Page 1


Printed at: S T Reddiar, P.B.No:3627, Veekshanam Road, Cochin

Managing Editor

Editorial

I am happy to present you the 28th edition of Unique Times. At this moment I would like to thank all our readers for their immense support. Also I would like to reiterate our commitment towards serious Journalism. We have an interview with Mr. T.A. Joseph who is the Managing Director of confident Group in Kerala, which is a zero debt company and the number one builders in South India.

Correspondents

In our regular columns, Mr. V.P. Nandakumar writes about necessity of a complementary relationship sharing the responsibility for driving financial inclusion between the banks and the NBFCs and Denisha Sahadevan shares her view on business and globalization. Also we have auto review column to introduce the new innovation of Maruti Suzuki – CELERIO. I want to thank you all for the continued support. Please mail me your feedback. Happy reading

Denisha Sahadevan Marketing Ajit Ravi

Our Patron: Mr. V.P. Nandakumar

RNI Reg. No: KERENG/2011/42633 Cover Photograph T A Joseph Managing Director, Confident Group


FROM

COMPETITION TO COLLABORATION V.P Nandakumar MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd

12

CONTENT

14

Interview

T . A . J o s e p h Managing Director, Confident Group

20

Business and Globalization Denisha Sahadevan

B e i n g

E t h i c a l W h e n i t C o m e s t o

22

B u s i n e s s The Effects of Stress 28


33

Gadgets Beauty&

Dealing With Globalization of a

Business

44

50

Media

54

Books

s s

Auto Review

60

A-Wind Of the

Season

CELERIO

Vivek Venugopal


Unique Diary

Lufthansa Airbus flights to India

T

he head of Lufthansa have stated that the airline is planning on flying Airbus A380 superjumbo jets on routes to India later on this year. Since

India has lifted the ban on landing the Airbus aircraft in the country,

carriers like Lufthansa, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines will be able to fly the jet's into India's airports. According to Christoph Franz, the CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG they “are interested to use the A380 also for the major Indian markets.” They will be most likely making the flight schedule for the Airbus for the winter of 2014-2015. Under India's rules, the A380's will be allowed to land in the country's four main airports: New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

“Business is a game, played for fantastic stakes, and you're in competition with experts. If you

be a master of the game.”

Harris Replaces Singh as Head of Ford in India

Sidney Sheldon,

B

want to win, you have to learn to

efore the Auto Expo took place, U.S. auto major Ford announced that it will be appointing Nigel Harris as president and taking over as the head of Ford India

replacing the current head Joginder Singh. Ford Motor Company said that Mr. Singh will be taking off to U.S. as director corporate strategy. The statement by Ford Motors said that in Mr. Harris' new role “Harris will be responsible for managing and growing the integrated manufacturing operation of Ford India.” He will also be overlooking the expansion plans for the company in India through its operations in Chennai and its second upcoming integrated facility in Sanand, Gujarat.

06

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Infosys BPO to Help Train Students with Costa Rica Govt.

I

nfosys BPO has announced that it will be partnering with the government of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) to train students in the area of technical and business process skills. The aim of

the program is to help to strengthen the current talent pool in the country and will help to provide an international exposure to the selected students. It is a 10 week training program that will help 64 students to acquire skills on SAP and Cloud Technologies which is based on Microsoft and JAVA platforms at the Infosys campus in Mysore, India. They first program is supposed to be complete by March of this year as the students receive hands on experience of working on real projects.

“Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

FB Soaring It's Way Through

Conrad Hilton

A

s FB's cell phone advertisement sales continued to soar, Facebook Inc has succeeded to hit its strongest yet

revenue growth in two year's time beating the targets of

Wall Street. The company which happens to be the world's largest social networking site stated that the revenue which they receive from the cell phone ads represented 53 percent ($1.24 billion) of its total advertising revenue in the last three months of the year. At the present time Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly users, with 945 million of them accessing their services on a Smartphone or through the tablet. The average price for per ad on FB has increased up to 92 percent in the past year.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 07


Unique Diary

Renault's Appoints New Head for India

T

he French auto maker Renault has announced that Sumit

Sawhney will be the new CEO and MD of the Renault

Group in India. He will be replacing Marc Nassif, who will

be moving onto Global assignment within the group. Mr. Sawhney will be responsible for managing the entire operation for Renault and will be reporting to Gilles Normand the chairman of the Asia Pacific Region for Renault. Mr. Nassif commented that “India's journey over the past eight years has been full of challenges and great learning having launched Renault brand and five product portfolio.”

“A good businessman must have nose for business the same way a journalist has nose for news. In places where people see a lot of obstacles, I see a lot of opportunities. A good businessman sees where others don’t see.”

High Prices Hit for LNG

H

igh prices have hit demand for liquefied natural gas

(LNG) in a harsh way that GAIL, the country's

biggest pipeline operator is running its plant at a

Orji Uzor Kalu

fraction of its capacity. Asian LNG prices which are linked to oil are about four times the cost of natural gas in the United States. India, Japan and other Asian countries which together import 70 percent of the world's LNG met in December to discuss forming a buyers' club to get a better deal from suppliers. Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co has said it is close to signing a preliminary deal with GAIL to buy LNG together and Tripathi has stated that it would be “about sourcing, swapping, trading and supply.”

08

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Mr. Ajoy Misra to Take over as MD and CEO of TGBL

T

ata Global Beverages Ltd has appointed Ajoy Misra as the Managing Director and the Chief Executive which will

come in effect from April 1, 2014. At the present time,

Mr. Misra is the deputy CEO and executive director of Tata Global Beverages. Tata son stated that the head of the company Harish Bhat has been promoted to a senior advisory position, as Member of the group executive council (GEC). Mr. Bhat will be stepping down on March 31st but will continue to be a non executive director on the board. Mr. Misra has spent more than 30 years in the Tata Group, and prior to joining Tata Global Beverages, he had held leadership roles in the Taj Group of Hotels, including as the head of global marketing and sales, area director and has been the GM of various regions and properties of the Taj.

Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.

Unlocking Value of BSNL, MTNL Walter Scott

A

Group of Ministers (GoM) held a meeting in order to

discuss the ways of unlocking the value of property held

by BSNL and MTNL that may fetch them almost 14,000

crore rupees and revive profitability. BSNL is looking to get the government's approval to monetize 82 land parcels across various locations and the action plan can fetch it a minimum 13,500 crore. BSNL has proposed to take up pilot project for 10 of these 82 land parcels, and only 5 out of the 10 parcels have been shortlisted for getting the GoM's approval.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 09


Unique Diary

Sovereign Fund's Exclusion

T

he finance ministry of Norway has stated to its oil fund which is worth $180 billion, which happens to be the

world's biggest sovereign wealth fund, to stop investing in

two Israeli firms and one Indian company on ethical grounds. The ministry has instructed the fund for the second time to exclude Africa Israel investments and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebue from its investments. It has also stated that it shouldn't invest in Sesa Sterlite which happens to be India's biggest zinc and aluminum maker. After the decision was taken, there are 63 firms which are on the exclusion list which include the world's biggest miners, tobacco producers and makers of certain weapons such as cluster bombs.

In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.

Vodafone Gets New Tax Demand Warren Buffett

B

ombay High Court has given an order for a new income tax demand of 3,000 crore on Vodafone India Services in an alleged transfer pricing case from 2010-11. The new

case relates to the transfer of shares by Vodafone India Services to its parent company in FY11. Vodafone which happens to be India's second largest telecom operator is already in court for a separate 3,700 crore tax notice in a transfer pricing case which is related to the sale of its Pune BPO arm to an offshore group entity in FY08. The company is also attempting to solve a capital gains tax demand from the government, even after it won the case in Supreme Court.

10

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Finance

FROM

COMPETITION TO COLLABORATION I

t's time that India's banks and

know accept that India's financial

NBFCs developed a

sector is better served by banks and

complementary relationship

NBFCs developing a complementary

sharing the responsibility for driving

and mutually beneficial relationship

financial inclusion.

rather than be stuck in a default adversarial mode.

The case for a strong NBFC sector in

Shri V.P. Nandakumar MD and CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd.

12

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

its own right is generally not well

Discarding fallacies

understood in India. The common

A good way to start is to discard a

impression is that NBFCs are a

couple of core assumptions that

necessary evil to be tolerated as long

underpin current thinking on the

as the banking sector leaves behind

topic. The widespread belief that the

gaps in coverage. It is seldom

poor are best served when credit is

acknowledged that (irrespective of

made available at low or subsidized

the actual capabilities of the banking

rates of interest is a fallacy. It's been

sector) NBFCs are an asset to the

shown over and over that what the

economy for their focus, specialized

poor need is ready availability of small

skills and the ability to service niche

ticket loans with minimum

requirements, or that NBFCs

procedural complexities. No doubt,

contribute immensely to the cause of

compared to banks NBFC interest

financial inclusion. Those in the

rates are high. But at the ground


Are banks in India really cut out for promoting financial inclusion or financing marginal borrowers under priority sector lending? Given high HR costs, is it worthwhile for Banks to divert resources to get into small ticket loans for low value customers? level the comparison has little

to divert resources to get into small

innovators and risk takers, shielding

meaning to people who don't have

ticket loans for low value customers?

banks from credit losses through

access to banks anyway and depend

The fact is, when an activity offers no

their additional capital and low cost

on moneylenders. Moreover, in

potential for profit, a commercial

delivery structure. In turn, banks

practice, the gains from low interest

organization would find it difficult to

become aggregators, supervising

rates are often dissipated in the

sustain it over the long term. Banks

credit portfolios originated by various

opportunity costs that banks typically

are poorly placed to drive financial

NBFCs. They are now free to focus

impose on borrowers during

inclusion because they are burdened

on their core competencies. There

disbursement.

by high HR costs. About 65 percent

are long term gains too as customers

The second assumption that needs to

of a bank's operating cost is taken up

won over from the unorganised

go is that regulation of the NBFC

by manpower costs, and PSU banks

sector by the NBFCs eventually move

sector requires fail-proof mechanisms

spend three times or more per

up the value chain to become bank

to prevent bankruptcies and frauds.

employee than NBFCs. Banks also

customers

The NBFC sector is vast and diverse

lack the last mile reach of the NBFCs

.

and instances of bankruptcy or stray

and getting through to targeted

Wrong turn

cases of frauds by unscrupulous

beneficiaries is not easy. At the same

Until 2011, money lent by the banks

promoters cannot be avoided

time, extending last mile reach to

to NBFCs for onward lending to

altogether. The correct response to a

service low value customers in a high

agriculture and MSMEs was

mishap is not to keep on tightening

cost set-up is not viable.

reckoned under their priority sector lending targets. But now, RBI

the screws and make life ever more difficult for the NBFCs, but to stick

Co-opt NBFCs

requires banks to skirt the NBFCs

with policies that foster growth and

Under these circumstances, we need

and lend directly to the priority

competition. The dividing line

a mechanism where banks and

sector. Consequently, banks have less

between regulations that seek to

NBFCs share the responsibility for

incentive to lend to the NBFCs and

minimise risk and regulations that

driving financial inclusion and

the anecdotal evidence indicates that

end up stifling growth is often thin,

pushing priority sector lending. A

the flow of credit to vulnerable

and striking the right balance is of

sensible approach would have NBFCs

agriculturists and MSMEs has been

the essence. When a regulator's

originate credit using their superior

affected. In the meantime, banks are

single-minded focus is on preventing

last mile delivery while banks

nowhere near proving themselves

downside risks, it kills the upside

refinance these loans at favourable

adequate to the challenge. A policy

terms. With advantages of lower

recalibration intended to promote the

costs, proximity to the customer, and

interests of the priority sector by

What banks can't do

innovative practices in credit

putting more money into its hands at

Are banks in India really cut out for

origination, NBFCs can offer a better

a lower cost has curtailed the flow of

promoting financial inclusion or

value proposition to the borrower,

credit to the sector and failed in one

financing marginal borrowers under

good enough to even neutralise their

of its key objectives. It is time for a

priority sector lending? Given high

higher interest rates.

rethink.

HR costs, is it worthwhile for Banks

In this model, NBFCs become

potential as well.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 13


Interview

T . A . J o s e p h Managing Director, Confident Group

14

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


A Voyage

with Confidence

s e p h

K

Entertainment, Health Care,

developed as many business, luxury

communities of townships, villas,

apartments, and high end restaurants

apartments, commercial towers,

have popped up everywhere and the

malls, software towers & parks, hotels

pace of modernization has taken up

and resorts. Confident Group strives

the state in a high end level. Amongst

to achieve their initial goal to become

the numerous companies which have

the number one builder in Kerala and

come up ,which have contributed to

Karnataka initially and now getting

the vast development of the cities not

ready to spread its wings into Tamil

erala is not what it certainly was 10 years ago, as in the

Airlines, and Hospitality. Today the

past few years it has

company has many gated

only in Kerala but in Karnataka,

Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to meet

Dubai and overseas Confident Group

the requirements of all sectors of the

has been one which has climbed it's

society. In Kerala, the company is

way to the top of the business world

headed by Managing Director. Mr.

in just a few years time.

T.A. Joseph, with whom Unique

Headed by Dr. ROY C J, Confident group entered into the world of business in the year of 2006. The

Times has a talk with to find out what is the secret behind the success of a company

company is headquartered in

What is the secret behind the

Bangalore and has offices in

success of the company?

Trivandrum, Kochi, Trichur, Calicut, Dubai and overseas. The company is into many sectors of fields such as Education, Real Estate,

We ensure a successful business because we are sincere to our clients and we always provide good quality products . The hard work and

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 15


It's all about diversification and investment in different baskets. If one basket is not performing the others will perform and this will result in the growth of business without affecting it's pace. Just like an investor in stock market would prefer to invest in multi nature stocks so that depreciation in one stock will be compensated with appreciation in another stock

What are the present ongoing projects for Confident Group and the plans for the future? As always our core strength is in apartment projects however at present we are focusing on multiplex and commercial malls also. We are coming out with two malls in Calicut, one in Trichur, one in Chalakkudi and one plot has been identified in Kottayam. Our core business remains to be in building apartments. Right now we have 18 projects

Dr. Roy C.J

Chairman, Confident Group

that are ongoing across Kerala. In the aviation industry we are planning on buying two more six seated aircrafts. On the entertainment front we are focusing on multiplex and malls. We will be having 40 multiplex screens in

discipline which is maintained by the company is the

Kerala shortly and are still debating on

ultimate strength of Confident Group which also helps

whether to run the multiplex in our own

to ensure success in the company. We also follow the

brand names or to lease it out to other

traditional business rule of Kerala where the forefathers

operators. And on the lifestyle front we are

did their business with the capital which they had,

launching a mega perfume showroom on the

rather than borrowing from the banks. For example to

6th of February 2014 in Damascuss Street in

put it in this way, in the olden days when housewives

Dubai where we will be selling 30,000 bottles

would be maintaining their homely duties, their

of branded perfumes . We will be spreading

husbands would give them only a certain amount of

our wings by opening 50 more outlets across

money, and they managed everything with that certain

the globe. In the Hospitality Division we have

amount of money, and saved a portion of money which

2 five star resorts and a four star Hotel in

they were given, we also follow the same basic principle

Bangalore , which are marketed by U.S. based

in managing the company

Best Western Group. In Education front, Confident- GEAR Creative Leadership School

How do you maintain the different sectors of business such as hospitality, airlines, entertainment, education and health care in a successful manner?

is an initiation in association with "The GEAR Foundation". The GEAR Foundation runs one of the finest School's in the South Bangalore. Confident-GEAR Montessori Plus is another

16

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


This is something which becomes a major concern for any builder in Kerala . The rest of the world is growing vertically except few countries in Europe whereas in Kerala the vertical growth is limited due to government

initiative from Confident Group to

availability of land and Stringent

provide exemplary education. In the

regulations . This is something which

health sector we are starting a 120

becomes a major concern for any

bedded super specialty hospital in

builder in Kerala . The rest of the

Bangalore named British Royal

world is growing vertically except few

Hospital.

countries in Europe whereas in Kerala the vertical growth is limited

Confident Group is responsible for the success of the biggest budgeted film in Kerala; Casanova, what is the reason behind the success of this film and the challenges which were faced?

due to government regulations. For example , if confident group can build 100 apartments vertically in one acre of land , it requires 5 acres of land for same number of Villas if it goes Horizontally .Looking at statistics, Total area of Kerala is

The principal and the reason for the

38000 sq. kilometers with a

success of confident group is

population of 3.3 Crore. Kerala

discipline and hard work. In the film

Coastal area is approximately 600

industry, the very nature of the

Kms and there are 40 odd rivers and

industry depends on various factors

34 lakes/backwaters and then comes

that are not in the our control. This

Paddy fields,Filtration Ponds,

was one of the challenge we have

Plantations, Roads, Railway lines,

face in Casanova

western guards,Wet lands etc. All the above are consuming a major portion

What are some of the challenges which Confident Group faces? We face the normal challenges of the

of land and hence it leads to scarcity of land for Projects. Over and above this constraints, the various zones of CRZ rules and Kasthuri Rangan

real estate industry such as the

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 17


regulation makes the story more tougher. Then comes the permission from various local bodies. The permission from Panchayath, Municipality, Fire and safety

about business? One aspect which I like about business is the dynamic nature of the business which Confident Group maintains.

department etc is highly time consuming. For example if we invest 20 crore for a land for Projects in

What is the motivation behind the

Kerala, after all above said

success of the Confident Group?

permissions , it will take minimum

Our motivation behind our business

one and a half year to start getting

is our chairman Dr. Roy C J whose

returns. In the present scenario with

dynamism drives us. A well

a very narrow profit margin it is very

supported team is another factor and

difficult to manage business. As I

motivation behind the success of

understand few bigger players from

Confident Group

North India who has started projects in Kerala could not sustain here due

In the last six years we

to stringent rules,conditions and

When did you begin working at

political issues. After all ,real estate

Confident Group?

have issued more than

business is all about construction

I have been with the company since

1.5 million checks and

and we are not in to the business of

the beginning.

we have never had a check bounce. This is possible only because of our direct involvement

space shuttle manufacturing. Hence my opinion is ,to get rid of these delays/constrains, government should

How did you enter into the field of

open a single window approval matrix

business?

which will definitely benefit the state,

I was initially in Merchant Navy, and

as well as the public

during my preparations for Masters

in fund management on a daily basis

competency exam in UK, I got What is the secret behind being able to maintain a zero debt level?

involved in the real estate business. Later I met Dr. Roy C J and was influenced by his passion for

We do not have a CFO in our

business and dynamicity and joined

company. The chairman Dr. Roy C J

the Confident Group as Director,

and I look into each financial aspect

later moved onto being the Joint

of the company on a daily basis and

managing Director and presently I

the funds are managed in the best

am the Managing Director .

way. In the last six years we have issued more than 1.5 million checks and we have never had a check

How supportive is your family of your

bounce. This is possible only because

career?

of our direct involvement in fund

My family is very supportive of me

management on a daily basis

and my career.

What is one aspect which you like

18

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Business

Business and Globalization Denisha Sahadevan

Globalization is defined as a trend of countries and cultures becoming more connected through business, governmental cooperation, mass media and other sectors.

20

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

T

here are many organizations and corporations, big and small that choose to take advantage of globalization. The movement of globalization in businesses today have in many ways saved a lot of businesses from going into bankruptcy or helped them in many areas where they may have otherwise fell short on their bottom line. Globalization has in a sense transformed how many organizations conduct business on daily basis. Globalization has had such a profound effect on many country's economy; there level of education, their social standing in the world and their political landscape. Globalization is defined as a trend of countries and cultures becoming more connected through business, governmental cooperation, mass media and other sectors. As the opportunities for meaningful exchange grow through technology and cheaper travel businesses are able to expand their scope into new markets, average citizens are able to get to know people from vastly different cultures, governments are able to more easily collaborate on

initiatives that affect more than one nation. What are the major drivers of globalizations? One can realize that there are many drivers. In many cases, one driver of globalization may fuel another. We will focus on four that clearly stand out as major drivers of globalization. The major drivers of globalization are market drivers, cost drivers, government drivers, and competitive drivers. Market drivers are one of the primary drivers of globalization in today's society. Market drivers are described as economic, demographic, regulatory and technology trends that are causing the new market to develop. Some examples of market drivers are fulfilling customer needs, transferable marketing and global distribution networks. Cost drivers are defined as any activity or series of activities that takes place within an organization and causes costs to be incurred. Some examples of cost drivers are transportation cost, product development cost and potential for economies of scale. In reference to globalization of


All in all, globalization has really been helpful in many different ways, for many different businesses and for an abundance of communities.

government drivers, like the others, government drivers have had to embrace globalization. They have also embraced free trade agreements and reduced trade tariffs. Some examples of government drivers are privatization, common marketing regulations, and creating favourable trade policies. Throughout the country, globalization has affected a myriad of things, not just states economy's, but local communities and local businesses as well. In the area where I reside, globalization has really taken it toll with the exportation of jobs. One of the biggest jobs that people always looked forward to having where manufacturing jobs. Since globalization came about, many jobs have relocated to other countries in favour of cheaper labour. Another affect that globalization has caused is that of competition, which I see as a positive for the consumers. The increased competition has caused many to drop their prices and make a better quality good. This is a turn in a different direction where in the past

merchants would use to have their goods priced very high. And lastly, one other affect that globalization has had on some communities is that of forcing the people to become more educated. This is a positive, not only for the individual, but for the country as well. Globalization has forced people of all communities to extend their education beyond what they currently have. The additional education was needed in order to get the better jobs that globalization has brought about in many communities. All in all, globalization has really been helpful in many different ways, for many different businesses and for an abundance of communities. By continuing to reach out to other countries and utilizing resources that are otherwise unavailable to us, our country along with other nations can continue to thrive as we go forward into the next generation of globalization.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 21


Business

B e i n g

E t h i c a l W h e n i t C o m e s t o

B u s i n e s s A

sk business managers how to manage business ethics and they are bound to receive many answers or quizzical looks. How can managers educate employees about the importance of business ethics in the company? Integrating business ethics into an organization, one must first be able to understand business ethics. As a result of many scandals in large corporations today, business ethics is fast becoming an important subject to many business professionals. Not only do they have to learn what constitutes ethical responsibility, but they also have to understand and manage it. Companies while trying to uphold a reputable image, slip when there is a profit to be made, and this results in disasters such as the “no doc loans” or “liar loans” and the resulting crash of the housing market. Agencies need to be in place to ensure people are not taken advantage of and coerced into loans that they cannot realistically afford.

22

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

Ethical behaviour in business is consistent with the principles, norms and standards of business practice that have been agreed upon by society. Many standards and policies were translated into laws, but there are also some behaviours that cross into the ethics realm not considered illegal. Also, some behaviours illegal in the United States, but they may not be recognized as illegal in other countries. Where, when, and how is it determined what is ethical and what is not ethical? Should individuals even bother to conduct themselves ethically if there is no law against it? People in society have morals, values, and standards that feed into their ethical decisions. Organizations should be concerned with whether or not they are perceived ethically or their reputations can be irrevocably damaged.

When organizations are known for their social responsibility and business ethics, they attract employees loyal to the company. It is essential for executives and managers to care about their image and instil


everyone grows up with different values and morals, everyone approaches ethical decisionmaking differently.

ethical behaviour in their business dealings. Their company's reputation and their jobs depend on it. Failure to be ethically responsible can result in them being held liable not only for any wrongdoing they participate in but also that of their employees. When ethical behaviour is presented from the top echelon down, employees eagerly “buy in” to this ideal. Furthermore, other companies, investors, and society are more willing to associate with a company that adheres to ethical decisionmaking practices. Just as everyone grows up with different values and morals, everyone approaches ethical decision-making differently. We want to believe that everyone has “good” intentions and they want to make the “right” decisions, but when confronted with an ethical dilemma, it is proven to be a difficult task. The most common is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, the Golden Rule. Using the veil of ignorance one comes to a decision from the perspective of everyone that could be involved or affected by the final decision. One has to be blind to colour, age, status, and even their own identity. This particular

approach is interesting because the final decision may negatively affect the very person making the decision if he or she comes in blindly. Another perspective is being good by nature. As you associate with others who share the same ideals and value practicing good ethics. People who use this approach are defined by a relevant moral community. Whichever approach one uses, they must have the facts and analyze what the conflict, or ethical dilemma, is. Next, the short-term and long-term consequences and the obligations to the stakeholders need to be identified. Finally, when making decisions, using the disclosure rule can help determine whether or not one would be comfortable with the decision being broadcast on news stations. The last two steps to consider are making sure there are alternative actions and going with intuition. If you believe that you are about to make the wrong decision, you should not do it. There are also psychological approaches to making ethical decisions. This is a process whereby an individual must right be able to recognize that there is an ethical dilemma. The steps involved are

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 23


action.

Ethical decisionmaking is an important aspect of the work environment and managers must act accordingly or they could lose their jobs if an ethical situation is mishandled.

24

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

“ethical awareness, ethical judgment, and ethical action”. According to the textbook, for someone to be ethically aware, “three things need to happen”. One, people need to realize that the situation as hand not only they but also everyone around them will consider to be an ethical problem. This problem is one that may have been discussed during ethics training, during orientation to the company, or simply in the cafeteria room. Two, determine if ethical language is used. For instance, in week one threaded discussion, the Japanese company offered a bribe. The word “bribe” is a negative word, and one would immediately think they are in an ethically wrong situation. Finally, the person sees that the problem has the potential to cause harm. In the case of the Japanese company offering a bribe, if it were accepted, there is the potential for the organization to lose future investors, their reputation, and the executive would lose not only his job but also his reputation and integrity. Once someone is ethically aware he or she must make an ethical judgment and take ethical

Ethical judgment and ethical action from varies between individuals because everyone has his or her own characteristics, values, and morals. There are five differences discussed in the textbook that influence some people to be behave ethically, and others to behave unethically. They are ethical decision-making style, cognitive moral development, locus of control, Machiavellianism and moral disengagement. These differences in people range from not wanting to cause harm to others, weighing the consequences of a decision, to being obedient and avoiding punishment or getting rewarded; or being in control of what happens to leaving it to fate. Machiavellianism, for instance, is primarily associated with persons who behave unethically. They believe that one must do whatever it takes to achieve a positive outcome, even if it means lying or cheating. Moral disengagement, on the other hand, involves people who stop themselves if they are about to behave unethically because they generally have internalized standards of good conduct. The bottom line is that ethical decision-making is influenced by individual differences. Ethical decision-making is an important aspect of the work environment and managers must act accordingly or they could lose their jobs if an ethical situation is mishandled. Managers must consider their values and what is important to them, or reflect on a personal narrative, when facing ethical issues. Ethical issues that may arise in the workplace are discrimination, harassment, conflicts of interest, invasion of privacy and use of corporate resources. Any of these cases must be handled according to the law while ensuring confidentiality. If not handled correctly, the potential for disciplinary action, litigation, millions of dollars in fines, public scrutiny and a bad reputation exist. Organizations must ensure they provide training and orientation annually to make employees aware and let them know company grievance procedures.


Unethical behaviour should also be punished and made known to all employees so they know that unethical behaviour will not be tolerated. When some ethical issues are not handled appropriately, or quickly enough to avoid harm, employees have the option to blow the whistle. Making employees aware of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour is a piece of the whole. The whole constitutes the corporation, and ethics must be an organizational culture involving everyone. To have a fully aligned ethical culture, executive leadership must support formal policies and codes, and ensure that the values and mission statements promote ethical conduct. When employees see that the top echelon supports and rewards ethical behaviour, they will be influenced to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. Another way to promote an ethical culture is to conduct formal ethics training and orientation. Informal communication systems within the organization also promote ethical behavior. The smoke pit at my job is an example of this. When personnel get in trouble, they tend to discuss the situation at the

smoke pit. I have heard others sailors say that they are not going to do the same thing because they do not want to get punished or separated from the military. This is a way of ethical behaviour being promoted by “the grapevine�. Managers and leaders must continually manage organizational ethics by setting the example, providing training and orientation. Another way to manage and communicate ethics in an organization is through legal compliance. Ethics must be managed and standards must be set. A way to manage them is by having an ethics officer and compliance officer. A lawyer who works for the company can hold this position, or it can be someone who is hired for the position who is not associated with the company. The downside to hiring an outsider is it will be difficult to establish credibility with the company. Communicating ethics is much more than just training and orientation, it must be

communicated up and down from upper management to the newest employee. This includes using the company website, to postings around the company. It must be at the forefront of everyone's mind. Incorporating rewards programs for ethical behaviour would influence people to act and behave ethically. Unethical behaviour should also be punished and made known to all employees so they know that unethical behaviour will not be tolerated. Employees should also be aware of how to report ethical issues they may encounter. Periodically evaluating the ethics program by way of surveys can also provide valuable information to the company to see if they are doing ethics the right way. Managers are also responsible for hiring good employees. By conducting interviews, managers can determine if the applicants are the right fit for the company and if their ethical ideals align with those of the corporation. Employees should have the required qualifications, but it is

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 25


Corporate social responsibility defined is a company's sense of responsibility towards the community and environment in which it operates. This is a relationship established with external stakeholders. Several reasons to be socially responsibly are; it helps a company protect their reputation when they

26

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

also important to hire employees who will be actively engaged and committed to their work. Employees who are not engaged or disengaged tend to act unethically and cause the company to lose money. Managers should use performance evaluations to give employees feedback on how they are doing, and suggestions on how to improve any shortcomings. Employees will be inspired to do their best when working in an ethically aligned work environment. If change does not occur, or problems persist, they must be disciplined in a constructive manner. As a last resort, managers should terminate employees unwilling to change or not meeting the company's expectations. The corporation has a responsibility to set and follow standards for their employees. Besides a responsibility to their employees they also have a responsibility to society. Corporate social responsibility defined is a company's sense of responsibility towards the community and environment in which it operates. This is a relationship established with external stakeholders. Several reasons to be socially responsibly are; it helps a company protect their reputation when they are doing societal good by showing that they care about people and the community. The four types of responsibilities that a company must be aware of, they are economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. Economic responsibilities involve making a profit for the stakeholders and simultaneously minimizing costs. With legal responsibilities, a company must follow all the rules and regulations in the state or country they are working out of. It is not as simply as just following the rules, other countries may have less stringent rules, but a company must enforce acceptable behaviour. Ethical behaviours involve providing jobs and thus contributing to the economic health of a community. When providing these services, they also need to make sure that no harm comes to society. Another way of providing services to the community is by participating in charitable

events. When donating time, money or other charitable services a company is meeting their philanthropic services. In addition to meeting their corporate responsibilities, a company must be aware of their impact on the environment. Poor choices can impact the firm, the stakeholders and the environment. Sustainable development means making sure resources will be available for future generations. For example, a company who chops down a forest for wood, and does not replant it, is depleting resources. Stakeholders expect companies to go green and promote eco-friendly products; sustainability is fast becoming an essential part of business strategy. Socially responsible investors expect companies to engage human rights and environmental responsibility. Being socially responsible leads to a good reputation, which provides the benefit of lower costs, higher sales, the ability to charge a higher amount for a product, and good employees. Good, committed employees are more attracted to companies known for having a good reputation. Being irresponsible costs millions of dollars in fines, results in loss of investors, a poor reputation and stock prices drop. The results can be disastrous to a company and all stakeholders involved and it also results in increased government regulations. Corporations should be socially responsible not only to attract investors and good employees, but also because the bottom line is that it is the right thing to do. Failure to practice good business ethics can lead to problems within the organization. Many corporations that provide socially harmful products, but they continue to do so because the investment is profitable and all standards and regulations have been met. What starts to disintegrate a company is greed, faulty products, conflicts of interests, and it slowly spirals downward resulting in cases such as Enron and WorldCom. In addition to meeting the consumer's needs, companies must also provide their employees a


Consumers, employees, shareholders, and the community must be factors in how the company works because they are ethically responsible to each.

safe workplace, freedom of speech, and a workplace that is free of bias. Furthermore, companies have a responsibility to the shareholders to maintain the company in good standing not only at present but also for the future. Finally, companies must operate with the environment in mind. Failure to do so negatively affects the community and future generations. A company's responsibility to each of the entities mentioned above often overlaps. Consumers, employees, shareholders, and the community must be factors in how the company works because they are ethically responsible to each. Any lawsuits that arise only further damage a company's integrity and reputation, especially if the case is widely publicized in the media. The final chapter in the textbook is about how to behave ethically and be socially responsible when associating with a global market.

There is room for much more unethical behavior because laws, standards, and regulations are less stringent, or often ignored. Managers who are working as expatriates need to learn about the culture they will be working with, to include learning or understanding a new language as well as becoming familiar with laws and regulations. Expatriates may be faced with corruption, the offering of bribes, and facing workplace conditions that are unacceptable, provided with clear guidance about goals and the expectations associated with their jobs with set expatriates up for success when dealing with foreign businesses. In conclusion, managing business ethics is an important facet of any business. Managers must lead by example when making ethical decisions and behaving ethically, and employees are likely to be motivated to behave the same way.

Through training and orientation, individuals can learn both prescriptive and psychological approaches to handling ethical situations. Many ethical issues can arise in a corporation, and they must be addressed swiftly and to the satisfaction of the individual who has been offended. Organizations are not only responsible to the stakeholders but also to the community, employees, and the environment and therefore, they must ensure that they are in operating in accordance with current laws and regulations. Behaving ethically and being socially responsible attracts socially responsible investors, and employees committed to an organization because of how they work and what they stand for.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 27


Health

The Effects of E

Stress

ver wonder about how stress effects our bodies and our health? This word stress is thrown around by the media so much it's losing its meaning but have you ever wondered how they define stress? Stress can be defined as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation. Stress-causing events are called stressors, they can come from external sources or from within us and can scale from relatively mild to quite serious.

out.� These are called stressors. Stressors can be anything from something small, like being stuck in traffic during rush hour or something big like an earthquake or hurricane. Stressors can also be imaginary, such as financial stress such as, where the next mortgage payment will come from. There are two kinds of stressors, one is distress which is the bad stress and eustress which is the good stress that motivates us as people to do well.

There are certain environmental factors that can affect our stress There are things, events, and levels and sometimes we cannot conflicts that cause people to “stress- control the outcome of these events,

28

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Believe it or not there are such things as good and bad stress. Too much of either can lead to disorders that can control our lives and can help spiral our lives out of control.

these are basic ups and downs of life. An example of an external stressor is a catastrophe. Catastrophe is an unpredictable, large scale event that can create a magnificent need to adapt or adjust your lifestyle. An example of a catastrophe would be an earthquake or your house burning down. Another huge stressor in our lives could be a major life change. It could be something from a death in the family, to a family move from one city to another, or it could be as simple as a job change. The hardest part about any of these chances is coping and adjusting to your new setting.

characterized by the development of severe anxiety, dissociative, and other symptoms that occurs within one month after exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor. This disorder was unfortunately the most common suffered by many people after the traumatic events of 9/11.

Another stress disorder that is commonly found among returning soldiers from war is called posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless. Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include rape, a Believe it or not there are such things natural disaster, kidnapping, assaults, as good and bad stress. Too much of car or plane crash, medical either can lead to disorders that can procedures especially in young control our lives and can help spiral children, and war. According to The our lives out of control. These National Institute of Mental Health, disorders can possibly, in a sense, women seem to be more susceptible make us do things that we normally to PTSD and have almost twice the wouldn't do. It's almost like an altered risk of developing PTSD. uncontrollable state of both mind and body. One of those stress disorders is It's easy to talk about the major life changes and major stressors but the called acute stress disorder. Acute most of our daily stress come from Stress Disorder, or ASD, is

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 29


the smallest things. From minor disagreements, the water dripping, traffic, and other daily annoyances are called hassles. We run into these hassles more often and more frequently than a stressor on a larger scale. Our text book compares major stressors to throwing a rock into a pond. The rock makes a big splash, like a major life stressor, but the rock disappears. What's left is the ripple and those ripples are the hassles that arise from that big stressor. There are some psychological and mental factors involved being with stress. When stress comes to mind what does the typical person think of? People think about the pressure involved with stress. We as people

Another psychological factor involved with stress is the uncontrollability factor. This is the person's ability to have some kind of dominance or control over a particular event or situation.

stress about everything from work to family life to timing pressure. Time pressure is one of the most common forms of pressure. It seems like especially in today's society, everyone has this “I have no time” concept. This no time concept is called the poverty of time concept. People believe they have no time because they occupy themselves with something else of a lower priority such as, watching television or playing around on the computer and they could be thinking and doing what's most important. When people say they have no time to do whatever, their next breath is usually always “but I work well under pressure.” The truth is, according to government studies, that pressure can actually have a negative effect impact on a person's ability to be creative. Another psychological factor involved with stress is the uncontrollability factor. This is the person's ability to have some kind of dominance or control over a particular event or situation. Usually the less control a person has over an event the greater degree of stress. There have been studies that have shown that lack of control in a situation has a direct effect with the increase in PTSD symptoms. An example of a situation or event that one has no control over could be something we consider small, like a plane ride, or something on a larger scale, like cancer. Have you ever been frustrated with someone or something? Of course we all have. Frustration occurs when people are blocked or prohibited from achieving a desired goal. Most frustration is external, such as your car breaking down or that promotion you wanted was given to someone else. External frustration can have certain degrees of frustration. That person who is hungry but not in a hurry will have more patience and less frustration but the person who is late for their dinner reservation and their family is waiting for them will obviously be more frustrated than the other person. Aggression or actions meant to harm or wreck is another

30

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


to process pain, so during that period of time of the resistance stage the person could feel little or no pain. The third and final stage is called exhaustion, this is when all the body's resources are spent and exhausted. Exhaustion can lead to stress like diseases and disorders, like high blood pressure. That person will most likely begin to feel that pain from the resistance stage during exhaustion. Alarm and resistance are stages that people can go through several times during a lifetime but this also allows people to adapt to life's ups and downs. A prolonged depletion of stress hormones during the exhaustion stage can lead to the most harmful effects of stress. The most common of these diseases include but aren't limited to ulcers and high blood pressure.

form of frustration. Scientists believe that there is a correlation between frustration and aggression but it doesn't mean there is a direct relationship between the two.

In what ways do you deal with stress?

How does stress affect the body and our immune systems? Scientists have come up with a classification technique called the general adaption system, GAS. GAS is the three stages of the body's physiological reaction to stress. The first stage is the alarm stage, this is when the body first realizes and begins to react to that stressor. During this stage the adrenal glands release certain hormones that can result in an increase in heart rate, higher blood pressure, and a steady supply of blood sugar which produce a sudden burst of energy. The second stage is called resistance, this is when stress is at the highest. During the stressor a continuing release of hormones are prevalent in the blood stream and the body will continue to release these hormones until the stressor has stopped or gone away. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one of the hormones released can affect the brain's ability

Stress can actually have an increasing effect of the immune system. The good effects of stress can only work when the stress is not a continual, constant condition. The study of the effects of stress and emotions on the immune system is called psychoneuroimmunology. It is believed that an overabundance of stress and emotion can cause the immune system to weaken making you more settable to illness and disease. In what ways do you deal with stress? We all deal with stress in different ways. Some of us deal with stress in unhealthy ways such as smoking or drinking. Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem. To cope with stress we need to identify these unhealthy habits and do our best to try and eliminate them. Researchers believe that laughter can reduce the stress. Laughter helps us take our mind off the stressor and put our mind someplace else. Another popular coping method is the use and practice of mediation. Meditation can actually give us more time by making our mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation can help us to overcome our stress and find some inner peace and balance.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 31


Business

Dealing With Globalization of a

Business G

lobal Marketing in the simplest description attempts to understand customers in terms of what they buy, when they buy, why they buy, how much they buy, where they buy it, and with what they buy. Internationally, this means understanding culture. How marketing efforts interact with culture determines the success or failure of a product. There are many examples of cultural differences that have affected marketing success or failure. The relationship with culture comes into play with the realization that each of the consumer behaviour factors noted above varies from culture to culture. In order for their organizations to be globally competitive they must have the ability to influence the customers' wants and needs, therefore

marketers must understand the cultures in which they are operating in. Lack of understanding of a culture can lead to failure to communicate effectively, which can be extremely detrimental to a business venture. It is important that businesses understand their costumer before communicating with them; introducing a product to them which offends them or interacting in a way which indicates little cultural awareness will alienate customers. Awareness of culture when creating global marketing strategy will be of crucial importance as the worldwide market is rapidly changing. Marketing has a major role in shaping and influencing the intensity of people's wants and needs. Failing to assess cultures changing impact on consumer behaviour and implement strategies accordingly can prevent a company from planning for potential threats and seizing the potential opportunities available. Being aware of contextual aspects helps to develop effective business relationships with both a firm's customers and vendors, thus giving clear competitive advantage. One of the most influential cultural elements is language. Every form of culture is identified in terms of

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 33


language. Language is a unifying force of diversity in many countries. For example, Hindi is a unifying force in India where there are more than 20 languages and 200 dialects. Spreading of culture is greatly facilitated if there is commonality in language. The language diversity makes it difficult for companies to integrate their workforces and to market their products on a truly national level, as each dialect, nuance and complexity may differ from culture to culture. International marketers will have to understand both the written and spoken language and also the non-verbal language to communicate effectively with the targeted audience. International marketers can run their business more smoothly in countries sharing the same language because expensive and time-consuming translation is unnecessary. In this respect English is the most important language (apart from the primary language in a country) for use in international business. However even in the English language, meanings attached to communicative and on communicative gesture and symbols may vary from culture, for example the American English is totally different from the British English. With language one should consider whether or not the national culture is predominantly a high context culture or a low context culture. The concept relates to the balance between the verbal and the non-verbal communication. International advertising entails dissemination of a commercial message to target audiences in more than one country. It have to deal with target audiences differ from country to country in terms of how they perceive or interpret symbols or stimuli; respond to humour or emotional appeals, as well as in levels of literacy and languages spoken. It is a big challenge when come to crosscultural communication environment. In this cases, language is such an important term for choosing a brand name, selecting copy or text to appear on product packaging, developing advertising slogans and

34

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

creating advertising messages. There are dividing to high context and low context culture where how communication is conveyed and perceived. .For example, in "lowcontext" cultures, speakers assume their listeners understand what they are talking about, thus eliminating the need to explain everything. In cultures that prefer formality in verbal interactions, there is a protocol when speaking to others especially when talk to superiors or elders, for example Korea. However an informal culture is treated everyone equally in an interaction. Moreover, language is variable. Some language has more different words for describe one thing. For example, hand phone can refer to cell phone or mobile phone in other countries. Besides, there is different meaning of a word in different culture such as “luck”, "out of luck" means to be unlucky in British but "Luck out" means to be lucky in USA or “bathroom” is means a room which contains a bath in British but it is means to toilet in USA. A word may have different meaning or concept in different language due to the different culture so translation is importance in international commercial communication. The translation of brand name, advertising copy, packaging copy and

Moreover, language is variable. Some language has more different words for describe one thing. For example, hand phone can refer to cell phone or mobile phone in other countries.


advertising message must acceptable to the particular countries when having international advertising campaign.

On the contrary, US advertising is more characterized by symbolism or indirect verbal expression.

For instance, when Kentucky Fried Chicken entered the Chinese market, to their horror they discovered that their slogan “finger lickin' good” came out with “eat your finger out”. Instead of translation problem in Chinese language, there is also several examples happen in other types of language when enter the global market, for example: “Got Milk” campaign got into trouble in Mexico when the translation came out with meaning “are you lactating?” For example, Japan is low context culture while US is high context culture. Both of Japanese print and broadcast advertisements is briefer in words or picture. In Japanese culture, feelings and sensations can all be created through abstract word associations. So the competition among products advertisements is usually not emphasize on the specific feature whereas create the different tone and

appeal in the commercial through the scenery, music or emotional appeal which also known as soft sell approach. On the contrary, US advertising is more characterized by symbolism or indirect verbal expression. The products commercial generally is to emphasize the unique features and dissimilarities of the product itself which refer as hard sell approach. Besides, Japanese advertisements are more focus on merits or value rather than comparative claims in US. In short, verbal communication no matter language or different context of culture is also a condition that advertiser have to consider well in making strategy in international advertising arena in order to increase sales of products or bring out the brand in foreign market instead of lost money by making of failure strategy. Non-verbal communication refereed to as silent language, includes facial expressions, eye contact and gaze, body movement, appearance or dress,

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 35


Meaning of gestures differs from one culture to the others. Gestures acceptance in one culture may be different with other cultures. Furthermore, amount of gesturing varies from culture to culture.

36

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

touching, smell, color symbolism, space usage, time symbolism, and silence. Non-verbal communication is essential because it regulates human interaction in several important ways such as it sends message about humans' attitudes and feelings, it elaborates on humans verbal messages and it governs the timing and turn-taking between communicators. However non-verbal communication is influenced by different culture. For example a handshake is wisely used to greet each other in business meetings in many countries regardless of gender differences, but a woman may not shake hands with a man in countries like Saudi Arabia. Colours for example conjure meanings that come from cultural experience. In most western countries black is associated with death. White has the same connotation in parts of Asia and purple in Latin America. For example products to succeed, their colours must match the consumer's frame of reference. Meaning of gestures differs from one culture to the others. Gestures acceptance in one culture may be different with other cultures. Furthermore, amount of gesturing varies from culture to culture. Even simple things like using hands to point and thumbs up gestures brings different meaning ton different culture. For instance, in US, index finger is used to point while in Germans point with their little finger and Japanese with entire hand. Another example is eye contact and gaze. In USA, eye contact indicates the level of attention or interest, influences attitude, regulates interaction, communicates emotion, and defines power and status. In Western cultures direct eye contact is perceived as positive while in Japan, Africa, Latin American, and Caribbean avoid eye contact to show respect. Touch is another body language and it is culturally determined. However it differs among different culture. Each and every culture has a clear concept or guidelines of what parts of the body one may not touch. Touch is used to affect or control. Touch affect or control protect, support, and

disapprove for example hug, and kick. In USA, handshake is common, even for strangers but for other cultures like Islamic and Hindu, generally don't approve of any touching between genders, even hand shakes For example, for a Greek, Turk and Bulgarian “Yes” is indicated by a sideway movement of the head that resembles the negative headshake used in the US and India. In some cases one gesture has several meanings in different countries. Sign is a visual mark or a part of language that denotes another thing for instance $ denotes money while symbol is a mark representing a concept used to identify institutions, corporations and so on. An index is a sign with a direct connection with its objects for instance smoke is an index of fire. Two basic types to distinguish of symbols are pictograph and combination mark. Pictograph is widely used in airports, stations and other places frequented by international travellers use pictographs because they are not linked with any other language. Combination mark is a symbol and logo used together for example Mercedes Benz logo. Signs and symbols are an important part of association networks in our memory such as the packaging, colours, letters, and signs. Especially colours can have a strong cultural meaning. Colour symbolism also plays a major in different culture. Black signifies mourning sign for western cultures but white represents mourning in Japan, Hong Kong and India. Purple represents royal in Egypt and purple flowers means funeral in Brazil. Besides that, other signs and symbols like shapes and numbers. For instance group of 4 signifying death in Japan sounds like death in Japanese and Chinese and “loin” in other languages. Animals also have different meaning in different culture. Use of animals in the advertisement can prove problematic to bottom lines of companies. Owl symbolizes wisdom in United States and United Kingdom however in France it is considered to have limited intelligence and in Middle


East it symbolizes bad omen. In countries like Thailand, animals represent as a lower level of creation. It is essential for international marketers to understand when and where to use the signs and symbols particularly when dealing with different culture as different culture perceive in a different way or meaning. Another aspect of silent language is the distance between people during conversation, People's sense of appropriate distance is learned and differs among societies. In the US, the customary distance for business discussion is 5 to 8 feet whereas in Mexico the distance for a business discussion is that of 16 – 18

local languages often requires changes in the product name. Consequently, global companies, when entering a foreign market, need to know what the message they are trying to convey is and what is the message they are actually conveying about their product.

inches. Germanic people consider a space within 1 year or meter as personal space.

considered good and evil. Religious beliefs vary greatly between cultures and impact what is appropriate within a society. For example in Hindu societies it is not appropriate to eat beef and therefore marketing beef to this society would indicate a lack of cultural awareness.

The appropriateness of eye contact varied with culture as well. Americans consider making eye contact while speaking a sign of trustworthiness. Many Asian cultures, such as that of Korea, can consider it a sign of disrespect. Cultural differences must be taken into consideration as well; what works in this country might be incomprehensible, unintentionally funny or even offensive abroad. Translations need to be accurate to allow the same message to be communicated globally. Adjusting to

Religion has a major impact on economics and the conduct of economic affairs between individuals, and between countries. Religion has in the past, and continues to significantly affect the role and status of women, political organisations and social relations. Religion is the “core of culture� it offers explanations, meaning, and defines what is

Christianity is the world's largest religion; however it is celebrated differently throughout Europe. It is important for global businesses to have researched local variations of religious traditions before marketing a product incorrectly or at the wrong time period. Religious beliefs and social

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 37


organizations can restrict the approach global advertising takes in a business. Religion can have a profound impact on societies. Its traditions and rules may dictate what goods and services are purchased, when they are purchased and by whom. The economic role of women varies from country to country, and in some cases is severely limited. Women may be restricted as, consumers, workers, respondents to marketing. When it comes to masculinity vs. Femininity, this dimension reflects cultures dominated by roles of males and females. That means the characteristics of masculinity, which are, emphasizing ambition, earning money and showing off possessions. Femininity is seen to be the trait which stresses caring and nurturing behaviours, sexual equality and environmental awareness. The dimension of “uncertainty avoidance” focuses on how cultures adapt to changes and cope with uncertainty. It measures the extent to which people in a society tend to feel threatened by uncertain, ambiguous, risky or undefined situations. In general, countries like the USA with lower uncertainty avoidance tend to be more tolerant of risk. When it

38

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

The economic role of women varies from country to country, and in some cases is severely limited. Women may be restricted as, consumers, workers, respondents to marketing. When it comes to masculinity vs. Femininity, this dimension reflects cultures dominated by roles of males and females.

comes to individualism vs. collectivism, this dimension focuses on the relationship between the individual and the group. The people in a collectivist society make a decision that is the best for the group and they have a “we” mentality. The individual people are basically supposed to care for themselves and their immediate family. Power distance: Here the focus is on the nature of human relationship in terms of hierarchy. High power distance means culture with more centralized authority and the hierarchy is strong. Low power distance means people tend to feel equal, close to each other in their daily work relationship. The authority is more decentralized. It can be seen that culture is a factor that creates many challenges for organizations when operating outside of their domestic markets. The extensive research into the area warrants caution in using a standardized approach when entering new markets. Marketers must effectively respond to culture and be aware of cultural shifts in order to remain relevant in the minds of the consumer


39 UNIQUE TIMES 2014 February


THREE SHETTY'S WIN

MANAPURAM MISS SOUTH INDIA 2014

A

s another year begins, another exciting round of Manappuram's Miss. South India directed by Mr. Ajith Ravi Pegasus, the founder and chairman of PEGASUS was wrapped up to kick off the new year of 2014. This time around the three winners are the three gorgeous Shetty's from the beautiful state of Karanataka. As the first runner's up Ms. Aditi Shetty and second runner up Ms. Meghna Shetty were crowned by the MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd, Mr. V.P. Nandakumar, Manappuram

40

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

Miss. South India of 2014 Ms. Abhishikta S Shetty from Karnataka was crowned by last year's winner from Tamil Nadu Ms. Anusha Venkataraman. And of course throughout the event no one in the competition went unnoticed as the event came to an end no one walked away empty handed. There were four regional titles this time around which was won by Ms. R Raxshmi for Miss Queen Andhra, Ms. Darshithmita Gowda for Ms. Queen Karnataka, Ms.


Archana Jayakrishnan for Ms. Queen Kerala, and Ms. Shree Iraa for Miss. Tamil Nadu. To add on there was also twelve subtitle winner's. Ms. Geetika Bindana walked away with the title of being Miss. Congeniality and Miss. Viewer's Choice, Ms. Archana Jayakrishnan was titled Miss. Perfect Ten, Ms. Aditi Shetty was named Miss. Beautiful Face, Ms. Ashwika Omkumar was titled as Miss. Beautiful Smile, Ms. Swapna Nair was named Miss. Beautiful Hair. Ms. Darshith Mita Gowda's walk down the ramp bagged her the title Miss. Catwalk and to add to it she won the title of Miss. Photogenic, Ms. Shree Iraa was named Miss. Beautiful Eyes, Taniya Stanly's round at the talent showcase won her the title of Miss. Talented. Ms. Abhishikta S Shetty's radiant skin won her the title of being Miss. Beautiful Skin, and last but not least Ms. Swapna Nair was named to be Miss. Personality. The11th edition of Manappuram Miss. South India which had taken place at the Le Meridien in

Judging Panel

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 41


Coimbatore happened to be the biggest event which Coimbatore has seen yet so far. The pageant was judged by Miss. Parvathy Omanakuttan, Director Major Ravi, Mrs. India 2011 Mrs. Jeemole Jaibin, Youngest Rotary Governor Mr. Kuriachan, actor and fashion designer Mr. Sajimon Parayil and media personality Mrs. Toshma Biju. At the event the official calendar for the Riti Jewellery International Fashion Fest was launched up Manappuram Finance's MD & CEO, Mr. V.P. Nandakumar. The main sponsor of Manappuram Miss. South India happens to be the first listed and highest credited rated gold loan company in the country Manappuram Finance Limited. Co sponsor's included the grooming hospitality partner Beaumonde the Fern, Phoebe International for the hair and make-up, Crown Sponsor was Parakkat Jewels, the official photography was done by Studio Maxx, the outdoor media partner was Rajan Outdoor Media,Sobha City, Unique Times, Riti Jewellery, Mafarm, Maben India Ltd, Crown Sponsor was Parakkat Jewels, Macare, Metanoeo, and charity partner was Rotary Club of Coimbatore Texcity.

42

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Gadgets

Espon's Moverio BT-200 Glasses It's the era where anything and everything is possible here we have the hottest in the trend of glasses: smart glasses! Espon's Moverio BT-200 is 60 percent thinner than its earlier version BT-100. BT-200 comes with a touchpad running Android 4.0 with Bluetooth and an SDHC card slot for up to 32GB storage space. It is to go on sale for a heaping price of $699, but it'll be worth the buy! These glasses have in built Wi-Fi, can record and playback video, take photos and track timed events and link to a calendar.

Vuzix prototype M100 Smart Glasses These glasses work with any Android or iOS application which can output display to an external screen. It can run on its own applications thanks to an integrated OMAP4439 processor. It has a head tracker, Camera or 0.9 MP, video recording capability and Wi-Fi enabled as well as Bluetooth and Micro USB.

44

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Gadgets

Smartwatch: Burg 17 (Amsterdam model) Latest in the smart watches sector is the Burg series of watches. In total they have seven watches and each have different levels of smart features and designs. The latest is Burg 17 which runs on Android 4.0, has a 1.5 inch screen microSD slot, GPS, 2 MP camera and can be used to read messages as well as make phone calls! Prices range from $149 to $399.

Samsung's Galaxy Gear Samsungs Galaxy Gear enters into the era of smart watches. Now this is nothing new in the market as it's been around for a while, but the gear is always a latest trend which is a mix of metal and rubber, it has a 1.9 MP camera, has a 1.6 screen, it has a NFC connectivity so you can pair it with your Note 3. It has a microphone, a speaker and the ability to read messages. FB, Gmail and Twitter are all present!

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 45


Gadgets

Neptue Pine Smart watch This watch has a 2.4 touch screen, runs on Android 4.3 and will cost between $355$395 when it hits the market in March. A benefit of the Pine is that the screen can be removed and attached to the wrist or headband so that it can be used as a portable wearable camera.

The Cogito Pop Watch This looks like an ordinary watch, but instead of a touch screen, the Cogito syncs wirelessly to Android and iOS watches and only shows notifications using discreet icons.

46

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Gadgets

HDR-AS100V Action Cam Sony has announced an updated version of its sports camera where users can control up to five units via a wearable band live view remote. The camera has full HD image capture as well as 24p, high speed shooting modes. The body is splash proof, and Sony is also selling a waterproof case. The camera will be going on sale for 349 pounds, in UK in March.

Sony's SmartBand and Core This band tracks a wearer's moods and emotion, monitor photos shared online as well as conversations with friends. It also tracks physical activity as well as the wearer's mood through a Smartphone app. It also tracks what type of acivity the wearer is doing, such as walking, cycling or driving.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 47


Gadgets

LG Lifeband Touch Works with Android and iOS phones as well as heart rate monitors and is compatiable with a fitness app which includes LG's own tracker, Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal

LG Heart Rate Earphones This Heart Rate Earphones work with the Lifeband Touch and has compatible apps to track heart rate and oxygen consumption by detecting the slight changes in the blood levels around your ears. It can even play your heartbeat as an audio track through the ear buds.

48

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Gadgets

CSR's Bluetooth Necklace This Bluetooth necklace connects to Android and iOS devices. It alerts the wearer to notifications using a color changing LED which is fit inside the pendant of the necklace. The necklace can connect to Smartphone's and can be alerted by any new notifications from their iPhone.

Heapsylon's Sensoria Smart Socks These socks which are made with conductive threads which act as sensors, produce a current when pressure is exerted on them. These socks are meant to help the wearer to help improve the techniques in any task which involves the feet, which you can consider to be helpful when it comes to avoiding any damage done to the foot while working out. The socks pick up pressure points in three areas of the foot, around the big toe, the little toe and the heel, and this data is detected by the ankle bracelet, along with the outside conditions such as temperature, altitude and terrain then beamed via Bluetooth to a smart phone.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 49


Beauty

Beauty&

Media I

magine growing up in a modern day society. Everywhere you look there are images of beauty, representations of how beautiful people are supposed to look; flawless and thin. You grow up believing that this unattainable image is the only image of beauty. As you look in the mirror and see only flaws in your reflection, you rack your brain of ways to make yourself more beautiful. This becomes your obsession. Your dream is to become a model, but in the very start of your career, a fashion agent tells you that you will have to lose ten pounds in order to find work. In modern culture, a great deal of importance is placed on our looks and body image. This is portrayed by the media through magazine pictures, television advertisements, billboards, and the influence of models and actresses. Although the media affects both men and women, I will be showing how it specifically affects the behaviours, viewpoints, and attitudes of women. The media portrays a beautiful woman as being someone who is thin and flawless. Photographs of models that are posted in magazines are brushed-up, touched-up, and altered to make the models appear flawless. Models and actresses often get surgeries and have unhealthy eating habits in order to fit the perfect body image that is being portrayed. Studies have shown that the media has a negative impact on women, causing them to be dissatisfied with their body image. This often leads to depression and causes women to develop bad eating habits and disorders. In modern society, there is a direct relationship between the media and the development of negative body images. Anorexia nervosa is not only an eating disorder but a psychological disorder in which the person has an extreme fear of being overweight and purposely avoids eating, even to the point of starvation and, in some cases, death. Bulimia nervosa is another eating disorder that women suffer from. Similarly to

50

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Treesa Varghese - Director, Phoebe International

It's not just a matter of finding rare, exotic, beautiful women to fit that false image in the media, but advertisers purposely alter the images of models to make them appear better.

anorexia, it often presents itself in women who are dissatisfied with their body. How it differs from anorexia is that women suffering from the disorder will binge on food and then try to purge the food by laxatives or vomiting because of an extreme fear of gaining weight. Although no definite cause of anorexia or bulimia has been determined, researchers believe the destructive cycle begins with the pressure to be thin and attractive. Women experience this pressure from the media: Women are reacting to the stimulus, given by the media, that there is only one image of beauty: the one being portrayed by the media. Therefore, it's no surprise that American women are learning such behaviour so often as to develop eating disorders. When the majority of those messages are either directly or indirectly making statements that a beautiful body is one that is thin and flawless, it is extremely difficult for women to get that false image out of their mind. Eating disorders are just one way that women react to a negative body image. The behaviour that affects an even greater population of women is dieting: Dieting is such a huge part of culture because people feel that they need to lose weight in order to meet that ideal body image that the media keeps portraying as the only way to

look beautiful. Dieting may seem like a healthy way to lose weight and appeals to many, but studies show it is very unsuccessful and the majority of people who diet end up gaining the weight back that they initially lost. While dieting is unsuccessful for the customers, it is extremely successful for diet industries. Some researchers believe that advertisers purposely normalize unrealistically thin bodies to drive product consumption. It is the lack of success of dieters that makes the diet industries more money because after people fail to succeed on a diet, they proceed to begin yet another diet. If people were happy with the way they looked, they would not find the need to go on a diet. For this reason, it is important for marketers and advertisers to continue to send out a false image of beauty in order to sell their products. It's not just a matter of finding rare, exotic, beautiful women to fit that false image in the media, but advertisers purposely alter the images of models to make them appear better. For some, changing their appearance to look like the “ideal� image of beauty is so important that they are willing to have surgery to perfect their bodies. This is an extreme but not uncommon behaviour of many people who are able to afford it. Hollywood stars and celebrities feel the pressure to look as perfect as possible at all times because they always have cameras on them. These celebrities set the trends of how we should look and dress. They help feed that ideal image of beauty. Our society is in need of these kinds of role models that send the message that it is beautiful to be normal and that there are other images of beauty in the world other than the one being portrayed in the media. People have been obsessed with looks and fashion far before the media of advanced technology existed. So why must we blame others for our own beauty-seeking behaviour, one might ask? Aren't we all responsible for our own actions? If a famous person decides to go under the knife for the sake of beauty, does that mean we

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 51


particularly the rise in the mass media, have caused an unhealthy and different kind of obsession with our own looks unlike previous forms of vanity. Because of the media, we have become accustomed to extremely and rigid and uniform standards of beauty. TV, billboards, and magazines mean that we see beautiful people all the time, more often than members of our own family, making exceptional good looks seem real, normal and attainable. Standards of beauty have in fact become harder to attain, particularly for women. The current media ideal of thinness for women is achievable by less than five percent of the female population.

The media is a powerful tool in the American culture.

52

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

should follow in pursuit? If the media sends the message that you are not beautiful unless you look a certain way, why can't humans, being rational thinkers, just simply disagree with the media and be unaffected by those messages? How can anyone prove that the media truly does have an effect on body image? One might argue that there is no proof that the media has any influence on our perception of body image. The media causes a kind of thinking and behavior that is different from mere vanity. There are three specific reasons why advances in technology,

Many people argue that the media has absolutely no effect on them at all. But if this were true, then why would companies spend over $200 billion a year on advertising? The answer is because advertising works. It absolutely influences people's decisions. So now that it has been established that there is a direct relationship between the media and the development of a negative body image, the next question to ask is why would the media continue to advertise this false image of beauty when it is so damaging to the self-esteem of so many women? Sadly enough, so much money is marketed off of beauty and dieting products that advertisers purposely try to keep this “perfect body image� in order to drive women to buy their products in an endless effort to have the perfect body. Marketers know that this crazed obsession with body image only increases profit by driving up the market of beauty products. This is an unfortunate reality. The media is a powerful tool in the American culture. It could be used to empower people and increase their selfesteem. It could be used to unite people by sending the message that everyone is beautiful in their own unique way, rather than convincing everyone that there is only one type of beautiful. It could be used to bring positive messages and help people to focus on bigger issues other than their own looks. The media has the power to change our society as a whole. One can only imagine what our society would be like if that power was used for the good of mankind.


Books

Leaders Eat Last Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

A

fter taking the world by storm with his captivating message about purpose in Start With Why, Simon Sinek has turned his attention to critical questions about the how. What does it take for leaders to transform paranoia and cynicism into safety and trust? Is a common enemy necessary for cooperation? I can't wait to read about what he's learned from military and corporate leaders.

Quick and Nimble Quick and Nimble by Adam Bryant

I

n an increasingly competitive and dynamic economy, every organization is charged with building a culture that supports innovation. Whereas most books on innovation take a deep dive into one company's success or failure, New York Times Corner Office columnist Adam Bryant casts a more comprehensive net, interviewing hundreds of executives to identify what's effective across industries. Bryant offers an expert guided tour through the minds of the world's most innovative CEOs, sharing insights that are both enlightening and immensely practical.

Small Move, Big Change Small Move, Big Change by Caroline Arnold

S

mall Move, Big Change is a rare self-improvement book that actually works. With the right mix of research evidence and practical examples from her experience as a technology leader on Wall Street, Caroline Arnold provides compelling advice for motivating ourselves to save more, eat less, get organized, boost our willpower, and even keep our New Year's resolutions. It's the most useful guide to getting things done since Getting Things Done.

54

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Books

Scaling Up Excellence Scaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton and Hayagreeva Rao

L

eaders talk about the biggest challenge that they face being by far, focusing on spreading and multiplying success. If you have one team that's thriving while others are sinking, how do you export their best practices to other teams across your organization? This pair of eminent Stanford professors is the first to shed systematic light on the pervasive problem of scaling with a landmark book full of rich case studies, powerful research evidence, and actionable ideas for anyone who cares about making groups or organizations more effective.

Everything Connects Everything Connects by Faisal Hoque and Drake Baer

P

hilosophy, business, and history come together in this look at leadership, creativity, innovation, and sustainability from a successful serial entrepreneur and a cutting-edge journalist. With takeaways for large global companies and small startups, this book examines what leaders can learn from Eastern wisdom, Da Vinci, and contemporary psychology.

Thanks for the Feedback Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

This is a potentially life-changing look at one of the toughest but most important parts of life: receiving feedback. Doug Stone and Sheila Heen, coauthors of Difficult Conversations, show how to take an honest look in the mirror, and gain invaluable insights about the person staring back at you. I've already taught the principles in the classroom and applied them in my own life, and the payoffs include less defensiveness, more selfawareness, deeper learning, and richer relationships.

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 55


Books

Thrive Thrive by Arianna Huffington

I

n the quest for success, many people end up taking paths that they come to regret. Climbing up the ladder in pursuit of money and power, leaders and managers sacrifice their health and well being, and miss out on meaningful opportunities to give back. Building on her celebrated Third Metric Conference, the Huffington Post cofounder and president Arianna Huffington is on a mission to redefine success beyond money and power to enhance well-being, giving, wisdom, and creativity. This book may be the Lean In of 2014 for women and for men.

The Humor Code The Humor Code by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

H

umor is an invaluable resource at work: it helps leaders defuse the tension in moments of crisis, managers temper the sting of tough feedback, and employees generate creative ideas in brainstorming sessions. Thanks to the global adventures of a zany social scientist and a perceptive journalist, we can all figure out how to become funnier, and laugh out loud along the way. They've given us a remarkable look at what makes us laugh, with the perfect blend of science, stories, satire, and sweater vests.

Think Like a Freak Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

I

t's one thing to admire the genius of the rogue economist and perceptive journalist who brought us Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics. It's another thing entirely to understand how they come up with their brilliant ideas. Their latest book takes us behind the curtain with studies, stories, and illustrations that enrich our abilities to solve problems in our personal and professional lives.

56

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Business

The Psychology of

Business I

ndustrial/Organizational psychology is a type of psychology that is used in organizations. Industrial organization is one part of the psychology that deals with me and partnerships threw out the organization. Industrial psychology focuses on the different types of human resources that are provided. Organizational psychology is the individual's in a work areas behaviour, efficiency, and attitude. The psychiatrists that deal with Industrial/Organizational psychology have to take everyone's differences and try to make the company run a lot smoother. There are different ways they can help things improve and that is by rewarding their workers when they have done a good job, and using different techniques to improve the way everyone works. These psychiatrists come up with ways to eliminate or minimize the injuries that are on the job, review job applications, and find ways to increase the organizational. Industrial/Organizational psychology was developed some time in the 20th century. We have to learn psychology and what it is in order to use psychology. Hugo Munsterberg and

Walter Dill Scott were part of the psychiatrist that made the job more efficient. Additionally, Munsterberg and Scott used psychology to the issues which exists in companies. Each employee is reviewed to make sure they were suitable for the job they were hired for. Frederick Winslow Taylor was an engineer that used Industrial/Organizational psychology for management in the 1900s. The scientific management was to help set rules to improve organizational methods. Frank Gilbreth studied motion of people. He studied the time it took for individuals to move. In this study is allowed them to find out what each individual would be more efficient at when it comes to certain jobs that involve hand and eye coordination. Also something that is repeated over and over again as well as the speed it takes for an individual to complete the job. Lillian Gilbreth designed the foot pedal run rubbish bin and chilled door racks, concentrating on the efficiency of consumer items In some business they used this psychiatrist as advisors for human resources to their workers. They look at job applicants, pre-employment

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 57


The industrial side educates people and design jobs while the organizational side assists to know people's behaviours on-thejob and safeguarding a person's health, safety, and wellness.

58

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

test, and ways to reward the workers that do an efficient job. These types of advisors assist companies to develop job applications for recruitment, pre-employment screening test, development of suggestions for enhanced efficiency, better learning, development of tools, and worker rewards. This gives these organizational a professional point to look at. Companies can be taught what to look for in workers. Developing worker selection, coaching plans, worker efficiency rewards. The statistical techniques are what help the companies. So we learn that Industrial/Organizational psychology is a crucial role in improving the work force. These psychiatrists help workers do their job well and correctly. Some of the same methods that were used when the

Industrial/Organizational methods were developed are still being used today. There is a level of training in the industrial/organizational psychology that educates people on how to improve at their job. There are also designs of jobs that will help people with their behaviour in the work area. The industrial side educates people and design jobs while the organizational side assists to know people's behaviours on the job and safeguarding a person's health, safety, and wellness. These improvements are here to help the company be more successful but to also help the employers in their skills and be better workers. We learn that threw research and statistics in the industrial/organizational psychology is the true way to make a company work. You improve your workers and then you can improve the company by growth and successful production.


Auto Review

A-Wind Of the

Season

CELERIO 60

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014


Vivek Venugopal

T

hey say there is always the calm before the storm. Maruti Suzuki didn't have any new launches in 2013, but it's going product offensive in 2014. The first of the lots is the Celerio – a new small car that will be one of the most important cars launched this year. We got an exclusive drive of this new car in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, months before its actual launch at the Auto Expo. This is an important model for India's largest car manufacturer, being the mainstay in the compact hatchback segment. Evolved from the A-Wind Concept, the Celerio is built on a completely new platform which will spawn the new Alto for international markets. The design has a wide appeal which is important in this segment. It is very well proportioned and appears bigger than the segment demands. The stretched front face and the wraparound headlamps give it good presence on the road. The sides have strong character lines to reduce visual mass, which extend to the rear and disappear into very shapely tail lamps. Flap type door handles for the tail gate look decidedly old school. Alloy wheels (optional on the ZXI) look good and go very well with the rest of the car. The interiors are another strong point of the Celerio. The pleasing combination of beige and grey adds to the cabin's overall airy feel. The Celerio is a rather tall hatch with good headroom and adequate legroom both front and rear. The front seat backs have been made thinner to liberate more knee room and this surprisingly doesn't cause any concerns in the comfort department. The rear seats have good space, but we found it a bit lacking in underthigh support. Overall visibility is good. The prominent centre console has all the buttons and knobs falling easily into hand. There is sufficient space for knick-knacks all around the cabin, though front door pockets are a bit slender. The boot at 235 litres is adequate and the rear seats fold down in 60:40 split on all except the base variants. The big news in the Celerio however is the debut of an automated manual transmission, hereafter referred to, as the AMT. To the uninformed, this could look like a regular automatic transmission employing CVT or torque convertor. But what Maruti engineers have done is give the standard five speed manual transmission, hydraulic actuators to perform the clutch and the gear shift functions for you. The only difference between the AMT and MT variants, are the addition of a hydraulic unit that sits atop the brand new gearbox, an electronic brain to control the shift timings, and a different wiring harness. The benefits of this system are many. For one, it has none of the powertrain losses of a torque convertor which means the in-gear acceleration is identical to the manual version. Two, the fuel efficiency will be comparable to what a very good driver can achieve in an MT variant. And three, because it is less complicated, it doesn't cost that much more than the manual variant. Clutch wear will be minimal and unlike a conventional autobox which costs prohibitive amounts to rebuild, should something go wrong, this one costs as much as a standard clutch replacement. So, what is it like to drive? Slot the well weighted lever into D and you'll notice, the AMT gearbox copes very well at city speeds, upshifting and downshifting to match the driver's throttle inputs. The engine feels quite refined too at low rpms. This gearbox makes light work of the crawling in bumper to bumper traffic and keeps up with most vehicles at city speeds. It's only when you drive enthusiastically that you feel the gearbox lacking. It takes a while to upshift and when it does, there is a noticeable lull period when the clutch disconnects the drive. On full throttle it makes the drive feel jerky and the driver feels as if someone has inadvertently

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 61


62

UNIQUE TIMES February 2014

shifted the car into neutral. The Celerio AMT also has a manual over ride feature wherein you shift the gearlever further to the left and move it back and forth to shift gears. In manual mode, the box holds on to whatever gear you are in, bouncing against the rev limiter without upshifting. Unlike conventional ATs, the AMT doesn't have a Park function to lock the gearbox in stationary.

The Celerio drives well for a small car too. The ride quality is soft enough to absorb potholes without being wallowy. Straightline stability is good and handling is good enough to entertain most drivers. The rear end could do with a bit more grip, but most Celerio owners would find it comfortable enough at three digit speeds. The light controls and tight turning radius are a boon for most drivers.

The familiar K10 engine has been updated with higher compression ratio, low viscosity oil, better valve springs and a drive by wire throttle system. The MT variant shows off the full nature of the revvy power plant with a 0-100kmph time of 14.7 seconds. Though not to full Quarter Mile roadtest standards, we found out the AMT variant gets there half a second later. The MT variant suffers from slightly blunted low end performance, but the revvy nature of the engine makes it reasonably fun. This being a city car, we would choose the AMT variant over the MT for its ease of driving.

Our only gripe with the Celerio is that the AMT isn't available in top spec. Which means, you can't have one with ABS and airbags. Why Maruti has chosen this is, beyond our comprehension. But we have to hand it over to them for redefining the way we drive. A small automatic city car that is as fuel efficient and not too much more expensive than a manual - is every commuter's dream. On top of that the Celerio has good space, great looks, decent interiors and strong after sales backup to make it a segment leader


Celerio

Technical specifications Engine Type 3 cyls, 998cc, petrol Power 67bhp at 6000rpm Torque 9.1kgm at 3500rpm Transmission Type front wheel drive Gearbox 5-speed manual / automated manual Dimensions Length 3600mm Width 1600mm Height 1560mm Wheel base 2425mm Boot volume 235 litres Ground clearance 165mm Weight 830kg Tyres LXI 155/60 R13 / VXI and above 165/70 R14 Suspension Front McPherson strut with coil spring Rear Coupled torsion beam axle with coil spring Steering Type of power assist Electronic Brakes Front ventilated discs Rear drums Economy Tank size

35 litres

February 2014 UNIQUE TIMES 63


Thottal Vidathu


Unique times february 2014  
Advertisement