Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 58 – Economics & Financial Acumen

My dear friends,

Economics and Finance have become the driving force of Humanity in modern times. A profound acumen is necessary for the empowerment of the whole of humanity to participate in an all-inclusive economic process. For example, providing good health care and quality education for the underprivileged or disadvantaged populations is not a charity but an investment creating quality human resource for expanded markets furthering the reach and scope of the economic engine (as discussed in World Economic Forum 2006 at Davos in Switzerland).

Three terms are generally used for Economic & Financial attributes

  1. Sense,
  2. Consciousness, and
  3. Acumen

Sense

A lack of sense like “Pennywise Pound Foolish” transpires when you are purchasing a hot water system for your bathroom, and you opt for an Electric Geyser of Rs 6,000/- against a solar water heater of Rs 30,000/- with no running electricity bill.

Consciousness

Delay in commissioning of a power project of 500 MW by a single day can cause a revenue loss of nearly Rs. 1 Cr. to the Generating Company and Rs. 10 Cr. to the national exchequer since multiplier effect of electricity on country’s economy (GDP) is more than 10 times. If this kind of awareness/ consciousness can be generated from concept to commissioning in the minds of engineers, time & cost over-runs can be eliminated from the landscape of project executions.

Acumen

Back in 1975, once a trainee engineer asked the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) President in U.K. a very embarrassing question during an Annual Dinner…as to why they were spending so much on the training of foreign scholars. What was their hidden agenda? (I was also present in that meeting as one of the scholars to listen to the prophetic acumen of the President). 

The President replied with a smile, “Even if one amongst you becomes GM of his company in his own country with a soft corner and appreciation for British Engineering & British products, even after 20 years from now, in one single contract, I shall recover all the expenses incurred on the entire batch of engineers sitting here”.

Deeper Intuitional Acumen

Rita w/o Prof. Robert E. Lucas of University of Chicago while divorcing in 1989 had a provision placed in the property settlement promising her half the winnings, should her husband receive a Nobel Prize before 31-Oct-1995. Getting Nobel Prize for Economics on 10-Oct-1995, Prof. Lucas had to shell out half of his One million $ winnings. His Nobel Prize was on the theory showing how Consumer experience rather than Govt. intervention shapes national economies. He could not envisage his divorced wife’s intervention in his own future economy!

Such deeper Financial Acumen can’t be taught in any Advanced School of Business. It can only be developed in a School of Life where spiritual intuitional powers interplay.

Time Value of money

A 1,000 Cr Project with a construction schedule of 10 years eventually costs Rs 1,650 Cr with 8% escalation per year on the unspent amount as per the normal implementation/expenditure profile. People generally keep planning (for future!) on the present value of money. This should be avoided by constant awareness that there is ‘time value’ of money.

Project time assignment for optimizing the cost

A World Bank study reveals the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As can be seen, Developing countries’ Model entails higher cost due to the disproportionate assignment of time amongst Planning, Implementation and Problem-solving. Developed countries, spending 40% of their time on “Planning”, demonstrate that they believe in the dictum “Well Begun is half done”.

NPTI Case Study of Financial Management

NPTI had decades of baggage of being a financial burden on the Ministry of Power, its revenue generation to expenditure ratio being 37% on an average when I joined as CEO in the year 2000. We decided to become 100% self-sustained at the earliest. We started looking at our operations microscopically. We found that there was a regular decrease of training load year by year from within the power sector. We realized that not being policy driven, training was becoming a least priority item on the agenda of Power Utilities. We approached the Ministry of Power to permit us to draft a “National Training Policy for the Power Sector”. It was agreed, prepared and got approved by the Union Parliament with the mandatory provisions such as “Training for All”-Minimum One week Training in a year made compulsory for each and every person working in the Power Sector, Provision of 1.5 to 5% of Salary Budget allocated to Training etc. This entailed 10 Lakh Trainee-weeks of Training Load spontaneously. NPTI being the sole National Power Training Organization in the Power Sector, everyone started looking at us for training.

However, making the National Training Policy was a long drawn process from concept to implementation, going through a series of meetings, seminars and workshops with the stakeholders at state, zonal and central levels, arriving at a consensus, Ministry of Power finally going to the Parliament for sanction, gazette notification and so on. This long drawn process took almost 2 years. Eventually, it was launched by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Power from the premises of NPTI on 27th March’2002.

Our resolve was to improve financially from Day-1. We looked at the possibility of educating and training the future generation of Power Engineers. On the training front, we realized that In-depth Power Training cannot happen without a strong conceptual back-up in the field of Power. For instance, without conceptualizing ‘Reactive power and Power factor’ can anyone imagine training on Capacitor banks; without understanding ‘Rankine Cycle’ can anyone predict the Performance of thermal plants?

Without feeling the Sine wave (the pulse) of Power Sector there can be no effective skill training, we were convinced. Academics and Skill Training are the two sides of the same coin. This led us to the backward integration of Power Training with academics. We started with Post-Diploma course in Thermal Power Engineering, B.E./ B.Tech. (Power); Post Graduate Diploma in Power Engineering and MBA in Power Management on the eve of Power Sector Reforms.

National Training Policy for the Power Sector did help us in generating training load but payments were still lagging from the bankrupt electricity boards on the plea that any cut on the budget is first applied on the training segment. In order to resolve this issue, we organized a workshop in New Delhi for Regulators (SRCs and the CERC) who agreed to include training expenses in the O&M budget forming a part of tariff structure for the entire Power Sector as was being accepted for NTPC. With this, the revenue component of Training started flowing with the tariff realization and consequently, our arrears started liquidating.

End of the day, NPTI was accepted as an ideal model of ‘Backward integration of Power Training with Academics’, UGC giving in-principle approval of Deemed University to the Centre for Advanced Management & Power Studies (CAMPS) of NPTI running a unique MBA program on Power Management, NPTI becoming the largest Power Training Institute in the world (expanding its 4-units to 10-units across the 5-Power Zones in the country), with the number of Trainees increasing by >600%, Training Load exceeding 75,000 Trainee-weeks per annum and at the same time becoming 100% self-sustained.

Summarizing the above, it can be inferred that “The wind may blow from any direction, but the direction in which you go depends on how you set the sails”.

Above given are only a few facets of economic astuteness (setting the sails) to show that there is a link between economic activity and human consciousness and spiritual sense. Deep acumen needs to be developed and practiced in life to achieve economic brilliance for the benefit and well-being of the Society at large.

 

Satyamev Jayate!!!

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Dr B.S.K. Naidu, Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, INDIA

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Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 57 – Spirituality

My dear friends,

Spirituality originates from the term “spirit” or “soul” which is invisible and imperceptible. Therefore people at large avoid dealing with it. But, there are several invisibles like Electricity, Magnetism, X-rays, Gravity, Goodwill and Blessings which can’t be seen but felt, having their own relevance.

India is believed to have “spirituality” in its soil, but many consider it as a pursuit to be indulged in post-retirement life. Spiritualism is not a leisure activity; it is a way of life. It is a certain way of being, turning inwards and remaining connected with the inner self- the supreme intelligence, which can convert filth into a lotus or a mango. There is a captive creator trapped within each one of us, like any other creation. We shouldn’t miss him. If we recognize the source of creation within us, we are spiritual.

Fingerprints of the Supreme Intelligence

Since the dawn of civilization man has gazed in awe at the stars, wondering what they are and how they got there. On a clear night the unaided human eye can see about 6,000 stars. Prior to the 20th century, the majority of scientists believed our own Milky Way galaxy was the entire universe, and that only about 100 million stars existed. Now, Hubble and other powerful telescopes indicate there are trillions of them clustered in over 100 billion galaxies. Our sun is like one grain of sand amidst the world’s beaches. The positioning of the cosmos besides its creation is awesome!

The coding behind DNA reveals such intelligence that it staggers the imagination. A mere pinhead of DNA contains information equivalent to a stack of paperback books that would encircle the earth 5,000 times. And DNA operates like a language with its own extremely complex software code. Microsoft founder Bill Gates says that the software of DNA is “far, far more complex than any software we have ever developed.”

Genius behind the Grand Design

Albert Einstein called the genius behind the universe “an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” Atheist Christopher Hitchens was most perplexed by the fact that life couldn’t exist if things were different by just one degree or one hair.

Davies acknowledges “there is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe…. The impression of a Grand Design is overwhelming”.

Who am I?

If you ask a question hard enough to yourself “Who am I?” the answer comes loud enough that you are not your name, your qualification, your position, your body, your gender or your species. Consciousness (चेतना) and Energy are responsible for your existence, growth and self-healing. The moment these leave you, you are declared dead.

Is our life on Autopilot?

For most of humanity, life is on autopilot. Body consciousness overpowers our existence. Soul does not get a chance to reveal and assert itself, though it vibrates and reverberates in the form of inner voice (intuition). Its existence is also concomitant to 6th sense or 3rd eye.

“The source of life is within you. If you remain in touch with that source, everything about you will be beautiful” says Padma Vibhushan Sadhguru of Isha Foundation. “Talk to your own self at least once a day, otherwise you will lose an opportunity of meeting a wonderful person on earth,” said Swami Vivekananda.

We have to be constantly aware that we are spiritual beings (individualised units of supreme consciousness – we may call them God sparkles) having human experience! God sparkle (a piece of life) has unlimited scope for blossoming, flourishing and undergoing infinite expansion.

Being Spiritual

Being spiritual is just being aware of the spirit inside and attending to its needs. Our body has material needs of food, water, cleanliness, exercise etc. which we fulfil duly as it keeps us running. Similarly, our soul too has needs of peace, purity, humility, positivity, righteous living, love, bliss etc.  Do we fulfil these needs?” More we fill ourselves with these divine virtues, more happiness we will experience ourselves and receive the gift of closeness with the prime-moving divine.

Spiritual Maturity

What is spiritual maturity? Spiritual Maturity is when you stop trying to change others, …instead focus on changing yourself; when you understand everyone is right in their own perspective; when you learn to “let go”; when you understand whatever you do, you do for your own peace;

when you don’t seek approval from others; when you are at peace with yourself and you can productively use the 3-faculties of soul i.e. Mind, Intellect and Sub-conscious recordings (संस्कार).

Spirit is consciousness (चेतना), rest of our existence is energy and matter. Being spiritual is to align with the divine virtues of the spirit stated above. It can transform our lives altogether. Our actions will automatically be positive and enchanting!

Let me wish you a happy, insightful and fascinating new year 2018!

 

Satyamev Jayate!!!

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Dr B.S.K.Naidu, BE (Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., D.Eng. (Hon), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)

Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram, INDIA

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 56 – Responsibility

My dear friends,

The conventional meaning of responsibility is duty & accountability.

If you accept its wider meaning as ‘response-ability’, then the scenario expands.

Responsibility vis-à-vis ‘Response ability’

For example, if you see someone dying on the street out of an accident, are you responsible? The conventional meaning will suggest you “No”. But by the second meaning, you have so many options.

  1. If you are a doctor, you will try direct intervention.
  2. If you are not, you may call an ambulance.
  3. If you don’t have ambulance contact, you may yourself take him to the nearest hospital.
  4. If you are not in a car, you may stop the next passing car and escort him to the hospital.
  5. If you discover the identity of the injured person, you may inform his kith and kin.

Responsibility is enslavement or freedom?

Your eraser falls off a table. If you feel you are responsible, you have several choices before you:

  1. You could simply bend down and pick it up.
  2. You could ask someone to help.
  3. You might pick it up when you leave the table.

You have a variety of options. But if you don’t take responsibility, you have nothing to choose from. Which is freedom? To have choices or to have none?

Responsibility is self-application

When we praise a person as being responsible, what exactly we mean? Primarily we think that he takes charge of the job assigned to him. He does not lack “self-application”. I remember when I was the Chief (Planning) at NHPC, one manager was posted from the field. His table used to be absolutely clean with all the papers shifted from the “In” tray to the “Out” tray. The secret, I discovered, was that as soon as any paper would arrive on his table; he would start looking at it from the angle “which direction it should be marked to, downward, lateral or to some other department for action/ comments” in other words “passing the buck”. He was not prepared to take responsibility for any of the issues. He soon became a symbol of non-self-application and proved unfit for the department.

Responsibility vis-à-vis Courage & Leadership

Taking responsibility is the ultimate essence of personal courage. The following is a fine example of personal courage on one side and magnanimity & leadership on the other.

In 1979, India launched its first SLV-3 built by ISRO, whose Chairman was Prof. Satish Dhawan and APJ Abdul Kalam was Project Director of SLV Mission. In the first stage, everything worked fine. In the second stage, a problem developed. Instead of the satellite going into orbit, the whole rocket plunged into the Bay of Bengal. It was a big failure. Failure analysis was done and presented to the chairman Prof. Dhawan. Everyone was convinced about the technical cause-and-effect sequence and future failure management measures got settled. Just before the meeting was over, Dr Kalam suddenly stood up and said “Just 4 minutes before the launch, I had observed some leakage of Red Fuming Nitric Acid (RFNA) but ignored it thinking it was insignificant. As a Mission Director, I should have put the launch on hold and saved the flight. In a similar situation abroad, the Mission Director would have lost his job. I, therefore, take responsibility for the SLV-3 failure” Touched by Kalam’s honesty and personal courage in taking the responsibility, Prof. Dhawan said, “I am going to put Kalam in orbit!”

Dr. Kalam was very frightened to face the media and answer their criticism of wasting millions of people’s money. Prof. Satish Dhawan took Dr.Kalam to the press meet and made him sit aside and he said “We failed! But I have very good trust in my team that next time we will be succeeding for sure” and made everyone believe in the team’s competence.

The very next year, 18 July 1980, the same team led by Dr. Kalam successfully launched Rohini RS-1 into the orbit. The whole country was proud and cheering for the success of the launch. Prof. Satish Dhawan congratulated Dr. Kalam and the team and asked Dr. Kalam to conduct the press conference that day. The rest is History. Dr. Kalam led many more successful launches and became “Missile Man” of India. This would not have happened without what Prof. Satish Dhawan did on the day of his failure!

“Taking responsibility is the greatest mark of a great leader.”

Former U.S. President Harry S Truman was known to say, “The buck stops here.” That meant that people below his level may “pass the buck” or not take responsibility, but he could not afford to do so because he had the ultimate responsibility!

Invisible emotions driving one towards responsibility

There seem to be three invisible emotions which drive one towards responsibility. These are Love, Fear and Greed. If you love someone you feel responsible towards his/her concerns. If you have some kind of fear like losing your job; you will be forced to take responsibility. If you have any sort of greed say getting a fast-track promotion, you would try to take higher and higher responsibility to prove yourself. Taking responsibility makes you win hearts, getting over fear and accomplishing scintillating success. So, Take the responsibility and win the world!

 

Satyamev Jayate!!!

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu, BE (Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., D.Eng. (Hon), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)

Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram, INDIA

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 55 “Sincerity”

My dear friends,

Please think if you have ever searched for,

  1. A single term which can be the root of all the attributes you wish to count and evaluate at the time of appraisal of people working with you.
  2. A single characteristic which distinguishes you as an outstanding and successful person?
  3. A single virtue which can revolutionise our national life and character.

It is SINCERITY, SINCERITY, and SINCERITY!!!

Please don’t get surprised to know that-

  1. I have had a professional friend who if promised me a time when he would revert over the telephone; never failed in his life; MTNL, VSNL, be it any service network, never failed him.
  2. A relative of mine was known for his punctuality so much so that people used to correct their wrist watches with his time of reporting to his own high office and other social events.
  3. I have a family friend who has never failed till date to wish me, my wife, my children and my grandchildren to greet us on our respective birthdates.
  4. My wife has not failed even once to feed me on time till date in the last over 40-years of our married life.
  5. My boss in England, suddenly having trouble with his eyesight one day in his office, was to be rushed to the Hospital. Before leaving office he dictated a two page letter regarding my forthcoming visit to Scotland for the concerned person to receive and take care of me and my wife since we were foreigners visiting their country for the first time.

I can go on counting such examples which are propelled by one single characteristic i.e. “sincerity”.

Sincerity encompasses a large domain of virtues

Sincerity means Genuineness, Honesty, Loyalty, Seriousness, Earnestness, Authenticity, Truthfulness, Integrity, Probity, Forthrightness, Bona-fides, good faith, trustworthiness, straightforwardness, openness, candidness, uprightness, unpretentiousness etc. etc. Sincerity comes out of love, respect, commitment and human virtues imbibed within.

Sincerity Vis-à-vis Job Performance & Success

At Reliance Energy Management Institute, Mumbai we once discovered that all the dozen odd evaluated attributes for Job performance like Job knowledge, quality & quantity of output, time management, cost consciousness, planning & organising, initiative, customer orientation & responsiveness etc. were all linked to “Sincerity” at the roots.

Swami Vivekananda once said “Every successful man must have behind him somewhere tremendous sincerity and integrity and that is the cause of his signal success in life. The degree of sincerity marks the degree of success everywhere.”

Sincerity at the focal point of a strong national character: Japanese Example

Let me start from a story that stays in my mind since long. In a Japanese Railway compartment an old lady takes out a needle and thread from her purse and starts stitching a seat cover that had opened up. Someone asked “was it not the duty of the railway authorities” She replied, “it was the duty of every citizen since it was a national property”. The Japan Railway and other connecting subways and systems are well-known for their incredibly punctual schedules. As such, when there is a delay of even “a minute”, they issue late slips for passengers to take to their employers. After all, it leaves a very bad impression if you’re late to work.

It’s not uncommon for people to work several more hours after their contractual quitting time to complete the day’s targeted output. No overtime payments expected!

Japanese tourists pick up trash from around camp sites and rest stops even when they didn’t make the mess themselves. Japanese students clean their schools by themselves for a good 30 minutes each day. Making it your business to keep communal space clean is a distinct mindset emerging out of your sincerity towards the environment.

Soon after arriving in Japan, when Casey Baseel was still getting used to commuting by train instead of a car, he left his bag on the Yamanote Line. As soon as he noticed, he told the stationmaster, who suggested him to wait for 60 minutes until the same train came back around, as the Yamanote is a loop line. Sure enough, when it did, his bag was right where he had left it. Nothing was taken from inside. I found similar things happening with me in London Tube Train!

The latest government survey on national character has found that 83% of Japanese if they were to be reborn, would choose to live in Japan rather than anywhere else though more than 60% said they feel apprehensive about natural disasters.

Sincerity to each other, sincerity to the Community, sincerity to the Society, sincerity towards Environment, sincerity to the Nation, sincerity to the land of your birth-all in one !!

Can we take some lesson to enrich our life?

 

Satyamev Jayate!!!

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu, BE (Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Eng. (Hon), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)

Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram, INDIA

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 54 “Directional Shift of Disorders”

My dear friends,

It is commonly advised by the spiritual masters that one should conquer the following 5- Disorders (विकार) to make life meaningful and powerful.

  1. काम- Lust
  2. क्रोध- Anger
  3. लोभ- Greed
  4. मोह- Illusion
  5. अहंकार- Arrogance

Conquering the above is extremely difficult for a normal human being but a directional shift is possible. A few real life examples narrated below can perhaps explain the same.

  1. Lust

The natural attraction between the opposite genders deserves a directional shift to elevate from body-consciousness to soul-consciousness in order to become “Radha-Krishna” or “Meera-Krishna” like adorable couples inspiring true love with no trace of lust. Further, magnetic union of Feminine and Masculine virtues of the opposites can give rise to “Ardhrarishwar” अर्धनारीश्वर – a perfect being.

A directional push to lust can also convert it to passion which can transform any one’s life. Passion becomes a driving force to a great objective in life. Goswami Tulsi Das had a great lust for his wife. Once not being able to withstand separation, he rushed to his wife’s home and in order to reach her room upstairs he ascended through snakes presuming them to be ropes. His wife was horrified and exhorted him that if he had this kind of passion for Lord Rama, his life would be different. This turning point and a directional shift created history.

  1. Anger

In good old days, there lived a poor man Doulat Ram who wanted to get his modestly educated son Ganga Ram employed. He could connect with a person who happened to be a चपरासी – a peon of a British Chief Engineer. When approached, he asked Ganga Ram to go inside and wait for the Chief Engineer. As soon as he arrives he would also come inside and introduce him to the Chief Engineer with a request to give him some kind of employment, he said.

The young boy Ganga Ram went inside and sat unknowingly on the chair of Chief Engineer himself. As soon as the Chief Engineer came back, he was furious. He screamed “what is your capability (औकात), you want to take my position?” Extremely humiliated Ganga Ram became angry but he kept it inside to prove him one day what his “औकात” was. He studied hard, worked hard and toiled upwards in the nights when others were sleeping. Obtaining a scholarship, he graduated from Thomason College of Civil Engineering (now IIT Roorkee) with the gold medal in 1873. Later for his excellent contributions in the field, British Empire awarded him the title “Sir”.

Once “Sir Ganga Ram” was welcomed by the same British Chief Engineer offering his own chair and at that time Sir Ganga Ram reminded him of the event that happened many years ago. The British melted away and said “you are great, Sir”.

Today our national capital Delhi has “Sir Ganga Ram Marg” and “Sir Ganga Ram Hospital” in his memory.  IIT Roorkee has a student hostel “Ganga Bhawan” in his honour.

Mahatma Gandhi in Maritzburg, South Africa was thrown out of the train on 7 June 1893. While Gandhi was on his way to Pretoria, a white man objected to his presence in a first-class carriage, and he was ordered to move to the van compartment at the end of the train. Gandhi, who had a first-class ticket, refused and was thrown off the train at Maritzburg station. Shivering through the winter night on the platform, Gandhi channelized his anger to think “You have thrown me out of the train with a valid first class ticket; I will throw you out of the countries where you have invalid governance”. He made a momentous decision to stay on in South Africa and fight the racial discrimination against Indians there. Out of that struggle emerged his unique version of nonviolent resistanceSatyagraha” (सत्याग्रह). His resolve churned out of anger shook the entire British Empire.

Today, a bronze statue of Gandhi stands in Church Street, in the city centre of Maritzburg.

  1. Greed

Ratnakar was a greedy dacoit who used to loot people and feed his family. He used to even kill people during his loot. Once, Ratnakar tried to rob Maharishi (महर्षि) Narad. Maharishi told him that killing was the worst sin and one has to pay heavily for it. Ratnakar found an excuse to say he was doing it for sustaining his family. Maharishi Narad asked him if his family would share the responsibility for his sin. He affirmed. Rishi said, would he go back to his family and get it confirmed. He would wait for him, if necessary he could tie him to a tree till he came back. Ratnakar did that and rushed to his family and asked them whether they shared the responsibility. None of his family members agreed to share the responsibility and they said it was his outlook how he earned their living. Ratnakar came puzzled and totally shattered. Narad said you are totally finished (मरा) today. In utter repentance he started repeating Mara which meant “I am killed”.

He did it for years in penance not realising that in continuity the pronunciation became “Rama” राम. An ant-hill grew around him, which in Sanskrit is known as “Valmika”. Repeating the holy name of Rama for many years during his self-punishment, he became pious and wrote the first ever poem “Ramayana” in Sanskrit consisting of 24,000 shlokas (श्लोक) and was given the name Maharishi “Valmiki” वाल्मीकि who is revered as the first poet or आदिकवि. Greed directed to self-realisation did wonder of wonders. The inner force remains the same, the direction changes.

  1. Illusion

An Afro-American Mrs. Blanche Rudolph, was a maid having a girl child Wilma born on 23rd June 1940 who had polio (a crippling disease that had no cure) right from childhood. At the age of 4, the doctor told “Wilma would never walk”, her left leg being paralyzed from the polio. From the age of 5, she spent her childhood in steel braces and special shoes. Mother loved her daughter immensely and at the same time lived under the illusion (मृगमरीचिका) that she would always be there to take care of her.

One day her illusion took a turn and she decided to devote herself to rehabilitate the child to make her self-reliant. She started taking her twice a week to the nearest hospital for Blacks 80 kM away, every other day of the week massaging the crippled limb at least four times a day. She shifted her resolve further from making her just walk to making her run and become the ‘fastest woman on earth’.

wilma

My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother

-Wilma Rudolph

On Sept 7th 1960, Wilma Glodean Rudolph became the first American woman to win 3-Gold medals in Rome Olympics becoming the fastest woman in the world at the age of 20, by winning the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Wilma G. Rudolph Residence Center was dedicated at Tennessee State University. Wilma Rudolph Boulevard was the name given to the portion of United States Highway Route 79 in Clarksville, Tennessee. A life-size bronze statue of Rudolph stands at the southern end of the Cumberland River Walk at the base of the Pedestrian Overpass, in Clarksville.

23rd June is Wilma Rudolph Day in the Tennessee State of USA.

5. Arrogance

Nations are proud of their virtues. At times their pride can convert to ego and even arrogance. British Empire was once quoted as an empire on which the sun never sets, mainly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During this period, the British Empire reached a territorial size larger than that of any other empire in history. British started thinking they were great people. It is interesting to know how their feeling of greatness was directed towards a different dimension of their large heartedness. With his nonviolent approach in freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi forced them to quit India as friends. The following story is quite interesting in this regard.

Coming to know that the Last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten’s daughter was getting married, Gandhiji proposed that he would like to send a gift. He got a tablecloth made out of the yarn spun by him personally and handed over to Mountbatten for onward transmission to the couple. The viceroy sent it on with a note “please preserve it along with your most precious jewels as it is made by a person who says that British should leave India as friends. Gandhiji silently shifted their greatness from arrogance of large territorial size of their empire to the pride in their large heartedness!

Satyamev Jayate!!!

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu, BE (Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Eng. (Hon), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)

Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram, INDIA

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 53 “Helicopter Skills centric 360-degree Training”

My dear friends,

As head of Training & Development at Reliance Energy Ltd., I was responsible for training 25,000 in-house workers right from gross root level to the CEOs of various Units and several thousands of engineers from SEB’s and DISCOM’s. There I realised that training them in their functional areas was inadequate and was in fact only 1/4th of the job to make them complete professionals. The value-vision domain on which organizations survive for centuries has a strong bearing on mind-set, attitude and constant learning of working people to be competitive at all times.

A “360-degree training model” was evolved at Reliance Energy Management Institute (REMI) –with the 1st quadrant circumscribing attitude which decides the altitude and is fundamental to self-growth. An IIT/MIT topper with a negative attitude will not be acceptable to any department. One’s mind-set exhibiting features like “Can you think big”, “Can you think in other’s shoe” etc. is extremely important. According to Harvard University research, whatever growth one achieves in terms of promotions, quantum jumps in business etc., 85% of the time it is due to his attitude and not his qualifications, gender, colour of the skin etc.

Attitude is inside while the behaviour is outside. Therefore in the 2nd quadrant, the model emphasizes on development of individuals in a people’s organisation where their behavioural planes are polished like diamonds, going beyond courtesies to ‘elegance and dignity’. This becomes necessary in Business organisations where customer interaction becomes highly relevant. Behaviour decides their spread.

In the 3rd quadrant the core competence, which is one’s exclusive strength, is addressed for its continuous reinforcement to upgrade a professional with the latest developments in his field to be competitive at all times, having an edge over others.

In this commercial world dictated by the global economy, each and every professional needs to have a commercial orientation and an understanding of the business, of which he or she is a part and therefore these aspects are covered in the 4th quadrant. Commercial sense and acumen make all the difference; Bill Gates and Dhirubhai Ambani have proved it.

According to MIT executive report on innovation, 80% of all innovations are made by people working outside of the discipline for which they are trained. It is important not only to be trained in your area of expertise, but also to have a bird’s eye view of the other functions prevalent in the organisation periodically. At least once in a quarter, one has to rise above the horizon of his own discipline and rise above his own working area (like a helicopter) to have a broader view of the entire business.

There is a depth of knowledge and there is a breath of knowledge. Deeper you go; there would be chances of invention once in ages. While breath of knowledge has capacity to funnel down from all lateral sides ideas that are capable of creating spirals of innovations which are more relevant in business context. “Six sigma” was not innovated by a Quality Engineer but a Communications Engineer. Cross-functional teams can bring in more innovative ideas than the specialised teams.

3

Their down-to-earth questioning is perhaps responsible for it.

In view of the above, our training model was upgraded to “Helicopter skills centric 360-degree Training Model” as depicted alongside.

Programs like Finance for Non-Finance, Technical for Non-Technical, Electrical for       Non-Electricals, Commercial for Non-Commercial, HR for Non-HR, Legal for NonLegal, Customer orientation for back-end executives and ‘Power Business for all’ proved to be very helpful in developing “Helicopter Skills”. The kind of programs covered in different quadrants is listed in the exhibit. These were suitable for a Power Distribution Company. This training model created a history in Reliance Energy Ltd. and power industry as a whole. It was mainly responsible for Golden Peacock National Training Award to REMI as ‘Best Training Institute in the Corporate Sector’ in the year 2006. This model’s application is universal with suitable selection of programs.

I wish more and more companies take advantage of this model !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 52 “Gaps in Education & Training”

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 52 “Gaps in Education & Training”

My dear friends,

After my service in Industry for 32 years, I have been involved with Education & Training for the last 16 years. This has been a fruitful combination of professional life which gave me a chance of integrating the two.

The major gaps I found in education were:

  1. Moral Values & Ethics (Belief systems and principles) AND attitudes emerging out of the same
  2. Education system concentrating on Left hand side of the brain utilizing only 50% of the brain’s potential

Moral Values & Ethics AND building of proper attitudes

In an interview at NPTI, we posed a common question to a set of candidates. “While going for your final examination, you find an accident-suffered helpless human being in a pool of blood who can be saved only with your intervention, what would you do?” A common answer (by some straight away and some reluctantly) was shocking. “I will go for my examination” Everyone weighed his one year more than a full human life. This needed a re-look in re-building of moral values and attitudes.

We conducted several attitudinal re-orientation programs for the staff, officers, students and trainees. In fact Attitude development became the buzzword for all and was instrumental in bringing phenomenal success and progression, in human behavior, creating an environment of self-esteem and self-reliance. We went a step ahead to ensure that Technical, Commercial and Attitudinal inputs were balanced out in every program.

Another policy decision taken at NPTI was to depute every one through the rank-and-file to training programs such as Attitudinal Re-orientation besides technical programs of one’s own specialization for a minimum period of 1-week in a year. As an outcome of these measures there was a built-up of learning spirit and application of mind for improvement of operations, synergizing efforts at the work place giving rise to multi-fold benefits, resulting not only in quantum jump in performance  but also sustaining them enduringly. This subsequently became a part of ‘National Training Policy for the Power Sector’ which was formulated by NPTI and was released from the Campus by the Hon’ble Minister of Power on 27-Mar-2002. This policy intervention at the National Level is an historic contribution of NPTI. This policy is highly acclaimed today in Training sector.

We made it a part of the Training Policy and adopted a 3-dimentional approach for our training courses (covering Technical, Commercial and Attitudinal aspects) reaching 75,000 Trainee-weeks in a year. We extended our public awareness programs like energy conservation to the nearby schools covering more than 26,000 students in a year, where we used to include a module on Attitudes, with an idea of catching them young.

Education system utilizing only 50% of the brain’s potential

Almost all engineering institutions are producing left-handers, which means their product is proficient in language, mathematics, analysis, logic, sequence, linear, details-bits and pieces and numbers, which are in the domain of left hand side of the brain. At the same time they are missing out space, rhythm, color, imagination, patterns, holistic pictures, concepts and shape which are in the domain of right hand side of the brain. This is amounting to utilizing only 50% of the brain’s potential. Great effort and innovation is required to complement the education system to fill this gap. Pioneering in nature, it requires a constant awareness to modify the lessons motivating the students to think holistically and conceptually also. We found significant success in subjects like Power Reforms, customer relationship, entrepreneurship, power-environment interface and sustainable development requiring a lot of imagination, patterns, holistic pictures and concepts. Lesson plans require imagination and conscious effort to collect examples for development of right hand side of the brain also.

Training as different from Education

In education sector no one asks “Why Education?” while in Training sector this is a common question “Why Training?” Why can’t we save expenditure on training? The arguments given are that on-job training should be good enough. It is sufficient to have specialized job experience. After a week’s training the candidate remains more or less the same. Timely answers and solutions were not given to these questions and as a result, the posting of Chief Engineer (Training) became a punishment posting, and a need for Training Policy was never recognized!

Let us find answers to these questions one by one.

Why Training? An un-trained Person can make only noise out of a most sophisticated musical instrument, while Training & Practice (Riaz) could produce not only music but “Bharat Ratnas” out of it [Pandit Ravi Shankar (1999), Ustad Bismillah Khan (2001)].

Sharpening the Skills: A woodcutter was employed to cut the trees. He cut 18 trees on the first day, 15 on the second day and only 10 on the third day. He went to his employer to apologise. Employer asked him “When did you sharpen your axe last?” the answer was that he did not get time to do that. Working hard is not enough; one has to keep on sharpening one’s skills periodically.

Expenditure on Training: Training is an investment not expenditure; it is the highest multiplier of productivity (1:30 in case of General Electric & Motorola). Cost of training is always less than cost of non-training. Cost of non-training of a driver for example can be loss of human lives. Same is the case with military training.

Training and Productivity: Based on recent research Findings from High Performance Workplaces in Australia, the ‘Australian Training Authority’ has concluded that Employees who receive formal training can be 230 % more productive than untrained colleagues in the same role. Every successful organization in the world has a strong back up of training and re-training.

Why on-job training is not enough? This question was being asked often when we were inviting trainees for “Simulator Training” at NPTI. We used to answer them by the following data:

A study was conducted by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) USA where thermal power plants were subjected to operation by following two different sets of operators at one time:

  1. Operators who were duly   trained on Simulators
  2. Operators who were never trained on Simulators

Compiling data from 8-Power Utilities, they studied and found that the Simulator Training benefits in respect of different operational parameters were as below:

1

Further, EPRI concluded that 20% forced plant outages were the direct result of operator/ maintenance errors. In India with Thermal power plants’ installed capacity exceeding 200,000 MW, simulator training can result in savings to the tune of Rs 200,000 x 300,000 = Rs 6,000 Crores per annum. This is a brilliant example of cost of Non-Training which our Nation has to pay every year.

What can be achieved in One Week’s Training? In a focussed training approach like the one adopted for “6-Sigma Training” where a Project (a problem area) is selected beforehand and during the course of Training it is defined accurately, measured precisely, analysed holistically, improved rationally and control parameters decided conclusively for action.

Similarly training with a “Case in Hand” is conducted. The participant is mandated to bring a problem he is facing in his area of operation. On the first day he is provided with the list of programs and copies of a 3-column matrix, for filling the first column as if to hang over the relevant issues of his job on to the subject being delivered.

During the week, he is exposed to the sessions on attitudinal aspects, behavioural wisdom, technical inputs and commercial acumen. These act like “hangers” where he has to hang the relevant issues of his “case-in hand”. The matrix also helps to fix and activate sort of “antennas” to capture the knowledge waves coming from the speakers during the week, without losing anchorage to their respective job-issues.

The trainee is supposed to record his learning’s from each session as relevant to his “case-in-hand” and also record at the end of the day his action plan. On the 6th day each trainee is called upon to present his action plan and take suggestions/ moderation from the faculty members. He goes back to his department next week with the “action plan” in hand to start implementing it in co-ordination with his supervisor. This proves to be a fruitful approach in terms of Trainee’s take-home, relating concepts to his work and increasing the span of retention.

Training thus becomes not only innovative, interesting and rewarding but also proves to be an integral activity of the business nay ‘prime-mover’ to transform the Company into a learning organization of distinction to be competitive at all times.

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)