Saturday, December 06, 2008

B2B-Dec 1, 2008

Book Mark - Dec 4, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Harish H V

Q: What about the time-factor involved, essential in M&A, in getting CCI’s approvals?
A: CCI has a view that 90 per cent of combinations will be approved within a time frame of 60 days. By re-defining the criteria for referrals the number of cases that need to be referred could be minimized and the ones that are referred too could be fast tracked.

Harish H V, Partner Specialist Advisory Services, Grant Thornton

Sairee Chahal

"When I got married my mother told me, marriages are not between two people but between two eco-systems. The same applies to deals, where it is all about managing complexity that it brings with it. Managing mergers and acquisitions are a function of the degree of complexity that can be managed within the eco-systems of the two identities in question."

Sairee Chahal, Co-Founder, SAITA Consulting (

Friday, May 30, 2008

Salil Bhargava

Q: There are a number of Indian companies that are developing computer games for global clients. Yet, no Indian company seems to have developed and marketed a computer game that has global appeal. Why is this so?
A: Yes, there are companies in India doing a lot of development work where they create components etc. for global clients, but creating a successful original product for PCs will still take us sometime to accomplish in my view. While a Mobile or an online game can be created in as less time as a month or two, a PC game can take anywhere close to a year or few to complete. The global players in this industry have been around for decades and one does require that amount of experience to create games for such platforms.

Salil Bhargava, CEO, Jump Games

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gokul Chaudhri

...on the government contemplating levy of a 3-5% cess to finance some of the oil subsidy bill, which is projected to balloon to Rs 2.25 lakh crore by the end of this fiscal. The cess is likely to be slapped on both income tax and corporate tax.

Gokul Chaudhri, BMR Advisors

Friday, March 21, 2008

D. Sundar

Q: Is there scope for innovation in the industry? Is cost reduction a focus area? Are modern concepts of relevance to SMEs?

A: “The scope for innovation is available but limited. Since, we get continuous contracts and orders that are spread over months, it provides us with very little time to innovate. Moreover in small and medium business (SMBs), much of the time is spent in scheduling, designing and executing manufacturing processes.”

“Designing is a costly affair which most SMBs don’t venture upon. Although innovations should be the ideal path for growth, we are particularly limited due to the lack of resources such as workforce ability, time and capital.”

“Cost reduction is absolutely on the charts. In our company, we employ a variety of lean manufacturing and six sigma concepts. SMB entrepreneurs need to be really lucky to get people with such backgrounds. In my case, my daughter, a Masters graduate in Industrial Engineering from the University at Buffalo, New York with two years experience in lean manufacturing in the US, moved back to India to join me in improving management and growth processes.”

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

In an e-mail interview.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kiran Bhandari

Q: On the geographical pattern of interest towards Singapore, globally, and in India, more specifically, South India. Which of the cities and towns are showing the largest growth rates for tourism?

A: "While the overall growth from India last year was around 14%, we saw more than a 25% growth from Tier 2 cities such as Tiruchirapally, Kochi, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trivandrum. This is a reflection of the increased wealth and spending power of these cities, as well as increased connectivity between these smaller cities and Singapore. All of the above mentioned cities, except Madurai, now have direct flights to Singapore. This is a trend that is likely to continue going forward, and we have already upped our efforts in growing these Tier 2 markets."

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

In an e-mail interview.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ranjini and Rajeshwar, Global Adjustments

Q: Your insights on the generational differences of adaptability.

A: "When Indians travel abroad and settle down there, they typically tend to want to sponsor their parents and enable their reunion with the family. This is again driven by the cohesive forces that operate in a typical Indian family unit, regardless of where it may be. Under such circumstances, when elders migrate to foreign shores, there are usually more serious adaptability challenges that they face and have to overcome in order to live comfortably. Some examples are - fluency in the local language, being comfortable wearing clothes that suit the weather conditions in that country, changes in cuisine, lack of independence in local transportation outside home, etc. All these factors tend to put a lot of stress on the senior folk who travel abroad to settle down for the sake of living with their children. These need to be carefully considered before making such significant decisions by the families concerned."

Ranjini and Rajeshwar, Global Adjustments.

In an e-mail interview.

C.L. Ashok Kumar

Q: Your views on the state of medical education in the country.

A: "Medical education has picked up well now. Earlier the student would get a medical degree by any and many methods and also reaped the harvest of blunders when he became a consultant. Now the postgraduate is a married man with two children to support; so, where is the time to do research or go into the subject and understand? Gradual awareness is dawning nowadays that only hard work during their PG days will be of moral support in practice.Currently, good teachers are a rarity. The so-called professors now are there by virtue of their ‘seniority’ or there are intelligent teachers who have time to read only foreign literature and grind it into the minds of the students, as we do not have genuine statistics of our own. The postgraduate examines an Indian patient and prescribes a drug recommended by a foreigner (doctor). Today’s postgraduate is better than his teachers in many aspects, who can impart only practical experience but not theory."

Dr C L Ashok Kumar, Consultant Urologist.

In an e-mail interview.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bharathan Prahalad

Q: What are the component activities of modern HR?

A: "It starts from the BP (Business Plan) then MP (Manpower planning), Recruitment, T&D (Training and Development), RM (Resource Management), EE (Employee Engagement), PM (Performance Management), TM (Talent Management), Exits, Statutory Compliance and SHR (Strategic HR). Today HR does link up with the business and the service excellence teams in driving projects that help continuous process improvement with tangible benefits."

Bharathan Prahalad, Head – Human Resources, KLA-Tencor Software India Pvt Ltd.

In an e-mail interview.

Muthu Logan

Q: Why WiMAX? What difference does it make for a user?

A: "WiMAX is a next generation, standards based technology specifically developed and optimized to provide cost-effective convergence services (Data, Voice and Video) for the masses globally. An end user can subscribe for ONE secure and reliable service that will provde high speed data, voice and video services in the ubiquitous IP (Internet protocol) standard. Currently, almost all end users subscribe for separate voice and data services and they are typiclaly narrowband as opposed to Broadband. In essence, the end user gets the benefit of cost, speed, reliability and instant access to all IP applications (Web access, VoIP, etc). More importantly, WiMAX offers mobility-- which means the user can be talking as well as accessing the net while on the move."

Muthu Logan,CEO and Founder, BroVis Wireless Networks (

In an e-mail interview.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thyagesh Baba

Q: Do you feel that the spirit of entrepreneurship and risk management can be taught or is it a mere gut feeling? Also, kindly suggest areas that a wannabe entrepreneur can look at.

A: "In my opinion it is more a gut feeling than something that can be ingrained through practice. However, a sense of disciplined thought-process to assess opportunity and risks, might become a necessary overlay to the gut, if one seeks to be successful in the long run."

Thyagesh Baba, Director, Spark Capital.

In an e-mail interview.

Suresh Jain

Q: Do you see re-development happening in a big way in cities like Chennai? Will we need the right laws and policies to facilitate the same?

A: "Re-development has to happen in Chennai and it is happening and will happen in the future as well. For this the policies and the laws need amendments to ensure development. I am sure that all over the country – re development has to happen to improve quality of living and this is only possible with the active participation of the Housing Board and the Slum Clearance Board. Just in order to mention, the fact is that there are many areas where the SCB tenements were established long time ago thinking that they are on the outskirts of the city, but today the same area is forming the heart of the city. Steps need to be initiated to ensure that these areas are beautified, laws and policies amended and the same areas are beautified – Singara Chennai – the dream becomes a reality."

Suresh Jain, MD, Vijay Shanthi Builders.

In an e-mail interview.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sugata Sanyal

Q: India is predominantly seen as an IT services country. Do we have IT products, too, to showcase to the world? Are we creating enough IP (intellectual property), compared to other countries?

A: “I would like to provide one example, MiLeap from HCL Info systems.”

“This is just an example, which has really taken a leap in to future. Quoting from available technical details, the ultra portable MiLeap weighs less than a kilogram, features a 7-inch screen equipped with an Intel processor. It has impressive features like a Navigational Pad that offers multiple features like touch screen, thumboard, stylus, keyboard, mouse and one touch buttons. It has a swivel 7-inch display cum notepad, helps in making input using a stylus and handwriting. All these come at a price of sub-Rs 15,000. Thus HCL has shaped the future of computing and it has the vision of empowering every Indian with a PC.”

“This is one available example. I would request you to do a survey of what all are happening in the Indian IT scene, similar to this. Also, we need to assess what IP is being created here. One observation is that we in India are not much aware of creating IP, though we are as good. Formalities and jargons are mostly non-Indian.”

Sugata Sanyal, Professor in the School of Technology & Computer Science at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

In an e-mail interview.

H.R. Srinivasan

Q: Has the listing changed the way you work? Or, in retrospect, do you think life was better before?

A: “Yes, listing has changes the way one works. A lot of my time is now involved in dealing with financial markets – analysts, investors, etc. It is with good cause though. This would mean a bit of time compression on the earlier method of work. We have addressed this by expanding leadership levels in the organisation. In some sense the no. of compliances are more, and rightly so, as you have access to public monies and propriety must be maintained.”

“I will not say life was better before. Both environments come with their set of opportunities and responsibilities. We are now in an aggressive growth phase and being listed is a logical progression. No regrets on this decision.”

H.R. Srinivasan, Vice-chairman and Vision Holder, Take Solutions Ltd.

In an e-mail interview.

K.O. Isaac

Q: Since you are manufacturing in some of the excise duty free areas, do you think the excise cuts announced in the recent Budget impact the economics in your company?

A: "Yes they do, to a limited extent. At ABL, excise duty benefits are passed on to our customers. With a reduction in duties, the economic benefits for pharmaceutical marketing companies needs to be reviewed especially when taken in conjunction with the directive from the Ministry of Chemicals, that retail prices must be reduced correspondingly.”

“In addition, Excise Free Zones suffered from other problems like intense competition, lack of qualified personnel, logistical issues, slow release of drug licences and delays in getting products out. Therefore, for the majority of pharma companies based in the South, I don’t think the EFZs are an interesting and worthwhile proposition anymore.”

“Also, the expected announcement from the Ministry of Chemicals enhancing the list of products under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) will make viability of these products being manufactured at EFZs, even more questionable as they are tax-exempt.”

“I therefore believe that these units in the EFZs are going to be impacted very severely.”

K.O. Isaac, MD, ABL Biotechnologies.

In an e-mail interview.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pinakiranjan Mishra

Q: What is impeding the development of a robust back-end supply chain, in India?

A: "The most significant challenge in developing a smooth supply network is the lack of adequate infrastructure particularly road infrastructure, reliable power supply, insufficient investments in alternate modes of transport (marine, railways, air transport), a well-connected cold chain & warehousing infrastructure. Lack of technology usage, a fragmented supplier base and a multi-layered tax structure pose significant challenges to the evolution of a streamlined supply network. Local, regional and national regulations pose major hurdles for retailers in obtaining permissions to establish supply chain infrastructure."

Pinakiranjan Mishra, Partner, Retail & Consumer Practice, Ernst & Young.

In an e-mail interview.

Seerkazhi G. Siva Chidambarm

Q: How far do you think that students can benefit by learning music along with their other studies?

A: "Music is a finer version of discipline training. Any form needs rigorous training techniques and practice to master it. That by itself, brings in a subconscious discipline and mental stability. A student who learns music especially, has the benefit of relaxation in combination with a stable clear mind to approach his curriculum. There is nothing to beat music, especially Classical music. Film music also helps. Especially the older songs with a sentimental lyrical touch and philosophies about success and examinations do have an impact on students preparing for examinations. It is a pleasure to study with music on."

Dr Seerkazhi G. Siva Chidambarm, musician

In an e-mail interview.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bharath Mahadevan

Q: On what areas of cost do you focus, on a continuing basis?

A: "The bulk of our operating costs worldwide is fuel costs, accounting for almost a third of our costs. Hence savings in fuel costs would be of prime importance to us, especially with the cost of fuel escalating steadily. Currently we pay three times for fuel as compared to what we paid three years ago! Maintaining and renewing a young fleet of aircraft is the first thing we do to achieve trimming of costs. The average age of our passenger aircraft is around 6 years, which is one of the youngest in the world for an airline which has been around for 60 years. We also hedge a certain proportion of our fuel, to help protect against wild swings in the fuel prices. Our technical teams continually focus on the routes which our flights take to reach their destinations, and try and shorten these routes to bring about savings in fuel costs."

Bharath Mahadevan, Manager, Southern India, Singapore Airlines

In an e-mail interview.

R. Balaji

Q: Who is buying now into real estate: investors or end users? And what are their preferences?

A: "Both. But today, we can classify the buyers as big investors and small investors, instead of investors and end users. End users have become small investors primarily in Tier I and Tier II cities. But both big as well as small investors do not prefer long term. Both prefer short to medium term appreciation. And both look at land as the most preferred investment option. "

R. Balaji, CEO, Propmart

In an e-mail interview.

G.R.K. Reddy

Q: The origin of MARG, the name.

A: "MARG is an abbreviation for MAdhusudhan Reddy G, my younger brother who expired very young. In his memory I started MARG Securities and MARG Constructions. MARG also means 'PATH' or 'Direction', and we are leading the way into the right direction for infrastructure democracy in the country."

G.R.K. Reddy, Chairman & Managing Director, MARG Ltd

In an e-mail interview.

Ashish Dehade

Q: Is there any geographical pattern visible in the cases that come up?

A: "We haven’t seen a very visible ‘geographical pattern’ in the cases that we have handled. We do however see a relatively larger number of fake ‘employment experience letters’ emanating from cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore!"

Ashish Dehade, MD West Asia, First Advantage

In an e-mail interview.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Michael M. Bala

Q: Among the many services you offer, which have been the most popular ones?

A: "The most popular use of Snapfish is for Printing, Sharing and Storage, in that order. This is because Snapfish has a everyday low price of Rs. 2.95. The top selling product has always been prints. During festival seasons it is the mugs, Calendars and other gift items."

Michael M. Bala, Country Manager, Hewlett-Packard :, Chennai

In an e-mail interview.

Jim Rogers

Q: What, according to you, are the most important ten Chinese words/phrases that any businessman should know? And why?

A: "Buy low. Sell high."

Jim Rogers, author of 'A Bull in China' (

In an e-mail interview.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Amitava Roy

Q: On the impact of the US woes.

A: "There is a lot of media talk about the oncoming slowdown in US. Any slowdown expected in the US market is a challenge and an opportunity for us. Like in 2001-2002, when a number of Indian IT companies, especially the large ones, benefited from the slowdown, we believe that our innovative business models will help our customers to address such a situation and thereby provide an opportunity to strengthen our leadership position. As margin pressures increase, a number of companies will seek to optimize their R&D costs. This is where Symphony with it’s proven track record stands to gain."

Amitava Roy, President, Symphony Services

In an e-mail interview.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

Q: Any views on the Som Mittal issue?

A: "It's all a shame really that it has to come to this. It is entirely led by some petty and faceless bureaucrats. Som Mittal is working tirelessly for India as the head of Nasscom and in his former role at HP does anyone really think that he would not have cared for the welfare of his employees? I think it is all a waste of court time and people should be asking who is footing the bill for all this wasted time and effort."

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary (

In an e-mail exchange.

Bindhumadhavan Gururajan

Q: Being in a pharmaceutical research environment, what attracts you to innovation?

A: "Innovation, for me as a Pharmaceutical Scientist, is about producing effective and efficient medicines. I am always looking for new ways boost efficiency, productivity, quality and speed. And why? Well partly it’s obvious - I want to see patients getting great medicines as soon as possible. But there is another side too. I admit I enjoy the scientific challenges and the use of state-of-the-art technologies. The puzzles we take on are difficult and important, and these are the kind that appeal most to scientists."

Dr Bindhumadhavan Gururajan, Senior Scientist (Process Engineering), Product Development, PAR&D AstraZeneca R&D, UK

In an e-mail interview.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dhyaneshwar B. Chawan

Q: Is it necessary that we get back to some of the traditional food practices to reinvent the wisdom? Examples.

A: "YES. Periodical FASTING, eating certain foods –Neem Flowers for Ugadi, Sesame seeds based foods during Naga Panchami and so many other traditions were adopted with ‘religious connotation’ so people follow the ‘ritual’ without questions. These products have certain compounds to ‘tune’ up our system. You must be aware how breathing exercises have become routine herein USA for stress relief. I heard from Cardiology nurse this morning that they are teaching how the sound ‘OM’ is practiced in their classes for patients after surgery. This is helping them (I was told) for quick recovery and healing. Our country has wealth of knowledge and resources and we last track of them due to personal choices/reasons!!!???"

Dhyaneshwar B. Chawan, Srim Enterprises, US (

In an e-mail interview.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Geoff Magee

Q: Are there things that the Budget can address, to ensure a faster growth of the hospitality industry? And what have been the demands long ignored?

A: "Taxes have always been the worry for hospitality!! Why can't we also have here a uniform Policy India wide?? Luxury tax is different State-wise in India. Some states levy more than others."

"Similarily licence rates, and sales taxes, and travel and transport rules and regulations. Our industry hardly has any tax sops worth mentioning."

"Incentives can go a long way to addressing faster growth.The industry has been one of the leading earners in foreign exchange, but the benefits have never filtered down to us. Since we have been associated with the 'Luxury Tag,' we are always looked at to foster taxes?"

Geoff Magee, Chief Executive Officer, The Accord Metropolitan, Chennai

In an e-mail interview.

G S K Velu

Q: What has been the story of medical equipment industry thus far, in India?

A: "The medical technology industry is a victim of identity crisis in India, without a space in both healthcare and technology industry."

"The industry has never been an area of focus by the government and the domestic manufacturers are placed in a struggling phase like the pharma industry 20 years ago. In the past decade the industry has witnessed no large-scale initiative in this sector. Indigenous initiatives are restricted to very few low technology products."

"The market for the high-end products is purely dominated by the MNCs who are free traders in the country without any manufacturing intent."

Dr G S K Velu, Managing Director, Trivitron Group of companies, Chennai

In an e-mail interview.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

K. Ganapathy

Q: Considering that today's academic load on students is far higher than what used to be a few decades ago, in what ways do you suggest that a professional student can enhance his throughput and at the same time enjoy the exercise?

A: "While conceding that today's academic load on students is far higher than what used to be a few decades ago, it is equally true that learning tools and exposure have developed even faster than the quantum of knowledge that needs to be studied. Today we are in an era of information overload. In the sixties and seventies we had to spend hundreds of unproductive hours searching for information rather than studying the information. That was the BC era ( Before Computers)."

"I do not think today’s student has too much to complain. My three-and-a-half-year-old grandson is already at home with a computer. As Samuel Boswell Johnson once remarked 'an educated person is one who know where the information is' .. "

"It is not necessary to store thousands of facts in one’s brain. Once we learn how to learn, what to learn and where to learn, confronting the so-called academic load is a matter of effective time management. The Internet and the world wide web if properly used can certainly enhance a student's throughput and at the same time he can enjoy the exercise."

Prof K. Ganapathy, Neurosurgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai

In an e-mail interview.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Q: One key thing in my fitness routine.

A: "Walk up the stairs."

Gowrishankar, CEO, Aspire Systems

In an answer to '60 Seconds Chief'.

Amitava Roy

Q: One clue that tells me I'm the leader.

A: "When others listen."

Amitava Roy, President, Symphony Services

In an answer to '60 Seconds Chief'.

Kishore Musale

Q: One teacher I remember, and why.

A: "Mr. Mathoo, my geography teacher - he was repetitive to the extent we never forgot what he taught."

Kishore Musale, Chairman & Managing Director, Astarc Group, Mumbai

Answering a question for '60 Seconds Chief'.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Srinivas Rao Saripalli

Q: The future, as you envisage, of mobile usage...

A: "The way I see it, the next thing to happen in the telecom sector is the upgradation to 3G (third generation) technology and of course PC-isation of the mobile. There is no argument that PC-isation is the pinnacle of the upcoming mobile genre. "

"Currently we are in the 2.5 Generation, which enables voice and improved data rates transfer; but with the advent of 3G, that is the third-generation wireless technology and networks (which is likely to take place soon in India), we will be in an era where voice, data and entertainment will converge onto a handheld device. For example, downloading a full-movie on a mobile will hardly take few minutes. The mobile can be used as a photo manager, video chat, media video player (You Tube, Internet Radio) etc."

"As technology (3G) moves into the realm of next-generation application and platform, WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) and CDMA2000 are by far the dominant standards in terms of current commercial services, operator deployment plans and vendor support."

"WCDMA technology is the 3G standard chosen by most GSM/GPRS wireless network operators wanting to evolve their systems to 3G-network technology. It encompasses higher data transfer rates and provides wireless connections greater than GSM/GPRS and EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution)."

Srinivas Rao Saripalli, Circle Operating Officer, Tamil Nadu, Tata Teleservices

In an e-mail interview.

Vivek M. Jain

Q: Why BPM (business process management)?

A: "BPM’s roots are in workflow, but it differs in a couple of significant ways from the workflow that you have built into many of your corporate applications today. First, it focuses on the end-to-end execution of the process – no matter how many organizational or system boundaries are passed along the way."

"Second, end-to-end visibility of the process delivers unprecedented insight into how that process is performing. This type of process control and analysis is virtually impossible for most companies to do today because of the system and organizational boundaries. Third, great BPM solutions were built to support change because processes are always changing – for competitive, organizational and regulatory reasons. "

"So, BPM gives process owners great flexibility in describing, executing, analyzing and improving processes. It provides a business-oriented architecture that allows process owners to set improvement goals and orchestrate actions across the company to achieve those goals. The results can be dramatic – and fast to achieve. An insurance company eliminated 80% of the manual work in their process in the first version. A health care provider saved 21,000 administration hours in the first year in on-boarding, nursing and support staff in their hospitals. Finally, one of the largest telecommunication service providers in the world saved $3M in the first quarter of deployment by better processing of disputed bills."

Vivek M. Jain, CEO, StrApp Business Solutions (P) Ltd (

In an e-mail interview.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tom Troubridge

Q: How does India compare with China in capital markets?

A: "China nearly matched Europe in 2OO7 raising Euros 76billion from 24O IPOs. China has a very active retail market like China and many large deals oversubscibed . This can make the market more volatile as retail investors are more inclined to react to market sentiment . China is still a sgnificant source of international IPOs to New York with over half of 5O international IPOs in 2OO7. This is partly due to the influence of US investment banks in China. In contrast only one large Indian IPO went to New York in 2OO7."

Tom Troubridge, head of the Capital Markets Group of the PricewaterhouseCoopers UK firm

In an e-mail interview.

Geoff Magee

Q: One dream I'd like to chase, later in life.

A: "If I wait to chase dreams later they will never come true!!!Ive chased them from the age of 5 … Many have come true."

Geoff Magee, Chief Executive Officer, The Accord Metropolitan, Chennai

An answer in '60 Seconds Chief'

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Karthikeyan V

Q: On the need for PLM.

A: "PLM (product lifecycle management) is the process by which manufacturing companies develop, describe, manage and communicate information about their products, both internally and among their supply chain partners."

"This process begins at the earliest phases of design and development and continues throughout the entire life of the product, which includes production launch, mass production, and, retirement. PLM solutions provide the visibility into product development and provide enterprise-wide information across the globe, necessities for manufacturers who must reduce time-to-market, and yet maintain product excellence."

Karthikeyan V, Director – Technical, EDS Technologies Private Ltd, Bangalore (

In an e-mail interview.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Neeraj Gulati

Q: One signal that tells me there is a problem.

A: "If the smiles seem to have faded, there’s a problem. Very often, team leaders in their hum-drum of daily routine miss this minor indicator and this if addressed at the right time can be the single most bonding factor."

Neeraj Gulati, Managing Director, Ciena India Pvt Ltd (

When responding to '60 Seconds Chief'

Thursday, February 14, 2008


"I think that we must look at the current controversy around the DTA of India with Mauritius in the context of the long standing special relationship between the two countries. Let us not forget that Mauritius chose the date of its political independence on the historic day that Mahatma Gandhi started the famous Salt March, ie on a 12th of March. In its struggle for economic independence, Mauritius turned to India for transfer of intermediate technology, for technical expertise, for supply of machinery, raw materials and foodstuffs, for many of its imports, such that India remain our main import supplier until today, with a huge trade balance in its favour, as Mauritius exports practically nothing to India."

KC Li, Chairman, Mauritius International Trust Co. Ltd, Port Louis, Rep of Mauritius

In an e-mail interaction.

Ganapathy Lakshmanan

Q: Rural practice is a hot topic these days. What, according to you, can be an effective way to ensure that our villages have adequate health facilities? Do we need any change in our medical education policies?

A: “We do have a good system in paper but it does not function in a proper manner due to several reasons. We do have primary health centres, taluk headquarter hospitals, district headquarters hospitals, and medical college teaching hospitals.”

“As you know, Government-run hospitals have their own problems due to finance, work ethics, etc. Here, in the US, we do have similar problems with veterans and other Government-sponsored hospitals. In India, we need to have a model that combines the US and Canadian healthcare systems.”

“In the US, every County (analogous to our taluk) with a population of thirty thousand has a rural hospital, which takes care of emergency visits, medical, surgical and obstetrics and gynaecology problems. Doctors have to live within a distance of 20 miles from the hospital if they want to practise in that particular hospital.”

“State Government also has clinics and the Government has to compete with local doctors to generate income for their clinics. Every one has to work sincerely. Private medical doctors can see their patients in their clinic and they do admit their patients in their local hospital for needed treatment. They get paid from the State Government, private insurance and from the Federal Government.”

“Those who want to work hard will make more income and those who want to work minimum hours will have less income. Every one, whether with money or not, gets basic and emergency care with the same standard of care.”

“We need to prepare our Indian medical graduates focussing on preventive medicine and maternal child health issues. We need to pay attractive salary and offer nice working environment. Government and private sectors can play a major role to provide rural health service. We need to provide good pharmacy systems to patients, which will help them to continue their respective medications.”

“We need to educate our rural people about the importance of basic health care, clean water facility, sanitation. We need to have good supportive rural medical centre to promote education. When you provide good service and listen to patients’ problems, they are going to follow your advice and do well with their health. It will be a challenging task to implement in India but it can be done through hard work and dedication.”

Lakshmanan Ganapathy MD, Obstetrician / Gynaecologist, Selmer, Tennessee

In an e-mail exchange.

Egidio Zarrella

Q: Can you list the critical success ingredients of an effective KPO (knowledge process outsourcing)? Also, what are the challenges and barriers that KPO units have to overcome?

A: "The customer today is smart. He has his requirements clearly defined and he has a certain expectation from the service provider. With regard to the KPO, a client wants a service provider who has the necessary expertise and skills. Has a good depth of knowledge and understanding of the services he offers. Has experience in focused areas. The outsource service provider must customized solutions for the client and must be flexible."

"The challenges faced by the KPO units are recruiting and retaining the right talent. Due to the high complexity nature of work, there is a high demand for quality, data security and compliance. The KPOs have to at all times face tough competition from other countries. Another industry challenge they have to face is with regard to information infrastructure and branding."

Egidio Zarrella, Global Partner in Charge, IT Advisory, KPMG

In an e-mail exchange.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vishwas Udgirkar

Q: In what ways can the Union Budget 2008-09 have a positive impact on infrastructure financing in the country?

A: "The Budget can enhance infrastructure financing in a number of ways. It could increase allocations to different infrastructure sectors, provide fiscal incentives, facilitate the development of the domestic debt market and induce foreign investments into infrastructure."

"Last year’s Budget initiated the process for utilising foreign exchange reserves for infrastructure financing and permitting domestic mutual funds to launch and operate dedicated infrastructure funds. The Committee on Infrastructure Financing, headed by Mr Deepak Parekh, made several recommendations for meeting the country’s infrastructure financing requirements and I expect forthcoming Budgets to address them."

Vishwas Udgirkar, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers

In an e-mail exchange.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

S. Sam Santhosh

Q: Where do you see the future growth coming from?

A: "Geographically, we are expecting major growth from Europe. Historically over 85% of our revenues have been from the US. But this year, in spite of the company growing by over 40%, the contribution from US has been reduced to 65%, with over 25% coming from Europe."

"For our Enterprise Business Solutions SBU, we expect considerable revenue growth from the Oracle ecosystem. In our Product engineering Services SBU, we are focusing on Next Generation Data Center Products (NGDC)."

S. Sam Santhosh, President & CEO, California Software Labs, US

In an e-mail interview.

Thomas John

Q: Do you find acceptance to the idea from the commercial establishments where you would like Ooha to be present in? What are the challenges?

A: "I would say the response is rather mixed… We approached a few commercial locations and they would like us to pay them a monthly rent. We in fact expected this reaction from commercial property owners because they might not be able to see the immediate benefits that an Ooha station will bring to them. We believe that over time Ooha will have an amazing effect on the way people buy products and services."

"We are very confident that everyone - which includes retailers, mall owners, companies, advertising agency etc and of course the customers and users of this kiosk infrastructure - will benefit from it tremendously. Best part of the whole infrastructure is that it is an open platform for people and companies to experiment. It’s all up to what people can imagine and do with it."

Thomas John, CEO of Ooha Services India Private Ltd

In an e-mail interview.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pradhyumna T. Venkat

Q: What are the unfolding new areas of RFID application?

A: "We find RFID deployments in the most unusual and unexpected places. We find them tracking people & assets, cattle & tree identification, electronic cash and so on. While cost consideration has forced a delay in Item level tagging, the technology has been successfully serving other applications. We find increasingly newer applications on RFID these days. Electronic ticketing, Airport management system, Postal and Logistics application are a few key areas where the technology has been successfully deployed."

Pradhyumna T. Venkat, CEO, Gemini Traze

In an e-mail interview.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Peter Wink

Q: Are you doing anything for Nano? And what are the big OEM contracts in India?

A: "Presently we are not doing any thing for Nano directly. We are in discussion with almost all the automotive OEM’s in India (passenger car as well as commercial vehicles) and also the OEMs in the construction and agricultural machinery field. And in most of the future models Mann and Hummel Filter Private Ltd will play a major role when it comes to filter and filtration systems."

Peter Wink, Managing Director of Mann And Hummel Filter Pvt. Ltd India, Bangalore

In an e-mail interview.