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Vol 7 Issue No.73 Nov - Dec 2017

Don’t ignore gold as an investment option

Shri V.P. Nandakumar MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.


who conquered the odds with invincible willpower!

Mr Abbey Rodrigues-Senior Vice President, CERA Jeep Compass


A fascinating destination for adventurous travellers







Printed by: Ajit Ravi Published by: Ajit Ravi Owned by: Ajit Ravi Printed at: S T Reddiar P.B. No: 3627, Veekshanam Road, Cochin Published at: Pegasus, L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamassery Ernakulam-682 033 e-mail: Ph:0484 3242220, 6555533, 4025666 Mob:+91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 Editor Ajit Ravi Sub-Editor Vignesh Associate Editor Ravi Saini Editor-In-charge Jebitha Ajit Legal Advisor Latha Anand B.S.Krishnan Associates Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Vivek Venugopal- Quarter Mile Amrutha V Kumar Karthika S Nair Marketing UAE P.O. Box: 92546, Al Karama Dubai Mr. Anish K Joy Mob: +971528946999 Tamil Nadu Vice president Uma Riyas Khan chennai, Mob: 9841072955 Unique Times, No.6/31, Arunachalam main road, Saligramam, Chennai – 600093 Andhrapradesh & Karnataka PEGASUS Ph: 09288800999 Sunilkumar NN, Saneesh Ashok Your wing Director Shwetha Menon Photographer Ashique Hassan Creative Design PEGASUS Cover Photograph Mr Abbey Rodrigues Senior Vice President, CERA 4




anadian journalist, Herbert N Casson said: “The men who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will power to develop themselves.” It is inspirational to read the story of Abbey Rodrigues and his willpower. Abbey Rodrigues, an invincible Malayalee businessman, says that it is willpower that helps him to take his sanitary wares business to an indomitable height of 1000 crores turnover. With the same willpower, he also beats the dreadful disease of cancer in his life. In his regular column V.P. Nandakumar, the Chairman & MD, Manappuram Finance, says why this is the right time to invest in gold to reap the benefit in the future. What makes me think that gold is worthy of consideration at this juncture when equity markets are the talk of the town? While answering he explains the background and context in which gold continues to hold its own in the Indian and international financial markets. In Auto, our team introduces Compass, the prestigious product from the American brand Jeep. Jeep has invested $280 million in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facility at Ranjangaon near Pune and the Compass is the company's first locally manufactured product in India. As the price band is low, the booking rate of the Compass is comparatively high. Travel introduces Mauritania, a fascinating destination for those who seek adventure. Unconditional passion is the force behind all the fresh stories. Hope it will help for a better reading.







Don’t ignore gold as an investment option The vicissitudes of family business A leader who conquered the odds with invincible willpower! Palliative care out of reach for many



12 16 22 34











Dark is beautiful: Make up tips for those with darker skin tone


Mauritania A fascinating destination for adventurous travellers


Jeep Compass




Railway to procure rail from ‘Global Giants’


nstead of buying rail from the Steel Authority of Indian Limited, the Indian Railways have decided to let the global steel giants participate in the tender, which is going to be organised to procure seven lakh tonne of steel rail. The concerned authorities have informed the media houses that the policy has been taken to meet the urgent demand for the renewal programs. The authorities have however asserted that they would always stick to their commitment to procure steel from SAIL. This is the first time such a global tender has been invited to meet the demand for the renewal work.

India to expand e-commerce sector

"The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same." Colin R. Davis


s part of the Indian government’s effort to meet the target of making the country a trillion-dollar digital economy, the government is planning to expand its e-commerce sector in a manner which enables it to tap the potential of the growing market of Africa and South East Asia. A concerned official has informed the media houses that the global expansion and the expansion within the country would be the two prime aspects of India’s new e-commerce policy. The e-commerce sector, which is at present a thirty billion US dollar economy, is expected to grow nearly one hundred and fifty billion US dollars by the year 2025.



India-EU trade talk likely to resume soon


n the near future, the Indian government and the European Union are likely to resume the Free Trade Agreement negotiations, which met a dead end in the year 2013. The FTA negotiations, which began in the year 2017, primarily aim to ensure greater access to each other’s markets for goods and services, and to public procurement contracts’. In November, the representatives of India and EU are likely to meet to discuss how the negotiations can be resumed. A senior EU leader has asserted that it is a high time for an FTA between India and the EU. It is said that once the circumstances are right to resume such a talk, both sides will immediately resume.

India to strengthen trade ties with Latin America, Caribbean Islands, ASEAN

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." Henry David Thoreau


he Indian government is set to strengthen trade ties with Latin American countries such as Cuba, Caribbean Islands and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. At present, the country has no strong trade relationship with many countries of Latin America and Caribbean. The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu, has visited Cuba and Panama in order to meet India’s plan to explore new markets. The investment ties and trade ties have been the prime subjects in the discussion table. In late January 2018, the Indian government representatives are likely to meet the trade ministers of ASEAN in order to discuss the possibilities to strengthen the trade and investment ties.




‘Deregistered companies engaged in suspicious bank activities during and after demonetisation’


ustifying the central government’s move to demonetise the highest denomination banknotes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500, the Minister of State for Law and Justice and Corporate Affairs, P P Chaudhary, has claimed that the deregistered companies had engaged in several suspicious money transactions during and immediately after the demonetisation. The minister has said that a huge sum of nearly seven thousand crore rupees had been deposited in the bank accounts by the deregistered companies during the demonetisation. The minister has added that the aforementioned amount had been withdrawn from these suspicious accounts belonging to the deregistered companies immediately after the demonetisation. It is learned that the process of data mining is progressing in the right direction.

Recapitalised PSBs help to improve credit, GDP growth

"Opportunities don't happen. You create them." Chris Grosser


n a report published by the Goldman Sachs, it has been stated that every incremental Rs 100 billion capital infusion has the capacity to accelerate credit and GDP by 1 pp and 0.5 pp respectively. In the aforementioned sense, the government’s plan to inject the sum of Rs 1.05 trillion into the Public Sector Banks within the time frame of twelve months will strengthen the GDP by nearly 5 pp. Recently, the central government have decided to infuse nearly 2.1 trillion rupees into the Indian Public Sector Banks within the time frame of two years. Of the 2.1 trillion, around 1.05 trillion is said to be injected this year itself. Anyway, once the policy is successfully implemented, the PSBs are likely to get a new strength.






Shri V.P.Nandakumar MD & CEO Manappuram Finance Ltd.


hese are heady days for the stock markets. The Sensex and Nifty have been closing at new peaks over the last few days. As of November 1, 2017, the BSE had crossed the 33,600 levels while the Nifty was at 10,440, both at record highs. In the US too, the stock market indices are trading near their historic highs with the Dow Jones having gained 18 percent this year. Other European and Asian stock markets are also doing well. In India, the inflows into the equity markets have increased after the demonetisation exercise and the crackdown on black money impacted the usual flow of money into real estate and gold. Consequently, people have been pouring money into India’s mutual funds which have been seeing record



India is the largest consumer of gold in the world. Our love affair with the metal is age old. Roughly 800 to 900 tonnes, about a third of the total gold mined in the world, is consumed in India. Domestic production being negligible, we are the largest importers of gold.

inflows so much so that large scale withdrawal of funds by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in recent months have failed to dampen the markets. Indeed, in the past, FPI money flowing out was invariably followed by a correction in the markets but this time around, domestic funds more than made up for the shortfall and the markets continued to rise.

scenario play out, gold will certainly regain the spotlight. Now, what makes me think that gold is worthy of consideration at this juncture when equity markets are the talk of the town? An answer to this question will necessarily begin with the background and context in which gold continues to hold its own in the Indian and international financial markets.

With investment in the equity markets being the flavour of the month, perhaps this is the right time for a gentle reminder why gold continues to be a relevant investment option and not be relegated to an afterthought. After all, many experts are now worried about valuations in the stock market and inclined to believe that a correction is on the cards. Should this

Gold in India

India is the largest consumer of gold in the world. Our love affair with the metal is age old. Roughly 800 to 900 tonnes, about a third of the total gold mined in the world, is consumed in India. Domestic production being negligible, we are the largest importers of gold. The Indian attachment to gold is a product of our history. Gold is

Don’t ignore

gold as an investment option



Given the importance of gold in India, it is not surprising that it enjoys pride of place in the common man’s investment portfolio.

rare, beautiful and stable. It does not depreciate in value nor deteriorate in quality with time. It is compact and can be carried around with ease. It can be buried underground without loss of quality or quantity. Gold is therefore permanent, portable and easily-hidden wealth. In the olden days, when property rights were not secure — being subject to arbitrary seizures by kings, courtiers and warlords, or prone to destruction during wars etc.— gold was the most sensible way to accumulate wealth. Along the way, it became part of our culture and tradition. It acquired a social, emotional and economic significance beyond logical comprehension. Many of our traditions have changed over the years, but large scale purchases of gold during weddings and festivals continue. While people have been investing in gold for ages, in



the last few decades we have seen new avenues for investment emerge that give present day investors a range of options not available in earlier days. No doubt, each of these options has its own advantages, disadvantages and risks, which have to be kept in mind along with the investor’s own circumstances while making a choice. According to a recent nationwide debt and investment survey, an average Indian household holds 84 percent of its wealth in real estate, 11 percent in gold and the remaining 5 percent in financial assets (such as deposits and savings accounts, equity shares, mutual funds, life insurance and retirement accounts).

Investing in gold

Given the importance of gold in India, it is not surprising that it enjoys pride of place in the common man’s investment portfolio. After all, it is

one of the safest avenues for investment, equivalent to bank deposits that, additionally, has offered better protection against the ravages of inflation. Over the last decade and a half, gold has delivered fairly high returns when compared to other risk free investments. Throughout history, gold has been regarded as a store of value, known to provide risk free real returns especially when inflation is up. For example, the average consumer price inflation during the three high inflation years from FY2011-12 to FY 2013-14 was nearly 10 percent. Fixed deposits with banks during this period gave negative inflation adjusted returns whereas the price of gold in India went up by 38 percent to deliver positive real returns. Internationally, the yellow metal has outperformed the S&P 500 since the beginning of

To conclude

the century, returning 86 percent more than the market according to the World Gold Council. In India, the recent boom in the stock market has delivered handsome returns to seasoned traders and it has now lured less experienced retail investors to jump onto the bandwagon. While the returns have been high, it also comes with a fair amount of risk. And so, to protect one’s hard-earned savings, professional investment advisors often recommend investment through mutual funds which diversify risk on behalf of individual investor. But then, the common investor is confused by the array of mutual funds offering diverse categories and literally hundreds of schemes to choose from. Homing in on the

right stock or mutual fund to buy into is not easy, and keeping track of its price movements is another hassle. Interestingly, when stock markets are trading at historical highs (both in India and abroad), and when the fears of an impending correction appear plausible, gold makes an excellent case for stepped up investment. After all, it is a general observation that when stock markets collapse during periods of economic woes, gold price often heads up in keeping with its status as a safe haven investment. The below table indicates how the international price of gold moved during eight periods of the biggest decline in US stock market over the last four decades.

Gold price movement during a stock market crash (US) S&P 500Periods of biggest Declines

S&P 500

Sep 1976 – Mar 1978

(-) 19.40%


Nov 1980 – Aug 1982

(-) 27.10%

(-) 46.00%

Aug 1987 – Dec 1987

(-) 33.50%



Jul 1990 - Oct 1990

(-) 19.90%


Jul 1998 – Aug 1998

(-) 19.30%

(-) 5.00%

Mar 2000 - Oct 2002

(-) 49.00%


Oct 2007 - Mar 2009

(-) 56.80%


May 2011 - Oct 2011

(-) 19.00%


The verdict is clear. Gold is reliably known to hold its value during troubled times. With frothy stock markets all around, maybe now is the time to increase the allocations for gold in one’s portfolio. Of course, it is true that in recent years there was a substantial correction in international gold price from the peak levels of 2011 and 2012. However, beginning from January 2016, gold prices have regained ground and have generally held steady in the range of US$ 1,200 to US$ 1,300. Finally, all said and done, a prudent investor will be wise to invest her savings in a diversified basket of investment options such as bank deposits, mutual funds, real estate, equity shares, gold and gold jewellery, etc. It helps to spread the risk as against having all your eggs in one basket. Investment in gold and jewellery for the long term is a safe option because the supply of physical gold continues to be meagre in relation to the demand. Therefore, while the price may fluctuate, there is protection on the downside. Recently, Gold bonds have emerged as a useful alternative to those who buy gold purely for investment purpose who now get to earn some interest on their investments though it may not interest those who buy gold jewellery for consumption

(V.P. Nandakumar is MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd. and a Board Appointee to the Lions Clubs International Board of Directors.)




The challenges are very fundamental as well. The phrase ‘family business’ itself brings together two words which seem like quite different cognitively. ‘Family’ brings together love, care, feelings and sentiments-mostly matter of the heart.

Rajesh Nair, Director, Ernst & Young LLP Rajesh is also the President of the Kerala Chapter of TiE Global


he majority of businesses around the world are family businesses and the scions sitting at the helm and waiting on the wings are part of the family. Each of these businesses, while have been founded by outstanding visionaries, they have been taken to the next level by their progeny, families and professionals. Intuitively, family influence consciously or unconsciously prepares youngsters to pick careers or align their aspirations. This is true for professionals too, especially in fields like law, medicine, where data skews the propensity of a lawyer to pick the profession if he/she has lawyers in the family. But, the management of family



businesses have been a much written about and debated. The challenges are very fundamental as well. The phrase ‘family business’ itself brings together two words which seem like quite different cognitively. ‘Family’ brings together love, care, feelings and sentiments –mostly matter of the heart. ‘Business’ brings together reason, judgement, reasoning and rationality –mostly matter of the mind. The classic dichotomy is that we run our business with our heart and feelings; and we run our family with reason, objectivity and judgement. The concoction in itself is a heady cocktail, which is difficult to digest and incon-

The vicissitudes of family business



The new generation will view the business through the prism of the present times. It is but natural that the times may warrant a different approach.

gruous to fathom. There are multifarious reasons for challenges in the family business. Very interesting theories and exemplary stories have been written on classical ways of managing the conflicts and transition across generations. But, it is also interesting to remember that each of these interesting practices is largely valid for one generation and what worked for one generation in the same family may not work in

another faction of the same generation in the same family or the next generation in the same family. While there is neither any formula of options nor any pre-distilled solutions, it may be interesting to see some regular pitfalls.

Purpose and passion of the idea

The founder’s thoughts, unique circumstances and the description of the problem statement at the inception of the company are distinct

to the time and the environment at that time. The business model by itself has a distinct flavour and the reason it succeeded was also that of the business landscape of the particular time. The new generation will view the business through the prism of the present times. It is but natural that the times may warrant a different approach. The fault there lies not always in the original founder, the new scion also needs to be ready to experiment and try out new things. As Satya Nadella writes in his very interesting book ‘Hit Refresh’-there is always a need to look at things from a new perspective and ‘hit refresh’ if necessary.

Strategy and stewardship of the concept The direction of the business



and the organisation culture are function of the times. The best way to find a suitor is always to have her run the business from the shadows, intern in various areas of the business and develop her own storyline of the needs and the strategy of the firm. Many founders also feel that the next generation needs to also work in other organisations and develop a sense of the outside world. These are all well-intentioned thoughts and nothing is wrong with it per se. But, there is no substitute to one’s willingness to spend adequate in his/her organisation.

mortality in their minds and this hinders their ability to dissociate from parts of the business when the new successor is in place. Of course, this is often easier as a concept and tremendously difficult to implement. There is a no open solution to this mindset and slightly trivial to suggest that you have to trust the new incumbent and let them climb the learning curve at their pace and sense of direction. But, that is what takes is!

Intrusion and immortality of the founder

The transition is always crucial. The roles of the new successor and that of the existing leader need to gradually enmesh into a smooth transition. This is much like the

Founders much like parents find it immensely difficult to let their ideas (their children) go. There is a certain aura of im-

Clarity of the role of the successor and the exiting leader

foxtrot where the leader gradually lends space to the follower and has to also fade out gradually into the horizon. A time-based transition plan needs to also articulate gradual milestones. The transition needs to be a journey and not an instant Monday morning move.

Governance and processes

Families especially the larger ones need to lay down principles of governance. These principles need to write out what the family believes in as a philosophy and meticulously think through issues like succession, splitting shares, funding news businesses, bringing in independent family advisors who will take unbiased stances. Strong policies always help in addressing friction, the need to take time to draft them cannot be



overemphasised. Clear succession is also about recognising if no one in the immediate family structure can move into the leadership hot seat and preparing the ground for a professional to take over.

Ordeal of the new leader

It is not easy to step into a founders’ shoes. This is much like expecting talented artisan kids to deliver masterpieces because their parents were aficionados in a particular art form. More often than not the proverbial ‘silver spoon’ in their mouth is a more of liability and they are not able to rid themselves of the family name tag. The new leader also needs to take



his/her call, see things from their point of view and do what is right and not watch the rear view mirror to understand what was done in the past.

Counselling of the outgoing leader

A transition like this is also like a retirement. It is not easy. It is easy to reprimand the incumbent and hold the high place view. The benefit of hindsight is not to find faults in the current regime. There are no business metrics which can accurately measure the effectiveness of the new leadership besides the regular financial metrics. These metrics are not designed to monitor

smooth transition and to capture the efficacy of the transition. The founder’s mind will still wander in and it is too difficult to let go. But, you need to leave the baton for someone to take it on and run, you can’t cling on to the baton. The first step in managing this entire issue is to understand that this is not a parenting issue not is it a standard succession planning issue. Family and business are equally important and both require finesse and a great sense of balance to accomplish its high trapeze wire walk



A leader who conquered the odds with invincible willpower! Willpower is a muscle that the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. Abbey just shows us the possibilities life can bless us with one if we are determined to succeed. His life story is extra-ordinary; it was not only his business success that inspires us, but also the way he beat the dreadful disease cancer in his life.


tyle, innovation and leadership are the three most supreme ‘success elements’ in the triumph-saga of Cera, which is a lead name synonymous to sanitary wares in India. Started, in the year 1980, upon the invitation of the Government of Gujarat, it took around 37 years for the empire to set anchor of domination in the land of India. In the first 32 years of its journey, Cera acquired a turnover of 317 crores. Later, in the next 5 years, there was a hard work of an invincible Malayalee to take the organisation to an indomitable height of 1000 crores’ turnover. Abbey Rodrigues, a visionary leader and the senior vice-president of Cera, who stood unshakable against the vexing tests and challenges the market posed on him.



His signature is evidently seen in bringing up the brand to an unbeatable opposition for the competitors. Willpower is a muscle that the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. Abbey just shows us the possibilities life can bless us with one if we are determined to succeed. His life story is extra-ordinary; it was not only his business success that inspires us, but also the way he beat the dreadful disease cancer in his life. “The supernatural strength I needed while I faced this awful disease head-on, came through Prayers. It was my sole strength and help. Through incessant prayers and unbeatable faith in God, I conquered this impossible feat.” When this illness crept into him, when he was



The three ‘Success Mantra’ of Abbey are conceive, commit, and conquer. He, at first, clearly examines all possible opportunities in front of his team, and then devises the plan as per the openings. He then trains and enables the team to be able to confront the market with conviction. weak and weary and unready to withhold, Abbey was determined to succeed. He was heading South India for Cera then. Even through the mental and physical turmoil, he fought his disease and worked harder for his company with much self-belief. He was positively confident that he will be able to conquer both the illness for him and for Cera. Like many other stalwarts, through his life, Abbey proved once again that if you are completely committed to what you’re doing, then nothing can stop you from achieving it. Abbey started his journey with Cera as a marketing executive. He studied the possibilities and development opportunities in the market back then in 1994, and resolved that he will take the brand to heights in no time. He researched the minutes of details regarding the segment in India and strategically planned his future actions accordingly. When there were times when the market lacked the smooth availability of other counterpartbrands, Cera made sure they supplied consistently, which, in turn, brought them trust among the people in Kerala, where he first started his work with. Today, Kerala holds the title of the largest consumer market for Cera in India. “We are not here to compete with other brands, but to recognize the opportunities and utilize it in our favour”; Abbey Rodrigues confidently comments. With sheer commitment and



hard work, it doesn’t come as a surprise to know it took less time for Abbey to leap from South India Sales Head to National Head and then International Sales Head too. He maintained consistent growth and profitability. After he took over the International sales of the organisation, to focus on the world market, his organisation opened Cera Style Gallery at Dubai, the establishment which is helping the organisation to establish its presence abroad. He vouches that it is his efficient sales team who helped him to achieve this feat. To become No.1 in the consumer industry, it is very inevitable that from a senior lead to a first level worker should commit himself to excellence. His core responsibility is to analyse the entire country and regions, find opportunities, formulate plans and strategies, and to lead the team to execute the plan seamlessly for ensured results. He gives his team all encouragement and support needed for the same. The three ‘Success Mantra’ of Abbey are conceive, commit, and conquer. He, at first, clearly examines all possible opportunities in front of his team, and then devises the plan as per the openings. He then trains and enables the team to be able to confront the market with conviction. Without ample support, resources and stimulation, the team becomes catalyzed to deliver exactly what’s expected out of them. The herculean goal then seems to be realistically achievable for the skilled team. He formulates the modus operandi to conquer

the marketplace after deliberating and evaluating all factors. Abbey says that one of the success elements of his team is that it evolves and adapts itself according to the market demands. Cera’s marketing and sales team leaves no stone unturned in analyzing impeccably what the market might need today and what could foresee for future. Accordingly, they keep restructuring their game plan and continue developing innovative new ones. This is how they conceived the plan of launching their largest display centre in India, named ‘Style Studio’, in Cochin. This very state-of-the-art centre enables architects, designers, consultants, developers and fellow consumers to feel Cera’s product in person. Cera provides a range of services to their elite customers like sanitary wares, faucets, tiles, shower rooms, kitchen sinks, mirrors, customized shower partitions, bath tubs, shower panels and, very engaging, kids products. Cera also spreads a wide array of green products to its kitty which helps a client consume very little water while using it, which, in fact, stops the wastage of water. The company is now striving to lift themselves up to a benchmark of being the best in providing a complete home solution to their esteemed clients. Abbey is instrumental in strategizing innovative solutions that provides supreme quality products to their customers. He is focused to take the company to the next level of success. Sometimes, when life



He is focused to take the company to the next level of success. Sometimes, when life pushes him to a corner, his family is right behind him as a pillar of strength in all walks of his life.

pushes him to a corner, his family is right behind him as a pillar of strength in all walks of his life. His wife Margret Judy, and his children, Daniel, Carina and Leander, have always been a strong support and encouragement on all his endeavours. Abbey’s life story helps us to realize what potential we can achieve as a human being if we believe in self, put in our genuine dedication to overcome hurdles and our commitment to the task at hand 

Abbey, wife Margret Judy, and his children Daniel, Carina and Leander





Ravi Saini


hen we talk about empowered India, we can’t forget to talk about the key elements such as social justice and rural development which are easily achievable through organic farming. Why should we consider the organic farming? The new generation is aggressively becoming health conscious after watching the ill effects of fastpaced growth in the farm sector, which is caused due to the growing greed and lust for money and excessive use of chemicals through fertilisers. Without an adequate knowledge sharing process with the poor and illiterate farmers, we are sowing the seeds of sickness and can’t expect a healthy society.



The new generation is aggressively becoming health conscious after watching the ill effects of fastpaced growth in the farm sector, which is caused due to the growing greed and lust for money and excessive use of chemicals through fertilisers.

One simple alternative to it is the animal husbandry, which will make abundance resources of organic fertiliser which is badly needed today to bring back life to the soil so that we could achieve the goals of high-quality organic food grains, vegetables and fruits and set up food processing industries in the rural parts of India. This will also require quality warehousing and cold storage facilities, training centres, schools and colleges for producing more and more veterinary doctors and skilled or unskilled labours which are easily available and growing in numbers thanks to inequality of distribution of wealth being generated. There is an unscrupulous struggle for power. There is deterioration in economics, politics, and morals. It's only the gullible multitude that

suffers. How disgusting? And, what is way out? What can be done in the face of politicisation, criminalisation, and communalisation? Well, it is no brainer to work it out to find the answers by putting all heads together and reach a consensus. This will automatically result in the progressive growth of the MSME (micro small and medium enterprises) and farm sector. In my opinion, instead of giving money to unemployed people without any collaterals, the credit assistance schemes like MUDRA loans should be utilised to help Self Help Groups working for the farm sector and all the disbursements be monitored through escrow accounts and spent on farmers by providing them best seeds, organic fertilisers, buy back Guarantee, advanced farm machineries etc. as this will create enough jobs. Time to put the thinking cap on.

Social Justice, Rural Development and Empowerment through Organic Farming

To augment the quick redresses to the issues and get the abundance of wealth needed to implement the plans proposed here, the GOI must offer lucrative offers for getting non-Repatriable FDI in India and lay down the Red Carpets for the prospective investors as they would surely need some additional pampering. Every state in India must wake up to these facts that its time to

make things happen by pooling all the resources and offer a workable platform to allure private investments instead of borrowing any further. I strongly recommend that State Bank of India at New York and all the branches in the US and in India should establish a special desk to attract CD (Certificate of Deposit) from all the NRIs and Institutional investors, pension funds, municipal funds etc. and allow credit growth in the farm

sector. This will motivate numerous US companies that are interested to work in this sector in both India and the US to avail credit facilities and will make the SBI NY grow exponentially as the SBI NY (and all US branches) is probably the only Indian bank that is FDIC insured and offers the desirable investment protection standards and features that every investor looks for 



Adv Sherry Samuel Oommen is a practising lawyer at High Court of Kerala who specialises in tax and Corporate Laws. Presently he heads the tax and corporate law practice of Nash Capital Partners. Apart from being a qualified lawyer, he is also a chartered accountant, cost accountant and a company secretary. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree and is reachable at


oods and Services Tax has completed more than 100 days in force and it has been eventful for the taxman and the taxpayer. It is no secret that the implementation was underwhelming and numerous technical glitches are plaguing businesses. At the outset, there is, indeed, a good ground to argue that the GST legislation addresses issues like curtailing cascading effect of taxes, seamless utilization of Input Tax Credit and many more(which were absent in the previous indirect tax regime). The new law, which is supposed to improve the ease of doing business in India, is doing rounds in the courtrooms already. Interestingly, the very scope of the legislation has been challenged before certain High Courts with notices being issued to the Government of India. Some of the noteworthy cases, post the introduction of the GST, are discussed below.



The new law, which is supposed to improve the ease of doing business in India, is doing rounds in the courtrooms already. Interestingly, the very scope of the legislation has been challenged before certain High Courts with notices being issued to the Government of India.


Metro Institutes of Medical Sciences Pvt Ltd Vs State of Uttar Pradesh [Allahabad High Court]

The petitioner company approached the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad contending that in the absence of the effective migration mechanism, he cannot file returns or pay taxes and discharge its GST liability from July 2017 onwards or for that matter also cannot generate the E-way bill, which is required for importing goods from outside the state of U.P. into the State. The Hon’ble High court of Allahabad allowing the contention of the petitioner, directed the concerned respondent authority to immediately issue a password to the petitioner company for completing migration process on the GST portal for uploading its

returns and to deposit the due tax to allow the petitioner to complete migration to GST upon the receipt of such password.

Coimbatore Corporation Contractors Vs State of Tamil Nadu [Madras High Court]

The petitioner association submitted before the Hon’ble High Court of Madras that they faced certain problems because of GST notification imposing 6% tax on works contract and accordingly they are required to pay 12% (including SGST) of tax towards works contract. The contention was based on the agreements they entered prior to the implementation date of GST and the rate of VAT for such contracts were 2%. The Hon’ble High court has directed the jurisdiction Commissioner of Commercial Taxes to consider the representation given





one year and not beyond such time. The Hon’ble High court of Gujarat asked the central government to reply on the same.

M J S Enterprises Vs Controller of Stores and Purchase, and M/s. Eten craft holdingsPvt Ltd Vs State of Kerala [Before the Karnataka and Kerala High Court]

by the petitioner association and pass orders on merits and in accordance with law, within a period of four weeks.

Ascics Trading Company Vs Assistant State Tax Officer [Kerala High Court]

The petitioner challenged the power of the state government to detain goods for not carrying the prescribed documents under the IGST Act before the Hon’ble Kerala High Court. The Hon’ble High Court held that state government is not vested with the power to legislate upon the inter-state movement of goods in the course of trade, hence the detention of the goods for not carrying the requisite documents was unsustainable in law:

Jindal Dyechem Industries Pvt Ltd Vs UoI [Delhi High Court]

The petitioner approached the



Hon’ble High Court of Delhi as he was not permitted to clear the gold bars without payment of IGST even though he advanced authorization to clear the same before implementation of GST. The Hon’ble High Court in an interim relief directed the respondent authority to allow the petitioner to import the gold bars without payment of IGST in accordance with the advanced authorization issued to the petitioner. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court has given similar reliefs to petitioners in the cases of Chemico Synthetics Ltd Vs UoI and Narendra Plastic Private Limited.

Filco Trade Centre Pvt Ltd Vs UoI [Gujarat High Court]

The petitioner challenged the condition imposed under GST where CENVAT credit can be availed only in respect of stock of goods lying with them in the past

The Hon’ble High Courts of Karnataka and Kerala have refused to classify the products for determination of the rate of GST in the absence of Authority for Advance Ruling. However, in the case of Messrs Eten Craft, the Kerala Government has made a representation before the High Court that the Authority for Advance Ruling would be constituted within ten days. One would hope that such authority is constituted at the earliest.

JK Mittal and Company Vs UoI [Delhi High Court]

The petitioner approached Hon’ble High Court of Delhi to determine the status of the levy of GST on legal services. The Hon’ble Court, admitting the petition directed the respondents to desist from resorting to any coercive actions and all legal services provided by advocates, law firms of advocates or LLPs of advocates will be continued to be governed by the reverse charge mechanism. One would hope that such issues would reduce with the passage of time. It is, indeed, welcome that the government is taking note of concerns faced by various quarters. As Bill Gates once said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Well, I would believe that we are on the path of having an improved GST Law 



Dr. Arun Oommen renowned neurosurgeon at Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre, Kochi, India.

Dr Arun Oommen

MBBS, MS ( Gen Surgery), Mch( Neurosurgery), MRCS Ed, MBA Consultant Neurosurgeon


alliative care is a holistic care, which fulfils the requirements of chronically ill or terminally ill patients. It has become an emerging need of the day as the existing healthcare facilities play only a limited role in the care of the chronically ill people in the society. Patients, with terminal illness in most cases, spend their lives in the community among their family and neighbours, so there is the need for a multidisciplinary team for their constant care. General practitioners working with palliative care teams stated that home care was the preferred option for most people with a terminal illness, and providing home care relies on good communitybased services, a general practice workforce competent in palliative care practice, and willing to accommodate patients. Palliative care volunteers are primary care providers who originate normally from the same locality with the local knowledge and good public contact through which they can make significant contributions to a team by bridging the gap between the patient community and outside world.



Palliative care remains the only and, indeed, the most appropriate form of treatment for the patients presenting at incurable stages. Pain and palliative care units touch the lives of those who are in need of care and attention.

Palliative care is a prerequisite for a complete medical care. The existing healthcare facilities are more attuned to caring for acute health problems and they play only a limited role in the care of the chronically ill in the society. At least in India, the present medical and hospice systems do not have the capacity to guarantee the quality of life for the majority of people with life-limiting illnesses. Patients with terminal illness need a multidisciplinary team and constant care leading to a mounting need for palliative care. Palliative care remains the only and, indeed, the most appropriate form of treatment for the patients presenting at incurable stages. Pain and palliative care units touch the lives of those who are in need of care and attention. In Kerala, the tremendous developments made in palliative care in the State have made the end-of-life phase of the terminally ill more bearable. Nearly 80% of all palliative care services in the country are delivered in Kerala, reaching around 30% of the needy patients, whereas these services reach only to less than 2% in India. Kerala’s attempts at caring for terminally ill patients have been

regarded as a model for the rest of the world. The Kerala government is the only state government in Asia, which has introduced a palliative care policy in the state for the first time. There is a need to advocate adequate policy development and effective program implementation in the area of palliative care. Around 50% of the beneficiaries of palliative care services are cancer patients. The remaining groups included post-stroke survivors, Alzheimer’s, terminal renal and liver diseases, chronic arthritis, old age with severe malnutrition et al. Huge medical expenditure is the major financial problem faced by the patients resulting in intractable debt. The major medical care provided by the doctors is prescribing medicines. They also help the patients to reduce their sufferings through emotional bondage and empathy. Trained staff nurses help in administering medicines as well as catering to basic daily needs in addition to love and compassionate care.

Necessity for a full-fledged palliative care service

 Too many patients die an un-

Palliative care out of reach for many

comfort of the patient. There is sometimes a reluctance to make the diagnosis of dying if any hope of improvement exists and even more so if no definitive diagnosis has been made. When recovery is uncertain, it is better to discuss this rather than giving false hope to the patient and family. This is generally perceived as a strength in the doctor-patient relationship and helps to build trust. Recognising the key signs and symptoms is an important clinical skill in diagnosing dying. It is usually preceded by a gradual deterioration in functional status.

dignified death with uncontrolled symptoms  Resources should be made available to enable patients to die with dignity in a setting of their choice  Diagnosing dying is an important clinical skill  One of the key aims of specialist palliative care is to empower generic healthcare workers to care for dying patients  Core education objectives related to the care of dying patients should be incorporated into the training of all relevant healthcare professionals  National indicators for care of the dying patient should be identified and monitored The impact of death in our society is easily underestimated.

Evidence-based guidelines now exist to help with the care of people who are dying, including guidelines for symptom control, psychosocial support, and bereavement care. None the less, highly publicised cases continue to occur of patients dying in distress with uncontrolled symptoms and relatives being unsupported at this vulnerable time in their lives. Ensuring a good death for all is, therefore, a major challenge not only for healthcare professionals but also for society. However, diagnosing dying is often a complex process. In a hospital setting, where the culture is often focused on the cure, the continuation of invasive procedures, investigations, and treatments may be pursued at the expense of the

 The patient becomes bedbound  The patient is semi comatose  The patient is able to take only sips of fluid  The patient is no longer able to take oral drugs. The most important element in diagnosing dying is that the members of the multi-professional team caring for the patient agree that the patient is likely to die. If the team members are in disagreement then mixed messages together with opposed goals of care can lead to poor patient management and confused communication. Healthcare professionals are sometimes reluctant to diagnose dying, as they have not been trained to care for dying patients and therefore feel helpless. One example of this is the practice of transferring the patient to a side room and withdrawing from the pa-



tient and family, a strategy that has been used for many years, particularly in hospitals. However, this is the very moment when the hospice model of “intensive palliative care” should come into action, providing physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care for the patient and the relatives.

in most cases be discontinued. Patients who are in the dying phase should not be subjected to “cardiopulmonary resuscitation,” as this constitutes a futile and inappropriate medical treatment. The patient may have an advance directive that can be used to facilitate discussion about care at this sensitive time.

Change from definitive care to palliative care

Regular observations should be made and good symptom control maintained, including control of pain and agitation. Attention to mouth care is essential in the dying patient, and the family can be encouraged to give sips of water or moisten the patient's mouth with a sponge. If urinary incontinence or retention is a problem, catheterisation may be needed. Invasive procedures for bowel care are rarely needed in the dying phase.

As patients become weaker they find it increasingly difficult to take oral drugs. Non-essential drugs should be discontinued. Drugs that need to be continued, such as opioids, anxiolytics, and antiemetics, should be converted to the subcutaneous route and a syringe driver used for continuous infusion if appropriate. As required, subcutaneous drugs should be prescribed according to an agreed protocol (including those for pain and agitation). Inappropriate interventions, including blood tests and measurement of vital signs, should be discontinued. The evidence is limited but suggests that continuing artificial fluids in the dying patient is of limited benefit and should



In the community, as required, drugs need to be readily accessible in the patient's home. Twentyfour-hour district nursing services should be made available, and with the development of general practitioner cooperative out of hours services the continuity of patient

care must be ensured. Innovative models are being developed in the community to support patients dying at home and to prevent inappropriate admission to hospital. The family's insight into the patient's condition should be assessed and issues relating to dying and death explored appropriately and sensitively. The family should be told that the clinical expectation is that the patient is dying and will die. Use of ambiguous language such as “may not get better” can lead to misinterpretation and confusion. A constant source of frustration and anger voiced by bereaved relatives is that no one sat down and discussed the fact that their loved one was dying. If relatives are told clearly that the patient is dying they have the opportunity to ask questions, stay with the patient, say their goodbyes, contact relevant people, and prepare themselves for the death. Relatives of patients dying in the community should be given contact telephone numbers so that they have access to help and advice on a 24-hour basis 




Dolly Neena Dolly Neena is founder of Your Wing, a training company born out of a noble cause and spirit. She holds a decade long experience being a passionate mentor and entrepreneur.

The art is to make him feel special, to build that rapport he will keep in his mind for a longer term. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression –hence it is very important that you gain his trust in the first meeting itself. You are the first face of your product.

Your client is more emotional than logical!


he Sales Team is the backbone of any organization; they are the breadwinners, so without their effectiveness, the whole structure collapses. We sell everywhere, on a day to day life, at home, at our office, at an interview table and, even, on a date. Are you a person working in direct sales? Have you ever felt challenged convincing the customer to buy your product? We all experience high turbulence when nearing the dreaded ‘Close’, how much ever experienced you may be. Let’s ponder on some points which might be helpful in handling those troubled situations while struggling with your very coveted client right in his cabin tomorrow. The new pathbreaking customer behavioural analytical dynamics are undermining the traditional sales approach of ‘pushing the products aggressively to a client’ along a linear sales funnel. Customer buying patterns have drastically changed. “It has never been more difficult to win and keep business through product and price distinction”.



One universal fact you need to learn as fast as you can is that most of your customers buy emotionally, not logically; not out of the specifications you showed, not for the features, and not for anything else, but solely for the way that it or you made him feel –maybe it was the way you described it to him, or it could be the way he experienced the product or service. Have you ever thought why should one buy a Rolex just for reliability? Or a Porsche for one of the superior technology it flaunts? He just buys it for how it makes him feel, it’s as simple as that. When you intend to play with his mind, try his right brain more often. When you are on the scratch level to build a relationship with the customer, make sure you get into his emotional repertoire than focusing on the specifications the product might display. Understand that a major chunk of his or her decisionmaking happens in their subconscious mind, than on the logical conscious brain. There are chances of empathy neurons playing while they are on the way to make

a decision. You must be able to tell crystal clear why your customer really wants to buy this even before you are trying to sell it. Optimize the customer experience by preparing well in advance. Re-run the dialogues repeatedly in your mind. The first step in framing dialogues starts with understanding your customer well. Have a 360-degree study on how he is, what he needs and how your product is going to benefit him. Each customer is different. Everyone’s response to a particular product might differ according to their perceptions, mind conditioning and attitude. Personal, social and geographic factors will be well included in this discretion. Hence, the approach to each client should be planned and rehearsed differently. Do not ever do the mistake of being over-confident on your experience and step into a customer place without researching enough about him. Customizing the sale is the key. Every single time. Your customer should be able to emotionally engage with your brand or product or service. Let him know why he should buy it and how he is benefitted. Before you step into his premises, ask yourself –am I meeting the decision maker? If yes, how well do I know this person I’m going to meet? The art is to make him feel special, to build that rapport he will keep in his mind for a longer term. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression –hence it is very important that you gain his trust in the first meeting itself. You are the first face of your product. He needs to trust you first before he trusts your product or service. The art is to make him feel comfortable, respected, recognized and that you understand his needs well. You are there to offer a solution to his issues. If there are no problems or concerns or issues, you are

there to consult your service that is going to take your customer’s brand a notch higher. For example, if you are selling a car to a potential customer, make him feel what he has not anticipated yet –make him feel super relaxed and elevated while driving it. If you are selling a furniture or a shoe, then it is the comfort or the elegance, or the feel when she flaunts it to people. Remember, he is buying the ‘feeling’, on a larger psychological context. There are several times we overlook a customer’s need or stimuli or a response he shows. This is where the expert in you should probe, try to investigate more. Persistence is the key. Don’t ever judge –just keep listening, and you will find a way to break through the resistance, if any. The next and a very important point you need to ponder on is –Honesty. Be genuine to your prospective customer. Talk openly –it takes courage to talk your heart out– to show the passion that you have for the product you sell. In this world where everyone has enormous amount of information at their fingertips, it would be suicidal trying to ‘frame’ a customer. We have seen sales-persons who try to keep the facts under wrap and try to lure the customer

in, expecting that he will fall into the trap of buying it fast and the sales guy can reach his target for the month faster. This can prove detrimental. You might not even get the sale, but also might lose 10 other potential clients through bad word-of-mouth from this dissatisfied customer. When you present the demographics or statistics, double check whether those are accurate. Be sensitive while you talk the terms and conditions; never tell the customer that ‘this is your company policy’. Empathy doesn’t come naturally to us, it is mostly acquired. You need to wear the customer’s shoes, view in his perspective. Listen keenly to him –to his words and his body language. Respond in an intelligent way by accentuating only what he likes. Appreciate their opinions, bookmark their preferences and viewpoints, and have a thorough idea about their buying habits. Analyzing your customer expectations is the most fundamental part of your sales process. Customer behaviour gives us valuable insights onto how to close that deal. If you get that part right, then the rest is a cakewalk for you. “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic”



Ajesh Kumar N K CEO at

An Experiences Specialist having more than 16 years of dedicated services in the field of People Management.


n the previous edition, we have discussed the personal and professional rewards from running marathons. But, the human body imposes natural limitations on the distance we can run easily. Twenty miles is about the furthest we can go comfortably, even if we are well trained, before we begin to run out of fuel and our muscles begin to hurt. The marathon takes us up to, and beyond, the limit of human endurance, into an unknown zone where we confront our true selves, and discover our inner strength and limits. One can complete the marathon distance only by patient preparation and mental discipline. There are no shortcuts, no easy ways out. Over forty-two thousand people ran in the 2017 edition Mumbai Marathon, at least thirty-five thousand people run the London Marathon each year, and around ten thousand runners also take part in the big city marathons such as Great Delhi Run, New York, Paris, Boston and Sydney. Most participants in a marathon want to finish. They may run the whole distance; more likely they will run and walk, just as long as they get around. These are the real heroes of the marathon –the runners who have risen to a challenge, unlike anything they have done



Most participants in a marathon want to finish. They may run the whole distance; more likely they will run and walk, just as long as they get around. These are the real heroes of the marathon –the runners who have risen to a challenge, unlike anything they have done before.

before. They may be running for charity or to show themselves and the world that they have the inner strength to succeed. The next group of marathon runners wants to perform and improve. These are often club runners who may well have run a marathon before and wants to finish in a faster time. The pressure is enormous on the group as they train for months focusing on a single race. If they happen to have a bad day, it will be another six months before they have their next chance to achieve their goal and recover their pride and confidence. The third and final group of runners are the elite racers those who want to do well and win the price. Again, their opportunities to achieve goals are rare.

Train hard, get fit and, above all, have fun

There are plenty of good reasons for training for and running a marathon, but taking a decision to start running is like taking a decision to do anything extra in life. One just has to do it, whether you’re new to running or making a comeback after a long layoff. Training for the half-marathon distance is manageable even for the busiest lives, and works well for beginners and more experienced runners alike. We can use the assistance of readily available training plans and fellow runners, but just need to jump in. If we can manage 4 to 5 kms at a time, of either running or a combo of running and walking, a couple times per week, we can get into half-marathon shape in 12 weeks. We need to plan on adding

Just Jump in and Do it

a weekend run of slightly longer length—7 to 8 kms. Then, we need to gradually increase our mileage to 15 to 16 km over three months. Yes, what you have just heard is right. We should do it regularly during this period. If we start now, we can very well participate in unique marathons happening, just three months away since now,

in Gods Own Country–Kerala, as many participated in the just completed ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ branded ‘Spice Cost Marathon’ held at Kochi. The best thing about half marathons is that training for them is usually lifestyle friendly; a few days of running, a couple days of cross-training, and a couple days of rest will get us into shape.

Believe it or not!If our long runs are up to four km, we are ready to train for a half marathon. Running 21 km might seem impossible now, but we can make it, as long as we take it one week—and 1.5 km—at a time. With a positive mindset, smart pacing, and strategic walk breaks, we will be prepped to successfully complete a half by the end of January 2018 or in the

Nov-Dec-2017 Oct-Nov-2017


month February 2018.

we need without wiping out.

Afore our take off: we need a solid base before we take on half marathon training. We should be running at least three times a week: our weekday runs should average about 30 minutes, and our weekend long run should be up to at least 5 km.

Strike a Balance: Keep our weekday runs to no longer than 30 minutes. If our goal race is hilly, do one of those runs on hills. We need to vary our pace depending on how we feel—but do try to mix in some speed to boost our fitness. Experiment with our run or walk ratio, gradually adding time to the run segment over the courseof our training. On non-running days, do easy cross-training like walking, swimming or cycling, or simply rest up.

The Long haul: Every other week, we need to increase our long run by 2.5 km until we are run or walk 20 to 22 km. On alternate weeks, keep our long run to no longer than 5 km. Our longest long run should fall two weeks before our half-marathon. Plan to take about 15 weeks to prepare for the big day. Comfortable pace: The most common mistake runners make is going out too fast—then crashing and burning. If we have raced a couple of 5Ks, aim to run three to four minutes per km slower on our long runs and on race day. Otherwise, just make sure we can talk comfortably, and take plenty of walk breaks. This pacing strategy will give us the endurance

Let’s meet there: A Marathon, inspired by the Ladakh Marathon, one of the toughest and highest marathons in the world, titled Munnar Marathon, going to take place on 10- 11 Feb 2018. Munnar, a town at the confluence of three rivers –Nalathanniyaru, Kanniyaru and Kundalayaru, was a summer retreat for the British. Discovered as a favourable destination by Lord Wellesley during his chase to defeat Tipu Sultan, Munnar managed to capture his attention. With its rolling mountains

and mist-covered peaks, Munnar was voted upon to be another acquisition for the East India Company. There onwards started the quest to cultivate different commercial crops, which ended with tea. After years of toil, Munnar acquired its current appearancerolling mountains covered by tea plants. Munnar is situated at a latitude range of 10.0889 and longitude 77.0595, with an altitude of 1,600 m MSL. Nilakurinji, the blue-flower that blossoms once in 12 years, NilgiriTahr, one of the endemic species of the Western Ghats, Anaimudi (2695m), the highest peak of South India and Meesapulimalai, the second highest peak of South India, are the prime attractions of this hill town. As we mentioned in the beginning, Marathons are held all over the world and are attended by millions of people. So, what is special about the Marathon at Munnar? In general, the main programs carried out for tourist visiting Munnar are sight-seeing, trekking, camping, tea plantation walk, cycling and other adventure activities comprising of sports and games. “Munnar Marathon-2017” is an ‘out of box’ event, in comparison to the conventional activities conducted. “Munnar Marathon-2017” hosted by Kestrel Adventures and Holidays Pvt. Ltd. is a first of its kind in the God’s Own Country, Kerala. The race route follows a serene high altitude path seldom traversed by people. Traffic and pollution free, we get to breathe fresh air which in itself rejuvenates us. The mists slowly creeping in to envelop us in its glory while we walk, trek or run up the path are feelings to be experienced than explained. The terrain would be an ideal spot to test our endurance and training level. In addition, this would also be Kerala’s first high altitude marathon, paving a way for sculpting history Let’s be there and be a part of the Munnar’s new history…! 





James Mathew

The world’s perception about India has changed tremendously. Everyone wants to become the part of the Indian growth story. India not only represents a resurging economic power but also is the voice of one-sixth of the humanity.

Indian Fist puts India First I n words of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, India does not need to become anything else. India must become only India. This is a country that once upon a time was called the golden bird. As we celebrate the 70th year of Indian Independence, has India reclaimed its welldeserved glory and might?

All five fingers together form a fist; the fist symbolizes the strength of a person. Similarly, in my view, the strength of a nation can be ascertained on five prominent parameters: namely (a) political stability, (b) economic growth, (c) defense capability, (d)global standing, and (e)the social fabric.

Maverick Mandate

Since the year 1984, the year 2014 was the first time in the Indian polity that the country saw a non-congress government being elected with a full majority on its own. It was made possible using the fire-brand campaign led by Shri Narendra Modi. Such mandate not only gives the leadership the liberty to take affirmative steps and implement their agenda without any



excuse of obstructions in decision making.

The way that the ruling party is displaying it desperate grit to win elections after elections, is not a surprising fact, given that with 88 million registered members BJP is the largest political organization in the world and It is also the largest party in both the houses of the Indian Parliament. The two highest constitutional positions in the nation are also held by luminaries, who belonged to the same party. It only increases their accountability and leaves absolutely no room for any sort of excuses if the promises are not fulfilled.

Economic Resurgence

Though we are yet to ascertain the immediate impact of Demonetization and implementation of Goods & Services Tax, it is a game-changing economic reform in independent India by far. According to Prime Minister Modi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel integrated the nation territorially, while GST will integrate the nation economically. With these decisive reforms, the government has displayed their

political will and commitment towards developmental agenda. The direct benefit transfer policy through the JAM trinity has been proved successful in fixing the leakages. With the bold step of demonetization, Aadhar based social security benefit transfer and digitalization, the governments has shown its intent to leave no stone unturned to curb corruption. Control over inflation, increase in our tax base with GST registrants and individual taxpayers validate the economic initiatives taken and are well articulated in the recent Economic Survey 201617 Volume-II as well. With the fact that our economy maintains the stature of the fastest growing economy in the world at a GDP growth rate of around 7%after the implementation of the demonetization and GST, it is poised to be among the top five economies in the world in the near future.

Defense Forte

Beloved former President Abdul Kalam, once, said;“unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. In this world,

fear has no place. Only strength respects strength.”India started building its nuclear capabilities in the year 1948, and it conducted nuclear tests in the year 1974 and 1998. With the no-first-use policy affirmation, we stand competent as part of the nuclear club among other peers. It is not just about being a nuclear power. In terms of its armed forces and state-ofthe-art defenceartillery, India is well-equipped and competent to face any adverse situation and safeguard its 1.3 billion population. Our research organizations have proved their mettle every time with all their initiatives. When it comes to safeguarding Indian nationals in a foreign land, the efforts taken by our external affairs ministry is well known to all. Our foreign policy and International diplomatic relations with nations around the globe are better than ever before. For a matter of fact, we have set examples for other nations to follow our recent evacuation operations from distressed locations and war zones.

Global Stature

One area where undoubtedly the Modi government has won accolades of all is International

relations. As on date, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made 31 foreign trips to six continents, visiting 49 countries including all major international forums and United Nations. Prime Minister is known widely for adhering to strict travel schedules and style of working during his trips; meeting the Indian Diaspora apart from all the diplomatic engagements. Being the second most followed world leader on Twitter or finding space on the cover pages and editorials of global publications, Mr. Modi has raised the bar of recognition of India, like never before, on the world stage. The world’s perception about India has changed tremendously. Everyone wants to become the part of the Indian growth story. India not only represents a resurging economic power but also is the voice of one-sixth of the humanity. Today, India is a formidable player in setting the global agenda when it comes to matters of environment and fight against terrorism.

We the ‘hopeful’ people

A senior diplomat, parliamentarian and author, Shashi Tharoor, once, said:“In India, we celebrate the commonality of major differences. We are a land of belonging

rather than of blood.” India is the land of unity in diversity. They say many countries live together in one country where the language, attire, food and customs changes in every 20 kilometers. It is a vast country, which is well known for its history, culture, heritage and particularly its people since the beginning of civilization. With reference to the quote by our Prime Minister in the beginning, from the time of being a golden bird to the present day India at the dawn of 70th year of its independence, there are many evils like poverty, corruption, castesim, communalism, illiteracy and malnutrition in our society which we need to let go from our socially cohesive community. I would like to sum up with a remark made by an eminent business stalwart NR Narayan Murthy:“India is known for much development that has happened since our independence, but at the same time, we have also failed on many levels. It is the responsibility of the future generations to ensure that all these failures are corrected and help create a civilized society with equal opportunities for one and all” 





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Toshma Biju

Instant Rava Dosa Ingredients

• • • • • • • • • •

Method Take the rava and rice flour together in a bowl. Add the buttermilk and mix well. Add salt and other ingredients and mix well. Heat a tawa till it is hot, simmer. Take a ladleful of rava batter and pour on the tawa in a circular movement. Spread it as a regular dosa, Sprinkle oil or ghee. Once it is cooked on the bottom, flip it to the other side. Cook on both sides and serve with chutney.



Rava (Semolina)........................ 1 cup Rice Flour............................... 1/2 cup Buttermilk.............................. 3/4 cup taste Cooking Oil....................... as required Ghee................................. as required Water................................ as required Onion................................. 1 medium Curry Leaves..............................2 nos Green Chillies.............................2 nos

Bread Dosa Ingredients

• • • • • • • •

Wheat Flour......................................................................... 1 cup Maida................................................................................... 1 cup Semolina.............................................................................. 1 cup Curds................................................................................. 1/2 cup taste Cooking Soda..................................................................... a pinch Bread Slices............................................................................3nos Cooking Oil.................................................................. as required

Method In a bowl, take all the ingredients and mix well. Heat little water and once it is hot, dip the bread slices in it and add to the flours. Add water slowly to mix everything evenly. The consistency should be a thin batter. Allow it to rest for 2 hrs max. Then, mix once again. Heat a tawa. Grease some oil on the tawa. Pour a ladle full of batter and spread to form a circle. Sprinkle oil on top and let it get cooked in sim.

Maida Dosa


• • • • •

Maida..........................................1 cup Rice Flour.................................1/4 cup Salt........................................... to taste Curry Leaves................ 1 no(chopped) Green Chillies.................... 2(chopped)

Method Take a mixing bowl .Add everything mentioned in Ingredients in the bowl and mix it well. Then, add water to make it a dosa batter consistency. Heat the tawa, when it is hot, take the ladle of batter and spread it outside. Drizzle some oil. When it is cooked on one side, dosa turns crisp at the edges. Now, flip the dosa. When both sides are cooked ,remove from tawa and serve hot with chutney.




Spinach Dosa


• • • • •

Wheat Flour.............................................................. 2 cups Spinach Puree..........................................................1/2 cup Green Chilli Paste........................................... 1/4 teaspoon Salt........................................................................... to taste required

Method Heat a teaspoon of ghee, and saute the cashew nuts and raisins in the ghee until it turns golden brown. Boil milk in a pan, add the roasted vermicelli into the pan and cook it stirring until it becomes soft and tender. Once the vermicelli is cooked, add the condensed milk, and cook for around five minutes. Add cashew nuts, raisins, and cardamom powder. Serve it hot or cold.






Elizabath Chacko, MD-Kalpana's International

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ell, the world saw a disastrous ad campaign by a noted brand that upheld racism while trying to promote diversity. Associating fairness with "beauty" is undoubtedly a myth. Diversity should be celebrated in this world that sees beauty as a subjective figure. Beauty itself is a matter of perspective and it is high time we embrace it for what we have. Dark skin has the grace and elegance of its own and is in many ways, healthier than a fair skin when it comes to facing scorching heat and sunlight. Different people have different skin tones; therefore, their makeup requirements are unique. One’s face shape and contour also determine how and what kind of makeup should be applied. While purchasing makeup products, those with darker skin tones should select their makeup carefully as it makes a huge difference to their appearance. The right makeup can make a girl with a warm skin tone glow like a goddess. Here are some makeup tips for those who have darker skin tone.



People with darker skin might look ashy when it is too dry. So, after having a good bath, use a moisturizer to keep your face and body hydrated. This will also give your skin glowing effect. The notable Bollywood celebrities like Bipasha Basu and Nandita Das and Hollywood celebrities such as Lupita Nyogo and Beyonce all do the same. They have the perfect skin. Also, don’t hesitate before using a sunscreen. This is to protect the skin from UV rays as it might produce profound effects on your skin. Use foundation as per your skin tone to look bright under the light. Apply the lighter shade on the center of your face to have an overall effect. Avoid using transparent colour as it might giver greyish tone to your skin. To counteract blemishes, especially the one under your eye, apply a concealer towards the tip of your eyebrows. This is to give a “warm” appearance to that area by attracting the light. Draw outline over your eyes with a suitable eyeliner. Do not spread too much. This will make

Dark is beautiful:

Make up tips for those with darker skin tone

the eyes look big and elegant. Men can also do this process but make sure that the eyeliner is not too visible. Use a specific lipstick. Avoid bright colours. If you are wearing a dark coloured dress then wear red or reddish tones. Otherwise, go for a light brown or pink. You may use blush but it is optional. If you have applied the foundation adequately, then it is more than enough. Choose the blush colour based on your dress and let it contrast. You may apply whatever looks good on you. It is all about embracing the moment. Dark is elegant. Dark is beautiful. Excelsior! 



Mauritania is a small country in the Western African region. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal. This Islamic Republic is one of the least populated countries in Africa and is one of the desperately poor countries in the continent.


t is very important to ask ourselves what we expect from a trip before we plan our trip because each trip is different and offers different experiences.

Our world has plenty of surprises. Through trips, a traveller is exploring where these surprises are located. Are we that much enthusiastic traveller? Many are not. But, there are some. There is no doubt in the fact that a normal person only enjoys those surprises, which he/she feels interesting. In that sense, it is clear that the concept of surprise is subjective. Only an enthusiastic traveller finds every moment he/she goes through worthy and interesting. So, it is advised that every normal traveller should ask the aforementioned question before he/she plans a trip. Noteworthy, this month, we have good news for adventurous travellers. In this edition, we try to share some precious information about a destination, which is a perfect destination for adventurous travellers. Mauritania is a small country in the Western African region. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal. This Islamic Republic is one of the least populated countries in Africa and is one of the desperately poor countries in the continent. Nearly 4.3 million people are presently living in this desert na-



tion. Most of these people depend on farming, fishing and other traditional jobs for their livelihood. The country’s economy index is far lower than other similar countries situated in the region. Iron ore is the one and only valuable export material in the country. So, it accounts for nearly fifty per cent of country’s export. In the recent past, other valuable resources such as gold, oil and copper have been discovered. Unfortunately, the discoveries have not yet contributed any huge fortunes to this nation. The Muslim population, living in this Sunni-dominated nation, is largely detached from the external world. As a result of this, the Mauritanians still follow the majority of the traditional practices blindly. Bidhan, Haratin and West Africans are the three major ethnic groups of Mauritania. The people of this lonely country speak several ethnic languages such as Hassaniya Arabic, Pulaar, Soninke and Wolof.

Interestingly, the educated people of this land mostly speak French, though the country’s official language is Modern Standard Arabic. Just like other poor African nations, this country also underwent several horrible incidents. It witnessed slavery, colonialization, coup and many similar incidents. The French imperialists literally faced no resistance when they tried to occupy the land in the late nineteenth century because the country was at that time in a very weak state due to the prevalence of continuous conflicts in the region. In the year 1960, the land got independence. But, the French government installed a puppet government soon after the independence. His attempt to annex the southern part of the West Sahara region technically ruined the country’s peace, economy and foreign relation. It resulted in the rise of a ruthless military leader. Colonel

Mauritania A fascinating destination for adventurous travellers Mohammed Khouna Ould Haidallah ruled the country using his iron fist. He managed to reinstate friendly relations with the neighbours by making no attempt to grab the disputed region, for which his predecessor indulged in a disastrous war. But, he was a merciless man. He tolerated no dissent. As he feared the emergence of other political figures, he crushed all opponents. The only laudable thing happened during his regime was the declaration of the formal law abolishing the slavery. The country, in fact, witnessed several military coups. After Colonel Haidallah, Colonel Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya and Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall came to power in the country using the same technique used by their predecessor. In 2007, the wind of democracy flew through the land. Sidi Ould



Cheikh Abdallahi was elected as the new president in a democratic election. Unfortunately, the cosiness of freedom filed to last long. It was spoiled by the 2008 coup. Subsequently, another new military leader emerged. General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz initially took the control by force and later by democratic means. The contradicting fact is that this military leader is now the head of the, so called, democratic government of Mauritania. The decades of instability gifts

nothing, but despair, to the Mauritanians. Now, the country has no good educational system, infrastructure, economy and healthcare system. Though the Mauritian tourism segment is only in its beginning stage, the country has successfully emerged as the most preferred destination for the adventure tourism. There are amazing coastlines, dazzling desert regions, exceptional ancient Arabic architecture and much more in this country. You defiantly should hire a local guide to explore the land effortlessly. Mauritanians are friendly people



and their food is worth appreciable. The locals are pure non-vegetarians. Their feasts normally feature a whole roast goat stuffed with rice and camel steaks. You will also get some vegetarian dishes such as salads. You should not forget to try the Mauritanian fish dishes.

famous for its traditional appeal. It is one of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. The Great Mosque is the popular landmark in the city.

Chinguetti, Nouakchott, Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Ouadane, Tidjikja are the popular tourist locations in the country.

Nouakchott is the capital of the country. This former fishing village is now the epicentre of the country’s economy. Several multinational companies have offices in the city. This city’s lifestyle is extremely different from other popular tourist places located in the country.

You should not expect any shopping malls, parks, luxury hotels, clubs, pubs and other things, which are usually seen in the tourist destinations, in this poor Islamic

Parc National du Banc d’Arguin is the popular breeding ground of migrant birds. If you are a bird enthusiast, you will not forget this land.


Ouadane is another UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the country. There are several colonial remnants in the city.

This is an ancient land, which has fortunately or unfortunately detached from all kinds of modernity due to their poor economic condition. The only thing you will find it interesting to buy in this land is the nomadic goods, such as nomadic jewellery, boxes and decorated teapots. You can rent a four-wheeler and a nomadic guide to explore the soul of the nation to the fullest. Chinguetti is one of the oldest cities situated in the country. It is

Tidjikja is one of the least populated regions in the country. The people living in this region are extremely conservative and are totally detached from the external world. You can get the glimpses of traditional Mauritians in this rural town. In renowned writer Edward Abbey’s words, “what draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote”. Book your trip now 


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The Jeep Compass is just as impressive as the 70-year history the brand has. To begin with, you are buying a brand that can rub shoulders with the prestigious Germans.


o you remember? When the Renault Duster came, it identified a gap in the market and offered something that no one thought of before. People bought them, although they were an unknown quantity in terms of service quality or long-term reliability. The Duster instantly became a hit and the Renault became a household brand in the Indian market. The Jeep’s strategy with the Compass is somewhat similar. They know that there is a gap exists between the Asia-specific Cretas and BRVs, and the International-specific



Tuscons and CRVs. So, it simply aims to fill it. The Jeep Compass is just as impressive as the 70-year history the brand has. To begin with, you are buying a brand that can rub shoulders with the prestigious Germans. It looks expensive from the outside, especially if you have the top end one with contrast roof and xenon projector headlamps. The model we used for the photo shoot is a Longitude variant, but we think these five spoke alloys look better and are more Cherokee- is than the one in the top end limited variant. The headlamps are well integrated with the

Jeep Compass

iconic seven-slot grille that, if you look closely, is purely cosmetic and doesn’t have any holes to let in air. The side profile is characterised by thick shoulder lines and squared wheel arches. One gripe with the engineering is, the rear wheel isn’t centrally located in its arch and that gives it the impression of an

even narrower track when viewed from the front three quarters. There is a brushed aluminium trim that runs all the way from the base of the A pillar, along the roof and all the around the rear windscreen that lends it a nice look. The tail lamps are different for the two variants and look funky along with

the near boot lid. The fit and finish are exemplary, the panel gaps are consistent and it is a marked improvement over any Fiat that rolled off the Ranjangaon plant. Inside too, you get a wellfinished dashboard and exquisite looking light grey upholstery. The



top part of the dashboard is made of soft-touch materials and overall fit and finish are very good. The overall design of the dashboard is very similar to that of the Cherokee and you’d appreciate the solid build quality inside. The ergonomics are perfect and you’d feel a luxury car vibe in the cabin. There are brushed aluminium trims to lift the mood in the cabin and the spherical gear knob is one of the nicest we have seen in recent times. There are so many Easter eggs strategically placed throughout the cabin, waiting to be discovered, most bearing the iconic Jeep logo. The front seats are great for long drives, while the rear ones are supportive enough. Boot space is a rather good at 438 litres. You get dual-zone climate control, reverse



camera, Android Auto and Apple Car Play etc. Of course, there are downsides too. One, with thick dashboard and doors, space isn’t that great. Rear passengers get only mediocre legroom and the front headrests are too big they obstruct forward view. Even the thick A pillars create a bling spot, impacting the visibility for the driver. The steering wheel, which has controls for the audio on the back side, has so many ugly blank slots upfront where cruise control buttons should have been. The door bins are small you can’t place 1-litre bottles in them. There is no sunroof, no automatic dimming mirrors, no automatic headlamps or wipers. The 7-inch touch screen isn’t the nicest around.

We drove the 2.0-litre diesel manual, with 170bhp and 350Nm torque. It is the latest generation of the Multijet family of diesels and will later come with a 9 speed automatic, but for now, it is only offered with a 6-speed manual. There is a hint of turbo-lag, but the Compass has adequate power even when the turbo isn’t on boost; so it is good around town. The clutch is light and the manual gearbox shifts nicely and the ratios are well spaced out. It picks up speed and feels adequately fast. We managed a 0-100kmph of 10.8 seconds in the all wheel drive variant. If you don’t need the four-wheel drive, get the two-wheel drive variant which is about 100 kilos lighter. That reflects in the performance considering the Compass is a heavy car, to

The Jeep rides very well over broken roads or any terrain. It has McPherson at the front and multilink at the rear. The dampers are Koni FSDs which adapt to changing road conditions mechanically. begin with, weighing about 200kg more than the Creta. The Jeep rides very well over broken roads or any terrain. It has McPherson at the front and multilink at the rear. The dampers are Koni FSDs which adapt to changing road conditions mechanically. So, if the road is bumpy, it eases up and gives you a more comfortable ride and then when it gets back on smooth tarmac, it goes back to being stiff. It isn’t as quick to react to changing road surfaces as electronically operated adaptive dampers, but for its simplicity, it is good that the Compass offers these. The han-

dling is great too with minimal body roll and good feedback from the steering wheel. You can throw it into corners without upsetting the composure too much. It has great straight-line stability and braking is good too. This is also the first car to get Firestone tyres in India and we would love to see how they perform in the long term. The best part of the Jeep is how it feels rock solid no matter what terrain you subject it to. No other car, in the recent times, has garnered so much interest as the Compass, especially after the prices were announced.

We had a huge number of people contacting us to know our opinion about it. After a big miss with the insanely overpriced Cherokee and Wrangler, FCA seems to have got it right with the Compass. It has everything the Indian customer wants and more at a price that everyone loves. It drives well, feels solid, has enough road presence and is hugely desirable. Hope the service quality and parts availability issues that plagued earlier Fiat products have been sorted and Mopar does a great job. We wish the American brand a huge welcome and a pleasant stay in India




Qarib Qarib Singlle


t is a romantic film directed by Tanuja Chandra. The film takes us on a short trip, with Jaya and Yogi, through Rishikesh, Bikaner and Gangtok. The eventful trips gift many memorable experiences to the youngsters who set out on a journey to retrace past relationships. Quintessential Mollywood actress Parvathy and renowned Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan appear in lead roles. There are many comedy sequences in the film. The best part of the film is that it will make us feel that we are travelling along with Jaya and Yogi on this crazy trip. The lead actors deserve special appreciation for the way in which they have presented Jaya and Yogi.



t is a crime thriller directed by Abhay Chopra. It tells the story of a double murder in which an acclaimed writer and a young housewife are the prime suspects. The film portrays how an investigative officer finds the real culprit of the murder when the two prime suspects give different versions. Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna appear in the lead roles. Parul Gulati and Kimberley Louisa McBeath act in the supporting roles. The film has received a good review from the public. Some critics say that had the climax portion created little more curiosity, the film would have acquired more appreciation.



Last Flag Flying


his Hollywood film is directed by renowned director Richard Linklater. In a sense, it is a war movie. The film tells the story of three retired soldiers, who served together in the Vietnam. In the film, these three veteran soldiers again reunite for a mission (unfortunately, this time, it is a sombre mission: the burial of one of the soldiers’ martyred son). You must see the film to know why the soldiers take the casket on a trip to New Hampshire. There are many emotional sequences in the film. Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne appear in the lead roles.

I Love You, Daddy


t is an emotional film directed by Louis C K. The film tells the story of a responsible father who has been forced to step into the boots of a caring father when he has discovered that her daughter has been accidentally met a man who is interested in underage girls. Louis C K, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rose Byrne, Charlie Day and John Malkovich appear in the lead roles. Will the father, who is a divorced person, succeed in protecting his daughterwithout the help of his ex-wife? Will the daughter show reluctance to pay heed to his overprotective father? These are the questions the film will answer.




Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling-Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success Author Price

: Jordan Belfort : Rs 420


he writer is an infamous stockbroker, who was found guilty in the infamous penny-stock scam. The interesting fact is that Belfort’ memoir, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, was adapted into a film and was a huge success. In this new book, the renowned motivation speaker speaks about the art of persuasion. The book shares several valuable techniques which have the ability to help anyone gain wealth. The writer has asserted that each and every technique discussed in the book is proven to work in real-life situations. It is the best book to learn the art of persuasion and how one can use the art to amass wealth.

Economic Survey 2016-2017, Volume 2 Author Price


: Ministry of Finance, India : Rs 533

he book extensively discusses all the major government financial policies initiated in the previous fiscal and the impact of these policies on the Indian economy. Though the book targets the academic readers, it has the potential to woo all kinds of readers who have some knowledge in the subject of economics. GST, farm loan waivers, demonetisation, digitalisation are some of the important economic policies covered in this book. Unlike its previous volume, the second volume is a detailed analytical review of the Indian economy. Importantly, this book will help you to understand clearly where the Indian economy is aggressively marching towards.






Lost Kingdom Author Price

: Serhii Plokhy : Rs 700


he book tells the readers the long history of the mighty Russian empire. The writer tries to prove that the Russian society has witnessed the merger of imperialism and nationalism. It also tries to showcase how the Russian leaders –both past leaders and present leaders- have exploited warfare and territorial expansion strategies to achieve a state of imperial supremacy. The book alleges that the Russian leaders gain their quality of aggressiveness from their predecessors. The book is good for the purpose of academic research and simple reading. The writer, who is a popular historian, has succeeded in rationally evaluate the Russian society.

4321 Author Price


: Paul Aster : Rs 420

t is a fiction book. Notably, the book has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017. The book tells the readers the story of Archibald Isaac Ferguson, who was born in one of the most disturbing periods in the American history. The protagonist, in the beginning, takes readers to four different paths. At the end, the prime character finds some astounding realities. Though there is love, friendship, passion, family and many more in the story, the book puts enormous focus in the subjects of birthrights and fullness of life. The writer deserves a special appreciation for his selection of words. It can be categorised as a modern classic.






Printed On 01/ 11/ 2017



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