Monday, February 27, 2017

Some truths about immigration to US ..

For all those tongue-tied, tight-lipped Indians who have lost the capacity to think ..
Truth is like a surgery, it hurts but cures. A lie is like a painkiller, it gives instant relief but has side effects forever - Anonymous
The hard truth we don't want to hear, shameful too.. I feel sorry for Srinivas, but for others of his ilk, it is high time they introspect and decide whom they want to side with.

Adam (right, top) and Srinivas (right, bottom) - both are co-conspirators along with millions of present and earlier residents of North America in dispossessing and exterminating in millions, the original owners, native American Indians (left in pic), of the land of North America.

From their earlier population between 50-75 million in the sixteenth century to a paltry 5 million now, native American Indians are fighting a losing battle trying to preserve their culture and people. And we from the oldest civilization on planet earth, fully aware of the modern, fashionable, grossly underreported and gravely unjust tyranny, intolerance and repression, play second fiddle and join hands hands with these numb and insensate perpetrators of murder of the native American Indians, for our personal short-sighted, absurd, inane, derisible benefits.

An example of Jewish influence on humanity, good or evil ...
When the same Britishers tried their cheap tricks in the real India in the Southern tip of Asia, they were driven out lock, stock and barrel.

The same Indians from the middle-upper strata of society, mindless, ignorant, poorly informed,  with very low self-esteem wait in front of US Consulates for the "Green Card" to migrate and partake in the spilled blood of these indigenous Americans, even inspite of reminding them about their own superior, rich, all-embracing, non-violent, knowledge and wisdom seeking civilization which has stood the test of time for more than 6000 years ...

Even Albert Einstein winner of the 1921 Nobel Physics Prize could have erred in his approach when he migrated to US in 1933 and subsequently invented man's greatest destructive power - the atom bomb, which resulted in US establishing its superiority over the entire human race.

Stephen Hawking, Uty of Cambridge
After the second World War, till his death in 1955, Einstein became a hard core proponent of nuclear disarmament as he found the futility of his great invention. He was stunned by the foolhardiness of the inappropriate, unwise, destructive use of his scientific knowledge and contribution for destruction of humanity. Instead of benefiting humanity, his migration to US resulted in Einstein being a burden and enemy for humanity ..

Stephen Hawking predicts that AI Robotics, aliens from outer space and nuclear bombs are the three dangers which will wipe out humanity from planet earth in just under one hundred years .. That means, humanity as a whole will have to repent for Einstein's foolhardiness in a few decades .


Friday, February 24, 2017

Why is Trump silently helping India and China surge ahead ?

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in his famous book "The World is Flat" of 2006 extolled the virtues of globalisation across the world.  In the book he made globalisation a very natural and domestic concept across the world.

Over the past ten years, the world has been going through globalisation and have been benefitted or hurt by globalisation in varying degrees, prompting varying fervours and levels of nationalism across the same countries. Narayana Murthy of Infosys in his book, A better India, a better world also lauds of the benefits of globalisation.

Last year from the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Institutes with the world's toughest entrance examinations, less than 5% of students have gone to US for higher studies. This could be seen as a wave of nationalist sentiments sweeping across the developing nations of the world.

Courtesy -
While US knowing fully well that if only it traps these intelligent students from different parts of the world can it ensure leadership of the world, has failed to convince its own citizens of the benefits of an open immigration policy.

There are number of questions to be asked as regards the effectiveness of the US immigration policy in ensuring foolhardy US leadership of the world. The same immigration policy got tested in the recent 2016 US Presidential elections, which was a vote against globalisation and openness and instead supported an inward looking, conservative, traditional, old-fashioned approach.

The failure of the globalisation policy in general across the world in promoting spread of ideas and culture among the counties of the world, has finally promoted protectionist policies in US and nationalist policies in the world's oldest civilization, India, which is a cause of concern around the world. Listen to Dr Shashi Tharoor's February '17 one hour keynote address at Harvard Business School where he is speaking how the world has changed post globalisation ..   Tharoor, the global statesman with a global outlook in this learned and well prepared speech talks of how globalisation instead of helping the poor grow, is making the richer more richer across the world. Presently we see less equitable distribution of wealth across the different strata of society.

The following questions should help us to think hard and try to understand the directions globalisation and cross border immigration is taking of late.

Courtesy - Washington Examiner
1. The first generation of immigrants to US have been innovators and have preferred to keep their personal interests above their native country's interests while planning to immigrate. Has this plan been effective for immigrants like Albert Einstein and others ?

2. Have the second generation of these immigrants kept the same pace of innovative mindset and competitiveness as their predecessors ? If not, why ?

3. Has less immigration from top technical schools from India happened of late because of less opportunities in US and western nations or growth of hatred against foreign students ? 

4. Why is the American system unable to ignite a scientific mindset and innovative spirit beyond the first generation immigrants, as the rest of the nations in the world, which explains why US depends heavily on immigrants to help US lead in the global Innovation race ?

5. On the one hand, immigrants help US to lead the world in the innovation race and on the other hand immigration leads to lesser opportunities in job and career development for native and earlier immigrants (or children of earlier immigrants).  Will tougher immigration policies help Americans, who by now in second and third generation of immigrants and are less competitive and innovative, to firstly retain their jobs and secondly pull US back in the innovation race ?

I look forward to President Trump being able to understand these questions and if possible answer them to the detriment of US interests worldwide.

Any sane person who tries to answer these questions will come to know the future potential of US remaining the innovation capital of the world. 

Trump is the blessing in disguise for India and China to continue their developmental march and establish leadership of the world, while US would be busy setting its own house in order.

If the present PM Modi came to power in India on nationalistic and anti-incumbency issues, inspite of great economic growth from being #10 globally in 2004 to #3 in 2014 under leadership of former PM and noted Economist Dr Manmohan Singh, and is intent on pulling India back, Trump is US' Modi that can pull US fifty years back ! Ironically, both US and India, great democracies of the world, share the same fate !!

Benefits of globalisation and an innovation culture to the rest of society cannot be ruled out ..

Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology - Neil deGrasse Tyson

The momentous changes US and India are going through in these troubled times is great learning for the rest of the world in understanding how excessive nationalistic sentiments over globalistic sentiments can be detrimental to everybody.

GSLV Mk III first developmental flight, April '17 ..

In April '17, when ISRO is getting ready for the first developmental flight of GSLV Mk III, which can carry 4T payload to Geostationary Transfer Orbits (GTO) and 8 T to Low Earth Orbits (sun synchronous orbits), it will be great news ..

Pics of a 2014 launch of GSLV Mk III, India's 630 T heaviest rocket from Sriharikotta, Andhra, India. (courtesy ISRO and Dailymail, UK)

This is a good place to clear all your technical doubts on the different rockets of ISRO.
GSLV rockets are more powerful to take payloads to Geo-synchronous transfer orbits (GTO) and Geo-syncronous earth orbits (GEO), are of great significance for India as they  have already carried unmanned human capsules in their Dec '14 launch and can form the basis for India's forays to other planets and manned space missions.

Starting as INCOSPAR in 1962 from Thumba in the Southern tip of the country near to Trivandrum, to today being a global space power to reach out to deep space and other planets in the solar system, ISRO is definitely making great news and causing lot of envy to other scientifically developed countries who are nowhere in space technology area as India has reached.

Wishing ISRO and its scientists good wishes for all their future missions ..


Thursday, February 23, 2017

What makes Kickass Customer Service ? my Tata Motors experience ..

The service we offer to customers in the final spell is what makes our customer really happy in the long run, ensuring repeat orders and spreading the good word around..
Recently for example, i had to sell my ten year old Tata car. On approaching the Tata customer service, I got a very positive reply, they were helpful, comforting and finally I am disposing the car with help from the service centre people from Concorde Motors in Silk Board, Bangalore.

Now I am thinking of purchasing my next car too from Tata Motors. Tata Motors, after buying out Jaguar LandRover of UK, collaborating with Italian automobile design firms and planning to technically collaborate with Volkswagen from Germany, the world's second largest automobile manufacturer, is set to dominate the global automobile industry in the next hundred years ..

What makes excellent customer service ?

Customer service is a very costly proposition to Industries. It is said that on an average it costs  a B2C company almost $7 to attend to a live call and $ 13 for a B2B company to attend to a live call. As industry focus is shifting more to customer satisfaction and delight, rather than concentrating on giving the customer the best product or service through an initial superior design, it is also important that an effective after-sales service network exists, to attend to customers who have genuine issues waiting for resolution.

In the HBR, Jan '17 article, "Kickass Customer Service", authored by Mathew Dixon, Lara Ponomareff, Scott Turner and Rick Delissi, the authors compare the different traits of service personnel across industries in a study conducted on 1440 global respondents.
We need to understand why and when do customers go to the service centres or ask for service from service personnel. From the study it is found that on an average, 81% of all customers try to solve the matters themselves before reaching out to service people. So it is for expert advice and expert actions that customers finally reach out to customer service professionals across industries.

From among the 1440 global respondents, customer service personnel fall into the following groups -
  • Empathisers , listen sympathetically, understands others problems, shows genuine concern for others, formed 32%. 
  • Hardworker type, who follows rules and procedures, are persistent and deadline oriented were about 20%. 
  • Controllers were of the opinionated type, they are outspoken, demonstrates expertise and directs customer interaction were about 15%,  
  • Rock, the optimists constituted 12%, 
  • Accomodators, involved the customers in decision making and constituted 11% of the sample.
  • Innovators constituted 9% of the sample, always identified ways to improve processes and procedures and generate new ideas, 
  • Competitors, constituting just 1% of the sample who always were stressing on winning, outperforming their colleagues and changing other's views. 
From the study it was found that the controllers were the group of service personnel who came first in terms of customer impact and effectiveness.  It was found that controllers in general take charge of the following actions
  • advise customers what they should do, rather than what they usually do
  • get to problem resolution fastest by taking charge of the situation and the work
  • they resolve additional potential problems for the customer
  • they want to be heard and are interested in continual improvement
  • they solicit feedback from representatives and involve them in decision making
  • they are empathetic and understand that customers don't want apology but solution to problems
It is found that the controller mindset in service personnel cannot be taught in the classrooms, it can only be learnt on the job in a manager led coaching setup.

It is found from the study, it is proactive. empathetic approach at presently existing and future possible problem solving which delights the customer.

Hope service personnel around the world take this advice and suitable refine their processes to make customer service a very enjoyable experience for everyone.

Click here for a copy of the presentation I gave to my colleagues in Alliance University, Bangalore on March 1, 2017.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena, 10 top things to do ..

My 'text based" Unix journey started in 1988 at Govt. College of Engineering, Goa, though my computer experience started much earlier on the IBM Main Frame computer at Govt College of Engineering, Trivandrum (CET) in 1983. (CET was one among the very few engineering Colleges in the country, especially in s0uth India besides IISc and Anna University, Guindy to have an IBM Main Frame ). My Gnu/Linux journey started around 1996 before going to IIT Bombay. Since then there has been no looking back. Its been Linux, Linux and Linux all the way. Solaris at IITB was again a great experience ..

My Gnu/Linux journey was interesting .. With great support from Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, earlier it was Redhat, Debian, Mandriva, Fedora, Knoppix,  and then came Ubuntu. From Ubuntu 12.1, I recently migrated to Ubuntu 16.1 and then to Linux Mint 18.1 Serena on my laptop. A big jump, but very cool and comfortable .. The beauty with Gnu/Linux is that once you start working, there is no going back to any other OS.

Linux Mint 18.1 is a very easy and configurable distribution (Ubuntu based) ..

Here is the list of things one needs to do to have a terrific experience on linux mint ...

Good Luck ..


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Synthite Industries, Kochi, a shining example of spice-based entrepreneurship from Kerala..

This article on Synthite ( is basically done from an academic view point. 

Spices was what enticed the Romans, the Egyptians and the Chinese to come to Kerala for trading.. Spices have been a part of Kerala culture and traditions for millennia ... By this article we are trying to understand how a Kerala based spices company from Kochi has made it to a global brand in a commodity which Kerala has  been famous for ages ..

Synthite Industries Limited manufactures and exports spice oleoresins and essential oils. It manufactures a range of spice products, including oleoresins, essential oils, natural food colors, health ingredients, herb extracts, organic extracts, fair trade extracts, floral concretes, absolutes, and spices. The company's products are used in processed meats, savories, beverages, baked goods, sweets, confectionery products, dairy products, pickles, masalas, sauces, ketchup, seasonings, and dips for the food processing industry. Synthite Industries Limited was incorporated in 1970 and is based in Cochin, India. - Bloomberg, 21 Feb 2017.

What makes Synthite Industries in Kochi a big name in spice processing in the world ?

Chairman, Shri. C V Jacob
Kerala has been the spice capital of the world for centuries. The marketing route by sea for spices from Kerala two thousand years back to the outside world to China and Arabia was called Spice Route while the land route connecting China to the rest of the world was called the Silk Route. (Click here to know more about the spice route and silk route of 200 BC..)

When an industry thrives in Kerala, the first question that comes to our mind, is how did this happen in a land known for its labour militant policies and political irresponsibility, opportunism and instability ?

Most of the people exploit the society for their personal needs. They make use of political parties and petty politics to grab money, political clout and influence. But to know of a closely held family owned industrial group, not yet gone public, doing quite well and doing global business worth rupees one thousand and five hundred crores in Kerala is a great achievement.
Synthite Corp office at Kadayirippu, Kolencherry, Ernakulam dist.
Corporate House and Technology Centre
Kerala, the spices capital of the world ..
The only other industrial group from Kerala, bigger than Synthite would be MRF tyres group from Mammmen Mappillai Kandathil group, from Kottayam, with main operations outside of Kerala, my former employer .. The main reason why the Synthite group has been able to function well is that most of their dealings are with the Central government in Delhi than with the state government, which causes least interference. 

Separating oleoresins from spices is a technology acquired from Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, Karnataka, India and marketing is done by Synthite to major food processing companies across the world. This has made Synthite a name to reckon with globally. (Click here to know of the different spices available in Kerala, the spice capital of the world , their English names with pictures..)

What are oleoresins ?  (to know more click here
Spice oleoresins represent the complete flavour profile of the spice. It contains the volatile as well as non volatile constituents of spices. Oleoresins can be defined as the true essence of the spices and can replace whole/ground spices without impairing any flavour and aroma characteristic. Oleoresins are obtained from spices by extraction with a non-aqueous solvent followed by removal of the solvent by evaporation. Spice oleoresins guarantee superior quality of flavour and aroma. They are complete and balanced, consistent and standardised.
                                                                                                  Courtesy : Spices Board of India.

Cayenne pepper oleoresin extract ..
Oleoresins preserve the natural properties and qualities of spices in a powder form, food grade and can be mixed with food products and other products for beauty enhancement and other applications ..

Synthite, which originally started as a urethane foam company in 1970, moved to the area of oleoresins and spice processing, after acquiring technology to make oleoresins from CFTRI, Mysore. Synthite now holds 35% of global market in Oleoresins and has a turnover of INR 1500 crores, exporting to 85 countries ..

Employing about 1800 people near Kochi, Synthite presently produces over 500 products, spice based, from 6 production centres in India. They also produce from overseas company owned production centres in United States, Europe, China and Sri Lanka. In brief, it is a successful MNC from Kerala.
The new torchbearers ..

What does the future hold for this company ? Synthite, the $250 million spices processing company known for promoting environment friendly policies and a culturally diverse social lifestyle in society, is poised to make great global impact in the coming years. Our best wishes for it's great growth in the coming years, to be Kerala's truly top MNC ..

A word on entrepreneurship for prospective entrepreneurs - no time is too late ..
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."                                                                                          - Chinese proverb.
Thanks to the Western Ghats and monsoons, Kerala, the small stretch of land in the Southern tip of Asia, made famous because of the exotic spices produced there, will continue to produce the same high quality spices, plenty for the world for another thousand years ! 

The global spices market being too large and the spices kingdom of the world being Kerala, there is no better time for entrepreneurs from Kerala and India to venture into this new area, than now ..


Monday, February 20, 2017

Theory of Constraints in Lean Production ..

Identifying the bottlenecks and giving maximum attention to remove the bottleneck is the most important aspect of Theory of Constraints.


The forgotten Irish slaves .. British cruelty .

A painting of a white slave auction in progress ..
While we know that slave trade by itself was against the human race, against humanity and was manipulated by the British for material wealth, the fact that there existed white slaves besides black slaves, adds insult to injury. Why should the senseless white man wrong his own people for some money ?

Does it all point out to the pitiable english statee of mind that existed a mere three centuries back ? Was the Industrial revolution that started from England a blessing for the world or a curse ? How many millions of people have been harmed by the British before British tyranny all over the world was put to rest by great world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela ?

History tells us that there existed just black slaves, what we've never come across in the last four hundred years, were the stories of Irish slaves enslaved, tortured and killed in thousands by the God-fearing, civilized British !!  What a shame on Britain !!

Sad to know about the ancestors of Henry Ford, Jack Welch, 22 US presidents incl Roosevelt, Theodore Wilson, John F Kennedy, Clinton, Carter, Bush, Nixon, Raegan, personalities like Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock, John O'Hara and more .. 

Like the Jews, they too have been enslaved, tortured and murdered and forgotten, but they have overcome all of the past and are shining in the Western world. Let us not forget it were the same Jews that controlled world slave trade for almost 2000 years. The fact that they had to face the ignominy of their own kin, 6 million of them being killed during the second world war, adds insult to injury.

Here is the video by the author of the book, Irish Slaves, Rheka Akamatsu, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform ..

Here is another video link on how Jews controlled the slave trade in the world for almost 2000 years ..
The breakaway faction from the Indian Christians group, the Marthomites were followers of christian revival movement from the British. Sad to know that the Marthomites of Kerala inherit the Christian faith from the blood soaked hands of British tyrants and followers of the cruel and violent, black and white slave trade ..

Friday, February 17, 2017

How things change overnight !!

US never would have imagined things would change so fast and NYT would have to eat its own words !

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why US, Russia and ESA need to be wary of India, the new kid in town !!

ISRO PSLV C37 ready for launch with 104 satellites ..
India's total cost for the much successful PSLV C37 launch of 104 satellites on 15 February 2017 was a paltry $15 million. This is $ 5 million more than the cost to insolate Kochi international airport, 9 million traffic, the world's first and only, and yet to be challenged,  100℅ energy neutral, solar energy international airport in the world. Click here for more details on Kochi airport ..
PSLV C37 being assembled ...

Elon musk's much talked about Space X would have sent these 104 satellites for about 4x costs at $60 million and ESA, Japan, China and NASA for a cool and reasonable $100 million each, about 6.5x Indian costs. 

Wonder why others are getting very expensive, less competitive and losing the spirit to innovate on costs ? 🙏

Primarily the most important reason for this losing out is not lacking the technical competency, but according to me, there are two main reasons.

The first one is the naturally higher costs inbuilt into the system, due to societal pressures and living a sophisticated, artificial, extravagant, lavish, wasteful life from the beginning. A less sophisticated life would have seen all of us living with nature.. The players are not even willing to introspect as to why their costs are skyrocketing and try to reduce the costs. These players perceive that superior performance and improved functionality (almost all the time) is all that matters, regardless of the costs. Their perception fails to retain their clientele. More often than not, they fail to catch up with the lower cost players, customers switch sides and losing business ..  These major players eventually fade off and get pushed out of the market.

The second reason is the feeling of complacency, the feeling that they (the incumbents) are too big for others to even touch them ..

Prof. Christensen of Harvard calls it disruptive innovation, (click here to read more on Prof Christensen and disruptive innovation), where new players beat incumbents on costs and slowly capture the market till they finally drive the incumbents out .. examples are global large scale steel industry giving way to smaller plants, Japanese auto makers disrupting US automakers and so on.   

Unless the incumbent old space players do something like buy out smaller nimble companies, they will be driven out of business by the lean newcomers like India ! 👍🙏🙏


How can ISRO's selfie cameras launched to space help transform global logistics ?

ISRO launched 104 selfie cameras to space this morning from Sriharikotta, a record number which the rest of the world will take a long time to overtake, if at all they are smart ..

How can this help in efficient management of physical logistics of large and small manufacturing and retail firms is an interesting topic we could take up for discussion.

If we could find out the number of cars outside a Tata Star Bazar in India and decide on whether the store needs to relocate to a less congested place or it needs to move to  the city centre, from the images passed on by these cubesats in space, it helps Tata in better locating their store outlets.

Pictorial images and real time monitoring of traffic details across different sectors in the city can help decide on the routes to be taken by ambulances to ferry injured patients in case of an accident.

1. Charting efficient purchase and distribution side logistics for large firms to control their supply chain logistics costs. 
2. Helping avoid densely populated areas while transporting dangerous and explosive chemicals 
3. Helping delivery or supply trucks to avoid heavy traffic roads to reach destinations. 
4. to chart easier routes and reduce transportation times and costs 
5. to plan offer discount sales on low traffic days 
6. to decide whether milk runs would reduce costs or not 
7. to measure radial distances between source and destinations 
8. to help plan light load transportation by drones

These are some of the supply chain benefits that could accrue from these selfie eyes in sky.

Still the clearest resolution still will be the Indian IRNSS satellite camera eyes that will have a resolution of 0.6 metres compared to 2 metres for GPS and 5 metres for the cubesats.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Is Indian home-grown automotive sector maturing fast ? The case of Tata and Mahindra ..

Indigenous automobile production from the idea conception, design, prototyping,  manufacturing and withdrawal stage in the country happens only with two major manufacturers, Tata Motors and Mahindra.

Jamshedji Tata will be proud of his great grandson, Ratan
Of these we find Tata Motors has been moving at a pretty fast pace. starting from the Tata Indica model which is still very popular because of its low maintenance costs to Tata Nano, the compact low cost model with for the first time in the world, under the rear seat 660 cc petrol engine to different SUVs and LCVs etc.. Tata's acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) from UK spearheaded by the former visionary Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, was the game changer for Tata, as after that we have found there has been no looking back for Tata Motors. (Click here for the June '16 writeup in Telegraph UK of Jaguar revival). Even though like every automobile manufacturer, they have had their regular ups and downs occasionally, the year 2017 looks very promising.

During the past one or two years, Tata has released Zest, Tiago models which are quite popular and is helping Tata slowly push itself to the list of global automobile manufacturers in a big way. The expert way in which Tata Motors helped guide its acquisition of the British Jaguar LandRover to move from heavy losses to heavy profits in a matter of 3-4 years is a phenomenal turnaround story every business school should discuss and every business student of the world should be made  aware of.

The 2017 Jaguar XE, from Tata Motors
Tata's managerial style of delegating the operational management and operational decision making of JLR to local British managers, with only higher level financial decision making with Indian managers ensured minimum interference in the company's operations. Financial decision making was in the control of Tata Managers. Just the profits of JLR in 2012 was equivalent to what Tata Motors paid to buyout JLR from Ford in 2008, British Pounds 1.5 billion.

JLR has been doing exceedingly well, as a showcase of superior Tata management style. On the financial side, in 2016, they had revenues of almost BP 22.2 billion, with production of 500,000 vehicles annually, about 70% being in the diesel range. The Chinese economic slowdown of  late and the British revival has seen Juguar making a comeback in its land of origin. Tata's Kite 5 to be released in March '17 is definitely going to make heads turn around both in terms of stylish design, costs and utlity.

2016 model of Jaguar XE
Mahindra has also been doing well , its acquisition of the Bangalore based electric car manufactyrer, Reva has helped it to broaden its range and offer diverse models with an aim to grab a good portion of Indian sales and global sales.

Even though the Indian automobile industry has turned truly global with all major global automobile manufacturers in the country, from Toyota to VW, Renault, Ford, GM, BMW, Audi, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz doing local manufacturing and assembly, it has been a tough task for the local players like Tata and Mahindra to make great cars and outperform competition both in terms of performance and costs.

The to-be-released Tata Kite 5 sedan model ..
As India slowly moves to become the world's largest economy by 2040 AD and dominate global manufacturing and economic growth, we expect global manufacturing to shift to India and Indian companies to outperform western, Japanese and Korean automobile manufacturers.

As throughout history India has been dominating both the intellectual and materialistic world over more than 8000 years and being one of the two oldest civilizations on planet earth, it's control and dominance over the rest of the world in the modern digital, manufacturing and knowledge age is not too far either !


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Raghavan, the new NORKA boss !!

Rajagiri HS Ernakulam, Kerala, in the late 70s, was a great place to do schooling.

While at Rajagiri, I had a classmate who used to be very active, be it on the field or in the classroom in studies. He was tall, handsome even then. One striking difference from the rest of the class was that Raghavan was a very sincere, humble character, helpful and jovial, mad for cricket !!

After school we parted ways. But the tall handsome Raghavan's image remained etched in my memory quite strongly. Later I came to know that he had gone to study at the Govt Medical College in Calicut, Kerala to pursue the very noble medical profession, while I went down to Trivandrum to study and pursue a career with machines and computers.

Dr KN Raghavan, who passed out of Calicut Medical College with flying colours was cut out for greater honour and service. His passion to serve the society in more effective ways saw him clear the civil service exams and join the Indian Revenue Service in the eighties. As former Chief Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise, Kochi, he made a name for himself and motivated the staff to function more effectively and be more customer friendly.

Raghavan has now been posted as the new chief of Non-Resident Keralite's Affairs (NORKA) based out of Trivandrum, Kerala. The non-resident Keralites living abroad have always depended on the govt to bail them out in times of trouble, like for example, the Kuwait war and Iraq war etc. The Kerala govt through this department was showing its care and concern to it's citizens, who are the greatest source of revenue for the state. My b-i-law Jiji Thomson, former Kerala Chief Secretary was at this post for some time, years back. Raghavan, you can always fall back on him for any advice and wise counsel. My cousin Rajan P George, IRS always had high opinion of Raghavan ..

Like you excelled in Customs and Central Excise, I am sure Raghavan, with your sincere approach, you will be able to do wonders to help the Non-Resident Keralites around the world, to help in their resettlement and reemployment back in Kerala. 

Your future path is clear. You are climbing great steps and may you, by the blessings of Almighty, reach the pinnacle of your career soon. May God bless you to achieve your dreams and goals (also to follow your passion, to umpire at a couple more International ODI cricket matches)..


Friday, February 10, 2017

A resurgent India surging ahead ..

Why is US upset with India's economic growth ? Will India be able to sustain its economic growth under Modi ? Is Trump as US President an indirect blessing for India ?

Donald Trump taking over as the 45 th US President is watched with great trepidation and fear by the rest of the world. An inward looking Trump, boasting of the strengths of a highly debted nation (crossing $ 19 trillion dollars in national debt), openly speaking against later immigrants and flexing muscles against China, the present top global economy, made painful reading .

The gravitating shift of global power equations from the West to the East made top news yet again. For the great Indian democracy, the main point of concern, after demonetising Indian currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination on November 8, 2016 was, would the present Indian Prime Minister Modi be able to sustain the economic growth started by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and take India forward or do we need Dr MMS back in charge to take India to great heights ?

When the globally acclaimed economist Dr. MMS took Indian economy from #10 global rank in 2004 to #3 global rank in 2014, the world took note and wondered to what great heights India would move. The bubbling Indian democracy with a change of government was poised to scale great heights. China at $21.5 trillion and US at $18.5 trillion were only ahead of India's $8.6 trillion GDP at PPP. Modi as PM presently had a great responsible and noble task before him. 

The Demonetization drive as mentioned above was a good move aimed to strengthen Indian economy, though in the short term the outlook may appear grim. It had great potential for the country to get rid of black money and illicit wealth, unless it causes a stagnation of the economy with people being cautious at spending. The first  results of Demonetization has not yet been officially announced except for the fact that more currency came back to the banks than what was known to have existed, a big shock and shame !

Being a #3 global economy, Indian efforts firstly should be to set right the injustice at the global level where economic growth of any country is pegged on the US dollar. It should be able to garner global opinion to change the global economic system from focusing only on US Dollar and instead on a basket of global currencies including the Chinese Yuan, Indian rupee, Japanese Yen, the Deutsche Mark and the British Pound (?). Second, let our national goal be to climb up as #2 global economy with the motto, "India, always for progress". With the excellent lead provided by Dr MMS, PM Modi and FM Jaitley as a team, are capable of helping put India on track to progress, if not achieve this goal earlier.

The Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank Global World Wealth Report 2012 - highlights India to be the largest global economy  by 2050 AD, surpassing China by 2050.(click here for the report), go to page 11, table 1.

With the world reposing faith in India's economic might, PM Modi has been very lucky, he inherits a vibrant economy. He should be able to guide an economically mighty and strong India to lead the world and should also seek advice from the former PM and world renowned Economist Dr Manmohan Singh to become an economic giant, overtaking China. 

The Indian PM, good in  his personal intentions for the country, has to be vigilant that he not be carried away by petty rabble rousing, big talking, regressive minded, communal thinking politicians, pulling the country behind and instead focus on the progress and prosperity of the masses.

The more rabble rousing Trump does (characteristic of Republican Presidents in US), the worse it is for US and the better it is for China and India, the oldest civilizations of the world !

Ge ..

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Reliving the naadan chaayakada experience at Lulu mall, Kochi.

Naadan chaayakkada, an ever-refreshing experience .. always ..
Reliving experiences or having fresh experiences as different from material possessions, remain with us forever, these are the things that's going to last forever. Material possessions outlive their utility and lose value very soon. Click here for a Forbes article on why experiences matter more than material possessions..

An experience we would all love to relive is the chaayakkada (teashop) experience in Kerala. Remember the first time you had a banana fry (pazhampori or ethakkya appam) or a neyyappam or suhiyan from a chaayakkada. The warmth with which it was put into your hands and how out-of-the-earth it tasted then ?

 All of us Malayalis, love to have that tasty, crispy  parippuvada, pazhampori, puttu kadala, appam muttacurry, porotta beef combo and many other mouth-watering, delectable, finger-licking appetizing tasty dishes like we do in a naadan chaayakada ..

Rich folklore, traditions, culture and traditional dishes of a millennia or two are packed in these 30 minute, open-air eateries, famously called the chaayakada with seating for 5-6 people and lot of gossip (for light vegetarian tasty snacks), and the famous thattukada for wholesome heavy dinner with omelette and non-veg chipped in as per customer's palate.

Recently on a trip to Kozhikode, on both evenings, I escaped the constricted artificial setup in my hotel to have simple, tasty, hygienic dinner at two thattukadas by the roadside .. (click here for a writeup and pics / video of that experience)

Yousuf Ali's Lulu mall near Idapally, Kochi relives that special experience for you, complete with the one metre chaaya (tea) !!

Welcome to Kerala, Gods Own Country, the land where you experience and relive your younger days yet again, to the heart's content ..

Material possessions outlive their utility soon, as after your car purchase your  neighbour acquires a better one, and your car becomes an old model .. Experiences on the other hand enrich your life in many different ways, unheard and unseen. The memories, the good and bad experiences we've had, remain with us, cherished and enrich us for ever !
So the next time you go for that big car or that big house, think over ! Do you want to remain unhappy with material comparisons or forever happy with the great and wholesome experiences you have had with your family and friends ?
George.  (Thanks to Thomas John for sending these pics and to Lulu Mall, Idapally)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Are you fed up of your old Windooze operating system ??

For the past 20 years the desktop machine at my home has been running on Gnu / Linux OS. Initially it was a 486 machine at 66 MHz, then a Pentium 4 at 256 Mhz clock speed. For the past 4 years, my laptop at home, an HP 430, an Intel Core i3 machine has been working on Ubuntu Linux.

This post is about elaborating on the following three main points, why did I move to Gnu / Linux, what are its advantages and how is it helpful for me as a Business School Professor ? (click here for another post on Linux and Richard stallman in IIT and GEC)

1. Why did I move to Gnu / Linux ?

That's quite an interesting and long story. When I went to IIT Bombay for higher studies in the late 90s, I was a total Microsoft Windows user. Never did anyone tell me of any alternate OS and software, other than AT&T's Unix, nor  could I listen to any talk in the area of more effective Operating Systems and software.

While accessing email at IIT, we worked on a program called PINE, (Program for Internet News and Email), a great piece of software working on AT&T's Unix.  I already had enough exposure on Unix while doing PG at Govt College of Engineering, Farmagudi, Ponda, Goa which had a NELCO Mini computer working on Unix, first one in an educational institution in western India after VJTI and IIT Bombay ! Days and nights endless in the computer centre, experimeneting with Unix and C !! Though my first steps to computing was through FORTRAN from the IBM mainframe computer at Govt College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET) from 1981-86, the foray into C programming language was made at Goa Engineering College.

While we were getting ready to present the seminar report in Dec '98 at IIT Bombay, it was a real tough time, composing it in Windows, spell checking, aligning and copying it on to floppies to be take printouts, realigning the output for proper printouts etc  etc. It was a very troubling and painful exercise.

I found that some of my other colleagues were efficiently working on a different operating system on the terminals in the computer centre at IIT Bombay. I was curious to know what were they working on and how were things happening in a different operating system called Solaris (Unix based) in the Computer Centre.

I also wanted to know how my PG classmates were handling document preparation through a software package called LaTeX, getting their docs converted to PDF (portable document format) .. Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system.

What started as inquisitiveness, turned to admiration, appreciation, then veneration and finally adulation !! It was among the best "extra" learnings from IIT Bombay - exposure to Solaris Operating System on IITB mini computer working out of the centralised Computer centre. There was no looking back then.

Later on, the interest went onto learn and apply LaTex, Linux / Solaris OS applications like Octave, SPSS etc.. Also could also take four to five workshops in IIT Bombay for PG and doctoral students on how to program / prepare their documents in LaTeX, use xfig etc on behalf of the Research Scholars Forum (RSF) .

At the Goa Engg College too, many classes, weekend sessions were organised on Linux, installation, Latex to the students and in neighbouring colleges, Linux workshops and the FOSS National Expo / Workshop at Palace Grounds Bangalore in November 2005 on MOODLE, the elearning package which had already been successfully deployed in Goa Engineering College for almost 6 months.

Can also should proudly say that Goa Engineering College was the first educational institution in Western and Southern India to install MOODLE, the e-learning package by summer of 2004. We also got final year Mechanical Engineering students to login and work thru MOODLE for my 2 subjects to start with. Two months after our installation in GEC, IIT Bombay rolled out it's MOODLE installation and after a year or two maybe, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

While at IIT Bombay, we also had the good fortune to bring Richard Mathew Stallman, the founder of the GNU/Linux movement from MIT to IIT Bombay and Goa Engineering College in 2002 and 2003 respectively with generous help from my friends at the Goa Linux Users Group, especially Frederick Noronha.
Richard Mathew Stallman, MIT, founder of
Free Software Foundation .

2. What are the benefits / advantages of Gnu / Linux  ?

Basically the reason to move to Linux was avoiding the prick of the conscience at using a pirated proprietary operating system without paying any money. The second one was the great excitment Linux gave me while trying out different versions of Linux like Mandrake, Fedora, RedHat, Knoppix, Ubuntu,  and umpteen different lesser known versions of Linux.

3. How is it helpful to me ? Some of the simplest pleasures were that I could check out many different software performing picture editing, document preparation, spreadsheet modeling, MySQL and PostGreSQL RDBMS training (click here for my 2005 PostgreSQL tutorial) and execution, R statistical package, Libre Office, Google hard drive and  exciting Google apps, what not ?  Document preparation, document handling, document transmission, document storage, retrieval etc is very easy on Linux. The possibilities were endless and ever exciting.

I was always looking for change and wanted to move away from monotony, Linux offered me that change and I got rid of the pain of Windooze.

I am on the Gnu / Linux highway and there is no stopping me now !! Click here to know more about Ubuntu OS ..


Monday, February 06, 2017

Why is the rest of world unable to take on the solar powered Cochin International airport ?

It will be 18 months by mid February 2017 since Kochi international airport in Kerala, the third largest in India with a built up space of 2 million sq feet capable of handling 12 million passenger traffic (present traffic of 9 million) has been insolated (powered by solar energy) since 18 August, 2015. (click here for the link ..)
46,000 solar panels and a 12 MW power plant exist at this airport ..

Discussions were held with the primary stakeholders and with aspiring business management students pursuing MBA at Alliance University, Bangalore on why the rest of the world's airports were unable to catchup with Kochi, India, even after eighteen months or 550 days of Kochi airport insolation.

What all were the social, economic, geographical, environmental and technological factors that were an advantage for Kochi International airport compared to the rest of the world ? The major points are listed here.

1. Low levels of solar energy technology applications elsewhere - Even though it may be a bit crude to play down other countries, the rest of the world does not have the advanced solar energy generation and storage related technology to match up with India in solar applications

2. Spirited Societal support at Kochi - Insolation of Kochi airport was not just technology, it also involved societal and governmental support and backup, which came easily. Environmental preservation and energy conservation has been at the soul of every Malayalee.

3. High educational standards and awareness of people - The higher educational standards and awareness of the people of Kerala enabled them to see through the opportunities of insolation, ensuring spirited public support

4. Tie-up with Kerala Stata Electricity Board grid - Kochi international airport has accomplished a very masterly stroke of getting the Kerala State Electricity Board to accept the extra power generated during the day and supplying it in return at night, thereby avoiding the energy storage problem, which incidentally happens to be the greatest technology constraint and cost factor in any solar energy project

5. Patenting efforts - By patenting the technology on which the airport insolation was done, Kochi International airport has prevented other less advanced countries like US, Europe and China from plagiarising the ideas from Kochi airport

6. Low costs involved in the insolation efforts - Other countries in the world would find it difficult to insolate their airports at such low rates of $1.875 million per million passenger traffic, (total $10 million in 2015) but for the hard, sincere work, dedication and commitment of the team led by CIAL MD VJ Kurien and the whole technical team and staffat Kochi airport

7. Self-confidence in indigenous efforts - Strong belief and confidence in indigenous capabilities that Kochi would be the first in the world to achieve this feat was a great morale booster for the team

8. Geographical location of airport near the equator - Being near to the equator, app 10 deg North latitude and 76 deg East longitude, Kochi receives an annual daily average direct normal solar irradiance of 5.03 KWh / sq m / day (click here for the technical details link ). Compare this with the average annual solar irradiance of 5.2 KWh / sq m / day for Bangalore, India, 6.5 KWh / sq m / day for Dubai in UAE or 4.3 KWh / sq m / day in Beijing, China Click here for solar irradiance data around the world . 
It is observed that the farther one is from the equator and between the Tropic of Cancer (22.5N) and Tropic of Capricorn (22.5S), the higher the intensity of solar radiation received. The earth axis' tilt of 23.5 deg causes regions around the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn to receive normally directed solar radiations, having a higher intensity of radiation. ( this is because normally incident rays travel less distance through the earth's atmosphere, gets less scattered and transfers more energy to land). Kochi (10N latitude) and Bangalore (12N latitude) for that instance, would naturally be having lesser solar radiation than Dubai (25N latitude). 
Another contributing factor as to why Kochi and Bangalore are having low solar irradiance values is the impact of monsoons, South West and North East (a unique meteorological-geographical phenomenon observed only in South India in the whole world) which lowers the solar irradiance intensity in South India due to cloud cover and heavy rains from June to October every year.
Future benefits : The revenue from the first five years is enough to pay off for the cost of the airport insolation and for the rest 20 years life of the solar panels, energy at Kochi airport is virtually free of costs !! If Kochi airport is ready to waive off the airport fees, because of free energy at the airport which every national and international passenger has to pay at each Indian airport, and the landing and parking fees paid by airlines to the airport, it will be a step in the forward direction.

Besides if Kochi airport is also able to expand its physical infrastructure by building new terminals to overtake Delhi (handling 40 m passengers and a space of 5.5 million sq ft) and Mumbai (handling 36 m passengers and area of app 5 million sq ft), the present third largest international terminal in the country at Kochi will get noticed for its worthwhile efforts. It will herald a new dawn for Kochi airport. Kochi also may become the low-cost preferred first airport of landing for foreign airlines flying into the country. 

Wishing all good wishes to Kochi International Airport to conquer greater heights internationally ..


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Video of the history of lean manufacturing ..

This video gives the history of Toyota Production System from the textile loom to motor cars ..

george ..

The Ma Morley scholarship at University of New Castle, NSW, Australia ..

To who does Jack Ma Alibaba founder give credit to for helping change his outlook on life ? a great example of how mentorship can make a big difference to young impressionable minds ..

Click here to read how the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma gave tribute to late KIm Morley who changed his outlook on life and gave him confidence to take on the world.
Jack with his mentor Ken Morley, an Electrical Engineer

Alibaba now controls almost 40% of global e-commerce. Jack's $20 million scholarship to University of NewCastle in NSW, Australia will help fund the education, including original indigenous Australians, of upto 90 students when the Ma Morley scholarship comes into effect by 2018.

As Jack Ma would like to say it, it is nothing short of saying to a family A Big Thank you for holding my hand when I needed it most and to a University for grooming such a helpful and open hearted person and to a society for treating its people well and taking care of them.

Jack with David Morley, Ken's son in a Hangzhou park in china 1985.
The world's top e-commerce businessman could not say thank you in a better way. This will be remembered for a long time to come.

There is no better example of how good mentorship can make or break brilliant future of students in their very impressionale age.

If only all financially sound, successful people around the world remembered their mentors and gave back to society, the world would have been  a great place to live and die.

Across cultures of the world we have people with great minds to help and groom youngsters from different cultures and we also find there are people who in spite of their busy schedule find time to express gratitude for all small acts of kindness in their lives which helped change their future forever. 

Jack you have made your strong statement by this action .!  Cultures across the world need to give and take !

george.. (full credits to Australian Financial Review for the pictures..)

Friday, February 03, 2017

India - largest global userbase for Facebook

Of 1900 million global social media network Facebook users as of Dec '16, 1800 million are monthly active users ( MAU) and 1200 million are daily active users (DAU) ! 
The largest Facebook userbase is INDIA ..

If you access FB over your mobile, don't be worried because 1100 million DAU are like you !

Mark Zuckerberg maybe  planning to shift base to India as India has the largest FB user base of 196 million compared to 191 million FB users in US and just about 58 million FB users in China .. 

India shows the world that indeed it is the most open, encouraging, liberal and technologically receptive society in the world.  

Though avg revenue per user (ARPU) for the fourth quarter '16, from Asia Pacific at $2 was one tenth ARPU from US and half of global ARPU,  we need to remember that Indians are not that dumb to fall easily to promises. 

They are really streetsmart !!

These questions (to be discussed in AU EMBA classes) will help you to understand FB's future strategy in India.

1. What country specific features does Facebook have to make it a massive success in India ?
2. How is FB planning to introduce itself to its largest userbase ?
3. FB Messenger was among the first Internet based free telephony services in India. Did this have an impact on FB's wide acceptance in India ?
4. Do you think Reliance Jio's free Internet offering in India for its customers from Oct 2016 to June 2017  had any an impact on wide FB usage ?
5. What is the impact of a neat user interface and low download time on the massive success of FB in India ?
6. What is the effect of FB server farms on FB's low download times in India ?
7. How can FB expect to increase its Avg revenue per user ARPU metric in India? can you suggest some strategies ?
8.  Do you foresee Govt of India using FB to reach to the masses ?

George ..

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Indian rockets launching Indian and foreign satellites..

How India is getting ready to give leadership to the satellite launch industry of the world.

Here are some interesting facts on the number of satellites launched by the different nations of the world.

Of the total 2271 satellites in space orbiting earth (data as of February 2017), 1324 satellites belong to Russia (58%), while United States has 658 satellites (29%) orbiting the earth. (info courtesy Goddard Space Flight Centre, US)
India has 39 satellites, solely serving India and has launched using it's rockets 79 satellites for foreign countries orbiting the earth. Of the 39 Indian satellites, 17 are for earth observation and meteorological applications, 13 for communication purposes, 7 for navigational purpose and 2 of space vehicle type. (incl the Astrosat space telescope).

Of the 79 foreign satellites India has launched so far, 19 are for United States (24%), 11 for Canada (14%) and 10 for Germany (13%) and the rest for nations like Singapore(8, 10%), UK (7, 9%), Japan (3 nos.), Indonesia (3 nos.), Israel (1 no.), France (2 nos.), Netherlands (1 no.) , Algeria (3 nos.), Denmark (1 no.), Switzerland (1 no.), Luxembourg (1 no.), Turkey ( 2 nos.)  etc... 

By the middle of February 2017 when India would have put a record 104 satellites to orbit (88 for US), it would be a total of 107 satellites launched for US (58%) of the 180 foreign satellites launched by India. India by then would have launched 42 satellites for its own use into space.

Early March '17, India will put the GSLV Mk III into space with a 4 T payload ..
From a growing space power that launched weather balloons and satellites under the leadership of then PM, Pandit Nehru and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai from Thumba Trivandrum in 1962 by name INCOSPAR to ISRO in 1969, the first Indian satellite Aryabhatta was launched aboard the Soviet Kosmos 3M rocket from Kapustin Yar on April 19, 1975. 

In 55 years India has matured to become a global space power, providing commercial launch services of satellites for other countries of the world, of which the biggest beneficiary is the United States. With improvement in technology and miniaturisation of electronic components, satellites are getting smaller and smaller these days. Micro and nano satellites are the order of the day.

Since United States has been unable to contain its upward spiralling space mission costs, India proving to be a very reliable and less expensive space power has been able to establish itself as the new space power. US has realised over time that it cannot offer any credible competition to India in the commercial launch market in the near future.

The day is not far when India will not only be the leader of low earth orbit missions launching satellites, it will also be the top leader of the world in providing reliable and less expensive manned Mars and other inter planetary expeditions and even inter galactic missions for the development and growth of humanity.  

The Hindu newspaper report of the mid Feb '17 launch of 103/104 satellites aboard PSLV rocket.

george.. (Information courtesy Goddard Space Flight Centre US and

Data Visualisation Presentation..

Dr. Sukanya explaining the finer aspects of Data Visualisation in R Today 19 July 2019, Business school and Engineering school of Alli...

My popular posts over the last month ..