprawling gym equipped with high-tech and most advanced facilities are in the campus at the disposal of the students. It also gives appropriate attention for the sports and games and the institute has the playgrounds suitable for all the sporting event. The highly dedicated, talented and intellectual faculty and other staff strive hard to impart quality education to the students and provide all other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The college has hostel facility for both girls and boys with the option for air – conditioned rooms and also providing high standard food without compromising hygiene. May 31 - June 30, 2013

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Kerala Dinesh a social monument T

he name Kerala Dinesh thrills smokers of yester year. The long beedis filled with tobacco flakes wrapped in tendu leaves in pink packs were ubiquitous till the end of the 1990s. Started in 1969 by the State Government, Kerala Dinesh Beedi Workers Central Cooperative Society was once famous for its beedis with specially blended tobacco. The society was the breadwinner for 42,000 employees till a few years ago. Thatsitu a t i o n changed by the end of C Rajan the 1990s. The beedi market became almostdefunct and survival of the society was at stake. But the far-sighted management swiftly started to cope with the times engaging itself in diversification. “Our first project under diversificationwas started with the launching of two food processing units – Dinesh

Foods at Thottada and Kanhira in Kannur district,”says Mr C Rajan, present Chairman and former Joint Director of the Industries Department.``In our units we produce the best-quality curry powders with Agmark – the high-quality certification of theUnion Government. Another benchmark for high quality internationally accepted certification HACCP is under implementation. Our processed fruit products have FPO licence also,” MrRajansays. Dinesh also entered the field of umbrella manufacturing by starting three units and also the IT industry in a big way. DITS (Dinesh Information Technology Service) is developing software for cooperative banks, multishowrooms and marketing firms apart from PGDCA courses and the Government-sponsored computer training. “Payyannur Cooperative Bank is using our software for its core banking solutions.Hanveev showrooms right from Thiruvananthapuram to Manjeswaram use our software to monitor their total sales. We are also forming a common data centre meant for cooperative banks, which is useful for them at the time of breakdowns in their system.

Meet on QFI investments IBMC Financial Professionals Group initiates the first Global Ambassadors Meet on QFI investments to India. IBMC Financial Professionals Group signed MOU with Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) institute to offer BSE Courses Overseas.

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Institute and IBMC Financial Professionals Group signed MOU during Global Ambassadors Meet 2013 on QFI investments to India on May 6, 2013 at Armed Forces Officers Club, Abudhabi, inaugurated by H E Hazza Mohammed Ali Dhaheri, Chairman & MD, IBMC Financial Professionals Group, on the auspicious presence of chief guest Mr Ashishkumar Chauhan, CEO Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Mr Cyrus Khampata, Executive Vice- President, Central Depository Services(India) Ltd, India, Mr Ambarish Datta, Managing Director and CEO, BSE Institute Ltd, India. Dr Tariq Nizami, Founder and CEO, CEO Clubs, UAE, Mr Sajith Kumar P K, CEO & Director, IBMC Financial Professionals Group. Mr Anoop P S, Chief Marketing Officer, IBMC Financial Professionals Group

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Our software will safeguard their data at the common data centre. This is a joint venture with IBM and discussions are going on. The development of software for online marketing and global positioning system for Kerala Transport Corporation is also in the offing,” the Chairman says.

power and high labour charges are the bane of the industry.

The labour charges in Kerala are very high compared to other states. Adhering to strict quality measures and high labour inputs make our products costlier than those of others. However, Dinesh always During 2007-2011 tries its best to stabilize Dinesh started three and control the price of state-of-the-art apparel curry powders, soapsetc manufacturing units at Mr K Prabhakaran as it sells them with the Kasaragod and Kannur least margin assuring with the approval of the consumers of the best Export Promotion Council, with imported machinery and equip- quality.“Above all, Dinesh is considment and exporting to the US, the UK, ered as a social monument and it continues to be so,” asserts Mr Rajan. Morocco, Dubai etc. Dinesh has a domestic turnover of Rs The garment units mainly make 45 crore and earns Rs 25 crore from shirts in the best cotton and linen for exports.It bagged the Energy Conbuyers abroad . “Forjobs in Dinesh servative Management Award for SSI units we always give preference ei- units during 2011-12 and the Food ther tobeedi workers or their sons and Safety Award fot 2010-11. daughters with all social security benMr K Prabhakaran, Assistant Diefits like provident fund, ESI, gratuity etc. Even Sunday wages are given rector on deputation fromthe Industo beedi workers apart from minimum tries Department,is the Secretary of wages declared by the Government the society from time to time. Shortage of man-


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F I S AT- u n i q u e o n i t s o w n

ederal Institute of Science And Technology, popularly known as FISAT, has emerged as one of the most-sought-after engineering colleges in the South. After the completion of final allotments of BTech admissions under the Government quota in 2012-13, FISAT has become the only private self-financing engineering college in Kerala with 100% admissions. The cream of students with top ranks in entrance examinations have opted for FISAT. In the management quota admissions too, many students with top marks have joined FISAT. The institute has attracted students from all over the state, as well as from the other parts of the country P V Mathew and abroad.

Quality education: In a competitive world, students are looking for quality educational institutions. In that direction, each student is confident about FISAT. The K S M Panicker quality of students coming in directly reflects on the results as well as on the placements. Better students bring better results and better placements. This in turn will attract better students again. From its first batch in 2006 onwards, FISAT secured colourful results and this year also FISATians won three top ranks in BTech and first rank in MCA. FISATians have also brought laurels by setting new records in placements. The Placement and Training Centre grooms students through a series of skill enhancement programmes to be the best with the right knowledge, skills and winning attitude. Research: Research and development activities are considered an essential component of higher education. The management aims to develop FISAT as a Centre for Doctoral and

Post Doctoral Research in the near future. Research activities on campus are taking wings in this direction. The ECE Department and CSE Department have already received funds from AICTE under the Research Promotion Scheme for strengthening research activities. FISAT Science & Technology Park and Research Centre is an ambitious project recently launched by Mr Kapil Sibal, Union Cabinet Minister, for inculcating a scientific bend of mind among young talents. FISAT is the only self-financing engineering college in Kerala having a super-computing system developed in-house. The research team CHPC is presently working on a new edition with increased storage capacity and double speed. HPCbased mobility backend and Android-based High Performance Computing and Porting Message Passing Interface to Android are some of the recent projects completed by CHPC. Recently CHPC has partnered with Tata Elxsi to successfully complete a project under the Industry Institute Partnership programme.

Collaborative linkage: Project ‘Ekalavya’ is an initiative of IIT-Bombay sponsored by NMEICT and funded by MHRD. Under this programme, IITBombay conducts ISTE workshops through various remote centres. FISAT is one of the approved remote centres of IITB. Recently FISAT has been selected by IIT-Kharagpur also as its remote centre FISAT is an approved Resource Centre of IIT-Mumbai for Spoken Tutorial project, an initiative of NMEICT, to promote IT literacy through free and open source software. The Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) is established to carry out this project. CCE organizes various short-term training programmes for faculty in engineering institutions, conduct curriculum devel-

opment workshops, develop WEBbased course materials and courses on topics of interest to the industry and research for faculty and students. CCE intends to promote FOSS by conducting evening classes for open sources tools like python, PHP, Java, C++ etc for teachers and students at FISAT and awareness programmes in schools and colleges in and around Ernakulam and Thrissur districts. The centre also plans to start skill development courses to employed people and issue certificates.

Value-added programmes: FISAT is now an online examination centre for GATE, MAT, CMAT, VIT, AIEEE, TCS,

TOI, HAL, IBPS-CWE etc. Professional student bodies like ISTE, IEEE, ISA and CSI and technical forums like Thyra, Echo, Electra, Idea, Matrix, Forum, MCA Association and Rolling Stone are very active in the college. The CSI Student Chapter had consecutively won the best student chapter award in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The ISTE Student Chapter and the IEEE Student Chapter had also been selected for Best Student Chapter Awards in the past on the basis of their excellent performances. The college conducts cultural festivals to showcase the talents and creativity of the students. Fisatians have won prizes in arts and sports at university-level competitions. Social outreach programmes: The social outreach programmes are unique to the campus and inculcate a sense of commitment among stu-

dents towards society. IT Vision 2012 was a joint venture of FISAT and MAS Club, Mookkannoor, to bring computer awareness to rural areas of Angamaly. Society for Communication and Overall Personal Enhancement (SCOPE) focuses on the social responsibility of students. It aims at the betterment of lives by carrying out community development programmes. FISAT Outreach Centre for Uplifting Science in Society (FOCUSS) aims at envisioning science in society. The nature club SWAN aims at creating a new generation of youth, which recognizes the importance of preserving nature and creates eco-friendly and green solutions. A high-tech green house project has been implemented on campus to inculcate and propagate the modern pollution and chemical-free agriculture in society. Decennial homes for homeless and a training centre for differently abled children are the new projects launched by FISAT in connection with the decennial celebrations. FISAT is the first engineering college to implement the AICTE tuition fee waiver scheme in the state for economically backward meritorious students. Further, the management offers full fee concession to top-rankers up to entrance rank 2000. Over 150 students in FISAT are studying under various scholarships in the college. Managed by a trade union on a ‘notfor-profit’ basis, FISAT has an unwavering commitment to serve society with a focus on excellence. Management: FISAT is the brainchild of Federal Bank Officers’ Association Educational Society (FBOAES), an initiative of Federal Bank Officers’ Association (FBOA), which is a registered trade union of officers of Federal Bank. Superb guidance and support by the dedicated team led by Mr P V Mathew, Chairman, Mr Anthony Johnson, Vice-Chairman, and other officebearers help FISAT achieve its goals. Situated in Hormis Nagar, Mookkannoor, near Angamaly, 40 acres of green lush campus has an ambience conducive to learning. A team of eminently qualified faculty with rich experience and high exposure is the backbone of the college. The Principal, Dr K S M Panicker, is heading the academic administration.

May 31 - June 30, 2013

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Zurich, Switzerland June 8, 2013

LAKESHORE GARDENS Villas for sustainable living

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lobal Heights Properties & Developers’ Lakeshore Gardens, a villa project, is located on the banks of the beautiful Vembanad Lake amongst some of the finest mangrove forests of the country on Cheppanam Island in Panangad in Kochi. Panangad is the new gateway to backwater tourism and it is located very close to all the amenities of Kochi with all parts within easy reach of the city. It is just a 15-to-20-minute drive from Vyttila, the transport hub of Kochi. “We stay by the customers and to the customers because the attention that has gone into each aspect of Lakeshore Gardens has been dictated by the needs of customers and our uncompromising insistence on quality. Each and every single detail has been arrived at after much study and deliberation—from the selection of the site to the design of the villas, the high-end amenities and the quality of construction,” says Cdr(Rtd) R M Nair, CEO & Director. As for quality of construction, the group has experience in the field for more than 30 years in all the segments in infrastructure development, be it residential or commercial. It also has the expertise in all aspects of managing this business—from design to sourcing, project planning, execution and quality control. More than 36% of the land area has been set aside for common functions, ie out of the five and a half acres, two and a half acres will be spared for common amenities and hence there will be seven-eight-metrewide internal roads and large areas of landscaped gardens. The unique design of the villas utilizes minimum land space accommodating all comforts of a villa, thereby apportioning the ideal areas for co mmon facilities. The project comprises villas with three floors. The Lakeshore villas designed to withstand the vagaries of Kerala’s sixmonth monsoon and hot, humid summers. While allowing for ample natural light and air, the design ensures pro-

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tection from heavy shine/rain. The builder has consciously stayed away from the recent trends in building designs and adopted cubism as these are best suited for colder climes. People prefer villas to enjoy the pleasure of garden that apartments cannot give. But most villa developments cannot afford to give garden areas because of space constraints. The uniqueness of Lakeshore Gardens is that the lightness of the structure and the greenery outside is replicated inside. From the front door one sees the pebbled garden between the living and dining rooms. Apart from this, both the living and dining spaces extend outwards green areas that not only provide for sunshine but also make the rooms feel bigger. Residents can enjoy the pleasures of a complete roof garden on the first floor adjacent to the master bedroom with full privacy and security. The open air garden can be used as a barbecue deck. The second floor has areas for entertainment and working. There is hall that can be used for a home cinema or a party gathering. A conveniently located utility area allows for clothe-line for drying clothes enclosed from public view. The world-class amenities are special to this project. First of all, it is the company’s role as caretaker. At Lakeshore Gardens, the segregated aged can live in dignity in their own homes with all the cure and care they need with 24X7 onsite facility managers for doctors on call, logistic support for outside treatment. Customers, especially NRI/NRKs and residents in other states, need not worry about the comfort and security of their parents living in the gated community. The automation solutions include medication reminders, alarm systems and internetbased monitoring facilities that allow customers in any part of the world to check the well-being of their beloved ones. In most villas, sick and ailing ones tend to be restricted to one floor. At Lakeshore Gardens, elder residents will have access to three floors

May 31 - June 30, 2013

The man of strategies

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dr (Rtd) R M Nair, CEO and Director— Strategies and Implementation, a defence personnel, who had served the Indian Navy as a top level officer, is the man behind the wheel of Global Heights’ exponential growth. A man of details driven by an iron-will to succeed, Cdr Nair carries with him the experience of more than 30 years in creating, developing and inspiring top class teams to make the impossible possible, in Cdr (Rtd) R M Nair the most disciplined way. During his tenure with the Navy, he has been Project Director for the prestigious Naval Academy project at Ezhimala in North Kerala. His meticulous approach towards adopting latest technologies in construction and keenness in procuring the most modern machinery and equipment makes Global Heights a forerunner in its business. Cdr Nair, the brain behind defining and adhering to the company’s vision and mission, is also adamant on using his expertise for developing the company’s human resources through timely and recurrent training sessions to both the technical and the non- technical staff. A globe- trotter in his leisure and an avid reader, Cdr Nair is constantly in the process of gathering information and analyzing the happenings around, enabling him to foresee things and organize himself to achieving his vision.. He is also the Director of Northstone Builders & Developers Private Limited, a well-established name in the area of government and private contracting and the Managing Director of Mediwings, a leading name in Pharmacy Distribution. of the villa because each floor is connected by a home elevator. Another feature is the ayurveda rejuvenation centre set up because of Lakeshore Gardens’ close association with one of the leading ayurvedic hospitals, Earth Hospital. This, along with the other high-end amenities at the site, truly gives a resort-like feeling to the customers. The inmates in Lakeshore Gardens will be fortunate to explore the water way around them and enjoy all types of water sports with anchoring space for private boats and storage area for other water sports equipment. This is going to be a premium facility and will allow people to once again start owning boats for pleasure as well as transport. It is also a great opportunity to initiate the children in water sports, angling etc. Keeping in mind that all people like to live in a clean, green surrounding Lakeshore Gardens is taking special care of the environment. “Our mantra to address the green building concerns is to reduce, recycle and reuse. To save water we will be using the most efficient taps like foam flow, restrictor or in some cases sensor-fitted taps. We will be using harvested water for our non-drinking purposes and whenever possible we will be recycling used water. With waste management, we

will follow the same motto of reduce, recycle and reuse. We will streamline waste segregation, storage and disposal, allocating separate facilities for disposing of biodegradable waste within the site and arranging for other waste to be transferred to outside facilities,`` remarks the CEO. The company is envisaging solar energy street lighting, water heaters etc in addition to solar panels on roof which can provide 2-3 KW of electric power to make the residents to be responsible to the environment and offer a high standard of sustainable living. Lakeshore Gardens provides aftersales maintenance services until such time as the home owners are fully capable of taking it over. The company also will give each villa owner complete ownership including handing over all drawings including structural drawings and electrical and plumbing drawings. “While choosing a home one must choose a builder with a good reputation, who can provide quality construction, prime location, desirable amenities and good arrangement for the management of the facilities in the gated community. We have planned to give all those and much more at Lakeshore Gardens which is truly a home for the discerning few,” ensures Cdr Nair.


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Housing – the growth segment M

ost of t h e smaller builders with smaller or lesser known brands have hardly sold any housing units in the past few months. They Vinod Ninan have a huge portfolio of projects in various stages of progress but hardly any takers signifying a marked slowdown in this segment of the realty market. Some of the bigger brands have fared much better. They have managed to sell a few units on the strength of their strong and well-

in The Economic Times dated May 2, 2013). This gives one an idea of the magnitude of the problem that has the potential to snowball easily into gigantic proportions. In all such situations of slowing demand the industry and builders’ associations approach the Government to cushion their pressure to some extent. They seek concessions of some form or another from the Government. Sometimes the government is generous with some concessions but to a large extent the Government is constrained to grant any substantial relief. Under such circumstances the builder has to devise a means to survive this downtrend which by all estimates is a just passing phase. The demand will come back when the slackness in the

The bottom segment is looking for some or all of the following aspects in their hunt

targeted range is Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh with areas 60 to 90 sqmt. per unit. Security within a gated area with proper security. Green compliant, with solar electricity, solar heating, Quality construction natural lighting, waste management. must have a good public transport link to facilitate Transport connectivity movement to places of work and town centre. play area and a place to congregate for social interacActivity centre tion. Affordable

established marketing teams and their sheer presence in a larger physical area of the market. The bigger brands also have a presence in the upmarket luxury segment. The demand for luxury and premium units seems to be still growing or at the least has remained stagnant. This segment is largely an investmentbased driven segment where the prime objective is returns on capital employed and occupancy levels in this segment is low in the 20% region. For example, one luxury apartment complex with over a hundred units has only seven of them occupied though all the units have been sold. This demand in the luxury segment, to a large extent, cushions the larger builders. Poor sales of units have however not led to any substantial reduction in prices of the units on offer. Rising input and higher labour costs will ensure that prices of units in Kerala will not see any downward correction in the near future. In spite of this most of the larger builders have had to offload some of their assets that they hold in the form of land bank to reduce loans and other liabilities. DLF sold approximately Rs 3,700 crore in real estate holdings during the April 2013 alone (See report

Land is available much cheaper than in city centre rates at places 20 to 30 km outside city limits. The Government must work to provide reliable public transport and treated water supply facilities to these areas. The building rules must be changed to reflect the need of this huge segment and these changes must incorporate the needs and aspirations of the buyer. In other words rewriting building rules by a Government engineer will not do. Imagination and a connection with ground reality are essential in redrafting the building rules and sadly both these traits seem to be missing in Government engineers. Availability of attractive housing finance options with low interest rates and extended repayment options will go a long way in making these units available and a buyable proposition. The Government has a role to play in the provision of the facility too.

The builders must work to build good, comfortable, quality lifestyle, green-compliant housing units for this segment. The demand in this segment is practically never-ending. It will grow at higher levels than the growth predicted for the Indian economy. The

margins that this segment offers to the builders will be lower than the other segments but the demand will be more or less constant offsetting the low-margin disadvantage with the steady demand advantage. A win-win situation for both the builder/developer and the buyer. (Author is the Chairman of Builders Association of India, Kottayam Centre)

form of excess availability is overtaken by enhanced sales of units. There is a segment which merits a look under such circumstances of poor demand of the middle-class segment of housing units. The existence of a large market in the bottom 30% of the housing market is there for all to see. A few of the builders have been concentrating on this segment where demand has been rising steadily. In a service industry-led growth model seen in Kerala, we see a larger percentage of population steadily graduating up the ladder of economic progress. Every year the demand for proper and quality-driven housing at the bottom end is growing. The Delhi Development Authority had done substantial work on these lines during the early 1970s. It developed fairly huge housing clusters which had a mix of different-sized units. These units were mostly ground plus three floor units which did away with the need for lifts and other major common monthly expenses. They were invariably located away for the city centres to keep costs down by looking at lower costing for land. This model could be adopted in Kerala too. May 31 - June 30, 2013

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NEWS

SBI policy `Life Shield’ selling online S

BI introduces new life insurance policy ‘Life Shield’ that can be purchased online. The new insurance was introduced by the SBI as part of competing with the leading brands who have already started online selling of term insurance policies. Term policies serve to the purpose of insurance as it is more insurance oriented than investment. The new policy includes two types of plans. One provides same coverage throughout the plan, while the other has provision to enlarge the coverage amount by increasing 10% sum as-

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Accident death rider is also available along with this plan. The insurance amount for this rider is Rs 50 lakh or the insured amount, whichever is less. The important advantage of online policies is that the premium is much lesser when compared to ordinary policies purchased at the insurance points. The minimum sum assured of the new policy is Rs 20 lakh while the maximum policy term is 30 years

Travel technology meet

ndia’s first international event on travel technologies will be held in Kerala with the objective of helping the travel and tourism industry leverage the massive marketing potential of the internet and social media. The International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT) India from June 7-9, 2013 at The Leela, Kovalam, will bring together subject experts from India and abroad, tour operators, hotel and resort owners, tourism marketing professionals, academics, researchers and think tanks to discuss evolving technologies and the opportunities they present for the tourism industry.

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sured at each 5 years without increasing the premium.

ICTT India is being organized by the Association of Travel Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI), a not-for-profit body working to promote responsible travel and sustainable tourism, with the support of Kerala’s Department of Tourism. Outstation delegates who register after paying up will be provided with accommodation on twin sharing, firstcome-first-served basis. A total of 400 seats are available. For registration details contact Sreeshma 9539156333 or log onto www.icttindia.org

Digicom reviving music album industry

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ere is a treat for music lovers in Kerala—‘Euphoric Love’ can be called a presentation of love on love for the love of music. It is a Malayalam music video album which is certain to be the flavour of the season. It is the first step in the direction of reviving the music album industry in Kerala by Digicom, which has been at the forefront of the information technology revolution in the state for the past 20 years. The romantic track ‘Nee Evidey’ sung by Karthik features lyrics by Vayalar Sharath Chandra Varma whereas Anoop K Sreedhar is the talent behind the lilting melodies.

Lulu Mall Business Head Shibu Philip receiving the best design award at Lulu is the only mall in India a function in Mumbai. designed by the world-renowned Atkins in an area comprising 25 gest ice-skating rink and bowling centre are the latest lakh sq ft floor space in 17 acres of land accommodating a wonderland of business and entertainment. The big- features of Lulu Mall

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May 31 - June 30, 2013

‘Euphoric Love’ is a sincere attempt by a talented crew comprising state award-winners to bring back the glorious days when music albums and music videos were the rage among the

The music video is directed by JoUnPn-tIm-an-sâ bq-t^m-dn-Iv eu- F-¶ ayq-kn-¡v BÂ-_w sIm-¨n tImÀ-¸-td-j³ sef, produced by S George for the story kv-äm³-Unw-Kv I-½-än sN-bÀt]-gv-k¬ {ioa-Xn ku-an-\n sP-bn³ {]-ikv-X Om-bm-{Km-l-I³Cochin {io A-g-I¸-\pCorporation \Â-In \nÀ-Æ-ln-¡p-¶p Standing k-ao]w UnPn-tIm-w by Sayanika George and the cinemaam-t\-Pnw-Kv U-b-d-ÎÀ sI tPmÀ-Pv, BÂ-_-¯n-sâ \m-b-I³ s_³-lÀ ]ų, Committee Chairperson Soumini kw-hn-[m-b-I ³ tPm-k^v, kwKoX kwhn-[m-b-I³ A-\q-]v sI {io[À. tography is by the renowned AlagapJain handing over Digicom’s Malaypan. Costumes made by S B Sathish alam music album `Euphoric Love’ for stars Benhur Pallan and Malavika by handing it over to cinematograNair. The video has been shot in a different manner at various locations in pher Alagappan in Kochi. Digicom Managing Director K George, hero and around Kochi. of the album Benhur Pallan, direcAs the name of the title track sug- tor Josef and music director Anoop gests, the story is about Abel who is K Sreedhar are also seen. in search of his teenage love Jessica. A flashback takes us through nostalgic youth. By launching this music album, moments of those schooldays when Digicom not only aims to strike a chord Cupid first strikes Abel. Then the story with young hearts but also to revive a brings us back to the present day when well-loved yet forgotten segment of the a now grownup Abel sets out on a jour- Malayalam music industry

Edapally Lulu Mall bags best design award

he largest shopping mall in India, Lulu International Mall, at Edapally in Kochi has bagged the best shopping centre award in the design category instituted by the Images Group. Lulu Mall Business Head Shibu Philip received the award at a function held in Mumbai the other day. The mall, designed to international standards, is the brainchild of EMKE Group Managing Director M A Yusuf Ali. Inaugurated nearly three months ago the mall has been visited by lakhs of people tillnow. This is the first time that a mall in Kerala is winning such an award.

ney in search of his love once again. The track evokes different emotions— giggles, tears and definitely nostalgia about ‘those fun years’.

Kitex sales turnover and net profit soar

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itex Garments Limited has clocked a sales turnover of Rs 317 crorefor the year ending March 31, 2013, against Rs 312 crorefor the previous year, resulting in a net profit of Rs 29.38 crore(Rs 27.11 crore). The company has become stronger during the year with reserves of Rs 117.6 crore and an increased book value of Rs 25.76 crore. The directors propose to pay a dividend of 80% as against 60% paid earlier. Managing Director Sabu M Jacob told the media in Kochi that the company projected a sales turnover of more than Rs 425 crore for the year ending March 31, 2014 with more than its own brand of toddlerwear during the thirdquarter of the year. The company’s products are available in almost 16,000 retail outlets across the US and Europe in different brand names. It plans its own outlets in New York and New Jersey during the year. It aims at becoming the No 1 in infantwear manufacturing in the next three years. Recently the company received the `Best Vendor of the Year Award’ from the US wholesaler Gerber International.


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Tvm round-up

ZHL & AMR training to save lives through CPR

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iqitza Healthcare Ltd (ZHL) which runs the Dial ‘108’ and ‘1298’ ambulance service in Kerala, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra and the American Medical Response (AMR) have united to train close to thousands of people across the above states to save lives through chest compression–only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in observation of the National Emergency Medical Services Week. As part of the initiative in Kerala, the training was conducted in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram in which about 80 people participated. In Thiruvananthapuram it was done in association with the ZHL staff of 108 ambulance service of Alappuzha. This initiative is being taken simultaneously along all

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the states where ZHL ambulance service is operational. “Our primary goal is to save as many lives as possible. We hope to get more people excited about learning CPR by being part of this event”, says Ms Sweta Mangal, CEO, Ziqitza Health Care Ltd. AMR represents the largest provider of emergency ambulance service in the developed world that responds to more than five million requests for ambulance service each year with over 18,000 certified emergency medical technicians, nurses and other people. AMR operates over 3,000 ambulances each day through 50 call centres spread across the United States and the Caribbean. AMR is a key investor in ZHL which is operating over 900 ambulances in India

KSIDC to tap solar power

he Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) is set to become the first public sector unit in the state under Industries Department to harness solar power. Industries and IT Minister P K Kunhalikutty the other day switched on the rooftop solar unit at KSIDC’s corporate office in Vellayambalam in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of senior officials including Additional Chief Secretary (Industries & Commerce) V Somasundaran and KSIDC Managing Director Tom Jose.

contains 250 Wp/240 Wp solar PV modules, 30 kVA and 10 kVA power conditioning units with battery backup. Modules with a combined capacity of 26 kWp have been installed on the roof of the main building and 6 kWp on the roof of adjoining canteen building. Lights, fans and computer loads are

“We are happy to take the lead among PSUs in switching to clean, alternative sources of energy,” said Mr Tom Jose. “With a tropical climate that provides abundant sunshine, the state can easily reduce its dependence on limited fossil fuel resources by harnessing solar power, Mr Tom Jose added.

connected to the system and will be fed directly by solar power during the daytime when sunlight is available. Additional load, if any, will be drawn from the grid.

The system installed at KSIDC

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State-owned Keltron commissioned the system and will take care of its maintenance and technical support. The SPV modules have a performance warranty of 20 years.

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Kerala Tourism’s green ad bags Olive Crown Award

erala Tourism’s print campaign on World Tourism Day last year that encouraged travellers to save precious rain forests through their simple and conscious actions has won the prestigious Olive Crown Award for communicating sustainability. Designed by STARK Communications, the print advertisement on September 27 last year

shows how a simple act like postponing a hotel laundry can help sustain rain forests. It was the only Gold Award in the Press Services category.

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The awards are given away by the India chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA). STARK Communications Associate Creative Director Ajith Gopinath received the award from Mr Piyush Pandey, a highly admired names in Indian advertising, and Mr Praful Patel, Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises M i n i s t e r, who was the Chief Guest at the awards ceremony, held in Mumbai recently. Kerala To u r i s m Secretary Suman Billa, Former Tourism Director of Kerala Rani George and CII West Chairman R Mukundan attended the function

Ayyappan is HLL Lifecare CMD for third time

r M Ayyappan, who transformed HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) into a global healthcare company with its portfolios ranging from a leading manufacturer of quality contraceptives

to interventions in public health programmes during the last one decade, has been given another extension as its Chairman and Managing Director by the Union Government.

Dr Ayyappan, who began his stint with HLL in 1991 as Marketing Manager, became its Managing Director in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, he rose to the pinnacle of its management hierarchy by becoming the CMD of the mini-Ratna public sector undertaking under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Under the stewardship of Dr Ayyappan, HLL Lifecare (formerly known as Hindustan Latex), a condom-manufacturer in the country, has become a healthcare behemoth and the sole PSU of its kind that has successfully forayed into areas like infrastructure development, consultancy, healthcare products, medical devices, healthcare treatment, blood bags, diagnostic services and vaccines

ASB grows an urban jungle on campus

sian School of Business (ASB), India’s first academic campus to be a LEED-certified green building and campus, has taken the initiative to grow an urban jungle on its campus at Pallipuram. The project will be implemented through Afforestt, a Bangalore-based

company that works with the vision of bringing back forests. “We work towards creating maintenance-free, selfsustainable greenery that will bring back our rich biodiversity,” says Mr Shubhendu Sharma, founder and Director of Afforestt.

He was speaking at a workshop on Natural Afforestation organized by ASB. “We have set aside a combined area of 5,000 square feet of land at the ASB and Trivandrum International School cam-

pus to create a multilayered green forest. This is also our support for social entrepreneurship.” says Mr G Vijayaraghavan, member Secretary ASB. “This urban forest will be a welcome addition to the large variety of local flora and a greenhouse hosting several orchid varieties on the ASB campus,” he adds

May 31 - June 30, 2013

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RN 65561/94 Reg. No. KL/EKM/116/2009-2011

May 31 - June 30, 2013

GADGETS

SONY Xperia Z dust and water-proof L

The World

Choondy, Aluva

et it be dust or water, the new rugged design of Xperia of Sony does not care at all. The brand new phone from the Xperia series, Xperia Z, is also not bad at dust and water.

gine 2 and is powered by 1.5 GHz quad core Qualcomm APQ 8064 processor with Adreno 320 GPU. It has a 13MP camera with LED flash, Exmor RS sensor for HDR images and video.

The new Xperia Z comes for a price of Rs 37,990 that is worth its style and design. It competes with the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 or even the new Apple iPhone 5.

The new Xperia Z is fully sealed against water and dust – making it good for rough users who really don’t pay attention in maintaining their phones.

The new Xperia Z has a TFT capacitive touch screen, a 5-inch full HD(1920*1080 pixels) Reality display with mobile Bravia En-

The flaps covering its various parts are rubber-sealed and feel very sturdy when they clip in and out. It has an IP55 and IP57

Orchid Park

Kalathipady, Kottayam

Campus Woods CUSAT, Cochin

ratings for dust and water resistance. The battery used is a Li-ion 2330mAH which gives a battery life up to 550 hours in standby mode. The phone comes with an inbuilt memory of 16 GB. The new Xperia Z is equipped with Android Jelly Bean Operating System, not really new operating system to claim. The overall build is good and the appearance is stylish like a piece of black marble polished into a smartphone

JKH Signature Aluva, Cochin

Printed and Edited by Varghese Paul for Keethara Publications Pvt Ltd. 6802, Convent Road, Kochi-35 Tel 3043572 Email:passline.com@gmail.com and Printed at Ayodhya Printers Pvt Ltd., Cochin-26 Design by Unnikrishnan


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