Monday, December 23, 2013

Devyani Khobragade incident deliberately being murkied ..

The Dy. Indian Consular general arrest in NY has evoked a lot of response from the political system and media favouring both countries.

The one fact which the US favouring media seems to forget is that the issue at the diplomatic level is being mixed with personal issues relating to Devyani's personal life.

The questions the Indian media and public are asking are from different perspectives :

1. Is the US govt willing to take similar actions against the maids of the embassy and counsular staff from other countries stationed in US if they are also found to violate US rates of pay hourly ?

2. Are US embassy staff in India and elsewhere paying their helps and maids at US hourly rates ? If not why ?

3. Devyani may have been a difficult nut to crack in US spying activities. Is the maid and her family being visa violating any international protocol ? The family being offered visa, is it being used as a trap to punish Devyani ? Is it a ploy to collect India related intelligence and to trap Officers who would not fall in line with US interests ?

4. Even if the Indian Govt keeps cool, and allows US to have its way agreeing to the moral code of conduct regarding hourly wage rates and systems in practice in US, is the US govt ready to allow the Indian Govt to apply the same yardstick to take the US diplomatic staff to task for value systems that are held dearly in INdia ?

5. How can an India Born immigrant attorney, who is all the time out to please his masters and reason out his immigration status in US be permitted to look only at one side of the coin, close his eyes on violations by other countries in US or US violations in other countries? Did not US do a proper application of mind before this issue came out in public ?

6. It appears the personal grudge between the attorney and Indian consular officials in NY have led to events unfolding to such deplorable levels. Should such personal issues be made to shadow the cordial relations between two great democracies ?

The coming weeks the unfolding events will cause many a heartburn for the countries. Let us observe them closely.

george..

Friday, December 20, 2013

Devyani Khobragade incident.. US mockery continues ..

The US making mockery of India is being contested heatedly in political and civilian circles in India.

The case of the Indian Dy Consul General in NY Ms. Devyani Khobragade being arrested strip searched etc for a supposed visa fraud relating to her home maid has been catching the news headlines these days.

Lot of discussion has gone into it the past one week on TV and the Internet.

Indians in India have been hurt by this high handed behaviour of an Indian born NY state attorney Preet Bharara who is targeting Indians in particular. He is also associated with the Rajat Gupta case. Rajat Gupta was a private case unlike Devyani where the Indian Govt is also involved as a serving diplomat is under trial.

The issue here is, a matter concerning US society, US has all right to take action. But is this the way diplomats who have not been involved any criminal or spying activities are targeted ? But do they think they are above suspicion in all such cases. The Indian Govt has asked for more info on such delicate cases of violation of Indian rules by US diplomats stationed in India. An example is the case of gay US diplomats bringing gay live in partners. Since the Indian SC has passed verdict that homosexuality cannot be accepted in Indian society, India should firmly take steps to confine these violators of Indian cultural norms.

Hope the Indian govt acts when the iron is still hot.With the US govt unrelenting to our requests, India has to unitedly act now.

george..

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jobin's Nano in front of our house ..

Jobin's Nano ..
My son jobin's Nano ..

I expected Tata Nano to be a small car good for students to take to college etc and not for family.

Now  contrary to my expectations, Nano is becoming my favourite car. It is quite easy to handle and maneouvre on Bangalore roads, not only that, there is enough space for four inside, the car does not drag or go slow. Mileage wise it is giving me close to 18-20 kmph.

I am so happy that Ratan Tata is thinking of relaunching the same from Indonesia, and bringing it back to India, trying to shed away the image of a low cost car. It is low cost, but definitely very great value for the user. Parking is also not a problem as it can easily squeeze into any small area.  Ample leg space when I drive. Given that I am about 178 cm tall, I had a fear that my legs may not be that comfotabnle inside, but I have been proved wrong.

My first car is a Tata Indica and after seven years I am very satisfied and happy about it. My second car is also a Tata, Nano and I do not regret the decision.

Being a hard-core nationalist and patriot, I would be most happy when I see Tata and Mahindra to have matured enough to compete and beat established global brands like Toyota, VW, Ford and GM in India through free and fair competition.

I feel bad that my fellow Indians, who are ignorant about indigenous technology and products still crave for foreign cars. Peace be on them .. Compare Indian cars with foreign ones on the basis of comfort, safety and economy of driving. You will never regret your decision to go for Indian brands..

Go through this TED talk by R A Mashelkar talking about Tata Nano and Jaipur foot ..
http://www.ted.com/talks/r_a_mashelkar_breakthrough_designs_for_ultra_low_cost_products.html

george..

Monday, December 16, 2013

Innovation : multiple aspects ..

Uthradam tirunal no more ..

Uthradam tirunal marthanda varma of is no more. The last living monarch from the richest royal family of the world. Also the most simple, spiritual, erudite, humble and philantropic family ... At wealth worth $200 billion, it dwarfs the Vatican ($20 billion) and is 30 times the British royalty ..
George ..

Friday, December 13, 2013

At ASC HQ Bangalore ..

At ASC HQ Bangalore interacting with Senior Officers.. Colonels and and Lt. Cols. 


Interacting with senior officers in a session on SCM at the Army Service Corps HQ in Bangalore... Sept '13 ..  Great interaction with gentlemen of impeccable character and integrity ..

george..

Monday, December 09, 2013

Toyota's top 5 secrets ..


It is

1. Long term planning
2. Studious speediness
3. An open mind
4. An obsession with reducing waste and
5. Humility

Very true .. There are more to Toyota than just its Operations management which is very unique in the world.

Read more here ..

george..

FMEA , excellent link ..

In preparation for my classes coming up next term..

http://intranet.uchicago.edu/quality/FailureModesandEffectsAnalysis_FMEA_1.pdf

Another doc here ..

I have prepared another link on FMEA related to going for a long journey in car. click here..

george,..

Caterpillar - another great manufacturer .. Caterpillar Production System ..


This is a good video which tells about the Caterpillar  Production System ..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MAasmr6cvg

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Being creative and Innovative..

Preparing for the Managing Innovation and Technology class for MBA students of Alliance University, I have been trying for material which will help me to deliver an original class to students.

Make it a point to go to www.class-central.com and see whether any of the great Universities of the world are offering a course on improving and managing innovation in the modern world.

Here are a set of evercises for training and building creativity and innovation for everyone..
More links will follow..

ge..

Comparitive costs of national space agencies ..

Some interesting statistics on costs of national space agencies.

ISRO works on a budget of $860mn with 15800 employees, China National space agency with $ 1.3 bilion, employees undisclosed, Japanese Aerospace exploration agency (JAXA) with $2.5 billion budget (employees not known), European Space Agency works on $5.5 bilion and 2000 employees, and NASA works on a budget of $18 billion with 20,000 employees..

Father of Indian space program Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai (in pic).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kerala govt honours Malayalam Poet Vishnu Narayan Nambuthiri..


The poet besides thanking the government for the step, also thanked it profusely for ensuring that his disciple Jiji Thomson IAS, Additional Secretary to Government of India would never again be hounded by vested political interests in the Palmolien case and it is once for all cremated for posterity .. The court had years before absolved Jiji of all false charges in the Palmolein case ..

The poet with all earnestness, simplicity and innocence asked why a pure soul had to suffer for the past 20 years the ignominy of false accusations and political brickbatting ..


george easaw..

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Keiretsu, supplier engagment article in HBR, Sept '13 issue ..

It was an interesting article by Prof Katsuki Aoki and Tomas Taro Leneffors in the Sept '13 issue of HBR.

Benefits of Keiretsu are

1. Keiretsu helps in bringing innovation, reduce product development time and costs of products by allowing the OEMs who work with the suppliers, training suppliers' engineers, bringing suppliers' engineers into new product development teams at the OEM.

Keiretsu helps the suppliers by making their organisation a learning organisation, helping OEMs to be more competitive.

Important points

1. develop trust and good relationship with suppliers
2. do not be specific in what suppliers need to achieve as stated in the terms of engagement. Let there be vagueness which helps the supplier to improvise and come up with startling changes and improvements.
3. Instead of buying individual parts, suppliers are encouraged to supply integrated systems of components.
4. suppliers are encouraged to bring in changes like reducing weight, improving product performance etc voluntarily
5. encourage obeya meetings, (large hall) where all stakeholders are consulted and consensus arrived at before final design is approved
6. suppliers willing to experiment and learn from mistakes and experience are the most promising ones who need o be nourished,.

ge..

Lean startups ..



Click here for the free HBR reprint ..

Why 75% of all start ups fail ? how can experimentation, customer feedback, iterative design, fast failing and continuous learning as proposed by Prof Steven Blank of Stanford University help setup a successful startup ..

ge..


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Classes at Armed Service Corps HQ ..

I have now finished the fourth of a series of classes on Inventory management and Supply Chain management to serving Officers of the Defence at the Armed Service Corps HQ staff college, Bangalore.

It is great to interact with these gentlemen, the Colonels and Lt. Cols at these sessions lasting one and a half to two hours.

And it is still great to get the feedback which says the session was Excellent. Of 17 senior serving defence officers who attended one of these sessions, I got a 12 excellent and 5 Good feedback.

What more does one need ??

ge..

Genchi genbutsu - what is this ?

Go to the workplace and see for yourself, so there is no selective filtration of communication and missing out on pertinent information which could help to identify the problem and prevent its recurrence.
The Toyota Way !!

The beauty of Genchi Genbutsu is the stress on the non-recurrence of the problem. If the problem cannot be resolved straightaway, the problem is escalated to the top management, top management also comes to the shop floor and investigates the occurence.

Problem Solving simplified ..
Let us not forget the main stress during the whole exercise, to identify the problem and  prevent its recurrence by identifying the root cause and eliminating it..  When Toyota had a problem of falling market share in India, the Toyota top management in the country, resorted to  Genchi Genbutsu exercise. The whole top management were on the roads in different cities and industrial towns of the country to find out why Toyota vehicles were not selling.

About 70% of Toyota components in India are imported. Except for the engine, gear box and transmission, (which constitutes 70% of value of an automobile), the rest 30% is manufactured in India with the help of local manufacturers. This explains the reason for the high costs of Toyota automobiles on Indian  roads. (part of a Genchi Genbutsu exercise)

Indians are the smartest customers in the world, in the sense that they look for the most affordable quality, need not essentially be the best, but at a very affordable cost. More than end products they are constantly on the look out for solutions. The "Jugaad" culture, where any make shift arrangement that can serve a function and meet a need, thus is very popular. Brands and Brand names rarely matter to a majority of Indians looking for value, sheer VALUE, nothing else.

The cost vs performance / value comparison is always topmost in Indian customer's minds, be it the customer in the busy village market looking for items for his house during the day or the big industrial customer looking for raw materials / products.

If the function of moving from point A to point B can be achieved by an automobile that serves the purpose with moderate safety and speed at lower costs, Indians would embrace such a solution. All other major players in the Indian market have indigenous production capacity. High initial cost of ownership was the reason why Toyota was pushed out of the Indian market, even though it has global reputation for quality and low total cost of ownership during the whole life of the vehicle.

I believe Toyota is working on solutions to start the production of critical engine and gear box in-house within India at the earliest, so that it can bring out cars of high quality, moderately priced and be able to capture the market.

george..

Andons relevance ..

Andons  ( www.wikipedia.com)

The centrepiece is a signboard incorporating signal lights to indicate which workstation has the problem. The alert can be activated manually by a worker using a pullcord or button, or may be activated automatically by the production equipment itself. The system may include a means to stop production so the issue can be corrected. Some modern alert systems incorporate audio alarms, text, or other displays.

An Andon system is one of the principal elements of the Jidoka quality-control method pioneered by Toyota as part of the Toyota Production System and therefore now part of the Lean approach. It gives the worker the ability, and moreover the empowerment, to stop production when a defect is found, and immediately call for assistance.

Common reasons for manual activation of the Andon are part shortage, defect created or found, tool malfunction, or the existence of a safety problem. Work is stopped until a solution has been found. The alerts may be logged to a database so that they can be studied as part of a continuous-improvement program.

Friday, August 23, 2013

restoration of Democracy in North America ....

When will the rest of the world help the native Indians of North America and the original owner of that land to regain their land, honour and self-respect which had been forcefully (and/or deceitfully) taken from them by the immigrant settlers from across the world for the past 237 years .. Won't the injustice be undone one day ?? - Movement for Restoration of Democracy in North America (MRDNA) 

Creating an awareness of this basic violation of fundamental human rights of the American Indians by generations of immigrants (and conveniently being sidelined by the learned, cutured and ethically conscious immigrant community) it is hoped will prick their conscience ..

There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the
court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.- Mahatma Gandhi

ge..

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

IT spending forecasts in 2013 ..

Worldwide IT spending forecast[37] (billions of U.S. dollars)
Category2012 spending2013 spending
Devices 627666
Data center systems 141147
Enterprise software 278296
IT services 881927
Telecom services 1,6611,701
Total3,5883,737

courtesy wikipedia ..

Almost 46% spending will be in the area od telecom services, communications etc..

Cloud and enterprise software applications will grow.

Only 18% will be from hardware while 82% spending will be on software and services.

Click here for the 2013 IT report from WEF ..

ge..

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Suitable HR policies in the defence forces..

These days I am taking classes for the defence officers who are on the verge of retiring from the forces after serving the country meritoriously and selflessly for about 20 years. The classes are meant to make them industry ready to take on the challenges of the modern outside industrial commercial, competitive world.

One striking point which comes to my mind is - Is this ithe right time to give them these basics of competitiveness, HR policies, Operations mechanisms and production systems. Would it not have been better if these skills were imparted to them early on in life when their faculties were more receptive to such new ideas ?

These officers, who are very well behaved and extremely disciplined could be used for many of the government's developmental activities.

I have been reading through Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze'  'An uncertain glory' by Penguin Allen lane. In it Sen talks of the desperate state of the schools and primary education in the country. My one suggestion is , if the needy of these are taken up for monitoring some of these schools and gainfully employed will it not be a great service for the country ?

ge..

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Raghuram Rajan, new RBI Governor ..



As everyone predicted Dr Raguram take over as Reserve Bank of India Governor from Sept. 2013.

A matter of great pride for IIT Delhi ('85), IIM A ('87) and MIT ( '91) , his alma maters ..

Another link ..

george..

Monday, August 05, 2013

Why is BCCI scared of RTI and Govt control ?


Board of Control for Cricket in India claims to represent the sport in India and selects the national team which represents the country in major tournaments and tours abroad and within India.

They use funds collected by selling tickets to the public to watch the matches played by the Indian national cricket team,

They get tax exemption with respect to their revenue every year.

Wherever Indian team plays or India hosts tournaments, all the sites are exempted from paying the mandated taxes and levies even though they use and exploit public resources to the hilt, like the airport, roads, stadia etc..

When the common man's resources, your and mine tax money is being deployed for neatly and comfortable conducting the matches played by the Indian national cricket team, why should a national team selection body show any apprehension at auditing its accounts, policies and practices.

When the Bombay HC has negated the findings of the discriminatory 2 member panel constituted by the former president of BCCI to enquire allegations  against hm and his son-in-law of corruption and game fixing, why should the BCCI en masse, in one voice support the move to challenge the Bombay HC order in the Supreme Court ?

Has it got anything to do with the past Chairman trying to cover up his past misdeeds or the whole BCCI gang covering up their lakcadaisical running of the organisation and the whimsical, extravegant spending and dividing of the loot ?

when the SC dismisses the plea citing ulterior motives on the part of BCCI to cover up its misdeeds, BCCI would have reached the nadir of unpopularity and earned the distrust of the people.

India cannot wait for these jokers to take the country for a ride. It has to move on and move it will.

george..

Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Guard - 2001 unique Malayalam film ..

This the first and the only movie in the world wtih just one actor from start to finish ..

The entire film is the story of a govt. forest guard Appukuttan Nair (starring Kalabhavan Mani) who joins for his first duty in the forests of idukki, Kerala.

Good one.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoTAjegHI1w

george..


Friday, July 26, 2013

Global Competitiveness rankings by World Economic Forum ..

The Global Competitiveness Index for 2012-13 has been put up by World Economic Forum.

My friend Venkat Swaroop has put it up here ..

India has a rank of 101 or so with an index of 4.44 out of 7..

What can be done to improve this index ??

george..

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Should we be worrying on the Sen-Bhagwati exchange ..?

The Sen Bhagwati exchange is only exposing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the two great Economist from India, but sadly both settled in US.

While Sen is more of a development oriented man, Bhagwati is more of a growth oriented man. Until now I was under the impression that growth and development mean the same. I have to find what is the exact difference.

Sen, a Bharat Ratna, has tutored some great economists like Kaushik Basu from Columbia, but Bhagwati has great names as students like the Nobel Prize winning Paul Krugman.

Business Standard has this write up about these two great Professors and their exchanges. Prof Sen is keeping his cool, though.

Whoever becomes the PM next year, let us continue to be intellectually fed by these great Professors and we hope Prof Jagdish Bhagwati also gets a Nobel Prize very soon for his trade related and globalisation related economics work.

My question to both of them would be, what would favour the country is it growth (of trade) or development ( of the people) ? Is it not that both are equally important if India is to lead the world again in another twenty years ?

Or is it that one is more important than the other ? I would place development of the people (more humanised) to be ahead of trade (more material based) which anyway would happen if we have good development of the people.

george..

13 GREAT points to keep in mind throughout life ...

The other day I had the good opportunity to sit through a welcome session given by our new Dean Dr Ravi Rajkumar ( the MIT man ..) to the newly joined first year MBA students.
I found 13 points which he gave to students that would help them remain abreast of competition to be most useful and powerful. I am listing those points here for the benefit of the student community all over the world. 
Coming from a hard core academic with over 16 years of education at MIT, Boston and then another 28 years of teaching and admin experience at National University of Singapore, these principles will only add to our worth and make one a more confident person.
These are really heavyweight points which we can use our whole life !!
Point 1 : Keep abreast of latest happenings and developments in the world around you on a global basis.

Point 2 : Wherever possible ALWAYS try to gain practical exposure ..

Point 3 : Polish your skills and talents

Point 4 : Never stop learning, life itself is a big learning exercise.

Point 5 : Believe in yourself and your abilities, but never be complacent.

Point 6 : Improve your communication skills. It is better to learn a extra language and Chinese is the best !

Point 7 : Identify your strengths and weaknesses, highlight your strong points and overcome the deficiencies

Point 8 : Work on your personality, constantly trying to improve it

Point 9 : Always have proper etiquettes

Point 10 : Never bear grudges and grievances against others

Point 11 : Adopt a positive attitude, take failures as learning opportunities

Point 12 : Do not be afraid to take risks

Point 13 : Do not depend on others to get your work done, and also do not be disappointed if they do not help you..

Hope you find these points useful .. Keep this in mind..
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people            - Hugh C Cameron
george..

Friday, July 19, 2013

Affordability - innovation in India..


Any innovation to succeed in India has to have the basic parameter of affordability factored in. 
Let the innovation be on technology, products, services, for the innovation to succeed in the country , it should be affordable for the masses. I shall try to explain my statement with the help of a few examples.
The recent innovation in mobile phone telephony is a case at point. When the mobile phones were expensive, rarely few people had mobile phones in their hands and tariffs used to be exceedingly prohibitive, like Rs 20/ minute for an outgoing call and the same rates for an incoming call, in the early 2000s.
In just 10 years everything changed. Due to advances in hardware and large quantities of production, the costs came crashing down. When the telecom companies realised the truth that more phones were in the hands of the people, the next question was , how do we make the new users take our mobile telephony plan. They started reducing the tariffs progressively till one day in 2009 TATA came up with the 1 paisa per second plan. Indians embraced mobile phones in large numbers and the result is there for the world to see.  Now we are the second largest mobile phone users in the world with about a billion phones, just lagging behind China and almost 3 times as big a market as US, 10 times as big as Japan, or any country in Europe.
The next example I wish to point out is that of Tata Nano car. It was the cheapest affordable quality car priced at less than 1.5 lakhs, in the country. This forced other manufacturers to come up with cheap models and the latest is Datsun Go under Nissan to plan to make an entry and capture the Indian market. The auto majors of the world rolling their offerings include GM Beat, Huyndai Eon, Maruti 800/ Alto (already there) and now the Datsun Go ..
Why is it so ? Indian per capita GDP is now about $ 4000. The basic difference is that the Indian society is one of giving and sharing, while the western community is one of individualism and materialism. We cannot remain complacent claiming that we are a peaceloving society, looking at the societal welfare and so on.
The Indian population is well informed about the need, the product or the service, but the question is only of affordability. This makes the innovators to really burn the midnight oil and offer great products and services at the lowest price. In India even the people who can afford would spend less with plans of saving his wealth for the future. People are not yet ready to spend out of the way and outside the thrifty methods practiced by their forefathers. It will take some time for the culture to change, but only if it has to. Large demands seeking lower costs are driving the innovators to do even better and come out with real value products, this is the real innovation !
Innovation which never had cost as a factor embedded in the system and in literature earlier, now finds affordability and low cost a very important factor responsible for the success of any innovative technology, products or process in the world as of today.
The innovation wave in the Education arena sweeping the world , Massive Open Online Courses, MOOC, is yet another example of free learning for the masses. The recent plan for Cognizant, TCS and Infosys to join hands with 7 IITs to offer MOOC courses for the Indian public who can access these courses from anywhere in the country, may be even from other developing countries from other parts of the world, may be really a defining factor in ensuring the roaring success of this model. Affordability, reach for the masses and scalability are thus the important factors for its success.
george..

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Next wave of Innovations in (from ?) India .. Education ??

The next wave of Innovations to hit the world by storm will come out of India, experts say.

There is a school of thought which says these innovations will be in the technology sector. But India is a country which is at a weak position in relation to technology, excluding our advances in nuclear and space technologies.

An area where an innovation could make a great difference is in the delivery of education. Since there are lots of Indians who are waiting to get educated and find meaningful, worthwhile jobs and thus build careers, the social impact of such an innovation would be very high.

The case of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) is a good case to push this point. MOOC enables people from different parts of the world to continue their basic as well as higher education in small steps through small courses delivered for a large audience over the net.

Let us look at the educational demography in India as of now.
1. India is said to have approximately 200 million youngsters in the age group of 20 years to 27 years, (of the 610 million below 26.7 years which is the median age of our population). 
2. Of 100 students who finish high school, only 18 have the opportunity to do higher education. (Gross Enrolment Ratio of 18%, ). what happens to the rest 82% ?  
3. Out of 200 million between 20 and 26.7 years (assuming 33% of 610 million below 10, 33% between 10 and 20 years and 33% between 20 and 26.7 years), 26% remain illiterate ie.52 million,(literacy rate is 74%).  
4. Of the rest 148 million approximately, 50%, 74 million would go for jobs.   ( my fair estimation..)
5. Of the rest 74 million, 18% is roughly 13 million of youngsters get a chance to do higher education and the rest 61 million exclude themselves from the higher education (Tertiary Education). 
(With 636 Universities in the country to give higher education with 31,324 educational Institutes affiliated, at an average of 400 students per Institute, there are presently 12.53 million (roughly 13 million) students enrolled for higher education in the country. )
Do they remain content with the high school degree they have and stick to mundane jobs or would want to get higher education and contribute positively to the nation  by carrying out high value jobs ?

It is the need of the hour to ensure that the rest 82% completing schooling do their tertiary education and contribute to the nation. But how ?

We need innovative solutions in the education and education delivery areas in the country to solve this great problem our country will face in the coming years. Can our people deliver these innovative solutions or will we again depend on foreign countries to help us here too ?

Let us do something FASTTTTT ... As already mentioned, MOOC ( Massive Open Online Course) is a solution , but again it needs access to PC, Internet etc.. Can our people afford it ?

It was very timely to find the industry and academia getting together to offer this new MOOC fare for the people of the country ( as reported in Economic Times of 19 July, 2013, of the collaboration by 7 IITS, TCS, Infy and Cognizant to offer high quality MOOC courses, initialy three in Computer Science to be later incrteased to many subjects based on the exparience and learning from this exercise.

Meritocracy counts, but have we offered the people of this country a level ground to do this ? The chance for people from all across the country to compete for knowledge, degrees, jobs and careers on a fair and equitable level ground, I feel should be in place. This innovation will give just that.

But we need to ensure that
1. broadband internet access is made available across the rural areas of the country at affordable rates ( India has about 150 million Internet users, ie. 12% of our population while China has 43% (600m) and US 80% (250m) of their population respectively on the Internet)
2. the modules are offered on mobiles as android or iphone apps so that more people can access
3. the modules really optimised (both in terms of content and the software coding, for faster downloads)
We need to ensure least human interference, as MOOC courses can succed only if they are majorly machine and intelligence driven. Human interference in payment and the resultant delay will only kill this initiaitive ( as MOOC is basically designed keeping lakhs of students joining for any course in mind).

I am sure the concerned authorities have given enough thought to it and will do everything in their kitty so that this idea does not die out, instead will blossom to a great innovation of industry academia collaboration, to bridge the 'digital divide".

My good wishes .. ( an IIT Bombay alumni, which is also a partner Institution in this GREAT initiative. Proud of that ....)

george..

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shri Jiji Thomson, an able sports administrator .. Will he deliver ?

This piece of writing is meant to introduce Shri. Jiji Thomson IAS, to the youngsters of the country.
Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion . Georg Hegel
Jiji Thomson is a name most of us back in Kerala recollect very fast, mostly for the right reasons. He has been a known figure in Kerala for a long time because he is in elite company, being from the Indian Administrative Services and known to be a proactive personality. After completing his MA (Economics) from Trivandrum, he joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1980 in the Kerala cadre.
Usually civil servants are considered to be capable of doing great service for the society and the people. (we too can do it wherever we are in what small position it is..) At some point in life, due to preoccupations or some hiccups in their career, these top civil servants consider giving their best to society is not in their personal interests and withdraw into a cocoon. But there are certainly exceptions to that !!
Here you about to find a person totally different, always looking for opportunities to interact with peoplepassionate to take on challenges and responsibilitieswanting to do more and more good for the society and the people, with an abundant resource of untapped energy for the society. What an ideal "civil servant" should be ! True to that word, very humble and approachable .. Every time you meet him he is energised and enthused as never before..
Right from his initial stints as sub-collector of Alleppey, Kerala, 1983, in his office-cum-residence anyone visiting him would be amazed and taken aback by the cheer, discipline and passion with which he works, interacting so effortlessly with people big and small, rich and poor, patiently listening to them, helping them dispose their files. Shri. Jiji Thomson used to be a popular figure then.
Besides popularising the Nehru Trophy boat race at Alleppey and bringing it to international acclaim, he was instrumental in conducting "community marriages" for hundreds of couples in Alleppey in the early eighties ! From there it went on to the cultural, social scenes in Palghat as District Collector when he revived the Kalpathy Carnatic music festival and conducted many camps for the physically handicapped by implanting Jaipur foot. In Kerala, Jiji Thomson's contribution to the socio-cultural-literary scene in Kerala has been very interesting, eye-catching, eventful, varied and colourful.
He was also the Convener of the first National Games in the country with corporate sponsorship in 1987 held in Kerala. The events were for the first time held at different towns and cities in the state of Kerala, networked through technological innovations with the help of Keltron. (His discipline also saw him submitting the final audited accounts in time after the games, generating an overall profit of about Rs. 55 lakhs, again a first of it's kind in the country). This caught the attention of the then PM, Rajiv Gandhi who invited him to take over as the DG of Sports Authority of India then, which Jiji politely refused. He had loads of work left to be done ..!
Throughout his life he has decorated various bureaucratic positions in energy, agriculture, tribal welfare, sports and youth affairs, transport etc., gained invaluable experience and is now an Additional Secretary to the Government of India, (just short of a full blown Secretary), presently posted in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, New Delh. From March, 2013 he has taken over as the Director General of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), New Delhi, in line to get the Chief Secretary posting in Kerala soon !!
Jiji Thomson : A capable sports administrator ..
One of his "noble and worthy" accomplishments which will be remembered by the country for all time, is the successful execution of the Common Wealth Games (CWG) in Delhi in 2010. When the original organising committee had bungled under the leadership of the now discredited Suresh Kalmadi, with just 3 months left, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Sports Minister asked Shri Jiji Thomson along with two other senior IAS officers to take over the running of the CWG from Kalmadi and team and successfully execute it. Jiji Thomson who was in charge of Transportation, Catering and Media during CWG, did his tasks well and brought laurels to the country. People in Delhi still very fondly  remember the transport and smooth traffic arrangements in Delhi during the games and are full praise for that.

One point which all of us Indians look forward to is whether Shri Jiji Thomson with his wide, varied and eventful experience in sports administration of the country over the years will he be able to deliver..? will he be able to cleanse the sports arena of the country of all sloth and lethargy and be able to rejuvenate it in time for the Olympics ?
An eloquent, motivating and inspiring speaker, right from the the school and Balajana sakhyam (Malayala Manorama) days, Jiji Thomson is a very simple and sincere person, with a pleasing personality, known for sticking to time, performance and exacting work standards and ethics. A born orator, he has also been decorating many stages as spiritual speaker for the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. He has carried out his advanced studies in Economics in UK and is a widely travelled personality. 
Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. - Wilma Rudolph
His life reminds us this strong conviction : each one of us has the potential to be great. Be humble, prayerful, modest and simple. Love your fellow beings, friends and the less fortunate in society, pray for them.

A more recent Sportstar writeup ..

george easaw.. (photo courtesy The Hindu..)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Some hints to MBA youngsters .. How to think BIG .

Many students are interested in knowing how to gainfully spend their free times during the afternoons. Is there a better way to spend the afternoons ? Can they so something worthwhile, like any good reading, research work, Six sigma training etc during the free time ? Here are my few lines .. Outside one's academic work, assignments and case study discussions, one needs to make use of the extra time gainfully.
Students who join an Institution of Higher Learning has to look out to acquire enough mastery in the following three areas.
1. Subject  matter expertise
2. Personality development and
3. Market readiness.
Making sure that you get enough and more of subject matter expertise through textbooks, interacting with your faculty members and friends, reading extensively from many knowledgeable sources and the library, the points which I am making here is for your development in the other two areas of personality development and making yourself market ready ..

My simple advice to them would be these six simple points :
Point 1. Elevate yourself to a higher level. Nobody rises above low expectations !! Human beings have an infinite potential to rise to whatever expectational levels they aspire to ..
Point 2. Make it a habit to read some quality newspapers and books from great authors, CEOs. management thinkers, reputed Professors from across the world on Strategy, General management etc. like company turnaround strategies, unique business practices, biographies of modern thinkers, great management gurus and so on. Jeffrey Immelt, Thomas Peters, Micheal Porter, Stephen Covey, C K Prahlad, Eliyahu Goldratt, Jim Collins, Jack Welch etc are some great authors..
Click here for top 25 from Time magazine and here for top 20 from Forbes magazine....

A well written book, to say in short, is the life of the author expressed in a few hundreds of pages.
“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” - Oscar Wilde. 
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” - Haruki Murakami
This not only sees that your time is gainfully spent, it also ensures that your thought process changes from discussing silly, mundane matters to professionally enriching, satisfying, intellectually stimulating topics. You can see for yourself, your talking style, thinking style, interactions with peers/faculty/industry personnel etc changing for the better. At last, it guides your life through your actions, elevating oneself to a higher intellectual level. Make it a point to keep notes in a notebook. Read at least one book in a week, if possible two, but make it a point to jot the important learnings. you may need it at some time in future ..
Point 3. Transfer your scribblings and learnings after reading the book as time permits, to a weB LOG (also called blog) either on blogspot (blogger) or wordpress, so that your writings get immediately published for a worldwide audience. (It also helps to improve one's writing style too). To make your writings worthwhile to the reader, add some fine analysis to the writing, some suggestions to improve the organisation, what could have been avoided, what could have been done better etc. ie. ADD TO THE DEBATE .. Do not just be a journalist !
Point 4. It is said interaction with friends and books result in 70% of the learning. To ensure that you spend your time gainfully, discuss with your friends about their internships / projects etc. Discuss how things could have been done better. or about the organisation / business promotion activities in their state, or if there is nothing else, discuss about the latest book you have read.
Point 5. Keep your GOALS in life a little higher than others .. Plan out what you will be in five years, ten years and twenty years .. The higher your goals, the better ingenious ways you will find to attain them. The otherwise painful obstacles now become just enjoyable steps to reach your ultimate GOAL.
Point 6 : The Library is a very good place to find the best books for general reading and read them to your hearts content. I am reminded of this quote : “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Jorge Luis Borges. Once you enter your professional career you may not get the time to do all the reading !!

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

If you try to follow these simple points, it should improve the quality of  your thought processes, peer / external interactions and will put you on a lifelong habit of self-learning. With more and more points being ingrained, the comprehending abilities of the individual also changes for the better, helping you perform better at group discussions, interviews etc..
Do not miss out on any opportunity where you can contribute positively (be it a classroom discussion or with friends in the cafetaria). By being a patient listener you can learn from others too !
It opens to you an exciting future of terrific opportunities in life, which you never ever dreamt earlier. I am sure you will gain from these few thoughts which came to my mind. Wish you all the best !! ( if it was beneficial, do not forget to let me know..)

george..

Colours, Discipline and Japanese culture ..

I was discussing with my colleagues this morning about how Toyota, in spite of a fall in production in its automobiles in India as of today ( which is observed across the automobile industry in the country), does not plan to shut down its plant or layoff any of its workers.

This is the time which Toyota gainfully employs to bring in changes to the shop floor. The workers are trained and asked to suggest improvements in their work, workplace, organisation, tools, jigs etc by Kaizens to improve the shop floor.

In 2008-09 when a global recession hit all automobile companies of the world, in the mornings, the Toyota Kirloskar workers in India were asked to attend some training classes on improving their workplace, work etc and afternoon time they were sent back to the shop floor to implement their learnings of the morning and previous days.

It is said, every Japanese family in the morning, classifies the waste in their homes into different coloured bags for easy and efficient disposal. If any house commits a mistake in their segregation, the garbage collection van does not pick the garbage , instead drops it in front of the house. It is a great insult for the house owner to have garbage in front of their house and tries his level best to do proper segregation of waste at home itself.

When these workers and officers come to the office or shop floor, they find the same colours and work discipline, have no qualms about it and stick to these standards even on the shop floor, keeping their workplace clean and tidy and doing the scheduled jobs well within the time.

If this is not part of Japanese culture, what is ?? Is it possible for other countries to imbibe this positive Japanese culture in their organisational structures ?

george..

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A good discussion of Multiple regression basics from NYU Stern ..

While I was going thru some material on Multiple regression and wanted to carry out a research by using multiple regression tool, I found this Stermn School of Business  document on Multple regression to be really useful. (though on Minitab ..) 

http://people.stern.nyu.edu/wgreene/Statistics/MultipleRegressionBasicsCollection.pdf

It is also simple and explains the concepts neatly in very simple language and examples.

Thank you Prof Greene ..

ge..

Monday, July 08, 2013

What and why of internship and how to write an internship report ..


    Most educational Institutes in any part of the world ask their students pursuing a higher education to carry out an internship in an industry or organisation and submit a report for many reasons. Some of the important ones are listed here.


1. to give an industry exposure for the student
2. to let the student find the relationship between what he has studied and what is being practiced in industry
3. to understand the industry employee- management working relationship
4. to understand what is the outside world and how it feels like to work in the industry or an organisation
5. to get an idea of industry discipline, mannerisms in the office, shop floor, field etc.
6. to get an idea of customer needs, demands and how they are being met by the industry / organisation
7. to understand how all employees in the organisation work collectively towards attaining the industry / organisational objective
8. to understand whether one has liking to any specific job or area
9. to provide an opportunity and training for the student to collect data, collate, analyse and interpret the results and present it in a presentable form.
10. to see places, interact with many different people, get their opinion on many aspects, experience systems, get training and information from experts and many other intangible benefits.

Steps in writing a report


1. Collect and collate all the primary and secondary data / information gathered from reports, Industry bulletins, by talking to senior employees, to shop floor, field staff and to customers
2. Analyse and prepare findings
3. Write a report in a standard structured manner after collating the information collected

The main benefit of the Internship report  is to highlight the analytical and critical thinking style of the student.

What all should a report have (or what to put on the Index page) :


1. The first and most pertinent part is the title page ( do not put in the index page) which has the title that gives an idea of the work carried out and details of organisation where the student has interned, the duration of internship, the name of the student and his organisation / college

2. An executive summary - a synopsis of the information in the report, gives an idea of a brief presentation of the objective of the internship, the work, your findings, analysis and critical findings of the study.

3. Provide background information of the organisation and the specific department where internship is carried out and the purpose of doing so.

4. Scope and Methodology - This is the most important body of the report. It lists the scope of the project, the specific objective of the internship, the data collected and the tools / methodologies used to analyse the data. The findings from the analysis is also explained with sufficient clarity. The implications of the findings is also discussed here. For different areas the data collected, tools used and findings will change. For a management internship for example, the report will have the supply chain details, the observations of the workers, the mode of transport, the location of warehouses, data collected on the frequency and loads transported on daily and weekly basis and the like. 

5. The summary part should contain the main observations and findings stressed again in the context of the organisation and its macro status in relation to national / international comparisons. This chapter also gives an idea of the learnings from the internship. Make sure that the learnings and findings from the report match up to the objectives initially you stated in your initial chapters of the report. 

6. It would be a good idea to list the learnings from the internship, the practical exposure and relationship between theory and practice.

Most people also add a section to the findings chapter on the limitations of the study, what all areas and aspects about the field which one could not get his / her hands on , the reasons, the possible impact of the additional information, how it would have changed the scope of the report and so on.

The main difference of a dissertation report and an internship project is that in a dissertation project one is supposed to make an original contribution to the field of knowledge (whatever minor it be) and document it, while in an internship report you are getting introduced to an organisation or industry and you are reporting your findings and observations of that organisation / industry. A seminar report, on the other hand, gives a state-of-the-art report of the literature / knowledge / understanding of a process / product / phenomenon etc for the interested audience and reader.

While writing the report be careful to avoid using/copying the writing of the original source from where you collect data and material. Copying from the original source without giving proper acknowledgements is called PLAGIARISING. In these days of ease of word processing, it is very easy to cut, copy and paste from thousands of sources on the Internet and digital documents in the public domain, but desist from doing so. 

Whatever information and literature one has collected from different sources and resources, kindly be courteous enough to acknowledge the source of that information and the author of that document. Remember the next time it may be your original document which you tiringly prepared which someone cuts, copies and pastes as HIS OWN. Really it hurts !!! If you do not want that fate to befall you and be so shabbily treated, behave likewise to authors from whom you have collected information.

With this information I am sure you can easily glide through the task of not only doing the internship, but understanding what is expected of you to learn and understand, the details of various information collected, collated and analysed using tools and then presented and critically looked at. 

Good wishes .. Enjoy your Internship Report preparation  ..

george easaw.. ( with inputs from ehow.com)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Top 10 cities of India ..

It would be interesting to note this as these cities are going to still play a great role in 2050 AD when India moves from the present $4,700 billion GDP to $ 86,000 billion GDP and leading the world ahead of China ($80trillion) and US ($39trillion).

Mumbai, $ 204 billion, 14 million population
New Delhi, $ 167 billion, 16.3 million 
Kolkata, $ 150 billion, 4.5 million
Bangalore, $ 83 billion, 8.5 million
Hyderabad $ 74 billion, 6.8 million
Chennai $ 66 billion, 8.9 million
Ahmedabad $ 64 billion, 5.5 million
Pune $ 48 billion, 4 million
Surat $ 40 billion, 4.6 million
Vizag $ 26 billion, 1 million

Just for comparison sake New York city GDP is $1210 billion .. Click here for other cities ..


ge..

Friday, July 05, 2013

Fruit for all seasons and reasons - Papaya ..

Compared to other fruits, papaya has the most health benefits from cardiovascular to colon health. 



It is available all year round and every Indian market stocks it; not to mention most households that have a courtyard, will have a papaya tree. So what makes papaya such an important fruit? Let's take a look at the health benefits of papaya.

If you lack vitamin A, papaya is the fruit to have. It is rich in vitamin A, calcium and is a good source of potassium.

If you want to boost your metabolism, eat papaya as it contains vitamin B in the form of folic acid, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-1 and riboflavin.

If you face discomfort with digestion, try this vibrant fruit. Papaya helps prevent constipation and helps in the digestion process.

If we consume food that lacks fiber, there are chances that it may not move easily through the digestive tract. These logged particles can turn infectious, which papaya can treat effectively. For instance, if the colon houses mucus and pus, papaya juice will take care of it.

If you are on a weight loss diet, include papaya as it is low in calories and rich in nutrients. That, coupled with its benefits of healthy digestion, makes papaya a good weight loss food.

If you are on a weight loss diet, include papaya as it is low in calories and rich in nutrients. That, coupled with its benefits of healthy digestion, makes papaya a good weight loss food.

If you are suffering from arthritisosteoporosis, or in any pain, papaya can lessen the agony. Papaya is known for its anti inflammatory properties and helps faster healing.

If you are constantly nursing a cold, your immune system is low. Include papaya in your diet to fight off colds and coughs. Papaya can boost your immune system, thanks to its abundance of vitamin C.

Little is known about the health benefits of papaya seeds. These small jelly-like seeds have antibacterial properties; they prevent kidney failure, purge the liver and flush out toxins.

Try at your own risk, but many believe that papaya seeds with hot water work as a birth control.

(courtesy Times of India ..)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nelson mandela .. the long road to freedom ...

The most famous apostle of non-violence after Mahatma Gandhiji .. Had it not been for his reconciliation efforts with the whites in a free South Africa, the history and future of that country would have been a bloodied one ..

A young Mandela with a fighting spirit ..
At his wedding with Winnie ..
Robben prison room where he spent 18 of his 27 years ..
With his daughters and their husbands..
The extended family ..
Old, but calm ..

1983 prudential world cup cricket Indian victory ..

16 Psyche, one of the largest and richest asteroids ..

What does this asteroid, 16 Psyche, 200 km diameter, 450 million miles away (3x distance between Earth and Sun) in the asteroid belt bet...

My popular posts over the last month ..