Sunday, March 30, 2008

Eating out

Experiences when eating out....
4) Breakfast - Hotel Taj Coromandel - July 24, 2008, 8.20 am - Farewell to David Hopper. Hard idlis and not-so-fresh sambar.

3) Breakfast - Idli - at Saravana Bhavan, Mylapore on Apr 3, 8.30 am - one of the two spoons had a corroded edge that was sharp enough to cut a lip. Floor response: 'Informed the manager.'

2) Limited meal Rs 30 at Sangeetha Vegetarian Restaurant, Mylapore on Mar 30, 9 pm - Kootu spoilt. Floor response: 'We'll check...'

1) Red Bull - Wonder if a scientific study has been done about the effect of the drink's ingredients, especially its potential to delay appetite? (Mar 30, 8 am)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Parveen Mittal

"We are into managing 'unstructured content'. What does this phrase mean? Any information that is not present in databases is 'unstructured content'. It can be in the form of e-mails, Web pages, spreadsheets, PDF documents stored on your disk, PowerPoint presentation files, and also paper documents."

Parveen Mittal, Country Head, Stratify Software India Ltd.

March 29, 3.30 pm

Friday, March 28, 2008

Jayaram Krishnan

"Where is growth coming from in the embedded technology sphere? If you look at the computer board design/manufacture, we see a shift from Taiwan to China, which is also emerging as a market for embedded components such as BIOS, WinCE applications, and remote management solutions. We see the first signs of demand coming from board designers and manufacturers in India, not only for computers but also specialised applications like mobile and telecom. "

Jayaram Krishnan, CEO, American Megatrends

March 28, 1.30 pm

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

T. Manoharan

"In a year from now, that is, in March 2009, we will be celebrating the 100th year of establishment of the company and the 'umami' (the taste of Ajinomoto, in Japanese). We, in India, have the tradition of six tastes, viz. sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy, and astringent. However, worldwide, the common tastes are four, viz. sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Therefore, internationally, 'umami' is recognised as the 'fifth' taste."

T. Manoharan, MD, Ajinomoto India Pvt Ltd

March 26, over lunch

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Satheesh Kumar

"We got 'Zen' in our company's name to indicate that unbiased wisdom can be delivered to customers, to achieve commercially sustainable success. Currently, what we find is a gaping consultant-to-practitioner divide that often results in ineffective implementation of the conceived projects. The antidote is the Zen approach, or more specifically, the Enzen way, where the customer is handheld from concept to commissioning, from idea to reality, with us as the trusted partner."

Satheesh Kumar, Managing Director, Enzen Global Solutions
March 25, over lunch

Monday, March 24, 2008

Raghu Viswanath

"Branding is dead. Long live branding. Conventional branding, where the emphasis is on name, logo, signage, packaging and visual merchandising, is dead, because these are no longer sustainable differentiators. What is here to stay is strategic branding, with focus on brand experience, which is a function of emotional and self-expressive value proposition. Most businesses in the services sector today are not laying sufficient emphasis on unearthing this brand essence, which will differentiate them from competition. Internationally, there are methodologies and techniques to scientifically unearth brand essence, using customer insights and competitive strength mapping. Therefore, if our businesses can put their time and money into the exercise, they can enhance their brand values significantly."

Raghu Viswanath, Managing Director, Vertebrand Management Consulting Pvt Ltd.

March 24, over lunch.

Arun Subramony

"Recently we launched 'UST HandPrint' as a core personality trait that defines our organisation. The HandPrint has five components, viz. live the values (LV), put the client first (CF), inspire(d) people (IP), passionate entrepreneurship (PE), and execution mindset (EM). This HandPrint becomes the centrepiece of our competency evaluation and competency acceleration, and a non-negotiable trait in every associate of UST Global, present and future."

Arun Subramony, Vice President (Global Delivery), UST Global, New York

March 24, 1 pm

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sanjay Bhardwaj

"I strive to make things better. In whatever area. This is basically out of the Kaizen philosophy, which I got exposed to when working with the Kaizen guru Masaaki Imai, in 2003-2004. It is possible to always spot, within a short time, the processes that are redundant and those that need improvement. But, for that, you need an eye for detail and keen interest in increasing productivity."

Sanjay Bhardwaj, CEO, Kaashyap Technologies

March 22, over lunch

A. Venkatramani

Meeting on March 29, 1.30 pm
A. Venkatramani, Chairman, GV Films Group and Chairman, Sanra Software

Thursday, March 20, 2008

B.S. Tiruvadanan and Mallika Tiruvadanan

"Knowledge, skill and attitude. How are these linked? To know what to do is wisdom. To know how to do is skill. And to do the way it should be done is service with the right attitude." (Dr B.S. Tiruvadanan)

"Freedom from pain is a fundamental right. Pain can be both physical and emotional, and therefore it is necessary to treat the patient as a whole person." (Dr Mallika Tiruvadanan)

Dr B.S. Tiruvadanan and Dr Mallika Tiruvadanan

March 20, over lunch

Dr B.S. Tiruvadanan & Dr Mallika Tiruvadanan

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

D. Sundar

"The toolroom can perform the best if there is no compromise on quality. To make that possible, you need the best tools. Indian tool industry is competitive in the global market, especially in segments like presstools, trimming tools, jigs and fixtures. A major constraint for the industry, more so the SMEs, is power."

D. Sundar, MD, Mahalakshmi Tools & Machinery Pvt Ltd

March 19, over lunch

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gopi Natarajan

"In terms of offshorable jobs, currently, only about 6 per cent of the US healthcare BPO industry has been offshored. So, the market is wide open. There is a huge opportunity. With 1,400 employees, Omega has 16 per cent of the market in terms of jobs. Growing 20-25 per cent CAGR, we are aiming at a market share of 30 per cent by 2009 end, and be the biggest in this space."

Gopi Natarajan, President and CEO, Omega Healthcare

March 18, over lunch

Gopi Natarajan

Monday, March 17, 2008

J.V. Mahendran

"Head/spinal cord injury is so different from other injuries. While there may be a way to set right other injuries (e.g. bone fracture, abdominal injury etc.) without much sequelae (consequences), head injury involves neurons which are unique in that they cannot regenerate. The affected neurons may manifest as the loss of a person's speech, use of limbs, concentration, memory, personality, or the way he/she works/studies. Which is why it is so necessary to give the best attention to the head injury patients, immediately after head/spine trauma."

Dr J V Mahendran, M.Ch. (Neuro), Senior Asst. Prof. of Neuro Surgery & Consultant Neuro Surgeon, Madras Medical College and Govt. General Hospital, Chennai

March 17, over lunch.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

M. Murali

"Wherever happy moments are there, sweets are there. And we can, with suitable R&D, make sugar-free sweets that are safe for the diabetics, too. At SKS, we are in the initial stages of testing, towards this direction... We have made a beginning in corporate presence by setting up a store in Cognizant, Chennai, to cater to the company's staff from March 17."

M. Murali, Managing Director, Sri Krishna Sweets

March 16, over lunch

M. Murali

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Raja Pannir Selvam

"IP (intellectual property) protection adds to investor confidence, which is highly relevant since India is a hot investment destination for many MNCs. However, IP in India can get a great push from effective enforcement. IP laws in India are very stringent, but the strategy to enforce them has to be in place."

Raja Pannir Selvam, Advocate

March 15, over lunch

Raja Pannir Selvam

Kiran Bhandari

"What motivates me personally is that we are able to work towards offering each visitor to Singapore a 'unique personal experience' - something that he/she can cherish over a lifetime. As the '10 millionth visitor' to Singapore in 2007, Sanjeev Bhandari of Hyderabad said in January, ' Singapore is a special experience for each visitor.' The Singapore Tourism Board, which comes under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the economic development agency for tourism, one of the industry sectors of Singapore. We basically promote Singapore as a destination for leisure, meetings and incentives, healthcare, and education."

Kiran Bhandari, Area Director - Southern India, Sri Lanka & Maldives, Singapore Tourism Board, Chennai

March 15, over lunch

Kiran Bhandari

T.R. Gopalakrishnan

Meeting on March 20, 11 am (?)

Dr T.R. Gopalakrishnan, HOD, Department of Mass Media and Communication Studies, University of Madras

Friday, March 14, 2008

Naresh Jain

"I draw inspiration from Mr N.R. Narayanamurthy, that the power of money is in giving. Accordingly, the philosophy of Atmosphere Lifestyle Homes is to make money but at the same give back some of it, for social causes. We have identified two such causes, viz. vocational training institute for construction industry, and international residential school. Both these projects are aimed at becoming self-financing in the medium term, of say 3-5 years."

Naresh Jain, CEO, Atmosphere Lifestyle Homes

March 14, 4.30 pm

Naresh Jain

G.N. Venkatasiva Subramaniam

"Aromatics industry caters largely to industrial users such as soaps, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries, agarbattis, personal perfumes and the like. We see growth coming from the rural places, because of increased exposure to media. So, the name of the game is distribution, so that the product reaches the end users. Where do we see development happening in the industry? Both in the art and science of aromatics, we are seeing development. The 'art' is in the blending part, where the imagination of ther perfumer comes into play, to add newer ingredients and twists to the formulations to achieve unique fragrances. And the 'science' comes from the development of newer ingredients, by working at the molecular level."

G.N. Venkatasiva Subramaniam, Director, Irris Aromatics Pvt Ltd
March 14, over lunch.

Muthu Logan

"WiMAX is going to revolutionise the acceptance of broadband and bridging the digital divide. It is a sure bet in our opinion. Above all, it complements, rather than substitute, the existing WiFi solutions. How does WiMAX help bridge the digital divide? It not only helps the large telcos and service providers but also the greenfield operators, either to plug in to the ecosystem created by the large operators, or enable to set up their own networks in a cost-effective manner."

Muthu Logan, CEO and Founder, BroVis Wireless Networks

March 14, 10.30 am

Muthu Logan

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ranjini Manian, Rajeshwar

"A powerful thought top on my mind is not about any challenge, but about how we are now in a fabulous position of having to explain 'Indian business' and what its culture is to the rest of the world, which is about 5 billion. And they are eager to listen, absorb and learn from us." (Ranjini)

"Global Adjustments is at the ideal time and space of presenting India to the rest of the world that has never been more interested in our growth story. We, therefore, are poised to ride this wave across India and beyond, over the foreseeable future. In recognition of our work at Global Adjustments, the international body of relocation companies, Worldwide ERC (Employee Relocation Council) has conferred upon us the 'Meritorious Service' award, 2008. On behalf of the company, I will be receiving the award later this month at a ceremony in Shanghai." (Rajeshwar)

Ranjini Manian (Founder and CEO) and Rajeshwar (COO), Global Adjustments.
Meeting on March 13, over lunch

Santanu Paul

Meeting on March 27, 1.30 pm

Santanu Paul, Senior VP & Head of Global Delivery Operations, Virtusa Corp

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Suresh Jain

"One way of bringing sanity into the urban real estate market will be to adopt the PPP (private-public partnership) model for housing development, by bringing to use Government land (poramboke) and have private builders construct, and also pricing the units reasonably. The same idea can be followed for re-developing Housing Board properties and Slum Clearance Board buildings, the way it has been in Maharashtra and West Bengal."

Suresh Jain, MD, Vijayshanthi Builders

March 12, 4.30 pm

N. Subramanian

"We are planning to introduce table-top OMR (optical mark reader) scanners and services in two verticals, viz. corporates and schools. In corporates, we anticipate an increasing use of OMR for recruitments. And, in schools, for the evaluation of regular class-tests and assignments. This solution may involve about Rs 1 lakh as capital investment, with negligible operational cost."

N. Subramanian, Managing Director, TRS Forms and Services P Ltd (

March 12, over lunch.

Sugata Sanyal

"There was a time when a serious record collection took up an entire wall, now with Apple's iPod; you can pour the entire lot into a hard disk smaller than a cassette tape. The trend towards shrinking technology is overwhelming, with breakthroughs in mass storage and fast processors creating new niches. And what is groundbreaking is that you can do most things with unbelievably small high-speed gizmos that do not seriously deplete your bank balance. In contemporary times, small is definitely big and surprisingly powerful."

Sugata Sanyal is a Professor in the School of Technology & Computer Science at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

March 11, 5 pm, over phone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

R.L. Ravichandran

Meeting on March 19, 10.30 am (?)

R.L. Ravichandran, Eicher Motors Ltd

Monday, March 10, 2008

Alok Singh

"Desktops are dead. They fit actually nowhere. Neither they are mobile, nor efficient, be it about power or otherwise. The world is going to be connected with devices like that of Novatium, or the laptops, which have a value-add. And recent data bear out the point: the sales of desktops have dropped, even as laptop sales have tripled, over the last about three years."

Alok Singh, CEO, Novatium Solutions

March 10, 4 pm

Open invites

(* indicates 'firmed up')
1) Ramesh, Oral & Maxillo Facial Surgeon
2) Arun Jain, Polaris
*3) D. Sundar, MD, Mahalakshmi Tools & Machinery Pvt Ltd
4) A.D. Padmasingh Isaac, Chairman, Aachi Group
5) L.S. Ganesh, HOD Management Studies IIT, Chennai
*6) T. Manoharan, MD, AjinoMoto India
7) Nishant, CEO, eBilling Solutions Pvt Ltd

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bharathan Prahalad

"As Alexander the Great said, there is only one thing that is divine: the Idea. Everything else is a byproduct. Whatever we see around us, in the form of development, infrastructure, technology and so on, started off as an Idea. Every Idea needs to be fed with ambition, enthusiasm, and cooperative effort. What we need, therefore, are people who have high-energy, fresh Ideas that inspire, and an attitude to work as a team. Anything else can be bought and taught, except a strong positive attitude."

Bharathan Prahalad, Head – Human Resources for KLA Tencor’s India Operations

March 9, over lunch

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Gopi - Videos

Globalisation as a subject in universities

Globalisation is not a zero-sum game

On corruption

On the recent failure of WTO talks

What shocks the visiting students

What the book is about

Who has benefited the most from globalisation

Friday, March 7, 2008

Jai Xavier Prabhu David

"India needs a million entrepreneurs and more. But what's stopping us? Perhaps it is because we are a country of great followers, not leaders. And to add to our problems, there is this fatalistic attitude inherent in all of us, born out of misinterpretation of the concept of destiny to constrain ourselves to a box. The way out is to evangelise and encourage entrepreneurship at the grassroot level and across categories. Today, we only celebrate the mighty entrepreneurs. By nature, it is difficult to get too many of them. And by logic, it is impossible. We need to realise that an entrepreneur with 25 people in a place like Kurnool or Thalassery is equally important. These guys address the key problems that India faces today, like urban migration and unemployment."

Jai Xavier Prabhu David, Founder & CEO, PRHUB Integrated Marketing Communication Pvt. Ltd.
March 7, 5.30 pm

C.L. Ashok Kumar

"Urology has become a very big specialty with a lot of sub-specialties within it. Urology mainly consists of the Genito-Urinary Surgeon who cures renal problems by surgery, and the Nephrologist who treats renal problems with drugs. This differentiation has to be fundamentally understood by the lay public, because there is a mix-up of patients on many occasions and they land up with a wrong consultant for their ailments. Kidney transplantation has itself taken huge strides today as the number of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients is increasing by leaps and bounds. It is very simple knowledge that when an organ fails it has to be substituted, wherever a substitute is available, as in the case of kidney, liver, pancreas etc. The huge buckle in this kidney transplantation is due to lack of awareness of Brain-Death and the emotions of the relatives of the Brain-dead patient who is on the ventilator. When once they understand this phenomenon of Brain death, the number of cadaver kidneys will increase. But in no way it will match the demand and supply, because there is a huge gap between these two figures."

Dr C L Ashok Kumar, Consultant Urologist

March 7, over lunch

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Peter Lønborg Nielsen

"The industrial growth rate that we will see in India in the next 5 to 10 years has the potential to be steeper than in China. Because China is tending to near a level where growth will slow down from historical numbers. In India, we at KE Burgmann, see a lot of opportunities in the energy, steel and cement sectors. All three, which are the cornerstones for the future development of infrastructure."

Peter Lønborg Nielsen, CEO, KE Burgmann Group, Denmark
March 6, 4.30 pm

K. Arunachallam

"What has the Budget done for the corrugated packaging industry? It has ruined our life. How? Originally, we had central excise at 16 per cent on paper. Corrugated products, which use (Kraft) paper as the raw material, also suffered 16 per cent levy. Last year, excise duty on paper came to 12 per cent, and now it has been brought to 0 per cent, up to 3,500 tonnes; and, above that limit, it is at 8 per cent. Meanwhile, corrugated packaging industry suffers a duty of 14 per cent (from the earlier 16 per cent). According to me, the paper industry is not expected to pass on the benefits to the corrugaged packaging industry."

K. Arunachallam, MD, Eskay Cartons P Ltd

March 6, over lunch.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bharath Mahadevan

"In 2008 Summer (May-June) we anticipate a minor shift in passenger preferences towards non-traditional destinations such as Bali, Vietnam and China. On the inbound side, we would like to see much more leisure traffic (meaning, tourists rather than business or ethnic travellers) coming in. Unfortunately, this segment is stagnant, owing predominantly to problems with regard to infrastructure and hospitality."

Bharath Mahadevan, Manager Southern India for Singapore Airlines at Chennai

March 5, over lunch.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

K.O. Isaac

"India could decide the cost of drug discovery in the future. Today, the cost of drug discovery (for example, finding a new cure for diabetes) is about $1 billion, and it takes 10 to 15 years. India offers a cost arbitrage and also a variety of genotypes for a more economical and effective drug discovery. More importantly, India offers very large opportunities with its biodiversity as sources for discovery of drugs."

K.O. Isaac, MD, ABL Biotechnologies

March 4, over lunch

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mihir Mohan

"The time for RFID has come. We see good growth coming in automotive, logistics and retail. In retail, RFID adoption will be driven by the consumer through developments in mobile payments, loyalty cards, and PBS (Presence-Based Services)."

Mihir Mohan, Director, Technology, N-NET Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore (

March 3, over lunch.